Graduate Courses


FALL 2022

F 2:30 PM-5:00 PM
Erik Reece

Not quite a creative writing workshop, not quite a literature seminar, this 12-week class (we’ll be done before Thanksgiving) will focus on a particular genre of nonfiction writing, the literary essay--essays written about or responding to literature and film. We’ll look at integrating cultural critique, literary criticism, film criticism, autobiographical and biographical writing, hybrid and braided forms. Each student will write a “intellectual autobiography,” along with two other pieces. Our principle texts will come from two of this country’s greatest literary essayists, Guy Davenport and Cynthia Ozick.  

ENG 607 001 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Fiction
M 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
DaMaris Hill

This MFA Fiction Workshop is an intensive workshop for MFA fiction students and others. This creative writing workshop explores fiction writing and literary craft. This workshop will introduce/reintroduce writers to some of the various elements of fiction writing. In addition to the elements of fiction, our workshop will consider how craft and content collide in prose works. In addition, this workshop will explore narrative theories that are evident in traditional and contemporary fiction. Therefore, some twenty-first century writers and narrative arts associated with contemporary literary writing will be discussed. The course will also challenge writers to critique and create fiction and prose writings. This course will focus on short fiction forms, but writers engaging in longer prose forms like novels and memoir will benefit from this workshop.  Traditional forms and experimentation are welcome.

ENG 607 002 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Poetry
M 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Frank Walker

Course description forthcoming.

W 3:30 PM-6:00 PM
Andrew Milward

This is a graduate level course in creative nonfiction writing open only to MFA students. The class will follow the workshop model, and therefore student work, and the intensive discussion of same, will be our main focus; however, we will supplement this with careful study of professional writers and/or craft essays. Students will be required to share at least two new pieces, as well as a revision and a paper about the revision process.  

ENG 608 001 CRAFT OF WRITING: Ekphrastic Writing
M 5:00 PM-7:30 PM
Erik Reece

The oldest human paintings we know of, those in the caves at Lascaux, France, are about 12,000 years older than the first written language. But at least since the time of Homer’s description of Achilles’ shield in the Iliad, poets and writers have been describing (ekphrasis) works of art. In this course we will examine a great variety of writerly responses to visual art. We will look at the three genres of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, and we will consider many sub-genres within those forms. These will include autobiography, criticism, prose poems, lyric essays, short stories, novels, persona poems, and more. The UK Art Museum will be our home base for these writerly explorations. We will create ekphrastic responses to visual art that are personal, political, cultural, hermeneutical, biographical, speculative and more.  

ENG 651 001 STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE 1860: Aesthetics & Politics
R 5:00 PM-7:30 PM
Michelle Sizemore

This seminar joins aesthetics and political theory in an investigation of democracy across the long nineteenth century. Throughout the semester, we will ask how aesthetics and politics are mutually constitutive, paying special attention to the role of form, feeling, and fiction in the ideation of democratic concepts and institutions. We will approach familiar ideas such as citizenship, popular sovereignty, and “the people” in surprising ways and tour unexpected terrain such as political theology, democratic taste, and democratic feelings. While we will explore an array of topics over sixteen weeks, our discussions will build on the same broad set of questions: What are democracy’s forms and fictions? What are the political dimensions of emotions? How are aesthetics deployed in times of crisis? What can the study of form, feeling, imagination, pleasure, and taste offer to the study of race, racism, and racial reckoning? It is worth emphasizing that this is an interdisciplinary course; a considerable portion of our readings will come from fields and disciplines that inform literary studies, including political theory, aesthetic theory, affect theory, feminist and queer theory, and critical race theory. Writers may include Charles Brockden Brown, Catharine Sedgwick, Alexis DeTocqueville, John Neal, Victor Sejour, Edgar Allan Poe, Maria Cummins, William Wells Brown, Elizabeth Keckley, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, and more.

R 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Marion Rust

Course description forthcoming.

T 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Jill Rappoport

Course description forthcoming.

T 2:00 PM-4:30 PM 
Jeff Clymer

In this seminar, we will study key twentieth-century US literary texts within the historical and theoretical paradigm known as “Critical Finance Studies.” Also sometimes called the “New History of Capitalism,” current work at the nexus of literature and economics explores the roles that credit, debt, and risk have played in American literary and social history. We will range in this class from early-twentieth century anxieties about speculation and bankers’ secret control of the economy to the outpouring of recent literature after the 2008 financial crisis that grappled with the increasing abstraction of finance and its resultant inequities in society. No advanced understanding of finance or economics is required – only an interest in how authors represented the social effects of money’s fascinating circulation in the United States.  Reading list will include works such as Frank Norris, The Pit; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth; Theodore Dreiser, The Financier; Edwin Lefèvre, Wall Street Stories; Jonathan Dee, The Privileges; Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis; and Robert Harris, The Fear Index, as well as theorists and historians of modern capitalism.  

