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Department of English
University of Mississippi

Spring 2022 Undergrad Courses

Department of English

Undergrad Course Descriptions-Oxford Campus

Spring 2022


Spring 2022 Regional Campuses


Eng 199:01        Introduction to Creative Writing

Hobbs                 MWF 9:00-9:50 (Section 1)



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 199:02        Introduction to Creative Writing

Spencer              MWF 12-1:00 (Section 2)



This course is an introduction to creative writing where students learn the vocabulary of poetry and fiction and apply it to selected readings. Writing assignments come from those readings, and your works are discussed in a workshop setting. Each discussion generates ideas for revision, and students must be willing to revise their work multiple times and learn that writing is as much about the process as it is the product. Among our focus topics are food, art, and animals. Please bring energy, enthusiasm, attention to this class.




Eng 199: 03       Introduction to Creative Writing

Fennelly             T TH 9:30-10:45 (section 3)



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 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 220:01-09   Survey in Literary History: Heroes and Villains

Drew                      M W 1-1:50



Good and evil, heroes and villains: these are concepts that people have defined, re-defined, embraced, rejected, and interrogated since human beings began writing down stories. But what makes a good guy good, or a bad guy bad? What purpose do such roles serve in stories—and societies? How do the definitions of “hero” and “villain” change across time and place? This class will begin with the ancient epic and culminate with an exploration of the “good” and “bad” guys of contemporary culture, including recent films such as Black Panther (2018) and Green Knight (2021).


Eng 220:10-15   Survey in Literary History: Children’s Literature: From Mother Goose to Twilight

Hayes                  T TH 1-1:50



This course offers an introductory survey of children’s literature from the Middle Ages through present day.



Eng 299:01        Introduction to Literary Studies

Spencer              MWF 10-10:50



**Fulfills Literary Interpretation Requirement**


A gateway course that prepares students for upper-division course work in English by emphasizing the methods of close reading and textual analysis and by developing students’ writing and research skills. The course is required for all English majors.



Eng 299:02        Introduction to Literary Studies

MacKenzie         T TH 11-12:15


**Fulfills Literary Interpretation Requirement**


A gateway course that prepares students for upper-division course work in English by emphasizing the methods of close reading and textual analysis and by developing students’ writing and research skills. The course is required for all English majors.



Eng 301:01             Poetry Workshop

Hobbs                    MWF 10-10:50





Eng 302:01        Fiction Workshop

Franklin             T TH 8:00-9:15



Beginning Fiction Writing is a writing intensive course wherein students read and discuss published fiction by established writers and write and critique original short fiction.



Eng 302:02            Fiction Workshop: Fantasy Fiction

Spencer                   MWF 1-1:50

Beginning Fiction Writing is a writing intensive course wherein students read and discuss published fiction by established writers and write and critique original short fiction.



Eng 303:01        Creative Non-Fiction Workshop

Parsons              MWF 12-12:50



If you are interested in telling true stories, this is the class for you! In this workshop we will learn about and craft several different kinds of essays: personal essays, memoir, graphic nonfiction, and literary journalism. We will read contemporary examples from each of these forms and learn techniques of scene and characterization. Primarily, we will learn how to tell true stories better!




Eng 307:01        Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory

Stout                   M W F 1-1:50



**Fulfills Counter-Canon and Critical Issues Requirement**


In one very old and important thinking, “literary theory” designates the system, the set of rules—i.e. the theory—that governs this thing we call “literature. Aristotle’s division of literature into drama, lyric, and epic—or as we might say now, plays, poetry, and novels—is “literary theory” in this sense.  

Over the past 50 or 60 years, however, literary scholars have developed a different way understanding what “literary theory” might mean. In this newer but very important development, the goal is not so much to develop a theory of literature (to separate the plays from the poems). Instead, the project is to take a set of powerful ideas about meaning and identity that we find embodied in language and literature and extend them. The “theory,” in this case, is “literary” in that it is born in or developed through reflection on language and literature—but the reach of the theory itself, as we will see, can be quite vast. 

