Courses / Current Courses

 



2015 Courses

MA students are required to complete 30 semester hours (typically 10 course credits). All students will take 8 courses, normally enrolling in two courses per summer. After earning these credits, students seeking to earn the MA may earn their final course credits either by writing a thesis or by enrolling in two more courses. Students seeking the MFA after completing 8 courses (4 workshops and 4 literature classes), will submit a final thesis. No course with a grade lower than B- may be applied toward the degree. The “core” for all MA students will consist of courses in English literature, of which one must be Shakespeare, courses in American literature, of which one must cover literature written before 1900, and at least one class in non-English literature in translation. Beyond that, all students are encouraged to strike a balance between courses covering material from before and after 1800. As many as two Creative Writing Workshops may be counted toward the MA degree.

English 500, Dante

A close reading of Dante's 100-canto Divine Comedy, with special emphasis on the relationships between Virgil's Aeneid and Dante's poem. We will consider both how Virgil's epic serves as Dante's poetic model and how Virgil's vision of history is corrected, revised, and fulfilled in Dante's own poem. (Credit, full course; covers Literature in Translation requirement.) Pamela Macfie.

English 509, Workshop in Poetry Writing

Discussions center on students' poems. Selected readings are assigned to focus on technical problems of craftsmanship and style. (Credit, full course, repeatable. Counts as an elective for MA students [who may offer as many as two writing workshops toward the degree] and as a Workshop for MFA students.) Danny Anderson.

English 510, Workshop in Fiction Writing

Discussions center on students' fiction. Selected readings are assigned to focus on technical problems of craftsmanship and style. (Credit, full course, repeatable. Counts as an elective for MA students [who may offer as many as two writing workshops toward the degree] and as a Workshop for MFA students.)  Chris Bachelder or Holly Goddard Jones.

English 512, Workshop in Nonfiction Writing

Discussions center on students' nonfiction. Selected readings are assigned to focus on technical problems of craftsmanship and style. (Credit, full course, repeatable. Counts as an elective for MA students [who may offer as many as two writing workshops toward the degree] and as a Workshop for MFA students.) Diane Thiel.

English 513, Writing Pedagogy

This course will focus on imaginative and innovative ways to teach writing. The course will offer a variety of creative writing techniques and exercises that participants can incorporate into their own English courses, as well as into other courses across the curriculum. It will address various concerns of writing pedagogy, including constructive criticism, motivation, and the balance of reading, analysis, exercise, and workshop. Students will read some pedagogical theory, but much of the course time will be practice-oriented. Students will have the opportunity to develop, refine, and modify (for different levels) their own exercises to present to the group. Each participant will also lead a workshop of at least one piece of writing. The course will be useful to participants' own creative ventures, as well as provide a wealth of valuable ideas to carry to the classroom. (Credit, full course; counts as an elective class for MA students and can count as either a workshop or a literature class for MFA students.) Diane Thiel. 

English 563, Hebraism and Hellenism: The Bible, Homer, and English Culture

This course examines the Greek and Biblical traditions inherited by English culture and follows the transformations, adaptations, subversions, and consumptions of these texts and influence.  Reading includes passages from the Old and New Testaments, the Homeric epics, and modern writers from Milton, Fielding and Keats to Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, and Mark Strand.  (Credit, full course; counts as an English Literature course for MA students and as a literature class for MFA students.) Allen Reddick.

English 577, The American Renaissance

The American Renaissance course this summer centers on poetry, particularly the work of three of the most important American poets of the 19th century, Longfellow, Dickinson, and Whitman, and considers their achievements in the context of historical events, publishing trends, and influential social movements. The course also examines the “Americanness” of American poetry, especially in light of the attractions of European travel and translation.  Additional poets to be considered include Melville, Tuckerman, Bryant, Whittier, Poe, and Sigourney. (Credit, full course; counts as an American Literature class from before 1900 for MA students and as a Literature class for MFA students.) Jenn Lewin.

English 585, Literary Humor

Despite E.B. White’s warning that analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog (“it tends to kill the frog”), this course examines the serious ends of funny fiction by modern British and American writers, working toward an understanding how humor functions in literature and culture.  Reading will include novels by Stella Gibbons, Evelyn Waugh, Kingsley Amis, Richard Russo, Zadie Smith, and others.  (Credit, full course; counts as either an English Literature class or a post-1900 American Literature class for MA students and as a Literature class for MFA students.) Lauryl Tucker.

English 589, Modern American Fiction

Between 1900-1950, literary authors avidly experimented with new forms and philosophies as they depicted rapid changes in sexual, racial, social, and political identity in the US.  After defining the relevance of movements such as regionalism, realism, and modernism, this course addresses the historical and social effects of two world wars, immigration, and urbanization.  Authors include Henry James, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and Patricia Highsmith.  Short readings may be added by Gertrude Stein, Eudora Welty, John Dos Passos, James Baldwin, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Credit, full course; counts as a post-1900 American Literature class for MA students and as a Literature class for MFA students.) Jenn Lewin.