Course Descriptions Spring 2023
ENGL 202-01 Intro to Creative Writing: Professor Griner
ENGL 202-02/03 Intro to Creative Writing; 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 202-04 Intro to Creative Writing: Professor Neese
ENGL 202-50 Intro to Creative Writing: Professor Weinberg
ENGL 270-01 Tolkien’s Middle Ages;AH: Professor Rabin
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings appears full of marvelous detail to contemporary readers. But Tolkien’s works are not creations of his own, but reflections of the world of medieval European literature. This course will provide a window into many of the literary texts of the European Middle Ages from which Tolkien drew in writing his trilogy. In this course, you will become acquainted with the heroes and villains of Anglo-Saxon England, the myths and legends of early Scandinavia and Germany and their tragic heroes and lovers, the Frankish horn-blowing hero Roland, to name a few. In considering these texts, we will discuss how they address problems of national origin, cultural identity, and man-eating swamp monsters. These are only a few possible subjects, and I suspect our discussions will encompass topics as diverse as the texts themselves. As this is a discussion-based class, we will no doubt cover a wide variety of topics, and I strongly encourage students to bring their own intellectual interests into the classroom.
ENGL 300-01/03 How We Live Now: The Modern City in Literature; 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.
ENGL 300-02 Literature in the City; WR Professor Turner
This course will introduce you to a variety of literary genres, including short stories, poetry, novels, graphic novels, and film. We will also develop the central skill of literary analysis, or ‘close reading,’ and apply close reading to course texts through a series of argumentative essays. The course will also consider how film makers adapt literature to film, creating new aesthetic and argumentative opportunities. After this course, you will be better equipped to analyze a variety of written and visual texts and to express analyses through academic arguments.
Writing about course texts will be a central component of this course and its primary means of assessment. There are no tests. Writing effectively can distinguish you within and outside of the university. Writing is a rewarding, difficult process—be prepared to think hard about the works we read and to spend time writing about the ideas this course considers. Because writing well is difficult, we will spend time talking, thinking, and writing about our writing and our writing processes. Therefore, be prepared to go through multiple drafts of each essay. And remember, writing is never really done; it’s simply due.
ENGL 301-01 Literature in English Before 1800; Professor Rabin
This course will trace the history of English literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the eighteenth century. Our principal goal will be to develop a better understanding of the forms, genres, and themes of the periods covered. We also will focus more specifically on the emergence of the idea of “literature” itself. How did an identifiable concept of literature develop in England? How is this development influenced by the history, language(s), and geography of Britain? How is the emergence of English literature related to the emergence of English literary criticism. These are only a few possible subjects, and I suspect our discussions will encompass topics as diverse as the texts themselves. As this is a discussion-based class, we will no doubt cover a wide variety of topics, and I strongly encourage students to bring their own intellectual interests into the classroom.
ENGL 302-01 Literature Since 1800: Empire, Capital, and British Literature in a Globalizing World; Professor Wilson
Why is English one of, if not the, common language of the globe? In the year 1800, Great Britain was just one of several European empires including the French and the Spanish. By the end of that century, Great Britain was the most powerful empire in the world, controlling enormous swathes of the globe on six continents. As they spread their language and system of education around the world, this tiny island in the northwest corner of Europe exercised an enormous influence in creating what we now call globalization, for better and for worse. In this course we’ll study the poetry, fiction, and drama created not only by the British themselves, but as the 1900s went on, by their former colonial subjects in the Caribbean, Africa, and India. Through encountering these writings we will developing a greater appreciation of literature while seeing in a new light the globalized world we continue to live in.