The goal of this course is to expose students to this explanatory or analytical reach—to see how literature can help us see more clearly and more creatively. We will survey some of the most important theories that have been developed via the study of language and literature and explore their relevance for understanding issues within our contemporary moment. Key theoretical concepts will include: the nature of the self and the question of personal identity, the construction of social and institutional hierarchies, and the place of the human in relation to systems—e.g. the climate, e.g. the internet—that seem to extend beyond us. Written work will consist primarily of a series of relatively short writing assignments intended to help us tie ideas encountered in the course reader more closely to our lived experiences.  



Eng 310:01        Introduction to Cinema Studies

Boyle                   T TH 9:30-10:45



**Fulfills Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries Requirement**


This course is an overview of cinema history and an introduction to the study of cinema form and criticism. It examines the cultural and psychological effects of movie-watching over the past 100+ years, analyzing a variety of genres and movements within the medium, including German Expressionism, American gangster films, pre-Code cinema, screwball comedies, film noir, French New Wave, Italian neorealism, folk horror, New Hollywood, the L.A. Rebellion, and more. It is a lecture/discussion course with weekly film showings.




Eng 318:01        Medieval Romance: Arthurian Literature

Baechle              T TH 9:30-10:45


**Fulfills Literature of the Medieval Period Requirement**


This course is an introduction to and survey of major works of medieval romance.



Eng 324:01        Shakespeare

Kamps                MWF 9-9:50



**Fulfills Literature of the Early Modern Period Requirement**



Eng 330:01        Studies in 18th Century Literature: Female Writers

Drew                    MWF 11-11:50



**Fulfills Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries Requirement**


This course will explore the ways writers in the long 18th century (ca. 1660-1800) defined, disputed, negotiated, and articulated the concepts of “femininity” and “womanhood.” What it meant to be—or to be seen as—a woman in the 18th century involved the complicated interplay of issues of appearance, behavior, education, class, and race. Nearly all woman-identifying writers during the period grappled with the demands of codes of femininity, which often defined writing as an explicitly un-feminine pursuit. We will study fiction, poetry, and nonfiction writing of the period in an effort not to define what “woman” meant in the 18th century or today, but to identify some of the most important factors that influenced what was considered feminine and what was not, including among gender nonconforming figures both fictional and real. Authors will include Frances Burney, Margaret Cavendish, Mary Astell, Mary Wollstonecraft, Anne Finch, and Anna Laetitia Barbauld.





Eng 352:01        Studies in Contemporary Literature: Greek Mythology in Contemporary Literature

Nezhukumatathil.   T TH 1-2:15



**Fulfills Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries Requirement**


French fries are my Achilles’ heel. I heard it echoing in the night. It was fate! This job took a Herculean effort. He’s got the Midas touch! Driving through The Square felt like being in a labyrinth. So glad to have a mentor. Don’t date a narcissist! Getting home was an odyssey. You’re going to open Pandora’s box!

If you’ve used a version of any of these phrases, you can thank Greek mythology, which is experiencing something of a renewed interest in recent years—with two contemporary titles (Circe and Song of Achilles) topping bestsellers lists. For some of us, the allure and relevance of Greek myths has never waned. This course will cultivate or renew a love of reading as we dive into several popular contemporary examples. Together we will 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. Reginald Shepherd says that there are three main ways writers can engage with myth: retell, relive, and revise. 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, selections from Hadestown, the musical, Ariadne, by Jennifer Saint, 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 355:01        Studies in Southern Literature: Mississippi Authors

Fennelly             T TH 11-12:15



In this reading and writing intensive class, we’ll seek to understand why the literary history of Mississippi is so rich and varied. While we will begin with William Faulkner and Eudora Welty, the bulk of the class will be spent reading books by our most exciting contemporary writers, including Richard Ford, Jesmyn Ward, Kiese Laymon, Natasha Trethewey, Mary Miller, Angie Thomas, and others. We will attend readings and have class visitors and immerse ourselves in the challenging and vibrant world of literature around us.



Eng 359:01        Survey of Native American Literature

Wigginton         MWF 10-10:50



**Fulfills Counter-Canon and Critical Issues Requirement**


This course will introduce students to Native American Literatures, from oral stories and nonfiction prose through contemporary poetry, fiction, and memoir. We will consider how to read such a diverse body of material, how the legal status of Indigenous peoples and their nations shapes Native texts, and how Native literatures relate to American literatures. As we read primary texts, students will present on historical context and tribal background in order to facilitate an understanding of the entanglement of politics, cultural traditions, and aesthetics in Native literature.



