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Department of English Language and Literature

  • Medieval men

Undergraduate Course Descriptions - Spring 2020

Awesome, Cool Classes You Won’t See Every Semester

ENGL 280.001  -  LITERATURE AND ETHNIC CONFLICT    MW 2:20-3:35     Gavin

(AIU/VSR)

Since the 1970s, the total number of people killed in armed conflict has generally declined. Adjusting for population growth, fewer people have died in war in the last forty years than during many similar periods in human history. Yet, we also see a growing number of smaller conflicts around the world. From Ireland to Eastern Europe, from Nigeria to Sri Lanka, and perhaps even to our doorstep in Appalachia, civil unrest and instability arise between competing ethnic groups. Ethnicities are shared identities built on narratives of family, history, and often, poverty and violence. To understand ethnic conflict means asking questions about identity, family, history, politics, economics and globalization. On these topics, novelists have been at the intellectual forefront. More than any other kind of writing, novels and memoirs bring these questions together to explore the often contradictory motives and long-term effects of ethnic violence. In this course, we will study world literature by asking how novels and memoirs have been used to comprehend conflicts around the world.

ENGL 285.001     TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE: EAT THIS! FOOD AND US MODERN LIT     TR 11:40 -12:55     KEYSER

Our food system changed radically in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth: factory farming, artificial flavors, refrigerated trains, and more changed where we get our food, what foods we get, the ingredients found within them, and even our culture of eating (Eric Schlosser calls America the “fast food nation.”) Writers are always absorbing and metabolizing the changes that go on in the world around them. This course follows literary food through four major settings: farm, factory, restaurant, supermarket, and kitchen. As we shall see, food is more than just what we eat; our relationship to it affects how we see our bodies, our communities, our environment, and our world. We will consider recipes, memoirs, science fiction, children's literature, poetry, novels, food industry exposés, and more, as we follow America's twentieth and now twenty-first century obsession with what and how we eat. Course readings will include Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Helena Viramontes' Under the Feet of Jesus. Assignments will include quizzes, short essays, a midterm, and a final.

ENGL 340.001  -  LITERATURE AND LAW     MW 9:40-10:30     Gulick

What can literature and literary criticism teach us about law? This is the question that will guide us, in this (brand new!) course, through a reading list drawn from multiple countries and historical periods—from ancient Athens to the Jim Crow U.S. South to Guantánamo Bay. We’ll read literary works (broadly construed) such as Aeschylus’s The Oresteia, the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Genesis, and Franz Kafka’s enigmatic fable “Before the Law” alongside an archive of famous declarations and constitutions (from the U.S., France, Haiti, and South Africa) in order to consider what it means to bring law into existence in the first place. We’ll explore the narrative and performative features of the legal trial in texts such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men, and Richard Price and Steven Zaillian’s The Night Of. Finally we’ll examine Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!, Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary, and other contemporary literary renderings of legal failure and paradox—instances in which the gap between law and justice is thrown into stark relief, as are complex questions about reparation, reconciliation, and the role of past injustice in our ways of imaging a more just world yet to come. Brief and gentle forays into literary theory and legal scholarship will enhance our understanding of these texts.

This course invites students from all disciplinary backgrounds, including—but certainly not limited to—those who are considering careers in law. Regardless of your disciplinary background, be prepared to read voraciously, write carefully, and approach in-class discussions with enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, candor, and a genuine desire to learn from your peers.

ENGL 439.001  -  TOPICS: GAY AND LESBIAN LITERATURE     TR 10:05-11:20     Madden

(Cross-listed with WGST 430)

This course will examine the evolving understanding of gay and lesbian identities and evolving representations of gay and lesbian lives through a study of significant literary and historical texts of the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.  We will trace developing literary, medical, and historical representations of sexual identities and communities.  As we examine these texts and their contexts, we will consider how literary texts exemplify cultural narratives and images of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and other nonnormative sexual identities). Our objectives in the course will be: (1) to develop an awareness of major texts and their contexts, (2) to develop an understanding of the major issues and questions that inform and animate these texts, (3) to enrich our historical and cultural understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identities; and (4) to be able to connect contemporary questions about sexual identity to broader philosophical, cultural, and historical understandings.

ENGL 439.002  -  TOPICS: THE BIRTH & DEATH OF THE BOOK     MW 11:10-12:25     Jackson

With the rise of the Internet calling into question the very future of the book as a viable technology, it seems like an especially good time to explore the book’s past. Where do books come from? How are they printed, published, and promoted? How are they shipped, stored, sold, and read? How long have they been around, and how much longer are they likely to be so? The Birth and Death of the Book will explore the history of the book as a technology, as a means of information storage and retrieval, as a commodity, an art form, and as way of understanding the world. It will introduce students to the history of the book from the beginning of the first millennium to the beginning of the second, ranging across continents, cultures, and centuries. It will also explore the ways in which the book has been threatened with extinction or irrelevance by other forms of communication including telephones, televisions, and especially the Internet, and consider the book’s possible futures. The class will entail a mixture of readings in historical and literary sources; hands on experience with books hundreds of years old and hot off the press; experimentation with printing presses and web publishing, and lots of bold, speculative thinking. Possible themes will include the psychology and physiology of reading; the Harry Potter craze as a publishing phenomenon; book hoarding, book burning, and book theft; the invention of the printing press; the rise of book clubs; the emergence of Amazon and the decline of bricks-and-mortar book stores; the transformation of publishing; the experience of reading, writing, and publishing digitally; and many other topics. The class should be of interest to students in English, History, Sociology, Psychology, and any other field of humanistic exploration.

