Fall 2023

Fall 2023 Course Descriptions


ENGL 202-01 Intro to Creative Writing; AH; Professor Strickley

In this class, we’ll experiment in three forms—poems, short stories, and ten-minute plays—while searching for the most potent mode of expression for our talents and ideas. The aim is not necessarily to decide (once and for all) what kind of writers we are, but rather to discover the range of literary tools at our disposal as writers. The course will be comprised of three major components: the craftshop (wherein we’ll read published work and discuss the elements of craft); the workshop (wherein we’ll write poems, stories, and plays and respond to the work of our peers); and the portfolio (wherein we’ll use what we’ve learned in the course to draft and revise a highly polished work of literary art). Students who invest fully in all three portions of the course will emerge from the class with an enhanced understanding of the art forms at hand; a fluency in the language of constructive (and artful) criticism; and a body of creative work about which they can (and should!) be proud.


ENGL 202-02 Intro to Creative Writing; AH; Professor Maxwell

Are you interested in creative writing and expanding your strategies for being creative and thinking creatively? This introductory course is for you! You’ll get to test out a lot of different ways to compose poems and stories, both fictional and autobiographical. You will also have a captive audience with whom to share your works-in-progress and a supportive environment in which to challenge yourself and to thrive.


ENGL 202-03 Intro to Creative Writing; Professor Stansel

 In this course we will explore creative writing through the reading of contemporary work, as well as the writing and discussing our own work. The focus of the class will be on gaining an understanding of the conventions and “habits” of the literary genres, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the contemporary written word. Students will read assigned stories, poems, and essays and analyze them through written responses. This course will also allow students to try their hand at different genres and forms in a constructive and supportive atmosphere.


ENGL 202-50 Intro to Creative Writing; Professor Weinberg


ENGL 202-51 Intro to Creative Writing; Professor Weinberg


ENGL 250-50 Exploring Literature; Professor Biberman

This section of Introduction to Literature, will be taught on-line. In this course you will sample various literary genres, including drama, poetry, fiction, and memoir,. Our goal will be to develop the central skill of literary analysis, or ‘close reading,’ and apply close reading to course texts through a series of writing assignments, both scholarly and creative. We will analyze the content of the pieces we read and their structure, symbolism, and themes. By the end, you should have a multifaceted lens through which to enjoy literary-based art, as well as have mastered a skill set that will be useful both in subsequent college classes and beyond.

*Fulfills Cardinal Core requirement in Humanities.

Probable Texts:

Sophocles, Antigone Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet Bernstein, West Side Story / Spielberg Remake of West Side Story Selected English Lyric Poems Selected English Short Stories

ENGL 300-01 Special Topics: Intro to Literature; Professor Mozer


ENGL 300-02 Special Topics:Intro to Literature; Professor Mozer


 ENGL 300-03 Special Topics: The Modern City in Literature;WR Professor Wilson

What does it feel like to live in a city? While we take it for granted, the cities of our world evolved into what they are—they weren’t made that way. In this class, we’ll explore the modern city through the great writers who have chronicled what it feels like to live in a city. We’ll see the wide boulevards and seedy alleys of 19th century Paris, the battle-scarred veterans on the streets of post-World War I London, a Black family in South Side Chicago facing resistance as they try to move into a white neighborhood, a crazed street preacher from rural Georgia on the streets of the Southern city recruiting people for his “Church of Christ Without Christ,” and more. Through the strange, beautiful, and bizarre experiences of these characters, we’ll begin to understand how the city of today became what it was, what its future might be, and how we fit into (or resist) it.
Students can expect to write discussion board posts, analysis and research papers, and a final reflection paper.


ENGL 300-50 Special Topics: The Modern City in Literature; WR Professor Wilson (Winter Term)

What does it feel like to live in a city? While we take it for granted, the cities of our world evolved into what they are—they weren’t made that way. In this class, we’ll explore the modern city through the great writers who have chronicled what it feels like to live in a city. We’ll see the wide boulevards and seedy alleys of 19th century Paris, the battle-scarred veterans on the streets of post-World War I London, a Black family in South Side Chicago facing resistance as they try to move into a white neighborhood, a crazed street preacher from rural Georgia on the streets of the Southern city recruiting people for his “Church of Christ Without Christ,” and more. Through the strange, beautiful, and bizarre experiences of these characters, we’ll begin to understand how the city of today became what it was, what its future might be, and how we fit into (or resist) it.
Students can expect to write discussion board posts, analysis and research papers, and a final reflection paper.


