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Department of English Language and Literature

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Undergraduate Course Descriptions - Spring 2022

  • Awesome, Cool Classes You Won’t See Every Semester

ENGL 439.001     TOPICS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK:  GENDER, SEXUALITY AND REPRESENTATION     MW 2:20 – 3:35 pm     GREVEN

This course examines several key words of Alfred Hitchcock, one of the most important directors in film history, paying close attention to the recurring motifs and concerns in his body of work. Hitchcock’s career began in England, where he made the first English sound film (Blackmail) and several of the most important works of the 1930s. Lured to America by David O. Selznick, Hitchcock went on to make an astonishing number of films still pored over and debated by scholars. This course examines Hitchcock’s cinematic art, focusing on the intersection between his complex aesthetics and his controversial representation of gender roles and sexuality. Of particular interest will be Hitchcock’s development of suspense techniques from the equally influential sources of Soviet montage and German Expressionism; his recurring interest in the figure of the embattled woman; his representation of queer sexuality; his use of the film star (Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly especially); and the development of Hitchcock’s reputation as his critical reception, shaped by the intervention of the auteur critics in France and the United States, transformed the view of Hitchcock as primarily an entertainer to that of a serious artist.

ENGL 439.002     TOPICS: FICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH     TTH  11:40 – 12:55 pm     JACKSON

Attending school can be stressful for all of us, but according to a 2019 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, America's colleges are currently witnessing a "student mental health-crisis."  In the last decade, the number of students visiting campus counseling services for depression and anxiety has grown by forty percent.  What can fiction possibly teach us about mental health, and how might fiction help us achieve and maintain it?  In this course, we'll find out.  We'll read a variety of contemporary novels and short stories about anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and trauma but also consider fictions about healing, happiness, and wellness.  We'll probe the boundaries of what counts as fiction by reading clinical case histories and memoirs, and we'll investigate how fiction has operated in therapeutic practices such as Bibliotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We'll cover a wide range of approaches to interpreting and analyzing fiction and along the way learn about some basic concepts in mental health and wellness. Assessment will be by a variety of essays and short take home assignments.  This class is not a substitute for attending counseling, but our emphasis will be on reading fiction in ways that are not only perceptive but also helpful and hopeful.

ENGL 439.003    TOPICS: WITNESSING, REMEMBERING, FICTIONALIZING:  THE HOLOCAUST IN WORDS AND IMAGES    WEB    MW  2:20 – 3:35 pm     SCHOEMAN

(Cross-listed with JSTU 373)

This course focuses on the way in which writers, filmmakers, artists and cultural institutions (museums, schools, etc.) have contributed to the construction of an indelible “Holocaust memory” in America and elsewhere since the end of WWII. We will study the representations of the Holocaust through a variety of media and genres: documentaries, feature films, museum exhibits, oral histories and some of the classics of Holocaust literature (in memoirs, fiction, and sequential art). A selection of secondary sources will illustrate the historical context of the Holocaust and enrich our discussions with interesting and discomforting questions from the perspective of literary theory, gender studies, philosophy, and more. The main concern of our exploration is not “how” (or “why”) this atrocious genocide happened, but in what way such untellable experiences can be told through the arts. And if they can be told at all.

ENGL 566.001  -  TOPICS IN FILM & MEDIA:  SUPERHEROES ACROSS MEDIA     TTh 2:50 - 4:05 pm     MINETT

(Cross-listed with FAMS 566)

Given the box office success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and the recent flourishing of superheroes in filmed and animated television, the superhero and the superhero genre has arguably never had a higher cultural or industrial profile. This class will examine the superhero genre’s movement across art forms, industries, and eras. In doing so we will engage with and refine notions of genre, adaptation, storytelling strategies, industry, and reception. Primary focus will be placed on examining the iterations of iconic DC and Marvel comic book superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Avengers. The historical perspective we will take here seeks to cut against both the “mythic” approach and the naturalizing and essentializing notions of the superhero that you may be more familiar with. That is, rather than thinking about a superhero or the superhero genre in terms of broad cultural “significance,” pondering a given superhero’s psychology or philosophy as if they were a real person, or worrying about whether a given adaptation lacks fidelity we will instead focus on understanding the large-scale design and concrete details of given iterations within specific industrial and cultural contexts. The class will serve as both a historical poetics of superhero storytelling across media and as a multi-industrial history.

Courses That Satisfy Core AIU & VSR Requirements

ENGL 200.001          CREATIVE WRITING, VOICE, AND COMMUNITY       TTh 2:50 - 4:05 pm          TBA

(AIU/VSR)

Workshop course on creative writing with a focus on values, ethics, and social responsibility.


