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Department of English
University of Mississippi

Fall 2023 Undergraduate Courses


To download the course description booklet, please click here: Fall 2023 Undergrad Courses



Eng 199:1          Introduction to Creative Writing: Your Art World

Hobbs               MWF 11-11:50


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. We will write metric poetry as well as lyric. Our topics will range across the arts. We will write “still life” poetry, culinary art poetry, natural world poetry, and fiction focused on the meanings of art. Students will look forward to a University Museum tour and will write ekphrastic poetry about a work in the Museum’s collection. My hope is that you leave this class as a better writer, observer, and participant in the world’s beauty.

Eng 199             Introduction to Creative Writing 

                             Earley Online 1


This course focuses on writing experiments in poetry and fiction. Students will analyze model texts, practice a variety of literary/rhetorical techniques, produce creative artifacts across multiple genres and forms, and develop a critical vocabulary for workshopping their own work and the work of their peers.

Eng 199:2          Introduction to Creative Writing:

Spencer             MWF 10-10:50


Students will be introduced to different writing genres.

Eng 199:3          Introduction to Creative Writing:

Bondurant         T TH 9:30-10:45


Students will be introduced to different writing genres.

Eng 199:4          Introduction to Creative Writing: Your Art World

Hobbs                MWF 12-12:50


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. We will write metric poetry as well as lyric. Our topics will range across the arts. We will write “still life” poetry, culinary art poetry, natural world poetry, and fiction focused on the meanings of art. Students will look forward to a University Museum tour and will write ekphrastic poetry about a work in the Museum’s collection. My hope is that you leave this class as a better writer, observer, and participant in the world’s beauty.

Eng 199:6          Introduction to Creative Writing

Franklin            T Th 11-12:15


** Limited to Students in the SMBHC **

A reading- and writing-intensive introduction into the world of creative writing. We’ll read and write poems, memoir and short stories

Eng 220:7-12      Survey in Literary History: Literature for Leaders

Solinger               MW 12-12:50


In this fast-moving and INCREDIBLY FUN multi-media survey of literature and culture, we will focus on the experiences, ethics, and challenges of leadership from ancient times to the present. We’ll study a wide range of cultural artefacts in their historical and cultural contexts and also consider their transhistorical resonances: how we can use this material not only to become better leaders and ethical actors but also to hold accountable those in positions of power. Our class has an interdisciplinary focus, but it is first and foremost a study of literature. You will develop your abilities to talk and write about different genres: poetry, drama, short stories, novels, letters, essays, and film. And you will gain an understanding of how you can use literature in a variety of life situations and professional paths.

Eng 220:13-18     Survey in Literary History: Heroes and Villains

Drew                      T TH 11-11:50


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

Eng 220             Survey in Literary History: Literature and Wellness:

Spencer             MW 11-11:50


What can ancient Greek drama teach us about modern day trauma and healing? How can the poetry of Sappho and Rumi help us to restore “the order of the soul?” In this course, we will explore dimensions of wellness through Eastern and Western texts that deepen our understanding of human suffering brought on by isolation, disconnection, addiction, and other mental health issues. This discussion-based and writing-intensive course will ask students to build connections within the class and seek community engagement outside the class.

Some of our ancient texts will include The Hebrew Bible, Sappho’s Collected Poems, Homer’s The Odyssey and The Baghava-Gita. Some contemporary texts will include Bryan Doerries’s The Theatre of War, Thich Nhat Hanh’s Living Buddha, Living Christ, Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance, Bessel Van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps The Score.  

Eng 220:34         Survey in Literary History: What Literature Can Teach Us About Love

Ellis                       T Th 11-12:15


** Limited to students in the SMBHC **

This 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, short stories, and essays dating from the classical period to the present day. Through lectures and 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, familial love, religious love, the love of friends, and the love of nature and beauty. This class is designed to sharpen students’ skills in reading and analyzing literature, thinking critically, and constructing persuasive arguments.

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 299:1          Introduction to Literary Studies: The Literature and Art of the Gulf South

Trefzer              T TH 11-12:15


This gateway course for upper-division coursework in English introduces students to methods of close reading and textual analysis. Thematically, this course focuses on literature and art of the Gulf South, a unique landscape that has served as inspiration for writers and visual artists. It is also a landscape in transition as hurricanes and ecological disasters leave their marks and challenge humans and wildlife. We will study the beauty and precariousness of the coastal landscapes in fiction, poetry, and drama. In addition to focusing on the major genres of literature, we will examine the aims and conventions of the literary critical essay and extend this inquiry beyond literary studies to include the visual arts. The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the formal functions of literature, to be exposed to literary criticism, as well as to become more effective writers and resourceful scholars.

