English Course Offerings

The English Department's course offerings vary by semester. We offer 100-level composition courses, 200-level introductory courses, 300-level intermediate courses, 400-level advanced courses, and 500-level graduate courses. For a listing of everything in the departmental catalog, please visit:

http://www.southalabama.edu/bulletin/current/courses/english/index.html

For a listing of courses offered in a given semester, please visit PAWS. Enter the catalog term you wish to search and select "English" as the subject on the following page.


Spring 2016 Undergraduate Course Offerings


Introduction to Literary Study - EH 300 | Steve Trout
MWF, 12:20 pm to 1:10 pm, Humanities 0142

This course will prepare students for 400-level literature courses by emphasizing the art of close reading, essential literary terms, and basic interpretive approaches. You will love it.  The primary texts are all  works that inspired me (your professor) to become an English Major:  Cather,  A Lost Lady, Conrad, Lord Jim, Hemingway, The Short Stories, and Shaw, Arms and the Man.  For guidance on how to read and understand literature, we will study Foster’s How to Read Literature like a Professor and Harmon’s A Handbook to Literature.  A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances - EH 322 | John Halbrooks
TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm, Humanities 0264

This course will survey some of Shakespeare’s major plays in these genres. We will study the plays in the context of a discussion of historical performance practices, Shakespeare’s sources (including Chaucer), and recent scholarship and criticism.

American Poetry to 1900 - EH 334 | Pat Cesarini
TR, 9:30 am to 10:45 am, Humanities 0266

In this course we will read longer selections by literary champs Walter ("Barbaric Yawp") Whitman and Emily ("Heavenly Hurt") Dickinson, interspersed with shorter rounds, answering questions like "When Is a Poet More Powerful than a Locomotive?" "Is a Poem More Like a House or a Storm?" "Must We Choose between the English and the Italian?" and "What Was Worse: the Civil War, or Civil War Poetry?" Plus more Dickinson, and more Whitman! You will do lots of counting to ten (more or less), following tenors to their vehicles, getting rhythm, pursuing words to their meanings in other words--and you will put it all together in several sharp, bright, elegantly-written essays.

Victorian Poetry - EH 352 | Ellen Burton Harrington
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm, Humanities 0148

The Victorian period, spanning about 60 years of social and ideological change, cannot be characterized by a single poetic tradition or set of preoccupations. As Valentine Cunningham explains about the Victorian period, "one of the great attractions of Victorian poetry is precisely its impurity, the way it is so open to the new and newly felt multitudinousness of the Victorian experience." This class explores a variety of important authors and contexts, including Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnets and selections from Aurora Leigh, a lively novel in verse that critiques and explores women's social positioning and the position of the woman writer; her husband, Robert Browning's dark, poetic portraits of violence and passion; Tennyson's probing of the enthusiasms and anxieties of the era in a variety of his poems, including In Memoriam; Arnold's poetry and criticism; the art, poetry and criticism of the Pre-Raphaelites, including Christina Rossetti; Swinburne's resistance to "moral purpose" in his erotic, transgressive poetry; the poetry of the fin de siècle, including Wilde, Symons, and Douglas; Hopkins’s formal innovation in poems of piety and doubt; and the poetry of Hardy.


Contemporary Fiction - EH 366 | Justin St. Clair
MWF, 1:25 pm to 2:15 pm, Humanities 0114

This course is designed to provide an introduction to twenty-first-century literary fiction.  Our readings will be divided into three units:  the first will include influential works of twentieth-century world literature (in translation) in an effort to contextualize contemporary literary fiction; the second will examine texts that subversively engage our digital present by making unconventional use of typography; and the third will consider the ongoing influence of Dave Eggers and his hipster empire.


Approaches to English Grammar - EH 371 | Larry Beason
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm, Humanities 0266

EH 371 offers students a valuable intellectual and practical skill: the ability to analyze and describe in technical terms how a given sentence is structured. While the course was intended for students planning to teach English at the secondary level, EH 371 is useful for just about anyone wanting to edit, write, analyze literary texts, teach non-native speakers of English, practice law, or learn more about the English language.


Technical Writing - EH 372 | Nicole Amare
Fully online / offered via internet only

This course is designed to help you:

  • Understand and analyze writing situations and technologies;
  • Invoke the roles and strategies necessary to produce effective writing in localized and globalized contexts;
  • Improve your understanding of how writing practices and genres (memos, email, proposals, reports, and websites) function within and across organizations, including how various readers read, where readers look for information, and what multiple purposes documents serve inside and outside particular organizations; and
  • Produce more effective visual, textual, and multimedia documents.

Technical Writing - EH 372 | Annmarie Guzy
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm, Humanities 0142

This course will introduce you to types of written and oral communication used in workplace settings, with a focus on technical reporting and editing.  Through several document cycles, you will develop skills in managing the organization, development, style, and visual format of various documents.


