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Department of English
University of Mississippi

Fall 2024 Undergraduate Courses

Undergrad Course Descriptions-Oxford Campus

PDF VERISON: Fall 2024 Undergraduate Courses

Eng 198             Topics in Intro to Creative Writing  

Professor         T TH 1-2:15


course description goes here.

Eng 199             Introduction to Creative Writing

Spencer             MWF


This introductory creative writing course gives students an opportunity to explore the works of contemporary authors and explore the possibilities of their own voice and craft.  The course also gives the student freedom to create their own work in three genres: fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Through daily assignments and regular workshop sessions, students will become more comfortable sharing their work with a larger community and offering helpful critique for their peers. Students will gain a better understanding of different authors’ craft, style and voice through weekly readings and vigorous class discussion. By the end of the semester, students will author a 25–30-page compilation of their own creative work and give a public reading of their poetry, fiction and/or creative nonfiction.

Eng 199              Introduction to Creative Writing

Parsons              MWF 9-9:50


Introduction to Creative Writing: This course is an introduction to creative writing technique and style as well as workshop. Students will write in three genres and complete a portfolio of their work by the end of the semester.

Eng 199             Introduction to Creative Writing

Fennelly             T TH 8-9:15


This class will introduce students to the joys of writing poems, stories, and essays.  We’ll seek to become familiar with some classics of the three genres and learn techniques and terms which will help us discuss and produce our own pieces of literature. We’ll workshop drafts in class, with a heavy emphasis on revision. We’ll celebrate the dynamic literary culture of Oxford and Mississippi. Our final project will be a mini portfolio of imaginative writing, and students will be well prepared for single-genre creative writing classes.

Eng 199                 Introduction to Creative Writing- Honors

Ginsburg             T TH 11-12:15


This course will introduce students to writing and workshopping poetry, essays, and short stories. We will read examples of these genres and do exercises designed to inspire creativity, experimentation, and the pleasure of ushering brand new literature into the world. With an emphasis on community and process, we will create a welcoming space that will allow us to try new techniques and find new ways to write well. Students will produce one story, one personal essay, and several poems. For our final project, each student will create a chapbook containing revisions of your best work from the semester.

Eng 220               Survey in Literary History

Professor            T TH 1-1:50


Multi-century survey of a topic in literary history across multiple genres.

Eng 220             Survey in Literary History

Professor            T TH 2-1:50


Multi-century survey of a topic in literary history across multiple genres.

Eng 220             Survey in Literary History: Text as Technology

Wigginton        MWF 1-1:50


Multi-century survey of a topic in literary history across multiple genres.

Eng 220             Survey in Literary History: What Can Literature Teach Us About Love?  

Ellis                  T TH 1-2:15


** For SMBHC Students Only **

This literary survey course will introduce students to foundational skills of analyzing and writing about literature through an examination of the idea of love, and all the life-saving, mind-altering, heart-breaking, hope-restoring power we ascribe to it. What do we mean when we say we’re in love? How many different kinds of love are there? How does love make and unmake our sense of personal identity, of freedom, of connection to the world? Have ideas about love changed over time? In this class we’ll explore answers—and new questions—offered across a range of texts including novels, films, plays, poems, and essays dating from the classical period to the present day (but concentrating on the modern period from 1600 forward). Through lecture and primarily discussions, we’ll learn to read this literature carefully, paying attention to ambiguity and nuance in the ways our selected texts think about romantic and erotic love, the love of friends, religious love, the love of nature and beauty, the love of communities, and the love within families. Assessments will include two analytical essays and two hybrid creative-analytical projects.

