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.

▼   FALL 2020: THEMED LITERATURE SURVEYS (200 LEVEL)

Fall 2020 Themed Literature Surveys


EH 215.101: BRITISH LIT BEFORE 1785
Monsters and Monstrosity (Frye)
MWF 8:00 - 8:50

From Grendel to Voldemort, British literature is littered with monsters. While we will not make it all the way to the 20th century, this course will examine the depictions of monsters in British literature before 1785. In particular, we will investigate how different cultures define monstrosity and how “evil” connects to ideas of gender, class, race, and nationality. We will explore the changing views on just what makes someone/something a monster as we move from Anglo-Saxon literature, through medieval, renaissance, and early eighteenth-century texts.


EH 216.102: BRITISH LIT AFTER 1785
Doubles and Imposters (Harrington)
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

Interested in the idea of a monstrous double — or individuals who are not what they seem to be? This Survey of British Literature after 1785 considers interesting pairings from the horrific to the humorous in British literature from the Romantic period to the present. We will use these doubles and imposters to investigate race and gender, nation and empire, guilt and innocence, and memory and identity in a sampling of texts ranging from Frankenstein to Monty Python and beyond.


EH 216.104: BRITISH LIT AFTER 1785
British Fantasy and Imagination (Hollingsworth)
MWF 1:25 - 2:15

This course is a survey of British fantasy and imaginative literature from Romanticism to the present. We will discuss the literary significance and cultural contexts of works such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market,” H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, and J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Our perspective will be that works of fantasy literature are much more than mere entertainment: these works of the imagination constitute a kind of history of feeling that can help us understand ourselves in relation to the world.


EH 225.106: AMERICAN LIT BEFORE 1865
Economic Crisis and Industrial Revolution (Cowley)
MWF 8:00 - 8:50

Hard Times! Panic! Going Bust! Collapse! Crisis! Down with Machines! Revolution! Workers Unite! — this course examines the birth of American capitalism and its historical discontents as represented in literary work from revolutionary period to the Civil War. We will investigate how the industrial revolution, bourgeois culture, and market crisis transformed American society on both the level of the individual and the social. We will investigate how different American authors both celebrated and criticized these historical transformations.


EH 226.102: AMERICAN LIT AFTER 1865
Media and Technology (St. Clair)
TR 11:00 - 12:15

From Western Union's transcontinental telegraph (1861) to Thomas Edison's phonograph (1877); from the Nickelodeon (1905) to the first American radio station (1920); from the Golden Age of television to the Internet Age, literature has tracked the media transformations of our world.  This section of EH 226, American Literature after 1865, will focus on the many ways in which American literature has responded to emerging media technologies over the past 150 years.


EH 236.106: WORLD LIT AFTER 1650
Death, Disease, and Dysfunction (Roddy)
MWF 10:10 - 11:00

A girl survives a volcanic eruption only to remain trapped in mud and debris. A body emerges from the jungle with claw marks on its neck. A man faces the knowledge that he will be “dead forever” by Christmas. A putrid corpse rots in the Paris sun. A renowned writer succumbs to hallucinations as repressed desires overwhelm him. Murder and espionage, disease and the devil, treachery and trauma — why are writers obsessed with the grim aspects of life? In this course, we’ll read texts exploring how people respond in the face of death, disease, and dysfunction. And we will read Tartuffe.


▼   FALL 2020: UNDERGRAD ENGLISH COURSES (300 and 400 LEVEL)

Fall 2020 Undergraduate Courses


EH 300: INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY | Vrana
MWF 3:35 - 4:25

What, how, and why do we read in 2020? We will focus on basic methods and terminology of literary interpretation: close reading, analytical writing, and discussing complexity—skills key to a range of coursework and careers. Texts will be recent and may include (among others): The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead), The Last Final Girl (Stephen Graham Jones), Citizen (Claudia Rankine), and a film like Get Out.


EH 310: CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY | McLaughlin
TR 12:30 - 1:45

In this course, we will examine canonical texts (such as The Iliad and The Odyssey) that recount the myths, legends, and folktales of ancient Greece and Rome. As we explore how Greek mythology metamorphosed in the hands of Virgil and Ovid, we will combine an analysis of the role specific myths played in Greek and Roman culture with an assessment of the philosophical, political, psychological, and/or social significance these myths continue to hold in our own.


EH 323: SHAKESPEARE’S TRAGEDIES AND HISTORIES | Hillyer
TR 9:30 - 10:45

We will be studying representative examples of Shakespeare's plays in two genres: tragedies and histories. Highlights will include the profound soul-searching of Hamlet, the volcanic rage of King Lear, the gleeful villainy of Richard III, and the comic exuberance of Sir John Falstaff. We will collectively read aloud selected passages from the plays, in part to practice detailed textual analysis, and in part to grasp key interactions among the leading characters. I will assign two short papers (3-4 pages), a midterm, and a non-cumulative final.


