Following are the courses being offered in the upcoming Fall semester. Please check the online class schedule listing for the most accurate scheduling information.

200-Level Courses

300-Level Courses

400/500-Level Courses

600/700-Level Courses

Following are the courses being offered in upcoming semesters. Please check the online class schedule listing for the most accurate scheduling information

Spring 2020 Courses

200-Level Courses

EH 203-ZO: Writing in Birmingham

Instructor: McComiskey

EH 203: Writing in Birmingham provides an introduction to academic, professional, and public writing within the geographical context of Birmingham, Alabama. In this course, students write essays that draw from the rich rhetorical resources in Birmingham, while simultaneously learning about the fundamental disciplinary principles of rhetoric and composition, including invention, revision, and audience. Students in EH 203 Writing in Birmingham write four essays on different themes, including meaningful places, significant histories, controversial issues, and public problems. Each essay includes invention, peer review, and revision.

EH 213-1A: Ideas in Lit: Sequels, Prequels & Remakes

Instructor: Sellers

We will look at classic works that have been given sequels or completely reworked by different artists. What is it that fascinates authors and readers about these classic works? And why do they want to add to or revise these stories? This will include written works and some film.

EH 213-1D & 213-1EB: Ideas in Lit: Sweet Home Alabama?

Instructor: Major

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” was written in response to two songs by Neil Young—“Southern Man” and “Alabama”—that deal with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. The song’s lyrics, which call Neil Young out by name in a rebuke of his Yankee criticisms in some places and are problematically vague in other places, are controversial—heralded by some as admirable, defiant pride and criticized by others as a strutting defense of old Confederate values. In many ways, the tensions and complexities embodied within this song reflect conversations that are still very much alive today about pride, identity, and the ways in which Alabama’s troubling past continues to manifest itself in the present.

This class will begin by placing a question mark after the Southern rock anthem’s title: “Sweet Home Alabama?” What is this place and its people about? What are the different narratives that contribute to Alabama’s mythology? What does it mean to call Alabama home? What, if anything, is sweet about that experience? We’ll attempt to answer these questions by examining the contemporary literature of the place. Our approach will be kaleidoscopic: we’ll read a wide range of texts from a diverse group of authors who are from (or who spent significant time in) various places in Alabama and whose writing was deeply influenced by and directly responds to that experience. We’ll read this material critically and in the context of the cultural ethos from which it comes, and we’ll discuss and write about texts both individually and in relation to each other. As we do this, we’ll consider significant themes of contemporary Alabama writing and explore how this complicates, deepens, or explodes our understandings of place and identity—and why that matters in both historical and current political and social contexts.

This course is appropriate for anyone interested in Alabama, contemporary Southern literature, Alabama history, the Civil Rights Movement, social justice, or theories of place and identity.

EH 213-1EA & 213-1F: Ideas in Lit: Monsters and the Monstrous, Medieval to Modern

Instructor: Clements

From Grendel feasting on Danish warriors in Beowulf to John Gardner’s twentieth-century retelling of that epic from Grendel’s perspective, authors (and readers) have long been fascinated by the monstrous. In this course, we will read a variety of genres from the early Middle Ages to the modern period to explore how the seemingly discrete categories of “humanity” and “monstrosity” are defined and challenged in these texts.

Among the questions we will ask are how these authors imagine the physical, geographical, and ideological boundaries of the human and the monstrous, and the way those distinctions are mapped onto not only the characters’ bodies and behaviors, but the landscapes and settings of these stories. We will also consider how the boundaries between human and monster are blurred through hybridized characters and marvelous acts—characters and feats that defy categorization.

To begin thinking about what is at stake with the creation (and permeability) of these boundaries, this course also introduces the basic tenets of Monster Theory, which we will use as a lens for our readings. With a focus on close reading and a series of writing assignments that apply the theories we are exploring, we will investigate how language constructs monstrosity and how these monster texts ultimately reflect back on the cultures that produced them.

EH 213-2A: Ideas in Lit: The Memoir: Personal Voices

Instructor: Tipton

An examination of memoirs, non-fiction reflections, shaped by time, place, and people.

EH 213-2B & 213-2C: Ideas in Lit: Minding Make Believe

Instructor: Santiago

In “Minding Make Believe” we’ll examine what constitutes children’s literature and how the genre has evolved over time. What topics are or have been considered appropriate subject matter for work written for or about children, and who are the gatekeepers who decide? Should children’s literature consist of pretend worlds of fantastical, low-stakes fun, or should it impart no-nonsense wisdom and guide children into adulthood?

In this class, we will explore, through close reading, discussion, and writing, a broad range of works written primarily for children and adolescents (with a foray or two into young adult territory). We will encounter multiple genres of classic and contemporary texts—from picture books to novels—while examining their historical and social contexts as well as the beliefs about childhood and children that inform them.

EH 213-2EA & 213-2F: Ideas in Lit: Post-humanism in Science Fiction Literature and Film

Instructor: Guthrie

Over the course of the semester, we will discuss what it means to be human in the 21st century by analyzing science fiction short stories and films from both past and contemporary authors and directors. We will also read several nonfiction pieces, including news stories, to give context to the fictional readings and movies.

During the first half of the semester, we will look at works focused on robotics and artificial intelligence with an eye toward the possible ramifications of giving machines “human” rights or imposing laws to control them, especially if they become self-aware. During the second half of the semester, we will focus on cyborgs by examining how society has already adapted and will have to adapt even more to people who are both human and machine in light of the predictions made by speculative fiction and film.

This course will require considerable reading, writing, and classroom discussion. Students should be aware that some of the texts and films include uncomfortable and controversial subject matter such as prejudice and discrimination, religion, sex, drug use, and violence.

EH 213-QLA & 213-QLB: Ideas in Lit: Our Voices Now: Contemporary Women Writers

Instructor: Slaughter

Remember those heavy literature anthologies from high school full of canonical works written by, mostly, dead white dudes? Well, that is what this class is NOT. This introductory literature course will look at the daring, funny, dark, weird, beautiful, challenging literature being composed by women writers alive and working today. While we will occasionally cast our lens to years past to understand the origin of the women poets, novelists, essayists, and short story writers we will encounter, it’s likely that most of the writers we will read have websites, as well as Instagram and Twitter.

As we read, we will study secondary and background materials which will supply the specialized vocabulary we will use in our informal (online discussion) and formal (reading responses, essays, etc.) written discussion of the works we encounter. Upon completing the course, students will understand the conventions of literary genres and will have developed their analytical skills through close reading, critical thinking, and scholarly writing about literary texts. What do “our voices” sound like now? Let’s find out together.

EH 213-QLC: Ideas in Lit: Queer Worlds

Instructor: Reich

Here are some lines from José Esteban Muñoz: “Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality…we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality…beyond the quagmire of the present.” Muñoz is focusing here on the ways “queerness” is not only a collection of identity structures that encompass lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, genderqueer, transgender, transsexual, polyamorous, and many other people who identify somewhere outside sex, sexual, or gender norms. Queerness also refers to a way of seeing the world. In fact, identifying as queer requires seeing the world differently than many other people. Seeing different worlds.

