Spring 2022 Graduate Courses
EH 501.501 – Introduction to Critical Theory | Vrana
What is theory, and is it indeed "critical" for a 21st-century scholar and teacher of literature? EH501 provides an introduction to some of the most essential debates within and approaches to critical theory and literary criticism, as they have evolved from the early 20th century through the present. We will read excerpts by important theorists grouped topically, covering the basics of such schools of thought as Structuralism, New Historicism, New Criticism, feminist theory/gender studies, critical race theory, and ecocriticism. In particular, we will focus on how one might effectively bring such wide-ranging lenses to African American literature. But students will regardless of literary interests develop facility at and comfort with engaging different types of "theory" going forward, through activities to include discussion, written responses, presentations, and two papers.
EH 507.101 – Topics in Rhetoric/Composition | Beason
"Analyzing Our Worlds"
Been feeling programmed, controlled, and indoctrinated? Our world is full of persuasive messages--even when the author is not fully aware s/he is sending anything other than "objective information." Should we not realize what these messages are—and determine if they are manipulative, benign, or 'good'? This course will draw on specific approaches that analyze texts and put rhetorical theory into practice. This course helps students understand the varied persuasion that affects our personal lives and social ecologies. The course provides a "theoretical toolkit" so we can understand major types of rhetorical criticism and then evaluate hidden, as well as overt, forms of persuasion that surround us in everyday life. This course is part of the spring ecology series.
EH 543.501 – American Romanticism | Cesarini
Focusing primarily on nonfiction prose and poetry, this is a study of writers of the American Romantic Movement, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. We will devote special attention to the concept of, and writing about, Nature, as many of our writers did. Why did it take on the special meanings it did in this period, and how do those meanings still matter today? Graded work includes short weekly response papers, one presentation, and write two longer essays. (EH 543 is part of the spring ecology series.)
EH 574.101 – Folklore and Ways of Listening | Jackson
This course focuses on the collection of folklore and expressive culture. Analysis of oral narrative provides 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 genres and contexts of folkloric performance.
EH 577.501 – Studies in Genre: Tudor and Stuart Drama M 180-2030 | Hillyer
We will be studying some of the most brilliant plays produced for the English stage by Shakespeare's contemporaries. These include masterpieces by Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, and the playwriting team of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher. But these also include examples by various hands of work in the genre of "Domestic Plays," such as A Woman Killed with Kindness and The Tragedy of Master Arden of Faversham. The main assignment will be a research paper developed in stages.
EH 583.501 | EH 584.501 – Grad Fiction Writing Wksp I & II | Griffin
This is a workshop-based course for graduate writers of fiction. We will read closely from a wide variety of short fiction, and we will draft our own stories to be critiqued by our classmates. Additionally, we will study craft essays about the genre with an eye toward exploring its history. Discussions will address aspects of craft as well as the cultural lineage of contemporary short fiction. When appropriate, conferences and independent projects will focus on literary journals and the submission process.
EH 585.501 | EH 586.501 – Grad Poetry Writing Wksp I & II | Pence
This graduate writing course explores different styles that currently define the American contemporary poem and engages with how these styles are responses to Romantic and modern literature. We will explore political, narrative, surreal and other approaches from the best poets writing today. In fact, we will host a poet every other week (over Zoom) and read that poet's latest book. The guest will provide a prompt, which will begin our poems that we submit for workshop. In so doing, the class will examine the contemporary lyric from a variety of viewpoints and techniques. Note: Part of the spring ecology series.
EH 589.101 – Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing | Tucker, Gaillard
At a time when creative nonfiction is most often construed as personal narrative or memoir, Pulitzer Prize winner Cynthia Tucker and South Alabama Writer in Residence Frye Gaillard offer a dive into the literature of narrative nonfiction. "Our assumption," says Gaillard, "is that telling someone else's story requires at least as much creative skill as telling your own." Students will consider such books as John Hersey's reportorial masterpiece, Hiroshima, as well as shorter essays and articles. The course offers both graduate and undergraduate credit.
EH 590.102 – Special Topic: Ecology and Narrative | Halbrooks
This course is part of the English Department's spring-semester series on ecology. We will study a range of English narratives, primarily from the nineteenth century, from an ecological perspective. We typically think of novels and narrative poems as character-driven, but we will readjust our interpretive lenses to focus on the spaces, landscapes, and seascapes through which characters move, and we will consider the effects of scientific discoveries and industrialization on the narrative ecologies of these texts. We will be reading novels and poems by Emily Brontë, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, William Wordsworth, Charlotte Smith, and Mary Robinson.
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.