Undergraduate Courses

 

Fall 2020 Courses

For Undergraduate Curriculum click here

 

 

ENG 100 ORIENTATION TO THE ENGLISH MAJOR

Michelle R. Sizemore

This course serves as an orientation to the benefits and requirements of majoring in English. You will learn about multiple literary traditions, including American literature, African American literature, British literature, Creative Writing, and Film. You will meet professors, learn how to earn honors and do internships in English, hear about fellowships and study abroad opportunities, and discover different careers for English majors. You will get to know fellow English majors and have the chance to get involved with extra-curricular activities in the English Department. In addition to providing practical know-how, this class raises philosophical and conceptual questions for our consideration and discussion throughout the semester, questions guided by a collection of short readings. Why is it important to study language, literature, and the humanities? How will the English major prepare you for life and a career in the 21st century? This class will put you on a track to excel and get the most out of your major.

ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Janet Carey Eldred

An introduction to the genres and craft of creative writing, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students will study and practice writing in various modes through composition, peer critique, and research. Lecture or lecture with discussion section. Offers credit for the UK Core requirement in Intellectual Inquiry in Arts & Creativity. Fulfills ENG pre-major requirement and provides ENG minor credit.


ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Andrew Malan Milward

This course is an introduction to three genres of creative writing: fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Students will first learn the craft elements unique to each genre by reading widely from professional examples before applying that knowledge toward the composition of their own original stories, essays, and poems. Students will meet both in a large lecture class and in smaller breakout sessions where their creative works will be discussed and critiqued. This course fulfills the UK Core requirement for Intellectual Inquiry in Arts & Creativity.

 
ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Michael W. Carter
 
This introductory course in creative writing will explore the various genre: we will play with poetry, fiddle with fiction and nonfiction, as well as grace our souls with other genre. The class will read and discuss literature in various delightful forms to help us understand technique and voice, and practice writing and critiquing our own writing. We will often work in small groups (depending on the number enrolled) as a workshopping method for finding our voices as writers, and for helping our classmates find theirs. By the semester’s end, we will have a mini portfolio of writing.
 
ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Frank X Walker

ENG 107 is designed to offer an introduction to the genres and craft of imaginative writing, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students will study and practice writing in various modes through composition, peer critique, and research. This is an introductory course in creative writing for the novice. Participants will examine, discuss and put into practice how poetry and prose can express ideas and emotions. Classes will consist of large lectures, discussions, and crafting and reviews in required smaller groups. Some sessions will occur on line. 
 
ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Erik A. Reece

This is an introductory course in creative writing, one meant to both invite students into the world of contemporary literature and to participate in that rich experience. This class aims to familiarize students with 1) the basic elements of creative writing and 2) three genres: fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Students will be asked to both read actively by mastering the terms of literary analysis and write imaginatively by using the texts we study as models. Upper level creative writing courses at American universities usually operate as workshops where a small group of students sit in a circle and talk animatedly about one another’s writing. ENG 107 is obviously too large for that. However, importantly, there will be a workshop component to this course. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we will meet as a large group to discuss the elements of creative writing. We will talk about key concepts and methods, and we will examine how important contemporary writers employ these concepts and methods. That is to say, we will look closely at works of literature to determine why they have an effect on us. On Fridays, teaching assistants will lead workshops for each of the four sections of this class. During that hour, students will present and receive feedback on their own pieces of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. By the end of the course, you will have produced a body of work in which you can take pride and will have prepared yourself to move on to upper-level creative writing classes, if that is your goal. If it is not, this class aims to prepare you for being an engaged, appreciative, life-long student of creative writing—also known as literature. ENG 107 satisfies the objectives and outcomes delineated by the Intellectual Inquiry into Arts and Creativity of the UKCore Curriculum, the primary emphasis of which is to define and distinguish different approaches to creativity, demonstrate the ability to critically analyze work produced by other students, and evaluate results of their own creative endeavors.
 
ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Titus William Chalk
 
This course will dive into the nuts and bolts of three literary genres, namely fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Together, we will develop the craft tools to read and write better, producing work in all three genres, leading up to a final portfolio of original writing. More than that, though, we will equip ourselves to create meaning in a chaotic universe and begin to define our place in it. This course also fulfils the UK Core requirement for Intellectual Inquiry in Arts & Creativity. What’s not to love?
 
ENG 107 INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE WRITING
Michael McEwen

An introduction to the genres and craft of creative writing, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students will study and practice writing in various modes through composition, peer critique, and research. Lecture or lecture with discussion section. Offers credit for the UK Core requirement in Intellectual Inquiry in Arts & Creativity. Provides ENG minor credit.
 
 
ENG 130 LITERARY ENCOUNTERS: Speculative Fiction
Matthew W. Godbey
 
This course will introduce you to the world of speculative fiction and film from a variety of genres. As a category, speculative is intentionally broad and allows us to range far and wide through the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and myriad other genres. What unites the stories is a compelling vision of the world that is slightly off, idiosyncratic, or just plain weird. In all, there is a sense of play and a desire for visions of the world that inspire awe and wonder while also helping us see the real world from a new perspective. 
 