Eng 299:2          Introduction to Literary Studies: Myths and Mythmaking

Lechler                MW 3-4:15


Myths and mythmaking will use classic myths and contemporary retellings as a laboratory for understanding the nature and function of literature, as well as the types of questions that literary criticism seeks to answer. This class, designed to prepare students for upper-division coursework in English, will examine three major literary genres- fiction, poetry, and drama- while building students’ critical vocabularies and textual analysis skills. We will also examine the aims and conventions of the literary critical essay. The three associated paper assignments will develop the writing and research skills required of literary studies. Along the way, we will become more creative and critical thinkers, more effective writers, and more resourceful scholars.


Eng 303:1          Nonfiction Workshop

Spencer              MWF 1-1:50


In this class, we will explore the craft and power of storytelling through the work of James Baldwin, Mary Karr, Maya Angelou, Rachel Carson, Kiese Laymon and others to discover the path to our own truth. Over the course of the semester, we’ll write a range of nonfiction pieces — including memoir, autobiography, lyric essay —and gain feedback from each other in a workshop format. During the final weeks of the semester, and in coordination with the William Magee Center, we will focus on community engagement—sharing and writing  our stories alongside those from the recovery community.  Our final class will allow for all participants to share their work in a public reading at Heartbreak Coffee.

Eng 301:1          Poetry Workshop: Art and the Natural World

Hobbs                MWF 9-9:50


In this poetry class, we will read and write about poetry. Thematically, we will focus on works that are either ekphrastic (poems about art) or works about the natural world (nature frequently appears in art). We will review vocabulary words useful in discussing and crafting poetry, then read and discuss anthologies of poetry. After we enjoy the works of established poets, we will write our own poems and discuss them in workshops. Grades will accumulate through a vocabulary quiz, a midterm review, and a final portfolio which is worth 70% of your grade. For writing content, we will visit the University Museum (likely more than once) for exploring paintings, sculpture, photography, textiles, prints, and ancient artifacts. As a class, we will also build our own digital gallery of animal and plant photography. In terms of learning about prosody, you can expect to write at least two of these metrical forms: sonnet, villanelle, pantoum, ghazal, sestina.

Eng 302:1          Fiction Workshop

Franklin            T TH 9:30-10:45


A reading- and writing-intensive introduction to short story writing. We’ll read published stories and present original short fiction to the class for group critique.

Eng 302             Fiction Workshop

Hipp                   Online 1


We learn to write well by writing and reading as much as we can, and by thinking critically about how stories are made. In this course, students will learn to make better word choices, how to write more compelling characters and plots, and how to create tightly crafted scenes. There are assigned readings, but the main ones are student works: several short-short writing assignments and, due at the end of the semester, one original, full-length, short story.

Eng 303:1          Nonfiction Workshop

Spencer             MWF 1-1:50


Students will study and practice the craft of expository writing. Prerequisite of Eng 199 or Eng 300.

Eng 304:1          Screenwriting Workshop: Thinking in Pictures

Boyle                   T TH 4-5:15


This course will introduce students to the building blocks of a good script. We will explore the basic theory and formal aspects of story structure, character development, use of conflict, scene writing and dialogue. We will then apply these basic dramatic principles to the development of your own original material. We will focus on the entire process of screenwriting: from the initial premise, through character exploration, to treatments and step-outlines, then writing your first draft. You will leave this course with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of screenwriting.

Eng 306:1          History of the English Language

Hayes                MWF 8-8:50


This course is a general introduction to the history of the English language.

Eng 307:1          Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory: Brainwashing 101

Stout                   MWF 9-9:50


This course is an overview of influential movements in literary criticism and theory.

Eng 308:1          Introduction to Editing, Writing and Publishing for the Digital Age

Parsons              MWF 10-10:50


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 magazine in print form as well as develop and maintain a website presence and create independent individual work.

