Fall Courses

FALL 2015

Cheryl Cardiff
ENG 107-001: Writing Craft: Intro Imaginative Writing (Satisfies UK CORE Creativity Requirement) MWF 10-10:50
This is an introductory course in creative writing for the novice and curious interested in exploring how poetry and prose can express their ideas. In this class, we will practice a range of written creative expression. Lecture sessions will be devoted partly to “talking craft,” that is, to familiarizing ourselves with various literary and craft elements pertinent to the creative writing genres being practiced and to analyzing how writers employ these elements to put forth a work that captures readers’ imaginations. The other half of our sessions will be devoted to “crafting,” that is, the workshop process that inducts you and fellow beginning writers to experiment with the different creative writing forms studied.

ENG107 satisfies the objectives and outcomes delineated by the Intellectual Inquiry into Arts and Creativity of the UK Core 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.

Hannah Pittard

Welcome to college. This class will break your heart, blow your mind, and show you what it means to be a creative reader and writer. This is 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. Attendance and participation are required. 

Michael Carter
ENG 130-002: Vampires on the Page and Screen TR 9:30-10:45
Blood. Seduction. Sex. Eternal life. What more could describe the appeal of the vampire in today’s popular culture? From the folktales of the Carpathian mountains, and early 19th century literature comes one of the most enduring creatures to capture the audiences: vampire, Dracula, night walkers. This undead creature has its roots in Romanian folklore and history as Vlad Tepis, or Vlad the Impaler, and found its way into short stories and novels, early and recent  films, and television. This class will examine the roots and the ongoing literature and visual media that indeed gives the vampire life eternal. Quizzes, two examinations, a web page, and a few short writings will be the tasks for the class.

Joyce MacDonald
ENG 142-001: Global Shakespeare TR 12:30-1:45
In this new UK Core course, students will read Shakespeare as he’s played around the world. Even though most of us know his plays through English-language versions, they’re been produced on every continent except Antarctica, in dozens of languages, and in a range of international cultural contexts. What is there about Shakespeare’s plays that make them such rich raw material for these international encounters? How do his meanings change in non-English speaking countries, in nonChristian cultures, or outside the western world? What is different about global Shakespeare, and what remains familiar in these worldwide treatments of his work?

ENG 142 fulfills UK Core requirements in the humanities and in global dynamics. It has no prerequisities and requires no foreign languages. The course may also count towards the English minor.

Peter Kalliney
ENG 171-001: Global Literature in English TR 11-11:50
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 novelists--such as JM Coetzee, James Joyce, and VS 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.

Walter Foreman
In this course we will watch a series of movies representing a variety of styles of mostly American film comedy, mostly from the 1920s through the 80s, usually more than one style in the same movie—silent, slapstick, screwball, romantic, satiric, black, British (Ealing, Monty Python), heist, and so forth.  These movies raise serious issues about human nature and behavior while at the same time being wildly hilarious.  Films will include The Gold Rush, Bringing Up Baby, Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Airplane!   They will be directed by such figures as Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, and Woody Allen, and feature such actors as Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.  Intended as a general humanities course for non-majors.  Does not fulfill ENG premajor requirement or provide ENG Major Elective credit.  Provides ENG minor credit.

Cheryl Cardiff
ENG 207-003: Beginning Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Fiction MW 4-5:15

DEAR AUTHOR: THIS COURSE INTRODUCES YOU to the forms and practices of creative writing. Focusing on each individual, our workshop will develop the skill in writing stories and/or personal narratives. To help foster your work, weekly exercises will help you develop an understanding of the elements of the craft such as character development, narrative structure, dialogic engagement, and scene development. You also will be expected to read peer work with care and to discuss this writing with constructive, informed, and articulate criticism to specific elements of the text that go beyond simple like and dislike. The study of works by writers such as Annie Proulx, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Wallace Stegner in the context of craft—as opposed to literary interpretation or historical analysis—is a critical part of your artistic discipline and creative output. The main feature of the course is (of course) THE WORKSHOP itself, and you will have the opportunity to provide stories for peer evaluation three times over thecourse of the semester. Vital to writing is re-writing, of returning to your work and sculpting it into the shape you wish it to take. For your efforts, you will have the opportunity to further develop one workshopped piece for a second round of peer and instructor critique. As you practice becoming an effective and careful reader of both peer and established writing, you do become an effective and careful reader of your own. Writing, reading, and evaluating peer work all further your own creative practice. By the end of the term, you will feature your two workshopped stories and your choice of three shorter “best effort” writing exercises in a portfolio that you can be proud of, and one day, pass on to future progeny and fans.

