Fall 2021

ENGL 202-01 INTRO CW-AH  Prof. 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 CW-AH  Prof. 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 202-50 INTRO CW-AH  Prof. Weinberg

Welcome to the English Department’s online version of ENGL 202: Intro to Creative Writing.  Participants will have the opportunity to explore the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama, learning the nuts and bolts of craft.  The first part of the semester will be a primer in four areas of craft: detail/image, voice/point-of-view, character, and setting. You’ll experiment with these foundational elements in writing exercises, and discuss how published writers apply them in their stories, poems, and plays. For the remainder of the semester, you’ll take a closer look at each genre in mini-units, and you’ll be introduced to the creative writing workshop, in which you’ll read the writing of your classmates and exchange constructive criticism on a discussion board, with your instructor closely guiding the discussion.  For your final project, you’ll choose between a full-length short story, a series of poems, or a ten-minute play.  This course is a special offering from the English Department for the fall 2021 semester.


The world feels like a smaller and more crowded place than ever before. Even as technology, travel, and commerce draw humans closer together, other forces seem to separate us. In this course, students will read novels, poetry, and plays from the early 1900s into the present, written by writers from across the globe, including W.B. Yeats, Mulk Raj Anand, Jean Rhys, Wole Soyinka, Yaa Gyasi, and more. We will particularly pay attention to this double movement, the forces that bring people closer while also separating and alienating them. How do these writers express this experience in their work? How do they describe and articulate togetherness and apartness? How can we see the world differently by encountering these texts? Coursework includes quizzes, discussion board posts, a midterm, and a research paper. 


This course is designed to help you read, think, talk, and write like an English major. It is designed to ne a sort of boot camp for literary analysis that will help you develop the skills necessary to tackle even the most obfuscating verse and prose. The goals of this class are twofold. The first is to hone your literary-interpretative skills on a microcosmic level (through attention to word choice, sound, and language) and on a macrocosmic level (through attention to generic conventions, literary form, and narrative theory). The second goal is to teach you to effectively communicate your newly honed interpretative abilities by using scholarly research to turn observations into compelling arguments and participate in critical discussions. Because the best way to learn to write well is to write often, you’ll try your hand at several different kinds of academic writing throughout the semester. 

ENGL 300-50 INTRO TO LITERATURE-WR  Prof. Kelderman

Are you looking to become a better and more careful reader of literature? And would you like to find new ways to improve your writing in the meantime? This course is an introduction to reading literature and writing about it, with attention to various genres (novels, short stories, short plays, poetry) and topics (including science fiction, modernism, migration stories, and social realism). As you read some of the most beautiful and thought-provoking works of literature in English, you will develop the vocabulary, interpretive methods, and writing skills necessary for literary analysis—and find new ways to appreciate the literary works of major writers from James Joyce and Zora Neale Hurston to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and Jhumpa Lahiri. You will receive guidance and feedback on your writing that will be tailored to your own situation and skill set. The requirements are a sequence of short writing assignments that will practice different analytical skills. Prerequisites for this course are English 102 or 105. This course fulfills the Arts & Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR)


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 301-01 Heroes, Demons, Wonders  Prof. Stanev

This course will investigate a selection of Old English, Medieval, and Renaissance texts that explore the cultural, social, gendered, and aesthetic dimensions of the early modern fascination with heroes and their encounters with the supernatural and its inhabitants – particularly with demons, monsters, faeries, and spirits. We will look at literary embodiments of unnatural power, monstrous shape, witchcraft, gender or racial ambiguity, and psychological horror during encounters with natural and supernatural antagonists or phenomena, in which heroes vanquish but also get vanquished. We will further investigate social rituals and discourses related to the study and practice of magic and the occult, as well as focus on specific interpretations of its agents and their connections to the heroes who oppose them. In addition, this course will offer the opportunity to study a dynamic body of works, which emerge from the domains of epic poetry, folk play, allegory, romance, travel narrative, and secular drama. The invisible world has frequently been the subject of recent media franchises and literary works, and we will look for parallels, while also noting the differences from the literary imagination of medieval and early modern England.