Eng 310:1          Introduction to Cinema Studies: Everything is Cinema

Boyle                  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 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 gangster films, pre-Code cinema, cinéma vérité, screwball comedies, film noir, melodrama, folk horror, New Hollywood, the L.A. Rebellion, and more. It is a lecture/discussion course with weekly film showings.

Eng 315:1          Studies in Black Film: History of African American Cinema

Duck                   T 4-7


This course explores cinema written and/or directed by African Americans from the silent era to the present. We will include films from multiple genres—such as noir, horror, documentary, and romance—as well as movements specific to Black film history, such as the L.A. Rebellion and “New Jack” cinema. Through close analysis of the films and engagement with focused scholarship, we will consider how these films respond to the political concerns of their moments—including the racist representations seen in other media and forms of racial injustice within and beyond the film industry—as well as how they create new images and ideas for understanding the complexities and possibilities within African American life. Requirements include a weekly screening journal and active participation in class, as well as two class presentations and two short papers.

Eng 324:1          Shakespeare: Shakespeare Updated

Friedlander    MWF 12-12:50


Students will study the major plays.

Eng 334:1          Early American Genres and Forms: Early America and the Natural World

Reed                   T TH 9:30-10:45


This class considers a wide range of ecocritical questions while reading major genres of early American literature.  This class will begin by exploring how early American writers imagined natural environments and humankind’s place in it—how might a play, for example, shape how Americans viewed “nature,” but also how would theatre itself impact the environment?  As we read in early American genres including poetry, novels, and short stories, we will also explore the more complicated ecocritical questions familiar to us today—questions of impact on the environment and environmental justice, for example. We will read “classic” examples of early American literary genres, from Philip Freneau’s poetry to Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” while also spending time in two of the nineteenth century’s best-known novels of the environment, Cooper’s Last of the Mohicans and Melville’s Moby-Dick.  This class requires written research assignments and fulfills the department’s 18th/19th century requirement.

Eng 349:1          Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Studies in Baseball Narratives

Parsons              MWF 11-11:50


From “Casey at the Bat” to Shoeless Joe, the literature of baseball has given us some of our most beloved catchphrases and characters in American literature. It has also been a pretty accurate barometer of our anxieties and fears. In this class, we’ll be reading narratives in an effort to look at class, race, gender, sexuality, and ideology as viewed through baseball and the characters that populate it. Books might include some of the following: The Natural by Bernard Malamud; You Know Me Al by Ring Lardner; Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris; The Universal Baseball Association, Inc. J. Henry Waugh, Prop by Robert Coover; Fences by August Wilson; Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella; The Great American Novel by Philip Roth; The Cactus League by Emily Nemens; The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach; and others. We’ll also look at historical contexts reading portions of Eight Men OutBlack Writers/Black Baseball, portions of Harold Seymour’s fabulous series on baseball history, and excerpts from the Ken Burns documentary Baseball. There will also be a regular movie screening of classics in the genre such as film versions of The NaturalBang the Drum SlowlyField of Dreams, and Fences and other classics like Bull Durham42Pride of the YankeesA League of Their Own, and others.

Eng 355:1          Studies in Southern Literature: The Immigrant South

Sundar              T TH 2:30-3:45


This course explores a range of voices in immigrant Southern literature and film. Students will consider the forces of alienation, land, and memory (both in characters’ native and adopted communities), as well as the shifting and complex notions of what it means to be a Southerner. Authors will include Yaa Gyasi, Nella Larson, Eric Nguyen, and Francisco Cantu.

Eng 357:1          Women in the South

McKee               MWF 9-9:50


** Cross-listed with Gender Studies 357 **

This course begins in the late nineteenth-century with pairings of contemporaneous Black and White writers, moves through core texts of the twentieth-century, and concludes with 21st century authors writing about the multi-faceted, multiethnic “south” they are helping to define. With particular attention to the intersecting power and fluid definitions of gender, race, and place, we will work in multiple genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Among the writers we may read are these: Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Sherwood Bonner, Kate Chopin, Ida B. Wells, Maya Angelou, Carson McCullers, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Shay Youngblood, Crystal Wilkinson, Sarah Broom, Carmen Boullosa, Barbara Kingsolver, Natasha Trethewey, Jesmyn Ward, Joy Harjo, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Sandra Cisneros, Dorothy Allison, Nikki Finney, Anjali Enjeti, Lee Smith, Alice Walker, and Monique Truong. Class will be a mixture of mini-lectures, discussion, and student-led presentations. Students will write weekly, participate in a book club with classmates, and create a final project about an author from the state they claim as home, whether or not it falls within the area conventionally defined as “southern.”

