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.

▼   SPRING 2021: THEMED LITERATURE SURVEYS (200 LEVEL)

Spring 2021 Themed Literature Surveys


EH 215.105 and EH 215.107 - 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 215.109 and EH 215.110 - British Lit before 1785 | Halbrooks
Masks and Identities

From the mysterious Green Knight to Milton's shape-shifting Satan to Shakespeare's cross-dressing Viola, writers have been interested in the ways in which we use masks, both literal and metaphorical, to create identity, to deceive, and to protect the self. As we all wear masks during our current crisis, we will use the idea of the mask as a starting point for our study of identity in literature from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century.


EH 216.107 and EH 216.108 - British Lit after 1785 | Hollingsworth
British Fantasy and Imagination

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 225.104 and 225.105 - American Lit before 1865 | McLaughlin
American Fanatics and Heretics

The story we tell ourselves about our Puritan forbears is one in which a courageous band of faithful Christians create a "city upon a hill" as a beacon of religious tolerance and good will. But, in fact, from the 17th century's three "crime waves"—the Antinomian Controversy, the Quaker Persecutions, and the Salem Witch Trials—to the three Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries, religious controversy and intolerance have been the order of the day. This course examines the highs and the lows of our spotted religious history and their impact on American literature.


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 226.103 and EH 226.106 - American Lit after 1865 | Owsley
2021: A Space Odyssey

This course is inspired by the expansive genre of speculative fiction, work that imagines—even reimagines—our past, present, and future. Speculative fiction is intentionally undefinable; it's a shape-shifting genre that seeks to challenge our worldviews by reconfiguring our conceptions of place, space, and time. Science fiction, utopias, dystopias, the supernatural, and Afrofuturism are particularly useful for contemplating who we are, by displacing where we are. We will utilize speculative fiction to investigate how American authors envision an inclusive and diverse national identity through the creation of mythical, but recognizable, landscapes.


EH 235.104 - World Lit before 1650 | Dail
Animals and Humans

Some we love, some we hate, some we eat. Our relationship with animals has been in flux since the beginnings of human society to the present day. Writers have explored the human-animal boundary throughout history and considered questions like, what does it mean to be animal? What does it mean to be human? What do our differences say about our similarities? In this section of EH 235 we will examine how animals are portrayed in early literature and what this says about the animal itself, but also about the human and how we view ourselves and our place in the natural world.

EH 235.105 and EH 235.106 - World Lit before 1650 | Roddy
Myth and Meaning

How did the world begin? How can we understand our mortality? Are there gods or a God who orders our world? Or are we simply following a script of our own making? In this survey, we'll take a comparative look at seminal religious, philosophical, and literary texts to see how burgeoning civilizations around the globe explore big questions to understand humanity's place in the universe. We'll examine legends of early world literature, like Confucius, Sappho, Vālmīki, and St. Augustine, as well as texts born out of the communal consciousness of tale-telling across the ages.


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

Spring 2021 Undergraduate Courses


EH 300: INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY | Cesarini
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

This course offers an introduction to the study of literature, with special emphasis on critical writing. We will read and study a range of literary texts, treating each as a case study in the interpretive issues that most concern students of English. Such issues include genre, close reading, contextual reading, and the theoretical underpinnings of our common but diverse enterprise. This semester there will also be a focus on issues of race. In addition to weekly in-class assignments, students will write three short essays, and will take a final exam.


EH 322: SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES AND ROMANCES | Hillyer
MWF 12:20 - 1:10

We will be studying representative examples of Shakespeare's work in two genres of plays: comedies and romances. Students will find that even those plays most given over to farce and slapstick exhibit the kind of psychological depth that makes the study of Shakespeare so rewarding. I will assign four short papers, each keyed to a specific passage that students will be expected to analyze in detail. In each case, too, students will be expected to incorporate a relevant quotation from the introduction to the appropriate play in the assigned edition.


EH 340: RESTORATION AND EARLY 18th CENTURY LIT | Hollingsworth
TR 11:00 - 12:15

We will enjoy works of adventure, satire, and ribaldry from Restoration and early 18th-century British writers Aphra Behn (Oroonoko, The Rover), Olaudah Equiano (The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels, The Battle of the Books), Alexander Pope (An Essay on Man, An Essay on Criticism), Daniel Defoe (Moll Flanders), Lord Rochester (satirical poems), and caricatures and political cartoons by William Hogarth, James Gillray, and others.