Technical Writing - EH 372 | Christine Norris
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm, Humanities 0142

In this class we will examine the practical, logistical, and ethical difficulties involved in communicating technical information to an audience.   Students will have the opportunity to write technical documents for real clients and to work on technical documents relevant to their fields of study.


Writing in the Professions - EH 373 | Christine Norris
TR, 9:00 am to 10:45 am, Humanities 0206

Writing in the Professions focuses on specialized writing training for professional, business, scientific, or technical fields. We will study how writing standards develop across disciplines and how technological advances are changing the rules of composing in various fields.


Fiction Writing I & II - EH 391 & 392 | Carolyn Haines
TR, 9:30 am to 10:45 am, Humanities 0390

Fiction Writing I and II introduces students to the elements of writing. Students are exposed to the basic elements such as character development, plotting, structure, theme, and setting. Students are expected to write and revise and participate in critiquing each other’s works. Novels and short stories are read and deconstructed. Students may write fiction or nonfiction. Class participation is a large part of the class. Students learn the basics of literary and genre fiction requirements.


Fiction Writing II - EH 392 | Linda Busby Parker
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, location tba

English 392 is the study of the craft elements of writing fiction, both short stories and novels.  In our study, we read selected works from literary, genre, experimental, and young adult fiction, as well as work produced within the class.  Lectures and discussions examine:  major concepts of creative writing, including conflict and tension, as well as the primary building blocks of creative writing—scenes, half-scenes, narrative summary, and descriptive passages. We also examine the various forms of structure for creative writing and components of place, style, point of view, voice, character, and figures of speech.  Class discussions focuses on the process of writing from first draft to revision. Class time will be divided between lecture/discussion and workshop. Students learn the concepts and elements of creative writing and how to apply these concepts/elements to their own writing.


Poetry Writing I & II - EH 395 & 396 | Mira Rosenthal
MWF, 10:10 am to 11:00 am, Humanities 0390

This course is a workshop in writing poetry and is designed to introduce you to the poet’s toolbox. We will read broadly in contemporary American poetry as a way to understand the poetic tradition and the foundational elements of poetic language. We will also ask fundamental questions: What propels a poet to write? Are there certain themes that seem to be the terrain of poetry? What can we say about poems as vehicles for thought and argument, for play and pleasure, for emotion? Through our discussion, you will learn to use specific techniques, modes, forms, and methods of creative writing available to the poet. You will use this knowledge to craft your own poems and to give constructive feedback on the work of your peers.


Teaching Composition - EH 401 | Annmarie Guzy
MWF, 10:10 am to 11:00 am, Humanities 0264

This course will introduce you to theories of composition and their applications for teaching writing at the secondary school level.  In a seminar-style format, you will:

  • learn a variety of pedagogical strategies from the required textbooks;
  • become familiar with the requirements for middle school and high school Language Arts classes as mandated by the Alabama Course of Study;
  • select and lead discussions of articles from English Journal, the NCTE’s publication for secondary English teachers;
  • teach a 50-minute class on an assigned topic in language arts; and
  • design a syllabus or detailed academic unit for a middle school or high school English class, and support it with a research-based rationale.

Rhetoric, Ancient and Modern - EH 402 | Patrick Shaw
TR, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm, Humanities 0144

Twenty-five hundred years of glorious history, from Gorgias to Stanley Fish.  This course examines and compares various movements in the history of rhetoric, with particular emphasis on the relationship between rhetorical strategy and one’s image of human beings. The course aims to increase the scope of students’ understanding of rhetoric and help them apply this knowledge to their own communication and to their evaluation of the communications of others. Prerequisite: ACT English 27 (or SAT Critical Reading 550 or EH 101 Minimum Grade of C) and (EH 102 Minimum Grade of C or EH 105 Minimum Grade of C).


Literary Criticism after 1900 - EH 422 | Pat Cesarini
TR, 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm, Humanities 0266

In this course we will briefly survey major theories of literature (e.g., formalism, reader-response, and political theories focused on history, gender, class, and race), and we will explore several overlapping problems in the field, such as: What is literature, and Can you say what it is without saying what it should be? Why are people required to study literature? What’s the relationship between the interpretation and the evaluation of literature? Is a work of literature best understood as a work of art, a therapeutic event, an act of expression, a form of propaganda, a marketable commodity? You will write several essays—including a longer researched essay—on these kinds of questions, with the aim of making you conversant in the long conversation (or slap-fight) about literature’s varied natures and purposes.


