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English (M.A.)

View PDF of English Admissions Checklist
Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

View PDF version of the English catalog description

Degree Offered:

M.A.

Director:

Dr. Gale Temple

Phone:

(205) 934-8593

E-mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web site:

www.uab.edu/english

Faculty

Rebecca A. Bach, Professor (English); Shakespeare, Renaissance Drama

Jeffrey Bacha, Assistant Professor (English); Rhetoric and Composition, Professional and Technical Communication

David A. Basilico, Associate Professor (English); Linguistic Theory, Syntax and Semantics, Cognitive Science

Peter J. Bellis, Professor and Chair (English); American Literature

Mary Flowers Braswell, Professor (English); Chaucer, Medieval Studies, Fourteenth-Century English, Arthurian Legend, Bibliography

James Braziel, Assistant Professor (English); Creative Writing, Poetry, Science Fiction

Alison Chapman, Associate Professor (English); Renaissance Poetry and Prose

Lila Graves, Associate Professor (English); Prose Fiction, Eighteenth-Century British Literature

Kyle Grimes, Associate Professor (English); British Romanticism, Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century English Literature, Electronic Textuality, Bibliography

William Hutchings, Professor (English); Modern British Fiction, Modern Drama, World Literature

Kerry Madden-Lunsford, Assistant Professor (English); Writing for Young People, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction

Bruce McComiskey, Professor (English); History and Theory of Rhetoric, Discourse Analysis, Composition

Christopher Minnix, Assistant Professor (English); Rhetorical Theory, Transnational Rhetoric, Compositions Studies, Writing Program Administration

Kieran Quinlan, Professor (English); American Literature

Cynthia Ryan, Associate Professor (English); Composition, Professional Writing, Public Discourse, Medical Rhetoric

Daniel Siegel, Associate Professor (English); Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Culture, The Novel

Gale Temple, Associate Professor (English); Early American Literature and Culture

Adam Vines, Assistant Professor (English); Creative Writing, Poetry, Twentieth and Twenty-First     Century Poetry

Admission Requirements

For admission in good standing, applicants must meet the Graduate School's requirements for scholarship and test scores (GRE General Test or MAT). The applicant should normally have finished the requirements for an undergraduate degree in English, including satisfactory completion of at least six semester hours in a foreign language. A generally well-prepared applicant who is lacking in some part of the undergraduate preparation may be admitted with the provision that any deficiencies be removed by a time specified by the graduate program director.

Program Description

Students in the graduate program can concentrate their studies in any of three areas: Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, or Creative Writing. The requirements for each of these concentrations are explained below.

Concentration in Literature

Most literature courses can be considered to fall into one of the following areas, each of which has its own reading list.

Group I:

British Lit before 1500
British Lit 1500-1660
British Lit 1660-1790
British Lit 1790-1900
British Lit 1900-present

Group II:

American Lit before 1800
American Lit 1800-1900
American Lit 1900-present
African American Lit 1746-present
African Diaspora Lit

Group III:

Composition Pedagogy
Rhetorical Theory
Linguistics
Critical Theory

Concentration in Literature

Plan I.

  1. Students who write a thesis must take 3 hours in Bibliography & Methods, 3 hours of linguistics, 6 hours of thesis work, 12 hours of British/American literature, and 6 hours of electives. They must take at least 6 hours in Group I and 6 hours in Group II.
  2. 15 hours of course work must be at the 600 seminar level in English. A maximum of 3 of these required 15 hours can be taken as EH 699, Thesis Research.
  3. Students must choose a member of the English faculty to chair their Graduate Study Committee (GSC). In consultation with this chair, students must select at least two other faculty members to complete their GSC. All members of the GSC must be graduate faculty. Once constituted, membership of the GSC cannot be changed without the approval of the departmental graduate program committee.
  4. Before students can be admitted to candidacy, they must have passed 18 hours of course work and had a thesis proposal accepted by their GSC and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  5. Students must pass a Thesis Defense.

Plan II.