ENGL 439.003  -  TOPICS: MEDIEVAL MASCULINITIES     TR 11:40-12:55     Crocker

This course explores the construction of medieval masculinities through literary representation, paying particular attention to the ways different genres inflect contrasting modes of masculinity.  The thematic apparatus of the class is not in place to limit or narrow critical inquiry in our discussion, but is instead meant to destabilize a category of identity often privileged in scholarly discourse.  Besides thinking about masculinities across authors including Geoffrey Chaucer, the Gawain poet, and Chretien de Troyes, we will also pursue the social implications of literary representations.  As Wycliffitte writings and conduct manuals demonstrate, becoming a man in medieval society is not an easy or safe process, and thinking through the cultural expectations that define masculinities opens up avenues of inquiry relevant to other gender and social positions.  We will, therefore, read several texts written by, for, or from the point of view of women to see how those writers respond to various types of masculine authority.  We will also discuss what kinds of influence women have over shaping meanings of manhood in medieval society, from Christine de Pizan to Margery Kempe.

Courses That Satisfy Core AIU & VSR Requirements

ENGL 200.001     CREATIVE WRITING, VOICE, AND COMMUNITY     TR 10:05 – 11:20     Countryman

(VSR/AIU)                          

Creative Writing, Voice, and Community is an introduction to writing as a form of social engagement. By examining creative work by established writers, we will discover formal strategies we can put to use in creative assignments. Both the outside texts and writing assignments are geared toward helping us to explore and assert our own identities and aesthetic values. The course will be divided in three units: (1) Self-discovery and Questioning Known Values, (2) Writing a Community, and (3) the Value Of Attention/What We Value Through Attention. In addition to reading and analyzing outside texts and creating poems and stories of our own, we will become accustomed to describing and helping further the development of our classmates’ writing, the ultimate goal being the creation of a workshop community in which everyone feels able to take risks in their writing.

ENGL 200.002     CREATIVE WRITING, VOICE, AND COMMUNITY     TR 1:15 – 2:30     Countryman

(VSR/AIU)                          

Creative Writing, Voice, and Community is an introduction to writing as a form of social engagement. By examining creative work by established writers, we will discover formal strategies we can put to use in creative assignments. Both the outside texts and writing assignments are geared toward helping us to explore and assert our own identities and aesthetic values. The course will be divided in three units: (1) Self-discovery and Questioning Known Values, (2) Writing a Community, and (3) the Value Of Attention/What We Value Through Attention. In addition to reading and analyzing outside texts and creating poems and stories of our own, we will become accustomed to describing and helping further the development of our classmates’ writing, the ultimate goal being the creation of a workshop community in which everyone feels able to take risks in their writing.

ENGL 280.001     LITERATURE AND ETHNIC CONFLICT     MW 2:20 – 3:35     Gavin

(AIU/VSR)

Since the 1970s, the total number of people killed in armed conflict has generally declined. Adjusting for population growth, fewer people have died in war in the last forty years than during many similar periods in human history. Yet, we also see a growing number of smaller conflicts around the world. From Ireland to Eastern Europe, from Nigeria to Sri Lanka, and perhaps even to our doorstep in Appalachia, civil unrest and instability arise between competing ethnic groups. Ethnicities are shared identities built on narratives of family, history, and often, poverty and violence. To understand ethnic conflict means asking questions about identity, family, history, politics, economics and globalization. On these topics, novelists have been at the intellectual forefront. More than any other kind of writing, novels and memoirs bring these questions together to explore the often contradictory motives and long-term effects of ethnic violence. In this course, we will study world literature by asking how novels and memoirs have been used to comprehend conflicts around the world.

ENGL 283.001     TOPICS IN BRITISH LITERATURE: REVOLUTIONARY ROMANTICISM     TR 1:15 – 2:30     FELDMAN

(AIU)

In this exploration of British literature from the Revolutionary Period, we will discuss texts by canonical and non-canonical authors to understand not only the effects of revolutionary thought on literature and society but how these ideas continue to inform the world in which we live. We will read poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by some of the most interesting and insightful writers of the era. Classes are taught by the lecture/discussion method.

ENGL 286.001     POETRY     TR 2:50 – 4:05     Powell

(AIU)

English 286 is an introductory course in reading poetry designed for underclassmen pursuing majors other than English.  Students will become familiar with basic formal techniques useful in reading contemporary poetry and practice expository writing skills through analyses of poetic texts.  This section of the course will study these techniques and skills by using them to explore poetry by living writers inspired by the American South, especially South Carolina—including but not limited to poems by Kwame Dawes, Nikky Finney, Ed Madden, Ron Rash, and Atsuro Riley.  Some of the questions we will consider are what distinguishes poetry from other kinds of writing, what characterizes contemporary southern poetry, how poets influence one another, and what function poetry may have in a literate society.  In addition to completing course readings and attending and participating in class, students should expect to complete two 5-page writing assignments, attend local poetry readings, and demonstrate mastery of course materials on quizzes, one or more midterms, and a cumulative final exam.