Dan Howell
ENG 207-005:  Beginning Workshop in Imaginative Writing – Poetry TR 2-3:15
Typically, our class time will be devoted to the following: brief discussions of assigned poems; exercises (solo and group) designed to generate poems; and – primarily--workshop sessions in which we will discuss and critique your poems.  So not only will you be expected to read and write, you’ll be expected to talk, which will be easier to do as the semester progresses and you get to know each other, which will happen.  You will write and submit twelve poems during the semester, and you will be responsible for annotating and critiquing all poems by your peers. Attendance, participation (including both the assigned readings and in-class and out-of-class exercises), and the submission of all poems (on time) will determine your final grade.

DaMaris Hill
ENG 207-402: Beginner’s Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Creative Writing in Digital Spaces W 6-8:30
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.

Gurney Norman
English 207 is an introductory creative writing course. It is designed to offer the student a laboratory situation in which she or he may develop fiction writing and reading skills. The class provides each individual an audience of peers with which to share work-in-progress and discuss the craft of fiction writing.  During the semester students will be asked to write three original short stories, to be critiqued by the teacher and shared with student colleagues in the class. At least once during the semester each student will be invited (but not required) to share a story with the class for friendly critique. Between the major writing assignments students will also be asked to perform brief weekly in-class and out-of-class writing exercises designed to give the student experience in writing and discussing specific matters of writing craft. While our major concern is the original work of class members, reading the published works of established classical and contemporary authors for inspiration and as models is an important feature of the course. (Reading list to be provided)

Lee Skallerup
ENG 230-007: Introduction to Literature: Digital Humanities Edition TR 9:30
We increasingly “read” literature through digital means; from e-readers to databases to word processing, the print on the page is continually being enhanced through digital tools. But what if we coupled “traditional” readings with the kinds of reading that can only be done with the assistance of computers and other digital tools? This course will explore questions such as: How would it change our understanding of a novel if we laid it out in geographical space? How does close reading change with encoding? What could we discover if we read everything a hyper-prolific author wrote, in just two weeks? What would it mean to read a book as a distributed crowd? How does digital adaptation impact how we read? In this course we will explore these questions and more. Reading will never be the same.

Matthew Giancarlo
ENG 241-001: Survey of British Literature I: Beowulf  to Milton 
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 include Beowulf and Old English elegaic 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. The focus of this course is primarily on poetry with a few prose texts. Regular quizzes and writing response assignments; mid-term, final examination. 

Michael Carter
ENG 251-001: Survey of American Lit I TR 2-3:15
What are the voices of American Literature? What are the foundations upon which the modern understanding of “America” were built? This course will begin to answer those questions by examining the earliest words from the 16thth century up to the mid-19th century’s flourishing writers as these writers develop an understanding of what it meant to be an American. By reading the first Europeans to describe the continent as well as the stories from their Native American counterparts, we will begin to recognize the cultural and historical meanings of the words as they develop into the debates of the pre-Civil War era over what rights the Constitution finally granted to the men and women of this country. By recognizing the role of race, gender, religion, the enlightenment, and economic developments, the student should come away from the course with a better understanding of why many of these issues still echo today. The primary texts will be volumes A and B of The Norton Anthology of American Literature as well as readings from others from the early 19th century found on line. The grade for the course will be determined from several short writings, in-class quizzes and examinations, one analytical essay as well as attendance and participation.

Matthew Godbey
ENG 252-001,002,003: Survey of American Lit II MWF 12-12:50
This course is a chronological survey of American literature from the Civil War to present day. Beginning with the literature of realism and naturalism that developed in the latter half of the 19th century and concluding with a variety of contemporary writers and forms (experimental fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, etc.) the class tells a story about the development of American literature. To better tell this story, we will examine the intersection between American history and American literature and read and study works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction prose by a range of men and women of diverse backgrounds and interests.  As we study the range of voices that constitute American literature, we will address questions such as: How do the gender, race, and class of writers and readers affect the creation and reception of a literary text? What constitutes a literary canon?  What does “American” mean?  What role has literature played in the ongoing story of the culture and history of the United States?  How are the broad cultural movements of realism, naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism reflected in literary works and how do those movements shape the writing and reception of literature? What is the place of literature in the United States in the 21st century? 

Matthew Godbey
ENG 280-002,003: Cities in American Cinema MWF 10-10:50
This course will introduce students to the language and aesthetics of cinema by examining images of cities and urban life in American films throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries. Using specific films as case studies, students will learn how to examine cinematic representation within specific historical, cultural, and political contexts. More specifically, the films will serve as a starting point for conversations about cities and urban society and the relationship between film and the urban experience. Our readings throughout this semester will focus on the art, economy, and politics of cinema, which will help us to deepen our appreciation for the ways motion pictures are constructed and make meaning, and to tackle issues dealing with the urban experience throughout American history.