ENG 771 001 SEMINAR IN SPECIAL TOPICS: Contemporary African American Literature
R 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Regina Hamilton-Townsend

Contemporary African American literature often includes texts published as far back as the 1970s and 1980s. In this course I am going to shrink this timetable to only include African American literature published in the twenty-first century. Interestingly, that still gives us twenty(two) years of novels, movies, music, and video games to engage in this course. Though every era is intimately connected to the one before, maybe through the forms, settings, and characters central to twenty-first black media, we can begin to consider some of the distinct contours of a twenty-first century version of black aesthetics. Are there now true differences between the issues and/or discursive responses of twentieth and twenty-first century black Americans? My hope is that through critically engaging texts, movies, and music by Jesmyn Ward, Kiese Laymon, Rivers Solomon, Colson Whitehead, Janelle Monae, Jordan Peele, and others, we might begin to answer that question. In addition, to help frame our discussions of contemporary black cultural productions, we will also read theoretical texts from within Black Studies that were published during this same twenty-year period. Hopefully, these theoretical texts will give us the necessary vocabulary and the necessary context to critique any patterns we might find.  

ENG 781 001 SEMINAR IN FILM: Third Cinema to Global South Cinema
TR 12:30 PM-1:45 PM
Kamahra Ewing

Course description forthcoming.


ENG 607 001 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Fiction
Andrew Milward
W 4:00

This is a graduate level course in fiction writing open only to MFA students. The class will follow the workshop model, and therefore student work, and the intensive discussion of same, will be our main focus; however, we will supplement this with careful study of professional writers and/or craft essays. Students will be required to share at least two new pieces, as well as a revision and a paper about the revision process.

ENG 607 002 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Poetry
Frank X Walker
W 4:00

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 established and contemporary poets and focus on sharpening their critical eye, fine-tuning their voice, and building towards a finely honed body of work of original poems. Students will attend assigned public or virtual literary events, and practice writing life in the real world by organizing and planning a public reading that utilizes the latest media and technology.
ENG 607 003 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Craft of Telling True Stories
Erik Reece
F 2:00 (Meets with ENG 608)

Description forthcoming.

ENG 608 CRAFT OF WRITING: Craft of Telling True Stories
Erik Reece
F 2:00 (Meets with ENG 607 003)

Description forthcoming.
Emily Shortslef
W 4:30

This is the required course for graduate students wishing to teach classes in the UK literature curriculum. The seminar focuses on designing introductory-level courses that fulfill core requirements at a large university and that meet the needs of non-major undergraduates. It is, therefore, a “working course” and focuses on the creation of materials directed related to your practice as teachers: syllabuses, lesson plans, statements of teaching philosophy. We will attend to such issues as: syllabus design (course focus, text selection); teaching strategies; grading; and ways of attending to student needs.
Jill Rappoport
T 2:00

Description forthcoming.
Kamahra Ewing
TR 12:30

This course surveys Black literary perspectives from the 1700s to the present. African American literary works are prime examples of African diaspora experiences as one of resistance, resilience, creativity, and ingenuity that imbues multi-faceted methods of survival. The texts within the course will primarily concentrate on Africana experiences in the Americas and the Caribbean. Examining the world through Black perspectives will take us on an exciting journey, beginning with slave narratives, the New Negro, the Harlem Renaissance, Modernism, Black Arts Movement, and Postmodernism. Examining cultural productions such as literary texts, poetry, art, and film we will delve into the divergent and convergent Afro-Americana /Caribbean experiences vis-à-vis the intersections of race, nation, politics, cultural production, religion, language, gender, class, sexuality, and social inequalities to unravel deeper layers of humanity. Some of the potential authors (but not limited) to cover the course themes are Phillis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass, Harriet A. Jacobs, W.E.B. DuBois, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Audre Lorde, Zora Neale Hurston, Gayl Jones, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Jordan Brower
M 2:00

This course will introduce students to the relations between art and industry within what has been variously called “Old Hollywood,” “The Golden Age of American Cinema,” and, perhaps most famously, contentiously, and interestingly, “Classical Hollywood.” The bulk of the course will trace the trajectory from the transition to sound to the impending collapse of the studio system (The Jazz Singer (1927) to Singin’ in the Rain (1952)), while attending to major theoretical and historiographical debates over topics including systematicity, authorship, censorship, genre, and stardom. Prior familiarity with film studies will be helpful but is not required.

Andy Doolen
R 2:00

Over the course of the semester, we will consider how a diverse group of authors engage the histories of colonization, settlement, nation-building, and the expulsion of American Indians from their homelands. You will be introduced to some of the critical and theoretical approaches that have been redefining our understanding of American literature and culture during the nineteenth century. This is an American Studies-style seminar, so you will be reading across other fields and disciplines and learning new subjects and ideas.  Requirements include weekly response papers and a final paper. 

