Graduate Courses

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1817)


Spring 2019 Graduate Course Offerings

Introduction to Critical Theory - EH 501 | John Halbrooks
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course will survey critical theory from Classical Greece to the twenty-first century, from ancient debates over the nature of representation and the function of literature to the dizzying array of critical lenses offered by contemporary theory. To focus these lenses, we will consider two texts with long and remarkably varied critical histories: Shakespeare’s Othello and Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Rhetorical America - EH 507 | Larry Beason
R 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

We will examine how American culture is saturated with rhetoric, and not just in the “bad” sense of the word. We will utilize various approaches to rhetorical analysis as we critique diverse texts—from architecture, to tattoos, to presidential speeches. In everyday America and ‘Merica, we encounter messages concerning power and identity. These can be highly persuasive, especially if we are unaware someone is trying to persuade us. Should we not realize what these messages are—and whether they are manipulative, benign, or “good”?

Renaissance Poetry - EH 514 | Richard Hillyer
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

We will study all of Shakespeare's sonnets in sequence. The main assignment will be a research paper developed in stages.

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

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.

Graduate Poetry Writing I/II - EH 585/586 | Charlotte Pence
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This advanced poetry writing course explores the different styles that currently define the American contemporary poem. We will cover political poetry, eco-poetry, ekphrastic poetry and more from the best contemporary poetry being written today. Students will then submit a new poem for workshop in that particular style every week. In so doing, the class will examine the state of the contemporary lyric and ask what are its craft elements that create what Auden defines poetry to be: "memorable speech." To help us gain an understanding of this vibrant field, our class has the opportunity to meet guest poets who include Diana Khoi Nyugen.

Screen Writing II - EH 590 | Adam Prince
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This class focuses on the fundamentals of screenwriting. We will study character development, conflict, structure, formatting, and so on as we explore how to write screenplays. Our focus will be as expansive as possible, covering drama, comedy, and action genres as well as both TV and feature-length scripts. Students will write at least one close analysis of a screenplay in addition to extensive work on an original TV pilot and a feature-length script. Screenplays will be workshopped in class and revised accordingly.

Criminal Modernism - EH 592 | Christopher Raczkowski
W, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

When Gertrude Stein, with characteristic swagger, declares that she “killed the nineteenth century, killed it dead like a gangster” with a machine gun; or W.H. Auden writes that “The situation of our time, / Surrounds us like a baffling crime”; or Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin spend a week together in 1933 mapping out a series of detective novels they intend to co-author; we get a quick glimpse at how crime and crime narrative are surprisingly central to modernist art, thought and self-fashioning. Reading work by Stein, Eliot, Larsen, Benjamin, Wright, Highsmith, Faulkner, Auden, Kafka and others, the class seeks both to identify the multiple ways that crime and criminality animates modernism and to speculate on why modernists found crime so valuable to their aesthetic and intellectual projects.

Thesis Hours - EH 599

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