In this course, we will read literature and film that depict queerness in both its identity and worldview senses. We will cross several genres to understand the myriad ways queerness has been captured in these arts and what that means to a history of queerness and queer people. We will also learn about the vocabulary of queerness and how to write about queer representation effectively.

You do not need to be queer to take this course! Anyone with a keen interest in learning more about how queer people and queerness have been depicted in literature and film is welcome to join.

Assignments will include weekly response papers to the readings and several formal literary analysis essays.

EH 214-1F: Special Topics: Harry Potter: Human and Nonhuman Identities and Relationships

Instructor: Bach

In this class, students will read the Harry Potter books in order. Class discussions will focus on how J. K. Rowling grows as a writer, how she develops characters, and how she creates individual and group identities. We will also talk about all the creatures in the books. This class is appropriate for those who have never read the books as well as for experienced Harry Potter fans. We will ask new questions about how the books function as literary texts and how they confront our world though Rowling’s created world.

Students will keep a commonplace book and write three short papers.

300-Level Courses

EH 301-1D: Reading/Writing/Research for Lit Classes

Instructor: Quinlan
  1. Read poetry, drama, fiction, and criticism closely & confidently;
  2. do research using UAB databases;
  3. write thesis-driven essays in an informed scholarly context;
  4. demonstrate competence with writing style and MLA format;
  5. show familiarity with literary terms & theoretical approaches to literary analysis; and
  6. become familiar with departmental offerings & career opportunities

This is “literature slow” with lots of opportunities to see how interpretations are arrived at by careful analysis of a limited range of texts.

EH 301-2F: Reading/Writing/Research for Lit Classes

Instructor: Hutchings

This course—basically an Introduction to Writing as an English Major--is designed to teach students to write clearly organized, well supported, cogently argued analyses of literary works, both with and without documented evidence from secondary sources (i.e., literary criticism). The emphasis in the course is on developing those skills that are needed—and expected—in upper-level English courses and graduate school.

Students will learn MLA documentation, library research techniques, and an overview of different types of critical approaches to literature; there will also be much emphasis on developing the skill(s) of “close reading” of prose, poetry, and drama.

EH 309-7P: Beginning Fiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Braziel

We will look at contemporary short stories, craft and style. Then students will write stories for the workshop.

EH 315-1E: Intro to Professional Writing

Instructor: Wells

Students will explore professional writing as a discipline and learn how to compose professional documents that are common to the workplace. These documents include instructions, proposals, memos, brochures, newsletters, and handouts. We will also study and practice how to pitch ideas and collaborate during professional meetings. As successful professional writing involves effective composing processes, we will take documents through processes of invention, audience analysis, document design, drafting, revision and editing. Finally, students will not only learn genres and practical skills, but will also think about the rhetoric and ethics of professional writing and information design.

EH 324-2B: African American Lit: Intro to African American Literature

Instructor: Dunbar

This course will examine the significance of the African American literary tradition in shaping both the identities and the histories of people of African descent in the United States. The fiction of the writers featured in this course spans such periods as the New Negro Movement or the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s; the fiction of post WWII or the "indignant generation"; The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and contemporary African American fiction which is defined by what some scholars term a Renaissance in fiction by African American women. Throughout the course we will focus upon the historical and cultural contexts that shape the artistic development of African American writers as well as the manner in which they experiment with forms of fiction.

The purpose of the course is not only to serve as an introduction to the fiction of major writers within the African American literary tradition and the eras which in part defined them, but, equally as important, to provide the skills and background that will enable you to identify and examine the most salient themes, forms and patterns that define their fiction. Together these themes, forms and patterns constitute a shared symbolic geography from which emerges the dynamic and evolving tradition of African American literature.

  • W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Nella Larsen, Passing
  • Richard Wright, Native Son
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • Leroi Jones, The Dutchman
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • Trey Ellis, New Black Aesthetic

400/500-Level Courses

EH 409/509-9H: Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Braziel

We will read contemporary short story collections. Then students will be asked to come up with ideas for their own collections and write stories for those collections in the workshop.

EH 415/515-2C: Forms of Fiction

Instructor: Vines

We will aspire to write sentences and paragraphs like these from Lydia Davis:

I prune the plants in my windowbox as though I were alone in the world, and she, with the same air of preoccupation, pinches the tomatoes that sit in a row on her windowsill and untangles a sprig of parsley from the bunch that stands yellowing in a jar of water. We are both so quiet that the scratching and fluttering of the pigeons in the eaves above seem very loud. Our hands tremble, and that is the only sign we are aware of each other.

Be prepared to peruse and to critically investigate in writing and discussions contemporary flash fiction collections, to compose and revise flash fiction according both to my draconian restrictions and to your dictates, and to critique your peers' flash during workshop.

EH 424/545-2D: African American Lit: The Indignant Generation

Instructor: Dunbar

The Great Depression of the 1930s worsened the already bleak economic situation of African Americans. They were the first to be laid off from their jobs, and they suffered from an unemployment rate two to three times that of whites. In early public assistance programs African Americans often received substantially less aid than whites, and some charitable organizations even excluded blacks from their soup kitchens.

As it was becoming increasingly evident that the democratic project was not working to the benefit of black Americans, many began to look for alternative forms of governance that might close the widening gap between black and white Americans. By the 1930s African Americans had become increasingly intrigued by the Bolshevik Revolution, turning to communist rhetoric as a possible solution to the socio-economic issues confronted by black communities.

In this course, we will examine the geo-political conditions that lead black writers and artists to shift their discourses from the relative safety of Harlem Renaissance respectability to the increasingly radical ideological approaches of the indignant generation (1930-1964). We will begin with a brief overview of the literary periods that preceded the stock market crash of 1929, including the slave narrative and the new negro renaissance. We will then read the works of canonical black writers from the realism/naturalism and modernist era. Finally, we will close with a text that marks the move from indignation to black power.

The purpose of the course is not only to serve as an introduction to the fiction of major writers within the African American literary tradition and the eras which in part defined them, but, equally as important, to provide the skills and background that will enable you to identify and examine the most salient themes, forms and patterns that define this particular era.

EH 436/536-2F: Writing for Young People Workshop

Instructor: Madden

This workshop will focus specifically on writing stories for young people. Students will be presented with a range of children's authors from picture book to early reader to middle grade to young adult. From Maurice Sendak to James Marshall to Kwame Alexander to Judy Blume to Jaqueline Woodson to Linda Sue Park to Rainbow Rowell to Laurie Halse Anderson to Gary Paulson to Irene Latham to Pam Muñoz Ryan, students will read a range of stories and styles and learn about writing for children.

Students will write three picture books, including a fractured fairy tale, one chapter of a middle grade novel and one chapter of a young adult novel. They will also be expected to revise their work based on feedback in the workshop. A visiting author will come to the workshop during the semester to discuss writing and children's literature. The class will culminate in a visit to Epic Magnet or Glen Iris School near campus for UAB students to read their stories developed in the workshop to the children in grades K-5 at Epic.