Prerequisites

ENGL 287.001     AMERICAN LITERATURE     TR 11:40 – 12:55     Shields

(Designed for English majors) 

An introduction to American literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.

ENGL 287.002     AMERICAN LITERATURE     MW 2:20 – 3:35     Greven

(Designed for English majors)

In 1820, one English commentator observed, “In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?” By the end of the century, American literature had won, as one critic puts it, “a grudging respect” in the transatlantic literary marketplace. This course focuses on the development of a national literature in the nineteenth-century United States, paying attention to the transition from romanticism to realism. Grounding our analysis in considerations of form, we will explore the ways that literature registered broader conflicts over race, gender, sexuality, and class in the emergent nation. Participation will be graded, and other requirements will include individual presentations, unannounced quizzes, two essays, a midterm, and a final. 

ENGL 287.003     AMERICAN LITERATURE     TR 1:15 – 2:30     Lee

(Designed for English majors)  

Our course will examine the literature of the United States from 1845 onward, and we will cover some major authors, themes, and movements from this period. We will also cover a range of genre and form, including novella, slave narrative, poetry, essay, short story, and novel. Given this emphasis on genre, we will consider the relationship between literary form and content—themes and motifs—that we might characterize as uniquely “American.” Our aim, ultimately, is to ask ourselves over and over again 1) what defines such writing as “American,” and 2) how “American” identity is crafted, negotiated, and redefined over time.

ENGL 287.004     AMERICAN LITERATURE     MW 3:55 – 5:10     Trafton

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to American literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.

ENGL 288.001     ENGLISH LITERATURE     TR 1:15 – 2:30     TBA

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to American literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.

ENGL 288.002     ENGLISH LITERATURE     TR 10:05 – 11:20     Cohen

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to English literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature. Designed for English majors.

ENGL 288.004     ENGLISH LITERATURE     TR 11:40-12:55     Coriale

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to English literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature. Designed for English majors.

Pre-1800 Literature

ENGL 380.001  -  EPIC TO ROMANCE     TR 10:05-11:20     Gwara

(Cross-listed with CPLT 380.001)

A study of genres, characterization, and salient themes in five major texts: Homer’s Iliad, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Beowulf, Marie’s Lais, and Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde.

ENGL 381.001  -  THE RENAISSANCE     MW 2:20-3:35     Shifflett

We shall study major writers of the English Renaissance (e.g. More, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, Milton) and cutting-edge scholarship about them. Requirements are likely to include an essay, a midterm exam, and a take-home final comprehensive exam.

ENGL 382.001  -  THE ENLIGHTENMENT     TR 1:15-2:30     Jarrells

This course provides an introduction to some of the key texts and arguments of the Enlightenment. What was the Enlightenment, we’ll ask, and why did it happen when and where it did, in eighteenth-century books, periodicals, coffeehouses, letters, and salons? What is the Enlightenment now, we’ll also ask: what does “Enlightenment” mean today and why has this question become more and more pressing in recent years, both in literary studies and in public discourse? To address such questions, we’ll read works by John Locke, Mary Wortley Montagu, David Hume, Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, William Blake, and Mary Shelley. We will also take a look at some twentieth- and twenty-first-century attempts to come to terms with both the Enlightenment and its discontents.

ENGL 406.001  -  SHAKESPEARES COMEDIES AND HISTORIES     MW 11:10-12:25     Shifflett

We shall study plays that address ethical and political themes relevant both to Shakespeare’s time and ours. Comedies and romances may include Much Ado about Nothing, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. Histories may include Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, and Henry V. Requirements are likely to include an essay, a midterm exam, and a take-home final comprehensive exam.

ENGL 439.003  -  TOPICS:  MEDIEVAL MASCULINITIES     TR 11:40-12:55     Crocker

This course explores the construction of medieval masculinities through literary representation, paying particular attention to the ways different genres inflect contrasting modes of masculinity.  The thematic apparatus of the class is not in place to limit or narrow critical inquiry in our discussion, but is instead meant to destabilize a category of identity often privileged in scholarly discourse.  Besides thinking about masculinities across authors including Geoffrey Chaucer, the Gawain poet, and Chretien de Troyes, we will also pursue the social implications of literary representations.  As Wycliffitte writings and conduct manuals demonstrate, becoming a man in medieval society is not an easy or safe process, and thinking through the cultural expectations that define masculinities opens up avenues of inquiry relevant to other gender and social positions.  We will, therefore, read several texts written by, for, or from the point of view of women to see how those writers respond to various types of masculine authority.  We will also discuss what kinds of influence women have over shaping meanings of manhood in medieval society, from Christine de Pizan to Margery Kempe.