ENG 130 LITERARY ENCOUNTERS: Villains
Michael E. Genovese
 
How often have you been reading a book and the bad guy seems so much more appealing than the forces of good? Or how often have you wondered whether the villain in the book is really so guilty of wrongdoing? Is the "good guy" really so clearly beyond reproach? In this course we will explore plays, novels, short stories, and poems in which villains clearly emerge, but our goal will be to look beyond good and evil. What is the nature of the villainy? What is its significance? Does the bad character represent something bigger than himself, or is he an anomaly?  Is evil always some version of the same thing, or does it work differently depending on the context? How does the literature contain the threat he or she poses, and are you buying it? Readings will be drawn from British and American sources from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. The class will feature a few papers as well as a midterm and final exam.
 
ENG 130 LITERARY ENCOUNTERS: Beginnings
Jill Naomi Rappoport

This course introduces students to literary works of various styles that deal with current subjects and creative applications. Topics vary by semester and are chosen to give a broad-based understanding of literary works, genres, creative techniques, or cultural trends (e.g., Literature and Other Art Forms; Film, Art, & Social Protest; Creative Writing, Mixed Media, & Social Media). See departmental listings for different offerings per semester. Provides ENG Major or Minor Elective credit.
 
ENG 130 LITERARY ENCOUNTERS: Banned Books: From Huckleberry to Harry
Michael W. Carter
 
Why are school districts and some parents afraid of Harry Potter, Huckleberry Finn or others? Why are certain works and their characters’ words either avoided or expurgated to gain admittance into the corridors of high schools and libraries? This course will read these works and examine the historical and cultural reasons for the books’ being challenged in the past or today. Poems such as Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and Ginsberg’s “Howl” have rallied opponents to suppress their inclusion in anthologies. We’ll try to redeem or reject these texts through close readings and research into the complaints about the books and into the themes of the texts. Coursework will include readings and two 5-7 analytical essays, one collaborative project, as well as shorter writing assignments.
 
ENG 171 GLOBAL LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
Peter J. Kalliney
 
In 1827, JW von Goethe famously said, "National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach."  Despite Goethe's demand that we read literature in a global context, the study of literature in English continues to be dominated by British and American examples.  What would a course on global literature in English look like?  To what extent is English now a global language, no longer the property of any national group?  How has fiction contributed to this process?  This experiment in reading extra-national literature turns to some of the language's most compelling writers of fiction--such as James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, and V.S. Naipaul--to explore the idea of global citizenship and cosmopolitan English.  The course will consider how 20th- and 21st-Century writers approach the problem of belonging to, and being excluded from, national territories and nationalist affiliations.  Examinations, quizzes, writing assignments, attendance and participation, and level of preparedness will be used to evaluate student performance.
 
ENG 180 GREAT MOVIES: The American 70s
John D. Howell
 
The decade of the 70s was certainly one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- in American film history.  This course will feature movies from that amazing decade, ranging from familiar popular and critical hits such as The Godfather through early masterworks by directors such as Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman, as well as great work from Terrence Malick, Steven Spielberg, and others.  Obviously you’ll need to know some historical context for the films -- the emergence of youth counter-culture and the war in Vietnam, e.g. -- as well as some film history, and you’ll need to understand  and use terms pertaining to basic elements of film art, including mise-en-scène, editing, cinematography, sound, film genres, and the narrative structures of films..  But primarily we’ll be watching great movies, examining what we’re seeing, and thinking about how and why the movies work as they do.  Short quizzes, Friday online writing assignments, Midterm exam, Final exam.
 
ENG 180 GREAT MOVIES: Popular African Films
Kamahra Ewing

The course explores the representation of African countries during the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods. Students will be introduced to African cinema as a visual artistic medium in a non-Western context through technical, formal, and content analysis. As a methodology both films and documentaries will be analyzed as texts to examine visual representations of African identity from famous movie directors such as: Osumane Sembene, Haile Gerima, and Tunde Kelani. We will discuss the different aesthetic forms and genres chosen by the filmmakers (i.e. social realism, avant-gardism, magical realism, melodrama, etc.) and also look at the types of social critiques the films engage in as they engage with topics such as gender politics, polygamy, migration, corruption, occultism, human rights, homosexuality, economic crisis, and Westernization. Students will develop critical and analytical skills necessary for assessing visual media. By the end of the semester, students will understand the ways that aesthetics, politics, history, and economics are all integral to understanding the complexity of African cinema. For the final projects students will creatively enter the history of one African country and present findings in a creative artistic way through visual media, podcasts, storyboards, and / or through another artistic means. 
 