ENGL 200.002          CREATIVE WRITING, VOICE, AND COMMUNITY     TTh 1:15 - 2:30 pm          DINGS

(AIU, VSR) 

We will read and discuss stories, poems, and some essays to focus on the relationship of individuals and communities. Specifically, what roles do shared and conflicting values play in the relationship? What is the responsibility of an individual to the society of which he/she/they are a part? What is the community’s responsibility to its members, especially when those members dissent? What difference does it make when individual membership is involuntary instead of voluntary? What difference does it make when assent is acquired through coercion instead of persuasion? Students will engage these matters and others through reading, discussion, and creative writing of their own. 

ENGL 270.001          WORLD LITERATURE       TTh 2:50 – 4:05 pm           LUO

(Cross-listed with CPLT 270) (AIU)

How does literature teach us about the potentialities and limits of our bodies? In this section of World Literature, we will discuss a wide range of literary texts that explore human existence in relation to the body. Examining texts from a wide array of cultures, including Sumerian, Greek, Roman, Italian, Chinese, Russian, French, German, and American, we’ll contemplate how bodies are represented through desire, love, crisis, punishment, death, technologies, etc. Reading a number of genres such as poems, epics, short stories, novellas, and (graphic) novels, we will learn how these authors conceptualize as well as problematize identities. Particular emphasis will be placed upon cross-cultural and comparative perspectives.   

ENGL 280.001       LITERATURE AND SOCIETY     TTh 10:05 - 11:20 am       STERN

(AIU, VSR)

This section will focus on literary works that help us to think through the conflicts of our present moment. Through reading fiction, drama, poetry, and essays from a wide range of outstanding authors (Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Susan Sontag, John Ruskin, Emily St. John Mandel, Ta-Nahesi Coates, and others), we’ll dive deep into current events. Through works foregrounding gender, race, ecology, and economics, this class will explore the role of literature in shaping our ideas about value, possibility, and community. Exams will consist of short weekly quizzes, a midterm and a final; written assignments include options for reflective work, creative interpretation, historical research, and outdoor adventure.

ENGL 282.001      TOPICS:  SCIENCE FICTION AND THE SINGULARITY    TTh  1:15 - 2:30 pm     MUCKELBAUER

(AIU)

Mathematician and novelist, Vernor Vinge summarizes a paper he delivered at a NASA conference in 1993 as follows: “Within 30 years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.” This event, which Vinge termed “the singularity,” has become a popular topic of debate among scientists and artists alike: are we actually on the verge of a major transformation to our species? Is this superhuman intelligence even possible? And if so, is it desirable? Or controllable? As we will see, Vinge and others focus primarily on the implications of artificial intelligence as the key element of this transformation. However, other contemporary thinkers point to significant changes in bio-technology (for instance, our increasing ability to alter nuclear DNA) as indicating that our near future might look significantly “post-human.” In fact, some have even argued that our society’s increasing dependence on mood-enhancing medications indicates that we are already well on our way to becoming something other than human. But what exactly do we mean by this? What, precisely, does it mean to be human? These are big questions with profound moral, ethical, and even legal implications. In this class we will engage a series of different works (scientific, cinematic, literary, and philosophical) that not only pose these questions, but wrestle with the implications of some possible responses.

ENGL 283.001        TOPICS IN BRITISH LIT: TOLKIEN'S LEGENDARIUM       TTh  2:50 – 4:05 pm     GWARA

Nations often have culture heroes from a pseudo-medieval past. The Celts of Wales, Cornwall and Brittany esteemed King Arthur, “quondam rex et futurus.” Americans admire Luke Skywalker, a “knight” from “a long time ago.” The French revere the fictional Roland more than the historical Charlemagne. Tolkien’s characters from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are transatlantic culture heroes of comparable preeminence. For many they are literary heroes of our time. Surveys of “favorite books” in Britain and the US usually include LOTR alongside novels assigned in school. But no one ever assigned LOTR in a classroom. It’s 1,000 pages of epic fantasy full of dense language, mythic histories and inscrutable characters with ethnic identities of granular verisimilitude. Tolkien clearly spent decades living in his head, imagining the world of Middle Earth. His construct was inevitably suffused with his deeply held views of human nature. The subject of this course will be the grand themes suffusing Tolkien’s complex legendarium. In this course we will read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings alongside some relevant minor works, especially “The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon,” Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Father Christmas Letters. You’ll appreciate that the reading load is very heavy. Students in this course will be expected to have read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in advance, i.e., before the first class. We will re-read the content as we advance through the novels. Grading will be based on class participation, occasional quizzes, take-home mid-term and final exam. 

