Graduate Courses

917 Patterson Office Tower
Fall 2017 Courses
ENG 607-001: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Poetry
W 5:30:00 PM-8:00:00 PM
Instructor: Frank X. Walker
In this graduate workshop advanced poets will read and critique each other's original work with a focus on editing and polishing individual pieces for publication and inclusion in graduate portfolios. These seasoned poets will study the work of contemporary poets and focus on sharpening their critical eye, fine-tuning their voice, and creating a sustained narrative in a cycle of original poems. Students will explore and discuss the written work of established poets as well as their own professional and personal lives. They will also practice writing life in the real world by organizing and planning a public reading, expertly executing the submissions process, and preparing a conference quality panel presentation when applicable.
ENG 607-002: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Non-fiction
R 5:00:00 PM-7:30:00 PM
Instructor: Janet Carey Eldred
     Odd-year workshops will focus on Brevity-inspired pieces (<750 words) or segments of longer essays that stress elements of poetry in cnf (e.g., juxtaposition, compression and expansion, balance, direction and indirection, metaphor, form and variation).  Reading will focus on selections from Brevity, Riverteeth’s Beautiful Things, the pedagogical journal Assay, as well as some poetry.  Additionally, we’ll cover some longer pieces in the last two years of Best American Essays. Expect to generate roughly 30 pages of new material in 10 workshops.  Two additional workshops will focus on revision.  Finally, expect some practice with pedagogy.  Each workshop member will devise and teach a workshop.  The end-of-semester portfolio will include 20 pages of revised prose + a 3-5 pp. pedagogy/craft Assay-type essay + a brief reflection.
     Even-year workshops will focus on elements of fiction in cnf (characterization, direct and indirect discourse, scene and exposition, point of entry, setting).  Additionally, we’ll get to know 4 journals:  Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Riverteeth, & 1966.  Expect to generate roughly 30-40 pages of new material in 10 workshops (750-1,000 word drafts either complete in and off themselves or part of longer projects).  Two additional workshops will focus on revision.  Finally, expect some practice with reviewing new works of cnf. The end-of-semester portfolio will consist of 20 pages of revised prose + a 3-5 pp. review of some work of cnf + short reflection.       
ENG 607-401: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Fiction
T 6:00:00 PM-8:30:00 PM
Instructor: Juan Manuel Gonzales
The Graduate Writing Workshop in Fiction will push graduate MFA fiction students further in their craft. This course will focus on student-submitted and critiqued work as well as a solid rotation of out-of-class reading and in-class discussion as students continue to develop their voices as writers and critics.
TR 11:00:00 AM-12:15:00 PM
Instructor: Matthew W Godbey
Eng 611 is the required course for graduate students wishing to teach classes in the UK literature curriculum. The seminar will take a theoretical and practical approach as we consider the ideas and ideals of literary education as well as the practical activities of teaching literature: course focus, text selection, syllabus design, assignments, teaching strategies, and myriad other issues related to the conceptual and day-to-day design of the course. Seminar participants will be required to read a variety of texts and articles dealing with issues such as but not limited to literary studies as a field, pedagogical theory, and professional issues. Additionally, and importantly, participants will participate in weekly discussions and exercises geared toward developing a teaching portfolio that will assist them as they develop and teach their own courses.
ENG 620-001: STDIES IN MIDDLE ENG LIT: The Age of Chaucer, c. 1350-1450
R 5:00:00 PM-7:30:00 PM
Instructor: Matthew C. Giancarlo
This graduate seminar will focus on literature of the age of Chaucer and his contemporaries, from about 1350 to 1450. It will cover Middle English literature outside of the Canterbury Tales. Texts to be read will include some of Chaucer's early dream visions (The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, the Parliament of Fowls) and Chaucerian lyrics; William Langland's Piers Plowman; the alliterative Morte Arthure; excerpts from John Gower's Confessio Amantis (Lover's Confession); the poems Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Gawain-Poet; John Mandeville's Travels; Thomas Hoccleve's Complaint; the Book of Margery Kempe; and others. Most of the texts will be read in the original language so prior experience with Middle English is advised but not required. Graduate coursework will include two papers, one mid-term shorter paper (7-10 pages) and a research term paper (15-20 pages). Additional work will include a paper prospectus and a bibliography for the research term paper; an in-class presentation on a chosen text; regular seminar attendance and contributions.
TR 9:30:00 AM-10:45:00 AM
Instructor: Jill N. Rappoport
The goal of ENG 700 is to prepare students for the Qualifying Examination, for writing a successful dissertation prospectus, for making the transition to independent research and teaching, and for taking steps toward professionalization in their graduate study and subsequent careers. This discussion-based course will include readings, workshops, and presentations designed to make the transitional period between coursework and dissertation writing seem less opaque. Faculty and graduate students who have made this transition successfully will visit 700 to discuss their experiences, offer advice, and answer questions. Students will have the opportunity to practice specific skills necessary for the next phase(s) of their careers.
ENG 722-001: SEM RENAISSANCE STDS: The Global Early Modern
TR 12:30:00 PM-1:45:00 PM
Instructor: Joyce M MacDonald