EH 442/542-1D: Literary Theory and Criticism: 20th Century to the Present

Instructor: Bach

In this class, we will read some of the greatest hits of literary theory. We will start with Psychoanalytic Theory and Marxist Theory, and move on to Feminism, Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory, Animal Studies, Postcolonial Theory, and Ecocriticism and Science Studies. That trajectory will help students to understand both the history of literary theory, and the ground on which current theorists are building their texts. Students will learn how to take apart difficult theoretical texts and use their insights to read in new ways.

Students will keep a reading journal and take three exams.

EH 453/553-1C: History of the English Language

Instructor: Clements

Have you ever wondered where English came from, how it is related to languages like German or Latin, or why American pronunciation is different from British English? This course traces the history of English from its ancient past to the present, including changes in its sound, spelling, and use over time. Central to our discussions in each historical unit is the perceived function of language within human culture and how language responds to or reflects social, political, and technological changes, from contact with Old Norse in the Viking Age to the creation of Twitter.

This course aims to help students appreciate the nature of English in earlier periods and to gain familiarity with the original language of several literary works—such as letters, poems, speeches, plays, and novels—and includes working closely with Old and Middle English texts. This focus on primary sources fosters a stronger sense of the value of linguistic inquiry in composition, creative writing, and the study of literature.

By the end of this course students should be able to describe the characteristics of English in the different stages of its history and identify these features in textual examples; explain the historical and sociolinguistic aspects of language change; and discuss the ideological stakes of standardization in the present and the future of English.

EH 455/555-2E: Digital Publishing

Instructor: Bacha

Beginning with the shift from print to digital publication, students in this course analyze how the act of text production is changing and learn rhetorical strategies necessary to publish information in newer communication contexts. Specifically, students explore how newer trends and technologies for digital communication are influencing how people read, write, interact with, and share publicly available information.

Students in this course are also introduced to a variety of industry standard communication technologies designed to help them prepare and publish interactive information (including web-based and video productions) designed to function in a number of different communication contexts. No prior experience with any type of technology is required for this course.

EH 457/557-9I: Writing and Medicine

Instructor: Ryan

In this course, we will examine how medical knowledge and practice are “written”—or constructed—according to particular socio-historical values. Overarching institutional assumptions and norms as well as specific texts and practices will be considered in our study of medical discourse, including:

  • an examination of historical influences on the biomedical model privileged in Westernized medicine
  • the analysis and critique of “mediated” medicine, identifying frames and other presentation devices that influence how health, illness, and medicine are represented to various stakeholders
  • an evaluation and composition of texts situated in particular cultural contexts (e.g., health campaigns)
  • an introduction to working terminology in the investigation of medical discourse

Required Texts

  • Arntfield, Michael, and Johnston, James. Healthcare Writing: A Practical Guide to Professional Success.
  • Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
  • Additional assigned readings available through Sterne and Lister databases.

Assignments and Percentages

EH 457 Students:

  • Short Paper (4-5 double-spaced pages) Medical Discourse Analysis and Critique: 20%
  • Final Project (10-12 double-spaced pages) Approved Writing and Medicine Topic of:
    • Student’s Choice
    • Written Paper: 30%
    • Oral Presentation (5-7 minutes): 10%
  • Final Exam (assessment of comprehension and application of course material): 25% In-Class and Take-Home Writing Exercises, Reading Quizzes 15%

EH 557 Students:

  • Short Paper (6-8 double-spaced pages) Medical Discourse Analysis and Critique: 15%
  • Final Project (14-16 double-spaced pages) Approved Writing and Medicine Topic of:
    • Student’s Choice
    • Written Paper: 30%
    • Oral Presentation (8-10 minutes): 10%
  • Discussion Leader Assignment 10%
  • Final Exam (assessment of comprehension and application of course material, with 557 students completing an additional section): 20%
  • In-Class and Take-Home Writing Exercises, Reading Quizzes 15%

For more information, contact Dr. Cynthia Ryan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EH 461/561-1B: American Literature before 1820: England, America, and the 18th-Century Atlantic World

Instructor: Bellis

In this course, we’ll look at the intersections between English and American culture during the 18th century. For most of this period, of course, “Americans” thought of themselves as Englishmen, and many figures moved back and forth across the Atlantic, writing, speaking, and working in both London and the colonies.

We’ll begin with a pair of troublemaking journalists, Daniel Defoe and Benjamin Franklin, but we’ll also talk about poetry by Alexander Pope and essays by Addison and Steele. Throughout the century, American writers drew from and defined themselves against such British models, whether in gothic fictions—The Castle of Otranto and Edgar Huntly—or theatrical comedy—The School for Scandal and The Contrast.

Atlantic trade was not just intellectual, however: England and America were connected economically by slavery and the exploitation of the West Indies—we’ll also discuss both Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative and the poetry of Phillis Wheatley.

Over the course of the term, I’ll ask you to complete three papers totaling 20-25 pages and make an in-class presentation.

Texts may include:

  • Addison and Steele, essays from The Spectator
  • Brown, Edgar Huntly
  • Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Equiano, The Interesting Narrative
  • Franklin, Autobiography and Other Writings
  • Pope, Selected Poetry
  • Sheridan, The School for Scandal
  • Tyler, The Contrast
  • Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
  • Wheatley, Poems

EH 464/564-1F: American Literature 1914-1945

Instructor: Quinlan

“Make it New!” was the mantra of American literary culture at the beginning of the 20th century. Following a conflict in social and religious outlooks between the older and younger generations—compellingly depicted in Willa Cather’s My Antonia and Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night—the era presented a startling degree of experimentation in all of the arts. This experimentation was intertwined with other innovations of the age—cars, skyscrapers, radio, and movies (resulting in several of the writers working for Hollywood studios). At the same time, the Great War served as yet another disruptive marker between the coherent past and the fragmented present and indirectly provoked renewed calls for racial and gender equality.

We will explore these issues in texts by Cather, O’Neill, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, William Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nella Larsen, and others as we reel our way through the Jazz Age and the bewilderments that followed.

EH 476/576-7M: Shakespeare: Page and Stage

Instructor: Bach

Shakespeare wrote his poems and plays before standardized spelling and English dictionaries. In this course we will learn to attend to the multiple meanings available to Shakespeare as a writer. We will look at Shakespeare’s texts before they were edited, and we will see how Shakespeare has been edited and read over the centuries. Students will also read current research on Shakespeare’s plays on the Renaissance stage.

Students will write one short paper and complete a final research project. For undergraduate students, this includes an annotated bibliography and an eight-page paper. Graduate students will write a 12-15 page research paper.

EH 481/581-2C: 18th Century Literature and Culture

Instructor: Grimes

This course will explore some of the canonical literature from the “long 18th century,” including works by Dryden, Behn, Pope, Swift, Johnson, Haywood, Fielding, Gray, Goldsmith, and others.