ENGL 286.001          POETRY      TTh  10:05 – 11:20 am          POWELL

Poetry from several countries and historical periods, illustrating the nature of the genre.

Major Prerequisites

ENGL 287.001           AMERICAN LITERATURE         TTh  10:05 - 1:20 am        WOERTENDYKE

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

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. Designed for English majors.


ENGL 287.002          AMERICAN LITERATURE         TTh 2:50 - 4:05 pm          TBA

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

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. Designed for English majors.


ENGL 287.003          AMERICAN LITERATURE         TTh 1:15 - 2:30 pm        WOERTENDYKE

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

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. Designed for English majors.


ENGL 287.004        AMERICAN LITERATURE           MW 3:55 - 5:10 pm          VANDERBORG

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

This class examines how key American authors have tried to define a national identity based on founding acts of rebellion, immigration, and slavery’s trauma. Who gets included in or excluded from the metaphoric homelands in these texts? Is the country symbolized by a melting pot, a “Dream,” a consensus, a tradition of dissent, or multiple voices recounting different histories? We'll discuss documents, autobiographies/memoirs, short stories, poems, a novel, a graphic novel, a film, and digital literature, starting from the American colonial period and early republic to the contemporary period--including a weeklong group project unit on children's books after 2000.

The course is reading intensive and primarily discussion; I’ll post handouts on our Blackboard site on American literary periods, movements, and specific authors or texts to take the place of lectures. There are two papers and a final exam, as well as reading quizzes, class preparation assignments, and discussion posts.

ENGL 288.001          ENGLISH LITERATURE          TTh 10:05 - 11:20 am          BROWN

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

In this survey course, we will focus on the major movements from the nineteenth century up to the present day in British and Irish literature.  While reading a variety of works from the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Postmodern periods, we will carefully consider the historical, social, and philosophical conditions that influenced their production.  Throughout the course, we will also examine how authors created different styles that both responded to and shaped our understanding of a broad range of topics, including urbanization, science, gender, race, imperialism, and art itself.


ENGL 288.002          ENGLISH LITERATURE         TTh 1:15 - 2:30 pm          BROWN

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

In this survey course, we will focus on the major movements from the nineteenth century up to the present day in British and Irish literature.  While reading a variety of works from the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Postmodern periods, we will carefully consider the historical, social, and philosophical conditions that influenced their production.  Throughout the course, we will also examine how authors created different styles that both responded to and shaped our understanding of a broad range of topics, including urbanization, science, gender, race, imperialism, and art itself.


ENGL 288.003          ENGLISH LITERATURE          MW 2:20 - 3:35 pm         GRAVES

(Designed for English Majors)(AIU)

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.

Pre-1800 Literature

ENGL 380.001  -  EPIC TO ROMANCE          TTh 11:40 - 12:55 pm          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 382.001          THE ENGLIGHTENMENT          TTh 2:50 – 4:05 pm         JARRELLS

This course provides an introduction to some of the key texts, questions, 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 the word, “Enlightenment,” mean today and why has the question of what it is become more and more contentious in recent years, both in literary studies and in public discourse? To address all of this, we will read works by writers from the Enlightenment canon, including John Locke, David Hume, Mary Wortley Montagu, Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Immanuel Kant, and by others who responded to their arguments, often with a profound sense of discontent, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Olaudah Equiano, William Blake, and Mary Shelley. In addition, we’ll take a look at some twentieth- and twenty-first-century attempts to explain, update, critique, and re-contextualize the Enlightenment.

ENGL 391.001          GREAT BOOKS OF THE WESTERN WORLD II    TTh 10:05 – 11:20 am          DAL MOLIN

(Cross-listed with CPLT 302)

This course will cover European masterpieces from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. We will cover the genres of Renaissance comedy, the essay, satire, romantic poetry, the short story, bohemian exoticism, opera, and science fiction. We will consider important themes linking these historical periods such as the link between politics and literature, philosophy and literature, science and literature, and the role that writers and poets play in the making of (modern) Western society. Course can count for either pre- or post-1800s requirements.