Post-1800 Literature

ENGL 340.001  -  LITERATURE AND LAW     MW 9:40-10:30     Gulick

What can literature and literary criticism teach us about law? This is the question that will guide us, in this (brand new!) course, through a reading list drawn from multiple countries and historical periods—from ancient Athens to the Jim Crow U.S. South to Guantánamo Bay. We’ll read literary works (broadly construed) such as Aeschylus’s The Oresteia, the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Genesis, and Franz Kafka’s enigmatic fable “Before the Law” alongside an archive of famous declarations and constitutions (from the U.S., France, Haiti, and South Africa) in order to consider what it means to bring law into existence in the first place. We’ll explore the narrative and performative features of the legal trial in texts such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men, and Richard Price and Steven Zaillian’s The Night Of. Finally we’ll examine Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!, Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary, and other contemporary literary renderings of legal failure and paradox—instances in which the gap between law and justice is thrown into stark relief, as are complex questions about reparation, reconciliation, and the role of past injustice in our ways of imaging a more just world yet to come. Brief and gentle forays into literary theory and legal scholarship will enhance our understanding of these texts.

This course invites students from all disciplinary backgrounds, including—but certainly not limited to—those who are considering careers in law. Regardless of your disciplinary background, be prepared to read voraciously, write carefully, and approach in-class discussions with enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, candor, and a genuine desire to learn from your peers.

ENGL 383.001  -  ROMANTICISM     TR 4:25-5:40     Feldman

In this exploration of British literature from the Revolutionary Period, we will discuss texts by canonical and non-canonical authors to understand not only the effects of revolutionary thought on literature and society but how these ideas continue to inform the world in which we live. We will read poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by some of the most interesting and insightful writers of the era. Classes are taught by the lecture/ discussion method. Requirements include 2 essays, a mid-term exam, quizzes, and a final exam.

ENGL 426.001  -  AMERICAN POETRY     MW 2:20-3:35     Dowdy

This course reads various kinds of U.S. American poetry from across the 20th and 21st centuries—poetry of witness, war poetry, documentary poetry, outlaw poetry, protest poetry, poetry of resistance, and more. Together, these poetries of social engagement will guide our exploration of how poets in the U.S. took on some of the most urgent political, social, and economic issues of the 20thcentury and how they have entered the fray in the first decades of the 21stcentury. In this discussion-based course, we will listen to audio recordings, watch videos of readings and performances, and receive Skype “visits” from our poets. Requirements include participation, formal and informal writing assignments, and a final project.

ENGL 428B.001  -  AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIT II: 1903 - PRESENT     MW 12:45-2:00     Trafton

Representative works of African-American writers from 1903 to the present.

ENGL 431A.001  -  CHILDREN’S LITERATURE     TR 8:30-9:45    Johnson-Feelings

This course introduces students to the field of contemporary children’s literature, encompassing picture books as well as short novels written for audiences of young people. Topics of exploration include (but are not limited to) the history of children’s literature, the world of children’s book prizing, the legacy of Dr. Seuss, the disturbing image in children’s books, and literary/artistic excellence in children’s literature. In some ways, this is an American Studies course; students will consider ways in which children’s literature infuses our culture—“There’s no place like home.” Students will leave the course with an understanding of central issues and controversies in the industry of children’s book publishing and the literary criticism of children’s books. Most importantly, students will explore the relationship between children’s literature and the idea of social justice.

ENGL 432.001  -  YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE     TR 10:05-11:20     Johnson-Feelings

The subject matter of this course is contemporary American young adult (YA) literature. Students will examine texts that are in some way related to central ideas about America and Americans of various backgrounds and experiences. Discussion topics will include the meanings of literary excellence in the young adult literature world, the politics of the children’s book publishing industry, and current issues and controversies in the field, including awards, censorship, gender, authorship, race, and more. Most importantly, students will give attention to the relationship between literature and social justice.

ENGL 437.001  -  WOMEN WRITERS     TR 1:15-2:30     Coriale

(Cross-listed with WGST 437.001)

A study of novels by nineteenth-century women. Authors include Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Olive Schreiner, and Virginia Woolf.

ENGL 439.001  -  TOPICS: GAY AND LESBIAN LITERATURE     TR 10:05-11:20    Madden

(Cross-listed with WGST 430)

This course will examine the evolving understanding of gay and lesbian identities and evolving representations of gay and lesbian lives through a study of significant literary and historical texts of the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries.  We will trace developing literary, medical, and historical representations of sexual identities and communities.  As we examine these texts and their contexts, we will consider how literary texts exemplify cultural narratives and images of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and other nonnormative sexual identities). Our objectives in the course will be: (1) to develop an awareness of major texts and their contexts, (2) to develop an understanding of the major issues and questions that inform and animate these texts, (3) to enrich our historical and cultural understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identities; and (4) to be able to connect contemporary questions about sexual identity to broader philosophical, cultural, and historical understandings.

ENGL 441.001  -  GLOBAL CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE     TR 2:50-4:05     Jelly-Schapiro

This course will examine how contemporary literature both registers and is itself implicated in global forces and histories. We will read works that strive to apprehend the world at large, as well as works that illuminate the ways in which global culture is produced and experienced in local places. Reading novels from across the world, our inquiry will focus on the literary representation of several interrelated phenomena: imperialism, capitalism, climate change, and the conjoined problems of history and memory. We will devote especial attention to the question of how contemporary literature reckons with the longer history of the interlocking crises—economic, political, cultural, and environmental—that define our current global predicament. And we will consider how literary texts play an active role—as the repositories of narrative, as the agents of linguistic power, and as commodities that circulate in markets—in the constitution of our globalized world.

