Fall 2022 Graduate Courses
Eng 600:1 Introduction to Graduate Studies
Whittington M 3-5:30
**Required for First Year English Graduate Students in All Programs**
This course is an introduction to theory and methods for graduate study, with emphasis on the impact of theoretical schools of thought on the evolution of the profession.
Eng 681:1 Graduate Fiction Workshop II
Bondurant W 3-5:30
Course description coming soon.
Eng 682 Graduate Poetry Workshop
Fennelly T 3-5:30
The aim of this graduate poetry workshop is to develop and deepen our understanding of the forms and possibilities of poetry. We’ll study both classic and contemporary models, and we’ll engage in various assignments that broaden our range. Students will write, workshop, and revise several poems during the course of the semester. In addition to discussing craft, we will study and discuss the poetry market and publication opportunities. This class is only open to MFA students. Other students need professor permission to enroll. MFA candidates may repeat this course for credit.
Eng 683:1 Form, Craft, and Influence: Fiction
Franklin M 6-8:30
Through intensive reading, we will explore the forms of fiction. Students will be required to write original short fiction as well.
Eng 711:1 Studies in Shakespeare
Friedlander Th 3-5:30
Course description coming soon.
Eng 717:1 2 Texts, 3 Ways: Approaches to Environmental Criticism of 18th-Century Texts
Drew W 3-5:30
In this graduate seminar, we will analyze two major 18th-century texts (one long poem and one novel) through the lens of three major ecocritical/environmental theories. We will begin by reading the two primary texts to establish a baseline knowledge of them. After that, the course will be broken into three three-week units: one week reading a theoretical text followed by two weeks here we read the poem and the novel through that theoretical lens. Written assignments will include short “readings” of each text through each theorist as we move through them. Students will choose one of those short papers to expand for the final paper.
The goals of this seminar will be to develop familiarity with three important recent theoretical approaches to environmental criticism, to learn how to identify the affordances and limitations offered by each theoretical approach, and to gain skill in applying theoretical texts to literary analysis. Theoretical texts may include work by Bruno Latour, Jason W. Moore, Donna Haraway, Stacy Alaimo, Monica Allewaert, Richard Grove, and essays on queer ecology. Primary texts may include John Dryden’s Georgics, Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man, or James Thomson’s Seasons; and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Ann Radcliffe’s Romance of the Forest, or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or The Last Man.
Eng 740:1 Studies in Critical Theory
Duck T 3-5:30
How do creative and critical texts reckon, simultaneously, with the urgencies of the present—including social injustice and ecological crisis—and the longue durée of oppressive relations between peoples, including slavery and colonialism? This course examines how contemporary theorists, novelists, and filmmakers explore attributes of time, particularly in their approaches to the US South and the Global South. Though we cannot perform a scholarly “deep dive” into the present and historical cultures of multiple global locales, we will look for signs of similarity, ongoing networks, affiliative possibilities, as well as significant disjunctures. Throughout, we will be particularly attentive to the diverse ways in which time is experienced and coded in these texts, as well as how temporal multiplicities are “mapped” in distinct spaces. Critical models will focus on postcolonial and decolonial critique as well as theories concerning Black diasporic experience; we will contemplate the diverse forms of “extraction” imposed on both people and ecologies. Novels, poems, and films will include works by Chris Abani, Amitav Ghosh, Bong Joon-ho, Mohsin Hamid, Lucrecia Martel, Mira Nair, Monique Verdin, Jesmyn Ward, and more. Course requirements include active participation in discussion, almost-weekly written responses to course materials, and a research project including a prospectus, an annotated bibliography, a class symposium in which students present their research, and a 15-25 page seminar paper (depending on students’ degree programs).
Eng 743:1 Studies in Literary Genre: Race, Nature, and the Non/Human
Ellis W 6-8:30
Graduate students who have taken a different version of 743 previously may repeat this course for credit. MFA students will be given the option to submit a creative final project.
This course will explore how cultural constructions of nature shape, and are shaped by, cultural conceptions of race. How have representations of the nonhuman world been recruited to advance racial projects? How have ideas about race framed or informed environmental imaginaries? We’ll begin by surveying some of the persistent binaries that have shaped Western racial and environmental thought in the past three centuries, including the binary of the wild vs. civilization in settler colonial thought, the animal vs. the human in antiblack and patriarchal discourse, the natural vs. the monstrous/artificial in discourses of sexuality and eugenics, and the swarm vs. the individual in immigration discourse. We’ll then explore how these articulations of race and nature have been navigated and contested, and how new visions of non/human community have been called into being, in texts by authors and scholars writing from and against the margins of “the human” from the nineteenth century to today.
Eng 766:1 Studies in Contemporary American Literature
Alexander T 6-8:30
“Can the penitentiary teach the academy?” So asks H. Bruce Franklin, the well-known scholar of literary works produced from jail and prison, in a 2008 issue of PMLA. This seminar responds to Franklin’s question through our study of Black orators and/or Black writers whose works of life writing on racialized mass incarceration span from the Civil Rights era to the current Black Lives Matter moment. We will be particularly attentive to how these works have redefined the field of African American literary studies and reshaped the terrain of public intellectualism. Our literary journeys will traverse personal experiences with and/or intimate witness of mass criminalization and mass incarceration: we will investigate the aesthetic and political significance of depictions of the prison-industrial complex and the U.S. carceral state as they appear in the manifestoes, letters, speeches, autobiographies, memoirs, and essays of Black literary authors and intellectuals who will likely include Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, George Jackson, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Angela Y. Davis, Assata Shakur, Safiya Bukhari, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Bryan Stevenson, Shaka Senghor, Susan Burton, and Albert Woodfox.
We will also examine the reception of these works in relation to their engagement in (counter-)public intellectualism, whether that (counter-)public intellectualism appears in the form of (open) letters, critical essays, public addresses, prison interviews, critically acclaimed documentaries, or Hollywood biopics. Finally, we will consider how these works participate in a vibrant tradition of neo-abolitionism within the African American literary tradition, and also how they anticipate and expand contemporary critical discourse on Black intellectual history (the work of Grant Farred and Brittany Cooper), studies of contemporary imprisonment in Black literature (the work of H. Bruce Franklin, Michael Hames-García, Dennis Childs, and Lisa Corrigan), and engagements in critical prison studies scholarship with imprisoned intellectualism, abolition, anticarceral feminism, abolition feminism, policing, state violence, gendered social control, discriminatory sentencing, indefinite solitary confinement, and racialized prisoner abuse (the work of Angela Y. Davis [with Gina Dent, Erica R. Meiners and Beth E. Richie], Joy James, Dylan Rodríguez, and Victoria Law).
776:1 Before and After Loving: Worrying the Color Line in Southern and Post-Southern Autobiography
Gussow TH 6-8:30
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling against so-called anti-miscegenation laws in Loving v. Virginia (1967) was a landmark, one that not only senabled interracial marriage and looked forward prophetically toward the U.S. Census of 2020 with its check-all-that-apply racial self-declarations, but that represented a pivotal moment in the long history of the color line in the U.S. South. Taking the Loving decision (and the film Loving) as a sort of North Star, this seminar will explore the ways in which South-focused memoirists, autobiographers, and a novelist or two, especially since the mid-1990s, have wrestled with the extraordinary challenges and transformative possibilities encountered when individuals, and families, choose to live and love across the color line.