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.

▼   SUMMER 2021: UNDERGRAD ENGLISH COURSES (300 and 400 LEVEL)

Summer 2021 Undergraduate Courses


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Amare
Online, Full Summer Term (June 2 - July 30)

The course is designed to help you to accomplish the following:

  • Understand and analyze writing situations and technologies and 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;
  • Produce more effective visual, textual, and multimedia documents.

EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Morrow
Online, Full Summer Term (June 2 - July 30)

Practicing professionals of any discipline are required to do some sort of writing. That writing varies different across different audiences, contexts, and purposes. The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written genres required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of genre writing from the conceptual stage through the editing stage.  At the same time, students will learn to recognize and adapt their writing to fit the various contexts, genres, and situations for which they may find themselves writing. 


EH 390: THE SPIRITUALS | Jackson
MTWRF 12:40 - 3:10, Maymester (May 10 - May 28)

Explore the aesthetic of the spirituals! Course discussion will engage common themes in the "sorrow songs" known traditionally as "Negro Spirituals."  We will examine both texts and recordings then contemplate how the same aesthetic principles are continued in the work of modern artists including Zora Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison.  This course meets the historical requirement for coursework in twentieth-century literature and provides a thoughtful reflection on a prominent element of contemporary American culture, enhancing your ability to interpret meaning in modern applications of the aesthetic specific to Negro Spirituals.


▼   FALL 2021: THEMED LITERATURE SURVEYS (200 LEVEL)

Fall 2021 Themed Literature Surveys


EH 215.104 - British Lit before 1785 | Frye
Monsters and Monstrosity

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 or something a monster as we move from Anglo-Saxon literature, through medieval, renaissance, and early eighteenth-century texts.


EH 215.110 - British Lit before 1785 | Hillyer
Virtue and Vice

We will study representative works of British literature produced before 1785, or dating across about a thousand years, and including masterpieces by some of the greatest writers of any time or place: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Milton.  More particularly, we will focus on patterns of virtue and vice, as traced on both a larger and smaller scale: across dramatically changing historical conditions, but also within particular individuals presented as exemplary.  We will also examine some ambiguous cases: embodiments of virtue and (or) vice.


EH 216.102 - British Lit after 1785 | Harrington
Doubles and Imposters

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 225.102 - American Lit before 1865 | Owsley
Power to the People

Democratic government by nature ensures equal participation—and representation—of all citizens. And yet, when Henry David Thoreau had his spa day in jail for refusing to pay a poll tax in 1846, he boldly proclaimed that old adage "government is best which governs least." Good for Thoreau, but he didn't write those words in the middle of a pandemic. Is there a time when government should overstep its boundaries, say when we're under gubernatorial orders to wear masks in public spaces? Is it within the scope of our civil liberties to protest masks? How do we know when we're resisting the "right" versus the "wrong" issues? Therefore, in this course, we will use the theme "Resistance" to explore how 18th and 19th century authors used literature to restore power to the people, no delay.


EH 225.108 - American Lit before 1865 | Cowley
Economic Crisis and Industrial Revolution

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, and how American authors both celebrated and criticized these historical transformations


EH 236.106 - World Lit after 1650 | Roddy
Narratives of Identity

Murder, madness, betrayal—great literature (like life) is filled with conflict and tragedy. In this collaborative section of EH 236, students investigate how literature reflects, challenges, and shapes cultural narratives of identity. How do international writers critique the religious and intellectual status quo to forge new concepts of national identity and personhood? How do imperialism, crushing worldwide violence, and emerging thinkers, like Freud and Marx, influence evolving literary ideas of nationalism, the human psyche, and communal identity? Can literature serve a liberatory role, reimagining the nature of subjectivity and cultural identity in an increasingly globalized, media-saturated world?


▼   FALL 2021: UNDERGRAD ENGLISH COURSES (300 and 400 LEVEL)

Fall 2021 Undergraduate Courses


EH 300: INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY | Vrana
MWF 10:10 - 11:00

What, how, and why do we read in 2021? 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 323: SHAKESPEARE'S TRAGEDIES AND HISTORIES | Hillyer
TR 2:00 - 3:15

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 331: AMERICAN NOVEL TO 1900 | Cesarini
TR 12:30 - 1:45

Students will read novels by important American writers of the period such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Henry James, Charles Chesnutt, and Kate Chopin. Attention throughout will be given to the interaction between form and meaning in each novel, and to the relation of each to its literary and historical contexts. There will be frequent reading quizzes, and students will write two essays, one of which will require research.


