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:


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.

Fall 2018 Undergraduate Course Offerings

Introduction to Literary Study - EH 300 | Richard Hillyer
TR, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

We will be studying short stories by Langston Hughes, poems by various hands, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Shakespeare's Tragedies and Histories - EH 323 | Richard Hillyer
TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm

We will be studying representative examples of Shakespeare's work in two genres of plays.

American Novel to 1900 - EH 331 | Pat Cesarini
TR, 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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 of 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.

American Novel from 1900 to 1945 - EH 362 | Christopher Raczkowski
TR, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

The modernist novel evolved in many different directions in the period between World War I and World War II. The course will provide students with a semester long study of some of the important forms that the modernist novel took during the era (popular/hardboiled, proletarian, literary modernist, avant garde and Harlem Renaissance). Along the way, we will consider both the shared concerns that collectively allow us to think of these different novels as participating in a thing called "modernism," as well as the debates and conflicts (about aesthetics, representation, political and social change, history, gender, sexuality, race, language, and culture writ-large) that made them distinct from each other as individual modernisms.

Contemporary Fiction - EH 366 | Justin St. Clair
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm

21st-century fiction by real live human people.  This is the class you want.  Enough with the dead white men already.

Approaches to English Grammar - EH 371 | Nicole Amare
TR, 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

This course is designed for individuals who want a working knowledge of grammar in order to (1) teach it to others and (2) function within the discipline of English studies. In addition to learning grammar and usage concepts, we will explore different approaches to teaching grammar. We will also read articles about the changing role of grammar in the English curriculum to help us contextualize these concepts within the larger debate of English studies and the teaching of grammar.

Technical Writing - EH 372 | Annmarie Guzy
MWF, 9:05 am to 9:55 am

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 | Allison Morrow
MWF, 12:20 pm to 1:10 pm

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 various contexts, genres, and situations.

Technical Writing - EH 372 | Christine Norris
2 Sections: TR, 9:30 am to 10:45 am and TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm

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 has a strong emphasis on multi-modal texts and will incorporate technical documents that use visual and aural elements as well as written text.

Writing in the Professions - EH 373 | Larry Beason
MWF, 1:25 pm to 2:15 pm

This W-Course is intended for students in diverse majors. But 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 will focus on four basic elements that help people write in the workplace:

  1. "Generic" workplace-writing skills & genres of writing.
  2. Rhetorical analysis of workplace texts & situations.
  3. Information gathering.
  4. Practice in writing & critiquing documents.

Fiction Writing I/II - EH 391/392 | Adam Prince
TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm

The objective of the class is to introduce students to the art of writing fiction. In this class, we read 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 primarily built on inspiration and something we call "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 and a whole lot of work. Here is where that technique, where that hard work begins.

Poetry Writing I/II - EH 395/396 | Charlotte Pence
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

Poet Richard Wilbur once remarked that "whatever margins the page might offer have nothing to do with the form of a poem." In this course centered on the writing of poetry, we will accept Wilbur's challenge and learn the variety of ways we can give shape to our lyrical expressions. 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 so that we can begin to choose the right form for our poem's content. Some modes and forms will include syllabics, spoken word, persona poems, and eco-poems. How one varies these forms and tailors them to a personal aesthetic will be both the challenge and the pleasure of the class.

We will also keep writing notebooks where we begin poems and hone our craft. Since part of the writing process is the revision process, workshop will play a fundamental role in our course. In workshop, our poems will be read, critiqued, and evaluated with the goal of a polished manuscript being presented by the semester's end.

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

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:

  • discuss the required texts and self-selected scholarly articles,
  • practice evaluating student writing through the use of various rubrics,
  • learn and demonstrate various teaching techniques, and
  • design a syllabus or detailed academic unit that is supported by a research-based rationale.

Literary Criticism to 1900 - EH 421 | John Halbrooks
MWF, 2:30 pm to 3:20 pm

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? What might constitute productive strategies of literary interpretation and analysis?

As we will see, these debates have been ongoing for 2500 years and continue to this day, and these are not merely abstract issues. As funding for education in general and the humanities in particular is on the wane, it is vital for those of us in the field to articulate arguments about the value of what we study. An historical understanding of literary criticism and theory also will enable us to think more deeply about the texts we read and our relationship to them.

Literary Criticism since 1900 - EH 422 | Justin St. Clair
MWF, 12:20 pm to 1:10 pm

The primary objective of EH 422 is to provide a broad overview of literary theory since 1900.  We will begin with various formalisms, wend our way through a succession of -isms, schisms, and camps, and finally conclude with a unit on cultural studies.  As we traverse topics ranging from deconstruction to psychoanalysis, from gender studies to post-colonial theory, we will develop a better understanding of the critical approaches literary scholars employ.

Milton - EH 467 | Richard Hillyer
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

We will be studying John Milton's greatest poems and selections of his prose focusing on two topics: divorce and freedom of the press.

