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Graduate Courses

 

SPRING 2023

ENG 607 001 Graduate Writing Workshop: Fiction
W 3:30 PM-6:00 PM
Andrew Milward 

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 Graduate Writing Workshop: Poetry
M 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Julia Johnson

Course description forthcoming.

 
ENG 607 003 Graduate Writing Workshop: CNF
F 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
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.  
 
 
ENG 608 001 The Craft of Writing: Digital Spaces
M 5:00 PM-7:30 PM
DaMaris Hill

This MFA Craft Writing Workshop: Creative Writing in Digital Spaces is an intensive craft writing 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. This craft writing workshop and course will explore 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 course 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).

 
ENG 611 001 Literature Teaching Seminar
R 5:00 PM-7:30 PM
Emily Shortslef

ENG 611 is the required course for graduate students wishing to teach classes in the UK literature curriculum. The seminar focuses on designing introductory-level courses (specifically ENG 130 and ENG 180) that fulfill core requirements and that meet the needs of non-major undergraduates. It is a “working course” and focuses on the creation of materials directed related to your practice as teachers.

 
ENG 722 001 Seminar in Renaissance Studies: Shakespeare's Rome
TR 12:30 PM-1:45 PM
Joyce MacDonald

The section of ENG 722 is subtitled “Shakespeare’s Rome”. Shakespeare sustains his fascination with Rome—its history, its heroes, its founding myths, its implications for his own time—from the 1590s through nearly the end of his career. He didn’t necessarily read widely about Rome, tending to stick to a small handful of favorite sources, but he thought deeply about what he did read, and freely jumped genres from romance to narrative poetry to tragedy as he sought to express the significance of moments in its movement from republic to empire. His Roman plays and poems are highly rhetorically conscious, marked by a concern with the powers and effects and styles of public speech. They consider how individuals rise to meet the political moments that can define them, and repeatedly return to the relationship between his characters’ private natures and the unpredictable demands of public life. Besides the five Roman plays and both narrative poems (because Venus and Adonis is profoundly Roman, too, although in a different way from the other works), we will read from Shakespeare’s sources in Livy, Ovid, Virgil, and Plutarch, as well as relevant secondary material. 

 
ENG 738 001 Seminar in Victorian Literature
R 2:00-PM 4:30 PM
Jill Rappoport

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 751 001 Seminar in Amer Lit: 1800-1860: Indian Removals and Futurities
R 1:00 PM-3:30 PM
Andy Doolen

This seminar focuses on Native American writing at a time when Native peoples were being forcibly removed from the eastern half of the United States.  We will examine the comprehensive efforts by the United States to eliminate Native peoples, such as the “trails of tears” of the 1830s, alongside Native strategies of accommodation and resistance. It was from within this context of elimination and survival that Native peoples produced a wide range of autobiographies, speeches, poetry, journalism, sermons, manifestos, and other forms of literature. In addition to exploring how nineteenth-century Native writers argued for the sovereignty of their people and contested the widespread belief in their impending extinction, this course looks ahead to the visions of “Indigenous futurity” in contemporary Native American Literature. During the final 4-6 weeks of the course, we will consider the different ways in which contemporary literature continues to provide a means of resisting assumptions of irrelevance and absence, of fostering awareness of ancestral lands and communities, and of claiming possible futures. Some of the authors will probably include William Apess, Black Hawk, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, John Rollin Ridge, George Copway, Zitkala-Sa, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joy Harjo, and N. Scott Momaday. 

 
ENG 753 001 Seminar in Amer Lit Since 1900: What Was Postmodernism?
T 5:00 PM-7:30 PM
Michael Trask

For some critics, postmodernism names an aesthetic movement that either refuses or extends the modernist project (or does both). For other critics, it names a historical period, from about 1960 to the moment in which we now find ourselves (an era that, according to the political theorist Francis Fukuyama, marks “the end of history”). For yet other critics, it names a philosophical position that favors relativism and pluralism over universals (or what the the French thinker Jean-Francois Lyotard calls “master narratives”). Some critics use the word “postmodernism” with approval (since its blending of high and low culture appears to capture a democratic spirit and to overthrow the despotism of elite taste). Other critics use the word to voice despair (since it appears to herald the absorption of all positions of critique or defiance into market society and to afford no alternative to capitalist domination). The overlap between these connotations of postmodernism will be the subject of our course. Ours will be a multimedia approach to the topic, with the aim of canvassing theories of postmodernism as well as literary, visual, and cinematic practices by postmodern artists.  We shall also look at some critics who ask whether we are “still” in postmodernism.  Texts will include excerpts from Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism, Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition, David Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity, Fred Moten's Undercommons, Sianne Ngai’s Our Aesthetic Categories, Robert Venturi’s Learning from Las Vegas, and Donna Haraway’s A Cyborg Manifesto. In addition we shall take up Andy Warhol’s Philosophy of Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger’s Remote Control, Octavia Butler's Dawn, Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, and works by Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman, Frank O’Hara, and other writers and artists.


 
ENG 781 001 Seminar in Film: Teaching Film
M 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Alan Nadel

This course will review the fundamental components of cinema, survey the major critical approaches to talking about them, discuss ways of creating lessons and devising assignments to help students grasp the fundamentals of film as an art form and to recognize the conventions of cinematic representation. We will also evaluate the pros and cons of a sampling of film textbooks. Our texts will include the MLA Publication Approaches to Teaching Film, and Bordwell, Thompson, and Staiger's The Classical Hollywood Cinema.






 
 

FALL 2022

ENG 601 001 ESSAYS & CREATIVE NONFICTION
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.


ENG 607 003 GRAD WRTNG WKSHP: CNF
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 611 LITERATURE TEACHING SEMINAR
R 5:00PM-7:30 PM
Emily Shortslef

ENG 611 is the required course for graduate students wishing to teach classes in the UK literature curriculum. The seminar focuses on designing introductory-level courses (specifically ENG 130 and ENG 180) that fulfill core requirements and that meet the needs of non-major undergraduates. It is a “working course” and focuses on the creation of materials directed related to your practice as teachers


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.


ENG 700 001 TUTORIAL FOR PHD CANDIDATES
R 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
Marion Rust

Course description forthcoming.


ENG 730 001 SEMINAR IN 18TH CENTURY LITERATURE
T 2:00
Michael Genovese

Course description forthcoming.


ENG 753 001 SEMINAR IN AMERICAN LITERATURE SINCE 1900
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.