Eng 361:01        African American Literature Survey to 1920

Alexander         T TH 8-9:15



**This course is cross-listed with African American Studies 341**

** Fulfills Counter-Canon and Critical Issues Requirement**

**Fulfills Literature of the 18th & 19th Centuries Requirement**

This course surveys the African American literary tradition from its beginnings to the Harlem Renaissance. After examining the vernacular tradition as expressed in the spirituals, we will turn our attention to the expansion of African American literary production in narrative forms such as the poem, the slave narrative, the public address, the essay, and the novel. While we will situate our readings of all assigned works in specific historical and political contexts (i.e., the Fugitive Slave Act, the Civil War), we will be particularly attentive to themes that unify these works, such as the search for voice, the pursuit of liberation, and the quest for literacy and identity. Representative authors include Phillis Wheatley, Jupiter Hammon, Venture Smith, George Moses Horton, Frances E.W. Harper, Frederick Douglass, William and Ellen Craft, Harriet Jacobs, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Harriet Wilson, and Sutton Griggs.

Since the volume of African American literary works produced from the field’s inception to 1920 is too large for a comprehensive survey, the authors we study should be understood as reflecting representativeness. As a whole, this course equips its participants to critically explore how writers of African American literature have reconstructed “official” stories of slavery and life in the post-Emancipation epoch.



Eng 373:01            Studies in 20th and 21st Centuries Comparative Black Literatures from Africa to the Americas: Black Literatures in Dialogue

Alabi                      MWF 11-11:50


**This course is cross-listed with African American Studies 373**

** Fulfills Counter-Canon and Critical Issues Requirement**


This course will examine the often arbitrary question of boundaries among African, African-American, and African-Caribbean cultures by discussing their literatures as texts that form a continuum. In addition to the issue of boundaries, we will explore how and why Black authors write and rewrite one another, and how they differ. The course is divided into three parts. The first part will be on selected comparative essays on Black literatures and cultures, including those by Barack Obama, Chinua Achebe, Derek Walcott, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Part two will be on the oral antecedents of Black literatures and part three will be an examination of the works of Black writers, including Nobel laureates Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Toni Morrison (United States), and Derek Walcott (St. Lucia).



Eng 397:01        Studies on Location

Spencer              T TH 1-2:15



This is a special topics course led by English department faculty in locations outside the university,. It may be repeated with department approval and if the topics vary.




Eng 400:01        Advanced Poetry

Harriell               T TH 11-12:15



English 400 is a course designed for advanced students of poetry writing. Its goal is to nurture and develop your writing skills, as well as expand your knowledge of the basic discourses of poetry. This course will be devoted to workshopping your own writing as well as discussing the work of accomplished poets. We are here to immerse ourselves in an environment that aims to foster creativity, curiosity, and a respect for language. Our course requirements will consist of weekly poems, several reading responses, class/ workshop participation, and final revised manuscript of around 8-10 pages. With your full engagement, by the end of this course you will have a greater appreciation and a truer understanding of the craft of poetry: the ways in which a good poem is constructed and the way that particular—and purposeful—construction creates an impression on the reader.


Eng 401:01        Advanced Fiction

Ginsburg           T TH 4:00-5:15



In this course we will learn essential elements of fiction, including the development of scenes, characters, dramatic conflict, settings, dialogue, structure, and more. We will follow a workshop model in which we share our writing with the rest of the class and offer constructive feedback. We will also read published stories for inspiration and to examine how writers navigate the short story form. Students will complete, workshop, and revise 2 stories over the course of the semester.



Eng 403:01        Advanced Screenwriting

Offutt                   M W 3-4:15



This is an advanced screenwriting class. Prerequisites are ENG 304 or THEA 305. There are no exceptions to the prerequisite. Students are expected to be comfortable and proficient with screenwriting software such as Celtx, Final Draft, Screenwriter, or an equivalent. The format is peer review. We will discuss the elements of scripts, including but not limited to story, pace, structure, characterization, action and dialogue. This is a writing-heavy course with mandatory attendance. There are no restrictions on what genre you write. No cell phones or computers.