  1. Nonthesis students must take 3 hours in Bibliography & Methods, 3 hours of linguistics, 12 hours of British/American literature, and 12 hours of electives.
  2. 15 hours of course work must be at the 600 seminar level in English.
  3. Students must pass individual tests in 5 areas, but 1 of these tests may be replaced by earning a cumulative 3.5 or better G.P.A. in two English graduate courses in one of the listed areas OR by passing two creative writing courses at the 500 level or above.
  4. All students must choose at least one test area from each Group.
  5. By the time students have earned 24 credit hours toward the M.A., students must secure the agreement of a graduate faculty member to serve as chair of their Graduate Study Committee (GSC). Students are encouraged to secure this faculty mentor as early as possible since the chair of a student's GSC has primary responsibility for mentoring the student through the exam process. The Committee chair must coordinate the composition, administration, and evaluation of all area tests for that student. The chair is also responsible for informing the student (and graduate program director) of the criteria for evaluation of the subject area tests; for notifying the student of the results; and for meeting with the student afterwards to review the tests. The chair is also responsible for keeping the graduate program director informed of the student's progress and maintaining a complete exam file on the student.
  6. In consultation with the student and the graduate program director, the Committee chair will appoint at least three other faculty to serve on the student's GSC. All members of the GSC must be graduate faculty. Once constituted, membership of the GSC cannot be changed without the approval of the departmental graduate program committee.
  7. Each two-hour area test must follow a standard format that allows students to demonstrate their ability to read closely and to synthesize ideas.
    • Area tests in literature and critical theory will give the following instructions based on selections from the area reading list:

      Choose one of the following passages and write an essay that (1) establishes–based on the chosen passage–some significant literary, intellectual, and/or cultural context and presents a thesis having to do with that context; (2) explains, by a close reading of the text, why the chosen passage is important both to the work from which it is taken and to the thesis of the present essay; and (3) discusses the context and thesis in relation to at least two other works from the area reading list.
    • Area tests for Composition Pedagogy or Rhetorical Theory will give the following instructions based on selections from the area reading list:
      Choose one of the following passages or set of passages and write an essay that (1) indicates your understanding of the passage(s) and the work from which it is taken; (2) identifies and explains the specific issues in rhetorical theory or composition pedagogy that are addressed by or related to the selection(s); and (3) discusses these issues in a broader context by drawing on at least two other works from the area reading list.
    • See the Director of the Linguistics Program for a sample area test in Linguistics.
  8. Students must provide their GSC with a minimum of three weeks' notice in scheduling area tests, which must be taken Monday-Friday during the tenth week of each semester (sixth week during the shortened summer term).
  9. Students are limited to three attempts at passing a test for the same area.
  10. The GSC will hold a group grading session to evaluate individual tests as Failing, Passing, or High Pass (the latter designation must be a unanimous decision of the GSC). If a student earns four High Passes, this student will be passed "With Distinction."
  11. There is no oral examination for nonthesis students.

Concentration in Composition/Rhetoric

Plan I.

  1. Students who write a thesis must take 3 hours in Bibliography & Methods of Research, 3 hours of linguistics, 9 hours of literature electives, 6 hours of thesis research, 3 hours of rhetorical theory, and 6 additional hours of courses in the areas of Rhetorical Theory, Composition Pedagogy, or Professional Writing (total of 30 hours).
  2. 15 hours of course work must be at the 600 seminar level in English. A maximum of 3 of these required 15 hours can be taken as EH 699, Thesis Research.
  3. Students must choose a member of the Composition/Rhetoric faculty to chair their Graduate Study Committee (GSC). In consultation with this chair, students must select at least two other faculty members to complete their GSC. All members of the GSC must be graduate faculty and at least one (in addition to the chair) should be another composition/rhetoric specialist. Once constituted, membership of the GSC cannot be changed without the approval of the departmental graduate program committee.
  4. Before students can be admitted to candidacy, they must have passed 18 hours of course work and had a thesis proposal accepted by their GSC and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  5. Students must pass a Thesis Defense.