This section of ENG 722 is subtitled The Global Early Modern. In this course, students will read a range of plays and other documents chosen to illuminate how English audiences understood their nation and themselves in relation to the rest of the world, primarily the East, Africa, and the Americas. How did the period from roughly 1550 through 1650 define English identity, and how did emerging knowledges about racial and sexual difference, geographical location, and economic development figure in this process? How can we begin to write a pre-modern history of the political operations and manifestations of race? Besides plays by authors such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Fletcher, and Massinger, course readings will also include modern critical and theoretical readings on the role of gender and race in the imaginative construction of colonial worlds. Students will write one short reflective essay and a longer seminar paper, and will also make a presentation to the class.
ENG 750-001: SEM IN COLONIAL LIT: Disenfranchised Voices in Early American Literature
M 2:00:00 PM-4:30:00 PM
Instructor: Marion L. Rust
"Disenfranchised": African, Native American, gendered female, spiritual
nonconformist, indentured servant, youth.  "Literature":  poetry, captivity
narrative, criminal narrative, spiritual autobiography, feminist theory,
musical drama, slave narrative.  In this class, we will read work by escaped captives, religious subversives, con men, anonymous congregations, abused wives, midwives, Black seamen and Native American preachers.  Possible authors include Abigail Abbot Bailey, Martha Ballard, Anne Bradstreet, Stephen Burroughs, Sarah Pierpont Edwards, Olaudah Equiano, Anne Hutchinson, Judith Sargent Murray, Samson Occom, Mary Rowlandson, and Phillis Wheatley.  Requirements consist of active preparation and participation, a final research paper, and at least two short commentaries on assigned readings.
ENG 752-001: SEM AMER LIT: 1860-1900: Enslavement and its Aftermath in the Nineteenth Century
R 2:00:00 PM-4:30:00 PM
Instructor: Jeff Clymer
This course will examine fiction and non-fiction that thematized US slavery and its aftermath in the antebellum and postbellum years.  In addition to scholarly and historical sources, primary texts that we are likely to read (subject to change) include:
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Martin Delany, Blake; or the Huts of America
Frank Webb, The Garies and their Friends
Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom
Herman Melville, Benito Cereno
Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Charles Chesnutt, The Conjure Stories
Frances E.W. Harper, Iola LeRoy; or, Shadows Uplifted
Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery
W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
Spring 2017 Courses
Instructor: Julia M. Johnson
001: M4:00:00 PM-6:30:00 PM
We meet once a week for a meeting of advanced poets. We will leave our comfort zones. This class is devoted to poetry by you and by others. It is a workshop-based class. We will together access and read an extensive amount of work by contemporary poets, with a particular focus on poetic forms. The class is a casual operation, largely student driven. What you don’t ask, formulate, present, question, interrogate, assert, or wonder aloud, etc. will remain forever in the empty cavern of your heart.
ENG 507: ADV WKSHP IMAG WRTNG:Sub-Genres of the Fourth Genre
Instructor: Erik A Reece
002: W4:00:00 PM-6:30:00 PM
The term "creative nonfiction" asks us to begin thinking of the essay as a story that uses many narrative devices of fiction-writing to not only tell the truth, but to shape the truth. ENG 507 builds on many of the elements of nonfiction writing that students encountered in ENG 207: establishing voice, creating a sense of scene, rendering complex portraits of people, recreating anecdotes and dialogue. Because ENG 207 is not a prerequisite for this course, we will begin ENG 507 with these basic building blocks of creative nonfiction. Then we will push beyond the personal essay to explore other forms of creative nonfiction. Students will read selections from some of the best nonfiction writers working today, and they will uses those works as models for their own essays.
Instructor: Gurney M Norman
401: T5:00:00 PM-7:30:00 PM
The premise of this course in autobiographical writing is that every person has stories to tell about her or his experiences of life. It is assumed that each member of the class is self-motivated to write his or her individual life-stories. Many will want to write their stories from personal need as part of their journey of self-discovery. Others will be more interested in making a record of their lives and thoughts for future use in a book-length autobiography, and for use by family members as part of the family’s collective memory. Perhaps the writer will simply want to record long-held feelings, emotions, facts, secrets and other forms of self-expression. Regardless of motive, the basic task for each student writer is to produce 7-10 standard manuscript pages per week for a total of at least eighty pages. Students should feel free to write more than these minimum pages during the semester.  Beyond the required eighty pages there are no restrictions on length or subject matter. The instructor will respond to the work of each individual through written comments, individual conferences and spoken comments during the class meetings. Fellow students are invited to offer suggestions and themselves take turns reading aloud passages of their writing to the assembled class members. Students are encouraged to maintain a journal or notebook to record thoughts, ideas, memories for later use. The instructor will offer prompts for short in-class and out of class writing exercises. As the final project of the semester, students will assemble the written pages in manuscript form according to professional standards.
ENG 507: ADV WKSP IMAG WRIT: Poetry and the American Voice
Instructor: Dan Howell
003: TR2:00:00 PM-3:15:00 PM
This course will build upon the foundation established in ENG 207 and (for some of you) ENG 407.  Students will be expected to demonstrate greater understanding of the art and craft in published poems; to employ their heightened knowledge and skills in poetry exercises, including more work with formal verse; and to write poems that always strive for their best possible expression, which our conscientious and constructive workshopping will try to help them attain. In our reading we will look at poems in the American poetic tradition, from Dickinson and Whitman to Stevens and Williams and beyond.     Course-work:  in-class and out-of-class exercises; informal written responses to published poems; active participation in annotating and workshopping poems by peers;  twelve poems.
