Courses / Current Courses


2014 Course Listing

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 502, Bible as Literature

Introduction to both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, treating the texts, as much as possible, as literary documents open to multiple interpretations.  Emphasis is on close reading of important episodes, in several translations.  Supplemental readings will include representations of the Bible by major authors and artists. (Credit, full course; covers Literature in Translation requirement.) Jennifer Lewin.

English 507, The Craft of Poetry

Through close analysis of the poems of various modern and contemporary masters, we will consider the implications of verse as an imitation of voice, and consider how the poet’s voice is shaped by choices made in terms of imagery, themes, form and technique. (Credit, full course.) Charles Martin.

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.) Andrew Hudgins.

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.) Michael Griffith or Adrianne Harun. 

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.) Neil Shea. 

English 553, The Romance of Arthur

A study of the literature surrounding the figure of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table, from its origins in the early Middle Ages to the present. Readings include The Knight of the Cart by Chrétien de Troyes, the Middle English verse romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory's Morte D'arthur, Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Bernard Malamud's baseball novel, The Natural. We will also consider offshoots of Arthurian legend in the visual arts, opera, and such films as Excalibur, The Fisher King, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The final assignment for the course may be either a term paper or a creative project. (Credit, full course.) Mark Rasmussen.

English 592, The Contemporary Short Story

Among the considerations of this discussion-oriented class will be strengths and weaknesses of stories, collections, and authors of the recent past. Along with speculating about what contemporary fiction can tell us about contemporary culture, we will address specific curriculum issues as they apply to the contemporary short story and the general topic of literary evaluation. Authors discussed may include George Saunders, Edward P. Jones, Jamie Quatro, and Rebecca Lee.  (Credit, full course.) David Huddle.

English 594, Literature of the American South

Advanced study of the literary tradition of the U.S. South, with emphasis on such major writers as Mark Twain, Charles Chesnutt, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren and others of the Agrarian circle, Zora Neal Hurston, and Flannery O'Connor. Attention also to antebellum and contemporary southern writing, and to writers associated with Sewanee. (Credit, full course.) John Grammer.

English 598, Forms of Fiction

How does fiction "work"?  This course attempts to answer that question with close study of stories, novellas, and novels with a special emphasis on issues of form and technique.  (Credit, full course.) Michael Griffith.