Spring 2020

Spring 2020


ENGL 202-01 Intro 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 Creative Writing-AH: Professor Yeich

ENGL 202-04 Intro 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 202-50 Intro Creative Writing-AH: Professor TBA


ENGL 250-01 Exploring Literature-AH: Professor Billingsley

"Exploring Literature" is an Arts/Humanities (AH) course in the Cardinal Core, designed for non-majors to introduce strategies for reading and interpreting poetry, fiction, and drama.  The only course prerequisite is completion of the first-year writing requirement (ENGL 102 or 105). 

The Cardinal Core requires the following AH course outcomes:

  • Critically evaluate and synthesize texts and other forms of expression in the arts and humanities using primary and/or secondary materials.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the reciprocal relationship between (1) social and cultural factors in their historical context and (2) intellectual inquiry and creative expression within the arts and/or the humanities.
  • Represent and critically respond to multiple points of view on cultural issues in different historical, social, and/or cultural contexts.
  • Communicate effectively in speech and writing, paying particular attention to the use of evidence in interpretive arguments, through citation appropriate to the discipline.

Course work to validate these objectives includes an online forum contribution for each class period (20% total); active participation in discussion and in-class projects (10%); completion of three exploration projects (one collaborative), published on Blackboard (10% each); and two peer-edited papers (1250-1500 words, 20% each).  No examinations. 

If you have questions, please send me a note or give me a call at your convenience. 


ENGL 250-50 Exploring Literature-AH: Professor Biberman




ENGL 300-01 Intro to English Studies-WR: Professor Mattes

This course will cover a range of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama while introducing students to central terms and methods of literary criticism and history. In addition to giving close attention to the “internal,” aesthetic elements of texts, we will consider the social contexts in which such texts are written and read. These contexts include broader social, economic, and cultural currents in which our readings are embedded and to which they speak; changing attitudes regarding issues of art, genre, canon, and more generally, the politics of literary study; and the contributions literary studies make to conversations across disciplines.




ENGL 300-02 Intro to English Studies-WR: Professor Mattes

This course will cover a range of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama while introducing students to central terms and methods of literary criticism and history. In addition to giving close attention to the “internal,” aesthetic elements of texts, we will consider the social contexts in which such texts are written and read. These contexts include broader social, economic, and cultural currents in which our readings are embedded and to which they speak; changing attitudes regarding issues of art, genre, canon, and more generally, the politics of literary study; and the contributions literary studies make to conversations across disciplines.



ENGL 300-50 Intro to English Studies-WR: Professor Willey

“An introduction to English Studies, providing an overview of forms such as poetry, drama, and the novel, and an introduction to terminology and methods used in analyzing texts.”

This Section:

What does it mean to think, read, and write like an English major?  In this section, we will explore the world of conversations about literature through our own reading, writing, and on-line discussions about three major types of literature, prose, poetry, and drama.  We will focus on the types of questions central to the field of English studies and the basics of literary analysis, including the terminology and conventions most often used by literary scholars to discuss or analyze the three major genres.  Emphasis will be placed on mastering the commonly used tools of literary analysis, laying the groundwork for more advanced studies throughout your careers as English majors

Minimum Goals for 300, Intro. to English Studies WR:

1) 300 should introduce students to the ongoing discussions across the field of English studies and familiarize them with some of the key modes of “thinking like an English major.”

2) 300 should introduce students to the writing of argumentative essays about literature that contain a clear and focused thesis supported by textual evidence and correctly documented in MLA citation style.

3) 300 should familiarize students with the conventions of, and terminology used in the study of fiction, drama, and poetry.

4) 300 must meet the University standards for a WR course. 

WR Requirement:

According to University guidelines a WR course should: 

      · use writing suited to the discipline.

  • · make writing assignments integral to the course.
  • · assign a minimum of 2400 words.
  • · give assignments in writing.
  • · allow class time for discussing assignments.
  • · provide comments, including recommendations for improvement, on graded papers.
  • · include research as a significant part of at least one assignment.

 Required Texts:

Pearson Revel The Literature Collection, 1e, edited by Kennedy and Gioia

You must attend one live play in your area.