ENG 607: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: First Books of Poetry
Instructor: Julia M. Johnson
001: W4:00:00 PM-6:30:00 PM
A weekly 2.5-hour MFA poetry writing workshop. Periodic individual conferences with the instructor, relevant outside reading, writing assignments, and a final portfolio of poems will be required. Additionally, we will look closely at and discuss examples of published first books of poetry. Permission of the instructor is required before registering for this course.
ENG 607: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Short Fiction
Instructor: Hannah Pittard
002: M4:00:00 PM-6:30:00 PM
This course will focus heavily on student writing. As such, students will be expected to write and workshop three wholly new short stories over the course of the semester – four if time allows. Note: This is not a workshop in novel or novella writing. This is a workshop whose focus is on Short Fiction. All work will be written during the semester. No previously workshopped or previously written material will be accepted.
ENG 607: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Sub-Genres of the Fourth Genre
Instructor: Erik A Reece
003: R4:00:00 PM-6:30:00 PM
This graduate workshop will be tailored to the students’ individual needs and they begin thinking about their thesis project. We will consider the various subgenres of creative nonfiction, including personal essay, literary journalism, advocacy, polemic and others. Our models for the semester will be the exceptional working writers, John Jeremiah Sullivan (who will be visiting campus in April) and Rebecca Solnit.
Instructor: Frank X Walker
001: T5:00:00 PM-7:30:00 PM
This course will begin with a brief review of a study of the elements of craft essential to the construction of various traditional forms of poetry and will shift dramatically to investigate a range of exciting contemporary poetic forms invented in the last decade. It will include the bop, contrapuntal, hinge, fret, Affrilachian Sonnet, and more. This course will interrogate the effective teaching of poetry in a variety of settings as well as some original writing, though it is not a workshop, and is thus doubly valuable for our advanced MFA candidates who are writing poetry and imagine themselves teaching it as well. At its conclusion, students in the course will examine, discuss, and develop original lesson plans for the introduction of an original form or writing exercise they create themselves. The overarching goal of this study is to challenge traditional forms and explore what it means to write in the now. A broad acquaintance with the full range of poetic forms and the craft underlying those forms is essential to successfully navigating this course.
ENG 642: STUDIES IN MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE: British Poetry in the Age of Modernism
Instructor: Jonathan M Allison
001: T 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Themes and tendencies in twentieth century poetry, mainly British and Irish, from Yeats to the 1980s, focusing on the work of six poets – Yeats, Eliot, Auden, MacNeice, Eavan Boland and Carol Ann Duffy.  We will study the work of Yeats in light of the Irish Literary Revival and the rise of modernist poetics. Selected works by Eliot, including early poems and The Waste Land, Four Quartets, and the essays. Poetry of the Thirties and “second generation” modernists will include the work of W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice. We’ll discuss the ways contemporary poets such as Boland and Duffy extend, interrogate and dismantle traditions. An exploration of some of the most exciting poetry of the twentieth century and of the most celebrated formulations of modernist doctrine.
Instructor: Alan M Nadel
401: T5:00:00 PM-7:30:00 PM
This course will examine the approaches to understanding narrative and narrativity as it impacts on literary analysis and cultural meaning across the spectrum of narrative media. Although we will start with Aristotle’s poetics, we will concentrate on work done since 1950. The approaches we cover include: cognitive, formal, rhetorical, narratological, cultural, feminist, and performative. Students will be required to write three short papers, chair a session at the International Narrative Conference (Lexington, March 23-26), and write a longer paper based on notes taken at the conference. (Students enrolled in the course will have the conference registration fee waived.)
ENG 682: STUDIES IN FICTION: Jane Austen and the Profession of Literature
Instructor: Lisa Zunshine
001: F1:00:00 PM-3:30:00 PM
They say that when philosopher Gilbert Ryle was asked if he ever read novels, he replied, “All six of them, every year.” He meant Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion. In this course, we will read The Six, focusing in particular on their role in the history of contemporary literary criticism, that is, trying to understand what it is about these “quintessential” novels that has made them a testing ground for a succession of revisionist literary theories. Requirements include pedagogical practicums, short position papers, and a final longer paper.
ENG 751: STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE 1860: Early American Literature and How We Read Now
Instructor: Michelle R. Sizemore
001: M2:00:00 PM-4:30:00 PM
How do we read now? In recent years, literary scholars have turned their attention to questions of interpretation in an era when, arguably, “critique has run out of steam.”[i][i] Critics now talk about surface reading, new formalism, distant reading, reading for enchantment, and more. Each week we will discuss these interventions and use these strategies for our own readings of early American literature. Contemporary hermeneutics, then, will be our theoretical framework for what is essentially a graduate-level survey of early American literature. Our scope will be vast—beginning with the literatures of colonial encounter, continuing through the literatures of Enlightenment and Revolution, and concluding with the literatures of slavery, sentimentalism, and American Romanticism. Be prepared to read a lot, to write a lot, and to be challenged in our discussions. One 6-8-page position paper, one 20-page seminar paper, a presentation, and class participation.
Instructor: Matt Giancarlo
401: R5:00:00 PM-7:30:00 PM



