Spring 2024 Graduate Courses
Eng 617 Teaching First Year Composition
Monroe M 6-8:30
** Cross Listed with WRIT 617 **
This is an introductory course in writing theory, teaching practices, and research in composing.
Eng 677 Creative Nonfiction Workshop
Fennelly T 3-5:30
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 MFA students (and others with permission) who already have experience and passion for writing; we’ll work to take that experience and passion to the next level, with the ultimate goal of publishing your prose.
Eng 681 Graduate Fiction Workshop
Franklin W 6-8:30
Students will compose original fiction and critique the fiction of peers.
Eng 682 Graduate Poetry Workshop
Ginsburg M 3-5:30
In this graduate poetry workshop, students will turn in one poem per week and critique classmates’ poems. In addition, you will write a statement of poetics, curate a packet of poems you consider influential, and engage in generative exercises designed to move your individual poems toward participation in an eventual manuscript. We will also read and discuss 2 contemporary poetry collections TBD.
Eng 703 Studies in Early English Literature: Medieval Afterlives
Hayes M 3-5:30
Death has become a thing of the past. “Afterlife technology” promises to preserve mortal life eternally, whether by cryogenically freezing the body or digitally uploading the brain into “the cloud.” The medieval mind was, of course, unencumbered by these futuristic dilemmas. They did not have the medical knowledge to extend the mortal lifespan, much less the technological means for creating post-biological life. Their philosophical analog, the theology of life after death (the reward for a life well-lived), is but further evidence of medieval people’s bewildered worldview. Thus to the modern mind, it is surprising how medieval writers and artists envisioned the afterlife, in tropes more befitting of post-modern science fiction than profound religious doctrine.
In this course, we will study the conceit of postmortem life in the “long Middle Ages,” from early Christian debates on eschatology, through Early Modern controversies over symbiosis between the living and the dead, in selected literary and non-literary texts, iconography, artefacts, dramatic performances, and demotic religious rites. The course’s individual units will each focus on a type of reanimated persona: a deceased soul invoked in perpetual prayer, a martyr on a holy mission, a revenant on a mundane errand, an undead being with unfinished business. This course presumes no prior background in medieval religion and/or literature. Middle English and Early Modern texts will be read in the historical language (with glosses and dictionaries). This course satisfies the “pre-1800” requirement for graduate students in the English department. Additionally, it counts toward the graduate minor in Medieval Studies.
Eng 717 18th Century Studies: Adaptations
Solinger W 3-5:30
The eighteenth century was an era of adaptations. The epic was repurposed as the mock epic. The European blockbuster of the prior century, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, inspired several English variations. Italian opera inspired the first ever musical, The Beggar’s Opera. The original book-club novel, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela spawned a series of imitations, including Henry Fielding’s parodic rebuttal, Shamela. Near the end of the century, Jane Austen wrote the first draft of a novel, Pride and Prejudice, that would become the most adapted and retold story in novel history. This seminar will investigate the compulsion to adapt and retell. In what ways is adaptation an engine of literary production and innovation? What pleasures do adaptations and retellings afford? Why are there so many trashy retellings? These are some of the questions we’ll tackle in this eclectic survey of eighteenth-century literature and its afterlives. Texts/excerpted texts may include Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” (1712), John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728), Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1740), Henry Fielding’s Shamela (1740), Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote (1752), Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813), Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera (1931), and Ibi Zoboi’s Pride (2018).
Eng 731 Creative Criticism
Kreisel T 6-8:30
In this course we will do the following: 1. Survey and explore the history and parameters of academic literary criticism as a genre. Why is it written the way it is? How did it come to be written the way it is? What ranges of styles/voices are considered appropriate, and why? What constitutes “evidence” in literary criticism? 2. Read and discuss critical work that has been exploring (and deliberately undermining) these generic conventions, including Bammer and Boetcher-Joeres; Barthes; Booth; Felski; Guillory; Hilevaara and Orley; Kosofsky Sedgwick; Kramnick; Rabinowitz; Spacks; Tompkins; Warner; Wilde; Woolf; and others. 3. Write our own experimental/creative literary criticism and discuss it. Our core literary texts (about four) for this part of the course will be suggested by students enrolled in the class, and will encompass a range of historical periods, literary genres, and styles. 4. Also, we will have fun.
This course is appropriate for both creative and literary-critical grad students.
Eng 743 Southern Environmental Writing
Watson TH 6-8:30
A graduate seminar for MA, MFA, and PhD students in English and Southern Studies. The course offers an intensive introduction to key concepts in contemporary environmental studies that doubles as an attempt to explore a growing body of post-Earth Day creative works that confront environmental questions and challenges on southern ground(s). The idea is to use the creative works as case studies in weighing the merit and utility of the theoretical reading, while using the theory to unpack and illuminate the primary texts in an applied manner. Accordingly, the reading schedule will pair readings in environmental studies with creative texts that explore the landscapes and cultures of the US South. Topics and theoretical frameworks to be covered include: “wilderness” and its discontents, bioregionalism, disturbance ecology, environmental justice, multispecies and abiotic ethics, extinction studies, postcolonial ecocriticism, queer ecology, the Anthropocene, hyperobjects, and “dark ecology.”
Primary texts are likely to include the following: James Dickey, Deliverance, Behn Zeitlin, dir., Beasts of the Southern Wild; Ann Pancake, Strange As This Weather Has Been; Jamaica Kincaid, My Garden (Book); Monique Riffey, Archipelago; Linda Hogan, Power; Beth Stephens, dir., Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story; Minnie Bruce Pratt, Crimes against Nature; Jeff VanderMeer, Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy. Other course requirements include weekly online reader-response journals, in-class “sparking” work, and a 15-25-page research project. (N.B. Over the break there will be both recommended prereading in southern environmental history and required reading assignments for the first class meeting on Thursday, January 25.)
Eng 745 Studies in World Literature: Major Authors of World Literature
Alabi TH 6-8:30
In this course, we will study texts from all the continents of the world in relation to the cultural, political, social, and aesthetic concerns of writers and their communities. We will start by discussing some essays and concepts for studying world literature. We will then examine the unique qualities of texts produced by different international communities, strategies for studying world cultures through literature, how texts and authors write and re-write themselves and other cultures, and how issues raised in the texts are different and comparable. Since our course covers the whole world, we will be selective in our primary texts. We will discuss some texts and refer to others. Texts for study will include William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Mohsin Hamid’s Moth Smoke, Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, Maya Angelou’s I know why the Caged Bird Sings, and Patrick White’s A Fringe of Leaves.
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 5 schedule appointments through our online appointment calendar at www.olemiss.edu/depts/writing_center or call 915-7689.