ENGL 392.001          GREAT BOOKS OF THE EASTERN WORLD       TTh 2:50 – 4:05 pm          PATTERSON

(Cross-listed with CPLT 303)

A journey from ancient times to the contemporary period, this course invites students to examine selected literary works from the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean traditions in a variety of genres including epic, poetry, drama, and the novel. The course is divided into two parts, the pre-modern and modern periods. We will pay special attention to the historical and cultural contexts in which these works were created and the mutual influences between these cultures. Course can count for either pre- or post-1800s requirements.

ENGL 403.001          THE 17th CENTURY        TTh  1:15 – 2:30 pm           SHIFFLETT

An introduction to English literature written at the threshold of the modern world, with the subject divided into five broad topics of great concern to seventeenth-century readers: marriage, home, and family; God and religion; love and friendship; politics and government; science and the natural world. There will be an emphasis throughout the semester on careful reading and careful oral and written expression. Requirements are likely to include a midterm exam, a final exam, and a final project (this will be a traditional research paper or creative work in various media, depending on the student’s interests).

ENGL 406.001          SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES AND HISTORIES        TTh  10:05 – 11:20 am          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.

Post-1800 Literature

ENGL 340.001          LITERATURE AND LAW         TTh  10:05 - 11:20 am         GULICK

What can literature and literary criticism teach us about law? This question will guide our journey in this course, through a reading list drawn from multiple countries and historical periods—from ancient Athens to post-apartheid South Africa to an Anishinaabe reservation in South Dakota to a haunted Atlantic Ocean in which past and present collapse in on each other. We’ll begin by exploring texts, both literary and juridico-political, that pose broad and challenging questions about what law is, where it comes from, what makes it work, and whose interests it serves. We’ll interrogate law’s relationship to revenge, reparation, and reconciliation through texts such as Aeschylus’s The Eumenides, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, and Antjie Krog’s Country of My Skull. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong! and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House will thicken our exploration of how history, memory, and empire inform our ways of imagining law and justice in and beyond the United States. Brief and gentle forays into critical theory and legal scholarship will enhance our experience with these literary texts.

You do not need to be an English major or pre-law to take this course. I welcome all students from all disciplinary backgrounds who are prepared to read voraciously, write carefully, and approach in-class discussions with enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, candor, and generosity. It counts toward the College of Arts and Sciences’s Law and Society minor, and of course as an upper-level elective (or a post-1800 course) for the English major.

ENGL 426.001          AMERICAN POETRY       TTh   1:15 – 2:30 pm          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 20th century and how they have entered the fray in the first decades of the 21st century. In this discussion-based course, we will listen to audio recordings and watch videos of readings and performances. Requirements include participation, short writing assignments, and a final project.

ENGL 428A.001          AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE I:  TO 1903        TTh  2:50 – 4:05 pm          TRAFTON

(Cross-listed with AFAM 428A)

Representative of African-American writers to 1903.

ENGL 431A.001          CHILDREN’S LITERATURE       TTh 10:05 – 11:20 am          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       TTh 8:30 – 9:45 am         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        TTh 10:05 – 11:20 am         KEYSER

(Cross-listed with WGST 437)

Women and their increasing autonomy were arguably the obsessive topics of modern US literature, and yet women writers often been excluded or underrepresented in publishing. This remains true to this day where the annual VIDA count reveals how many fewer women writers are published or reviewed in major media outlets. This course will provide a survey of literature by twentieth and twenty-first century US women writers. In this class, we will ask about the connections between gender and genre, patriarchy and white supremacy, queerness and character, literary form and social rebellion. Course requirements will include reading quizzes, a mid-term and a final, as well as critical and creative writing. My hope is that the course will inspire students to revisit favorite writers and to discover voices in poetry, prose, and plays.

ENGL 439.001     TOPICS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK:  GENDER, SEXUALITY AND REPRESENTATION     MW 2:20 – 3:35 pm     GREVEN

This course examines several key words of Alfred Hitchcock, one of the most important directors in film history, paying close attention to the recurring motifs and concerns in his body of work. Hitchcock’s career began in England, where he made the first English sound film (Blackmail) and several of the most important works of the 1930s. Lured to America by David O. Selznick, Hitchcock went on to make an astonishing number of films still pored over and debated by scholars. This course examines Hitchcock’s cinematic art, focusing on the intersection between his complex aesthetics and his controversial representation of gender roles and sexuality. Of particular interest will be Hitchcock’s development of suspense techniques from the equally influential sources of Soviet montage and German Expressionism; his recurring interest in the figure of the embattled woman; his representation of queer sexuality; his use of the film star (Cary Grant, James Stewart, Ingrid Bergman, and Grace Kelly especially); and the development of Hitchcock’s reputation as his critical reception, shaped by the intervention of the auteur critics in France and the United States, transformed the view of Hitchcock as primarily an entertainer to that of a serious artist.