Comp and Rhetoric: Language at the End of the World - EH 481 | Larry Beason
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm

Feeling programmed, coerced, indoctrinated? Imagine what that’s like in the post-apocalypse—or in any extreme crisis.

Our world is full of messages designed to persuade you--even when the authors think they are merely conveying "objective information for your own good." Such rhetoric is common in times of emergency, when we willingly give "The Man" great powers and we overlook potential abuses.

This course focuses on how to evaluate overt and subtle ways in which we are persuaded to comply and accept, especially in times of crises. We will examine texts from the past and present. But we will also examine persuasion involving our possible futures—different visions of the post-apocalypse (from our government as well as "doomsday preppers") that persuade us in ways most people overlook.

This course is a W-Course and can fulfill the "English elective" requirements for most English majors and minors.

Studies in American Literature: Religious Commotions in Early Am Lit - EH 478 | Becky McLaughlin
TR, 5:00 pm to 6:15 pm

Beginning with the Antinomian Controversy of 1636-38 as documented by David Hall, this variable content course will explore the impact of religion on American literature from the seventeenth century through the nineteenth. The story we generally tell ourselves about our Puritan forbears is one in which a courageous band of faithful Christians create a "city upon a hill" to be a beacon of religious tolerance and good will for the whole world to model itself upon. But, in fact, from the seventeenth century’s three "crime waves"–the Antinomian Controversy, the Quaker Persecutions, and the Salem Witch Trials–to the three Great Awakenings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, religious controversy and intolerance have been the order of the day. To see the highs and the lows of our spotted religious history, or "the slice, through which so many floods of Error flow in," we will read the sermons of John Winthrop, John Wheelwright, and Jonathan Edwards; novels such as Wieland, Billy Budd, The Damnation of Theron Ware, and The Turn of the Screw; short stories such as Hawthorne’s "Young Goodman Brown" and "The Minister’s Black Veil"; and the autobiographies and/or memoires of Abigail Abbot Bailey, Jarena Lee, Zilpha Elaw, and Julia Foote.

Advanced Fiction Writing I/II - EH 483/484 | Nathan Poole
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Advanced Fiction Writing is a seminar, writing workshop, and directed-study for intermediate and experienced writers of fiction. Through tailored writing projects students will work toward developing a greater understanding of the means and manners of fiction. Discussions and assignments will also involve literary journals and the submission process. Much of class time will be spent discussing peer work and literary models.

Fall 2018 Graduate Course Offerings

Graduate Writing for English - EH 502 | Cris Hollingsworth
R, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The subject of this introduction to graduate research and academic writing is satire, a tradition of lampoon and ridicule that includes Lucian's A True Story, Cervantes's Don Quixote, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, short stories by Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker, and science fiction by writers like H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, and Philip K. Dick. Evaluated assignments will include a research essay, a library exercise and report, participation in workshop activities, and a presentation. This course is required of all MA students in their first year of work; its prerequisite is admission to the English Graduate Program.

Teaching College Writing - EH 505 | Patrick Shaw
MW, 2:30 pm to 3:45 pm

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.

Studies in Chaucer - EH 513 | John Halbrooks
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course will survey Chaucer's poetry and will introduce students to recent developments in Chaucerian scholarship. Students will also gain valuable experience through involvement with the "Chaucer: Sound and Vision" conference, to be held on our campus in October.

Genre: African American Poetry - EH 577 | Laura Vrana
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course explores what Countee Cullen framed as "this curious thing: / To make a poet black, and bid him sing!" in America. Surveying poetry by African American writers from seventeenth-century origins among enslaved poets to twenty-first century texts, we will study the history of black poetry through its major periods, examining such questions as: What role does black poetry play in social and historical movements, from abolition to the Civil Rights Movement and #BlackLivesMatter? What does the contrast between "formal" and "experimental" works do to our views on black poetry? How has the trajectory of African American poetry over 300 years paralleled, differed from, and interacted with other developments in American literature and society?

Graduate Fiction Writing I/II - EH 583/584 | Nathan Poole
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Advanced Fiction Writing is a seminar, writing workshop, and directed-study for intermediate and experienced writers of fiction. Through tailored writing projects students will work toward developing a greater understanding of the means and manners of fiction. Discussions and assignments will also involve literary journals and the submission process. Much of class time will be spent discussing peer work and literary models.

Special Topics: Milton - EH 590 | Richard Hillyer
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

We will be studying John Milton's greatest poems and selections of his prose focusing on two topics: divorce and freedom of the press.

Special Topics in Creative Writing: Crafting Your Eco-System - EH 591 | Charlotte Pence
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

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 special-topics, creative writing graduate class, we will explore how to create a nuanced environment in one's poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Some questions we will address include what tools can writers use to convey the history of the land? How can writers communicate natural or man-made disasters to a variety of readers? And how have we invented nature, both in our lives and in our creative work? One bonus of this class is that students will have the opportunity to hear Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature, speak in Mobile. A final portfolio of original fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with a critical introduction, a book review ready for submission, and attendance at three readings will constitute the course's major requirements.

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.