ENGL 303-01 Special Topics-Scientific & Technical Writing: TBA
ENGL 303-50 Special Topis-Scientific & Technical Writing: Professor Soule
ENGL 305-03 Intermediate CW:Poetry; Professor Adams
This intermediate course offers students the chance to sharpen their skills as writers, readers, and critics of poetry. Although we will spend time discussing original work by the students in the class, we will spend as much time discussing important formal features of poetry (including diction, line, meter & rhyme, syntax, image, and figurative language), as well as some genres of poetry (dramatic monologue, ekphrasis, prose poetry). We will read a combination of canonical and contemporary poems with an eye to what it they teach us about poetic form, and we will perform various writing exercises and experiments, both to put what we have learned from other poets into action, and to explore new poetic possibilities.
Assignments will include: weekly writing exercises, written responses to peer manuscripts, a book review of a contemporary poetry collection, and a final portfolio of 10–12 original poems with a short introductory letter.
ENGL 305-75 Intermediate Creative Writing; Professor Griner
ENGL 306-01 Business Writing; TBA
ENGL 306-02 Business Writing; Professor Day
ENGL 306-07 Business Writing; Professor Riley
ENGL 306-08 Business Writing; Professor TBA
ENGL 306-51/52/53/54 Business Writing; Professor Tanner
ENGL 306-55/56/57 Business Writing; Professor Smith
ENGL 306-76 Business Writing; Professor TBA
ENGL 309-01 Special Topics: Inquiries in Writing-WR; Professor Rogers
ENGL 309-02 Special Topics: Inquiries in Writing-WR; Professor Johnson
ENGL 310-01 Special Topics: Intro to Professional & Public Writing:WR; Professor Poole
In this course, students learn the rhetorical practices of public and professional writers by engaging in local, real-world experiences. Students work with organizations across the Louisville metro area to research local issues and write for public audiences. Throughout the semester, students query the ethics of public writing, practice developing their own voices as professional writers, and reflect on what unique skills and experiences they bring to the 21st century job market.
ENGL 315 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.
ENGL 325-01/02 Intro to Linguistics; Professor Stewart
ENGL 334-50 Shakespeare II-the Strange, the Supernatural, and the Other; Professor Stanev
Shakespeare lived in an age of exploration, fantasy, and imagination, but also in a time of widespread fears of the new and different. For his contemporaries, the visible and the invisible worlds often clashed. The Bard was interested in studying clashes with the strange, the monstrous, and the supernatural, and his plays often examined the capacity of such encounters to reflect and challenge the world of cultural, social, and political change that the Renaissance is famous for. Shakespeare’s plays also actively imagined the Other by transforming racial, cultural, or gendered differences into notions of strangeness and unease. This course will study plays that problematize and examine supernatural elements, as well as forms of “othering,” set in the context of warfare, colonial conquest, visions and fantasies of self and others, gender, sexuality, social taboos, ritual, sport, and games. From the archetypal monster Caliban in The Tempest tothe deformed protagonist of Richard III, from the witches of Macbeth and the goblins and preternatural storms of KingLear to the monstrous sin of Pericles, and to the diverse cast of fairy folk in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we will survey Shakespeare’s interest in the odd and the unusual. In addition, we will watch selected scenes from adaptations of the plays under discussion and consider how the visual and aural staging of supernatural/othered elements works to channel specific ideas about the social and cultural relevance of the fantastical in the past and in the present. The course learning outcomes will allow you to 1) develop broader awareness of Shakespeare’s dramatic works within the rich social and cultural currents of late Tudor and early Stuart England; and 2) learn in depth about Shakespeare’s interest in the invisible and odd, especially in connection to significant early modern ideas, such as dynastic continuity, opportunism, alienation, sexuality, skepticism, scientific thought, exploration, and colonial enterprise. The learning outcomes will be assessed through several weekly Discussion Board posts, a brief position paper, and a final research essay.