Fall 2016 Courses

ENG 607: Graduate Writing Workshop

Instructor: Janet Eldred
001: T 4-6:30

This particular section will focus on Brevity-inspired pieces (< 750 words) that stress "poetic" style (e.g., pacing, juxtaposition, compression and expansion, balance, direction and indirection).

Instructor: Frank Walker
002: W 4-6:30

Instructor: Manuel Gonzales
401: M 6-8:30

This course will focus almost exclusively on student writing and student critique as a tool for developing craft. Students will be expected to write and workshop three wholly new short stories over the course of the semester – four if time allows. The workshop will focus on the Short Story. All work will be written during the semester. No previously workshopped or previously written material will be accepted.


ENG 611: Literature Teaching Seminar
Instructor: Matthew Godbey
001: MWF 12-12:50

Eng 611 is the required course for graduate students wishing to teach classes in the UK literature curriculum. The seminar will take a theoretical and practical approach as we consider the ideas and ideals of literary education as well as the practical activities of teaching literature: course focus, text selection, syllabus design, assignments, teaching strategies, and myriad other issues related to the conceptual and day-to-day design of the course. Seminar participants will be required to read a variety of texts and articles dealing with issues such as but not limited to literary studies as a field, pedagogical theory, and professional issues. Additionally, and importantly, participants will participate in weekly discussions and exercises geared toward developing a teaching portfolio that will assist them as they develop and teach their own courses.


ENG 638: Studies in Victorian Literature
Instructor: Jill Rappoport
001: M 2-4:30

This course explores the ways in which Victorian poetic forms dealt with and deflected the challenges of modernity. The nineteenth century was a time of startling and dramatic changes: railroads and industry gave England a new pace; colonial projects expanded its sense of space; and scientific discovery gave it a new idea of its place in history. We will examine the roles that poetry played and the forms that it took as it sought to respond to these transformations. Poets borrowed, rejected, or sought to surpass the past by grappling with their individual, national, and poetic inheritance. In the process, they created a wealth of poetry that was both intimate and innovative, moving and remarkably modern.