Janice Oaks
This course will examine the trope of the femme fatale, tracing its origins and then looking specifically at film of the 1940’s as well as at more contemporary works.  We will also examine filming terminology such as “point of view,” “composition,”  “mise-en-scene,” and “realism.”  As well, class materials will include some introductory thoughts about film theory in general. Many, if not all of the films studied in this course portray women in very disturbing ways.  However, the flip side of this portrayal involves female images of power.  Of course, the “devil” is in the definition.  What constitutes a “femme fatale?”  As opposed to beginning with an answer, this course will attempt to constitute a definition as we proceed. The course opens with genre study but moves toward the dominating gendered visions of the earlier film noir types.  The women of the forties begin as provocative and promiscuous “vixens,” but evolve into more dangerous “creatures.”  Some later versions of the femme become less obvious in their duplicity and destructive tendencies but not less lethal.  The woman must pay for her crimes, though, usually by dying.  Even in death, however, the femme can reach back to problematize the “happily ever after” ending.This course is writing intensive and discussion-based.  Major assignments will involve 3 short (5-6 page) papers, a presentation, and lots of conversation. 

Dan Howell
ENG 280-015: Introduction to Film TR 12:30-1:45

This is a basic introduction to the study of film, which includes film history as well as elements of film form such as mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound, editing, film genres, and the narrative structures of films.  Each of those subjects brings with it an array of terms that we’ll use when discussing and analyzing films; our required text, The Film Experience (4th ed.), will be the source of those terms and a resource for explanations and illustrations, supplemented by frequent in-class screening of clips, trailers, and shorts (even cartoons).  But our primary focus will be 12 feature-length films that range across time -- from the 1920s to now -- and across genres (comedy, horror, western, crime etc.).  All films will be screened twice on the day before we discuss them, and all will be on reserve in the library.  Each week will feature a different film, and by the end of the semester you will have seen some of the world’s great films, plus you’ll be acquainted with many film artists and films that are new to you -- you’ll be a more sophisticated filmgoer.  Your grade for the course will be based on weekly short quizzes, two essays totalling fifteen pages, a midterm exam and a final exam.

Virginia Blum
ENG 280-401: Introduction to Film MW 6-7:15
Love stories have dominated feature films since their inception.  From early on, films addressed such topics as domestic happiness, romantic love,  and adultery, as well as the tension between desire and social constraints.  This course will take you through a tour of the ways in which film has participated in reflecting and shaping our private lives.  We will trace the varying on-screen representations of intimacy:  from the imperatives of the Hays Production Code, which required separate beds, limited the duration of on-screen kissing, and required that vice of any kind be overtly “punished, to today’s ongoing cinematic account of the struggle between the brief intensity of passion and the satisfactions of durable love and marriage.  As we discuss these thematic elements, this course will also introduce you to the formal analysis of film.  How do films tell love stories—what are the conventions that signal “true love” on screen, such as love at first sight? MW: 6:00-7:15

Cheryl Cardiff
ENG 290-001: Introduction to Women’s Literature (Satisfies UK CORE Intellectual Inquiry in Humanities Requirement and GWR) MWF 12-12:50

This is an introductory course that aims to examine representations of women in literature, as told by women writers. To give us a grasp of such writings, texts will range from the imaginative literature to nonfiction, from literary fiction to chick lit. As we concentrate on these primary texts, we’ll look to secondary and background literature to help bring some more perspective on them. Special attention will be given to topics such as mother-daughter relationships, female (un)bonding, and sexuality. Coursework includes: active participation in class discussions, brief text responses, and two analytical essays. Sample texts: Mary Wollstonecraft, The Wrongs of Woman; Clare Booth Luce, The Women; Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero; Jean Kwok's, Girl in Translation. Course work include two papers, your active participation in class discussions, and creative studio responses to issues covered in the course.

Matthew Giancarlo
ENG 330-001: Text and Context: The Canterbury Tales MWF 9-9:50
In this section of “Text and Context” we will read large portions of the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer’s literary and cultural masterpiece from the late fourteenth century. We will approach the text from several different angles and contexts. We will learn to read Chaucer’s language in the original Middle English; read some scholarship on the literary and social setting of Chaucer’s England; practice close analytical reading of his poetry; and we will investigate some literary-theoretical paradigms as they apply to the Tales and its characters. This class is writing and reading intensive for English majors. Three essays (with opportunity for revisions) for a total of about 20 pages; presentations; regular quizzes and exercises on pronunciation and reading; no exams.