 Creative Writing

ENGL 360.001     CREATIVE WRITING     TR 1:15 – 2:30     Bajo

This creative writing course will be a workshop for the contemporary literary short story. Early weeks will center around the study of contemporary short stories and poems in order to discover what makes writing fiction, and what makes writing contemporary. Discussion of the elements of fiction and the anatomy of story over the first three weeks will merge into class workshops on student story drafts. Some attention will be given to the relationship between writing and publishing. In addition to showing students the craft of fiction, learning outcomes will also offer experience in the skills of informed discussion and presentation, the beginnings of professional collegiality.

ENGL 360.002     CREATIVE WRITING     TR 10:05-11:20     Dings

This course is an introduction to creative writing which will focus on short fiction and poetry, one-half semester for each genre.  Students will learn fundamental techniques and concepts by reading professional stories and poems as models; students then will write their own original stories and poems to be discussed in a workshop format by their peers and instructor.  All work will be revised before grading by portfolio.

ENGL 360.003     CREATIVE WRITING     MW 2:20 – 3:35     Amadon

This course is an introduction to the writing of poetry and fiction. We will learn, as a class, ways of responding to creative work and use our discussions as a means of defining our own aims and values as writers and poets. The final goal of this course is a portfolio of original creative work, but peer response is fundamental; both will factor heavily in the final grade. The class will read works by contemporary and canonical writers as a way of expanding our view of what our writing can do. However, this course is designed as a creative writing workshop, and the majority of class time will be devoted to discussing new writing from students.

ENGL 360.006     CREATIVE WRITING     TR 2:50 – 4:05     TBA

Workshop course on writing original fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction

ENGL 465.001  -  FICTION WORKSHOP     TR 4:25-5:40     Bajo

This course explores the intricacies of the literary elements studied basically in English 360  to teach students how to write literary short stories. Students will use models and discussion to gain an understanding of the level of story composition at stake in this course, then they will begin submitting new stories of their own to workshop assessment in order to discover how to enhance readerly impact. The course is designed for writers aspiring to the profession or to students of literature who wish to deepen their perspective on language by exploring the other side of the printed page.

ENGL 491.001  -  ADVANCED POETRY WORKSHOP     MW 12:45-2:00     Dings

Students will study poetry writing at an advanced undergraduate level through close readings of professional poetry, composition of original work, and regular practice in the evaluation of peer work.

Rhetoric, Theory, and Writing

ENGL 309.001     TEACHING WRITING IN ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS     TR 1:15 – 2:30     GARRIOTT

Teaching Writing in One-to-One Sessions prepares undergraduate students interested in working in the Writing Center or in other tutoring situations with the theory and skills they need to promote active learning in one-to-one sessions. This course will provide students with both the theoretical knowledge of and practical experiences in the best practices of writing center pedagogy. Students will read scholarship from writing center practitioners, meet in online conferences with staff at other writing centers, and integrate best practices into their individualized tutoring sessions with Writing Center clients. Furthermore, students will learn specialized strategies for teaching English grammar and mechanics, especially to multilingual students. In addition to their studies, networks, and tutoring sessions, students will keep a portfolio in which they connect their learning with their tutoring in the Writing Center. By the end of the course, students will have portfolio that will include their own tutoring statement of best practices and a proposal that they may submit for either the IWCA 2020 or the the SWCA 2021 conference. 

ENGL 387.001  -  INTRODUCTION TO RHETORIC     TR 1:15-2:30     Ercolini

The term rhetoric, particularly in contemporary political discourse, is often used to mean empty speech designed to dress things up to look better than they are. Rhetoric, however, has a rich, complex, and important history that distinguishes responsible discourse from that which is deceptive, shallow, and unethical.  Rhetoric can furthermore be characterized as an orientation, a way of seeing, and a way of knowing.  This course examines this robust field of rhetoric in three dimensions: the history of rhetoric (particularly ancient Greek and Roman) as a set of practices, pedagogies, and ways of encountering the world; rhetoric as a critical practice of reading, interpretation, and intervention; and finally as the site of various contemporary theories and debates on the relation between persuasion and knowledge, the nature of language and its influence, and how everyday culture and experience perform important political and social functions.

ENGL 388.001  -  HISTORY OF LITERARY CRITICISM & THEORY     MW 2:20-3:35     Muckelbauer

On the surface, this course is designed to introduce you to some of the central questions associated with literary and cultural theory. Upon successful completion, you will be conversant with the many divergent strains of contemporary theoretical discourse (feminism, marxism, deconstruction, post-colonialism, etc). You will be able to respond to such fundamental questions as “What and/or how to texts and other artifacts mean?” “What are the roles of the author and the reader in the production of meaning?” or “How are social roles involved in this process?” You will also be able to distinguish different theoretical perspectives - from formalism to postmodernism and structuralism to psychoanalysis (and a host of others). More fundamentally though, this education in theory is intended to encourage you to challenge commonplace ways of thinking (about reading, writing, learning, education, sociality, your life, etc.). Therefore, the true “learning outcome” is that you will learn to (differently) pay attention to the world.