ENGL 302-01 LITERATURE AFTER 1800  Prof. Kelderman

This course will cover English-language literature from 1800 up to the present day, including works by major writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, James Joyce, Zora Neale Hurston, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Zadie Smith. Class discussions will connect this literature to changing ideas about art, representation, culture, and history over the course of roughly 250 years, from the time of revolutions through the US Civil War, the two world wars, the social movements of the twentieth century, and our current moment. Through in-class discussions and mini-lectures we will further explore these connections. In addition to keeping up with daily readings and several take-home exams, students will write an analysis paper on a topic of their own choosing. In order to set clear and fair expectations for written work, students will receive teacher feedback and be given the option to revise and resubmit their graded responses. 

  • Literature 1700-1900
  • Literature 1900 - present 




This intermediate creative writing course is designed to help poets and the poetry-curious experience the excitement of experimentation, hone their craft, expand their bank of compositional strategies, and play with language, form, and content. This is a generative class, meaning, you will write a lot. You will also deepen your reading practices and provide thoughtful feedback on your peers’ work and insight into the work of published poets we read, becoming more confident talking about poetry. 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 305-02 INT CW WKP; FICTION  Prof. Strickley

In this class students will have an opportunity to build upon the skills established in intro-level workshops while digging deeply into the genre of the short story—a form often described as one of the most fitting for our digital era. We will read contemporary published work, conduct generative exercises, and also workshop student writing. Students will emerge with at least two full-length short story manuscripts—and plenty of fodder for future projects. 






This course introduces students to the practices involved in becoming a public/professional writer as well as the extent to which professional writing infiltrates contemporary workplaces. Throughout this course, students will query the ethics of public writing, analyze the kinds of public and professional writing that surround them in the Louisville metro area, and practice developing their own voice as a writer. Students will also have the opportunity to write for local non-profits in their coursework.

ENGL 310-50 INTRO TO PROF WRITING Prof. Schneider


ENGL 315-01 CULTURE TEXT MEDIA  Prof. Sheridan

When Beyonce’s video “*** Flawless” excerpted the words of award winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, it raised the question that animates this class: How have social media informed contemporary storytelling?  

We will read widely and compose in multiple formats. Likely readings include: fiction, such as Shamsie’s Home Fire or Thomas’ The Hate U Give, that explores how social media have become characters or plot devices, sometimes retelling canonical stories; and, multi-media stories, such as Beyonce’s “*** Flawless” and Humans of New York, that rework literary texts and/or offer opportunities to tell counter-stories. There will be several small assignments, a presentation, and a final project where we contribute to the Frazier Museum’s West of 9th Street exhibit by composing either for their blog or their photo essays.

ENGL 325-01 INTRO TO LINGUISTICS  Prof. Stewart Jr.

Linguistics is the study of the forms and functions of human language. On the form side, we study units of speech sound, units of linguistic meaning, and the ways that these may be combined into more complex units such as words and sentences. The study of language functions includes the analysis of the role of dialects and language variation, language change, language and the mind, and language acquisition.

(Cross-listed with LING 325. Counts as a Core course in the Undergraduate Minor in Linguistics.) 


Course objective: Linguistics is the study of the forms and functions of human language. In this course students will learn to think and speak about language in a nuanced, sophisticated way, using objective, descriptive concepts and terms. The course also aims to identify the components and dynamics of the individual/psychological and social/institutional ways in which language shapes and is shaped by human abilities and experiences; and distinguish between plausible claims about language, on the one hand, and folk-legends or myths about language, on the other hand, that are cited as “common sense,” but that have no basis in fact. To this aim we will cover phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic units. We will also cover language functions, including the analysis of the role of dialects and registers in society. Other topics to be covered include endangered languages, language and culture, language change, and language acquisition and development. 

ENGL 330-02 LANGUAGE & CULTURE AHD1  Prof. Swinehart


ENGL 333-01 SHAKESPEARE I  Prof. Biberman

 ENGL 373-03 WOMEN & GLOBAL LIT AHD2  Prof. Hadley

This course addresses a number of issues as they are represented in selected short stories by Anglo-American women writers of the late 20th & early 21st centuries. Where questions of gender and sexuality thread throughout the semester’s reading, the course units are loosely framed around three general topic areas: “Marriage/Family/Community,” “Race/Culture/Immigration,” and “Romance/Sexuality/The Body.” In addition, we will be looking at the ways in which women experience and represent an increasing awareness of their many forms of “difference” in the period, particularly in context of African-American, Chinese-American, Indian-American, Haitian, and post-colonial literary traditions. 