ENGL 300-52 Special Topics: Intro to Literature; WR (DE) Professor Mattes

This distance education course will cover a range of fiction, poetry, and drama while introducing students to central terms and methods of literary analysis. In addition to giving close attention to the linguistic forms of texts, we will consider the social contexts in which such works are written and read. These contexts may include the political, economic, and cultural currents in which our readings are embedded and to which they speak; changing attitudes regarding the importance of art and the politics of literary study; and the contributions that literary studies make to conversations across disciplines.
In addition to reading some really beautiful and thought-provoking works of literature, you will receive guidance and feedback on your writing that will be tailored to your own situation and skill set. Some of you will be English majors and minors; others will not. In all cases, you should see me as your personal writing coach this semester. My feedback on your writing will provide guidance on how to take advantage of your existing interests and strengths and help you identify ways to advance your skills in analysis and academic writing.



ENGL 302-50 Special Topics: Lit. in ENGL After 1800; Professor Lutz

English 302 DE will introduce you to some significant works written in English since 1800, a period that covers the major literary and intellectual movements of Romanticism, Victorianism, and Modernism. Given the wide range of diverse literature produced during this time of rapid social, technological, and economic change, our survey of the field will necessarily be limited. However, we will encounter many important literary figures, including John Keats, Charlotte Brontë, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison. We will also explore some of the central issues that have defined literature and culture, such as the abolition of slavery, the advent of industrialism, and the cataclysmic impact of the First World War. We will also concern ourselves with changing ideas about sexuality, gender, and class during these historical moments.

*Historical Distribution


ENGL 303-01 Special Topics: Scientific and Tech. Writing; TBA


ENGL 303-50 Special Topics: Scientific and Tech. Writing; TBA


ENGL 304-01 Special Topics: Creative Nonfiction; Professor Mozer


ENGL 305-02 Special Topics: Intermediate Creative Writing; Poetry; Professor Maxwell

This course, centered on generative engines, is designed to help poets and students interested in poetry hone their craft, expand their bank of compositional strategies, and experiment with language and content. This is a generative class, meaning, you will write a lot. You will also be expected to deepen your reading practices and to provide thoughtful feedback on your peers’ work and insight into the work of published poets we read. To promote literary citizenship, you will attend a creative writing event at some point over the semester and report back on it. The class will culminate in a chapbook (10-12 pages of poems), an optional bookmaking session for those interested in binding and distributing their work, and a class reading.


ENGL 306 Special Topics: Business Writing

This course is a fifteen week schedule designed in mixed mode: textbook driven with computer-mediated instruction. The course consists of numerous individual, group, and reading assignments designed to bring you to a specific level of competency in professional writing. All assignments for the semester are listed in folders under the Unit Assignments tab on the course homepage. Work is to be submitted to specific links listed in those same folders. You will read/study the text, participate in discussion forums, complete individual and group assignments, and take online quizzes. I am here to help you succeed!

ENGL 309-01 Special Topics: Inquiries in Writing; Professor Rogers


ENGL 309-02 Special Topics: Writing in Digital, Global Times; Professor Williams

We are bombarded with claims of how digital media are fundamentally altering how we read, write, and think. While the advocates of new media technologies preach visions of bold new forms of communication that will liberate the individual writer and reader and provide new levels of democratic interaction and communication, skeptics launch laments about shrinking attention spans, the death of the printed-page book, and the cacophony of voices online. In this course, we will try to get past these more simplistic arguments and to explore of the nature of communication, writing, popular culture in a time in which communication technologies are shifting and developing rapidly. We will also explore how the movement of communication across borders and cultures challenges us to think in new ways about ourselves, and the larger world around us. We’ll read works from a number of different disciplines and perspectives and reflect on how we read, write, and make meaning in a digital, interconnected world.


ENGL 309-50 Special Topics: Inquiries in Writing; TBA


ENGL 310-01 Special Topics: Intro to Professional and Public Writing; Professor Poole

The work we do and the kind of colleague we are in the workplace is determined and influenced by professional writing--not just emails and memos, but policies and unstated professional standards. In this class, we interrogate and challenge standards of "professionalism" in the workplace. We ask who those standards serve, which ones should be revised to make the workplace more inclusive, and write proposals that call for change. We query the ethics of public and professional writing, analyze the kinds of writing that surround us in the Louisville Metro area, and practice developing our own voices as writers.