Eng 405:01        Nature Writing

Wirth                   T TH 1-2:15



ENG 405, Nature Writing, will be a hybrid course. We will read and discuss a number of essays by contemporary writers of creative nonfiction. In addition, each student will write two creative nonfiction essays that focus on personal experiences with environmental issues or in nature. Students’ essays will be workshopped—each student, twice, during the semester—and at semester’s end, students will turn in a revised, 15-page creative nonfiction portfolio. For the literature component of the course, there will be reading journals and a final exam.


Class activities will include free-writing exercises, nature observation exercises, and the creation of an ongoing nature journal. Works read will include essays by some of these writers: Wendell Berry, Michael Branch, Camille Dungy, Anya Groner, Linda Hogan, Robin Wall Kimmerer, J. Drew Lanham, Barry Lopez, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Janisse Ray, Eva Saulitis, Gary Snyder, Rebecca Solnit, Joe Wilkins.


This course counts for credit for the Environmental Studies minor, or for English credit.



Eng 411:01             Special Topics in Cinema and Media Studies

Lechler                   T TH 11-12:15



** This Course Fulfills the Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries Requirement**


This course explores a selection of films addressing global political developments of the last 75 years. The films we examine reflect the era of decolonization—from roughly the end of the Second World War to the present—a period marked by independence movements, post-independence political upheaval, struggles for civil rights, Cold War gamesmanship, authoritarianism, terrorism and counterterrorism, migration, globalization, and rapid economic development. We will examine works that engage with a world that is far more interconnected—by the internet, migration, and global trade flows—than it was at the beginning of this period and that now faces a range of truly global challenges: automation and deindustrialization, inequality, catastrophic climate change, and now a pandemic. Films on the syllabus include The Battle of Algiers, Persepolis, The Lives of OthersThe Reluctant FundamentalistSyriana, and Children of Men. We will learn about and apply a postcolonial perspective in examining these works, which are set in both Western and non-Western milieus and selected from a range of genres including animation, hyperlink cinema, documentary, and science fiction. Students should expect to hone their analytical abilities and writing skills with weekly short responses to the films as well as an in-depth film analysis. Additional graded components of the course include a take-home midterm, a presentation, and a final exam or paper.


Eng 421:01        Special Topics in Medieval Studies: History of the Medieval Book

Baechle             T TH 1-2:15



**Fulfills Medieval Literature Requirement**


Students examine the European literary tradition from late antiquity through the late middle ages; works from several languages will be read in translation.


Eng 426:01        Special Topics in Shakespeare: Shakespeare and Queer Theory

Friedlander      T TH 2:30-3:45



**Fulfills Literature of the Early Modern Period Requirement**


In this course, we will read a number of Shakespeare’s plays alongside queer theory in order to examine Shakespeare’s 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 sexuality, race, religion, embodiment, class, gender, and disability.



Eng 431:01        Special Topics in 18th Century Literature

MacKenzie        T TH 2:30-3:45



**Fulfills Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries Requirement**


Did you think romances are stories about two people meeting, experiencing hilarious misunderstandings, and then making out while the sun sets? Did you also think “romantic” means sappy and idealized? Both of those ideas are kind of true, but they are far from the whole story. Romance originated in European medieval storytelling. It typically included quests, great historical events, courtly relations, and plenty of supernatural goings on, but with the help of Don Quixote (1615) romance fell into disrepute. The novelist Henry Fielding complained in 1742 about “the authors of immense Romances, who without any assistance from Nature or History, record persons who never were, or will be, and facts which never did nor possibly can happen.” Alexander Pope imagined an arrogant Baron who builds a bonfire out of “twelve vast French Romances, neatly gilt.” Quixotism, the satirical exploding of the chivalric, Frenchified, and delusional elements associated with romance became immensely popular in eighteenth-century Britain. Yet romance hung on. Writers like Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood had great success with serious romances and by the end of the eighteenth century a romance revival led by Ann Radcliffe was so successful that the genre gave a name and some of its inspiration to Romanticism. In this class we will trace the conflicted history of romance and quixotism from the 1680s through the early nineteenth century, reading works by Behn, Samuel Butler, Haywood, Fielding, Charlotte Lennox, Radcliffe, and Jane Austen, and we will look past the eighteenth century at some recent modifications of the genre, such as Jurassic Park and Bridgerton.