Reading works by Barrett Browning, Tennyson, C. Rossetti, Arnold, D. G. Rossetti, R. Browning, Meredith, and others, we’ll explore ballads, dramatic monologues, and lyric and narrative verse, paying careful attention to the sounds as well as the sense of Victorian poetry. Contemporary literary criticism will inform and challenge our discussions of both genre and ideology in Victorian poetry. Our particular emphasis on the nineteenth-century “verse novel” should give all of you—whether poetry enthusiasts or die-hard novel readers—something to sink your critical teeth into. Course requirements include response papers, presentations, and a seminar paper.

ENG/AAS 656: Black Lives in the Archives
Instructor: Nazera Wright
001: R 2-4:30

This course explores an emerging field within U.S. literary studies: black print culture. In his 2010 article “The Talking Book and the Talking Book Historian,” Leon Jackson argues that there exists a “failure to communicate” or “cross-pollinate” between book historians and scholars of African American literature (Book History 13 (2010): 252). Book history includes the field of black print culture studies, defined as the network of contributors beyond a single author that participated in the production and transmission of a text.

In this course, we will explore the critical models and archival methods shaping the black print culture field, and examine the intersections between African American literature and print culture. We will review specific themes found within print culture studies—questions of materiality, production, dissemination and consumption of print forms—and what these themes can teach us about African American literature and our understanding of print culture.

To focus student learning, this course will review black newspapers and periodicals and examine them not only as a literary genre and cultural form, but also as a marketable commodity. We will also read an interdisciplinary range of poems, manifestos, speeches, short stories, novels and anti-lynching plays by black writers that were published in a variety of print sources—from black newspapers and magazines to advice columns and autograph books. In addition, we will discuss the format, layout patterns and function of these texts as informational sources produced to mobilize black communities to fight for full citizenship rights, protect families and abolish slavery.

Furthermore, this course will introduce students to archival research by exploring the design, distribution, promotion, circulation and reception of African American writing published in nineteenth- and twentieth-century print and material sources. To frame class discussions, we will engage a wide selection of recent critical scholarship on black print culture. Course requirements include thoughtful and engaged participation and a seminar paper of 20 pages, in which students will learn to access and incorporate materials from the archive to enrich their own research projects. Each seminar member will also be responsible for choosing a primary text and leading the discussion of that text in one class meeting. Graduate students in all areas and disciplines are welcome.

Required Primary Texts
Lucy Terry, “Bars Fight” (1746)
Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773)
Author unknown, The Tawny Girl (1823)
S, “Theresa, A Haytien Tale” (1828)
David Walker, Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World (1829)
Frederick Douglass, “The Heroic Slave,” Autographs for Freedom (1852)
Maria W. Stewart, Speeches, Essays, and “The First Stage of Life” (1861)
Julia C. Collins, The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride (1865)
Frances E. W. Harper

•           “The Two Offers,” Anglo-African Magazine (1859)

•           “Fancy Sketches,” Anglo-African Magazine (1859-1860)

•           Sowing and Reaping: A Temperance Story (1876 – 1877)

•           Trial and Triumph (1888-1889)

William Steward, “The Gem of the Alley,” The Christian Recorder (1878)
Gertrude Bustill Mossell, “Our Women’s Department,” The New York Freeman (1886-1887)
Ida B. Wells-Barnett, The Red Record (1895)
Charles Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales (1899)
Angelina Weld Grimké, Rachel: A Play in Three Acts (1920)
Jessie Redmon Fauset, Plum Bun: A Novel without A Moral (1928)
Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha (1953)

Articles from Black Newspapers and Magazines
Freedom’s Journal (1827-1829)
The Colored American (1837-1841)
The Repository of Religion and Literature, and of Science and Art (1858-1863)
The Christian Recorder (1854-1892)
The New York Freeman (1884-1887)
The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races (1910 – present)
The Brownies’ Book (1920-1921)
Negro Digest/Black World (1942-1978)
Ebony (1945 – present)

Required Selections from Secondary Texts
State of the Field articles by Frances Smith Foster, P. Gabrielle Foreman, John Ernest, and Joycelyn Moody
Ellen Gruber Garvey, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (2012)
Eric Gardner, Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature (2011)
Gardner, Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature, and Periodical Culture (2015)
Elizabeth McHenry, Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies (2005)
Laura Cohen and Jordan Stein, Early African American Print Culture (2012)

Several required texts are PDFs that I will provide.