ENGL 315-01 Work Sucks: Labor in Media; Professor Wilson

Work ranks foremost among the contradictions of U.S. culture and society. On the one hand, the famous Puritan Work Ethic championed by seventeenth-century Puritan settlers laid the ideological grounds of the U.S.’s dominance in global capitalism. On the other hand, we have the
familiar saying that gives this course it’s title: work sucks! In this course, we will explore this tension through films, advertisements, poetry, and memoir. We will see the contemporary workplace satirized in the film Sorry to Bother You. We will explore coal mining in the documentary film Harlan County U.S.A. and the poetry of Muriel Rukeyser. We will explore working at a German Amazon fulfillment center in the memoir Seasonal Associate and discover how the Puritan Work Ethic has been repackaged in slick subway advertisements by companies such as Fiverr. Through these studies we will discover that, if once working was imagined as the virtuous pathway to the Good Life, in the present so many of our formerly external work activities—leisure, consumption, creativity, exercise, and even sleep—have become integral parts of the labor process.
Students can expect to complete discussion board posts, an analysis essay, and a special media-based project (short film, podcast, video essay, etc) of their own.

 ENGL 325-02 Introduction to Linguistics; Professor Stewart



ENGL 330-02 Language and Culture; Professor Swinehart


ENGL 333-01 Shakespeare: Between the Anthropocene and Extinction; Professor Biberman

What does it mean to talk about Shakespeare TODAY in what we might call the age of the Anthropocene? Pieter Vermeulen argues that within Anthropocene ideology, thinkers must accept as myth the idea that “the modern subject is the sole agent of history and that the Earth is only a passive resource.” How might the acceptance of this premise affect our understanding and presentation of Shakespeare—and how might the study of Shakespeare in turn allow us to further develop and nuance a theory for what we might call “actually existing Anthropocene thought”? In this course we will explore this issue by taking up three questions: first, what sort of notions of human subjectivity do we find modeled in Shakespeare and how might such notions force a reconsideration of human life as lived now in the Anthropocene age? Second, how does Shakespeare model elements of our planet, the earth—both as dramatic setting and as agent in his plays, and how might such Shakespearean elements force a reconsideration of our understanding of “the nonhuman” today? And finally, what is the function and place of art generally (and Shakespeare specifically) in a time of climate crisis? In our study we will focus on the following plays: The Tempest, Hamlet, King Lear, Coriolanus, Measure for Measure, and As You Like It.

*Historical Distribution (Literature before 1800)

 ENGL 342-02 Black Women Novelists-WRAHD2; Professor Logan



ENGL 368-01 Minority Traditions in English Literatures-AHD2; Professor Clukey


ENGL 369-01 Minority Traditions in Amer Lit; Professor Anderson



ENGL 373-01 Women Writers/Sexual Politics in a Global Context; Professor Hadley

In this class, we will explore the literature of women writers in a global context, including works from Jamaica, Egypt, Japan, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, France, Zimbabwe and Iran. Among these national contexts, we will consider how gender has been constructed within familial, patriarchal, post-colonial and other oppressive structures. How, in other words, have desire and sexuality been expressed in cultures with such heavily-coded gender norms? We will explore a number of different forms such as short stories, novels, autobiography, drama, film, and the graphic novel. Course requirements will be relatively modest, with three exams, regular quizzes and occasional study questions. General competency in college writing (argument, evidence, MLA format) is assumed.


ENGL 373-51 Women and Global Literature; AHD2; Professor Sheridan *WINTER TERM*

This section of English 373 focuses on contemporary writings by and about women. We’ll often compare these contemporary works to canonical writings, which allows us to see how intersectional understandings of gender are constructed across time and place. We will read a range of genres, including: a novel, a memoir/graphic novel, short stories, and fractured fairytales. Across these readings, we’ll ask, who can tell what story? And why might that be? We’ll have weekly response essays and a final project where you apply concepts explored in the readings to something you notice in your everyday. This DE class fulfills the university diversity requirement.