ENG 180 GREAT MOVIES: The Hitchcock Thriller
Walter C. Foreman
 
This course will examine "the Hitchcock Thriller," looking at (probably) ten movies directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) and five movies influenced by his style.  The Hitchcock Thriller: always there is suspense and always an interest in manipulating his audience's reactions: arousing and releasing our anxieties, expectations, and fears as we follow his characters through dangerous situations that may involve threatened innocence, unexpected adventure, espionage, romance, and excursions into the dark sides of human nature.  But also there is usually humor.  Most of Hitchcock's movies (and all of the movies in this course) enmesh innocent persons unexpectedly in perilous situations and watch how (and if?) they can extricate themselves (or be extricated).  The movies also examine the very nature of "innocence" and its relation to . . . guilt.  And we should ask: since these movies are so enjoyable, what is it that makes danger . . . fun?
 
ENG 191 LITERATURE AND THE ARTS OF CITIZENSHIP: Immigrant Narratives - This is My Home (Now)
Jennifer Leigh Murray
 
Immigration and the ethnic and cultural makeup of the United States is a hot button political topic in our current moment.  It isn’t, however, a new debate. Who belongs and who doesn’t has been at issue since the earliest days of the republic. This UK Core course examines citizenship and belonging through an intersectional lens that includes conceptions of race, class, gender, ability, and national origin as modes of inclusion or exclusion from full participation in American society. Our reading list will present multiple perspectives of what it means to (try to be) an active member of American society and what obstacles one may face in doing so, including how race and ethnicity become the basis of inequality, oppression, and privilege.  The literature -- stories, poems, plays, essays, and political writings -- we read will offer a backdrop of voices through which we will begin to consider the many and varied ways in which individuals experience life in America.
 
ENG 207 BEG WKSHP CRTV WRT: Poetry
Gabrielle Elise Oliver
 
In this course, we will identify and explore the fundamentals of how to workshop poetry. We will accomplish this by consistently writing and taking time to reflect on and respond to each other’s poems, both inside and outside of class. In workshopping the poems of classmates, we will learn how to thoughtfully and respectfully provide each other with constructive feedback, before revising our work. As a group, we will together read a few contemporary books of poetry in order to identify how modern poets construct their writing and how to build poetry collections with centralized themes and/or forms. At the end of the course, students will present their workshopped and revised poems to the class in a final portfolio.
 
ENG 207 BEG WKSHP CRTV WRT: Digital Spaces
DaMaris B. Hill

Beginner’s Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Creative Writing in Digital Spaces is a creative writing workshop and course that explores creative composition and literary arts in digital spaces. This course will introduce or reintroduce students to the intersections of technology and literature by surveying literature and creative expression in digital spaces. This class will create and explore the different theories and mediums authors may employ in digital spaces. The course will challenge students to critique and create works of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction in digital spaces. The course will also discuss how and why authors choose to express themselves using multimedia and texts in digital environments. The course will emphasize the constraints and freedoms associated with digital composition and literary practices. Mediums and genres to be discussed include digital story telling, online literary journals, blogs, vlogs, twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and electronic literature source. The course will also require students to create a portfolio of digital writing. The theoretical aspects of this course will demonstrate how digital writing and tools serve as a source of inspiration for a variety of twenty-first century literatures.
 
ENG 207 BEG WKSHP CRTV WRT: Fiction
Gavin Paul Colton

ENG 207 is a beginning course focusing on the art and craft of fiction writing. In this course, students will learn the building blocks of fiction through the exploration of core craft elements, as well as through the careful study of stories by a diverse range of  contemporary writers. Our chief objective is in learning how to read works of fiction critically and how to revise our own work in progress. Students are expected to engage regularly in class discussion about the works we read and their own works. In this class students will also compose fictional works of their own. This class follows the workshop model, so students should expect to have their work discussed and critiqued by the class in both small and large groups.
 
ENG 207 BEG WKSHP CRTV WRT: Screenwriting
John D. Howell
 
In this small and personalized class you’ll be reading and studying screenplays, watching film clips, and reading various short .pdf's to help you develop a working familiarity with screenplay format, narrative structures, characters, settings, dialogue etc.  Most of that familiarity will be generated through writing you’ll do both in and out of class, which will include some specialized forms and -- necessarily and most importantly -- a screenplay for a short film or a portion of a feature-length film.  The class will also require cooperative activities such as group-work on various pieces of writing as well as workshopping as much as we can manage, especially as the semester progresses and you’re submitting your screenplay material.  Grades will be based on timely submission of the various writing assignments, participation, and a Portfolio containing revised screenwriting work.
 
ENG 230 INTRO TO LIT: 21st-century literary studies
Janet Carey Eldred
 
This section of ENG 230 has been reserved for English majors. Together, we’ll explore the intersections of the broad field of English: texts/culture; literature/creative writing; print/film. While the reach of English is global—and there is a great world of English literature outside the U.S.—we’ll be focusing on (mostly) 19th- through 21st-century U.S. examples. That said, expect for texts to take us outside of hard borders. Expect also to end each class with these 3 questions: What questions does the text/author prompt you to ask? What affinities/curiosities can you find in the text? What would you like to explore more had you more time?
 