ENGL 342-01Black Women Novelists-WRAHD2; Professor TBA
ENGL 369-50 Native American Literature (AHD1); Professor Kelderman
This course offers an introduction to literature by Native American authors, with a focus on 1900 to the present. We will read novels, short stories, autobiography, and speeches by writers from a range of Indian nations in the United States. Also, we will read one short play and several stories written for children and young adults. The course will begin with a survey of early writings by Native authors, from the nineteenth century. After that, we will examine some of the most accomplished, influential, and thought-provoking works of literature by authors such as Zitkala-Ša (Yankton Dakota), Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), James Welch (Blackfeet-A'aninin), Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe), and Tommy Orange (Cheyenne-Arapaho). The course will help you place these writings in historical context and practice different approaches to textual analysis that are relevant to the study of Native American and Indigenous literature. Your final grade will be based on weekly short writing tasks, discussion posts, and several longer essays. Throughout the semester, I will give you personalized feedback on your writing and skills in analysis, so you can use this course to build on your academic skills. The course will be fully online and instruction will be asynchronous, so you can plan many of your weekly activities according to your own schedule. This course also fulfills the following Cardinal Core requirements: Arts & Humanities (AH) and U.S. Diversity (D1).
ENGL 369-01 Harlem and Appalachia: Culture and Place in Two Artistic Movements; Professor Anderson
In this class, we will examine and compare two important literary movements: the Harlem Renaissance (or New Negro Renaissance) of the 1920s and 1930s, and the Affrilachian Poets from the 1990s to the present.
The Harlem Renaissance--the first nationwide African American arts movement--was devoted to developing a modern literature that spoke to the needs and aspirations of Black people in the early twentieth century at the time of the Great Migration.
The Affrilachian Poets--a literary collective begun at the University of Kentucky in the late 1990s—is a broad-based group of writers who examine the diversity and complexity of Southern and Appalachian cultures and histories. The collective includes writers from the thirteen states that border the Appalachian Mountains, including Frank X. Walker, Nikky Finney, Crystal Wilkinson, and Louisville writers Mitchell Douglas and Joy Priest.
This class puts these two movements in conversation to ask fundamental questions about how literary movements work, and how writers from each of these movements depict history and contemporary experience.
This course satisfies the post-1800 literature requirement within the English major. Assignments may include short interpretive papers and a pair of take-home exams.
ENGL 371-01 Special Topics in English & American Language:Jewish Comedy; Professor Sherman
ENGL 373-01/WGST325 Women & Global Literature: AHD2; Professor 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 373-50 Women & Global Literature: AHD2; Professor White
ENGL 373-51/52 Women & Global Literature: AHD2; Professor Mozer
ENGL 381-01 Special Topics-Modern Poetry in English; Professor TBA
ENGL 402-03 African-American Writing and the Sea-WR; Professor Anderson
For two-and-a-half centuries, African Americans have written about life on or near the world’s oceans. They describe a double navigation through modern society and the natural world--first around the Atlantic Ocean, and later around globe. The African-American literary tradition begins with the sea: its first six autobiographical texts were written by mariners or former mariners. Eventually, these writings tell many tales: not only about the slave trade, but work at sea, travel, exploration, emigration to other lands, natural appreciation, and even recreation. Oceans in this literature are contested sites of national prestige, citizenship, and economic opportunity, and its writers reflect upon the histories of the Atlantic World, the nation, and the African diaspora. This course will cover a large range of history from the eighteenth century to the present, and possible writers include Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Pauline Hopkins, Matthew Henson, Paule Marshall, Langston Hughes, Harry Foster Dean, Ann Petry, Chester Himes, Charles Johnson, and Colson Whitehead. (Would fulfill post-1900 historical distribution requirement in English department.) Forms of assessment include a mid-term exam, journal (selections submitted at the end of the semester), research paper, and final synthesis project that combines research with a possible creative project or essay.