ENGL 439.002     TOPICS: FICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH     TTh  11:40 – 12:55 pm     JACKSON

Attending school can be stressful for all of us, but according to a 2019 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, America's colleges are currently witnessing a "student mental health-crisis."  In the last decade, the number of students visiting campus counseling services for depression and anxiety has grown by forty percent.  What can fiction possibly teach us about mental health, and how might fiction help us achieve and maintain it?  In this course, we'll find out.  We'll read a variety of contemporary novels and short stories about anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and trauma but also consider fictions about healing, happiness, and wellness.  We'll probe the boundaries of what counts as fiction by reading clinical case histories and memoirs, and we'll investigate how fiction has operated in therapeutic practices such as Bibliotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We'll cover a wide range of approaches to interpreting and analyzing fiction and along the way learn about some basic concepts in mental health and wellness. Assessment will be by a variety of essays and short take home assignments.  This class is not a substitute for attending counseling, but our emphasis will be on reading fiction in ways that are not only perceptive but also helpful and hopeful.

ENGL 439.003    TOPICS: WITNESSING, REMEMBERING, FICTIONALIZING:  THE HOLOCAUST IN WORDS AND IMAGES    WEB    MW  2:20 – 3:35 pm     SCHOEMAN

(Cross-listed with JSTU 373)

This course focuses on the way in which writers, filmmakers, artists and cultural institutions (museums, schools, etc.) have contributed to the construction of an indelible “Holocaust memory” in America and elsewhere since the end of WWII. We will study the representations of the Holocaust through a variety of media and genres: documentaries, feature films, museum exhibits, oral histories and some of the classics of Holocaust literature (in memoirs, fiction, and sequential art). A selection of secondary sources will illustrate the historical context of the Holocaust and enrich our discussions with interesting and discomforting questions from the perspective of literary theory, gender studies, philosophy, and more. The main concern of our exploration is not “how” (or “why”) this atrocious genocide happened, but in what way such untellable experiences can be told through the arts. And if they can be told at all.

ENGL 566.001  -  TOPICS IN FILM & MEDIA:  SUPERHEROES ACROSS MEDIA     TTh 2:50 - 4:05 pm     MINETT

(Cross-listed with FAMS 566)

Given the box office success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and the recent flourishing of superheroes in filmed and animated television, the superhero and the superhero genre has arguably never had a higher cultural or industrial profile. This class will examine the superhero genre’s movement across art forms, industries, and eras. In doing so we will engage with and refine notions of genre, adaptation, storytelling strategies, industry, and reception. Primary focus will be placed on examining the iterations of iconic DC and Marvel comic book superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Avengers. The historical perspective we will take here seeks to cut against both the “mythic” approach and the naturalizing and essentializing notions of the superhero that you may be more familiar with. That is, rather than thinking about a superhero or the superhero genre in terms of broad cultural “significance,” pondering a given superhero’s psychology or philosophy as if they were a real person, or worrying about whether a given adaptation lacks fidelity we will instead focus on understanding the large-scale design and concrete details of given iterations within specific industrial and cultural contexts. The class will serve as both a historical poetics of superhero storytelling across media and as a multi-industrial history.

 Creative Writing

ENGL 360.001                     Creative Writing                              T Th 4:25 - 5:40 pm                                   TBA

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


ENGL 360.002                     Creative Writing                              T Th 2:50 - 4:05 pm                                   TBA

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


ENGL 360.003                     Creative Writing                              T Th 11:40 - 12:55 pm                               Waldron

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


ENGL 360.006                     Creative Writing                              T Th 1:15 - 2:30 pm                                  Waldron

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

ENGL 465.001          FICTION WORKSHOP        TTh 4:25 – 5:40 pm          BAJO

This will be a course in the writing of the contemporary literary short story (novel chapters possible). We will begin by studying stories and essential elements of fiction writing in order to explore the aim and possibilities of contemporary literature.  However, the course will primarily be a workshop for students’ own stories.

ENGL 491.001          ADVANCED POETRY WORKSHOP         TTh  2:50 – 4:05 pm          AMADON

The focus of this course will be writing and revising new poems. Students will develop and refine their ability to articulate their own poetic aims and style, while also expanding their view of what a poem can be and do through readings of contemporary poetry and assignments tied to those readings. The final goal of this course is a portfolio of original creative work, but peer response is a fundamental part and both will factor heavily in the final grade. Students should have taken ENGL 360 previously, but those with experience writing poetry or taking creative writing workshops are welcome. 