ENGL 460.001  -  ADVANCED WRITING     MW 3:55-5:10     Barilla

This course will be a workshop in creative nonfiction, in which we will explore advanced writing strategies within the genre through reading, writing and discussions of craft. Students will produce new creative work through various writing exercises, and will respond to work in progress from other members of the course in a workshop setting. The goal of this course will be to become familiar with the spectrum of possibilities in the nonfiction genre, and to produce a portfolio of original work.

ENGL 461.001  -  THE TEACHING OF WRITING     TR 1:15-2:30     Rule

This course explores the theory and practice of teaching writing, mostly in middle and secondary school contexts. It is designed primarily to support Education, English, and Secondary Education-English majors and minors, but it may also be of interest for students interested in college level writing instruction, professional careers in writing, and/or tutoring. We will frame the content of this course with the idea of the teacher-researcher: an approach that emphasizes inquiry, reflection, observation, revision & redesign, and ongoing development through immersion in the professional field. In this course, you will learn about important issues impacting the teaching of writing and have the chance to evaluate and extend those issues toward building your own approach, not only as a future teacher but also as a writer and critical thinker.

ENGL 462.001  -  TECHNICAL WRITING     MW 2:20-3:35     TBA

Preparation for, critical examination of, and extensive practice in types of writing important to technical communicators. Genres explored include brief memos, instructions and procedural documentation, formal proposals, reports, and usability tests.

ENGL 463.001     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 11:40 – 12:55     TBA                                                  

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.002     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 1:15 – 2:30     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.003     BUSINESS WRITING     MWF 12:00 – 12:50     TBA       

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.004     BUSINESS WRITING     MWF 10:50 – 11:40     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.005     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 2:50 – 4:05     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.006     BUSINESS WRITING     TR 4:25 – 5:40     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.007     BUSINESS WRITING     MW 5:30 – 6:45     TBA

Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 468.001  -  DIGITAL WRITING     TR 10:05-11:20     Rule

In this course, students will explore, analyze, and create ranging and changing digital genres, including analysis and composition in video, audio, image and social networking, as well as alphabetic language. Students will develop skills, knowledge, and creative strategies for composing all manner of savvy and effective digital content -- critical experience for any twenty-first century life and career.

Language and Linguistics (all fulfill the Linguistics overlay requirement)

ENGL 389.001  -  THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE     MW 2:20-3:35

(Cross-listed with LING 301.001)

The English Languages introduces linguistics through an in-depth exploration of many aspects of English. We will examine the English sound system (phonetics and phonology), word structure (morphology), grammar (syntax), and meaning and usage (semantics). We will also consider other aspects of English, including its acquisition by children, its history as a language, and its social context.

ENGL 389.002    THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE     MW 3:55 – 5:10                             

(Cross-listed with LING 301.002)

The English Languages introduces linguistics through an in-depth exploration of many aspects of English. We will examine the English sound system (phonetics and phonology), word structure (morphology), grammar (syntax), and meaning and usage (semantics). We will also consider other aspects of English, including its acquisition by children, its history as a language, and its social context.

ENGL 450.001  -  ENGLISH GRAMMAR     TR 11:40-12:55     Liu

(Cross-listed with LING 421.001)

• What is "grammar"? 
• What is corpus? 
• How is corpus-based grammar different from traditional grammar? 
• Is there one correct grammar that is suitable for all purposes and contexts? 
• Is the grammar one uses in conversation different from the grammar used in writing? 
• How is grammar manipulated to achieve various communicative functions?

ENGL 450/ LING 421 answers these questions by describing the systematic nature of English grammar as it relates to the contexts in which it is used and the speakers/writers who use it.

HONORS COLLEGE COURSES (restricted to SC Honors College Students)

ENGL 270.H01     WORLD LITERATURE     TR 2:50 – 4:05     Schoeman

(Cross-listed with CPLT 270.H01)

The world is a big place, and this course cannot promise to cover it all. But what it can promise is that you will love to visit a selection of literary locations, immerse yourself in their cultural charms, historical intricacies and social varieties, from where to bring back home (i.e., to your own personal, cultural, mental cradle) a new and enriched perspective.

From Gilgamesh to Atticus Finch, we will read books that blaze a trail for us through a vast literary territory, from one era to the next, from old to new discoveries, ideologies, philosophies, world conceptions, personal as well as national and global self-understanding. Texts, films, documentaries, visual arts and other media will be our vehicles for this excursion around the world in 30 days.

ENGL 282.H02     FICTION: GLOBAL CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE     TR 11:40 – 12:55     Jelly-Schapiro

This course will examine how contemporary literature registers global forces and histories. We will read works that strive to apprehend the world at large, as well as works that illuminate the ways in which global culture is produced and experienced in local places. Reading novels from across the world, our inquiry will focus on the literary representation of several interrelated phenomena: imperialism, capitalism, climate change, and the conjoined problems of history and memory. We will devote especial attention to the question of how contemporary literature reckons with the longer history of the interlocking crises—economic, political, cultural, and environmental—that define our current global predicament.