Eng 434:01        Special Topics in Early American Literature: Early American Mythology

Reed                   T TH 9:30-10:45



** Fulfills Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries Requirement**

** Fulfills Capstone Requirement**


In this class, we will read a selection of early American texts along with criticism in order to discuss the stories we collectively tell ourselves about who we are and what we are doing here.  We’ll use early American literature to consider America’s relationship with Native people (as in the Pocahontas narratives), its particular forms of religion (Puritans and Pilgrims, the Salem witch trials), its complicated relationship with its own democratic ideals (in the revolutionary era), and its notions of freedom, responsibility, and social mobility (in texts like Ben Franklin’s Autobiography).  In class discussion and in a final capstone research project, we will examine the well-known stories about who gets to be American and who does not, and what it means to tell oft-repeated tales in a constantly changing America.



Eng 462:01        Special Topics in the Global South: Mississippi’s Marvelous Tales

Duck                    M W 3-4:15



**Fulfills Counter-Canon and Critical Issues Requirement**

** Fulfills Capstone Requirement**


“How do we understand the prevalence of fantastic forms—ghosts, visions, curses, talking animals, time travel, etc.—in stories of Mississippi?” Attending to analytic models focused on the US South—the “southern gothic” and “speculative souths”—we will focus on critical frameworks concerning the hemispheric Americas. Often citing Oxford’s own William Faulkner as an example, critics from circum-Caribbean and South American countries argue that the “marvelous” realities found in the literature of these global regions can be traced to cultural encounters centuries ago between Indigenous Americans, colonizing Europeans, and enslaved Africans, as authors seek forms capable of expressing the legacies of that history. In what ways have tales of Mississippi contributed to, diverged from, and expanded beyond this literary project? We will read stories, novels, and poems (and, with luck, a graphic novel) from authors including Margaret Walker, William Faulkner, Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty, LeAnne Howe, Natasha Trethewey, Jesmyn Ward, and Kiese Laymon; we will also read critical works by Alejo Carpentier, Robin D. G. Kelley, Édouard Glissant, and Sylvia Wynter. We will spend the first two thirds of the semester developing a collective annotated bibliography as well as our analytic/descriptive skills concerning our central question; for the final third of the semester, students will focus on preparing their own research presentations and papers.


Eng 468           Malcolm, Martin, Barack

Alexander       T TH 2:30-3:45

**This Course is Cross-Listed with AAS 468**

**This course Fulfills the Counter-Canon and Critical Issues Requirement**


Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. They are two of the most iconic, charismatic, and anthologized Black male orators of the past six decades. In our current epoch—the third decade of the twenty-first century—Malcolm’s and Martin’s voluminous body of speeches, autobiographical writings, letters, essays, and political visions continue to make headlines, inspire book manuscripts and mass movements, and expand the field of African American literary studies. Now, at a moment in U.S. history marked by the prizewinning literary production of another alluring Black male orator—the 44th U.S. President Barack Obama—the time is ripe to revisit works by and about Malcolm and Martin with a more critical eye.

In this course, we will analyze the speechmaking techniques and self-writing practices of Malcolm, Martin, and Barack, as well as the reception of these techniques and practices in literary, scholarly, and pop culture discourses. We will examine many famous and obscure addresses, writings, and scholarly works by and about these African American male orators, paying careful attention to how conventional notions of the American Dream, freedom, justice, criminality, racism, racial uplift, gender politics, nationhood, and Black identities are conceptualized anew in works authored by and about these figures.

Readings and screenings will likely include Malcolm’s speeches, “20 Million Black People in a Political, Economic, and Mental Prison,” “Message to the Grassroots,” and “The Ballot or the Bullet,” The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X; Martin’s speeches, “I Have a Dream,” “A Time to Break Silence,” and “I See the Promised Land,” and Ava DuVernay’s film on King and the Civil Rights Movement, Selma; and Barack Obama’s speeches, “The Great Need of the Hour” and “A More Perfect Union,” his first memoir, Dreams from My Father, and excerpts from his more recently published memoir A Promised Land.

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.