EH 334: AMERICAN POETRY TO 1900 | Cesarini
TR 11:00 - 12:15

You will read longer selections by literary champs Walter (“Barbaric Yawp”) Whitman and Emily (“Heavenly Hurt”) Dickinson, interspersed with shorter rounds. You will consider questions like “When Is a Poet More Powerful than a Locomotive?” and “What Was Worse: the Civil War, or Civil War Poetry?” You will do lots of counting to ten (more or less), following tenors to their vehicles, getting rhythm, pursuing words to their roots. And you will put it all together in several sharp, bright, elegantly-written essays.


EH 343: 18TH CENTURY BRITISH NOVEL | Hollingsworth
MWF 12:20 - 1:10

This course approaches the rise of the British novel as a record of the modern subject’s increasingly public and market-mediated fantasy life of adventure, sexually-charged drama, and biting social commentary. Much of the next 200+ years of literary innovation starts with 18th-century bestsellers like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Burney’s Evelina, and Godwin’s Caleb Williams.


EH 362: AMERICAN NOVEL FROM 1900 TO 1945 | Raczkowski
TR 3:30 - 4:45

U.S. culture and literature between 1900 and 1945 is often considered in terms of the historical experience of crisis and shock: Anarchists! Riots! World War! Women’s Suffrage! Market Crash! World War… Again! In this course we will reflect on how a sense of historical crisis and the shock of the new differently animates the fiction of author’s like Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Claude McKay, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, John Steinbeck and James M. Cain.


EH 371: APPROACHES TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR (W) | Amare
TR 11:00 - 12:15

This course is designed for individuals who want a working knowledge of grammar and usage. In addition to learning grammar and usage concepts, we will explore different approaches to teaching grammar. You will research articles about the changing role of grammar in the English Studies curriculum to help you contextualize these concepts within the larger debate of English Studies and the teaching of grammar.


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Beason
MWF 11:15 - 12:05 or 2:30 - 3:20

What does it mean to “write on the job,” especially straightforward writing meant to be particularly clear yet concise? This W-Course is for students in diverse majors. It also counts as an “English elective” for most English majors and minors. To prepare you to write in one or more professions, we will focus on three elements: (1) “generic” workplace-writing skills; (2) rhetorical analysis of workplace situations; (3) and practice in writing and critiquing technical and workplace documents.


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Guzy
MWF 10:10 - 11:00

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. Types of workplace writing will include reports, proposals, job application materials, correspondence, and instructional manuals. Evaluation will emphasize comprehensive content, concise language, appropriate visual design, and professional correctness in grammar and mechanics.


EH 373: WRITING IN THE PROFESSIONS (W) | Amare
TR 9:30 - 10:45

This course is designed for individuals who want to write better in industry. Because a variety of majors take this course, strategies primarily will be skill-based as opposed to genre-based. These skills can be transferred and adapted across professions. Students will use proper grammar, tone, and formatting in order to meet the demands of the course as well as those of current and future employers. Skilled workplace writing requires effort and patience, but the final result is increased professional credibility and time saved.


EH 391: FICTION WRITING | Prince
TR 12:30 - 1:45

This course will introduce students to the art of short fiction and its contemporary practitioners. We will read short fiction not so much for “meaning” or “theme” but for technique. We’re interested in how stories are built in order to gain insight into how we might build them ourselves. A popular myth is that good writing is built on inspiration and “natural talent,” but the very existence of this course implies otherwise. And nearly every accomplished fiction writer will tell you that his or her success is owing mostly to studied technique, careful reading, and a whole lot of experimentation.


EH 395: POETRY WRITING | Pence
TR 2:00 - 3:15

In this course, we will practice writing poems in different modes and forms, from the intellectual slinkiness of Shakespeare’s sonnets to the cosmic embrace of Whitman’s free verse. Our focus will not be so much on the rules regulating each form, but on the deep history, artistry, and context behind those rules. Some modes and forms will include syllabics, spoken word, persona poems, free verse, and sonnets.


EH 401: TEACHING COMPOSITION (W) | Guzy
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

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:

• read and discuss the required texts,
• lead a discussion on a journal article from English Journal or Voices from the Middle,
• practice evaluating student essays,
• demonstrate a 30- to 50-minute writing lesson, and
• design a composition syllabus or detailed composition unit that is supported by a research-based rationale.


EH 421: LITERARY CRITICISM TO 1900 (W) | Halbrooks
MWF 1:25 - 2:15

This course will survey some of the major debates about literature beginning with Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle. What is literature? What does it do, and what is its function? What is the relationship between literature and the world? How do we define and categorize literary form and genre? What is the responsibility of the writer? How can women respond to a predominantly male literary canon? How can people of color respond to a predominantly white literary canon? What might constitute productive (or ethical) strategies of literary interpretation and analysis?