Plan II.

  1. 1. Nonthesis students must take 3 hours in Bibliography & Methods of Research, 3 hours of linguistics, 9 hours of literature electives, 3 hours of rhetorical theory, and 12 additional hours of courses in the areas of Rhetorical Theory, Composition Pedagogy, or Professional Writing (total of 30 hours).
  2. Guidelines 2-11 under Concentration in Literature, Plan II, apply to these students.

Concentration in Creative Writing (Plan I only)

  1. Creative writing students are required to take 12 hours of creative writing workshop courses, 6 hours of thesis research, 9 hours of literature, and 3 hours of English electives.
  2. 15 hours of course work must be at the 600 seminar level in English including at least one section of a 600-level creative writing workshop. A maximum of 3 of these required 15 hours can be taken as EH 699, Thesis Research.
  3. Students must choose a member of the Creative Writing faculty to chair their Graduate Study Committee (GSC). In consultation with this chair, students must select at least two other faculty members to complete their GSC. All members of the GSC must be graduate faculty and at least one (in addition to the chair) should be another creative writing specialist. Once constituted, membership of the GSC cannot be changed without the approval of the departmental graduate program committee.
  4. Before students can be admitted to candidacy, they must have passed 18 hours of course work, including at least 3 hours in creative writing, and had a thesis proposal accepted by their GSC and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  5. Students must pass a Thesis Defense.

Additional Information

Deadline for Entry Term(s):

Each semester

Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:

Six weeks before term begins

Number of Evaluation Forms Required:

Three

Entrance Tests

GRE or MAT (TOEFL and TWE also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)

For detailed information, contact Dr. Gale Temple, Graduate Program Director, Department of English HB 220, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1260.

Telephone 205-934-8593

E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web http://www.uab.edu/english

Course Descriptions

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for 3 semester hours of credit. Course numbers preceded with an asterisk indicate courses that can be repeated for credit, with stated stipulations.

English (EH)

501. Tutoring Writing. Examines the theory and practice of one-to-one writing instruction.

502. The Rhetoric of Popular Periodicals. Explores the production and consumption of magazine discourse.

503. Business Writing. Advanced writing focused on letters, resumes, and professional reports.

504. Technical Writing. Advanced writing focused on short informal and long formal reports.

505, 506. Poetry Writing Workshop. Advanced work in poetry through student's own writing.

507, 508. Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop. Advanced work in creative nonfiction through student's own writing.

509, 510. Fiction Writing Workshop. Advanced work in prose fiction through students' own writing.

511. Novel. History and techniques of the novel. Authors vary.

512. Poetry: Lyric and Shorter Forms. The evolution and generic influences of the small poem in English from the early Renaissance to the present.

513. Drama. Techniques and problems of drama, classical through contemporary.

514. Modern British and European Drama. Techniques and problems of modern European drama from Ibsen to the present, including works by Chekhov, Shaw, Synge, Brecht, Pinter, and Beckett.

515. Form of Fiction: The Short Story. American, Russian, and European short stories, emphasizing aesthetics of form.

516. Modern American Poetry. Focus on writers from 1900-1945 such as Frost, Stein, Stevens, Williams, H.D., Pound, Moore, Eliot, Toomer, Crane, and Hughes.

517, 518. Creative Writing Workshop: Special Projects. Creative Writing Workshop: Special Projects: Advanced work in creative writing focusing on the student's own writing in unique settings and/or genres.

519. Young Adult Literature. Close reading of young adult literature; its form and history, its assumptions about adolescent psychology, and its literary relationship to the traditional canon.

520. World Literature I (to 1600). Survey of monuments mainly in the Western tradition (Sumerian, Hebraic, Hellenic, continental) with emphasis on the epic.

521. World Literature II (1600 to present). Selections in translation from Europe, Africa, South America, and/or Asia and the Pacific.