EH 354: THE 19TH CENTURY BRITISH NOVEL | Harrington
MWF 1:25 - 2:15

The prolific periodical culture of the nineteenth century and the increasing literacy rate produced a boom in British fiction that resulted in a rich array of novels, at turns realist, domestic, Gothic, sentimental, and naturalist. In this class, we will consider issues of gender and sexuality in Jane Austen's Emma, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Discussion topics will include childhood and development, rights and reform, class, race, and empire.


EH 357: BLACK WRITERS IN AMERICA | Vrana
MWF 1:25 - 2:15

From Phillis Wheatley to Toni Morrison, Black writers have been among the most important throughout American history. What do you expect of African American authors? This survey of works from the eighteenth century through the present in prose, drama, and poetry will expose students to the wide-ranging approaches within this vital literary tradition, perhaps challenging some expectations. We will explore: What is "political" in this tradition? What aesthetics have different Black authors used, and why? And how and when do these writers try to protest in literature?


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) | Amare
ONLINE

The course is designed to help you to accomplish the following:

  • Understand and analyze writing situations and technologies and 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;
  • Produce more effective visual, textual, and multimedia documents.

EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Beason
MWF 2:30 - 3:20

How can you effectively convey specialized or technical information in the workplace—to readers whose expertise with this information can vary greatly? Whether your field of study deals with health care, the sciences, the computer industry, the liberal arts, or almost any field of study, this course can assist you with varied types of workplace writing and editing.  EH 372 can also help satisfy the W-Requirement and count as an English elective for most English majors and minors.


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Garner
ONLINE

Practicing professionals of any discipline are required to do some sort of writing. That writing varies differently across different audiences, contexts, and purposes. The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written genres required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of genre writing from the conceptual stage through the editing stage. In this course, students will learn to recognize and adapt their writing to fit the various contexts, genres, and situations they may find themselves writing for, as well as utilize document design and digital presentation applications.


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Guzy 
MWF 9:05-9:55 

The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written reports required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of report writing from conceptual stage through editing stage. 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.


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Morrow
ONLINE

Practicing professionals of any discipline are required to do some sort of writing. That writing varies different across different audiences, contexts, and purposes. The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written genres required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of genre writing from the conceptual stage through the editing stage.  At the same time, students will learn to recognize and adapt their writing to fit the various contexts, genres, and situations for which they may find themselves writing.


EH 373: WRITING IN THE PROFESSIONS (W) | Beason
MWF 1:25 - 2:15

What does it mean to "write on the job," and how is it different from college writing? This W-Course is intended for students in diverse majors. It also counts as an "English elective" for most English majors and minors. The goal is to prepare you to write in one or more professions. To do so, we focus on three elements: (1) "generic" workplace-writing skills; (2) rhetorical analysis of workplaces; (3) and practice in writing and critiquing documents.


EH 379: HORROR (H) | Guzy
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

Do scientific, political, cultural, and technological developments alleviate our deepest fears or create new ones?  In this course, we will investigate ways in which the horror genre has developed from and in turn has shaped our culture.  Through active class discussion, oral presentations, and written assignments, students will analyze and critique aspects of horror and relate horror works and themes to areas of personal and professional interest. Readings will include fictional texts and scholarly commentary on the genre; selected video clips and feature-length films will also be viewed and discussed.


EH 391: FICTION WRITING | Poole
MWF 12:20 - 1:10

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 3:30 - 4:45

In this course, we will practice writing poems in different forms, from the intellectual slinkiness of Shakespeare's sonnets to the cosmic embrace of Whitman's freeverse. Our focus will not be so much on the rules regulating each form, but on the deep history, artistry, and context behind those rules so that we can choose the right form for our poem's content. Some forms will include syllabics, spoken word, persona poems, and freeverse. How one varies these forms and tailors them to a personal aesthetic will be the challenge and pleasure.


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

EH 401 is primarily for English majors planning to teach writing at the secondary level (or seriously considering doing so). The course offers theoretical, practical, and hands-on experience to prepare you for teaching students to write effectively in diverse genres and situations.  EH 401 also helps students fulfill the W-Course requirement.