Eng 221             Survey of World Literature to 1650


Eng 222             Survey of World Literature since 1650


Eng 223             Survey of American Literature to Civil War


Eng 224             Survey of American Literature since Civil War


Eng 225             Survey of British Literature to 18th Century


Eng 226             Survey of British Literature since 18th Century


Eng 224             Survey of American Literature Since the Civil War

Trefzer              T TH 9:30-10:45


** For SMBHC Students Only **

This survey of American literature from 1865 to our contemporary period addresses a broad range of cultural perspectives and literary texts.  The course will cover established traditions and major authors, but it will also show that American literature has many less well-known voices. As a meeting place of different cultures, America is a vast borderland where identity, language, space, power, and narrative are constantly contested and freshly negotiated.  Questions of cultural belonging, social participation, and political citizenship have been and continue to be in the foreground of this nation. Who has the right to belong? Who can be an “American”? Whose culture shall be the official one? Whose history shall be remembered — or forgotten? In this course, we will study how literature participates in crafting the social and cultural fabric of this nation. A major emphasis is on Native American and immigrant literature.


Eng 298             Introduction to Form, Craft, and Influence  

Parsons              MWF 10-10:50


** For BFA in Creative Writing Students Only **

Introduction to Craft, Form, and Influence: Want to get the most out of your stories, essays and poems? Even the smallest decisions a writer makes can have profound effects on the way they influence an audience. In this course we will look at some of the techniques and choices writers make every day. We’ll read contemporary writers to see how they do what they do and practice those techniques to produce the best writing possible.

Eng 299             Introduction to Literary Studies

Raden                T TH 2:30-3:45


This gateway course prepares students for upper division coursework in English by emphasizing the methods of close reading and textual analysis and by developing students’ reading and research skills. In this writing-intensive class, we’ll explore the aims and conventions of the literary critical essay through three major literary genres—fiction, memoir, and poetry.

Eng 299             Introduction to Literary Studies

Spencer             MWF 9-9:50


This gateway course prepares students for upper division coursework in English by emphasizing the methods of close reading and textual analysis and by developing students’ reading and research skills. In this writing-intensive class, we’ll explore the aims and conventions of the literary critical essay through three major literary genres—fiction, memoir, and poetry. By December our goal is to become more effective writers and competent scholars.

Eng 301             Poetry Workshop

Ginsburg          T TH 1-2:15


This poetry workshop will focus on community and the creative process. We will write weekly poems as well as generative assignments designed to bolster connections to your unique creative life. We will create our own community via critiques and collaborative exercises, and access UM’s and Oxford’s creative writing community through field trips, guest speakers, and literary events. We will read many contemporary poems and one full-length poetry collection.

Eng 302             Fiction Workshop

Bondurant         T TH 9:30-10:45


Creative writing is our attempt to demonstrate the beauty, power, and truth of our world using the medium of language.  Before a writer can employ language effectively they must be familiar with its components and the body of work that has come before them.  They must also develop the skills of careful, introspective reading, analysis, and objective interpretation.  To accomplish this we will read a variety of literary short stories and discuss how they are crafted.  The focus of this class will be “workshopping” student writing in class in an attempt to help them realize the best possible version of their particular vision.  You must be ready to receive and digest constructive criticism/opinion about your work.  This course will require the student to do extensive reading, and you may also be asked to attend readings events outside of class.

Eng 302             Fiction Workshop

Wang                MW 3-4:15


The intermediate fiction workshop will focus on the understanding and practice of specific craft elements: Character, Plot, Dialogue, and Voice. Students will write short, two-to-three-page exercises on these elements before launching into a full-length short story of at least eight pages. We will then practice the art of revision by re-envisioning our earlier draft to include the useful critiques of the workshop. Along the way, we will read published stories by contemporary authors and discuss how we might include their techniques in our own writing.

Eng 303             Nonfiction Workshop

Fennelly             TR 9:30-10:45


In this class, we’ll discuss and practice the art of the essay.  We’ll seek to become acquainted with some of the contemporary masters of the genre.  Through readings and assignments, we’ll explore the range of the genre, including memoir, personal essays, and flash nonfiction.  During workshop, we’ll develop critical skills through the close reading of the work by others and have our own work criticized.  This is a writing-intensive course designed for students who have a passion for writing; we’ll work to take that passion to the next level.  Pre-req: ENG 199: Intro to CW, or instructor permission.