Eng 391:1          Environmental Genres and Forms: Scarcity and Abundance

MacKenzie       T TH 8-9:15


Our ways of thinking about and interacting with natural environments have a lot in common with the ways we think about market economics. Scarcity and abundance are two of the most important concepts shared by the fields of ecology and economics. This class will trace some of the ways in which these concepts and their interrelations developed in literary and scholarly work from the seventeenth century to the present day. We will pay particular attention to the importance of colonialism in shaping conceptions of nature as a reservoir of resources whose value is controlled by economic theory. Authors on the schedule will include Andrew Marvell, Alexander Pope, Olaudah Equiano, William Wordsworth, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Octavia Butler.

Eng 395:1          Studies in Literature: How to Read A Poem and Why

Ellis                  T TH 1-2;15


** Reserved for students of the SBMHC only **

Whether you love poetry or you find poetry obscure and intimidating, this class is for you. Designed to be an immersive introduction to the reading of poetry, this discussion-based seminar will give students the tools, space, and support to become insightful readers of poetry’s uniquely multilayered use of language. We’ll read a diverse range of poems, from classical forms to contemporary pop and hip hop song lyrics, examining how poetry engages with music, rhyme, sound, rhythm, silence, space, imagery, metaphor, and tone. Along the way we’ll ask ourselves why anyone still bother to write or read poetry: what is this dense, unusual language good for? Can poems say things that are impossible to say in prose? Does poetry communicate a fundamentally different way of thinking? Can poems make us feel more acutely or understand our experience more deeply? In addition to standard interpretive essay, this class will feature frequent short assignments including both analytical and creative writing exercises.

Eng 395:1          Studies in Literature: Fantasy Literature

Earley                 Online I


This course seeks to break down the false binary between “genre” fiction and “literary” fiction through a wide-ranging survey of contemporary fantasy novels. Students will analyze the foundational tropes of fantasy literature, compose literary analyses from a variety of critical perspectives, and discover how fantasy writers from diverse backgrounds are challenging the boundaries of the genre. The reading list will include The Fellowship of the Ring, Grendel, A Wizard of Earthsea, Parable of the Sower, Throne of the Crescent Moon, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Ballad of Black Tom.

Eng 400:1          Advanced Poetry Workshop

Ginsburg           T TH 1-2:15


In this course students will write poetry and critique it following a workshop model. We will also read published poems and approach the texts as writers do, as sources of inspiration and with an eye toward craft—that is, understanding how the thing was made. The course will include generative writing assignments designed to inspire fresh ways of thinking about language and bolster connections to your unique creative life. This advanced class will incorporate the study and writing of both formal and free verse poetry.

Eng 401:1          Advanced Fiction Workshop

Sundar               T Th 9:30-10:45


This generative writing workshop is an advanced study of the craft of fiction. Throughout the semester, students will write and revise three short stories and participate as engaged, critical readers of their classmates’ work.

Eng 404:1          Special Topics in Creative Writing: Wordbuilding in Genre and Literary Fiction

Wang                  MWF 12-12:50


Worldbuilding is not storytelling, though every work of fiction engages with it on some level. The term world can refer to our small blue planet, a distant intergalactic empire, the plains, forests, and mountains home to centuries-old conflict between elves and dwarves, or a small subset of human culture, such as “the world of the Aztec Empire.” Worldbuilding is the process of creating a representation of such fictional worlds. It encompasses more than just the setting where a story takes place. Creators of imaginary worlds must balance worldbuilding and storytelling. In this class, we will focus on two tasks: 1) collaboratively building worlds together, and 2) generating fiction set in those worlds. One of the most gratifying parts of collaborative worldbuilding is watching the range of stories emerging from the project, and witnessing your individual contributions being used by other writers in ways you never imagined.