ENG 230 INTRO TO LIT: Plot Twists and Subverted Expectations
Kathryn J. McClain
 
Commentary on contemporary American popular culture often considers the impact of “subverted audience expectations,” with franchises such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones successfully surprising audiences while not always satisfying them. Should an audience be able to guess the next plot point, or should creators strive to rewrite expectations? And what makes for a successful plot twist in the first place? In this course, we will explore a variety of unpredictable American novels, short stories, drama, film, and television in order to consider narrative expectations in regard to genre, race, gender, and class. Students will complete written analysis on historical and cultural contexts for different plot twists, produce additional examples to share with the class, and create a final digital project. Content will include writing from authors such as Mark Twain, Octavia E. Butler, and Charles Chesnutt, as well as films by directors such as Jordan Peele and Rian Johnson.  
 
ENG 241 SURVEY OF BRITISH LITERATURE
Matthew C. Giancarlo
 
A survey of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the later seventeenth century, with emphasis on different genres, periods, and cultural characteristics of the early English literary tradition. Texts and authors covered may include Beowulf and Old English elegiac poetry; Middle English poetry and selections from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; Renaissance lyrics, sonnets, and narrative poetry; the drama of Shakespeare; selections from John Milton's Paradise Lost; and more. Fulfills ENG major Historical Survey Requirement and Early Period requirement. Provides ENG minor credit. Credit will not be given to students who already have credit for ENG 331.
 
ENG 242 Survey of British Literature II
Lisa Zunshine
 
English 242 is the second part of the British literature survey, covering the period from the late seventeenth to the twentieth century, focusing on the cultural history of literature and on major genres and authors. We’ll start with a Restoration comedy, move on to a novel doubling as a criminal autobiography, and conclude with a play about mistaken identities. Requirements include regular attendance, quizzes, and two long papers. 
 
ENG 260 INTRODUCTION TO BLACK WRITERS
Jake A. Ferrington
 
How has black literature since the Civil War addressed contemporaneous concerns such as reconstruction, Jim Crow, the great migration, civil rights, racialized incarceration (Michelle Alexander’s “New Jim Crow”), and extra-judicial racialized police killing? What do other black authors who have instead imagined various futures, re-imagined the past, or imagined worlds wholly different from our own have to say? This class will ask you to read and analyze texts from black-diasporic authors in an attempt to explore the history, present, and (possible) future(s) in light of race. Furthermore, this class will ask you to consider, through examination and discussion of the assigned texts, the relationship between race and: gender, sexuality, nationality, social class, and religious affiliation. From canonical black authors to speculative black authors, this class will engage with novels, short fiction, poetry, and film. Writers and creators whose work you may encounter in this course include: Sutton Griggs, Samuel R. Delany, Nalo Hopkinson, Pauline Hopkins, W. E. B. DuBois, Octavia E. Butler, Charles W. Chesnutt, Tracy K. Smith, George S. Schuyler, Idris Goodwin, Ryan Coogler, Claudia Rankine, Ta-Nehisi Coates, N. K. Jemison, and Nella Larsen. 
 
ENG 265 SURVEY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE I
Nazera S. Wright

In this course, the first of a two-part sequence offered on African American literary and cultural studies, we will examine the work of foundational writers, thinkers and activists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will read novels, poetry, autobiographies, speeches, and articles from black newspapers, magazines, and conduct manuals by some of the best-known early African American authors. For each text, students will assess the venue of publication, consider thematic scope, and interrogate political and ideological aims. Among the topics that we will discuss are black radicalism, citizenship, race, feminism, masculinity, interior consciousness, and the emergence of the New Negro. We will explore important critical and theoretical essays that evaluate the concerns of the literary texts, and we will examine the major authors, themes, traditions, conventions, and tropes in early African American literature.
 
ENG 280 INTRODUCTION TO FILM
Jordan Robert Brower

An introduction to the study of films as narrative art and cultural documents. The course involves viewing and analyzing films from different genres and investigating a unified theme or set of topics. Students will learn how to view films closely, how to relate films to their contexts, and how to employ the basic terms and concepts of film analysis. Attention will be paid to student writing, particularly to devising a thesis, crafting an argument, and learning how to use supporting evidence. Viewing films outside of class is required. See departmental listings for different offerings per semester. Offers UK Core credit for Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities. Does not fulfill ENG premajor requirement. Can be taken for ENG Major Elective credit. Provides ENG minor credit. Credit will not be given to students who already have credit for ENG 281.
 