ENGL 401-01 Honors Seminar;Making Climate Change Matter: Intersections of Culture, Science, and Rhetoric; Professor Williams

The science of climate change may be settled, but the public and private conversations, debates, and emotions connected to the issues around climate change are varied and often volatile. How we respond, both individually and as communities, to climate change is shaped, not only by the science, but by history, politics, psychology, rhetoric, popular culture and more. In this course we will explore the connections – and sometimes tensions – that develop in examining climate change as a cultural experience. We will draw on conversations going on in fields such as sustainability education, media criticism, environmental rhetorics, and psychology, as well as climate science, to examine the ways in which cultural contexts shape our understanding of, and responses, to science and the events of climate change. We will also study the conversations taking place in other cultures around the world about the current climate emergency to see how different cultural contexts shape the ways the issues are discussed and the kinds of responses that are adopted. We will be reading a range of works from rhetorical theory, cultural studies, history, politics, media criticism, education, and creative nonfiction including selections from How Climate Change Comes to Matter, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet, Sense of Place and Sense of Planet, Reimagining Climate Change, as well as films and other popular culture.

 ENGL 403-50 Special Topics: Advanced Creative Writing; Professor Adams

The objective of this distance education course is to help students improve as writers, readers, and critics of the genres of their choice. We will read a range of stories, poems, plays, and creative non-fiction, both to see how things have been done, and to inspire your own work. Most of these texts will be chosen by the instructor, but student interests will also be taken into account. 

Please keep in mind that this is a multi-genre course. You will be asked to read and critique poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama, and you must be prepared to do so. It is also a workshop-style course. Class members will regularly exchange work and be asked to provide feedback on it. The final assignment will be a portfolio of student writing.


ENGL 404-02 Miracle Monocle: Editing, Publishing, and Promoting a Lit Journal; Professor Strickley

In its history as a publisher of innovative literary and visual art, Miracle Monocle has produced 20 high-impact, digital issues. Recently, the journal earned the National Program Director's Prize from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, further establishing it as an innovative presence in the literary publishing landscape. This course will offer students a front-row seat to the process of selecting and editing work for publication in this dynamic journal. In addition to addressing many of the challenges specific to digital publishing—web design, social media integration, online submission management—students will also earn hands-on experience in maintaining an editorial calendar, corresponding with contributors, building editorial consensus, and preparing work for publication—skills that are directly translatable to a career in print or digital publishing. Students will also address many of the ethical and technical issues still problematizing the global shift to a digital media environment. The course will culminate in the publication of the 20th issue of Miracle Monocle. Students will also have an opportunity to help bring our fourth print anthology into being.


 ENGL 407-01 Special Topics: Writing for Social Change; Professor Schneider


ENGL 450-01 Coop Internship in ENGL Studies; Professor Mozer



ENGL 480-50 Special Topics: Digital and Visual Comp; Professor Poole

Stories are not bound to the page--and in the era of social media, stories circulate more rapidly than ever before. In this class, students will learn to use visual and digital tools to tell stories that capture the attention of local public audiences. What counts as "writing" will extend to images, data visualizations, podcasts, and videos. Because we want our stories to be accessible to different audiences, we will learn how to tell the same story in different ways to different audiences through different digital mediums.


ENGL 492-01 Special Topics in Interpretive Theory: Queer Theory; Professor Kopelson

This course offers a partial survey of developments in the mode of critical theory known as “queer theory.” Since the overarching goal of the class is to define, explore, and come to an understanding of what is meant by “queer theory”—what it is, what it does, and to what ends—I will leave the term undefined here, and invite you to come explore it further in class.
The course takes a roughly chronological approach toward our overarching goal, beginning with precursors to and founding figures and moments of queer theory, moving to its actual inception and early definitions offered by some of its practitioners, then on to some key developments and debates over the 1990s and 2000s, ending with more recent evolutions, intersections, and departures of the last decade.
Though we are primarily concerned with queer theory itself in this course, we will also devote some attention to queer criticism or analysis—doing some readings which allow us to see queer theory in action as it has been deployed to read contemporary cultural texts.
At the end of the course you should have a solid sense of what queer theory is and does, how it began, where it has been, what some of its strengths and weaknesses are, and where it might be going.
Course requirements include but are not limited to: written engagement with theoretical course readings; participation in class discussion; completion of take-home essay examinations at midterm and semester’s end. The course is targeted to advanced undergraduate students who, ideally, will have had some previous experiences in theory or philosophy courses.