Walter Foreman
This section of the English major core course will focus on the close reading and analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet in the contexts of (a) London theater conditions around 1600, (b) other "revenge" plays produced around the same time (such as Kyd's Spanish Tragedy and Middleton's Revenger's Tragedy, as well as other plays by Shakespeare), (c) some other texts from the period (including writings by Francis Bacon and Thomas Nashe) or beyond, (d) the political, social, and economic situation in England and Ireland in which Hamlet appeared, and (e) the concept of revenge and the basis of the human impulse to revenge: why do we feel we have to get back at people?  In addition to reading Hamlet and other revenge plays, we will view and discuss in detail the 2009 film version of Hamlet directed by Gregory Doran and featuring David Tennant as Hamlet and Patrick Stewart as both Claudius and the Ghost.  In addition, one of the paper options will give students the opportunity to examine two other film versions in relation to the play.  As noted in the general catalog description, 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.  In particular, in this section we will seek to develop the involvement in literature fostered by aural/oral immersion.

Andrew Ewell
ENG 330-006: Lolita TR 3:30-4:45
A scandal and a sensation, a burlesque of Romantic, Modernist, and Postmodernist sensibilities, and a pastiche of every conceivable literary genre from romance to mystery to tragedy to farce, Lolita is also one of the undeniable masterworks of 20th-century literature. We’ll begin by reading Vladimir Nabokov’s magnum opus as he would have us read it—by “lovingly collect[ing]” the “sunny trifles of the book”—and then we’ll frame the novel within a variety of critical and historical contexts.

Over the semester, we’ll read Nabokov’s brilliant(ly fastidious) essays on literature; study a few of his favorite short novels, including The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Metamorphosis; read Freud and Poe for a firmer grip on some of Lolita’s more slippery allusions; study the author’s memoir, Speak, Memory, as well as his interviews in Strong Opinions, for biographical context; look at Kubrick’s and Adrian Lyne’s film adaptations, as well as other cultural derivatives; study critical and creative re-interpretations from the likes of Camille Paglia, The Police, Jonathan Lethem, Umberto Eco, and Steve Martin; and, as a class, produce a final project in the form of an original annotation of this richly layered masterpiece. ENG major and minor requirement. Prerequisite: completion of UK Core Composition & Communication I-II requirement or equivalent and either ENG 107, or ENG 209, or ENG 230. 

Randall Roorda
ENG 338: Topics in Literature: Literature and Environment MWF 10-10:50
This course will take up expressions of environmental concern in literary works written in North America ever since such concern, so to speak, became official: around the mid-20th century, after WWII, toward the start of the sharp uptick in the hockey-stick graph (look it up!). Even cordoned off this way, it’s still a vast subject. We’ll approach it through genres: nonfiction nature writing; mainstream fiction (novels); speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia). We’ll take roughly a third of the course and write short essays for each, drawing comparisons between works read. Authors we may read include: Edward Abbey, Margaret Atwood, Wendell Berry, T. C. Boyle, Don Delillo, Annie Dillard, Barbara Kingsolver, Aldo Leopold, Cormac McCarthy, Ruth Ozeki, Richard Powers, Leslie Marmon Silko, Jeff Vandermeer, Terry Tempest Williams, Karen Tei Yamashita. (Choices will be made! We won’t read them all.) There’ll be a final exam, too: some short-passage ID questions plus a couple of longer responses. Our purpose will be to see, as the world goes to hell in a handbasket, what “baskets of fine weave” (per Thoreau in Walden) some fine writers make of this.

Michelle Sizemore
ENG 339-001: Chutes and Ladders, Walls and Windows: The Worlds of Edith Wharton TR 9:30-10:45
The name 'Edith Wharton' is sure to invoke Gilded Age New York society, its snobbery and rancor-- old-monied "aristocrats" guarding the gate against new-monied philistines. Some of Wharton's best work focuses on class relations at the fin-de-siècle: who's in, who's out, who's climbing, who's sliding. But Wharton was omnivorous in her interests: she was not only a brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winning author but also an architectural expert, an accomplished designer and decorator of houses, and a seasoned world traveler. We'll take a tour of the NYC social scene, as well as many other lesser-known worlds of Edith Wharton, from The Mount, her estate in Lenox; to the New England of Ethan Frome and Charity Royall; to Italian villas and gardens; to the French fronts in the First World War. Wharton is among the most penetrating social critics of her age— an unflinching analyst of the manners, customs, conventions, and institutions that structure her real and fictive worlds. In this course we will read canonical and non-canonical selections, including novels, short stories, travel writing, autobiography, and essays. One essay, a presentation, a house design project, and a map of Wharton's New York.

Michael Carter
ENG 339-002: Melville and the Circus TR 12:30-1:45
Herman Melville was a literary darling with his exotic “travel” novels, Omoo and Typee; then followed with Moby Dick which divided Herman Melville from his audience as the U.S. was divided in many ways. Melville was forgotten in his century. With stock speculators and scam artists abounding, trust was becoming a commodity to be held close. P.T Barnum (not yet with “The Greatest Show…”) drew crowds who let themselves be fooled by the “Feegee Mermaid,” the “duck-billed beaver of Australia” or the “Great Buffalo Hunt” while con men roamed the city and waterways in search of dupes. Similarly, Melville’s The Confidence Man , “Bartleby,” and “Benito Cereno” drag representational characters and allusions from John Jacob Astor to William Wordsworth and various other contemporaries into the offices of Wall Street and onto boats on the Mississippi and south Pacific to examine that culture’s trust in itself and in that fast-changing America. This course will examine this important writer and those times through the fiction and from a variety of other mid 19th century sources. Coursework will consist of daily readings and discussion, of a midterm examination, and two essays.