ENG 280 INTRODUCTION TO FILM
Matthew W. Godbey
 
Why do we love the movies we love? Why do we keep watching the same types of movies, with the same basic character types and structure, over and over? What is it, for instance, about a character like Rocky Balboa that keeps us coming back year after year over the course of 8 different films? At the same time, what can our attraction to certain films tell us about ourselves and about American culture. This class is designed to help you answer these questions. This semester we’ll watch a variety of movies and examine the basic structures on which they are built. We will do so by studying the archetypes and myths that inform most, if not all of the movies made in America. Archetypes and myths form recurrent, universal patterns that can be found in the symbols, images, characters, plot structures, and other elements of the movies we all watch. Whether universal or local, they connect us, both consciously and unconsciously, to the movies we watch. Further, they provide a context for analysis by allowing us to examine the role of style and technique in telling stories by tracking how different directors or screenwriters evoke, manipulate, or transform them according to historical/cultural context and to the needs of their specific movies. 
 
ENG 280 INTRODUCTION TO FILM
Michael W. Carter
 
This introductory film course will examine the lens through which film making shows us ourselves, our world, and our ever changing culture. Since film’s earliest days controversies have waxed and waned within the cinema (violence, sex, and language anyone?) and various methods of censoring or restricting the medium have been attempted, and still film thrives as a major industry. Perhaps films persist because whether live actors, animation, historical, contemporary, or futuristic, film presents a view of humanity that the writers and directors bring to life visually, aurally, and emotionally. We will consider all parts of the process and product. This class will require out-of-class viewing of films (approximately one a week) through some external means, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, etc. and you will come to class ready to discuss the various means through which the film makers develop their craft: cinematography, sound, editing, narrative structure, and so forth. You will be required to write several critical responses to the films which will be the bulk of your grade for the course. The remainder of the grade will be determined from attendance, quizzes, and a midterm test.
 
ENG 280 010 INTRODUCTION TO FILM
Frederick K Bengtsson

This course will introduce students to the study of cinema as a medium, and to the tools and vocabulary of film analysis. By learning about and attending to key elements of film production and form (genre, cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing, sound and lighting, etc.) in a variety of films, we will consider the ways in which filmmakers shape our experience of their work and create meaning within it. We will
move beyond watching films passively toward thinking about them analytically, both in artistic and aesthetic terms, and in terms of the ideas and ideologies they articulate, reinforce, and resist. In addition to learning about and analyzing film as an art form, our particular focus in this class will be on women in cinema. We will explore the representations of women in film, the stock characters and stereotypes that often constitute female roles, and how films explore and represent gender and sexuality. We will also consider the work of women in cinema, considering iconic actors, (in)famous parts, and important directors and their films.
 
ENG 280 012 INTRODUCTION TO FILM
Emily Diane Naser-Hall
 
The horror genre has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years, with films such as Hereditary and Get Out joining the canon of horror greats like Halloween and Night of the Living Dead. But why do we seek out films that will keep us up at night checking for monsters under the bed? Why do we like being scared? Is it maybe because we know that we already live in a nationwide haunted house with an ugly past that could come for us at any time? This section of Introduction to Film focuses on the genre of horror within American cinema and considers how horror movies invite us to rethink the roles that fear, guilt, shame, and history play in the way we conceive of the American nation. We will look at films from the early 1900s to the present to explore how filmmakers turn the American experience into a terrifying nightmare and force us to consider horror as a genre about marginalization and erasure. By analyzing films about the American horror story, students will learn the proper vocabulary for speaking about the techniques and forms of cinema. Assignments will involve weekly quizzes, short writing assignments, and a final exam. Fulfills the UK Core requirement in Humanities.
 
ENG 280 INTRODUCTION TO FILM
Walter C. Foreman
 
This section of ENG 280 is an introduction to the study of the movies as a narrative art and a cultural document, with emphasis on the former.  The course will develop students' vocabulary and skills for describing, understanding, and interpreting movies and talking about how film narratives work.  The unifying theme of this section is "Performing to Survive."  We will watch a series of movies in which actors play characters who find that in order to get on in life, to improve their lot, to develop their possibilities for self-expression, to to divert threats or exploit opportunities, to fulfill their desires, or simply to survive they must become actors to an audience, players of roles, performers, people they are not . . . at least at first.  Some succeed and some do not, and the roles have varying relations to their "real" selves.  Sometimes the "real" self is lost to the role.  Sometimes the role becomes the real self.  Sometimes the lines between the role and the self become blurred, with one usurping the other so we can't tell the difference.  Sometimes the performing becomes predatory, a way of victimizing others—and thus threatening their survival.  The movies we will cover will be chosen from a variety of genres, styles, and time periods.  
 