ENGL 403-01 Advanced CW; Professor Stansel
This multi-genre creative writing course will allow students to build upon the foundation of their craft established in lower-level courses, and also expand their knowledge of all of the literary genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and play/screenwriting. While the class will discuss craft issues pertaining to each genre, there will be an emphasis on discovery and experimentation. This is an opportunity to see what lies outside the generally accepted borders between and around the genres. While you will engage in reading and exercises in all genres, you will have the choice of which genre or genres you want to work in for your larger “workshop” projects. As a discussion-based class, students will be expected to show up each session prepared to discuss the assigned reading.
ENGL 405-01 Special Topics: Editing, Publishing, and Document Design; Professor Poole
How we edit documents and how we design our writing for the page and for the screen determines whether public audiences will listen to our message. In this class, students will learn how to write, edit, and design with the skills needed to advocate for others in public and professional settings. Working with social justice-oriented community organizations, students will create, edit, and publish written material for local audiences.
Instructor can waive course prerequisite for interested students-contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ENGL 425-01 Special Topics-This Screaming Land: Race and the Environment in Black Literature and Culture; Professor Clukey
Fulfills post-1900 distribution requirement
In his classic book Notebook of a Return to My Native Land, Black West Indian poet Aimé Césaire wrote of the legacies of slavery in Martinique: “This land screamed for centuries that we are bestial brutes; that the human pulse stops at the gates of the barracoon; that we are walking compost hideously promising tender cane and silky cotton.”
This semester, our course will examine the screaming land of the plantation, enslavement, settler colonialism, and eco-catastrophe with a focus on Black literature, media, and culture in the United States and the Caribbean since 1900. We’ll read theoretical and historical texts about how concepts of race, racism, and personhood were formed in conjunction with capitalism and settler colonialism from the sixteenth- to the nineteenth-centuries, and the inextricable entanglements of environmental catastrophe and white supremacy in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Our readings will focus on how Black fiction, poetry, and nonfiction depict the shift from Jim Crow segregation (with its emphasis on tenant farming) to mass incarceration (and its connections to prison plantations, like Parchman Prison Farm and Angola Plantation penitentiary today). Finally, we’ll turn to very recent discussions of environmental racism, water rights, food deserts, and land rights within the Black Lives Matter movement and in Louisville, KY. Discussion topics will include imperialism and ecological destruction; environmental justice; climate change and the Anthropocene; how oil production has taken over for plantation production; animality; indigenous ecology; queer ecology; and climate refugees. If you are interested in social justice and/or climate change, you should consider taking this class.
Assignments will include: participation, a 5-minute presentation, two 3-page close reading papers, and two exams.
Readings will be chosen from the following: early literatures of slavery by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs; poetry by Cesaire and Claude McKay; Charles Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman, Eric Walrond’s Tropic Death, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God,
Jacques Roumain’s Masters of the Dew, Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones or Sing, Unburied, Sing, Colson Whitehead Underground Railroad, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, Saidiya Hartman’s Lose Your Mother, as well as readings aboutcapitalism, nature, slavery, and mass incarceration by Eric Williams, CLR James, WEB DuBois, and others; and films/tv series like Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Descent, and Queen Sugar.
ENGL 450-01 Cooperative Internship in English Studies; Professor Mozer
ENGL 460-01 Jane Austen and Film-WR; Professor Hadley
Let’s face it: contemporary audiences are obsessed with Georgian England (can you say Bridgerton? Belgravia? Gentleman Jack? Becoming Jane? Lost in Austen?). Acknowledging as much, this course will focus on a key element of that obsession, which is bringing Jane Austen’s novels to film. In this class, we will begin our exploration by reading Austen novels such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Persuasion, and discussing related themes such as passion, romance, wealth, manners, and social class. We will then move to considering the creative, collaborative, process of translating literature to the medium of film, and attendant concerns such as scenery, fashion, physical beauty, cinematography, etc. Throughout, we will entertain a critical objection that translations too faithful to the books cannot achieve broad enough appeal for the movie industry. Course goals include students refining their abilities to analyze and interpret literary, critical, and filmic texts. Also, students will familiarize themselves with the basics of research in literature and film, including the consideration of theoretical approaches to literary and cultural studies and the integration of secondary sources into their own arguments.