522. African Literature. Selected novels, short stories, autobiographies, folk tales, drama, essays, films, songs from pre-colonial Africa to the present, including works by Emecheta, wa Thiong'o, Head, Achebe, Ba, Armah, Laye, Salih, Soyinka, and Abrahams.

523. African Women's Literature. Writing in all genres by African women from pre-colonial Africa to the present.

524. African-American Special Topics.

525. Pre-1700 Literature Special Topics.

526. 1700-1900 Literature: Special Topics.

528. English Elective: Special Topics.

529. Creative Writing: Special Topics.

531. Special Topics in Film.  In-depth study of a specialized topic in film, for example, a particular national cinema, one or more directors, a development in film history or genre, or issues in visual representation.

535. Teaching Creative Writing. A practical exploration of creative writing pedagogy through workshops and lesson-planning exercises.

537. Writing Children's Literature.

541. Literary Theory and Criticism: The Ancients to the Nineteenth Century. Introduction to the theories of art and literary production in the contexts of aestheics and culture from Plato to the end of the nineteenth century.

542. Literary Theory and Criticism. The Twentieth Century to the Present. Introduction to the major schools of literary theory and criticism since the beginning of the twentieth century. Topics will include Russian formalism and New Criticism; structuralism, post-structuralism, and deconstruction; reader-response criticism; narrative theory; psychoanalytic theory; Marxist criticism; new historicism and cultural studies; feminist criticism and queer theory; postcolonial and ethnic studies; and postmodernism.

543. Archetype and Myth. Recurring images, underlying patterns, and shapes-of-meaning in poetry, fiction, and fairy tales.

544. Women's Literature and Theory. Literary works and theoretical perspectives of Angelou, Chopin, Hong Kingston, Hurston, Walker, Woolf, Plath, and others.

545. Special Topics in African American Studies. Literary and theoretical explorations of a specific topic.

546. African American Autobiology. Personal narratives by African Americans, including texts by Wheatly, Douglass, Jacobs, Wilson, DuBois, Johnson, Hurston, Hughes, Wright, Baldwin, Angelou, and Moody.

547. African American Drama. Development of African American dramatic tradition from the nineteenth century through the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts movement to contemporary postmodernism, including such playwrights as Brown, Hurston, Baraka, Sanchez, Wilson, and Parks.

548. African American Poetry. Development of African American poetry from early works to the present, including such poets as Wheatley, Dunbar, Hughes, Brooks, Alexander, Dove, and Angelou.

550. Advanced Grammar. Present-day English grammar.

551. Generative Grammar. Advanced analysis of English grammar with emphasis on Chomskyan generative grammar. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

552. Grammar and Usage for English Teachers. Intensive review of the structure of English; emphasis on usage, punctuation, and style as these relate to grammar.

553. Advanced History of the English Language. Advanced topics.

554. The Biology of Language. Vocal tract and neuroanatomical specializations for language, language acquisition, genetic language disorders, language and other primates, and the evolution of language.

557. Writing and Medicine. Public discourse focusing on health, illness, and medical practice. Production of texts as health consumers and health practitioners.

559. Discourse Analysis. Public discourse, with emphasis on social politics of linguistic choices.

560. American Women Writers Before 1900. Survey of American women's writing before 1900.

561. American Literature Before 1820. Representative American writing from the colonial period to the early 1820s.

562. American Literature, 1820-1870. Representative writers such as Alcott, Dickinson, Douglass, Emerson, Fern, Fuller, Hawthorne, Jacobs, Melville, Poe, Stowe, Thoreau, and Whitman.

563. American Literature, 1870-1914. Representative writers such as Twain, James, Howells, Crane, Jewett, Wharton, Dreiser, Norris, Chopin, and others.

564. American Literature, 1914-1945. A study of some of the main texts from the period by writers such as O'Neill, Frost, Stein, Stevens, Eliot, Cather, Hemingway, Larsen, Fitzgerald, Hughes, Faulkner, and Wright.