Jonathan Allison
ENG 339-003: AUTHOR STUDIES: James Joyce TR 2-3:15
A course on the work of the novelist James Joyce (1880-1941), including his short stories, Dubliners (1914), his novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), and Ulysses (1922), and selections from his final novel, Finnegans Wake. Please come prepared to read selections from Joyce’s poetry, critical prose and drama (his love-triangle play Exiles was published in 1918.) We are also going to watch some fascinating movie adaptations of the fiction, including The Dead (John Huston, 1987), and Ulysses (Joseph Strick, 1967), as well as recent adaptations of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy. We’ll examine Joyce in the context of his life and times, in relation to the literary, cultural and political traditions of Ireland, Britain and Europe. We shall consider the legacy of Joyce in modern writing and discuss how his influence continues in the literature and culture of the 20th century. If you take this course you need never say you haven’t read Ulysses.

Jonathan Allison
ENG 345-001: BRITISH POETRY: Love Poetry and Elegy TR 11-12:15
We will read a wide range of love poems and elegies from the 17th Century through the 20th Century, with emphasis on close reading but attending to historical and biographical backgrounds. Particular focus placed on how poets have responded to the themes of love, desire and death, thus we’ll study the development of the elegy and the love poem over a century or more. We’ll explore various forms of love poetry, including the declaratory, the celebratory and the persuasive or rhetorical, and we’ll examine different styles of elegiac writing. Today the elegy is thought of as funeral elegy—as a lament for the dead—but historically it has been associated with meditative or contemplative poetry, and even (confusingly) with love poetry. Focusing on male and female poets, and depending on student interests, we might read selectively from the following list: Marlowe, Raleigh, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, Donne, the Brownings, Emily Bronte, Tennyson, Hardy, Yeats, Eliot, Lawrence, Graves, Auden, MacNeice, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Wendy Cope, Lavinia Greenlaw and Carol Ann Duffy. Also, selections from Ted Hughes’s moving elegies and love poems to Sylvia Path, The Birthday Letters.

Lisa Zunshine
English 347-001: “Clueless in the Age of Enlightenment” MW 4-5:15

The typical eighteenth-century protagonist is an attractive eighteen-year-old, away from home for the first time, trying to make it on her own in the world of status-obsessed adults. How scary, funny, or sentimental her adventures turn out to be depend on the genre of the novel in which she (or he!) happens to find herself. We’ll follow her heroic endeavors over the course of an epistolary novel; a novel featuring an unreliable narrator; a comic novel featuring an intrusive narrator; a gothic novel; and a parody of a gothic novel. Requirements: short written assignments, two long papers, a midterm, and a final.

Michael Trask
ENG 357-001: 21st-century Fiction TR 2-3:15
This class will read a series of novels published since around 2000.  Since the recentness of this historical period means that the jury is still out on what counts as “canonical” fiction, we’ll take the liberty of reading a diversity of genres, from science fiction and graphic novels to self-consciously literary fiction.  Readings include Charles Burns, Black Hole; Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan; George Saunders, Tenth of December; Colson Whitehead, Zone One; Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master’s Son; Tao Lin, Tai Pei; Alissa Nutting, Tampa; Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe; and Sheila Heti, How Should a Person Be?  There will be two short papers and two take-home exams.

Randall Roorda
ENG 380-001: Film and Genre: New Waves MWF 12-12:50

In the late 1950s a group of young French film critics began sounding off about issues they had with conventional cinema both from their nation and from Hollywood as well. Determined to practice what they preached, they started making movies of their own. The films and pronouncements made by these figures—the self-professed New Wave—exerted wide influence, both on cinema of that period and on understandings of movies from the past. (They are responsible, for instance, for the term Film Noir for movies of a certain shadowy temperament, also for so-called auteur theory, the view of a film’s director as a sort of author to whose vision others involved in a film’s creation—screenwriters, designers, performers—are subordinate.) This influence persists to the present day.

Taking the French nouvelle vague as point of departure, this course will explore a succession of new waves transforming cinema from the aftermath of WWII into the 1970s. We’ll watch films marked by gritty realism and by antic, free-form inventiveness; films evading and films self-reflexively drawing upon classic Hollywood genres and conventions; films hailing from the consumerist West, from Iron Curtain regimes, and from the developing world. These are remarkable movies, fresh as the day they were made. We’ll watch a lot of them (two per week when essays aren’t due), and they’ll need to be viewed outside of class (with nearly all available on Hulu Plus). Assignments include a response log for films and readings, a couple short essays, and a take-home essay final.