ENGL 373-50 WOMEN 7 GLOBAL LIT AHD2  Prof. Lutz

This course takes as its focus women novelists and poets who write about women. We will read literature that puts women in the center of a fictional world and explores their need to be seen and heard, to find their place and their rights. Female fellowships and collaborations involved in women’s (and humanitarian) rights will be central, as will intense friendships between women and erotic and sexual connections. Some of our books will be gothic in character, carrying women into haunted, stormy, violent realms where they must make their way. More broadly, the class will explore ideas about gender, sexuality, and race, with a strong interest in women who rebel against societies that marginalize them, especially queer women and women of color.      



ENGL 401-02 HON: ANIMALS, NATURE WR  Prof. Poole

Birds tweet, dogs bark, and whales sing, yet language has primarily been defined as the ability to communicate through human speech, or symbolic ways of knowing. This course decenters that perspective, considering humans as human animals who language alongside the communicative acts of animals, trees, and other agents in nature. Throughout the semester, we will grapple with the following questions: How do humans open themselves to hear and understand the languaging of animals and the natural world? What might we learn by studying rhetoric, language, and communication beyond the human? How does moving beyond “the human” allow us to better conceive of difference and individual ways of being in the world? To answer such questions, we will turn to rhetorical theory, literature, and case studies in the biological sciences.

Video description: https://louisville.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c1e08d1f-62dc-4efe-bf32-acc201416737

ENGL 405-01 EDIT PUBLISH DESIGN  Prof. Strickley

In its history as a publisher of innovative literary and visual art, Miracle Monocle has produced sixteen digital issues and two print micro-anthologies. This course will offer students a front-row seat to the process of selecting and editing work for publication in the 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, and building editorial consensus—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 seventeenth issue of Miracle Monocle.


How do we write to make things happen? To educate and persuade? To affect attitudes and policies? To make changes on the topics we care about? 

We will pursue these questions by exploring different types of public writing (e.g., transmedia writing for the web; persuasive or policy writing for public institutions).  In particular, we will examine how stories circulate, and what ethical questions this brings up.  Finally, we will do our own public writing in a partnership with the Frazier Museum on their West of 9th Street exhibit, which gathers stories similar to Humans of New York. In this partnership, you can choose to advocate (likely via blog posts; photovoice essays; museum documentation, etc.) for a community issue of your choosing, whether for your own neighborhood or for one of Louisville’s West of 9th Street neighborhoods.  No prior public writing experience is necessary. Just bring your curiosity and commitments.

*This fulfills the WR requirement

ENGL 416 MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE: Exiles and Émigrés, Colonialism and Commonwealth Prof. Wilson

In his 1970 study of modernism, Exiles and Émigrés, the literary critic Terry Eagleton observed that the great works of British literature in the early 1900s were mostly written by people from outside England. Eagleton attributes this to a flaw in British culture and society, but it could just as easily have arisen from a world rapidly modernizing and globalizing, making it easier than ever for writers to pack their bags and move to cities like London and Paris. Furthermore, the massive expansion of British colonial holdings in the twentieth century forever changed what constitutes “British” literature by incorporating voices from the Caribbean, Africa, and India.

In this course, we will examine British literature across the twentieth century with these cultural dynamics in mind. Starting with canonical modernist writers like W.B. Yeats and Virginia Woolf, we will move forward in time and outward in geographical scope to include writers like George Lamming, Arundhati Roy, and Zadie Smith. Even as British modernism develops and transforms across the twentieth century, themes of cultural belonging, hybridity, and alienation remain central concerns to these writers. Coursework includes reflection papers, a presentation, and a research paper.