EH 487/587-1C: Nineteenth-Century British Novel

Instructor: Siegel

What are novels for? The nineteenth century is considered the great age of the novel, an age when fiction had reached its maturity as an art form and prospered, blissfully unscarred by the formal abrasions of modernism. English bookstands, libraries, and parlors were flooded with novels; everybody—nearly everybody—read them. But what were they for? While the pedigree of fiction was established and its profits were undeniable, its purpose was an open question. Should a novel be a manifesto, an argument dressed up as a story? Ought it to be romantic or realistic? Should it feed and exploit the crass hysteria of a mass audience? Or should it instead be obscure, difficult? Was the novelist a scientist, recording the vicissitudes of social behavior? Was she an artist, painting with words? Or was the plot the thing?

We’ll approach these questions through an array of the century’s great British novelists, including Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and others. Only take this class if you like to read long novels: we’ll be covering about 200 pages a week (sometimes more), with regular quizzes. Other work includes two shorter essays and a final research paper.

EH 488/588-2D: British Novel: The Modern Age

Instructor: Hutchings

Primary emphasis in the course will be on changes in the form, style, narrative techniques, and subject matter of British fiction in the 20th century, examined through novels which are, in one way or another, about radical changes (in status, insight, personality, etc.) that the characters undergo.

Textbooks:

  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition, 4th edition)
  • D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers (Dover Thrift edition)
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Norton Critical Edition)
  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (Norton Critical Edition, 2nd edition)
  • Virginia Woolf, The Mrs Dalloway Reader, ed. Francine Prose (Mariner Books)
  • Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Plume Books)
  • John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Back Bay Books)
  • Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (Norton Critical Edition)
  • Samuel Beckett, How It Is (Grove Press)

Note: This is the ONLY course at UAB that can PROMISE that once you have read all of the books in the course you are GUARANTEED to know exactly HOW IT IS !!!! (Think how you will impress your friends—and astonish your parents!)

EH 496-QLA: English Capstone

Instructor: Bacha

This seminar will provide an opportunity for students to reflect upon and to use the knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed in previous English coursework.


600/700-Level Courses

EH 615-9I: Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop

Instructor: Vines

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make a book.” -–Samuel Johnson

“The writer is initially set going by literature more than life.”-- Flannery O’Connor

“The true artist is known by what he annexes, and he annexes everything.” –Oscar Wilde

“Without Tennyson’s reading of Keats, we would have almost no Tennyson.” –Harold Bloom

“No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance . . . is the appreciation of his relationship to the dead poets and artists.” –T.S. Eliot

In this workshop, we will focus on investigating “the anxiety of influence.” Eliot said of Milton that a “man may be a great artist and yet have a bad influence.” We will look at poets who are by and large good artists, and we will try to discern what makes them effective/ineffective influence models for our poems.

Be prepared to peruse and to critically investigate in writing and discussions contemporary poetry collections, to compose and revise poems according both to my draconian prompts and to your dictates, and to critique your peers' poems during workshop.

I will also anticipate, as Padgett Powell articulates so well, "full efforts at writing well, at criticizing for the benefit of others, at attending religiously, at speaking cogently when you can, at surrounding yourself in a warm air of intelligent reticence when you can't."

Leading critic and poet William Logan complains that

Many younger poets . . . have no concern for the richness of words, the complication of expression, and rarely use what might be called the subsidies of sense (as opposed to plain, bread-and-butter prose meaning). These subsidies might include ambiguity, nuance, the right word, music of various sorts (alliterative, consonantal) patterns of adherence (meter, set form), thematic tangles, sensitivity to verb tense, timing and delay—in short, the ways that poets have traditionally put English on English.

In our drafts, we will show concern for all of these complex subsidies of sense.

EH 646-9H: Practicum in Teaching Writing

Instructor: Minnix

Writing is a complex act. You already know this because as writers you grapple with the complexities of argument, audience, and style every time you sit down to write. But, the teaching of writing in the university is often described as the teaching of a “basic skill” and often relegated just to courses in Freshman English. In EH 646 we will grapple with this description on both a theoretical and practical level and learn how composition studies has challenged prevailing contentions that writing in the university is basic, neutral, and monolingual. We will leave the course not only ready to teach our first composition course but also ready to engage others across the disciplines in conversations about the teaching of writing.

The course provides a thorough introduction and outline of the major concepts, theories, and conflicts that make up the field of composition studies, as well as opportunities to apply the insights from composition studies to the design of our own EH 101 courses. Our projects for the semester will include a literacy narrative, a portfolio of EH 101 course materials, a teaching praxis portfolio made up of students’ reflections on the observation of a composition classroom and their work with students, and a journal assignment that asks you to apply the insights of the composition research and theory we read to specific classroom situations.

EH 690-7M: Major Writers Seminar: Byron

Instructor: Grimes

This course will explore the major works of Byron, perhaps the most popular and culturally influential poet of the 19th century. Readings will include Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Manfred, Don Juan, and several of the lesser-known poems and plays.

Placement

For new students who are not transferring credit from another institutions, your composition placement is based upon your ACT English score or Advanced Placement Credit. The test scores for placement are listed below:

ACT Scores

  • ACT English score of 20 or above — EH 101 and 102.
  • ACT English score of 19 or below — EH 106/096L and 107/097L. All students complete a first day essay to ensure their placement is accurate.

Advanced Placement Credit

  • AP English score of 4 or above — credit for EH 101.
  • AP English score of 5 — credit for EH 101 and EH 102.

TOEFL/IELTS Writing Subscores

  • TOEFL Writing Subscore:
    • 16-22 — EH 108 and 109.
    • 23 or above — EH 101 and 102.
  • IELTS Writing Subscore:
    • 5.5-6.0 — EH 108 and 109.
    • 6.5 or above — EH 101 and 102.

Transfer Credit

Students who have taken Freshman Composition courses at a different college or university may be eligible to transfer credit for EH101 and/or 102 at UAB. If the student has taken Composition at any of the schools listed by the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee, which includes most two and four year institutions in the state, their credit for the qualifying course (EH 101 or EH 102) should be automatically granted.

Students attempting to transfer credit for Composition courses taken at colleges or universities outside of the state or outside of the Alabama Articulation Agreement should speak with their academic advisor, who will contact the Director of Freshman English about the possibility of transferring credit for these courses.

Courses

Freshman composition courses include the following.

EH 101: English Composition I

EH 101 focuses on analytical writing and the development of effective writing processes, with special attention to critical reading, revision, and writing for academic audiences. Students’ rhetorical knowledge is fostered through instruction in purpose-driven writing and the rhetorical moves of academic writing in the university. Students develop critical thinking, reading, and writing capacities through instruction in strategies of textual analysis, analysis of multiple genres and mediums of communication, and through analytical writing assignments that challenge them to think critically about the meanings and implications of persuasive texts. Like all UAB Freshman English courses, EH 101 promotes the development of students’ writing processes through an emphasis on revision throughout the course. Students learn to see writing as a process and develop critical strategies for invention or developing ideas, drafting, revising, and editing their work. Knowledge of the conventions of academic writing is promoted through instruction in the use of sources, academic argumentation, and academic genres.