Virginia Blum
ENG 380-002:  Hollywood Romantic Comedies MW 4-5:15
Beginning with the screwball comedies of the 1930s, we will look at how US romantic comedy has participated in changing values and practices of romantic love over the past 80 years.  We will focus on how romcoms define “true love,” depict gender roles, and achieve that “made for each other” effect.  Films include: It Happened One Night; My Man Godfrey; The Thin Man; Pillow Talk; When Harry Met Sally; Imagine Me and You.  This course will focus both on the history of the romantic comedy and its formal conventions including film editing, cinematography, and mise-en-scene.  MW:  4:00 to 5:15

Thomas Marksbury
ENG/WRD 401-001: (Honors) The Rhetoric of Horror MWF 12-12:50
Horror—mostly modern, and mostly American, but not exclusively in either case—will be discussed through a number of different modalities—among them film (ranging from The Bride of Frankensteiv to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), fiction (mostly short , from Poe and Lovecraft through Stephen King and Angela Carter), television (from the episodic Twilight Zone to Buffy the Vampire Slauyer, The X Files, and American Horror Story),  with a few side trips into music video (Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the Ramones’ Pet Semetary), radio (Lights Out) and maybe even fashion.  Major units will focus on subgenres (monsters, the supernatural, and humans); reflexivity and the Art Film (Persona, Psycho,  Dario Argentoo), and the ways in which horror reflects anxieties about race and gender (Candyman, Ginger Snaps)   Two exams, three fairly short essays.

Frank Walker
ENG 407-001: Intermediate Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Poetry TR 3:30-4:45
In this advanced workshop intermediate students will hone their ability discuss and utilize the nuances of the craft of poetry. Using a combination of lecture and demonstration, assigned reading, discussion, and peer evaluation with a focus on revision, students will enhance critical skills and other necessary tools that govern the craft of writing and the discussion of poetry. Students will read and discuss six different collections of poetry, complete a portfolio of new work, meet regularly in one on one sessions with professor to discuss progress, participate in an end of term public reading and participate in other special projects as assigned.

Dan Howell
ENG 407-002: Intermediate Workshop in Imaginative Writing - Screenwriting W 4-6:30
Through the study of screenplays, films, and textbook readings, students will develop a working familiarity with screenplay format, narrative structures (beats and plots), characters, settings, writing narrative action, and dialogue.  Much of that familiarity will be generated through the writing you will do both in and out of class.  That writing will include such specialized forms as loglines, synopses, treatments, and -- necessarily -- 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.  Grades will be based on the short writing assignments, occasional brief quizzes, timely submission of assignments (including drafts), participation, and the final draft.  Texts TBA.

Julia Johnson
ENG 407-003: Intermediate Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Poetry W 4-6:30
This 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. We will leave our comfort zones. This class is devoted to poetry by you and by others. 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. We will discuss the art and craft of writing poems, and we will workshop one another's work with enthusiasm and care. We will also read an extensive amount of poetry by modern and contemporary writers from around the world.

Andrew Ewell
ENG 407-402: Fiction T 6-8:30

This is a course for fiction writers with prior workshop experience and a degree of understanding about the mechanics and terminology associated with the craft of fiction. We’ll begin by “workshopping” stories published in places like The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and A Public Space, in order to observe current trends in literary fiction, hone our interpretive skills, and develop a common strategy and vocabulary for critique, and then we’ll move on to the writing and discussion of peer work. Over the semester, each student will write and present at least two or three short stories, a number of peer critiques, and a revised portfolio of original writing. Prerequisite ENG 207 or consent of instructor. May be repeated to a maximum of 9 credits. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG minor credit. Can count only once for ENG Major 400-level course requirement.

Gurney Norman
English 407 is an intermediate-level course designed to give students practice in writing fiction including short stories, novels and first-person personal narratives. The class meets once each week for two and one-half hours. The format allows the class to proceed in a relaxed atmosphere featuring in-class writing exercises, discussion of students' original writing, discussion of traditional and contemporary fiction by established writers and a series of brief lectures by Professor Norman. Students will be asked to produce three or four pages of first-draft (newly written) work each week and three completed, polished "best effort" stories or chapters during the semester. Students are encouraged to experiment with different styles and methods of fiction writing including explorations of digital fiction. One premise of the course is that in some ways it approximates a literary salon where writers gather, perhaps with a mentor, to enjoy each other's company and to support each other in his or her creative work. The class meetings are designed so that in every session each student will read something, write something, say something and listen to what others have to say, all in the spirit of experiencing the basic activities of the professional writer's life. It is hoped that in a semester of such activity students can come to understand that creative writing is not an intellectual or academic enterprise. It is a creative enterprise that uses the imagination and draws on the personal experiences of the student authors. Storytelling and story-making are ancient arts, practiced by people who lived long before the invention of writing. In some oral narrative traditions, spoken stories have a sacred quality.  English 407 is not a course in the oral storytelling traditions but the course does recognize that modern story writing is descended from ancient storytelling.