ENGL 421-01 AMER LIT 1910-1960 WR  Prof. Anderson


ENGL 423-01 AFR-AM LIT 1845-PRES WR  Prof. Chandler

This intermediate survey of African American literature will focus on African American writing produced up to 1900. This fertile period included the emergence and evolution of African American nonfiction, including the slave narrative and reflective essay, the appearance of Black literary celebrities, and the building of African American readerships and literacy practices. African American writers during the period also continued to adapt and recreate Euro-American literary forms. Moreover, the abiding power of Black vernacular traditions of song and folktales influenced literature, and during this period, renderings of these oral traditions became available in print. In this course we will investigate these different strains of African American cultural expression to answer two key questions: What is early African American literature? What were this literature’s functions and significance? We will consider how this literature works and what it suggests about the nature of artistic expression, human experience and society, and black identity and culture. Work requirements include consistent engagement, occasional homework (annotation exercises, open-response questions), tests, and essays.

The course partly satisfies the Arts and Sciences upper-level WR requirement. 

ENGL 460-01 STUDIES IN AUTHORS WR  Prof. Golding

This course will focus intensively on the work of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson—for many readers, the two most significant poets that the U.S. has produced—and on the extension of their influence into the recent past and present. While also reading their essays and correspondence, we will concentrate on Whitman’s and Dickinson’s poetry—on the development of their manuscripts, on their stylistic experiments, on such shared themes as the Civil War, race, sex/gender politics, and spirituality or religion, and on their reception. In the last few weeks of the semester, we’ll look at their influence on the work of later poets poets such as Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, and Susan Howe, among others.

Likely Requirements (subject to change): A 5-7-page midterm paper; annotated bibliography that serves as part of the research for your final paper; a 10-page research paper; participation in online discussion forums via Blackboard. 


ENGL 480-01 DIGITAL & VISUAL COMP  Prof. Johnson

English 480: Visual and Digital Composition considers the seismic changes to professional and public writing taking place in the face of rapid technological and communicative shifts. Students will practice writing in this course that extends beyond the traditional “write alone, using only words; turn it in; move on” model to, instead, use writing and collaboration to think through practices for pre-writing, writing, and revising writing projects that matter to them. 

Drawing a conceptual map of the course, we will explore the following ideas as they relate to writing in a changing world:  

  • Design Thinking (pre-writing): Where do fruitful ideas for writing come from? Where do they go? How might we better produce community, listening, and problem-solving through writing that circulates in digital spaces? How can better practices for gathering information and stakeholders lead to better projects and writing practices? 
  • Digital Composition (writing): How do individuals in professional and public settings obtain, process, and exchange information? What constitutes clear communication across digital genres ranging from the email to the online tutorial?  What might we make of the changing nature of delivery in the age of social media and “update culture” (Gallagher)?   
  • Visual Rhetoric and Data Visualization (revising): We will consider how photo-essays, websites like decolonialatlas.wordpress.com, and the work of Edward Tufte use visuals ranging from evocative images to infographics to enrich documents, enhance professional and public communications, and produce visual documents of our own.  

Each of these concepts will be applied to student projects as they are conceptualized, written, and then supplemented/remediated into visual documents.   



 ENGL 504-01 ADV CW II; FICTION Prof. 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. If you're taking this for graduate credit, it will fulfill one of your elective courses.


“The Teaching of Writing” may sound like a straightforward and pragmatic course in direct application. It is not. It is a course that poses and strives to answer big questions: What even IS writing? To what ends do we teach it? If we feel we know what writing is, what kind(s) should be taught, and again, to what ends—that is, what should be our goals for “teaching writing”? These are the large questions with which we begin the course, and to which return again and again throughout the semester. It shouldn’t be long before we begin to discern that “teaching writing” is not only difficult to define and hardly a straightforward or objective task, but a phenomenon loaded with ideological assumptions that has complex social, personal, disciplinary, and even political implications and ramifications.

Readings in the course are drawn from Composition Studies and Education scholarship and will cover such issues as: the writing process (invention, revision etc.), error, teaching grammar, teaching argument, the place of the personal in academic writing, writing across disciplines, language and cultural differences in writing, responding to student writing, peer collaboration, writing with technology or writing in the digital age etc. This is not an exhaustive list.

Course requirements may include but are not limited to: regular and rigorous participation in all discussion activities, weekly written responses to the readings, various reflective or narrative writings, small researched inquiries, and a final course project to be determined based on student interests, needs, and plans for their futures. 

This course is an elective for MA students. MA students may apply up to 9 credits of 500-level coursework to the MA degree.