Medieval Lit - EH 470 | John Halbrooks
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm, Humanities 0146

Medieval narrative is often profoundly interested in travel, from religious pilgrimages (as in Chaucer), to knight errantry (as in the Arthurian romances), to spiritual journeys (as in Dante), to immigration (as in the Icelandic Sagas), to the “hero’s journey” (as in Beowulf). This course will study travel and landscape as a major theme in the context of medieval “world building.” We will also consider the ways in which this sort of medieval world building continues to exert influence on modern (and postmodern) culture and literature, as manifested in writers like Tolkien (who was also a medieval scholar) and in film and television (for example, the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and the HBO series Game of Thrones, which is based on George R. R. Martin’s novels).


Genre: The Fairy Tale - EH 477 | Cris Hollingsworth
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm, Humanities 0264

Our subject is the fairy tale, a literary descendant of the European folk tale that profoundly influenced the Romantics and has fascinated each generation since. We will analyze and trace the evolution of a number of classic European tales, such as "Snow White," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Little Red Riding Hood." We will also examine what happens when the European fairy tale is transplanted to the United States (The Wizard of Oz) as well as when the form is combined with dystopian science fiction and adapted to both novel and screen (The Hunger Games). Evaluation will include an oral presentation and written essays.


Studies in Film (or) The Dialectic of the Eye - EH 478 | Becky McLaughlin
Class: MW, 5:00 pm to 6:15 pm, Humanities 0342
Screening: W, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Humanities 0342

Film is a visual medium, and thus one of the chief concerns of this class will be to explore, through film, the role the eye plays in Western culture, particularly vis-à-vis gender roles, sexual identity, memory, and imagination.  One of the aims of this class will be to get acquainted with our "I" (what has traditionally been called the "self" but what most contemporary film theory refers to as the "subject") by getting acquainted with our eye. This will entail an effort to think more reflectively about how and why we see what we see; to understand how sight manipulates and is manipulated by the world in which it operates; and to develop a critical and self-aware eye. If our more grandiose aim is to understand looking as a cultural practice, our more modest but no less important aim is to learn how to "read" movies. (Of course, these two aims are clearly dialectical, for in reading movies we read our culture.) By the end of the semester, I hope that we will have 1) gained a deeper understanding of the characteristic elements of film, 2) comprehended the multiple perspectives from which a particular film might be viewed, 3) expanded our knowledge of the varied forms in which the medium appears, 4) discovered something new about our viewing tastes or preferences, and 5) gained a more specific knowledge of the styles, themes, and concerns of filmic auteurs such as Cronenberg, Hitchcock, Lynch, and von Trier.

Important Note Concerning the Filmic Content of this Class:  We will (I use the emphatic purposely, here) be watching films that are disturbingly sexual and frequently violent in their content. If you are uncomfortable watching and discussing films that show explicit sex (not simply heterosexual but homosexual), nudity (male as well as female), and violence (men hurting women and vice-versa), you will probably be very uncomfortable in this class, and thus you should learn to live with your discomfort, pull an Oedipus, or avoid signing up for the class altogether.


Studies in Rhetoric:  "Analyzing Our Worlds" - EH 481 | Larry Beason
MW, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm, Humanities 0264

Been feeling programmed, controlled, and indoctrinated?  Our world is full of messages designed to persuade you--even when the author is not fully aware s/he is sending anything other than "objective information."  These messages can be highly persuasive, especially if we are not aware someone is trying to persuade us.  Should we not realize what these messages are—and whether they are manipulative, benign, or "good"?  To answer such questions, this course will draw on specific approaches that analyze texts and put theory into actual practice.

This course helps students understand the varied types of persuasion that affect our everyday lives.  Specifically, the course will provide a "theoretical toolkit" so we can...

  • understand several major types of rhetorical criticism,
  • apply diverse procedures we can use to rhetorically analyze a ‘text,’ and
  • evaluate hidden, as well as overt, forms of persuasion that surround us in everyday life.

Advanced Fiction Writing I & II - EH 483 & 484 | Carolyn Haines
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0264

Advanced Fiction Writing I and II build upon the coursework in Fiction I and II. Students are expected to write with proficiency, creating short fiction or chapters of longer works. Character arcs, story arcs, series issues, narrative summary versus immediate scene, the use of exposition are all explored through writing. Students are expected to complete polished work in short or long fiction or nonfiction. Class participation is a large part of the class as each student reads and critiques his peers. Students are expected to apply the rules of their chosen genre as they write and discuss their classmates work and chosen novels.


Advanced Poetry Writing I & II - EH 485 & 486 | Mira Rosenthal
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0148

This workshop is designed to help you develop a sense of your unique poetic voice. The distinctiveness of a writer’s voice and the quirkiness of his or her preoccupations are often what draw us in as readers. Dean Young’s associative ramblings, Billy Collins’ humor, Kay Ryan’s quick wit—a distinctive voice represents the poet’s gift at its most inventive and inspiring. We will read a number of books by mid-career poets as a way to investigate not only the traditions and techniques that define writers’ voices, but also how they surprise us and remain innovative at the same time. You will use this knowledge to craft your own poems and to give constructive feedback on the work of your peers.


