Creative Writing


Graduate English Classes

Our classes have general descriptions in the bulletin, available here. Detailed individual descriptions are posted below. We will post additional descriptions as they arrive. You may also contact faculty for more information.


Renaissance Poetry: Shakespeare's Sonnets in Context / EH 514 - 501
Richard Hillyer
We'll begin by looking at a course-pack anthology of sonnets by Renaissance authors other than Shakespeare (among them, Spenser, Sidney, and Milton).  These will give us a rough and ready sense of where Shakespeare stands in relation to other sonnet-writers of his time.  All subsequent evenings will be Shakespeare exclusively, for my plan is to cover every one of his sonnets.  Obviously, we will spend more time on the ones we consider most rewarding.  I plan to make a CD of actors reading some of the sonnets, so that will partly dictate our areas of greatest concentration.  The text I've assigned is the wonderful Stephen Booth edition (ISBN 9780300085068).  Our approach will be close reading, with as much attention to detail as possible.  I'd like the major assignment to be a research paper.  I'll probably assign a shorter, preliminary paper of some sort.

Special Topics: Oral Narrative / EH 590 - 101
Kern Jackson
his course focuses on the collection and analysis of oral narratives putting forth a contemporary glimpse at collective memory in a specific time and place. Students are trained in ethnographic fieldwork methods, oral history interviewing techniques, transcription, and the evaluation of oral evidence. The class reads theoretical material about collective memory, the relationship between memory and folklore, the ethnographer's role in the creation or preservation of the past, and the challenges and possibilities of interpreting oral narrative as history. Students design research projects concerning festival culture in Mobile, Alabama. The class will tour important repositories and locations early in the summer session. In addition to conducting interviews and writing reports, students will also participate in a concluding public program based on their research.


Graduate Writing in English/ EH 502 - 501
Becky McLaughlin
EH 502 is required of all M.A. students in their first year of coursework. The purpose of EH 502 is to prepare students for research and academic writing at the graduate level, and thus the course will be writing intensive. Graduate-level study of English means a direct engagement with the academic conversations, discourses, institutions, and practices that circulate around and through the study of literature. In this course, for example, we will be focusing on the relationship between cinema (text) and psychoanalysis (theory) or what Derrida calls the "Science of Ghosts." Put colloquially, we will do a little Freud and a lot of Hitchcock as we address the question of how narrative deals with reflection that is image--rather than word--based.

Teaching College Writing/ EH 505 - 101
Christine Norris
This course examines issues in contemporary composition theory and interrogates what it means to do pedagogical theory.  Students will use this knowledge to develop course material appropriate to teaching first-year composition.  Topics may include: syllabus design, lesson planning, course management, teaching in the linguistically and culturally diverse classroom, and assessment. This class is designed for teaching assistants; other interested students should speak with Dr. Norris.

Late Romantics/ EH 534 - 501
Cristopher Hollingsworth
We will investigate the drama of sound and sense in Late Romantic literature by writers such as Percy Shelley, John Keats and Edgar Allan Poe. Moreover, we will trace the implications of the Late Romantics' "excess of sound" through representative Neoromantic poetry and prose.

Modern British Fiction / EH 571 - 501
Christopher Raczkowski 

Grad Fiction Writing Workshop I and II / EH 583- 501/584 - 501
Linda Busby Parker

I am trying to make, before I get through, a
picture of the whole world—or as much of it as I have
seen.  Boiling it down always, rather than spreading it out thin.
From Ernest Hemingway to Mrs. Paul Pfeiffer, 1933

This combined course is an in-depth study of the elements of fiction writing and a workshop for advanced writing students.  The course is taught as lecture, discussion, and workshop.  There is a significant reading and writing component with the goal of each student producing one or more pieces of high quality writing (a short story or a novel chapter) that will serve as fulfillment for a senior writing project or a graduate-level writing project.  (Some pieces produced in the class might be ready for various contest submissions or for publication consideration.)  Readings will include works from genre, commercial, literary, and young adult fiction, as well as readings from selected books on craft.  Craft elements that will be discussed include:  structure in fiction (scene, half-scene, narrative summary, and descriptive passages); metaphors (unexpected avenues that lead to new vistas); character development; plot points; rising action; openings and resolutions.  Students will actively participate in both discussions and workshops.  In addition, the current state of publishing will also be discussed—agents, editors, conferences, residences, traditional publishing and new forms of publishing. 

Grad Poetry Writing Workshop I and II / EH 585- 501/586 - 501
Sue Walker 
Sue Walker's course will ask you to define what heights you would like to reach – and make getting there a reality. So you always wanted to write a novel? Well why not a Verse Novel? You always wanted to be an entomologist; then write the ant hill, the hive – or cook like Julia Child. Then write food poems like Pablo Neruda. Write history in verse. Write fables, murder, a myth, write a comic, write vispo. Write the music of poetry, the poetry of music. Write Jazz.

Special Topics: Milton and the Modern World/ EH 590 - 101
Richard Hillyer
We will study representative selections from Milton’s poetry and prose in an attempt to measure his greatness on three very different dimensions: as an epic poet on a par with Homer and Virgil; as a major figure in the Anglo-American political tradition through his views on liberty and freedom of expression; and as the first thinker in the western world to examine the history and rationale of divorce, in which capacity he has probably exerted the most influence on today’s world.  Requirements: a shorter paper based on close reading of a single text or passage and a longer research paper whose scope and nature will emerge from class discussion.

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.

HUMB 240, Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 460-6146 | english@usouthal.edu