ENG 290 INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S LITERATURE: Radical Women Across Literature
Margaret P. Kelly
 
The phrase “like a girl” has gone from ballpark insult to the title of Lizzo’s feminist anthem of the same name. How did we get here? What does it mean to be or act “like a girl”? For centuries, women and girls in literature and popular culture have been subject to a wide array of stereotypes from the damsel in distress to the mammy. In this class, we will focus on how women in literature resist these stereotypes and female authors write and revise the perceived roles of women throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From Virginia Woolf’s essay “A Room of One’s Own” (1929) to Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade (2016), we will examine how women writers over the past century have challenged social, cultural, and political prescriptions of women’s roles through both the form and the content of their literature. We will explore various forms of resistance from the quiet cultivation of interiority in Gwendolyn Brooks’s short novel Maud Martha (1953) to the outspoken political poetry of Adrienne Rich and Warsan Shire alike. In this course, we will read both canonical and non-canonical women writers in a variety of genres. Assignments will include a couple close reading essays, a longer literary analysis essay, a presentation, and reading quizzes.
 
ENG 307 SPECIAL TOPICS IN CREATIVE WRITING: Writing on Art
Julia Mae Johnson

Do you enjoy getting off campus to explore Lexington when possible? Have you ever been able to do so as part of a class? Did you know that Lexington has a thriving art scene with numerous art galleries and public art situated throughout the city? You might know that we have a first-rate Art Museum on our campus but have you ever spent much time there? Signing up for this course is your chance not only to further your work as a poet but also to write ekphrastic poems—poems inspired by visual art. We will visit the UK Art Museum’s current shows as well as its permanent collection and will also go on field trips and independent excursions to galleries and shows in nearby downtown Lexington. We will collaborate and think about how we, along with our fellow peers in the workshop, enter, explore, and take inspiration from visual art in unexpected and fruitful ways. We will read, as examples, a selection of poems from various early and contemporary poets (including international poets) who have used art as a way into their work and together we will consider the endless possibilities. 
 
 
ENG 330 TEXT AND CONTEXT: Hamlet
Emily E. Shortslef
 
Few plays have had afterlives as long and rich as Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In this course we’ll explore some of Hamlet’s many reappearances in literary criticism, philosophy, theater, and film. We’ll also look at some of the primary sources that Shakespeare drew on to create the play, and discuss its relationship to various late sixteenth-century religious, economic, and political contexts. We’ll also read a few other plays from the same period that take up similar issues (e.g. Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy, Middleton’s Revenger’s Tragedy). Likely topics of discussion and research include memory, mourning, revenge, and ghosts. Expect a lot of reading and a sizable amount of analytical writing (short papers building to a longer research essay), as well as an oral presentation.    
 
ENG 330 TEXT AND CONTEXT: O Pioneers!
Matthew W. Godbey
 
Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! (1913) is a seminal American novel that was published at a pivotal moment in the history of America’s growth and development and in the history of American literature. We’ll examine Cather’s novel in these contexts and explore how, in both content and form, it bridges the divide between pre-modern and modern America and engages readers in fundamental, complex conversations about American identity. Along the way we’ll branch off in many directions and consider what Cather’s novel has to say about a variety of subjects, including but not limited to: literary genres, mass culture, gender roles, regionalism and urbanism. 
 
ENG 330 TEXT AND CONTEXT: Othello
Frederick K Bengtsson

The core course in the English Major focusing on the close reading and analysis of a single major literary text, or a focused set of texts, in historical and critical context. Students will develop analytical and interpretive skills that deepen their historical and conceptual understanding of literature, as well as their skills of critical reading, writing, and presentation. See departmental listings for different offerings per semester. ENG major and minor requirement. Repeatable for up to six hours of credit.
 
ENG 330 TEXT AND CONTEXT: Aurora Leigh
Jill Naomi Rappoport
 
Aurora Leigh (1857)—a beautifully crafted, compelling epic poem by one of Victorian England’s most prominent and influential poets—will be the centerpiece of an exciting semester. As we trace the artistic and romantic development of a female writer in Barrett Browning’s verse-novel, we’ll also read a range of other nineteenth-century poetry and prose (including Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre and many shorter pieces) to explore its relationship to contemporary definitions of the “poetess”; women’s social, legal, and professional place in Victorian England; the relationship between poetic work and social activism; discourses on the “fallen” woman; and debates about the purpose and form of poetry itself. Whatever your previous experience with poetry is, this class will help you to better read, appreciate, discuss, and analyze verse. We will also spend time on the sounds of poetry, speaking and listening to poetic language in order to better understand its rhythms, form, and meanings. While today we tend to think of poetry as a private experience, during the nineteenth century poetry was often read aloud, and written with that reading in mind. Course requirements include a final recitation, frequent short written assignments, and two essays. 
 
 
ENG 337 Literature and Genre: Arthurian Literature
Matthew C. Giancarlo
 
In this course we will read a series of “King Arthur” narratives spanning from the Middle Ages to the Modern era. Readings include excerpts from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, a 12th century quasi-historical chronicle; Chrétien de Troyes’ Arthurian Romances, the 12th century French foundation for romantic Arthurian literature; and the 14th century alliterative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The centerpiece of the course will be Sir Thomas Malory’s 15th century Le Morte D’Arthur. We will conclude with the 19th century Arthurian romances of Alfred Tennyson and T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. Discussion and analysis will focus on 1) themes important to the Arthurian tradition, such as romantic love, gender roles, society and social unity, the force of history, and the demands of justice, religion, and war; and 2) the social significance of the works themselves as reflections of contemporary culture. Work will include regular reading responses and quizzes, two shorter essays, and an annotated bibliography project. No final exam.
 