ENG 771 001 SEMINAR IN SPECIAL TOPICS: Cultural Studies: Literature and Media Analysis
Alan Nadel
ENG 771 T 4:30

Focusing on the concept of “cultural narratives,” this course will provide an introduction to cultural studies by looking at a combination of key theoretical texts and exemplary critical analyses. We will examine how cultures are constructed and delimited according to the referential cogency of historically specific narratives as they provide sites of identification, facilitate modes of negotiation, and establish representational economies. Our central text will be Cultural Studies by Chris Barker (3rd edition) and Narrative Knowing and the Human Sciences by Donald E. Polkinghorne, and Mythologies by Roland Barthes. Required: three short (800-word) papers and an article-length (6000 to 8000 words) scholarly essay.




FALL 2021

Janet Carey Eldred


DaMaris B. Hill

This MFA poetry workshop is an intensive workshop for MFA poetry students. Our focus will be on your own poems, and we will consider a selection of contemporary books of poetry and explore strategies for imaging new possibilities for your own work. This course challenges you to take risks as a poet and encourages you to experiment wildly. Admission is open to MFA students and other students by permission. Each student will produce a chapbook of poems (short themed portfolio) and write a short introduction that describes his/her chapbook.


Crystal Wilkinson

This is a fiction workshop for students enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing program. You will be writing approximately 45-60 pages of fiction (about three short stories) during the semester. As a courtesy to your fellow writers please adhere to the 20-page maximum per story. Novel chapters can also be submitted. You will also be reading three or four works of fiction for insights into craft. “How did reading this contribute to my education as a writer” will be the core reflection on reading each published piece. You will give a presentation on a craft topic that’s relevant to your own writing. All fiction writers enrolled in the MFA program will be admitted to the workshop, but if you are not enrolled in the MFA program please email for permission. Our workshop will focus on 1) Articulating criticism in a constructive manner; 2) Compiling a revision list; 3)Contributing to a community of writers.


ENG 608 CRAFT OF WRITING: The Art of the Sentence   
Hannah Pittard

And after all, the weather was ideal. –K. Mansfield
One day Karen DeCilia put a few observations together and realized her husband Frank was sleeping with a real estate woman in Boca. –E. Leonard
Every so often that dead dog dreams me up again. –J. Williams
If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.The Magnificent Seven

“It’s not the thought that counts,” says Stanley Fish. “The conventional wisdom is that content comes first—‘you have to write about something’ is the usual commonplace—but if what you want to do is learn how to compose sentences, content must take a backseat to a mastery of the forms without which you can’t say anything in the first place.”

In this class, we will read sentences. We will argue over what compels us, irritates us, moves us to tears. We will construct sentences of our own. We will defend them, scrutinize them, revise them sometimes to excess and sometimes not at all. We will read. We will write. We will discuss.


Marion Rust

This course approaches a range of early American texts through the lens of late 20th and early 21st-century intersectional feminist discourse in order to shed new light on old work as well as reflect upon the relevance of early American narrative to our present world. It pairs recent theoretical and critical readings with a variety of works produced in “the long early America.” Literary texts may include: poetry by elite settler colonialist Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) and enslaved Black celebrity Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784); novels such as the pseudonymously authored The Female American: or, The Adventures of Unca Eliza Winkfield (1767), Leonora Sansay’s Secret History; or the Horrors of St. Domingo (1808), Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859), and Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes, Or, Thirty Years and Slave, and Four Years in the White House (1868); and nonfiction by late 18th-century midwife Martha Ballard, early 19th-century Methodist political and religious leader William Apess (Pequot), and mid-19th-century abolitionist women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth. Some feminist theory, such as Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny (2018) and Carol Pateman’s The Sexual Contract (1988) assigned in conjunction with Charles Mill’s The Racial Contract (2014), will bear only indirectly on early American literature. Other feminist criticism, such as Marisa Fuentes’ Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive, Samantha Pinto’s Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights, UK English Professor Nazera Wright’s Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century, and Lisa Brooks’ Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, will engage our primary reading directly. This seminar will be useful to students preparing for teaching positions in American Literature, Gender and Women’s Studies, African American and Africana Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. It will also allow for original research making use of the expansive early American digital archive. Historicist and aesthetic approaches will be intertwined throughout the course – more accurately, they will be treated as inextricable. Assignments include a final research paper and willingness to lead one class session.


Michael Trask


ENG 722 SEMINAR IN RENAISSANCE STUDIES: Shakespeare, Race, and Performance   
Joyce M. MacDonald


Regina Hamilton


ENG 781 SEMINAR IN FILM: War and Film
Pearl James