Special Topics: The Hero's Journey - EH 490 | Annmarie Guzy
MWF, 9:05 am to 9:55 am, Humanities 0112

In this course, we will study the Hero’s Journey in its various iterations around the world.  We will explore cultural and generational commonalities among ancient and modern religions, philosophies, mythologies, and fairy tales, demonstrating how they build a universal foundation for the journey to adulthood and/or enlightenment.  Selected canonical and contemporary texts will help us to delineate the chronological development of a western tradition of road trip and coming-of-age stories.


Spring 2016 Graduate Course Offerings


Introduction to Critical Theory - EH 501 | Pat Cesarini
R, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0266

In this course, we will briefly survey major theories of literature (e.g., formalism, reader-response, and political theories focused on history, gender, class, and race), and we will explore several overlapping problems in the field, such as: What is literature, and Can you say what it is without saying what it should be? Why are people required to study literature? What’s the relationship between the interpretation and the evaluation of literature? Is a work of literature best understood as a work of art, a therapeutic event, an act of expression, a form of propaganda, a marketable commodity? You will write several essays—including a longer researched essay—on these kinds of questions, with the aim of making you conversant in the long conversation (or slap-fight) about literature’s varied natures and purposes.

In addition, you will read at least one book-length work of literary theory or criticism,  write two longer essays (between 10 and 15 pages), and make at least one research presentation in class.


Rhetorical Criticism or "Analyzing Our Worlds" - EH 507 | Larry Beason
MW, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm, Humanities 0264

The official title of this course is cumbersome, but the focus this spring will be Rhetorical Criticism--putting theory into practice by analyzing an array of texts, from architecture, to tattoos, to presidential speeches.

This course is for students who want to understand the varied types of persuasion that affect our everyday lives.  Specifically, the course will provide a "theoretical toolkit" so we can…

  • understand several major types of modern and contemporary rhetorical criticism,
  • apply diverse procedures we can use to rhetorically analyze a ‘text,’ and
  • evaluate hidden, as well as overt, forms of persuasion that surround us in everyday life.

Our world is full of messages dealing with power, control, and group-identity--even when the author is not fully aware s/he is sending anything other than "objective information." These messages can be highly persuasive, especially if we are not aware someone is trying to persuade us.  Should we not realize what these messages are—and whether they are manipulative, benign, or "good"?  To answer such questions, this course will draw on specific approaches that analyze texts and put theory into actual practice.


Studies in Shakespeare I - EH 516 | John Halbrooks
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0266

This course will focus on Shakespeare’s comedies and romances from a variety of angles through discussion of performance history, representations of gender, source study (especially Chaucer), and recent scholarship and criticism. The course’s title refers to C. L. Barber’s classic book Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy; we will expand Barber’s scope to consider Shakespeare’s theater as a kind of public space in which the limits of social order are articulated and tested to an extent not possible in most other spaces.


Contemporary Fiction - EH 573 | Justin St. Clair
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0266

This course is designed to provide an introduction to twenty-first-century literary fiction.  Our readings will be divided into three units:  the first will include influential works of twentieth-century world literature (in translation) in an effort to contextualize contemporary literary fiction; the second will examine texts that subversively engage our digital present by making unconventional use of typography; and the third will consider the ongoing influence of Dave Eggers and his hipster empire.


Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop I & II - EH 583 & 584 | Carolyn Haines
T 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0264

Graduate Fiction Workshop I and II build upon the coursework in Fiction I and II. Students are expected to write with proficiency, creating short fiction or chapters of longer works. Character arcs, story arcs, series issues, narrative summary versus immediate scene, the use of exposition are all explored through writing. Students are expected to complete polished work in short or long fiction or nonfiction. Class participation is a large part of the class as each student reads and critiques his peers. Students are expected to apply the rules of their chosen genre as they write and discuss their classmates work and chosen novels.


Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop I & II - EH 585 & 586 | Mira Rosenthal
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Humanities 0148

In this workshop, we will investigate how poetic preoccupations propel writers and unify their work to make a compelling whole. We will read a number of books by mid-career poets as a way to investigate not only the traditions and techniques that define writers’ voices, but also how they surprise us and remain innovative at the same time. We will do the same in workshopping ten-page packets of your poems with an eye toward helping you develop a body of work for a coherent manuscript.


Thesis Hours - EH 599

Please see Dr. Harrington if you would like to register for thesis hours and have not already discussed your committee, graduation requirements, etc.