 
ENG 343 Renaissance Drama and Society
Joyce M. MacDonald

What would Renaissance drama look like without Shakespeare? ENG 343 aims to answer this question, as it studies a range of plays and entertainments by his predecessors and contemporaries. Most people identify Shakespeare as the representative Renaissance playwright, but he was only one member of a talented generation, and his work is often radically different in tone and structure from that of his contemporaries. In order to find out more about what Renaissance drama actually was, this course will concentrate on examples of popular dramatic genres in which Shakespeare either did not work—e.g., city comedy—or that he would study and then heavily adapt to his own ends (revenge tragedy, for example). Recurring topics will include sex, romance and jealousy, national identity, urban life and the value of money, and racial and religious difference. 
 
 
ENG 361 Early African-American Literature
Nazera S. Wright

This course investigates selected writers of the early African-American tradition, primarily from the mid-eighteenth century to post- Reconstruction. Inquiry focuses on the literary modes and genres that were central to the creation of a distinct African-American literary voice and canon, including slave narratives, folklore, poetry, drama, and more. Authors can include Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown, Frances Harper, Charles Chesnutt, Martin Delaney, Sojourner Truth, and others. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG minor credit. Prereq: Completion of UK Core Composition and Communication I-II requirement or equivalent. ENG 260, 265, or 266 are recommended but not required.
 
ENG 380 Film and Genre: Documentary Film Shorts
Catharine Cole Axley
 
Want to make a short documentary on a topic of your choice to share with the UK community and beyond? This course allows you to do just that as you study documentary shorts from around the world. Documentary shorts are nonfiction films under 40 minutes that originate from the earliest recorded moving images in human history, and have recently re-emerged as a popular medium at film festivals, streaming online on journalistic outlets, and reaching audiences through social media. In this course, students will examine critically acclaimed documentary shorts produced over the past 70 years, developing an eye for analyzing film techniques, structures, and documentary filmmaking modes that make these shorts so powerful. Concurrent with this study, students will learn the basics of documentary production, all the while working to apply their new understanding of documentary form to create their own short nonfiction film. 
 
ENG 384 LITERATURE AND FILM: Awkward Ages
Jordan Robert Brower
 
This course will consider a number of twentieth- and twenty-first century stories in the tradition of the “narrative of development,” focusing specifically on works that emphasize the weird and fraught experiences of early and middle adolescence: between 12 and 17, or, as aptly put by Britney Spears, when one is “not a girl, not yet a woman.” We will consider how various artists approach the first, conflicted, often at once hilarious and harrowing years of a person’s incipient understanding of themselves as individuals enmeshed in the world. Writing may include Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise, J.M. Coetzee’s Boyhood, and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; movies may include Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade, Lee Jenkins’s Moonlight, and Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause.
 
ENG 407 INTERM WKSP CTV WRIT: Fiction Structures
DaMaris B. Hill
 
ENG 407 INTERM WKSP CTV WRIT: American Short Story
John D. Howell
 
This course will build upon what you learned and the work you did in ENG 207, the beginning workshop.  In our small class we'll read and discuss some fine published fiction to help you expand and deepen your understanding of the craft and art of writing fiction, and early in the semester you'll be doing short pieces of writing in response to various focused prompts.  But your main work for the semester will be writing two short stories that will be submitted for workshopping, when everyone will be expected to comment conscientiously and in significant, helpful detail on the work that's shared.  Most of the semester will be devoted to workshopping.   Requirements:  Reading assignments, misc. short exercises, two short stories, one short story revision.
 
ENG 407 INTERM WKSP CTV WRIT: Exploring the Poetic Voice
Jane Ansel Elkins

The root word of poetry comes from the ancient Greek word poiesis, meaning “to make.” And that is our primary task in this class: to make original works of poetry by experimenting fiercely with many different forms and possibilities, and reading widely with curiosity and open-mindedness. This class will explore the art and craft of writing poetry by utilizing a variety of in-class exercises and take-home assignments. We will experiment with various ways of telling familiar stories—using sources like fairy tales and pop culture, as well as our own personal stories—by remixing traditional forms such as the ghazal, the epistle, odes and anti-odes, and contemporary hybrid forms like erasure, the lyric essay, and the haibun. Students are encouraged to try new techniques, and explore new ideas, while learning a language for talking about poems. Class time will be split between reading and discussing works by poets such as William Blake, Federico García Lorca and Patricia Smith, crafting their own original poems, and participating in in-class workshops in which students read and discuss the work of their classmates.
 