EH 353: VICTORIAN PROSE | Harrington
TR 12:30 - 1:45

The Victorian period was a time of great vitality and controversy in literature and thought, as novelists and essayists considered issues like human rights, social reform, class, empire and the maintenance of colonial authority, crime and punishment, "the woman question," evolution, sexuality, religion, and aesthetics and decadence in art and literature. This class considers a variety of texts that represent British Victorian viewpoints; in addition to the focus on significant essays and nonfiction, we will read stories from Dickens, Gaskell, Kipling, Wilde, Le Fanu, and Conan Doyle that develop Victorian viewpoints throughout the semester.


EH 363: AMERICAN NOVEL SINCE 1945 | St. Clair
TR 2:00 - 3:15

Who killed JFK? Why'd they fake the moon landing? How were the Masons involved in 9/11? Does 5G cause coronavirus? Will Bill Gates microchip everyone? Can Q save us? Is St. Clair part of the Deep State? All things hidden shall be revealed in this section of EH 363. Focusing on paranoia and conspiracy theories, we'll read a selection of texts from the usual suspects (Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick) and a few other things certain to scare the bejesus out of you.


EH 371: APPROACHES TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR (W) | Beason
MWF 1:25 - 2:15

So what is a dangling participle anyway? EH 371 offers students a valuable intellectual and practical skill: the ability to analyze and describe in technical terms how a given sentence is structured (beyond just saying it does or doesn't "flow"). While the course was originally developed for students planning to teach English courses at the secondary level, EH 371 is useful for just about anyone wanting to edit, write, analyze literary texts, teach non-native speakers of English, practice law, or learn more about the English language. EH 371 is also a W-course and can help fulfill the W-course requirement for English majors and many other students.


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

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) | Delcambre
TR 9:30 - 10:45 or 11:00 - 12:15

This course prepares you to communicate professionally and concisely in various contexts. You will cultivate technical communication skills in multiple genres, which include but are not limited to reports, memos, resumes, emails, and proposals, as well as websites, social media, and other digital content. You will independently and collaboratively gain applied experience by conceptualizing, revising, and completing projects. By the end of the course, you will have improved your competencies in analyzing, organizing, formatting, structuring, and stylizing different modes of technical communication.


EH 372: TECHNICAL WRITING (W) | Guzy
MWF 9:05 - 9:55 or 11:15 - 12:05 or 1:25 - 2:15

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) | Beason
MWF 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 390: AFRICAN AMERICAN ORAL NARRATIVE | Jackson
TR 11:00 - 12:15

"Where there is darkness, they shine beams of light."  This course focuses on African American oral narrative as data to be collected, and how it is used in literature.  We will explore the "telling" that captures the ephemeral, "lived sensation and experience," as well as the practical magic and spiritual nourishment of "stories" that help us make sense of the world.  Doing so will put forth a contemporary glimpse into collective Black American memory. 


EH 391: FICTION WRITING | Poole
TR 9:30 - 10:45

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 402: RHETORIC - ANCIENT AND MODERN (W) | Shaw
TR 11:00 - 12:15

Beginning with the early sophists of Periclean Athens and ending in the twenty-first century, this course examines and compares various movements in the history of rhetoric, with particular emphasis on the relationship between rhetorical strategy and one’s image of human beings. The course aims to increase the scope of students' understanding of rhetoric and help them apply this knowledge to their own communication and to their evaluation of the communications of others.

EH 470: MEDIEVAL LITERATURE | Halbrooks
TR 9:30 - 10:45

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 478: STUDIES IN FILM | McLaughlin
MW 5:00 - 6:15 and M 6:30 - 9:00

Because the theme of this course is adaptation, we will be watching films and reading the novels, short stories, or plays upon which they have been based. The two central and interrelated questions we will address are how and why screenplay writers and film directors choose to deviate from or align themselves with the original texts in the ways that they do. One of the major assignments will be to write a short screenplay. (Please note that some of the films may be offensive to the squeamish.)


EH 481: COMPOSITION AND RHETORIC (W) | Shaw
TR 3:30 - 4:45

This course inquires into rhetorical constructions of identity of race and sex. Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will study racial and sexual identities as discursive and historical formations, and we will inquire into the cultural assumptions surrounding notions such as whiteness, racial and sexual otherness, and cultural normativity. We will examine the power relations at work in the discourses that construct these identities and consider how such identities have implications for social, cultural, and political power. Our analytical starting points will be both practical – by looking at recent events – and theoretical.