ENGL 302-01 British Lit II: Professor Hadley



ENGL 303-01 Sci and Tech Writing-WR: Professor TBA



ENGL 303-02 Sci and Tech Writing-WR: Professor Schneider

This course will introduce students to the basics of technical communication.  We’ll cover some general guidelines for composing effective technical prose, as well as basic principles of document design.  These guidelines and principles should help students not only to communication better with others in their disciplines, but also with those educated, non-peer audiences that they will encounter in the workplace (managers and supervisors, clients, funding agencies, etc).

We’ll also look at some basic workplace writing genres: the most important of these is the formal report, but we’ll also look at business letters and memos, process descriptions and instruction sets, and job-search materials.



ENGL 305-01 Intro CW:Fiction: Professor Griner

Welcome to English 305, fiction.  This course is designed to help fiction writers and students interested in fiction hone their craft. I expect to see all of you improve as writers, 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 already do well.  Class participants will also be expected to deepen their reading practices and to provide thoughtful feedback on their peers’ work and insight into the work of published fiction writers. Beyond that, the most important goals are probably the ones you discover and define.  The focus of the course is student work.  We’ll read published pieces, and have various exercises, designed to help improve writing, generate ideas, etc., but the majority of class periods will be taken up with workshops. 



 ENGL 305-02 Intro CW:Poetry: Professor Maxwell

This course 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. You will also practice literary citizenship by attending and reviewing a set number of readings. The class will culminate in a chapbook (~15-24 pages of poems) and an optional bookmaking session for those interested in binding and distributing their work.



ENGL 309-01 Research Writing in the Disciplines (WR): Professor Asmuth

In this class, students will learn the genre conventions of research writing in their fields of study by working with a small corpus of recently published research articles authored or coauthored by University of Louisville faculty in various disciplines. Toward the end of the semester, students will get the chance to carry out their own small-scale research projects in which they investigate their own questions about writing in their disciplines. The course will be especially useful for students working on research-intensive theses/projects and students who are considering grad school or any job that will require them to work closely with findings produced by academic researchers. 

This course is approved for the Arts and Sciences upper-level requirement in written communication (WR). Prerequisites: completion of English 102 or 105. For questions or more information, email: charlotte.asmuth@louisville.edu


ENGL 309-02 Inquiries in Writing:WR: Professor Rogers


ENGL 310-03 Writ About Lit Nonmajor:WR: Professor Anderson

This writing-intensive course will help students to improve their writing and interpretive skills. We will discuss key terms for poetry, fiction, and drama, and develop strategies for writing argumentative papers. Finally, students will explore the nuances of particular literary works, as well as the cultural traditions in which the writing was produced. Outcomes will be assessed through essays, peer review of drafts, in-class writing, class discussion, and possibly class reports.



ENGL 310-50 Writ About Lit Nonmajor:WR: Professor 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 all the major genres: novels, short stories, drama, and poetry. 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 William Blake and Virginia Woolf to James Baldwin and Zadie Smith. This course will be fully online, which means that you will receive guidance and feedback on your writing that will be tailored to your own situation and skill set. The requirements are weekly quizzes and discussion board participation and a sequence of writing assignments that 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)



ENGL 311-01 American Lit I: Professor Ryan

In English 311 we will read and consider a wide range of texts written by Americans (or, in some cases, by people who visited North America) from the early colonial period to around 1865. Along the way, we’ll pursue three main categories of investigation:

 1.  Literary analysis: To what possible interpretations do these works lend themselves?  How does textual evidence support or undermine particular interpretations?  How do different works of literature fit together or speak to one another?

2.  Contextualization:  How do works of literature speak of (and to) the historical moments in which they were produced?  What kinds of dissonances, productive or otherwise, arise when twenty-first-century readers approach these texts?

3.  Canonization:  How are certain works deemed worthy of study, while others are left out? What assumptions and decisions do we make in assigning value to works of literature? How are so-called classics made and how are we, as participants in a university course, involved in that process?  What other versions of American literary history are possible or defensible?  How do the conventional periods into which we divide American literature—often related to the various wars in which the US has participated—define and perhaps limit the study of literature?

 Assignments will include short response papers, reading quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.


 ENGL 312-01 American Lit II: Professor Chandler

This survey course will explore American literature produced since 1865, as well as the social contexts in which it was produced and read. This period was very important, with the development of literary realism, naturalism, regionalism and the writing of ethnic and racial minority authors, as well as the emergence of modernism and postmodernism. Required work for the course will include careful reading, quizzes, short response papers, and exams.