ENGL 509-01 Blogs, Podcasts, Documentary  Prof. Johnson

In the last ten years, the genres of the short documentary and podcast have exploded in popularity. Series like Serial, Freakonomics, and Vice have changed the media landscape and pressed the boundaries of what constitutes “writing” in the twenty-first century.   

The purpose of this course is twofold. We will spend the first part of the course studying these forms for their formal, theoretical, and social implications for how we think about our textual lives. How have these genres changed the way the public interacts with information and with one another? What new textual forms and strategies have developed in these mediums?  How might the study of popular and noteworthy texts inform our own creation of these structures? Students will produce a brief analysis essay unpacking issues surrounding a text of their choice. 

In the second part of the course, we will work together in teams to produce content for a class-shared webspace. After determining a broad “theme” for the semester, students will work in teams to produce their own content in a chosen medium (ideally choosing between the production of a podcast, or multimodal essay), help peers and other groups to workshop and edit material, and ultimately explore these genres through the process of creating them. 


Frankenstein and the Ghost Story Challenge

In the summer of 1815, the celebrated Romantic poets Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and their entourage gathered at the Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva. They spent long candlelit evenings in discussions ranging from philosophy, to contemporary scientific topics such as alchemy, galvanism, and the principles of animation, to tales of ghosts and vampires. One evening Lord Byron read the Fantasmagoriana, a collection of German ghost stories, and challenged those present each to write a ghost story. The challenge produced literary fragments and poems, notable among them Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein and Polidori’s novel The Vampyre, forerunner of Stoker’s Dracula and of modern vampire fantasy fiction.

This course will explore the lives of the individuals present on this occasion, the contemporary contexts informing their discourse, and the texts generated in response to Byron’s “ghost story challenge.” Among these texts, we will place special emphasis on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Where she was a “silent auditor” to these conversations, we will explore how nonetheless she represented an interpretation of the remarkable occasion in her novel: its setting, its characters, its themes. We shall see how Mary herself and her “monstrous” desire to write, is figured in Victor Frankenstein’s “monster”—which monster, in turn, will serve as guiding light for the course. 


This course focuses on African American literature, art, and music in Chicago during the late 1920’s, 1930's, 40's, and 50's. As the Harlem Renaissance was winding down in the early 1930's, an even larger and more vibrant arts movement was starting up in Chicago—one that Arna Bontemps described as “without finger bowls, but with increased power.” Chicago was not only an important destination for African Americans during the Great Migration, but also home at one time or another to such varied writers as Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Thoedore Ward, Arna Bontemps, and Lorraine Hansberry. It was also a center for visual artists such as Archibald Motley, Elizabeth Catlett, and Richmond Barthe, as well as a variety of music, including blues, jazz, gospel, and classical music. The class is a good opportunity to study key themes in mid-century African American literature, with a secondary look at music and the visual arts, within the context of the second largest city of the country at that time.

ENGL 551-01 ANIMAL STUDIES  Prof. Ridley

Please note: this course meets the 1700-1900 literature requirement at both the undergraduate and graduate level

What is Animal Studies? In 1975, Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation provided a sustained – and highly controversial – engagement with questions about man’s treatment of non-human animals. The book is widely held to be a foundational text for the modern animal rights movement, and it is this movement that many – wrongly – assume to be the sole focus of Animal Studies. Certainly the questions that Singer poses in his book are inescapable in the field, but discussion of bio-ethics and modern agri-business is by no means the entirety of the discipline, which can be considered in relation to subjects as diverse as Art History, Cultural Studies, History, History of Science, Law, Literature, and Philosophy. In the last decade, scholars working in every period of literature have begun to ask questions about the representation of animals. Their role in the medieval bestiary or the fable seems obvious, but even here, the gulf between a particular species and its artistic or literary representation can be a wide one. Indeed, many of the most famous species of the bestiary (such as the dragon or unicorn) have generated their own field of crypto-zoology (the description of - and lore surrounding - animals that do not exist). Given such a vast field, any course must therefore necessarily be selective, not simply in terms of texts, but with regard to the branch of Animal Studies explored.