Eng 306             History of the English Language

Hayes                T TH 1-2:15


In this course, we will study the history of English, from its prehistoric origins as a spoken dialect through its predominant presence in digital media. We will examine the language’s history through its multilingual vocabulary, evidence of the political, military, and cultural forces that shaped it over many centuries. In so doing, we will contemplate the basic element of vocabulary, words, by debating philosophical questions (How are words born, and how do they die off? What makes a word a “real word”?) in terms of linguistic analysis.

Eng 308             Introduction to Editing, Writing, and Publishing for the Digital Age

Parsons              MWF 12-12:50


Introduction to Editing, Writing, and Publishing For the Digital Age: This course endeavors to track the history of literary magazines in America, study techniques for beginning and maintaining a literary magazine, and producing a literary magazine on campus. There will, of course, also be lessons in proofreading and design, avenues for creativity, and time to work as a group to produce the best possible product. During the semester, the class will produce a chapbook in print form as well as develop and maintain a website presence for the Landshark Literary Review and create independent individual work.


Eng 310             Introduction to Cinema Studies

Bondurant           T TH 1-2:15


This course is an overview of cinema history and an introduction to the study of cinema form and criticism.  It is a lecture course with weekly film showings as well as films to be viewed outside of class time. The class will provide each student with a broad introduction to historically and culturally important films.  Students will learn to view films with more understanding and intellectual engagement, enabling them to write a comprehensive analysis focusing on formal and cultural elements. We discuss the many decisions that go into making a film, including elements of script, acting, editing, and production design, and how those decisions create thematic elements of the movie as a whole.

Eng 324             Shakespeare

Friedlander          T TH 11-12:15


In this course, we will read a number of Shakespeare’s texts and examine their negotiation of sexual, gendered, racial, and socio-political order. Questions we will consider include: What kinds of individual and political bodies are found in Shakespeare?  What do they desire and fear?  How are these bodies discursively constructed through representations of gender, sexuality, disability, and social status?  This course will provide students an opportunity to study Shakespeare’s plays and the culture in which they were produced, as well as to learn critical methodologies pertaining to the study of race, religion, embodiment, class, gender, sexuality, and disability.

Eng 333             Studies in Early American Literature: Ecocritical American Classics

Reed                 MWF 11-11:50


In this class, we will read a range of important Early American literary texts, from poetry to prose to drama, as well as scholarship, that will help us explore the histories of environmental thinking in American culture and major questions about the natural world. This class explores early settler accounts by authors such as John Smith and William Bradford, early colonial captivity narratives, eighteenth-century poetry and early-nineteenth-century fiction and nonfiction. From Mary Rowlandson’s “howling wilderness” to the Romantics “machine in the garden,” this class explores the ways that a range of Americans—English settlers, Native Americans, African Americans, or others—imagined and represented the natural world around them. This class will also include a range of research and writing assignments designed to help students practice and hone skills necessary to write excellent longer research projects in American literary studies.

Eng 337             Studies in Romanticism: Romantic Tourism

MacKenzie          MWF 1-1:50


British Romantic writers had a lot to say about leaving home, going abroad, which means both stepping out one’s front door and leaving one’s nation. The texts we will discuss in this class deal in a variety of ways with departing from what is familiar and encountering the strange and the new. We will look also at the ways in which aesthetic theory of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries accounted for the appeal of unfamiliarity and the emergence of what we now call tourism. British Romantic writers link the experience of alienation to aesthetic experience, converting travel, transgression, and terror into visionary beauty and sublimity. In poetry and fiction we will visit strange lands and meet foreigners, exiles, vagabonds, criminals, transgressors, monsters, and — most frightening of all — young unmarried women. The experience of being outside, away, or lost is so pervasive that we will ask whether being a tourist is one of the fundamental conditions of modern life.

Eng 349             Modern\Contemporary Genres: The Black Autobiography

Alabi                 T TH 9:30-10:45


This course will focus on the continuities and divergences in Black autobiographies from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States, particularly in terms of community, resistance, Blackness, gender, and language.  We will examine the relevance of the terms autobiography, transnationalism, postcolonialism, and feminism to the study of Black autobiographies; and discuss major differences between Black and non-Black autobiographies.  We will then focus on the oral origins of Black autobiographies and on how the oral is carried to the written.  Finally, we will study selected autobiographies of creative writers and socio-political leaders as unique and interconnected books in the contexts of globalization, socio-economic, cultural, political, and aesthetic concerns of the autobiographers and their societies.