  ENGL 325-02 Intro to Linguistics: Professor 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.)


ENGL 330-01 Language and Culture:AHD1: Professor Swinehart

“This course provides an ethnographic perspective to the study of language, investigating how it is used to create and maintain social institutions and rituals, as a form of social action more generally, and how conceptions of language and linguistic practice vary cross culturally.”


ENGL 334-01 Shakespeare II: Professor Billingsley

Prerequisite: ENGL 102 or 105. A study of selected plays of Shakespeare. Historical period: pre-1700.

 Course content and student learning outcomes:  We will read and study eight plays--Taming of the Shrew, Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Richard II, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, and Winter's Tale--placing them in their historical and social context and attempting to understand their sources, composition and original reception as well as the tradition(s) of interpretation that they have received.  Students will work toward competence in the discipline by: 

  • developing skills for analyzing individual texts;
  • developing an understanding of the literary traditions;
  • relating texts to the social,  cultural, and historical contexts in which they were produced;
  • extending, deepening, and refining writing skills under the usual conventions of the discipline; and
  • developing an understanding of the nuances of language in both reading and expression.

Graded work for the term includes the following elements:

  • Daily work (30% total) includes Blackboard forum contributions, prepared in advance to get you ready for each class meeting, and other work prepared in advance or completed in class;
  • Two hourly examinations (35% each, 75 minutes in class) with objective and quotation ID/short-answer sections and a brief essay (for which prompts will be provided in advance with the expectation that you will work from a prepared outline or prior draft).

This course is plus/minus graded, and all assignments are tracked and recorded in the Blackboard gradebook.

Texts:  The bookstore will order the Norton Shakespeare:  Essential Plays and the Sonnets or similar text that will contain the eight plays we will read and abundant secondary material for your own use and reference.  You may use your own “complete Shakespeare” as long as it has notes and glosses to help you deal with language or contextual difficulties; or you may purchase single copies of our plays (Folger Library editions are available at about $6 each retail; Amazon prices vary $3-10).  Online texts are free or cheap, but unless they can be easily paged through, marked up and annotated, they will not serve you well in the course. 


ENGL 342-01 Black Women Novelists:WRAHD2: Professor Logan

Black women writers, as vital contributors to the world of letters, have not always been recognized by world literary establishments. This course is designed to provide that space within which to acknowledge, discuss, and critique their contribution to black (and world) literature.  We will explore, comparatively, selected texts (from slave narratives to contemporary novels) by African, African American, and Caribbean women, and focus on issues/concepts such as: identity (gender, cultural, racial, sexual, class), resistance, voice, patriarchy, subaltern status, slavery, and colonialism, and diaspora. Equal attention will be paid to the theoretical assumptions, as well as the historical, social, political, and cultural forces that undergird the creative works of these continental African and Diasporic women novelists.


ENGL 371-01 Words of English: Professor Stewart, Jr.

[Special Topics in English and American Language and Literature]

While enrolled in this new course, you will investigate and explore the range and variety of words that have come to be in the English lexicon, but do so without ignoring words that have passed out of use or those that are yet to rise to common use. You will sample approaches to words including:

word histories, dialect words, new word creation, children’s learning of words, dictionary writing, word meanings, usage trends, slang & jargon, taboo words & work-arounds, challenging spellings & surprising pronunciations

If you enjoy stretching your vocabulary, playing with words, or debating the best or most correct word, you are sure to find a place in this course. You will discover new resources for working with words, and you will learn new ways to work with tools you already know.

ENGL 325/LING 325 not required.

Course may be counted within the Undergraduate Minor in Linguistics.

(Cross-listed with LINGL 390.01: Words of English [Special Topics in Language])

ENGL 372-02 Fairy Tales: Professor Adams

Fairy tales describe places and people that appear to be very different than the ones we find in our demystified modern world. Yet many of us keep coming back to these stories again and again. Why? This course will introduce students to the analysis of fairy tales in an attempt to understand their continued relevance to the present. We will both read familiar stories drawn from (sometimes unfamiliar) European sources like the Brothers Grimm, but also older tales from around the world, and newer ones from 20th and 21st-century popular culture. Students will be introduced to various methods for studying these texts, including approaches drawn from hermeneutics, structuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism, and gender studies. We’ll consider, too, the political and cultural significance of fairy tales and their modern adaptations, and the aesthetic strategies used by artists who have adapted these narratives to different media. Work will include several short responses and two exams. 