EH 102: English Composition II

EH 102 focuses on argumentation for academic and public audiences, with a particular emphasis upon academic research. Students develop rhetorical knowledge through analysis of various genres and their persuasive strategies, as well as through instruction in argumentation. Students’ Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing is fostered through instruction in academic research and critical reading of academic sources, as well as through instruction in writing for varying audiences, purposes, and contexts, and in different genres and mediums. Students develop important writing processes through an emphasis on revision throughout the course, which includes writing workshops for each individual project, as well as significant revisions of two essays. Students’ metacognitive understanding of their writing processes is also facilitated through a reflective argument on the development of their writing throughout the course. Knowledge of conventions is developed through instruction in citation practices for both print and visual texts, analysis of multiple genres and mediums of communication, and through workshops, instructor and peer response, and direct instruction.

EH 106/096L: Introduction to Freshman Writing I

EH 106/096L are designed to tap into students’ knowledge, experiences, and abilities as writers in order to help them gain confidence writing for an entirely new community—the university. Students find that this course is neither a lecture course nor a drills and skills course but a course where they can develop their abilities as a writer by writing, getting feedback from other writers, and revising. A key part of becoming a stronger writer is learning how to use feedback. This is why EH 106 has an additional writing studio, EH 096L, attached to the class. In addition to meeting with the EH 106 class, students meet once a week with their writing studio and visit the University Writing Center eight times during the semester. Their weekly writing studio and meetings with writing center tutors give students fresh perspectives on their work and strategies for revision. Ultimately, the goal of EH 106 is to empower students as writers and to enable them to find confidence in their voice and use their voice to engage in the important conversations that shape university and public life.

EH 107/097L: Introduction to Freshman Writing II

EH 107/097L builds on students’ development as writers in EH 106/096 by challenging students to choose and define a research project they feel passionate about and to communicate the importance of their project and ideas to a variety of different audiences. EH 107/097 seeks to tap into students’ power as a writer by placing their own ideas in conversation with the ideas of others. The course does this by immersing students not only in research but also in the process of expressing their ideas and arguments for a variety of audiences. Like EH 106/096, students will meet once a week with their classmates in a writing studio session and visit the University Writing Center eight times during the semester. The weekly writing studio and meetings with writing center tutors give students fresh perspectives on their work and strategies for revision. Ultimately, students’ experience in EH 107/097 will enable them to not only be an informed writer but also an adaptive writer, one who can use their voice to not only write effective research papers but also to engage in the life of their communities and work for the public good.

EH 108: English Composition I for Second Language Writers

EH 108 supports the writing and revision processes of second language writers. EH 108 follows the same curriculum and pursues the same goals of EH 101 and provides the same course credit as EH 101. Students work with faculty who are experienced teaching second language writers. While EH 108 follows the same curriculum and achieves the same goals as EH 101, more time is given in the course to foster students’ understanding of writing in different genres, cultural contexts, and for a variety of different audiences. Ultimately, the goal of EH 108 is to build on the important literacies and knowledge that multilingual and international students bring to our classrooms and to provide an environment that supports their growing confidence as writers.

EH 109: English Composition II for Second Language Writers

EH 109 builds on the skills of analytical and academic writing developed in EH 108 in by fostering the research writing processes of second language writers. EH 109 introduces vital research processes and information literacy skills, as well as challenging students to write in a variety of genres and mediums for a variety of audiences. EH 109 follows the same curriculum and pursues the same goals as EH 102. Students work with faculty who are experienced teaching research writing to second language writers. Significant time is given to helping students analyze the contexts of academic research and writing, as well as the contexts of writing for a variety of public audiences. Ultimately, EH 109 seeks to give students effective practices of academic research, confidence in writing with sources, and the rhetorical knowledge to communicate their research and writing to a variety of audiences.

The following are guidelines for students and faculty involved in Honors Thesis Committees through the UAB English Honors Program.

The English Honors Thesis is the final project for an English major enrolled in the departmental English Honors Program. Students may write a creative thesis or a critical thesis in the areas of literature, professional writing, or linguistics. The Honors Thesis should present a student’s original research and writing. It should demonstrate a student’s ability to think critically and write clearly and originally about the thesis subject, and, for critical theses, should demonstrate the student’s familiarity with published research in the thesis subject area.

The Honors Project receives final approval by a thesis committee consisting of the faculty mentor and the director of English Honors. All completed theses are kept on file in the English Department.

Deadlines

  • Hand in Application Form and Senior Thesis Committee Form to Honors Director — prior to 494 semester
  • Hand in Thesis Proposal to committee — during 494 semester:
    • November 29 (Fall)
    • April 11 (Spring)
    • July 26 (Summer)
  • Hand in Thesis to committee — during 495 semester:
    • November 23 (Fall)
    • April 5 (Spring)
    • July 20 (Summer)
  • Send electronic copy of thesis to Undergraduate Director — before Defense
  • Participate in Honors Symposium — during 495 semester: last week of classes or exam week
  • Submit electronic copy to committee before Honors Symposium

Meetings

The faculty mentor and student should decide how often to meet. Usually a meeting every week or two is sufficient. Faculty mentors and students should keep in touch frequently in order to make sure that students are making good progress on their projects.

Forms and Documents

There are three central documents that students must submit to the Director of English Honors before completing the English Honors Program. These documents are:

  1. the Application Form and Senior Thesis Committee Form, which must be handed in before the student is accepted to the program;
  2. the Thesis Proposal, which must be completed during EH 494 and approved by all members of the thesis committee; and
  3. the Thesis, written during EH 495: Honors Thesis, and approved by all members of the thesis committee.

Application Form and Senior Thesis Committee Form

The Application Form and the Senior Thesis Committee Form are available on the English Department website. Students should complete the forms and hand them in to the Honors Director at least two weeks before they plan to register for their first term of thesis work. One semester is needed for the writing of the thesis proposal (EH 494); another term (EH 495) is needed for the writing of the honors thesis.

Thesis Proposal

In their first semester of honors work, students should write a thesis proposal under the direction of their Faculty Mentor.

The proposal of a critical thesis should run from five to eight pages; should clearly state the thesis claim and argument of the proposed study (the “what”) and the significance of the study in relation to existing research (the “why”); should include a short synopsis of proposed chapters or content of the thesis; and should include a bibliography of sources to be consulted, usually at least 15.

For a creative thesis, the proposal should include substantial work in progress, along with a concise (one-to-three-paragraph) explanation of the project. The explanation should describe the work’s genre, prospective length, subject, voice, style, and/or other significant characteristics.

The completed proposal is due to the committee on November 29 (Fall), April 11 (Spring), or July 26 (Summer). Before handing in the proposal, the student should already have revised and polished it in consultation with his or her Faculty Mentor. After receiving the completed proposal, the committee may approve it as is, or they may request further revisions.