ENG 425 ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING
Randall Roorda
 
In this class, we’ll both survey and compose works of environmental writing. As our course reader shows, environmental writing is not a genre as such but an assortment of text-types orbiting about concern for the natural world and our relations thereto. This realm of discourse has a history and comprises a lineage: one purpose of this course is to trace and sample this living past. Another is to survey modes of writing that cluster about this heading. These mostly fall under the imprimatur of nonfiction (“creative” or “literary” or otherwise) but vary from personal to public, factual to impressionistic, head-space to travel-based, city to sticks and so forth, as we’ll see. A further, major purpose is to go and do likewise, make the turn from consumer to producer, convert experience to expression: make environmental writing of our own. So through the first part of the course we’ll venture brief, tentative efforts in the veins of writing we sample (what I call Trial Runs), while in the second part we’ll shift shapes and become mainly a writing workshop (though we’ll also keep reading till the end). Finally, since this writing presumes environments, we’ll seek out field experience, both together and individually: a last, best purpose.
 
ENG 440G Studies in British Literature: The Poetry of Soul and Satire
Michael E. Genovese
 
At the end of the 1600s and beginning of the 1700s, British poets delved into the darkness. Excelling at tawdry sexual lyrics and rhymes that mocked the elite and common alike, these poets wrote little that resembles the introspective, emotional poetry that developed a hundred years later and still dominates stereotypes about poetic expression. So what exactly happened, and is there even a way to answer that question? To approach this issue, we will begin with the satires and bawdy couplets of the 1680s-1720s and continue on to the Romantic poetry of the 1790s-1820s, pausing along the way to examine how attitudes towards poetry and consideration of the well-examined life shifted in the intervening decades. Out of a genre of writing that excelled in snipe eventually arose the pre-eminent genre for examining one’s soul, and in this class we will test whether there is any family resemblance between poetic traditions that look so different. Authors will include Rochester, Behn, Pope, Swift, Duck, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Barbauld, Robinson, Johnson, and numerous others. Students should be prepared to read anywhere from 1 to 4 poems per day, depending on their lengths, and there will be 2-3 page analytical papers throughout the semester as well as a longer, final paper.
 
ENG 450G Studies in American Literature: Animals in Literature, Ethics, and Popular Culture
Michael A. Trask

Though commentary on the connection between nonhuman animals and human beings stretches back to antiquity, this class will focus primarily on some efforts in modern society to explain (or explain away) the relationship between animals and persons.  By “modern society,” I mean Anglo-American culture after the spread of Darwin’s theory of evolution; and by “the relationship between animals and persons,” I mean the disavowal or embrace of the proximity between human and nonhuman animals, the identification of ourselves with animals or the denial of any such identification.  The class will also consider what if anything we owe to animals: whether they are creatures who deserve “rights” equivalent to those of persons (a still-extreme position in our ethical repertoire) or whether they deserve merely our kindness (this too is in the view of many people a still-extreme position).  That there is a clear similarity between human and nonhuman animals is self-evident; that there is a clear distinction between human and nonhuman animals is equally self-evident.  Looking at a variety of literary and philosophical texts over the course of the twentieth century, this class will try to make sense of—even if we cannot reconcile—these two self-evident axioms.  Texts will include Jack London, The Call of the Wild; Virginia Woolf, Flush: A Biography; Lawrence and Lee, Inherit the Wind; J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals; Peter Singer, Animal Liberation; Patricia Highsmith, The Animal-Lover’s Book of Beastly Murder; Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals; Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; Caroline Knapp, Pack of Two: The Intricate Bond Between People and Dogs; Vicki Hearne, Adam’s Task: Calling Animals By Name.  There will be two short (5-pp) papers and your choice of 1) a longer (10-pp) research paper or 2) a take-home final exam.

 
ENG 495 HONORS SEMINAR: British Literature and the Left
Peter J. Kalliney
 
British literature has a long and fractious history with the politics of the left.  Some of the twentieth century's leading writers have described themselves as socialists, communists, and fellow travelers--including George Orwell, W.H. Auden, Doris Lessing, and Salman Rushdie--and yet these figures have also been the quickest to rebuke, criticize, and disown the parties and causes cherished by the left.  In this seminar for departmental honors, we will study the writing connected to three major political phases of the twentieth century: the Popular Front era of the 1930s, the British New Left of the 1950s and 60s, and the era of multiculturalism and anti-Thatcherism of the 1980s and 90s.  Assignments include a class presentation and a substantial research paper.
 
ENG 507 ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN CREATIVE WRITING: Poetic Forms
Julia Johnson
 
We meet once a week for an extended meeting of 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 ADVANCED WORKSHOP IN CREATIVE WRITING: Fiction Structures
DaMaris B. Hill
 
For the student who has shown marked talent and commitment, this course provides a rigorous workshop among peers and includes additional attention to outside reading. Each student will produce a collection of poems or stories. See departmental listings for different offerings per semester.
 
 
 

 

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