ENGL 480-01 Special Topics-Digital & Visual Composition; Professor Schneider
ENGL 491-01 20th & 21st Century Interpretive Theory; Professor Hadley
Using Tyson’s Critical Theory Today and a number of shorter theoretical essays, this course will aim to introduce students to representative 20th/21st theories of interpretation such as feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, the New Historicism, and psychoanalytic, Queer and African American criticisms. Students will familiarize themselves with theoretical terms, concepts and approaches, and practice applying these approaches in their own thinking and reading. The vocabulary and concepts associated with each theoretical perspective will be explored within the context of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby. We will consider theoretically-based questions such as: if Gatsby has been seen as the Great American Love Story, why is the skirt-chasing narrator Nick so “unnaturally” obsessed with Gatsby himself? If Gatsby is a chronicle of the New York Jazz Age, why doesn’t Harlem appear? If Jay Gatsby is a wholesome paradigm of the American self-made man, why is he doing so much shady dealing on the side? Class sessions will be conducted seminar style, and will include regular quizzes, study questions and two exams.
ENGL 502-01 Independent Study; TBA
ENGL 504 Advanced CW II—Fiction; Professor Stansel
This upper-division fiction course offers students who have already completed introductory and intermediate workshops the opportunity to further refine their craft. The discussion-based class will focus on the study and creation of linked stories, with students reading and responding to stories from linked collections and discussing strategies for both short-term and sustained engagement with the reader. The class will examine different aspects of the storytelling craft, including scene-building, plot and sub-plot development, writing voice, among others. In addition to creating and workshopping short stories, students will work on developing story ideas and structuring approaches for storytelling.
ENGL 506-51 Special Topics-Teaching of Writing-WR;CUE; Professor Kopelson
“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 507-01 Special Topics-Teaching of Creative Writing-WR;CUE; Professor Maxwell
This course regards creativity as something that can be cultivated and engages questions related specifically to the teaching of creative writing: how do we teach it, and what approaches work best for different learning contexts and students? Class participants will read, discuss, and respond to a variety of texts on critical, theoretical, and practical approaches to the teaching of creative writing, as well as on the history of creative writing in the classroom. Though written assignments, in-class presentations, and a community engagement activity, successful students will come away from the course with a solid foundation of understanding on how to design and lead a creative writing workshop.
ENGL 522-02 Structure of Modern English; Professor Stewart
Examination of the structure of modern English language. The emphasis is on grammatical terminology and systems of classification for words, phrases, and sentences. Students collect and analyze real, natural linguistic examples, both spoken and written. Recommended for prospective English teachers.
(Cross-listed with LING 522. Counts as an Upper-level concentration course or as an Elective course within the Undergraduate Minor in Linguistics). Elective for MA students.
ENGL 551-50 Special Topics in Lit. in English-Writing from Life; Professor Strickley
Have you ever wondered if the stories you’ve grown up hearing about your family would make for a powerful written work? Have you ever considered bringing the story of your own life to the page? If so, this online creative writing workshop might be right for you. Students will learn the difference between an engaging anecdote and a compelling work of art by experimenting in a variety of forms: short stories, literary essays, and poems. Close readings of published work and regular writing exercises will draw forth the matters of craft at hand and workshop sessions with peers will help participants shape the raw materials of life into persuasive works of prose or poetry. Undergraduates, graduates, and non-degree students are welcome to enroll in this unique online offering. Benefits include rolling deadlines designed to accommodate any schedule and the option of learning and writing from the comfort of your own home.