Honors Thesis

At the end of the capstone semester (EH 495), the student will turn in a completed thesis. Literature, professional writing, and linguistics students will turn in a critical thesis (at least 30 pages) with an extensive list of works cited (15 or more sources). Creative writers will turn in a substantial creative project—short stories, a section of a novel, essays, a body of poetry, or a play—along with a one- or two-page reflection on their writing experience.preliminary pages, to the Defense.

A complete, error-free, paginated manuscript should be turned in to the committee on November 23 (Fall), April 5 (Spring), or July 20 (Summer). Before handing in the thesis, the student should already have revised and polished it in consultation with his or her Faculty Mentor. After receiving the thesis, the committee may approve it as is, or they may request further revisions.preliminary pages, to the Defense.

As soon as students have handed in their manuscripts, they should work on assembling the “preliminary pages” (see "Format the Honors Thesis"). The student should bring a final, bound version of the thesis, complete with preliminary pages, to the Defense.

Honors Symposium

Each semester, in consultation with their faculty mentor and the Director of English Honors, students in EH 495 will be asked to present their research and writing at our English Honors Symposium. Students will present their work to an audience of English department faculty and students. An electronic copy of the honors project should be submitted to the committee prior to the Symposium.

Grading

The student must earn an A or B in EH 494 in order to proceed to EH 495. To receive departmental Honors, the student must earn an A in EH 495. The presumption is that all students who successfully complete and present work from a thesis at the Honors Symposium will receive an A and earn Honors.

If the student does not satisfactorily complete a thesis, but if the advisor still believes the student deserves credit for the course, the advisor may assign a grade other than A. By earning a C or above in EH 495, the student receives capstone credit.

Format for Honors Theses

The English Honors thesis is a document that is longer that an average undergraduate term paper but not as long or involved a study as a Masters thesis. Generally, honors theses are about 30 pages long, excluding notes and bibliography. A critical thesis generally falls into three main parts: preliminary pages, text, and reference materials. A creative writing thesis may contain the first two or all three parts.

Formatting

The thesis should be typed in one primary font, preferably 12-point Times New Roman. Typeface should be black. Underlining and italics should not exist together within the document; students should choose one (italics is recommended) and stick with it throughout the text. The left margin should be 1.5 inches; right, top, and bottom margins should be 1 inch.

The text should be printed on one side of the page only. Standard double spacing should be used throughout the text. Headings and subheadings may be used but are not required; if used, they should be consistent in format throughout the text and followed by at least two lines of text at the ends of pages.

Text should be left justified, with standard 0.5” paragraph indentation. Pages should be numbered in the top right corner.

Preliminary Pages

The preliminary pages of the honors thesis include the title page, the signatory page, the acknowledgments, and any lists of tables, figures, or abbreviations used in the text. According to MLA format, preliminary pages are generally numbered with Roman numerals if they are numbered, while text pages are numbered with Arabic numbering.

  • Title Page: The title page is required. It should include a thesis title that concisely states the topic of the thesis and indicates the texts studied and critical approaches used. It should also include the author’s name, the date the thesis was approved, and the name of the department to which it was submitted. See the dropdown for "Downloads" for the Appendix: Title Page format and text.
  • Acknowledgments: The acknowledgments page is optional. Here the student may thank committee or family members or acknowledge other positive contributions to his/her academic experience.
  • Lists of tables, figures, or abbreviations: These are all optional and are included only if the thesis includes these forms.

Text

The text of the thesis should present original creative or scholarly work. Neither parroting of existing research nor paraphrase of commonplace ideas in the subject area is acceptable. The thesis committee should work closely with the student to help him or her to research and consider the topic thoroughly but also to investigate a creative or scholarly approach that is uniquely the student’s own.

For the text, the main body of the document, a consistent style must be followed. Students should consult the MLA Handbook in its latest edition to determine the style for documentation and citation as well as general formatting of a critical essay. In critical theses, the text will include an introduction, a body discussion, and a conclusion or summary.

Works Cited and Reference Materials

  • Critical Thesis: One of the goals of the critical thesis project is to teach undergraduate majors how to research a topic thoroughly and to document their critical investigation accurately. The faculty mentor and other thesis committee members should help the student compile a complete and accurate bibliography for the thesis. Partial or incomplete research is not acceptable, and the “Works Cited” section should show ample evidence that the student has consulted and taken into account the major available research on the subject, in all major forms of refereed references (websites, books, articles, interviews, etc). A “Works Cited” section (Bibliography) is required for all critical theses and should follow the MLA Handbook format for documentation and works cited. Students should list only works cited in this section. The reference materials may also include a “works consulted” secondary bibliography or a specialized bibliography citing related works if the student so wishes.
  • Creative Writing Thesis: “Works Cited” sections for creative writing theses are optional. For the creative thesis, background research may be necessary for the integrity of the project but is not required; however, students should expect to do considerable revision in consultation with faculty mentors on their way to a final draft of the thesis.

Ethics

Plagiarism is using the words or thoughts of another person without proper citation. Specifically, it is submitting as one’s own work a portion of a book, magazine, journal, handout, original creation, speech, lecture, oral communication, website, paper or examination written by someone else. Plagiarism is a serious offense and in student documents could result in dismissal from the university and revocation of the degree. All members of the educational community must carefully avoid plagiarism by fully acknowledging the source of all statements, studies, projects and ideas that have been produced by another person. Students must be careful to provide complete documentation in their theses of all ideas originating in their primary and secondary research.

Downloads

Joining one or more student groups will augment your education and provide opportunities beyond those found in the classroom.

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta

Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honors Society. The UAB chapter hosts occasional meetings and activities locally; members are also individually eligible to apply to the larger organization for scholarships, publication, or inclusion in the annual international convention.

For more information contact faculty advisor Jessie Dunbar.

Professional Writing Club at UAB

Professional Writing Club at UAB

The Professional Writing Club equips students in any major interested in professional writing with knowledge and experience to prepare them for the workforce. It also gives students the opportunity to network with other students interested in professional writing and connect with professionals in the field by participating in industry-focused workshops. The club meets once a month during the Fall and Spring semesters and hosts monthly professionalization workshops which are open to the public.

For more information contact faculty advisor Jeff Bacha, and check them out on Facebook.

Why do an internship? The better question might be "Why not?" Employers look for experience when reading the resume of a potential employee. A recent college grad with an internship will be more attractive than one without that work experience. Employers know that internships give students hands-on experience with workplace skills, challenges, and environments — experiences that make those students valuable employees.

95% of employers want college grads to have internship experience.Internships give you the chance to try out a profession and collect references and professional contacts. You can also get course credit. If there's a downside to interning, we haven't heard about it.

