Courses / Current Courses

 



2018 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 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.) Nickole Brown.

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.)  Michael Griffith or Jamie Quatro.

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.) Kelly Grey Carlisle.

English 514, Workshop in Screenwriting

Discussions center on students' plays or screenplays. 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.) Cheri Magid.

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.) (Genre course, counts as literary criticism) Michael Griffith.

English 577, Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Nineteenth-Century American Literature:  Studies in the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry written in the United States from the age of Washington Irving to that of Henry James, including major authors of the American Renaissance, the rise of Realism and Naturalism, and the beginnings of Modernism.  (Credit, full course; counts as an American Literature class from before 1900 for MA students and as a Literature class for MFA students.) John Ernest.

English 572, Special Topics in British Literature: The Wilde 90's

Though its content varies from semester to semester, this class always focuses on a special topic in British literature not fully covered in existing courses.  Examples might include courses on a single author, a literary movement or tradition, a genre, or a theme.

Summer 2018: The 1890s in England was an infamous decade. And the harrowing misbehavior of Jekyll and Hyde will be our entry point. In this course, we will explore the preoccupations of this era: gender and sexuality, theater and theatricality, empire and culture, morbidity and the cult of suicide, the city and decadence, socialism and aestheticism. We will read widely in the corpus of Oscar Wilde, including The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wilde’s vexed and vexing letter from jail, De Profundis, a text that defies traditional readings. While Wilde is the course’s presiding genius (as he was for the decade), we will also read such works as Olive Schreiner’s Story of an African Farm, a scathing indictment of the era's gender and race politics, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four, a fantasy of empire gone horribly wrong. Be prepared to examine the aesthetics of camp in Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical Patience, Michael Field's (aka. Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper) queer poetics, Aubrey Beardsley’s art of the grotesque, H. G. Wells's visions of the apocalypse, and the radical journalism of The Yellow Book as we aim to reanimate the vitality and intensity of the decade’s literary and artistic culture.(Credit, repeatable, full course.) Barbara Black.

English 562, Milton

Milton's poetry, prose and drama are among English literature's most radical and most memorable texts, both for their controversial and lasting formal innovations and for their original arguments about the relationship between poetic vocation and religious, scientific, and political truth.  After reading shorter poems including Lycidas and the sonnets, we will immerse ourselves in Paradise Lost, followed by Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. Topics we will cover include censorship and free speech, free will, gender, and Milton's decisive impact on the course of English and American literature. Special attention will be paid both to Milton's influences as well as to the cultural climate in which he gained his fame. (Credit, full course.) Ross Macdonald.

English 506, Studies in Literature in Translation

Though its content varies from semester to semester, this class always focuses on a special topic in a non-English literature, studied through texts in English translation. Examples might include authors on a single author, a literary movement or tradition, a genre, or a theme. This summer the course will introduce students to Kurdish poetry: a tradition little known in the English-speaking world until the last decade. We will focus on the 19th and 20th centuries, tracking how poetry develops alongside the drastic social changes of those time periods. We will touch on topics such as the revival of Sufi mystical practices, the Kurdish reaction to emerging Arab, Turkish, and Iranian nations, and the formation of the semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government. We will begin with Nali, the first poet to write in what is today the dominant literary dialect of Kurdish, and end with Abdulla Pashew, perhaps the most famous living Kurdish poet today. Students will get to discuss these translations with their translators and meet a couple of the poets behind the verse. (Credit, full course. May be repeated when topic differs.) Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse.

English 504, Film Studies

While closely examining several films, the course will introduce students to the major components of film style, essential techniques of film analysis and the critical vocabulary required for it, and some film theory. Focus will be on American and particularly southern films, and the art of the screenplay. (Credit, full course.) Michael Dunaway.