ENGL 552-01 Special Topics-Race, Slavery, and Mass Incarceration in American Literature Since 1900; Professor Clukey
This course will examine the legacies of slavery in the twenty-first century United States. We will look at recent literature, film, and other forms of popular culture that reconstruct histories of slavery and track how it evolved into new forms of racialized control that affect the justice system, housing, universities, healthcare, and the environment. We’ll also look at how contemporary writers, artists, and intellectuals are seeking to educate the public at large about the legacies of slavery right now (such as the New York Times’s 1619 Project, Kara Walker’s sculptures and installations, and other the anti-racist work happening right now), and we’ll consider proposals for the removal of Confederate monuments, reparations, and restorative justice. Our guiding questions will be: how do Americans remember the history of slavery within their own families and within the nation? How are cultural memories of slavery mediated by race, class, gender, art, popular culture, and the educational system? How does art—literature, cinema, and visual arts—narrate the reverberations of slavery in our current moment and why does it matter? What role do cultural memories of slavery play in current debates about race, migration, and justice in the United States in general and in Louisville in particular? If you are interested in social justice, particularly anti-racism, you should consider taking this class.
Assignments will likely include: participation, a 5-minute presentation, two papers, and a final individualized project.
Readings may include: Mary Prince History of Mary Prince, Arna Bontemps Drums at Dusk, Maryse Conde I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, Saidiya Hartman Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route, Kiki Petrosino White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia, Rivers Solomon An Unkindness of Ghosts, Jesmyn Ward Sing, Alyssa Cole An Extraordinary Union, Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Case for Reparations” and/or The Water Dancer. Films may include Jordan Peele’s Us, Get Out, and Candyman; Sorry to Bother You; and the 13th.
ENGL 555-01 Cooperative Internship in English Studies-CUE; Professor Mozer
ENGL 563-01 Special Topics-Milton; CUE; Professor Biberman
In the fall of 2019, literary scholars were stunned to learn of a new discovery. Handwriting experts had identified the marginalia in the Philadelphia Public Library's copy of Shakespeare First Folio (1623) to be from the hand of John Milton. In this seminar we will examine Milton's annotations in order to get a better sense of what the author of Paradise Lost thought of Shakespeare. Milton's folio suggests that he was particularly interested in the following plays: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Tempest, Henry IV, As You Like It and King Lear. In addition to the first four of these plays, we will read Paradise Lost.
This course fulfills the Pre-1700 Literature requirement.
ENGL 571-01 Special Topics-Studies in Amer. Lit. to 1865; History & Theory of Emotion; Professor Ryan
We often think of emotions as natural-that is, as universal, transcendent, embodied, and to some extent involuntary. Who, after all, hasn't found themselves crying when they were trying not to? And yet, an abundance of evidence suggests that emotional experience is historically and culturally contingent and that its embodiment is, to say the least, highly mediated. This course uses a range of US cultural and literary texts from the late 18th and 19th centuries as well as some key theorists of emotion (Sara Ahmed, Sianne Ngai, Lauren Berlant, and UofL's own Andreas Elpidorou) to explore the ways in which historical and cultural contexts inform emotions and their sociopolitical effects. We will also take a deep dive into research methods, including use of multiple digital databases.
This course fulfills the 1700-1900 Literature requirement.
ENGL 572-01 (Distance Ed) Special Topics-Early Louisville by the Book (CUE); Professor Mattes
Louisville sits at the center of the wonderfully strange and sometimes unexpected early literature of the Ohio Valley. For instance, in Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson proclaimed, “The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth.” Interestingly, Jefferson never saw the Ohio River. Yet, during the Age of Enlightenment, this aesthetic claim in absentia would not have seemed far-fetched. Nor would John Filson's and Constantine Rafinesque’s claims of blue-eyed, Welsh "Indians" living near the Falls of the Ohio be dismissed outright. York, an African American enslaved person owned by William Clark, is noted in the journals of the Corps of Discovery as having cast a vote regarding a pivotal decision, and Daniel Boone was not always the mythic figure depicted in the first printed history of Kentucky. Tecumseh laid the blame for the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth at the feet of the governor of Indiana. By the way, John James Audubon was Haitian. In order to make sense of these diverse and far-flung social connections, student outcomes include 1) situating our early regional literary history within multiethnic, intercultural, and transnational contexts, and 2) placing our semester's readings in conversation with regional cultures by consulting digital archives of holdings pertaining to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America.
