Graduate Courses



Instructor: Pittard, Hannah

001: T 2-4:30pm

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 The Short Story. Admission is open to MFA fiction students only.


ENG 607: GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Nonfiction

Instructor: Eldred, Janet

002: T 5-7:30pm

A course for experienced writers who have some knowledge of contemporary American literature. Equal emphasis on students’ original work and outside reading. Each student will produce a chapbook of poems or stories [portfolio] and write a short introduction to it. May be repeated with the same subtitle to a maximum of six credits. Prereq: Consent of instructor.



Instructor: DaMaris Hill

401: W 5:30-8pm

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 only.


ENG 608: CRAFT OF WRITING: Ekphrastic Writing

Instructor: Reece, Erik

001: M 5-7:30pm

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. Our central command will be the UK Art Museum, and our primary source of inspiration will be the fall's Ralph Eugene Meatyard exhibit. Meatyard was a visionary Lexington photographer who has since gained international acclaim. In addition to other assignments, each student will create a written piece inspired by a particular work in that exhibit. We as a class will then compose and perform some as-yet-undetermined piece on the "Meatyard set" that will be housed in the museum. We will also produce some collective print artifact--again, to be determined by the class as a whole.



Instructor: TBD

001: W 3-5:30pm

A course in the theory and practice of teaching English composition at the college level. Required of first-year teaching assistants in the Department of English, the course is structured to match the ordering of English 101 so that the practical work of college writing and the theoretical considerations of English 609 will be mutually reinforcing.


ENG 638: STUDIES IN VICTORIAN LITERATURE: Bad Marriage and the Victorians

Instructor: Rappoport, Jill

001: TR 12:30-1:45pm

Critics (and film adaptations) have long been fascinated by the Victorian novel’s “marriage plot” and the cultural work it accomplishes: as a narrative resolution, it offers economic security and a form of vocation for many female characters who lack educational, professional, and financial resources. But numerous major texts from the period – novels such as A. Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Dickens’s Dombey and Son, Trollope’s He Knew He Was Right, and Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, poetry including Browning’s The Ring and the Book and Meredith’s Modern Love – turn the marriage plot on its head, disrupting readerly expectations in order to showcase domestic violence, sexual double standards, unjust custody laws, and the imbalances of social, legal, and economic power within marriage. By exploring the “bad marriage” of the period’s most canonical fiction, alongside some of the best critical work on Victorian family, gender, and law, we learn about the other forms of kinship the Victorians valued and rejected, about changing economic rights and opportunities for both women and men, and about the other kinds of narratives coexisting with and – made possible when we don’t read for – the telos of marriage.



Instructor: Nadel, Alan

001: T 5-7:30pm

This course will look at an array of American poets whose major work was done in the decades following WWII, with particular emphasis on the ways in which their work reflected and/or responded to the authors of high Modernism. The poets we examine will include: Richard Wilbur, Theodore Roethke, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, James Merrill, John Ashbery, Lucille Clifton, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka. Requirements: three short papers and a long research paper.


ENG 751: SEM AMER LIT: 1800-1860: Feeling Through Texts: Affect Studies and C-19 American Literature

Instructor: Sizemore, Michelle

001: T 2-4:30pm

Amid the “affective turn” sweeping the humanities and social sciences, scholars have increasingly focused their attention on questions of emotion, affect, and feelings in the study of nineteenth-century U.S. literature. Despite being a recognizable part of the critical argot—the term “affect” seems to occupy a spot in nearly every recent journal issue and conference brochure—affect studies calls for more precise mapping. Our task as a class is to bring these discussions to bear on the study of literature. We'll focus especially on narrative shape, the loci of emotion in and around literary texts, the production of readerly affect, and literature as a site for theorizing emotion. Our investigations will range across pleasurable states such as happiness and enchantment and “ugly feelings” such as envy and paranoia. We will unwrap the nineteenth-century cult of sentimentality; we will unravel backward-looking feelings like nostalgia, melancholy, and regret. Authors include: Lydia Maria Child, Catharine Sedgwick, Maria Cummings, George Lippard, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Wells Brown, and Elizabeth Keckley. It is worth emphasizing that this is an interdisciplinary seminar; a considerable portion of our readings will come from fields and disciplines that inform literary studies, including political theory, religious studies, cultural anthropology, feminist and queer theory, and critical race theory.


ENG 781: SEM IN FILM: History, Memory, War

Instructor: James, Pearl

001: F 2-4:30pm

This advanced graduate seminar will explore how film makers represent history, specifically war, and how their films create and convey impressions of realism and authenticity.  We will watch a film every week.  There will be short assignments aimed at developing skills of film analysis and a final research paper.


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