Opportunities for English Students

The English Department cooperates with university-wide and off-campus partners to give our undergraduate students majoring and minoring in English internship experiences. Many internships have resulted in part-time or full-time employment after the semester has ended. Our students have interned in some of the following ways:

  • assisted the editors of the literary magazines NELLE and Birmingham Poetry Review throughout the editorial process, including assistance with author readings and publication launches
  • contributed to campaigns and health messaging with UAB Health Systems Marketing and Children’s Hospital of Alabama
  • worked with organizations within the Birmingham community specializing in magazine and book publishing, non-profit fundraising, and education (e.g., Birmingham Holocaust Education Center; McWane Science Center)
  • written copy for websites and organizations including GirlSpring and First Avenue Ventures
  • assisted professors one-on-one with research and writing projects, as well as with pedagogical material development (e.g., The Annual Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop)
  • worked in public libraries in a number of capacities, sorting and classifying documents in the Birmingham Public Library Archive, planning activities and programs for the children’s department, and promoting new materials and opportunities
  • served as reading tutors at the Alabama Literacy Council and as writing tutors at UAB’s University Writing Center

Students with internship experience have a higher job-offer rate than students without that experience.English majors and minors interested in internships should meet with Cynthia Ryan, English Internship Coordinator, to discuss eligibility requirements and available internship opportunities. Internships are graded classes, and final grades are based on the student's work ethic and written work. Grades are determined by the Internship Coordinator in consultation with the student's on-site internship supervisor.

Eligibility Requirements

To participate in an internship through the English department, students

  • must be enrolled full-time as English majors or minors at UAB
  • must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher for an off-campus internship or an on-campus research internship, and a 2.5 overall GPA or higher for a publications Internship
  • must have at least junior standing or the equivalent course credits
  • must be able to work the required number of hours (10-15) to fulfill commitments to the employer
  • if awarded an internship, must enroll in EH 311 or EH 411 for the internship semester and — under the supervision of the Internship Coordinator — fulfill all requirements for that course.

EH 311

Requirements include:

  • performance of 10-15 hours of research or publications activities per week, as defined by the on-site supervisor,
  • completion of guided journal entries that draw on the intern's experiences, and
  • completion of a written report addressing an aspect of the internship approved by Dr. Ryan in consultation with the student.

On-site supervisors also provide written evaluations of interns, feedback that can assist students as they pursue careers following graduation.

EH 411

EH 411 satisfies the Capstone requirement for the major and involves more academic work, including:

  • more extensive journal assignments,
  • regular meetings with the Internships Coordinator and other EH 411 students,
  • participation in discussion sessions with scheduled speakers, and
  • a final professional portfolio and exit interview.

Students who wish to enroll in EH 411 should be late-term juniors or seniors.

How Do I Sign Up?

First, make an appointment with the Internship Coordinator, Cynthia Ryan, at the beginning of the semester prior to the semester in which you hope to hold an internship. Following the meeting, complete and submit the Internship Application form.

Students who complete internships have a higher median starting salary than those who don't. Stay in contact with the Internship Coordinator for information about scheduling interviews with potential employers and how to prepare for interviews. Once you are accepted by the on-site supervisor for an internship, contact the Internship Coordinator to enroll in EH 311 or EH 411. Overrides must be completed by the Internship Coordinator in order for students to enroll in either course.

Contact

For more information about the Internship program, contact Cynthia Ryan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), University Hall 5038, (205) 934-8600.

The Department of English offers several scholarships for undergraduate majors in English, as well as prizes for excellence in creative writing.

The Howton Scholarship is decided by faculty nomination. Students are required to apply for the other awards. You can apply for these scholarships through the UAB BSMART system.

The Grace Lindsley Waits Scholarship in English

The Grace Lindsley Waits Scholarship was endowed by Dr. William E. Doggett III and other grateful students of Mrs. Waits, a distinguished English teacher at Banks High School for many years. Her love of literature and language is celebrated by this living legacy established in her honor. We will award one or two scholarships worth up to $2,500. To apply, a student must be a currently enrolled English major in the junior year and have a GPA of 3.0 or above for all courses taken at UAB. Applicants must submit a sample of their written work.

The Walt P. Mayfield Scholarship

The Walt P. Mayfield Scholarship is funded by a gift from Walt Mayfield, who taught English at UAB for many years. The Department of English established this scholarship to honor Mr. Mayfield's activities as a positive and encouraging teacher and a respected adjunct instructor and colleague. We will award one or two scholarships worth up to $2,500. To apply, a student must be a currently enrolled English major in the sophomore year and have a GPA of 3.0 or above for all classes taken at UAB. Applicants must submit a sample of their written work.

The Phillips Scholarship in English

The Phillips Scholarship in English was created by the friends and alumni of Phillips High School, the premier high school in the greater Birmingham metropolitan area for decades. The Phillips faculty, especially Principal Sellers Stough, are gratefully remembered by the students to whom they dedicated their lives. The scholarship is worth $1,500. To apply, a student must be a currently enrolled English major in the freshman year and have a GPA of 3.0 or above for all courses taken at UAB. Applicants must submit a sample of their written work, along with a statement describing why they have chosen to major in English.

The English Recruiting Endowed Scholarship

The English Recruiting Endowed Scholarship was endowed by the English Advisory Committee to recruit and support deserving students in the Department of English. We will award one or two scholarships worth $1,500. To apply, a student must be a currently enrolled English major in the freshman year and have a GPA of 3.0 or above for all courses taken at UAB. Applicants must submit a sample of their written work, along with a statement describing why they have chosen to major in English.

Gloria Goldstein Howton Creative Writing Award

Gifts from friends and former colleagues of Gloria Goldstein Howton have been used to create an endowed scholarship in her honor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Income from the Gloria Goldstein Howton Endowment Fund is used to award an annual scholarship to a student enrolled in creative writing at UAB. The scholarship recipient is selected by members of the creative writing faculty on the basis of merit, character, and promise. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is necessary for consideration. We will award one scholarship worth $2,000. For more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Creative Writing, University Hall 5049, (205) 934-2641.

The Barksdale-Maynard and Tom Brown Prizes in Creative Writing

The Barksdale-Maynard Prizes in Fiction and Poetry are made possible by a gift from Isabel Barksdale-Maynard in honor of her family. The Tom Brown Prize for Creative Nonfiction is named in honor of Dr. Thomas H. Brown, chair of the English Department from 1984-1992. Prizes of $200 each are awarded annually for the best work of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and the best poem or group of poems. You must be a currently enrolled UAB student in good standing with the University. For more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Creative Writing, University Hall 5049, (205) 934-2641.

Other UAB Scholarships

The university and UAB's College of Arts and Sciences offer many other scholarships to incoming and current students. You can explore these options and apply through the UAB BSMART system.

Following are the courses being offered in the upcoming Spring semester. Please check the online class schedule listing for the most accurate scheduling information.

200-Level Courses

EH 203-ZO: Writing in Birmingham

Instructor: McComiskey

EH 203: Writing in Birmingham provides an introduction to academic, professional, and public writing within the geographical context of Birmingham, Alabama. In this course, students write essays that draw from the rich rhetorical resources in Birmingham, while simultaneously learning about the fundamental disciplinary principles of rhetoric and composition, including invention, revision, and audience. Students in EH 203 Writing in Birmingham write four essays on different themes, including meaningful places, significant histories, controversial issues, and public problems. Each essay includes invention, peer review, and revision.