Rhetoric, Theory, and Writing

ENGL 363.001          INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL WRITING          MW  2:20 - 3:35 pm          BROCK

Overview of concepts, contexts, and genres used in professional communication. Intensive practice in analyzing, emulating, and creating textual and multimedia documents for a variety of professional, non-academic purposes (including commercial, informative, persuasive, and technical).

ENGL 387.001          INTRODUCTION TO RHETORIC         TTh 1:15 – 2:30 pm          EDWARDS

(Cross-listed with SPCH 387)

This course offers an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric. What is rhetoric? Is it deceptive or empty speech? Is it a heuristic to uncover truth? Is it a means through which we create understanding and find moments of agreement in situations where truth is an unattainable ideal? Is it speech or action? Is it art or science? What is its object? What is its status? What, in the end, does it mean for us? 

During this semester, we will search for answers to these and other questions. By engaging with the course readings and your own rhetorical analysis, we will develop a working understanding of rhetorical theory and a variety of critical methods emerging from that theory, each of which sheds light on how we might better differentiate between communication that sponsors violence or closes down dissent and communication that opens opportunities for understanding, productive disagreement, and collective action.

ENGL 388.001          HISTORY OF LITERARY CRITICISM AND THEORY        TTh 11:40 – 12:55 pm          GLAVEY

Representative theories of literature from Plato through the 20th century.

ENGL 460.001          ADVANCED WRITING          TTh 4:25 – 5:40 pm         HAWK

This course will focus on writing about music with extensive practice in various genres of popular music criticism. Topics such as close listening, rhetorical structures, historical context, subcultural analysis, and digital media will be discussed in support of nonfiction writing. Students will be expected to do the readings diligently and be prepared to write about songs, albums, artists, scenes, and genres of their choice.

ENGL 462.001          TECHNICAL WRITING          MW 3:55 – 5:10 pm          TBA                       

Preparation for and practice in types of writing important to scientists, engineers, and computer scientists, from brief technical letters to formal articles and reports.

ENGL 463.001-007          BUSINESS WRITING          See SSC for Days & Times
Extensive practice in different types of business writing, from brief letters to formal articles and report.

ENGL 468.001          DIGITAL WRITING          MW  3:55 - 5:10 pm          BROCK

This course will focus on writing in digital environments, exploring critically and creatively what it means to compose individually and collaboratively in emerging genres and modes of communication. Building on fundamental concepts of rhetorical invention applied to networks and interactivity, students will learn and apply principles of information design and web production to create multimedia artifacts for public and professional audiences in small-scale texts and a larger semester-long project.

Language and Linguistics (all fulfill the Linguistics overlay requirement)

ENGL 389.001          THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE          MW 2:20 – 3:35 pm          SMITH                  

(Cross-listed with LING 301)

Introduction to the field of linguistics with an emphasis on English. Covers the English sound system, word structure, and grammar. Explores history of English, American dialects, social registers, and style.


ENGL 389.002          THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE          MW 3:55 - 5:10 pm         HUGHES

(Cross-listed with LING 301)

Introduction to the field of linguistics with an emphasis on English. Covers the English sound system, word structure, and grammar. Explores history of English, American dialects, social registers, and style.

ENGL 450.001          ENGLISH GRAMMAR           TTh 1:15 – 2:30 pm          LIU                        

(Cross-listed with LING 421)

Major structures of English morphology and syntax; role of language history and social and regional variation in understanding contemporary English.

HONORS COLLEGE COURSES (restricted to SC Honors College Students)

ENGL 270.H01          HNRS:  WORLD LITERATURE           MW 3:55 – 5:10 pm          BEECROFT

(Cross-listed with CPLT 270) (AIU)

Selected masterpieces of world literature from antiquity to present.

ENGL 280.H01          HNRS:  LITERATURE AND SOCIETY           TTh 10:05 – 11:20 am          STERN

(AIU, VSR)

This section will focus on literary works that help us to think through the conflicts of our present moment. Through reading fiction, drama, poetry, and essays from a wide range of outstanding authors (Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Susan Sontag, John Ruskin, Emily St. John Mandel, Ta-Nahesi Coates, and others), we’ll dive deep into current events. Through works foregrounding gender, race, ecology, and economics, this class will explore the role of literature in shaping our ideas about value, possibility, and community. Exams will consist of short weekly quizzes, a midterm and a final; written assignments include options for reflective work, creative interpretation, historical research, and outdoor adventure.