Students will read canonical and popular works such as Notes on the State of Virginia (Jefferson); the journals of the Corps of Discovery (Lewis, Clark, et.al.); and The Adventures of Col. Daniel Boon (Filson). We will also read a range of less traditional materials, which may include women’s letters and diaries about plantation life; the speeches of Shawnee and Cayuga Native Americans (Tecumseh and Soyechtowa); 18th and 19th century treaties; and slave narratives (Henson, Clarke, Smith). Student outcomes will be assessed through a shorter essay; a research proposal; and an accompanying research essay. This course fulfills the 1700-1900 historical period requirement.
Oh, and in addition to our online work, I will lead a completely optional local site visit that is pertinent to our course. Possibilities include The Falls of the Ohio, the Locust Grove Plantation, and/or Oxmoor Farm.
ENGL 574-50 Special Topics-Animation as Literature; Professor Stanev
This course will examine some of the masterpieces of animated fiction during the last fifty years, with a significant focus on experimental works, mainstream Disney productions, and especially on Japanese anime. We will attempt to infuse this popular nonacademic art form with relevant academic insights. We will study tales of the fantastic, science fiction sagas, identity crises, gender nonconformism, coming-of-age narratives, and class and race consciousness in relationship to historical and cultural watersheds, such as World War II and the Cold War, the Space Race, the Women’s Rights Movements, the rise of globalization, and the emergence of virtual realities. In addition, we will work towards rethinking the frequent inclusion of epic elements in animated works, given the relative absence of epic imaginaries in the post-modern age. We will further discuss the visual and stylistic impact of animations. The student learning outcomes for this course will: 1) bring this traditionally beloved but often neglected artistic form to productive conversations about its social relevance and cultural impact; 2) establish familiarity with the rise of animated fictions as cultural traditions and readable visual “texts”; 3) examine the development and evolution of a method of representation reflective of social change, as well as considerable allusive and allegorical power.
ENGL 599-01 The Future of Writing (Texts & Technologies) CUE/WR; Professor Mattes
What is the future of writing? Our course situates this question not only in relation to the composition and interpretation of literature during a time of digital media shift, but as a query that has been posed over time about written culture more generally. Surveying a range of past and current-day artists, historians, and theorists on the significance of writing, the student outcomes in this course are articulated by four interrelated questions. The first entails a theorizing of the medium itself: what are the futures of writing’s meanings and affordances? The second pertains to lived experience: how do writing practices contribute to the futures and/or foreclosures of various peoples and communities? The third is a matter of our own literacies: how does writing figure within larger media ecologies, and relatedly, what is the place of written culture for establishing other communicative forms, from books and screens, to language, literature, and even the very idea of “writing”? The final question is a meta-commentary on the class itself: how does writing and allied forms of expression shape our sense of time and the “historicisms” by which we tell stories?
While each of these questions are posed in the present tense, students will also establish connections between present and past experiences of the “newness” and the “possibility” of writing. Thus, in addition to studies of possible futures for written forms and formats such as the digital-era surveillance and commodification of written culture, this course also features historical research into writing’s futures past, which mark contexts such as colonial encounter, racial subjugation, and their contestation, as well as the ongoing formation of scholarly disciplines. Anchor readings include a techno-futurist drama (Harrison, Futura), a Native American memoir (Erdrich, Books & Islands in Ojibwe Country), and an African American novel (Crafts, The Bondwoman’s Narrative). By developing a history of the future of writing, students explore how a vital media practice is crucial to our understandings of art, communication, cultural difference, and social order.
Student outcomes will be assessed through a shorter essay; a research proposal, including an annotated bibliography; and an accompanying research essay.