ENGL 285.H01     TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE: EAT THIS! FOOD AND US MODERN LIT     TR 10:05 – 11:20     Keyser

(Restricted to SC Honors College Students)

Our food system changed radically in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth: factory farming, artificial flavors, refrigerated trains, and more changed where we get our food, what foods we get, the ingredients found within them, and even our culture of eating (Eric Schlosser calls America the “fast food nation.”) Writers are always absorbing and metabolizing the changes that go on in the world around them. This course follows literary food through four major settings: farm, factory, restaurant, supermarket, and kitchen. As we shall see, food is more than just what we eat; our relationship to it affects how we see our bodies, our communities, our environment, and our world. We will consider recipes, memoirs, science fiction, children's literature, poetry, novels, food industry exposés, and more, as we follow America's twentieth and now twenty-first century obsession with what and how we eat. Course readings will include Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Helena Viramontes' Under the Feet of Jesus. Assignments will include quizzes, short essays, a midterm, and a final.

ENGL 286.H01    POETRY     TR 2:50-4:05     Vanderborg

(Restricted to SC Honors College Students)

Calling all poetry lovers—or anyone curious about poetry’s unique forms and themes! This class offers a brief history of narrative and lyric poetry, starting with translated selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Old English poetry, and then moving to Middle English poetry and early modern ballads. We conclude with examples of modern and postmodern poetry—including a poetry book made up of 500 index cards, visual collage poetry, and a poem translated into DNA bases and then implanted into a living organism.

We will use the Norton Anthology of Poetry, shorter edition (at campus bookstore) as the main text, supplemented by additional poems from a course reader. Each class includes a brief lecture followed by extensive discussion.

ENGL 287.H01     AMERICAN LITERATURE     MW 2:20 – 3:35     Jackson

(Designed for English majors)

An introduction to American literary history, emphasizing the analysis of literary texts, the development of literary traditions over time, the emergence of new genres and forms, and the writing of successful essays about literature.

ENGL 288.H01    ENGLISH LITERATURE     TR 10:05 – 11:20     Jarrells

(Designed for English majors)

This course provides a survey of British writing from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Readings will be organized primarily by period and genre: we will study eighteenth-century essays, Romantic lyrics, and novels from the Victorian period and the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  However, some close attention will be paid to historical and thematic links across periods and genres: in particular, to the emergence of what Scottish Enlightenment philosophers called “commercial society,” to the idea of “culture” and the development of a national literature, and to the role that literature played in mediating and representing a rapidly expanding British empire.

ENGL 360.H01    CREATIVE WRITING     TR 1:15 – 2:30     Madden         

(Restricted to SC Honors College Students)

This course is an introduction to creative writing. In this section we will explore creative writing in community contexts. While we will focus on developing our skills as writers, we will also think about creative writing as community engagement and as public art. How does writing work in community contexts, and what can it do in those contexts? How can writing be a public art? We will explore answers to these questions firsthand and on site as we meet with community arts leaders and programmers. We will look at arts and grassroots organizations, we will explore identity-based and community-based projects and special constituencies, and together we will develop community writing projects. In collaboration with the Columbia poet laureate and the office of One Columbia for Arts & History, students will also create “guerrilla poetry” projects to put creative writing into daily life. We will focus in particular on poetry and creative nonfiction (memoir). I expect everyone to take risks, to try out different strategies and styles. Good writers are good readers—so the course will also include discussion of selected texts by contemporary writers.

GLD / Service Learning

This class counts toward Graduation with Leadership Distinction in Community Service and for service learning hours. Our goal is 15 hours of “beyond-the-classroom experience.” As Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning guidelines state, community service means that a course “integrates meaningful community service with academic content,” including “purposeful experience in an off-campus community/agency as a course component” and “reflection across related concepts/issues and community service experience.”

ENGL 360.H02    CREATIVE WRITING     MW 12:45 – 2:00     Barilla

(Restricted to SC Honors College Students)

This course will explore strategies for producing compelling creative work in different genres. At the beginning of the course, we will work with elements of short fiction, and move in more experimental directions as the course proceeds. The course will function primarily as a workshop, in which students will share work in progress with other members of the class. The course will also involve reading and discussing published models, as well as numerous writing exercises. Students will produce a portfolio of original creative work, which they will turn in at the end of the course for a final grade.