ENGL 286.H01          HNRS:  POETRY           TTh 10:05 – 11:20 am         DOWDY

Designed for poetry lovers, the poetry curious, students who want to tackle their fears of poetry, and those who love language, this course introduces a range of forms, traditions, and types of poetry. For each poem we read, we will examine its literary, cultural, and historical contexts. Frequent audio and video recordings will highlight the relationships between poetry in print and in performance. Requirements for this discussion-based course include class participation, a poetry recitation, and short essays.

ENGL 287.H01          HNRS:  AMERICAN LITERATURE           TTh 8:30 – 9:45 am          POWELL

(Designed for English Majors) (AIU)

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.H01          HRNS:  ENGLISH LITERATURE          MW 8:05 – 9:20 am          COHEN

(Designed for English Majors) (AIU)

This course will survey British writing from 1800 to the present, treating canonical and non-canonical texts from a range of genres. As we trace the major movements of the last two centuries, we’ll pay special attention to shifting approaches to Englishness, gender, and the politics and social function of art.

ENGL 360.H01          HNRS:  CREATIVE WRITING          TTh  1:15 – 2:30 pm          BAJO

This will be a workshop for fiction and creative nonfiction. We will study poems, stories and essays as models for craft, then students will compose their own stories or essays which will be workshopped in class discussion. 

SCHC 350.H01          HNRS:  THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF THE BOOK:  FROM GUTENBERG TO GOOGLE          TTh  2:50 – 4:05 pm          JACKSON

With the all-pervasiveness 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' invites you to 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 a way of understanding the world. It will introduce you 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. You'll also get to explore the ways in which the book has been threatened with extinction or irrelevance by other forms of communication including telephones, televisions, and especially computers. Does book have a possible future? Our class begins with a unit on the mechanics and psychodynamics of communication, ranging from the invention of writing in Sumeria, three and a half thousand years before the birth of Christ, to the invention of printing in the middle of the fifteenth-century. Our concerns here will be with the ways in which the spoken word, the written word, and the printed word create particular ways of looking at the world. We’ll also consider magic, bookcases, memory, concrete poetry, and why the physiology of the cow may have influenced the shape of books. Our second unit will introduce you to the world of print in eighteenth and nineteenth century America, when reading, printing, and publishing enjoyed unprecedented influence and technological refinement. We’ll consider the printing, publishing, shipping, and reading of texts and also the fetish for fancy bindings. Our final unit will consider the book in the twenty-first century, investigating the crisis in reading habits and literacy and by exploring the influence of TV, computers, corporate media mergers, and hypertextuality on the book today and tomorrow.

SCHC 350.H02         HNRS:  DECOLONIZATION IN LITERATURE AND THEORY FROM THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION TO THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES          TTh  11:40 – 12:55 pm          GULICK

This seminar will trace a long, transnational history of anticolonial writing and activism, from the founding documents of the world’s first Black republic to a wealth of essays, plays, poetry, tweets, and manifestos that have emerged from contemporary social justice movements in recent years. Our goal will be to develop a historically informed sense of the broad range of creative responses to empire, state violence, and structural racism that have emerged from the Global South over the past two centuries. The work of brilliant literary authors such as Aimé Césaire, Audre Lorde, Jamaica Kincaid, and Arundhati Roy will be central to our exploration. But this will not be a typical English class; we’ll consistently put that literature in conversation with history, political speeches, critical theory, and film in order to think through decolonization from every possible angle. Our approach to all the material we cover will be intersectional—that is, we’ll explore what it means to theorize oppression and liberation as processes that always involve multiple identities (e.g. race, gender, sexuality, ability, class). This seminar will make use of the tools of the professor’s discipline (literary criticism) and is meant to offer English and Comparative Literature majors a fun challenge, but students from other disciplines are welcome—in the past, majors from Public Health, International Business, Biology, History, Political Science, and Global Studies have not only reported having a great time in this class but have brought their disciplinary knowledge to bear on to our collective intellectual journey in incredible ways. Whatever your academic background, prepare to read carefully and voraciously, learn more than you ever imagined you could from your classmates, take risks, and stretch your critical imagination.