565. American Literature 1945-Present. Selected fiction, poetry, and drama in the context of postwar cultural trends and literary movements.

566. The Slave Narrative and its Literary Expressions. Representative writers from Gustavus Vassa to Alice Walker, with emphasis on periods and movements.

567. Black Women Writers. Evolution of the Afrocentric feminist consciousness through early and contemporary writings.

568. The Harlem Renaissance. Black writers during Harlem Renaissance movement. Includes Johnson, Toomer, Murray, Larsen, McKay, Thurman, Reed, and Morrison.

569. Medieval Culture: Literature and Society. Exploration through art, literature, and history of the dominant themes of the English Middle Ages.

570. Arthurian Legend. King Arthur and his knights in literature from 6th-century history and formulation of the legend in the Middle Ages to its use in the 20th century.

571. Beowulf in Context. An interdisciplinary course in Anglo-Saxon art and culture bearing upon Beowulf; close study of the Norse analogues of the Old English epic.

573. Chaucer: Pilgrimage to Canterbury. Selections from Canterbury Tales and the 14th-century milieu.

574. English Renaissance Drama Excluding Shakespeare. Survey of the Elizabethan and Jacobean theater. Authors vary, but may include Jonson, Webster, Dekker, and Heywood.

575. English Renaissance Poetry and Prose. Focus varies from broad survey of period to close analysis of genre, theme, or author.

576. Shakespeare. Intensive study of seven plays, focusing on the interactions between culture and the theater.

578. Age of Milton. Selected prose and poetry, including Paradise Lost.

580. The Restoration. Dryden, Butler, Rochester, Marvell, Bunyan, Congreve, Wycherley, and Etherege.

581. The Eighteenth Century: Literature and Culture. An interdisciplinary exploration of texts that focuses on social, economic, and political backgrounds of selected texts from the period.  Authors and topics vary.

582. The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. An interdisciplinary exploration that focuses on the formal and philosophical implications of selected texts. Authors and topics vary.

583. British Romanticism. Study of works by British writers, 1785-1834. Authors will likely include Blake, Smith, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, P.B. and Mary Shelley, Keats, and others.

585. British Victorian Poetry. Study of Tennyson, Browning, the pre-Raphaelites, and others, with a focus on the cultural context of their poetry.

586. Eighteenth-Century British Novel. Study of narrative techniques and cultural contexts in eighteenth-century prose fiction.  Course explores works written during the long eighteenth century and includes authors in a chronological range extending from Aphra Behn to Sir Walter Scott.   Authors and topics vary.

587. Nineteenth-Century British Novel. Study of writers like Austen, Dickens, Thackeray, the Brontës, George Eliot and Hardy with an emphasis on the relationship between cultural changes and the development of the novel.

588. British Novel: The Modern Age. Study of Conrad, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Ford, and others, focusing on narrative technique and the transformation of traditional literary forms.

589. James Joyce. A study of Joyce's writings through Ulysses.

*591. Major Writers. See class schedule for announcement of subjects. May be repeated for total of 9 hours credit if focus is on different subjects.

597. Individual Studies. Prerequisite: proposal must be submitted to the Graduate Director before the last two weeks of the semester preceding the semester in which the student intends to register. 1-3 hours.

600. Engineering Communication. Strengthens engineering students' understanding of and application of effective communications practices in the workplace. Subjects covered include techniques of audience analysis; production of problem/solution formats; analysis and creation of reports, journal articles, and proposals; and presentation of ideas in written and oral formats.

601. Classical Rhetorical Theory. Review of rhetoric from classical period through Renaissance with emphasis on the works of Plato and Aristotle.

602. Modern Rhetorical Theory. Advanced studies in twentieth-century theories of rhetoric; themes include Marxism, feminism, philosophy, semiotics, and ideology.

603. Literacy in Communities. Examines the theory and practice of literacy instruction in varied cultural contexts.

604. Research Methods in Composition and Rhetoric. Develops skills in planning and implementing research designs in composition.