ENG 660/ST 500: Modern Critical Theory
Introduction to Social Theory
Instructor: Peter Kalliney
001: R 2-4:30

What is modernity, and when is modernity?  How have theorists from the social scientific and humanistic traditions defined the prevailing conditions of the modern world?  We will examine these questions from a variety of perspectives.  Enlightenment philosophers (including Kant and Marx) and critics of Enlightenment thinking (such as Nietzsche, Carlyle, and Freud) will help frame our discussions for the semester.  More recent theorists have described the condition of modernity as a manner of distributing power (Foucault), as a tool for understanding knowledge production (Giddens), as a system of organizing productive labor (Berman), as a particular way of imagining gender difference (Felski), and as a struggle between state violence and permanent revolution (Arendt).  What can debates about modernity contribute to a training in social theory today?


ENG 700: Tutorial Ph.D Candidates
Instructor: Matthew Giancarlo
001: T 5-7:30

This course allows Ph.D. candidates who have completed all course work requirements to work together under the direction of a senior faculty member in preparing for and taking the Qualifying Examination. Regular meetings and individual tutorials will focus on the pragmatics of exam preparation, as well as on constructing and working through a comprehensive reading list for research preparation and prospectus drafting.


ENG 722: Seminar Renaissance Studies
The Matter of Troy
Instructor: Joyce MacDonald
001: TR 12:30-1:45

The Matter of Troy—stories about the founding and collapse of Troy as it gave way to the beginnings of a greater civilization in Rome—provided a powerful imaginative framework for early modern Britons as they sought to understand their own nation’s place in history. Poised at the beginnings of their own global empire, sixteenth century Britons were inspired to look backward at stories that offered both glorious precedent and dire warnings about their way forward. What did it mean for so many Renaissance authors to imagine their country as “Troynovant,” a “new Troy”? This section of ENG 722 will look for some of the answers to that question as it studies the place of the Matter of Troy in the growth of a British sense of national identity, of national history, and of national destiny. Starting with accounts of the fall of Troy from Ovid and with some of Aeneas’ subsequent adventures in The Aeneid, the course will feature plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Peele as well as nondramatic selections from George Chapman, Edmund Spenser, Thomas Heywood, and others.


ENG 753: Seminar American Literature Since 1900
Very Recent Fiction
Instructor: Michael Trask
001: T 2-4:30

This class will read a series of novels published in the immediate past (from a few years back to just yesterday).  We’ll be guided by methodological questions occasioned by recent creative work.  Can such work submit readily to the historicist or formalist frameworks of literary studies?  Is it even useful to force such terms on very recent fiction?  What is the difference between academic criticism and (evaluative) reviewing—or a culture of argument and a culture of evaluation?  How is our reading practice shaped or modified by taking up as objects of analysis books that we might otherwise read for “pleasure”? Can we make plausible inferences about the “periodization” of books written in the last five years? Is it reasonable or wishful thinking to assume that very disparate texts have something in common other than their copyright dates? To approach these questions, we’ll look not only at some very recent fiction but also at some very recent criticism aimed at contemporary literature.  Readings include Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers; George Saunders, Tenth of December; Colson Whitehead, Zone One; Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master’s Son; Tao Lin, Tai Pei; Jumpa Lahiri, The Lowland; Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station; Sara Levine, Treasure Island!!!; Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe; Ernest Cline, Ready Player One. Assignments include a class presentation; an annotated bibliography; and a seminar paper (12-15 pages).


ENG 771: Seminar in Special Topics
Literacy Criticism Today

Instructor: Ellen Rosenman
001: R 5-7:30

This course explores a couple of key intellectual and professional issues. We’ll focus primarily on the question of interpretation. Put simply: how should we read? Critics argue about symptomatic reading, the hermeneutics of suspicion, distant reading, “just” reading, and the new formalism. What do these terms mean, what are their implications, what are their trade-offs? How do claims about how to read identify themselves as “interventions” – that is, how do critics attempt to change the procedures and assumptions of their field? I hope our discussions will be useful to you as you plan your own writing projects and enter the debates of our field. The course will also make time for more concrete, student-directed questions about how to navigate the profession.

This is primarily a reading class, with emphasis on critical articles and book chapters.