Eng 352                      Studies in Contemporary Literature: Greek Adaptations

Nezhukumatathil   T TH 2:30-3:45


This course will cultivate or renew a love of reading as we dive into several popular contemporary examples. Together wewill embark on a wild and revelatory journey to investigate just how Greek mythology remains relevant today as we look for guidance (and perhaps warnings) on how we react to others who are different than us, how to treat our planet, and each other. To do this, we will explore various reinterpretations of Greek myth in contemporary literature (novels, poems, short stories), as well as their many literary, visual, and even musical expressions. Throughout the semester, we will understand why Charlotte Higgins once noted, “…Greek myths are the opposite of timeless: they are timely.” Texts may include Song of Achilles and Circe, by Madeline Miller, Fruit of the Dead, by Rachel Lyon, For Her Dark Skin, by Percival Everett, Mother Love, by Rita Dove, The Penelopiad, by Margaret Atwood, and other poetry selections from Lucille Clifton and Analicia Sotelo. Requirements: various written reading responses, a midterm, and a final research paper.

Eng 355             Studies in Sothern Literature: Literary New Orleans

Trefzer              T TH 1-2:15


Literary culture runs deep in New Orleans.  This seminar examines the literature and cultural geography of one of the most unique cities in the US. The course will survey native writers as well as those who respond to this boisterous city’s cultures and lifestyles. Many eclectic New Orleans characters brighten up novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and films.  Reading literature in each genre, the course will illuminate the literary and cultural contributions by Lacadio Hearn and Kate Chopin, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams, Zora Neale Hurston and LeAnne Howe, Natasha Trethewey, Spike Lee, Anne Rice, Brenda Maria Osbey, Melissa Ginsberg, and many more contemporary writers. Students will write weekly reading responses, a midterm, and a final paper.

Eng 364             Studies in African American Literature: Mississippi Then and Now

Alexander           MWF 12-12:50


** Cross Listed with AAS 364 **

“I question America.”  Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black woman who co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and a sharecropper-turned-activist from the Mississippi Delta, stunned the television-watching U.S. public with these words from her testimony at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.  Hamer’s speech, one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most anthologized addresses, put the entire U.S. nation on trial.  There, at the Convention, Hamer told a national audience of her curious subjection to state violence in a rural Mississippi jail as punishment for having attended a voter’s registration workshop.  While alluding to the national anthem near her oration’s end, Hamer let fly a barrage of indicting rhetorical questions—most famously, “Is this America?”—and thus brought to light how hypocrisy has long been tethered to the practice of U.S. democracy.  Such hypocrisy—which has included slavery, Jim Crow, the disenfranchisement of Black Americans, and lynching—led Hamer to refer to America in later speeches as not “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” but “the land of the tree and the home of the grave.”
In this course, we examine how and why Hamer and other Mississippi-born Black orators and writers expose hypocrisy in the practice of U.S. democracy.  We trace the development of this Black literary (counter-)history of U.S. democracy from the legal abolition of slavery to the present day by way of Ida B. Wells’s speeches and anti-lynching writings, Richard Wright’s autobiographical narrative Black Boy, Hamer’s public addresses, the interviews and reflections of the 1961 Freedom Riders, the poetry of Etheridge Knight—and also through memoirs (in excerpted or full-length form) published by a range of Black Mississippians during the past half-century, including those authored by Anne Moody, Mamie Till Mobley, Ralph Eubanks, Jesmyn Ward, and Kiese Laymon.  We will also juxtapose our literary investigations of Mississippi-born Black orators and writers with some relevant films, such as the PBS documentary Spies of Mississippi.