The course will take as its focus the representation of animals in literature of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The class will read seminal modern works in the field of Animal Studies, such as Singer’s Animal Liberation, but we will apply these modern concerns to consideration of the representation of animals in an earlier age. The 18th and 19th centuries are chosen as a pivotal in man’s engagement with the natural world due to several factors including: the doubling of the number of known animal species in the first half of the 18th century (largely as a result of imperial exploration); Bakewell’s manipulation of the bodies of livestock animals at New Dishley; and the rise of the indoor dog and cat, sharing its owner’s food and domestic accommodation. It is the latter development that, perhaps more than any other, drives the 18th century development of experiments with narrative point of view, so that by the time of Kendall’s Keeper’s Travels (1798),  we can see an author attempt to take his readers inside the mind of a dog, showing its experience of a wide range of recognizably human emotions.

The course will include time spent in Special Collections in the Ekstrom Library, working with Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie and examining its representation of the natural world.

Reading will include, but not be limited to:

Excerpts from Francis Coventry, The Adventures of Pompey the Little (1751);  Dorothy Kilner, The Life and Perambulations of a Mouse (1783); Sarah Trimmer, Fabulous Histories (1786) and Edward Augustus Kendall, Keeper’s Travels (1798). Critical texts will include excerpts from Harriet Ritvo, The Platypus and the Mermaid (1997); Kathryn Shevelow, For the Love of Animals (2008); Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (1975).


This seminar will address some major trends in the development of postcolonial African literature, delineate, and explore the historical, socio-political, aesthetic, and cultural conditions/forces that occasioned its advent, production, and dissemination. Participants will read, discuss, and critique selected primary texts (prose fiction) produced by writers from across the continent, as well as diverse theoretical and critical reflections that contextualize related key issues/topics the course seeks to address: imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, decolonization, post-colonialism, apartheid, globalization, orature, hybridity, gender and identity politics, tradition and modernity.

ENGL 581-50 CITIES and MONSTERS-CUE  Prof. Stanev

This course will examine an intriguing set of relationships between stage, street, performance, and ideas of urban enterprise, credit, aliens and alienation, fashion, transvestite expression, deviance, anatomies, anomalies, monstrosity, criminality, parody, and sexualities. The main questions that we will pursue address the ways in which drama in the age of Shakespeare negotiated specific identities that often opposed local to foreign, proper to monstrous, urbane to coarse, and deviant to static, depicting the social landscape in cities and beyond in fluid, almost unfamiliar terms, unleashed by the sweeping currents of proto-capitalism, consumerism, and the disintegration of stable social markers of self, gender, and status. The learning outcomes of this class will aim to generate: 1) enhanced understanding of the material and cultural conditions of play-acting and play-going in the English capital around 1600; 2) awareness of the economic, cultural, and “monstrous” enterprises, affecting metropolitan space, markers of self, history, and social structures; 3) appreciation for a vibrant and rich body of works that created distinct themes and dramatic techniques. The learning outcomes will be assessed through one shorter analytical essay and one longer research paper, as well as through Discussion Board posts.

 ENGL 599-01 TEXT TECHNOLOGIES - WR; CUE  Prof. Mattes

“A Reintroduction to Books”

In our current moment of digital media shift, this course asks, how do people “know” themselves and their worlds through books? What is distinctive about knowledge that is created through the writing, reading, publishing, and collecting of books? How does book knowledge—that is, bibliographic knowledge—shape our expressive cultures and our world? And what are the social consequences of knowledge created in such a way? This semester we will try to find some provisional answers to these questions.

Students will encounter a range of writings by artists and scholars that can, in part, be read as a series of polemics about the role of bibliographic knowledge. In analyzing how these writings are aesthetically, thematically, rhetorically, and physically bound up in books, we will trouble the everyday ordinariness of “the book”—a thing, a practice, and a standard that is so often taken for granted. Readings and assignments, at once theoretical, historical, and technical, point to the heterogeneity and ubiquity of bound-and-inscribed forms and place them in relation to a vast array of communication technologies and practices.

Students will not only foster and demonstrate this media awareness through traditional written assignments. This course also has an obligatory hands-on component—object lessons that I am calling “book studies.” These studies may include participating in a letterpress demonstration; surveying rare books and artists’ books in special collections; building book structures; and altering existing book objects and writing via annotations, revisions, and new formats. By demanding rigorous attention to media practices, this course not only asks how other people think with books—it implores us to do so, too.