Eng 407:1          Special Topics in Literary Theory: Escapism

Solinger              MW 3-4:15


English author Neil Gaiman once said: “I think that pretty much every form of fiction . . . can actually be a real escape from places where you feel bad, and from bad places. It can be a safe place you go, like going on holiday, and it can be somewhere that, while you’ve escaped, actually teaches you things you need to know when you go back, that gives you knowledge and armour and tools to change the bad place you were in.” Taking our inspiration from Gaiman, in this class we’ll study what happens when people temporarily escape their everyday lives by reading books, watching movies, and playing video games. What does it mean to imaginatively escape? In what ways is escapism more than a simple taking your mind off of things? Why do some imaginary worlds, more than others, foster escapism? Can we identify the qualities that characterize escapist entertainments? What about the qualities that characterize escapist readers or ways of reading? What happens to our brains and our bodies when we become so engrossed in a book or a film or game that we virtually get away? Do we return better prepared for the business of real life? Under what conditions, is escapism a problem: i.e., a bad habit or a form of avoidance, a pathology or the loss of autonomy? Toward answering these questions, we’ll study an eclectic array of critical theory: i.e. a mix of literary and film criticism, writing about technology, media, pop culture, and the metaverse, as well as political analysis. We’ll also read some fiction and watch a few films—and maybe we’ll escape.

Eng 411:1          Special Topics in Cinema and Media Studies: Cinema and Politics

Bhagat-Kennedy    T TH 11-12:15


People, goods, and ideas have flowed between disparate regions of the world for millennia, but these flows accelerated rapidly over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In this course we will study a number of films (mainly feature films, but also a few documentaries) that address the complex nexus of political and social issues bound up with global migration and what is commonly thought of as globalization. We will explore cinema’s treatment of dense networks of money and power, the transnational flow of commodities and cultural forms, and the movement of people (whether as tourists, economic migrants, or refugees) in light of recent trends that suggest increasing skepticism towards the global in favor of the national. We will be attentive to the inescapable inequities of globalization as well as the complex ways in which our present geographical, economic, social, and political order can be understood and represented.

Eng 417:1          Early Middle English

Baechle              T TH 9:30-10:45


** Fulfills Capstone Requirement **

This course is an introduction to English literature in the vernacular from the period between the Norman Conquest and Chaucer (1100-1300) and its dialectical and generic variety.

Eng 439:1          Special Topics in Victorian Literature: Novels of the Brontës

Kreisel               T TH 2:30-3:45


The Brontës were an extraordinarily gifted family: best known for their brilliant novels, which were widely admired (and considered somewhat scandalous) at the time for their passionate heroines and outrageous events, the sisters also wrote innovative experimental poetry. Even as children they were prodigious authors: along with their brother Branwell, they collaborated in creating intricate fantasy worlds in which they set complex interwoven stories and tall tales. In this course we will read several novels by the three Brontë sisters: Wuthering HeightsJane EyreVillette (the craziest/best novel ever), and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. We will also read some contextual materials (some of the sisters’ poetry and early fantasy tales plus contemporary reviews and reactions) and some literary criticism about their works. This is a course for the novel-lovers! These books are fabulously fun, wacky, bizarre, rich, fascinating, and page-turnery. Come prepared to read a lot, to enjoy what you read, to learn more about the Brontës and the historical time in which they wrote, and to have some great conversations with like-minded book nerds. Requirements: written responses throughout the semester, close reading exercises, a final paper, and a love of reading.

Eng 460:1          Faulkner

Watson             MW 3-4:15


** Fulfills Capstone Requirement **

A reading and discussion course aimed primarily at junior and senior English and Southern Studies students but open to other interested undergraduate students as well.  We will be concentrating on the high points of Faulkner’s “major phase” of 1929-1942.  The reading load is difficult not so much quantitatively as qualitatively:  The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Sanctuary (1931), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and Go Down, Moses (1942), about 2100 pages of challenging, experimental prose in 14 weeks—you do the math.  Depending on scheduling, I may throw in a half-dozen or so short stories that also represent the author at his best.  Paying close attention to Faulkner’s innovation with form and style and to his powerful critique of the history, society, and culture of his region and nation, we will also explore his engagements with modernity, race, gender, sexuality, class, family, consciousness, and memory.  The course grade will be based on a capstone research project—which includes a project proposal, an annotated bibliography, and a 12-15-page peer-reviewed essay—along with biweekly reader-response journals, class participation, and final exam.

Eng 468:1          Major African American Writers: Malcom/Martin/Barack

Alexander         T TH 1-2:15


** Cross Listed with AAS 468 **Eng

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.