ENGL 373-01 Women & Global Lit:AHD2: Professor Mattes

“Racial Genealogies of Feminism in the Atlantic World”

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral are powerful investigations of gendered constructions of authority, artistry, and intellectualism in light of social contexts such as literary and critical canon-making; the literary marketplace; and political advocacy and reform. As such, Brontë’s and Wheatley’s works have become key references for later writers’ meditations on gender, sexuality, and feminism. In this course, we will read a range of women writers from the late eighteenth century to the present day whose works constitute reception histories of Brontë’s and Wheatley’s texts.

 By reading these works alongside one another, we will inculcate a deeper understanding of the importance of race, ethnicity, and class to literary representations of women and to constructions of feminism. In developing these intersectional frameworks for reading women in literature, we will not only grapple with how our semester’s texts treat concerns of patriarchy, paternalism, and misogyny, but with questions of asymmetric power and privilege that are internal to the feminisms theorized by our semester’s authors—questions such as, how does racial slavery inform liberal notions of equality? How do normative constructions of sexuality create unequal power relations? How do women’s experiences of diaspora shape aesthetic experimentation and radical collectivity? In doing so, we will discover how the intersectional dimensions of colonialism and forced migration are critical resources for artists and theorists.


ENGL 373-03 Women & Global Lit:AHD2: Professor Mozer



ENGL 373-50 Women & Global Lit:AHD2: Professor White



ENGL 375-75 LGBTQ Lit in US-AHD1: Professor Kopelson

 This section of ENGL 375 LGBTQ LITERATURE takes a deep dive into five 20th century American novels that help us examine literary representations of (racialized, classed) “LGBTQ” identities in the century before such a moniker was a cultural possibility. Thus, the course aims to remind you of, or acquaint you with, recent queer histories and experiences in and of the US. Most novels read have a significant autobiographical component and one is a graphic novel: Nella Larsen’s Passing; James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room; Audre Lorde’s Zami; Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues; and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home will be our main texts.

In addition to the novels, we will read (and write about) literary criticism of each text under study. Course requirements also include two essay examinations (with an option to write a paper of your own invention instead) and class participation.


ENGL 394-01 Amer Short Fiction: Professor McDonald

A little under a decade ago, the critic Alfred Bendixen declared the short story to be a quintessentially American literary form. “The short story is an American invention,” he wrote, “and arguably the most important literary genre to have emerged in the United States.” In this course, we will trace the development of the American short story from Washington Irving’s masterpiece “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to Carmen Maria Machado’s modern-day fable “The Husband Stitch” to ask: What is so “American” about the short story form? How has the development of the American nation—its shifting political, social, and cultural identity—helped to construct the short story as a literary genre? And, from the other direction, how can the short story help us gain insight into some of defining historical and cultural issues of 20C American life, from civil rights and second wave feminism to consumer capitalism and the environmental movement? While we will be reading across a variety of genres, this course will focus particularly on short stories that have a speculative component. Authors may include: Edgar Allen Poe, William Faulkner, Raymond Carver, Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Lorrie Moore, Nalo Hopkinson, Kelly Link, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, and Lauren Groff. 



ENGL 402-01/HON436/446-01 HON: Maritime Fiction:WR: Professor Clukey

We live on a blue planet. 71% of Earth is covered by water, almost 97% of which is made up of a vast contiguous ocean that encircles the planet. Today, half the world’s population lives within a hundred miles of a coastline. It’s little wonder, then, that human beings have been constructing an oceanic imaginary—that is, a body of discourses, imagery, artifacts, and other cultural productions that reflect how we talk about and imagine the sea—since at least the biblical story of Noah’s ark (and presumably much, much longer).

This course will take an interdisciplinary “ocean studies” approach to the study of maritime literature. The class will begin with a survey of maritime literature since the fifteenth century, such as exploration narratives, sailor’s stories, descriptions of port cities and shipwrecks, and the horrors of slave trading ships and the Middle Passage. Then we will focus on late twentieth-century and twenty-first century literature, film, art, and music that portrays the ocean as a capitalist and imperialist tool; a weird, otherworldly, or outright alien terrain; or an ecosystem imperiled by human actions. Alongside literary and cinematic texts, we will read supplementary texts that examine the ocean from recent scientific and social scientific perspectives. In particular, we will read about how climate change is transforming the ocean: from coral bleaching and melting icebergs to overfishing, extinction, pollution, garbage patches, and microplastics.