Eng 382             Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies

Kreisel               MWF 9-9:50


** For SMBHC Students Only **

In this course we will explore the foundations, current state, and future directions of theories (and practice) of gender and sexuality. The material is organized roughly chronologically, beginning with the radical feminisms of the 1970s, but we will move back and forth between older material and applications to present-day culture. By the end of the semester you will have a more fully developed sense of the background and history of current models of gender and sexuality (both theoretical/academic and those in pop culture), and will hone your analytical, critical-thinking, and writing skills.

Eng 384             Studies in Gay and Lesbian Literature and Theory: Queer YA Lit

Gordon              MWF 1-1:50


** Cross Listed with GST 301 and GST 384 **

Queer Young Adult Literature has emerged in recent years as a publishing phenomenon across a dizzying array of genres and exploring a diverse spectrum of LGBTQ+ identities and experiences. In this class, we will read some classic texts that have helped establish the importance of Queer YA literature (Annie on My Mind and Simon v. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) as well newer titles (Felix Ever AfterHell Followed with Us, and Heartstopper) that move from presentations of sexual orientations to explorations of gender identities and utilize a range of romance, speculative, and graphic genres to present queer lives. Final projects will include both a research and creative option; additional projects will explore queer books bans, strategies for teaching queer YA lit, and canon building across genres.

Eng 401             Advanced Fiction Workshop: Fantasy Fiction

Spencer             MWF 11-11:50


This course focuses on the timeless works of mostly British fantasy fiction authors and, throughout the semester, gives students a chance to craft their own creative works. We’ll immerse ourselves in the fundamentals of good storytelling, looking closely at how mythology, legends and fairy tales inform the heart of fantasy fiction writing. This class will prioritize time spent writing in class that generates new ideas each day and allows you to embrace the outer reaches of your imagination.  Where possible, we will incorporate elements of virtual travel to gain a sense of what inspired such authors as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and JK Rowling.

Eng 404             Special Topics in Creative Writing: Writing the Interior Life

Avant                  T TH 2:30-3:45


How does poetry express what might seem, inexpressible? In this project-based workshop, poets will explore their interior landscapes for material which feels unsayable and discover ways of engaging that subject matter on the page. Poets will interrogate and try on innovative approaches to form, and the sonic possibilities language has to offer. We’ll explore the ways logic, and pleasure (sometimes amid the grieving process, as escape) are steeped into the forms and sonic landscapes of the poems. Guided by immersive reading and experimental writing exercises into language’s limits, the poet will revise, review and craft a cohesive, project-centered body of poems while cultivating an engaged daily writing practice.


Eng 428             Special Topics in Early Modern Literature: Revenge! Early Modern Drama and Violence

Needham          T TH 9:30-10:45


How and why do we depict violence in art? What makes stage violence so compelling, upsetting, or both? The early modern theater was rich in dramatized violence, especially in the highly popular genre of “revenge tragedy.” We’ll read revenge tragedies by Shakespeare, Kyd, and Middleton along with other early modern plays concerning conquest, colonization, and gender violence. Through readings in theater history we’ll ask how early modern playwrights adapted earlier traditions of tragedy, and what their original theatergoers saw in these productions. And we’ll ask how early modern plays help us understand different responses to violence today through readings in critical theory, contemporary debates, and at least one modern play responding to early modern violence. Students will also watch and evaluate recent productions and propose their own film or stage adaptation of an early modern play. By reading these works as literature, as performances and popular entertainment, and by attending to the ideologies they uphold or subvert, we will seek to understand the ramifications and longstanding appeal of these bloody, horrifying, and extremely entertaining plays.


Eng 442             Antebellum American Literature: The Tortured Poets

Ellis                  T TH 9:30-10:45


** Fulfills Capstone Requirement **

This course will explore the writing, life, and myth of the poetic genius, Emily Dickinson. Dickinson wrote over 2,000 poems in her lifetime, yet—famously—chose not to publish. She also chose not to marry, and in her 30s became increasingly reclusive, rarely leaving her family home. When she died in 1886, she left a drawer full of handwritten manuscripts and mysteries: What did these odd, abstract poems mean? How could her handwritten poems—with their odd dashes, irregularly shaped letters, and variant words—be translated to print? Why did this shy poetic genius elect not to publish? What was the cause of the acute she writes about in some of her poems, and who is the subject of the romantic longing in her hidden letters? Who was Emily Dickinson?