ENGL 501-01 Independent Study; Professor TBA


ENGL 501-02 Independent Study: Advance Fiction Writing; Professor Stansel



ENGL 504-01 Special Topics: Advanced CWII: Fiction; Professor Griner

Welcome to 504, Advanced Creative Writing, fiction. We'll be reading a lot of published work and doing some in and out of class exercises, but the heart of the class will be workshops, devoted to your work. I hope to help all of you improve and expand your craft. As is true of most workshops, students know far better than I what you hope to get from this course, but I expect you to do a lot of reading and writing, to participate in every class, and to revise thoroughly at least one of the pieces you workshop.  I also expect to see all of you improve as writers, and as readers and critics.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I expect you to become more “polished” writers; in some cases it may mean you're more willing to take risks, while in others it may mean you'll gain greater expertise in things you've already learned to do well.  Through readings and workshops, discussion, written work, etc., you will be working constantly at the art of revising, a crucial skill for all writers, but especially advanced ones.

If you're taking this for graduate credit, it will fulfill one of your elective courses.


ENGL 506-50 Special Topics: Teaching of Writing; WR; CUE; Professor Kopelson

“The Teaching of Writing” seems like a simple title representing a simple, everyday classroom phenomenon. But what do we mean when we say “teaching writing?” Is “writing” one thing? If we say no, then what kind(s) should be taught, and to what ends? That is, what should be our goals for teaching “writing”? What do we hope to enable our students to do? In what contexts? These are the questions with which we begin the course, and to which return again and again throughout the semester.

This course, taught fully online, will be of interest to students planning to teach writing in the future. It will also be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about (what is misleadingly called) “the writing process,” and to reflect on their own experiences as writers and as students. The course is grounded in making reflective connections between our own experiences as students and writers and the course readings, which are drawn from Composition Studies and English Education scholarship. The course involves weekly writing, on either the discussion board or in other written responses to readings, and culminates in a scholarly research project driven by independent inquiry into a research question of interest to you.


ENGL 545-01 Monsters, Mysteries and the Macabre: The Romantic Gothic Novel; Professor Hadley

Populated by hero-villains and native heroines, ghostly apparitions, and mysterious castles with dark labyrinthine corridors and damp dungeons, the gothic novel originated in eighteenth-century England and by the 19th c. was popularized throughout the Anglo-American world and beyond. This course will consider the use of the Romantic gothic novel as a critique of dominant social narratives and cultural ideologies, particularly as they apply to gender and sexuality. Related to these concerns, we’ll examine some elements of the genre Dark Romanticism, including melancholy, paranoia and insanity. Course requirements include two exams, a research project, and regular homework such as quizzes and study questions.

 ENGL 547-01 Special Topics: Studies in Modern British and/or Irish Lit; Professor Clukey



ENGL 555-01 Coop Internship; Professor Mozer



ENGL 571-50 Special Topics: Early Ohio Valley by the Book: Native American and Settler Writing, 1750-1850 (DE;CUE); Professor Mattes CUE; Pre-1800

In works such as John Filson’s “The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon,” Boone’s life is told as a story of settler virtue and ingenuity. Boone’s life, however, is also a story of Native American responses to colonialism, as when a Shawnee family adopted him and named him Sheltowee, or Big Turtle, figuring Boone within an Indigenous network of relations. This distance-education course keeps in mind the intercultural contexts of such stories. It focuses on how settler and Indigenous experiences together shape literatures of the Ohio Valley up to the removal era (~1830-1850). Student outcomes include developing a critical understanding of 1) the importance of place, space, and land, and 2) the multiethnic contexts of American writing. Additional readings, ranging from fiction and drama to life writing, history, and political rhetoric, may include the speeches of Shawnee and Cayuga Native Americans (Tecumseh and Soyechtowa), Notes on the State of Virginia (Jefferson), Nick of the Woods (Bird), Annals of Kentucky (Rafinesque), Ornithological Biography (Audubon), and Logan: The Last of the Race of Shikellemus (Doddridge), as well as materials related to key Indigenous and settler sites such as Choctaw Academy, Serpent Mound, Clark Cypress, Logan Elm, and/or Fort Boonesborough. Student outcomes will be assessed through two short essays, a brief research proposal, and an accompanying research essay. (Note: This course fulfills the 1700-1900 historical period requirement for MA students.)

 ENGL 575-01 Special Topics: Genre Studies in African-American Lit; Professor Anderson

This course will focus on African American literature devoted to children coming of age, and the ways in which the conventions of the Bildungsroman are often modified to depict the particular experiences and challenges of Black childhood and early adulthood.
Possible authors include Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Marilyn Nelson, Frank X. Walker, and Joy Priest, among other writers.
Assignments will include a mid-term exam, research essay, and a final synthesis research project with an annotated bibliography.


ENGL 599-01 Special Topics: Texts and Technologies; Professor Schneider