 Readings will be chosen from among the following: Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Edgar Alan Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Olaudah Equiano The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer, Somerset Maugham’s stories about the South Pacific, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, poetry by Derek Walcott, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small World; Joan Slonczewski’s A Door Into Ocean; Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us; Mat Johnson’s Pym; Samuel Delany’s “Driftglass,” among others. We’ll also watch several films. These might include  Jaws, Titanic, Lessons of Darkness, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Star Trek IV—a movie in which Kirk and Spock travel back in time to save the whales. Seriously.


ENGL 402-02 HON: Dragons & Wizards:Fantasy Fiction:WR: Professor Stanev

This course will examine some of the masterpieces of fantasy literature during the last hundred years and will attempt to infuse this immensely popular nonacademic genre with relevant academic insights. More specifically, the course will study tales of magic, sorcery, parallel worlds, heroic quests, identity crises, gender nonconformism, and class and race consciousness in relationship to historical and contemporary watersheds, such as World War II and the Cold War, the Space Race, the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Movements, the Environmental Movement, the Dawn of Virtual Realities, and the Rise of Globalization. In addition, we will work towards rethinking the frequent inclusion of epic elements in fantasy fiction, given the relative absence of epic works/imaginaries in the post-modern age. We will also observe selected scenes from recent adaptations of some of our course texts and discuss their visual and stylistic impact. We will even try playing one of the nearly forgotten role-playing books of the 1980s! Fantasy fiction remains a popular contemporary pastime for students and scholars, and we will bring this traditionally neglected fiction genre to productive conversations about its social relevance and cultural impact. Authors, whose works we will read and discuss, include J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen King, Octavia Butler, Poul Anderson, Sterling E. Lanier, Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson, Robert Jordan, E. Lily Yu, Nora K. Jemisin, and Steven Erikson.



ENGL 403-01 Advanced CW: Professor Strickley

In this advanced creative writing workshop, we’ll experiment in three forms— poems, short stories, and literary essays—while also probing the margins between them. Students will be responsible for reading multiple published selections every week and performing close, craft-oriented readings. Students will also be responsible for submitting multiple original works for discussion, and responding in an ethical and timely fashion to the work of their peers. A fair amount of fluency in the language of literary discourse is expected in this workshop, which will be geared primarily toward building on the skill-sets and interests developed in previous courses. Students should expect to write (and read) in multiple genres, but will also be encouraged to focus on genre-specific projects.


ENGL 414-01 Brit Lit Shks Neocl:WR: Professor Wise

British Literature from Shakespeare through the Neoclassical Period - WR

The official title and description for the course are not too welcoming, but 414 is: “the study of selected works, in a variety of genres, from Shakespeare through the 18th Century, taught with attention to historical and cultural context.”  That said, what I hope to accomplish is a romp through the Early Modern and Enlightenment periods,  by travelling from the court and playhouse of Elizabeth I to the island of Utopia, to  Othello’s Venice, Milton’s hell, Pepys’ London, Swift’s Ireland, and Moll Flanders’ involuntary immigration to Virginia.  Our texts will be the Longman Anthology of British Literature, 1 B and 1C (4th edition).  Writing will be frequent, and daily discussion questions will be provided.   Three major papers will be assigned, with revisions expected.   We will end with a celebration worthy of Fielding’s Tom Jones.


ENGL 420-01 Amer Lit 1865-1910:WR: Professor Anderson

This literature survey will introduce you to American literature from 1865-1910, which was a period notable for distinctly American forms of literary realism and naturalism, the development of mass-marketed books and periodicals, keen interest in ethnic and regional writing, and the opening of publishing opportunities for women writers. The course will also provide information about the historical, social, and cultural contexts of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century America (including the effects of the Civil War, Reconstruction, rapid urbanization and industrialization, sweeping economic changes, and large-scale immigration).

 Grading will be based on essay examinations, interpretive papers, summaries of scholarship, in-class writing and quizzes, and class discussion.