SCHC 350.H01     HNRS: CULTURAL REVIVAL: RHETORICS AND REALITIES     TR 2:50 – 4:05      SHIELDS    

This course examines the cultural logic of revivals of past conditions. It asks why calls to return to some earlier condition, style, political state, or fashion emerge at particular moments in history. It explores how these calls deploy pathos, reason, and style to appeal to audiences. It measures what their potentials are for changing the status quo. Also it wonders about the degree to which they invent the past they wish to recreate. What is the threshold that separates revival from revolution, the violent return to a lost condition of liberty, sovereignty, and civility? To what extent are cultural revivals reactionary political initiatives? To what extent is cultural reformation and reconfiguration in light of a past model or mode? We will explore how cultural revival operates in several registers: with the aid of historian Catherine Winterer we will consider the neoclassicism of the American Revolution. Using the writings and media of the Southern Foodways Alliance we will examine how the southern food revival of the past decade has negotiated the problem of not seeming a call to a return to white supremacy and moonlight and magnolias visions of the antebellum plantation world. Looking at architecture guides and women’s fashion magazines (Godey’s Lady’s Book) we will ponder how architectural historicism in the 19th century (the gothic revival and the colonial revival) shaped the development of American domesticity. We will examine popular music revivals (rockabilly revival, neo-soul, second wave ska, neo-psych and garage rock) to see what they are attempting to accomplish. In particular we will be interested in the way certain ways of framing revival—the prefix “neo”—the phrase “making . . . again”—the picture of culture as a set of recurrent waves (first wave, second wave, third wave) inflect the political and stylistic meaning a cultural return. Finally, we will explore the metaphor of cultural recycling, to explore the attempt to visual cultures in terms of ecologies.

SCHC 350.H03     HNRS:  DIGGING TO AMERICA     TR 11:40 – 12:55     Powell

The study of literature can be a dynamic part of a liberal arts education, strengthening skills in argumentation, critical thinking, and analysis, and also suggesting roles that imaginative writing can play in national and community dialogue and in individual readers’ lives. This course pursues these goals by providing an introduction to selected phases and issues in American literature not through a systematic survey, but through substantial reading in a few notable works that have explored the idea of an American self.  The special topic of this section is "Digging to America" (borrowed from Anne Tyler's novel of the same name).  Some of the course texts under consideration include but are not limited to poems, essays, and fiction by Julia Alvarez, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Allen Ginsberg, Yuri Herrera, Josephine Humphreys, Claudia Rankine, Anne Tyler, and Richard Wright.  In addition to completing course readings and attending and participating in class, participants should expect to write four 3-page writing assignments (to include a midterm), and to demonstrate mastery of course materials on quizzes and a cumulative final exam.

SCHC 350.H04     HNRS:  SOUTHERN WRITERS AND THE WEST     TR 1:15 – 2:30     Brinkmeyer

This course will explore contemporary Southern writers who have written about the West, focusing on how these writers establish and work with competing cultural mythologies, particularly those grounded in Southern community and Western individualism.  We will begin the course by discussing widely held perceptions about the West and the South, and then explore how contemporary Southern writers, together with several filmmakers, manipulate and transform these perceptions in their work.  The course will enrich our understanding not only of contemporary Southern literature and culture, but also of regionalism’s continuing significance in shaping American identity and cultural imagination, including the identities and imaginations of those in the class.

SCHC 353.H05     HNRS: SPECULATIVE IDENTITIES: RACE, GENDER, AND SCIENCE FICTION     MW 9:40-10:55     COLLINS

Following Octavia Butler’s inquiry “What good is science fiction?” this literature course takes a deep dive into the science fiction genre as written by women, women of color, and nonbinary writers. The course will explore how these writers use literature to contribute to historical and ongoing conversations about race, gender, sexuality, and their intersections.  It will ask the following questions: a) What is the genre of science fiction and are its conventions? b) What topics and themes seem to be popular with these authors? Or, what do aliens, robot and cyborg bodies, and space exploration have to do with race and gender?  c) Most importantly, how are these writers using science fiction and fantasy conventions to imagine the future and critique the present? Readings will include those of Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nnedi Okorafor, James Tiptree Jr., Alyssa Wong, N.K. Jemisin, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and others. 

SCHC 450.H0B     HNRS: BEYOND THE WALL: READING U.S. LATINX LITERATURE     MW 11:10 – 12: 25     DOWDY

A wide-ranging introduction to the literatures and cultures of U.S. Latinas/os, spanning national groups and historical geographies. Moving from the U.S. obsession with the U.S.-Mexico border to other sites and spaces of Latinx cultures, the course will read a broad range of texts by Chicana/o (Mexican American) and Puerto Rican writers, as well as texts by writers descended from other Latin American nations. ***Knowledge of Spanish is NOT required. 

SCHC 456.H01     HNRS:  SECRETS AND LIES     MW 12:45 – 2:00     Woertendyke

What is secrecy, what does it serve to protect, and what, if any, kinds of deception do secrecy depend upon?  Secrecy is ubiquitous, guarding central aspects of our identities and creating a protective layer against knowledge, people, concepts, or things that threaten to invade our personal (and sometimes private) space.  The revelation of secrets can produce catastrophe in its wake – Edward Snowden’s leak of classified NSA documents, for example; or on smaller scale, hurt feelings, as when a friend betrays your trusted secrets.  Unsurprisingly, then, secrecy is often at the core of narrative - a central mystery around which each strand of the story is moving to protect or reveal. Fiction is variously described as a type of deception or as a form of truth.  The course will introduce a range of fictional forms in history, literature, and contemporary popular culture – our aim will be to identify patterns, or keys, of secrecy in various genres including but not limited to diaries, confessions, tales, short stories, life writing, non-fiction essays, novels, and films.  Ultimately, we will consider how, and to what effect, secrecy shapes contemporary culture in the United States.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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