EH 483: ADVANCED FICTION WRITING | Poole
T 6:00 - 8:30

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 toward 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 485: ADVANCED POETRY WRITING | Pence
W 6 - 8:30

Whereas EH 395 focuses on poetic forms, this class focuses on styles that currently define American poetry. 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 the following week. In so doing, the class will examine the state of the contemporary lyric from a variety of styles, viewpoints, and techniques.


EH 487: SCREENWRITING FOR FILM | Prince
TR 11:00 - 12:15

This class focuses on the fundamentals of screenwriting for film. 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. Students will write at least one close analysis of a screenplay in addition to extensive work in beginning two original screenplays. Screenplays will be workshopped in class and revised accordingly.

EH 490: VISIONS OF THE POST-APOCALYPSE (H) | Beason
MWF 11:15 - 12:05

This special-topics course is an Honors course that focuses on contemporary narratives of humanity taking place soon or long after "the end of the world as we know it." We will examine not only "literary" texts but also diverse examples and mediums of popular culture (film, internet discourses, graphic novels, and video games). The course allows us to understand how post-apocalyptic narratives reflect and create messages relevant to our real-world fears and values. This course is open only to students officially enrolled in the USA Honors College.


EH 490: PROTESTS AND AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE | Raczkowski
TR 12:30 - 1:45

This class will examine a long history of protests, uprisings and riots in African American literature and culture. Over this time, African American writers have developed a wide range of techniques for representing the significance of protest — inscribing both their own historical moment and reflecting on a larger history of race conflict. At stake conceptually in the course are questions about what, if anything, these works can tell us about our contemporary experience of heightened race violence and protest in 2020. Readings include Charles Chestnutt, Spike Lee, Eve Ewing


▼   SPRING 2021: GRAD ENGLISH COURSES (500 LEVEL)

Spring 2021 Graduate Courses


EH 501: INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THEORY | Vrana
R 6:00 - 8:30

EH 501 provides an introduction to some of the most essential debates within and approaches to critical theory and literary criticism. We will read excerpts by important theorists grouped topically and focus on effective methods of bringing these wide-ranging lenses to two primary texts of contemporary African American literature. Discussion, written responses, presentations and two papers will develop students' facility and comfort with engaging theory going forward, regardless of the particular object of analysis.


EH 507: TOPICS IN RHETORIC / COMPOSITION | Shaw
TR 3:30 - 4:45

This course inquires into rhetorical constructions of identity of race and sex. Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will study racial and sexual identities as discursive and historical formations, and we will inquire into the cultural assumptions surrounding notions such as whiteness, racial and sexual otherness, and cultural normativity. We will examine the power relations at work in the discourses that construct these identities and consider how such identities have implications for social, cultural, and political power. Our analytical starting points will be both practical – by looking at recent events – and theoretical.


EH 521: 17th CENTURY POETRY | Hillyer
M 6:00 - 8:30

We will be studying representative poems by Ben Jonson and by some of the men of letters more or less closely associated with him: the so-called Cavalier Poets. The main assignment will be a research paper of 20 pages developed in stages. I will also require each student to give at least one oral report, based on the critical essays included in the same anthology we will be using for the primary texts.


EH 573: CONTEMPORARY FICTION | St. Clair
T 6 - 8:30

Who killed JFK? Why'd they fake the moon landing? How were the Masons involved in 9/11? Does 5G cause coronavirus? Will Bill Gates microchip everyone? Can Q save us? Is St. Clair part of the Deep State? In this graduate seminar on contemporary fiction, all things hidden shall be revealed. Focusing on postmodern paranoia and the role of conspiracy theories in contemporary culture, we'll read works by Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Umberto Eco, and a handful of other writers guaranteed to discomfit and unsettle.


EH 583/4: GRAD FICTION WRITING WORKSHIOP I/II | Poole
T 6 - 8:30

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 toward 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 585/6: GRAD POETRY WRITING WORKSHOP | Pence
W 6:00 - 8:30

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.


EH 591: SCREENWRITING FOR FILM | Prince
TR 11:00 - 12:15

This class focuses on the fundamentals of screenwriting for film. 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. Students will write at least one close analysis of a screenplay in addition to extensive work in beginning two original screenplays. Screenplays will be workshopped in class and revised accordingly.


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.