Spring 2016 Courses
Instructor: Helen Oyeyemi
A&S 500-401: WRITING CRAFT: Maps & Trapdoors T 6-8:30pm

Doesn’t it seem as if there were only ever a handful of tales to begin with, and all the ones you felt like telling have already been told? You may even be tempted to just stay in bed forever with a stack of the very books that stole your future.

Here's an alternative: bring that narrative fluency of yours over here so we can consider the aspect of stories that will always prove surprising, entertaining and involving - the way the thing is told. We’ll be reading works that meet Italo Calvino’s requirements for good writing: lightness, swiftness, exactitude, multiplicity, and a mysterious and possibly indescribable fifth quality. Since I’ll be asking you to write fiction that responds to some of the pieces we read together, this will be a good series of evenings for anyone interested in clearing up some of the mystery around their own storytelling process. There may also be proper tea if I find appropriate teapots.

Instructor: Hannah Pittard
A&S 500-402: Form & Theory of Fiction

“Above all, I want to make you see.” – Joseph Conrad

“A short story must have a single mood…” – Edgar Allen Poe

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” – Flannery O’Connor

“[T]he human heart in conflict with itself…alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.” – William Faulkner

“Never apologize. Never explain.” – Benjamin Jowett (ostensibly)

In this class, we will study the form and theory of fiction, with special emphasis given to the short story. We will read—sometimes line by line—essential stories such as James Joyce’s “The Dead,” Anton Chekov’s “Lady with Lapdog,” Heinrich von Kleist’s “The Marquise of O,” Katherine Mansfield’s “The Garden Party,” John Cheever’s “Goodbye, My Brother,” among others. Participants will be responsible for writing weekly reading responses. This is not a workshop. Students will not submit creative material, but will instead submit to the genius of the writers whose stories we will be reading, appreciating, grappling with, pouring over, and sometimes merely wondering at…
Instructor: Erik Reece
ENG 607-001: Graduate Writing Workshop: NonFiction M 5-7:30pm

In this course, students will intensely workshop writing that’s already underway. We will entertain all forms of nonfiction and will examine works by some of the more exciting writers working in the genre today.

Instructor: Manuel Gonzales
ENG 607-401: Graduate Writing Workshop: Fiction M 6-8:30pm

This course will focus almost exclusively on student writing and student critique as a tool for developing craft. Students will be expected to write and workshop three wholly new short stories over the course of the semester – four if time allows. The workshop will focus on the Short Story. All work will be written during the semester. No previously workshopped or previously written material will be accepted.

Instructor: Julia Johnson
ENG 607-402: Graduate Writing Workshop: Poetry W 6-8:30pm

A weekly 2.5-hour MFA poetry writing workshop. Periodic individual conferences with the instructor, relevant outside reading, writing assignments, and a final portfolio of poems will be required. Permission of the instructor is required before registering for this course. Some participation in UK Poetry Festival required.

Instructor: Pearl James
ENG 611-001: Literature Teaching Seminar TR 11am-12:15pm

English 611 is the teaching practicum for graduate students in English.  All students will generate a teaching portfolio including a teaching philosophy statement, syllabi, assignments, grading rubrics, and class plans.

Instructor: Nazera Wright
ENG/AAS 656-001: Black American Literature: The Black Intellectual M 2-4:30pm

“Traditions and the canons that confirm them are made not born, constructed not spawned…the African American literary canon is an exclusive club whose roster is determined by the tastes of a handful of intellectuals.”

                                                            Ann duCille, The Coupling Convention (1995)

This course surveys key texts of African American literature and culture from 1900 to 2015. We will explore the modernist and postmodernist works of black fiction writers, essayists, filmmakers, visual artists and poets, and consider the strategies and rhetorical resonances that contribute to the formation of the Black Intellectual. Literary texts will include foundational essays on black intellectualism by Gertrude Bustill Mossell, Anna Julia Cooper, and W. E. B. Du Bois; award-winning fiction from Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin; poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks; texts from the Nobel Peace Prize winner Toni Morrison; and celebrated works by MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipients Octavia Butler and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Alongside literary texts, students will examine a range of our nation’s most praised cultural productions. These include Jacob Lawrence’s panoramic paintings in The Migration Series, Kara Walker’s celebrated sculptures in A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby and Steven McQueen’s Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave. For each text, students will consider gender, sexuality, migration, freedom and equality; interrogate ideological aims; and address placement within a sociohistorical and political era. Students will learn how black intellectuals offer corrective historical interventions that reveal the complexity of black humanity. We will examine the New Negro Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the tensions between U.S.-born and Caribbean black people, the Black Arts Movement, the feminist movement, LGBTQ issues, and what some consider a post-racial moment in the age of Obama. To frame class discussions, we will engage a wide selection of recent, critical scholarship. Course requirements include thoughtful and engaged participation and a final seminar paper of 25 pages. Each seminar member is responsible for choosing a primary text and leading the discussion of that text in one class meeting.