In this class, we’ll study Dickinson’s daring meditations on love and death, hope and despair, faith and doubt. We’ll read her poems in the context of her relations to friends and family, her education in religion and the sciences, the upheaval of the Civil War, and her literary contemporaries. The second half of the course will focus on our shifting perceptions of Dickinson’s sexuality, exploring the archives of her speculatively romantic relationships with men and women, asking ourselves how to do the history of sexuality, and finally examining three different recent representations of Dickinson’s life in film and television. Across these investigations we’ll consider how our efforts to understand Dickinson and her work have changed over the years, perhaps as the world catches up to this poet ahead of her time.

Eng 445             Special Topics in 19th Century Literature: Jane Austen

Solinger             T TH 11-12:15


Calling all the following people: Jane Austen fans aka Janeites! People who like to read some of the “great books”!! Pop culture enthusiasts! Social media mavens and influencers! Lovers of comedy! Anglophiles! Critics of Anglophilia! Lovers of satire! Lovers of love stories! Aspiring podcasters and youtubers!  If you fall into one of these categories, this seminar is for you. We’re going to read three novels by the classic English novelist, Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice (1813), Emma (1815), and Persuasion (1817). We’ll read some of the best literary criticism focused on Austen, and we’ll both study and dip our toes in the wild waters of Austen fan culture. Like the Harry Potter books, the Star Wars films, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jane Austen’s books have long inspired super fans and super-fan experiences. This class will offer students the opportunity to virtually participate in these communities and experiences through Jane-Austen-Society-of-North-America programs. In keeping with our seminar’s unconventional focus, students will have the freedom to produce and disseminate their own, original pop-cultural and literary analysis in print, digital and social media. This is your chance to generate Austen-related content for an expansive audience. Whatever your major is, join us if you crave intellectual stimulation and want to build your resume. Questions about the course? Text Professor Solinger at (662) 832-6772.

Eng 493             Special Topics in Race and Ethnicity

Purcell               MW 3-4:15


** Cross Listed with AAS 493**

This course will take a very capacious approach to the cinematic genre of the filmed musical with an emphasis on the role that race, and ethnicity has played in its history, cultural politics, and representational strategies from the dawn of the sound era in 1927 until the present day. Rather than following a straightforward, Hollywood-based generic definition of the musical (a narrative film that features songs, musical numbers and dance sequences that serve to advance the plot) the course will use “music” as an intertext that opens a broad range of avenues for students to think about the relationship between music, sound, the moving image, and other mediums of art. This course will primarily engage U.S. works but also those from other national cinematic and artistic traditions. Some of the films and other works we will potentially watch, listen to and read are Stormy Weather (1943), The Harder They Come (1972), Farewell My Concubine (1993) and Beyonce’s Lemonade (2016), along with film soundtracks, music videos, experimental film shorts, concert films, documentaries, and memoirs by musicians.

Eng 494             Special Topics in Environmental Studies: Literature and the Nonhuman

Raber                MW 11:00-12:15


** Fulfills Capstone Requirement**

This course will examine the way animals and human/animal relationships are represented in a cross-section of literary and cultural texts from the 20th and 21stcenturies. Readings will include traditional novels, novellas, graphic novels, films and other media, and will be supplemented with some secondary texts from relevant areas of literary and cultural criticism. During the semester students will complete various exercises meant to explore the readings; in addition students will develop an independent research project due at the end of semester and honed through a series of cumulative written steps (short essay, bibliography, long draft essay, final draft).


University Writing Center Services

When planning to write your papers for English classes, don’t forget the benefit of consulting with an experienced writer in the University Writing Center. In a typical 20- to 30-minute writing consultation, you may receive suggestions for development of ideas, audience consideration, organization, style, grammar, and document presentation. Undergraduate students can schedule appointments through our online appointment calendar at or call 915-7689.