Graduate Courses




ENG 607 001 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Poetry
M 5:00 Julia M. Johnson

ENG 607 002 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Fiction
M 5:00 Crystal E. 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 
Articulating criticism in a constructive manner;
Compiling a revision list;
Contributing to a community of writers.
ENG 607 003 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: Creative Nonfiction
W 3:30 Erik Reece

The goal of this course is to make art out of experience. A successful piece of creative nonfiction should make the world appear a more intense and interesting place than its reader previously imagined. Anthropologists tell us that the very first stories were told by hunter-gatherers, sitting in a circle, around a fire. They were stories of the hunt, and they bound the tribe together with ties that were, I would argue along with the philosopher Richard Rorty, stronger than the laws that came much later. In other words, we are a storytelling species. Story is vital to who we are. In this class, we will replicate that early storytelling. We will sit in a circle and talk very thoroughly and helpfully about how to tell true stories and how to help each other tell the best stories possible. Story builds solidarity—that was Rorty’s notion. In this course, we will aim for solidarity among ourselves and with our readers. The excellent American nonfiction writer Rebecca Solnit has said: “Nonfiction is the whole realm from investigative journalism to prose poems, from manifestoes to love letters, from dictionaries to packing lists.” She goes on: “This territory to which I am, officially, consigned couldn’t be more spacious, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be free to roam its expanses.” The “fourth genre” of creative nonfiction, this redheaded step-child, is spacious, and in this class we will explore that varied terrain. Major American novelists and poets are turning to the fourth genre more and more. This course will be designed with that in mind. That is to say, it will be aimed at fiction writers and poets in the MFA program who wish to explore a secondary genre as a way of achieving writing goals that may only exist outside fiction and poetry. And who wish to maybe make a little money.
ENG 608 001 CRAFT OF WRITNG: Creative Writing in Digital Spaces
M 2:00 DaMaris B. Hill
This MFA craft workshop is an intensive workshop for MFA students to explore creative writing in digital spaces. Our focus will be on your own work.  In addition, we will consider a selection of contemporary twenty-first century literatures and explore strategies for imaging new possibilities for your own work. This course challenges you to take risks as a writer and encourages you to experiment wildly. Creative Writing in Digital Spaces is a creative writing workshop and course that explores creative composition and literary arts in digital spaces. We will meet once a week to consider the ways technology influences our writing, considering both content and craft. This class will create and explore the different theories and mediums writers employ in digital spaces. Because some theorize that creative writing in digital spaces is a new genre, this course will explore how digital writing and electronic tools serve as a source of inspiration for a variety of twenty-first century literatures. The course will challenge students to critique and create writing in any genre and digital platform they choose (poetry, prose, or other). 
W 3:30 Jordan Brower

This seminar prepares graduate students to teach literature classes at the University of Kentucky and elsewhere. It offers instruction and guidance in curriculum design, syllabus creation, reading and work exercises, and more. Students develop a portfolio of course materials and refine skills for teaching literature and film at the introductory as well as advanced levels of an undergraduate curriculum. This course is not a requirement for completing the Ph.D. degree, but it is required for graduate instructors to be approved to teach their own introductory- level literature and film classes in the University of Kentucky English Department curriculum.
T 2:00 Jill Rappoport

Poetic Transformations, 1830-1900. 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. 
ENG 660 001 MODERN CRITICAL THEORY: From the Black Atlantic to Postcolonial Melancholy
R 5:00 Kamahra Ewing

Do Enlightenment philosophical (i.e. Kant, Hegel, and Marx) perspectives regarding Africana communities still matter? Under the guise of modernity, how do Black communities challenge and critique the right to be human around the Atlantic? This course will focus on the historical (re)creation of Africana identity both inside and outside of the continent; primarily during the 20th and 21st century. The African Diaspora (ie. Butler, Gomez, and Zeleza), the Black Atlantic (Gilroy, Ferris, DuBois, Cesaire, and Fanon) and the postcolonial (Gilroy, Bhabha, Said, Mbembe, Mudimbe, Ferguson) theoretical frameworks will assist to deconstruct Black/African identit(ies) worldwide. Accordingly, throughout the semester we will delve into some of the following themes: authenticity, representation, socio-political movements, citizenship, cultural retentions (continuities), cultural productions, cultural formations (Creole, hybrid) resistance, resilience, slavery, colonialism, development, modernization, and violence. The final research project, course readings, and class discussions will assist students to understand how the social sciences and humanities utilize the African Diaspora and postcolonial theoretical frameworks as methodologies to examine local, national, and international communities.
ENG 771 001 SEMINAR IN SPECIAL TOPICS Seminar in Special Topics: Black Girlhood
R 2:00 Nazera S. Wright

This course examines how black writers used black girls as tools to put forward their social and political agendas. Often these agendas touched upon national issues of concern to the black community, such as safety and survival during the decades when the Fugitive Slave Act was in effect, strategies for achieving full citizenship rights, working for the abolition of slavery, finding work in the post–Civil War industrialized North, and crafting strategies for educating the next generation. Just as often, writers relied upon black girls as emblems of home and family. Whatever platform they chose for their writing, the black girls they wrote about appeared to carry stories of warning and hope, concern and optimism, struggles and success. Students will read canonical and rarely read texts that include articles from the early black press, autobiographies, short stories, speeches, novels, conduct books, and visual images that feature representations of black girls as models for achieving cultural legitimacy. In mining this rich archive of early African American texts, this course seeks to challenge the longstanding argument that racial discourse has figured black citizenship and racial progress as masculine from the early nineteenth century onward. As we trace shifts in representations of black girlhood across literary history, students will consider key questions: Why did nineteenth century black writers convey racial inequality, poverty, and discrimination through the prism of black girlhood? Why did black writers and activists emphasize certain types of girls? What tropes can we identify in the early literature of black girlhood? Where do these girlhood tropes originate? Readings will include articles on black girlhood from the early black press, “Theresa, A Haytien Tale” (1828), Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig (1859), Maria W. Stewart’s “The First Stage of Life” (1861), Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), William Steward’s “The Gem of the Alley” (1878), Frances E. W. Harper’s Trial and Triumph (1888-1889), Gertrude Bustill Mossell’s Little Dansie’s One Day at Sabbath School (1902), E. Azalia Hackley’s The Colored Girl Beautiful (1916), Wallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry (1929), Zora Neale Hurston’s Dust Tracks on a Road (1942), Gwendolyn Brooks’s Annie Allen (1949) and Maud Martha (1953), Paule Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959), Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970), artwork by Kara Walker, and Simone Leigh’s Brick House (2019). To frame class discussions, we will engage a wide selection of critical scholarship on black girlhood. Course requirements include a detailed presentation in which each student selects a day to lead class discussion and a 25 paged seminar paper.

ENG 781 001 SEMINAR IN FILM: 21st-Century American War Films
T 5:00 Alan M Nadel

This course exams two genres of American war film that have emerged in the 21st Century, reflecting cultural narratives that inform the concept of international war and the modes of resistance to the warfare state in the first and second decades of the century. The first genre, which emerged shortly after President Bush’s declaration of “Mission Accomplished,” includes Jarhead, The Hurt Locker, Redacted, The Green Zone, American Sniper, 13 Hours, Hacksaw Ridge, and Dunkirk. We will also look at the cultural narratives informing these films, as they are reflected in other works, including the first season of LOST, as well as Get Out, Us, Deepwater Horizon, Sully, and Captain Phillips. In addition to readings about film and about contemporary cultural history, you will be required to write three short (800-word) analytic papers, make a conference-style presentation, and produce a publishable length (6000 to 9000 words) research paper.



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