EH 405: EDITING AND DOCUMENT DESIGN | Amare
TR 9:30 - 10:45

This course combines the principles of editing with document design to prepare students for the vast world of professional publishing.  Students gain applied experience editing and designing publications for the trade book industry, academic journals, and corporations and organizations in print and digital formats.  Throughout the course, students learn general editing principles, editorial roles, and editorial terms as well as the theories and aesthetics of design.  Students hone their skills in visual rhetoric becoming more proficient in understanding the relationship between textual content, format, and graphics.


EH 421: LITERARY CRITICISM TO 1900 (W) | Halbrooks
TR 12:30 - 1:45

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 476: IMAGINATION IN THE AGE OF COMPLEX MACHINES | Hollingsworth
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

Our subject is the changing representations of modern, mechanized conflict, from the trenches of World War I to the science-fictional battle spaces of the Cold War's unstable aftermath. We will ground our understanding in the Gothic and science fiction—and pay special attention to the techno-thriller, which sheds light on the experience of sharing a world with increasingly pervasive and powerful machines, systems, and networks.


EH 480: GENDER AND LITERATURE | McLaughlin
TR 2:00 - 3:15

"The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world."  — Edgar Allan Poe

In this course, we will explore the relationship between women, madness, and the macabre using psychoanalysis as a theoretical framework. The assigned texts will be a mix of American and British films, novellas, novels, and short stories from the late-nineteenth century through the present.


EH 483: ADVANCED FICTION WRITING | Prince
TR 12:30 - 1:45

This course is a seminar, writing workshop, and directed study for intermediate and experienced writers of fiction. Through tailored writing projects that range from short stories, novellas, and novel excerpts, students will learn to utilize peer and instructor feedback that leads to stronger, more original work. Students will also develop a greater understanding of the critical and cultural lineage of their work. Discussions and assignments will address the craft of writers foundational to the study of fiction. Conferences and independent projects will focus on literary journals and the submission process, when appropriate.


▼   FALL 2021: GRAD ENGLISH COURSES (500 LEVEL)

Fall 2021 Graduate Courses


EH 502: GRADUATE WRITING IN ENGLISH | Hollingsworth
M 6:00 - 8:30

We will investigate the type of Gothic that haunts the Cold War imagination. We will take an evolutionary perspective, exploring how the experience of mechanical time helps establish a new species of Gothic, science fiction, which after World War 2 increasingly saturates reality. Evaluation will emphasize research and the conference paper. This course is required of all MA students in their first year of work; its prerequisite is admission to the English Graduate Program.


EH 505: TEACHING COLLEGE WRITING | Shaw
MW 3:30 - 4:45

This course examines issues in composition history, theory, and pedagogy in the context of teaching first-year composition.  Students will use this knowledge to develop course material appropriate to teaching first-year composition.  Topics include syllabus and assignment design, lesson planning, course management, teaching in the linguistically and culturally diverse classroom, and assessment. Pre-requisite / Co-requisite: EH 502.


EH 570: STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE | Halbrooks
T 6:00 - 8:30

This course will focus on Medieval Ecologies from Beowulf to Tolkien.  We will study literary representations of travel, landscape, and ecology from the Middle Ages of northwestern Europe (primarily the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Iceland), as well as how these representations have interacted with modern literature and ideas.  In addition to our medieval and modern primary texts, we will read from the growing body of medievalist ecocriticism.


EH 583/4: GRADUATE FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP I/II | Prince
TR 12:30 - 1:45

This course is a seminar, writing workshop, and directed study for graduate writers of fiction. Through tailored writing projects that range from short stories, novellas, and novel excerpts, students will learn to utilize peer and instructor feedback that leads to stronger, more original work. Students will also develop a greater understanding of the critical and cultural lineage of their work. Discussions and assignments will address the craft of writers foundational to the study of fiction. Conferences and independent projects will focus on literary journals and the submission process, when appropriate.


EH 592: WOMEN AND THE MACABRE | McLaughlin
W 6:00 - 8:30

If it is true that the Enlightenment gave birth to the gothic, its light creating the dark shadows in which lurk that which resists human understanding, then it is equally true to say that the gothic, with its locus in the irrational maze of the human psyche, prefigured and gave rise to psychoanalysis. Because psychoanalysis could itself be called a gothic discourse with its exploration of family secrets, buried memories, hysterical fits, obsessive thoughts, erotic dreams, false portraits, and mirror images, it will be the theoretical lens through which we explore the relationship between women and the macabre in film and literature from the late-nineteenth century through the present.


EH 599: THESIS HOURS

Please see Dr. Halbrooks 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.