EH 468: CONTEMPORARY BLACK FICTION | Vrana
MWF 3:35 - 4:25

This course will examine post-1965 African American novelists’ representations of enslavement and other key events in distant and recent black history, with focus on how authors respond to the present by writing about race, gender, and politics in America’s past. We will discuss both realistic and imaginative or speculative depictions of the past. Texts may include: Beloved (Toni Morrison), The Chaneysville Incident (David Bradley), Leaving Atlanta (Tayari Jones), The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead), and Kindred (Octavia Butler).


EH 476: RETHINKING THE BOOK | St. Clair
TR 2:00 - 3:15

Calling all “print-oriented bastards”! This course will investigate some of the material properties of experimental literature that digital technologies have a hard time replicating. As we explore the possibilities of print — from typography and layout to bindings and boxes — we’ll read some of the most beautifully weird books that you’ve ever handled.


EH 490: HEALTH AND HEALING IN LITERATURE (H) | Hollingsworth
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

This course is an opportunity for each student to investigate and reflect upon his or her understanding of health and healing through exploring and discussing selected nationally and culturally diverse films and literature, the perspectives of invited speakers, and personal experience. Our inquiry and conversations will engage with broad, vital topics such as life, death, suffering, compassion, power, and the unknown, through the granular details of represented and direct experience. Evaluation may include both critical and creative responses involving writing and other media.


EH 497: THE ART OF THE ESSAY | Poole
T 6 - 8:30

In this course we will read contemporary essays as writers, experimenting with writing assignments along the way as we explore this multi-faceted, ever-expanding genre of creative writing. We will work in several modalities of the creative-essay, including the memoir essay, the lyric essay, and the immersive (gonzo!) quasi-journalist essay. We will workshop each other’s essays and share our exercises, taking risks, and ultimately seeking to find our voices as truth tellers. At the end of class, we will assemble a portfolio of revised essays.


▼   FALL 2020: GRAD ENGLISH COURSES (500 LEVEL)

Fall 2020 Graduate Courses


EH 502: GRADUATE WRITING FOR ENGLISH | McLaughlin
W 6:00 - 8:30

EH 502 is required of all M.A. students in their first year of course work. The central purpose of this course is to prepare students for research and academic writing at the graduate level, but it also aims to prepare students for direct engagement with the academic conversations, discourses, and practices that circulate around and through the study of literature — in this case, the literature that has grown out of the myths, legends, and folktales of ancient Greece and Rome.


EH 513: STUDIES IN CHAUCER | Halbrooks
M 6:00 - 8:30

This course will survey the major works of the most important writer of the English Middle Ages, as well as the vast history of Chaucerian scholarship and criticism. Each generation of scholars creates multiple alternative "Chaucers." We have genial Chaucer, feminist Chaucer, misogynist Chaucer, radical Chaucer, conservative Chaucer, postmodern Chaucer, and even eco-Chaucer to name just a few. We will consider which of these alternative Chaucers we find most convincing, or we might have to create our own.


EH 572: MODERN AMERICAN FICTION | Raczkowski
R 6:00 - 8:30

The modernist novel in America was never singular, but took on a number of forms ranging from the experimental or “high” modernism of Gertrude Stein; to the popular modernism of James M. Cain’s hardboiled crime novels; to the Harlem Renaissance modernism of Nella Larsen or Claude McKay. As a study of modernist fiction in America, the goal of this class will be to introduce students to some of these different modernisms while keeping an eye on the competing aesthetic and political arguments that modernist writers structured implicitly in their fiction and explicitly in their manifestoes, reviews and literary criticism.


EH 589: THE ART OF THE ESSAY | Poole
T 6 - 8:30

In this course we will read contemporary essays as writers, experimenting with writing assignments along the way as we explore this multi-faceted, ever-expanding genre of creative writing. We will work in several modalities of the creative-essay, including the memoir essay, the lyric essay, and the immersive (gonzo!) quasi-journalist essay. We will workshop each other’s essays and share our exercises, taking risks, and ultimately seeking to find our voices as truth tellers. At the end of class, we will assemble a portfolio of revised essays.


EH 590: CONTEMPORARY BLACK FICTION | Vrana
MWF 3:35 - 4:25

This course will examine post-1965 African American novelists’ representations of enslavement and other key events in distant and recent black history, with focus on how authors respond to the present by writing about race, gender, and politics in America’s past. We will discuss both realistic and imaginative or speculative depictions of the past. Texts may include: Beloved (Toni Morrison), The Chaneysville Incident (David Bradley), Leaving Atlanta (Tayari Jones), The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead), and Kindred (Octavia Butler).


EH 591: CRAFTING YOUR ECOSYSTEM | Pence
R 6:00 - 8:30

What happens when the environment is more than a setting but a subject of one's work — be it in a sci-fi story or ruminative personal essay? In this graduate class, we will explore how to create a nuanced environment in one's poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Some questions we will address include how have we invented nature, both in our lives and in our creative work? What tools can writers use to convey the history of the land? And how can writers communicate natural or man-made disasters to a variety of readers?


EH 599: THESIS HOURS

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


 

A full listing of all courses in the departmental catalog is available via the University Bulletin.  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 page that follows.