SCHC 351.H01          HNRS:  MATHEMATICS FOR SHAKESPEARE           MW  2:20 – 3:35 pm          GAVIN

With the public release of digital versions of major authors like William Shakespeare, as well as with the availability of large-scale datasets like Early English Books Online, it's now possible to study early modern literature and history using quantitative methods. Researchers have used computers to measure the social networks of Shakespeare's tragedies, to show how the English language changed over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and to map the landscapes of fictional worlds. In this course, students will learn how to perform this kind of research, with special emphasis on the basic principles of literary mathematics. We'll survey concepts from set theory, point-set topology, statistics, matrix and linear algebra, and graph theory, showing in each case how their mathematical principles inform research design in the study of literature. However, this is not a math class. Students will not be asked to take tests or write proofs. Instead, they will be invited to design research projects, to execute simple analyses, and to describe their work using formal expressions. There are no prerequisites for this course. All necessary concepts will be explained in our class meetings, and first-year students are encouraged to enroll. However, students should be comfortable with mathematical abstraction and notation and they must be willing to learn and experiment - and they should be comfortable reading Shakespeare, because we'll dig into a play or two, as well as into some contemporaneous publications. This course is ideal for two kinds of students: 1) STEM majors interested in learning about exciting new applications of quantitative methods, and 2) humanities majors who remember math fondly and would enjoy a new perspective on the works and times of Shakespeare. Requirements will include 3-4 short homework assignments and a final research project.

SCHC 398.H01          HNRS:  AFRO-ASIAN CONNECTIONS IN AMERICAN CULTURE          TTh 4:25 – 5:40 pm       LEE

Amongst minoritized racial groups in the United States, perhaps no two communities are considered to have less in common than African Americans and Asian Americans. While Black Americans face everyday violence (anti-Blackness) under a regime of white supremacy, Asian Americans are arranged by that regime as a “model minority.” While Asian Americans are considered, by and large, voluntary immigrants, with many arriving in the second half of the twentieth century, the majority of African Americans link their lineage back to Middle Passage and the unceasing violence of anti-Blackness under chattel slavery. While African American cultural history is viewed as a powerful and autonomous source of group pride, cohering a Black “we,” Asian Americans, with seemingly no single cultural vernacular, are often considered not to have a coherent “we” at all. On the other hand, there is a rich history of collaboration and connection between them: anticolonial thought in the middle of the twentieth century linked the political destinies of both groups to each other, generating the term “Asian American” itself. There was, for instance, an Asian American charter member of the Black Panther Party (Richard Aoki), as well as a prominent Asian American member in Malcolm X's Organization of Afro-American Unity (Yuri Kochiyama). There have been Asian American intellectuals deeply involved with the Black radical tradition (Grace Lee Boggs), and pioneering Black intellectuals have theorized the global racialization of Asians long before racist immigration law changed to allow Asian entry to the United States (W. E. B. Du Bois). Even the Los Angeles riots of 1992—commonly thought of as an exemplary moment of intractable, violent contestation between Blacks and Asians—can be viewed as a moment of these groups, if not together then parallel, negotiating and contesting white supremacist conditions. This course will examine the political fissures, cultural vicissitudes, and liberation-focused collaborations between African Americans and Asian Americans in the contemporary period. We will study recent theoretical frameworks that bring Blackness and yellowness into view together in the post-Civil Rights era, such as racial formation, racial triangulation, racial melancholia, and comparative racialization. We may consider films that examine Blackness and yellowness together, like Do the Right Thing, Get Out, Rush Hour, and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. We will also study contemporary popular cultural figures at the intersection of these social formations, such as Aziz Ansari, Awkwafina, Ice Cube, Eddie Huang, MC Jin, Kendrick Lamar, Jeremy Lin, Lilly Singh, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Previous coursework in Black Studies (AFAM 201 or 202) is suggested though not required. This will be a reading-intensive and discussion-based course.

SCHC 450.H01         HNRS:  LITERARY HAUNTINGS:  GHOSTS, SPECTERS, AND OTHER UNDEAD         TTh 1:15 – 2:30 pm         FORTER

This course asks why the dead refuse to stay dead. We will look at a range of literary works (and one film) that depict ghosts, specters, and other visitors from the “spirit world,” with an eye toward the following questions: Why have ghosts and ghost stories had such long-standing appeal? How do ghosts in novels and films serve as metaphors for social or psychological processes that more “realistic” depictions have a hard time grasping? What kinds of loss and what failures of memory make stories of ghosts and the undead urgent at particular historical moments? To approach these questions, the course is divided into units focusing on the following types of stories: classic ghost stories, queer ghosts, the ghosts of colonialism, ghosts in the machinery of social class, and contagion (which may or may not be a kind of ghost!). Our discussions will also be guided by the intellectual passions that students bring to the table.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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