ENGL 450-01 Coop Internship in English: Professor Chandler

This coop course is designed to accompany an internship that has been approved for three hours of credit. The course requires descriptive and reflective writing about the internship, in the form of weekly reports, as well as a final reflective essay, a portfolio and evaluation by the intern’s site supervisor.


ENGL 470-01 Book Studies: Professor Mattes

“Knowing 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 world? Most importantly, 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 literary and academic writings 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 might include participating in a letterpress demonstration, surveying rare books and artists’ books in special collections, building a range of book structures, altering existing book objects, and transcribing existing literatures into 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.


ENGL 491-75 Int Theory New Crit-Pres: Professor Adams

This course introduces students to some major issues in literary and cultural theory from the late 19th century to the present. The course will fall roughly into two halves, each of which will address a set of problems that theorists have attempted to address. The first half focuses on interpretation and related questions, including the morality of art, aesthetic judgment, intention, affect, language, and the unconscious. The second half focuses on problems related to the practice of representation, including realism, history, ideology, gender, sexuality, race, and empire.


ENGL 501-01 Independent Study: Professor TBA



ENGL 504-01 ADV CW II:Poetry: Professor Maxwell

This course will revolve around reading and writing poems of social engagement informed by Joan Retallack’s concept of “poethics.” In The Poethical Wager, Retallack develops the term “poethics” in her “attempt to note and value traditions in art exemplified by a linking of aesthetic registers to the fluid and rapidly changing experiences of everyday life.” She describes the “poethical” as a “questing to know what can be known only by means of poetry, approaching what is radically unknowable prior to the poetic project, acting in an interrogative mode that attempts to invite extra-textual experience into the poetics somehow on its terms, terms other than those dictated by egoistic desires.” In this course, we will aim to occupy a poethical position and engage in writing experiments that prioritize investigation of—and interaction with—the world “on its terms.” Participants will submit poems for workshop; produce new work in response to prompts and challenges; read published work by such writers as Juliana Spahr, Nomi Stone, C.D. Wright, Frank Stanford, Harryette Mullen, and Cathy Park Hong; and visit the Archives and Special Collections to develop an investigative poetry sequence.


ENGL 504-02 ADV CW II: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. If you're taking this for graduate credit, it will fulfill one of your elective courses.


ENGL 506-75 Teaching of Writing:WR:CUE: Professor Johnson

The Teaching of Writing is an introduction to the theories, research, and practice that informs the effective teaching of writing. Beginning with theories and research that examine what writing is, why it is important to teach writing, and how best to teach writing, the course will then move on to applying these concepts to practical applications (syllabi, assignment trajectories, paper comments) for teaching writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Guided by the common assumption that teaching is theory in practice, and that one must be reflective about one’s practice (continually examining and revising) to be an effective teacher, we will interrogate popular theories of writing with the goal of developing our own theories and approaches to teaching writing. Students should leave the course with the ability to draw connections between theories of writing, learning, teaching, and classroom practice as well as strategies for curricular, syllabus, and assignment design.


ENGL 510-01 Grad Coop Internship-MA Level: Professor Turner



ENGL 549-01 Stud Post-Col/Eth Lit:CUE: Professor Kelderman

This course examines gender and LGBTQ identity in indigenous literature and culture, with a focus on writers from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Throughout the semester, we will explore the novels of authors including Louise Erdrich, Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Ellen van Neerven, and Joshua Whitehead, and poetry by Tommy Pico and Natalie Diaz. In addition, we will study the visual art of Kent Monkman and two films. Throughout the semester, a guiding question will be how questions of gender and sexuality inflect our understanding about the aesthetic and political questions that these works broach. As such, this course will introduce you to important works by indigenous authors writing in English, while advancing your understanding of gender and LGBTQ studies. Course requirements include a sequence of short writing assignments that practice different genres of writing, and a final research paper.



ENGL 550-75 Studies in Afr-Amer Lit:CUE: Professor Logan

This seminar is an in-depth study of African American literature through a representative sampling of primary texts (fiction, drama, poetry), from Phillis Wheatley to Charles Johnson. It seeks to acquaint students with the thematic and aesthetic concerns of African American writers, as it outlines the theoretical and critical underpinnings that address, among other things, the Middle Passage, plantation slavery, Emancipation, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights movement. We will essentially examine how socio-historical, cultural, and political dynamics enabled the creation and growth of this literature, with particular focus on issues of race, gender, sexuality, and class.