Erik Reece
This course will introduce students to both the literature and the practice of environmental writing. We will learn from the masters of the genre, then we will employ those lessons in various forms of environmental writing, including the personal, experiential, polemic, and journalistic. We will emphasize writing with empathy, passion, authority and concreteness. The class will include a mandatory weekend field trip to UK’s Robinson Forest.

Joyce MacDonald
ENG 440-001: Studies in British Literature TR 9:30-10:45
This section of ENG 440 is subtitled “Love and Sex in Renaissance England.” Despite having produced some of the most powerful love poetry in the language, the Renaissance was also a period that experienced deep ambivalence about the proper places for sex and romance in an ordered society. In this course, we will read imaginative writing about sex, love, and lovers’ bodies, medical discussions of childbirth and reproduction, and samples of polemical writing warning about the dangers of unregulated sexual desire. How were early modern ideas about sex different from modern understandings? How does this difference show up in the poetry and drama of the period? How might pre-modern ideas about sex and love be related to modern beliefs?

Michelle Sizemore
ENG 450-001: American Gothic: Unsettling the Nation TR 11-11:50

What is the American Gothic? Although its conventions and effects are relatively easy to identify—haunted houses, gloomy landscapes, ghosts, evil villains, suspense, terror—the parameters of the gothic remain unclear. Like the Grant Wood painting of the same name, the meaning of the American Gothic lies in the rift between surface and depth, between past and present, between official national history and its ominous underside. Our task in this course will be to generate a suggestive rubric for the American Gothic rather than to pin down a single definition. As we explore this haunted terrain, we will use key concepts such as the uncanny, the abject, horror, terror, and history to orient our conversation. Over the semester we will trace these concepts through several intellectual and cultural contexts, delving into fears produced by colonization, the Enlightenment, religion, slavery, race relations, and gender roles. As we search for “the specter of Otherness that haunts the house of national narrative” we may very well find that the ghost dwells in plain sight—or else lurks behind the closed curtain in the light of day. Two essays, a presentation, and a final exam.

Michael Trask
ENG 450G-002: Studies in American Literature: Postmodernism TR 12:30-1:45
What is postmodernism? For some critics, it names an aesthetic movement that either refuses or extends the modernist project (or does both).  For some critics, it names a historical period, from about 1960 to the present in which we now find ourselves (an era that, according to the political theorist Francis Fukuyama, actually marks “the end of history”).  For yet others, it names a philosophical position that favors relativism and pluralism over universals (or what the French thinker Jean-Francois Lyotard calls “master narratives”).  Some thinkers use the word postmodernism with approval (since its blending of high and low culture, as with Pop Art, appears to capture a democratic spirit and to overthrow the despotism of taste).  Other thinkers use the word to voice their despair (since, as with the cooptation of the radical avant-gardes of the early 20th century, it appears to herald the absorption of all positions of critique or defiance into market society and hence to afford no alternative to capitalist domination).  Postmodernism has other connotations, but all these ways of identifying it overlap to some extent.  That overlap will be the subject of our course. Ours will be a multimedia approach to postmodernism in theory and practice.  We’ll look chiefly at writing about and by postmodernists, but we’ll also consider some film and visual art.  Our aim will be to make sense of this concept without prejudging whether it is a good or bad thing.  Texts will include excerpts from Fredric Jameson (Postmodernism) and Lyotard (The Postmodern Condition); Robert Smithson’s essays; Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas; Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol; Barbara Kruger, Remote Control; Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine; Frank O’Hara, Lunch Poems. Films will include David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.  We’ll also study a portfolio of important postmodern visual and conceptual art by Warhol, Smithson, Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Keith Haring, Bruce Nauman, and others.  There will be one short paper, one midterm, and one long project (a seminar paper or a capstone assignment equivalent in scope and intellectual seriousness).

E.M. Santí
ENG 450G/SPA 464 TR 2-3:15

The course will study eight fiction works by 20th and 21st century U.S. Latino/a/s, their diverse cultural heritage, literary imagination and collective debate on a number of issues. Authors read will include Puerto Rican Chicano, Cuba-American and Dominican-American writers, their struggle with U.S. society and language, views on race, class and gender, as well as their polemical relationship to U.S. society and their home countries and the canon of American lit. Our discussions will broach issues of bilingualism, hybridity, and the tensions between inherited traditions and contemporary cultural pressures. There will also be readings in the relevant theories of contemporary Latino/Hispanic scholars, and varied historical contexts.