Required Texts

W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903)
Nella Larsen, Quicksand (1928)
Richard Wright, Uncle Tom’s Children (1938)
Gwendolyn Brooks, Annie Allen (1949)
Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha (1953)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
James Baldwin, Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953)
Paule Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959)
Gayl Jones, Corregidora (1975)
Octavia Butler, Kindred (1979)
Sonia Sanchez, et al., eds. S.O.S—Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Mvt Reader (2014)
Toni Morrison, Home (2013)
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)

Viewings and Screenings

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series (1940)
Kara Walker, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby (2014)
Steven McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Instructor: Alan Nadel
ENG 681-001: Studies in Film: American Cold War Film T 5-7:30pm

In the context of American Cold War culture, this course will explore the cultural narratives reflected by approximately twenty American films made between 1947 and 1961. Reading extensive selections from major non-fiction works of the period (including The Lonely Crowd, The Hidden Persuaders, Brainwashing, The Organization Man, The United Nations Charter, Modern Woman: The Lost Sex, the Taft-Hartley Act, the Brown v. Board of Ed. decision, and Europe on $5 Dollars a Day), we will examine how the films’ stylistic and thematic characteristics reflect their historical moment of production.  The films we will discuss include: Singin’ in the Rain, Rear Window, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Searchers, West Side Story, The Manchurian Candidate, Blackboard Jungle, Niagara, Lady and the Tramp, Roman Holiday. Requirements include two short papers and a research paper.

Instructor: Michelle Sizemore
ENG 700-001: Tutorial Ph.D. Candidates F 2-4:30pm

The goal of ENG 700 (Spring Semester) is to prepare students for their Qualifying Examinations and for making the transition to independent research in graduate study and their post-graduate careers. This course will be discussion-focused and include visits from several faculty and graduate students. Students in 700 are required to complete short writing assignments and workshops designed to make the transitional period from taking courses-to preparing for exams-to writing the dissertation seem less opaque. Just as importantly, ENG 700 provides a regular opportunity for students to convene with their cohort, a group of colleagues that will serve as a valuable intellectual resource and network of support in the stages to come: oral exams, prospectus writing, publishing, conference participation, fellowship applications, dissertation writing, going on the job market, and transitioning to the first job.

Instructor: Emily Shortslef
ENG 722-001: Seminar in Renaissance Studies: What is Early Modern? M 5:00-7:30pm

An introduction to early modern literature as well as an inquiry into what we mean by the term “early modern,” this seminar will approach the question its subtitle poses from the perspective of literary and intellectual history. We’ll read a wide range of primary texts—both canonical and less familiar, both traditionally “literary” and not—from the late-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including works by Shakespeare, Spenser, Francis Bacon, Thomas Browne, Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. Critical readings will suggest conceptual frameworks for our inquiry and provide insight into how scholars of literature have drawn upon other discourses (e.g. art history, philosophy, the history of science, critical theory) to define the temporal boundaries and characteristics of the early modern in relation to the medieval and the modern. We’ll also engage with critical debates about historical periodization and interdisciplinarity. Topics of discussion are likely to include: conceptions of the self, the history of the passions and the body, temporality, sovereignty, and aesthetics. Requirements: weekly discussion board posts, conference-length paper, critical glossary.

Instructor: Michael Genovese
ENG 730-001: Seminar in 18th Century Literature: Value in Novel R 2-4:30pm

How did the rise of prose fiction alter the values of readers?  What adaptations were made for the mass public, and what demands were put on a society by the new stories it was telling itself?  In this seminar we will study the eighteenth-century novel with an eye on what changes it pressed upon its readers with regard to how to construct value.  Was the value of gender and sexuality altered as writers constructed new and various stories for a hungry public? Was money itself changed as novels put it front and center, making coins and credit visible in a way that everyday life might not have?  How were people to be valued, now that characterization allowed one to study over time a particular person and then take that evaluative technique back to the world at large?  We will be reading across the century as we explore the shifting value of value itself, a topic sure to take us in a variety of directions.  Grading will consist of papers and oral presentations based upon individual research.


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