ENGL 552-01 Documentary Film: Professor Johnson

Increasingly, non-fiction film has emerged as a popular and powerful medium in the twenty-first century. Documentaries have shaped the public agenda (An Inconvenient Truth, Bowling for Columbine, Food Inc.); podcasts have taken on traditional institutions like law and economics (Serial, Freakonomics); most recently, there has been a marked rise in attention to pseudo-non-fiction in cinema as the biopic has emerged (The Big Short, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Straight Outta Compton, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile).  To understand this broad genre of non-fictional and visual texts, this course introduces students to the work of a variety photographers, filmmakers, folklorists, podcasters, and writers all working in a non-fiction capacity to record and persuade using visual materials.  We will be viewing and discussing traditional documentaries like The Thin Blue Line, Food Inc., and Harlan County, USA; non-fiction programming and podcasts from new content producers like VICE and Freakonomics; and a variety of commercial, industrial and educational films from throughout the twentieth-century. We turn to these texts in order to explore the narrative, aesthetic, and theoretical decisions the filmmakers have made. Students will be producing response essays to these materials as well as a final critical essay.


ENGL 554-01 Women’s Personan Narr:CUE: Professor Griffin

Course examines issues such as race, class, religion, geography, and sexual orientation surrounding the writing/reading of women's personal narratives (e.g., diaries, letters, autobiographies, oral histories, biographies, and films) from the 19th and 20th centuries. Note: Cross-listed with WGST 520. Note: Historical period varies by semester; see schedule of courses.


ENGL 555-01 Coop Internship:CUE: Professor Chandler

This coop course is designed to accompany an internship that has approved for three hours of credit. The course requires descriptive and reflective writing about the internship, in the form of weekly reports, as well as a substantial final research project, a portfolio and evaluation by the intern’s site supervisor.


ENGL 562-01 Shakespeare:CUE: Professor Biberman

Between the Anthropocene and Extinction

What does it mean to talk about Shakespeare in 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. Supplemental readings include pieces by Benjamin, Santner, Lupton, Latour, Derrida, Badiou, Zizek and Jameson.

Special Notes:

Take Home Midterm (with an exercise in question construction), Final Paper (as 20 minute conf paper)--or approved alternate project, and a final presentation, with periodic short writings and brief in-class presentations.


ENGL 563-75 Milton:CUE: Professor Billingsley

This course offers you an intensive reading of Paradise Lost, with collateral support from Milton's other works as well as some secondary critical material. Graded course work includes regular contributions to a Blackboard discussion group, weekly in-class exercises, and a long paper. Graduate students will have an additional assignment, as required by SIGS for graduate credit.

Learning outcomes:  This course works toward completion of the English departmental student learning outcomes and the university’s CUE defining features.  Within that framework, if your work in this course is successful, at its end you should be able to do the following:

  • Read and begin to understand Paradise Lost in the cultural context of its creation, in the fabric of Milton’s work overall, and as received in critical study;
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the poem in your own reading and critical commentary;
  • Participate in and synthesize other readers' perceptions in oral and written discussion; and
  • Comprehend and express an informed historical-critical understanding of thematic and cultural issues prompted by the poem in clearly organized, competently argued and well-supported academic prose.


ENGL 564-01 Sel Figures Amer Lit:CUE: Professor 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, 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):

Undergraduates: one 5-7-page paper; annotated bibliography that serves as part of the research for your final paper; a 12-page research paper.

Graduate students: One 8-page paper; a 15-20-page research paper; 250-500-word conference prospectus that may also serve as a proposal for your research paper.


ENGL 599-01 ADV Studies in ENGL:WR:CUE: Professor Schneider

In this course, we’ll examine the skills involved in professional editing.  We’ll look at how to work with sentence and paragraph structure to reveal meaning generally, but also via process such as paramedic method editing and author querying.  Students will learn basic editing skills, proofreading marks, and will look at the theories behind related activities such as indexing.  But more importantly, students will examine the “mind” of an editor as it’s described by professional authors and editors.

Students will learn to use the Chicago Manual of Style, and complete weekly editing activities drawn from the CMS.  Assessment for this course may include editing and proofreading exams, workshops, author query sheets, and longer reflective assignments.