Julia Johnson
ENG 507-002: Advanced Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Poetry T 4-6:30

We will write poems and we may even cross into new territory. It is a workshop-based class. We will discuss the art and craft of writing poems, and we will workshop one another's work with enthusiasm and care. In addition to to generating new work, we will discover and present on new books of poems (published within the last 2-3 years). The portfolio produced at the end of the term will be of publishable quality. 

Hannah Pittard
ENG 607-001: GRADUATE WRITING WORKSHOP: Fiction: The Short Story M 4-6:30

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. All work will be written during the semester. No previously workshopped or previously written material will be accepted.  

Frank Walker
ENG 607-003: Graduate Workshop in Imaginative Writing: Poetry R 5-7:30
In this graduate workshop advance poets will read and critique each other's original work with a focus on editing and polishing individual pieces for publication and for inclusion in graduate portfolios. These seasoned poets will study the work of contemporary poets and focus on sharpening their critical eye, fine-tuning their voice, and creating a sustained narrative in a cycle of original poems. Students will explore and discuss the written work of established poets as well as their professional and personal lives. They will also practice writing life in the real world by organizing and planning a public reading, expertly executing the submissions process, preparing a conference quality panel presentation, and work with an ESL student on a translation of a piece of their original work.

Andy Doolen
ENG 651-001: Imagining New Americas R 2-4:30

“Imagining New Americas” is a seminar that examines the national desire for open spaces, free land, and new frontiers. We will explore the many ways in which expansion across the continent and beyond shaped nineteenth-century U.S. literature and culture. We will study the writings of a wide range of authors, including Charles Brockden Brown, Lydia Maria Child, Timothy Flint, James Fenimore Cooper, John Dunn Hunter, Blackhawk, Caroline Kirkland, Herman Melville, and Martin Delany.  As this list demonstrates, our seminar will include a mix of canonical and lesser-known authors, all of whom articulated a “continental imaginary” for a nation-state with imperial ambitions. This is an American Studies-style seminar so students will be reading across other fields and disciplines. As much as this seminar will provide students with an overview of the period, the seminar will also introduce students to some of the current critical and theoretical approaches that have been redefining conventional wisdom about the development of U.S. national identity during the nineteenth-century.  Students will be expected to write weekly 1-2 page response papers and a final 12 page “conference paper.”

Pearl James
ENG 681-001: F 2-4:30

War is famously hard to represent.  It takes place over large areas and long expanses of time.  Each enemy side calls it by a different name, explains its origins differently, and interprets its events from opposing points of view.  Its violence exceeds perception: "you tend to miss a lot," as one veteran writer puts it.  The experience of psychological and physical damage at the heart of war make it difficult, if not impossible, to remember and tell about.  And that is only among the survivors.  Many witnesses of war are, of course, the dead.  And yet, we go on telling stories about war, making movies about it, trying to capture what it is like, its meaning, even its beauty.  Some go so far as to glorify it.  Many have claimed a privileged role for cinema in the ongoing attempt to represent war experience, either because the camera’s objectivity transcends the limitations of human vision, or because the cinema’s capacity to tell a narrative seems specially adapted to the “skewed” angles of vision produced in war.  Those stories, and those “skewed” angles of vision, are our subject here.  This section of English 281 focuses not on war experience, then, but on its cinematic representations.  We will consider the following questions: who are war movies made for?  What cultural work do war movies do for their various audiences?  Can a war movie be an anti-war movie?  What formal elements of film have filmmakers used to try and tell “a true war story”?  In the process of discussing these questions, this course provides instruction in the formal analysis of film.  

Liza Zunshine
English 730-401: “The Eighteenth-Century Novel and the Dialogic Imagination” W 6-8:30

As an introduction to the eighteenth-century novel, this course will feature such authors as Henry Fielding, Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, Ann Radcliffe, and Jane Austen.  Our theoretical mainstay will be Mikhail Bakhtin’s essay “Discourse in the Novel,” although we will also discuss a wide range of scholarship on the “rise of the novel.” Topics to be considered: evolving cultural practices of novel-reading; the novel in history and the history of the novel; genre-bending representations of fictional consciousness; and contemporary cinematic treatments of eighteenth-century novels. Requirements: short written responses, pedagogical practicums, final oral presentation, and final research paper. 

Erik Reece

This class is devoted to writing about the visual arts in the genres of nonfiction, fiction and poetry. Students will consider many models from each genre and then undertake their own ekphrastic writing assignments. Each student will be free to work in whatever genre or genres she or he prefers. Much of the class’s writing will take place on campus: in the Art Museum, in Memorial Hall (WPA fresco), and outdoors where we will consider various sculptures. Students will undertake a thorough study of the history of the ekphrastic form over the last one hundred years, but their own writing will be creative rather than analytical.


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