610. Prosody, Poetics, and Close Reading. Fosters an ability to read poetry closely and analytically; examines traditional descriptions of poetic form and meter; introduces recent work in poetic theory and philosophy of poetic composition.

615, 616. Seminar: Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop. Advanced work in poetry through students' own writing.

617, 618. Seminar: Graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop. Advanced work in creative nonfiction through students' own writing.

619, 620. Seminar: Graduate Fiction Writing Workshop. Advanced work in prose fiction through students' own writing.

635. Middle English Literature. Study of writers other than Chaucer, with a concentration on the writings of the Gawain Poet, the lais and lyrics, and some female writers.

636. Chaucer. Emphasis on the importance of Chaucer as a poet, his contributions to literature, and his cultural setting. Canterbury Tales and selected earlier poetry.

637. English Renaissance Literature. Topics vary. Analysis of a group of texts within a genre, with a common theme, or by a single author or group of authors, as well as the discursive and social contexts in which these texts were produced.

638. Eighteenth-Century British Literature. Analysis of the formal and cultural aspects of 18th-century literature; attention to interdisciplinary aspects of selected texts.

639. Nineteenth-Century British Literature. Intensive exploration of a particular aspect of literature and culture from the Romantic or Victorian period. Focus varies.

640. Twentieth-Century British Literature. An in-depth examination of selected literary trends in modern English and Irish literature, focusing especially on the critical and/or theoretical frameworks by which these trends were defined. Topics vary.

645. Bibliography and Methods of Research. Emphasis on how materials in Sterne Library may be used effectively. Includes computer searching, listserve, and the internet. Field trips to special collections.

646. Practicum in Teaching Writing. Theory and practice of teaching writing at the postsecondary level.

647. Practicum in Tutoring. English grammar review and effective tutoring strategies. Prerequisites: students must have been awarded an assistantship and be scheduled to tutor in the Writing Center. 1 hour.

648. Introduction to Old English. Part one of an in-depth study of Anglo-Saxon English culminating in interpretation of The Dream of the Rood and The Wanderer in the original alliterative verse. Satisfies the M.A. linguistics requirement.

649. Beowulf. Part two in the Old English sequence, exploring a few shorter works as well as the epic in close detail. Prerequisite: EH 648.

655. History of the English Language.

656. American Literature, 1620-1820. Focus on texts reflecting the evolution of American culture from its early colonial period to the early national period.

657. American Literature, 1820-1870. Centering on writers from the American Romantic Movement to explore such themes as their use of symbolism, transcendentalism, feminist approaches, or connections with American landscape art.

658. American Literature, 1870-1914.

659. American Literature, 1914-1945. A study of one or more authors from the following list: O'Neill, Faulkner, Larsen, Frost, Eliot, Stevens.

660. American Literature, 1945-Present. Selected postmodern works in the context of U.S. cultural trends and literary movements since the Cold War.

677. Shakespeare: The Body, Gender, and Sexuality. Investigates languages of the body, sexuality, and gender in seven plays, as well as historical materials and current criticism and theories of the body.

*690. Major Writers. See class schedule for announcement of subjects. May be repeated for total of 9 hours credit if focus is on different subjects.

*693. Special Topics. See class schedule for announcement of subjects. May be repeated for total of 9 hours credit if focus is on different subjects.

694. British Literary Themes from the Middle Ages Through the Early Eighteenth Century. See class schedule fro topic.

695. British Literary Themes from Jane Austen to the Present. Recent themes include effects of industrialism, role of women, the concept of the gentleman, loss of faith, and relation of the artist and audience. Writers vary.

696. American Literary Themes from the Puritans to the Present. See class schedule for topic.

698. Directed Studies. See the departmental description of the M.A. program for the special restrictions on this course. Prerequisite: Permission of Director of Graduate Studies. 1-3 hours.

*699. Thesis Research. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy and approval of thesis proposal by departmental Graduate Committee. 1-6 hours. May be repeated for a total of 9 hours credit.