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Course Offerings for Spring 2019

Undergraduate Courses 

Click here for a PDF of Undergraduate courses offered in Spring 2019.

Here are just a couple of the undergraduate courses available in Spring 2019:

ENGL 210 Section 6: BLACK POETRY NOW! Poetry has always been important to the African American literary and cultural imaginary. According to Alice Walker, “poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.” However, the rapidly changing racial climate nationwide has generated an unexpected explosion of interest in contemporary black poetry. In this course, we’ll examine the triumphant resurgence of this body of work by such authors as Eve L. Ewing, Nate Marshall, Aja Monet, Clint Smith, Danez Smith, and Hanif WillisAbdurraqib, considering how it represents race, resistance, and radicalism in the United States as well as the political and historical implications at the intersection of race and poetry as genre. In doing so, we’ll engage the critical keywords of poetics and discuss a variety of theoretical approaches to African American literary studies, including American cultural studies, gender studies, queer studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and performance studies. Taught by Dr. Maria Seger.

ENGL 211 Section 7: PRETTY SCARY STUFF.  Some people just love being scared, which might explain not only why horror stories stick with us for so long after we hear them, but how these have become such a force in popular culture. Many common themes of modern horror such as vampires, werewolves, and haunted houses, are not new ideas but actually popular themes in a variety of folkloristic sources throughout time and over a vast geography. After first discussing what folklore actually is and how it is studied, this course surveys some of the world’s most popular works of horror literature in a number of forms. By using folkloristic inquiry, students will be able to demonstrate the ways in which authors borrow traditional horror motifs from folklore which combine with their own unique themes to create new and powerful works, and the ways both folklore and literature are changing in the 21st century. Taught by Samantha Castleman.

Required Courses for Undergraduates in English by Concentration

Graduate Courses 

Click here for a PDF of Graduate courses offered in Spring 2019.

Here are just a couple of the graduate courses available in Spring 2019:

ENGL 551 Section 1: Studies in Twentieth Century American Literature: OBSCENE MODERNISM. The twentieth century witnessed a broad deregulation of print media in the United States and, with it, the emergence of profoundly new understandings of censorship, obscenity, and literary value. This course will track the contentious process of deregulation through five major case studies concerning works by Theodore Dreiser, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and William S. Burroughs. Our approach will privilege access and audience—rather than production and authorship—to understand how the US legal system redefined the value of literature through specific conceptualizations of the readeras a privileged entity. In addition to reading the literature in question, this course will necessarily require reading around the literature to put literary analysis in conversation with legal history, law enforcement, cultural criticism, publicity and marketing, classification methods, visual media, and the wide range of public debate concerned with controversial reading materials in a modern democracy. Although the historical scope of print deregulation ends in the early 1970s, this course will end by looking forward to some of the implications of the legal history for reading in an age of print’s waning cultural dominance. Students in any area of concentration are welcome. Course requirements will include in-class discussion, a presentation, and a 15-to-20-page seminar paper. Taught by Dr. David Squires

ENGL 553 Section 1: Studies in Ethnic Literature: STORIES FROM TURTLE ISLAND. “The truth about stories,” Cherokee author Thomas King argues, “is that’s all we are.” The power of stories to shape us is not always benign: King’s words are a warning about the transformative power of storytelling. We all make mistakes, he suggests, but “it’s best not to make them with stories.” This course will consider literary, cultural, and aesthetic approaches to the art of telling stories in the literatures of several 20th and 21st-century Indigenous North American nations, ranging from the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic to the Polynesian peoples in the Pacific. We will consider the relationships between mythology and national identity, as well as those between personal narratives and self-identity. We will look at the ways in which telling stories both reinvents and reinscribes tradition. This course takes seriously the mandate of intellectual as well as political sovereignty for Indigenous nations. To that end, we will read each of our primary texts in the context of scholarship that engages directly and respectfully with each national tradition. Taught by Dr. Laurel Ryan.

Required Courses for Graduates in English by Degree and Concentration


Doctoral Programs