EH 213-1A: Ideas in Lit: Sequels, Prequels & Remakes

Instructor: Sellers

We will look at classic works that have been given sequels or completely reworked by different artists. What is it that fascinates authors and readers about these classic works? And why do they want to add to or revise these stories? This will include written works and some film.

EH 213-1D & 213-1EB: Ideas in Lit: Sweet Home Alabama?

Instructor: Major

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” was written in response to two songs by Neil Young—“Southern Man” and “Alabama”—that deal with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. The song’s lyrics, which call Neil Young out by name in a rebuke of his Yankee criticisms in some places and are problematically vague in other places, are controversial—heralded by some as admirable, defiant pride and criticized by others as a strutting defense of old Confederate values. In many ways, the tensions and complexities embodied within this song reflect conversations that are still very much alive today about pride, identity, and the ways in which Alabama’s troubling past continues to manifest itself in the present.

This class will begin by placing a question mark after the Southern rock anthem’s title: “Sweet Home Alabama?” What is this place and its people about? What are the different narratives that contribute to Alabama’s mythology? What does it mean to call Alabama home? What, if anything, is sweet about that experience? We’ll attempt to answer these questions by examining the contemporary literature of the place. Our approach will be kaleidoscopic: we’ll read a wide range of texts from a diverse group of authors who are from (or who spent significant time in) various places in Alabama and whose writing was deeply influenced by and directly responds to that experience. We’ll read this material critically and in the context of the cultural ethos from which it comes, and we’ll discuss and write about texts both individually and in relation to each other. As we do this, we’ll consider significant themes of contemporary Alabama writing and explore how this complicates, deepens, or explodes our understandings of place and identity—and why that matters in both historical and current political and social contexts.

This course is appropriate for anyone interested in Alabama, contemporary Southern literature, Alabama history, the Civil Rights Movement, social justice, or theories of place and identity.

EH 213-1EA & 213-1F: Ideas in Lit: Monsters and the Monstrous, Medieval to Modern

Instructor: Clements

From Grendel feasting on Danish warriors in Beowulf to John Gardner’s twentieth-century retelling of that epic from Grendel’s perspective, authors (and readers) have long been fascinated by the monstrous. In this course, we will read a variety of genres from the early Middle Ages to the modern period to explore how the seemingly discrete categories of “humanity” and “monstrosity” are defined and challenged in these texts.

Among the questions we will ask are how these authors imagine the physical, geographical, and ideological boundaries of the human and the monstrous, and the way those distinctions are mapped onto not only the characters’ bodies and behaviors, but the landscapes and settings of these stories. We will also consider how the boundaries between human and monster are blurred through hybridized characters and marvelous acts—characters and feats that defy categorization.

To begin thinking about what is at stake with the creation (and permeability) of these boundaries, this course also introduces the basic tenets of Monster Theory, which we will use as a lens for our readings. With a focus on close reading and a series of writing assignments that apply the theories we are exploring, we will investigate how language constructs monstrosity and how these monster texts ultimately reflect back on the cultures that produced them.

EH 213-2A: Ideas in Lit: The Memoir: Personal Voices

Instructor: Tipton

An examination of memoirs, non-fiction reflections, shaped by time, place, and people.

EH 213-2B & 213-2C: Ideas in Lit: Minding Make Believe

Instructor: Santiago

In “Minding Make Believe” we’ll examine what constitutes children’s literature and how the genre has evolved over time. What topics are or have been considered appropriate subject matter for work written for or about children, and who are the gatekeepers who decide? Should children’s literature consist of pretend worlds of fantastical, low-stakes fun, or should it impart no-nonsense wisdom and guide children into adulthood?

In this class, we will explore, through close reading, discussion, and writing, a broad range of works written primarily for children and adolescents (with a foray or two into young adult territory). We will encounter multiple genres of classic and contemporary texts—from picture books to novels—while examining their historical and social contexts as well as the beliefs about childhood and children that inform them.

EH 213-2EA & 213-2F: Ideas in Lit: Post-humanism in Science Fiction Literature and Film

Instructor: Guthrie

Over the course of the semester, we will discuss what it means to be human in the 21st century by analyzing science fiction short stories and films from both past and contemporary authors and directors. We will also read several nonfiction pieces, including news stories, to give context to the fictional readings and movies.

During the first half of the semester, we will look at works focused on robotics and artificial intelligence with an eye toward the possible ramifications of giving machines “human” rights or imposing laws to control them, especially if they become self-aware. During the second half of the semester, we will focus on cyborgs by examining how society has already adapted and will have to adapt even more to people who are both human and machine in light of the predictions made by speculative fiction and film.

This course will require considerable reading, writing, and classroom discussion. Students should be aware that some of the texts and films include uncomfortable and controversial subject matter such as prejudice and discrimination, religion, sex, drug use, and violence.

EH 213-QLA & 213-QLB: Ideas in Lit: Our Voices Now: Contemporary Women Writers

Instructor: Slaughter

Remember those heavy literature anthologies from high school full of canonical works written by, mostly, dead white dudes? Well, that is what this class is NOT. This introductory literature course will look at the daring, funny, dark, weird, beautiful, challenging literature being composed by women writers alive and working today. While we will occasionally cast our lens to years past to understand the origin of the women poets, novelists, essayists, and short story writers we will encounter, it’s likely that most of the writers we will read have websites, as well as Instagram and Twitter.

As we read, we will study secondary and background materials which will supply the specialized vocabulary we will use in our informal (online discussion) and formal (reading responses, essays, etc.) written discussion of the works we encounter. Upon completing the course, students will understand the conventions of literary genres and will have developed their analytical skills through close reading, critical thinking, and scholarly writing about literary texts. What do “our voices” sound like now? Let’s find out together.

EH 213-QLC: Ideas in Lit: Queer Worlds

Instructor: Reich

Here are some lines from José Esteban Muñoz: “Queerness is not yet here. Queerness is an ideality…we can feel it as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality…beyond the quagmire of the present.” Muñoz is focusing here on the ways “queerness” is not only a collection of identity structures that encompass lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, intersex, genderqueer, transgender, transsexual, polyamorous, and many other people who identify somewhere outside sex, sexual, or gender norms. Queerness also refers to a way of seeing the world. In fact, identifying as queer requires seeing the world differently than many other people. Seeing different worlds.

In this course, we will read literature and film that depict queerness in both its identity and worldview senses. We will cross several genres to understand the myriad ways queerness has been captured in these arts and what that means to a history of queerness and queer people. We will also learn about the vocabulary of queerness and how to write about queer representation effectively.

You do not need to be queer to take this course! Anyone with a keen interest in learning more about how queer people and queerness have been depicted in literature and film is welcome to join.

Assignments will include weekly response papers to the readings and several formal literary analysis essays.

EH 214-1F: Special Topics: Harry Potter: Human and Nonhuman Identities and Relationships

Instructor: Bach

In this class, students will read the Harry Potter books in order. Class discussions will focus on how J. K. Rowling grows as a writer, how she develops characters, and how she creates individual and group identities. We will also talk about all the creatures in the books. This class is appropriate for those who have never read the books as well as for experienced Harry Potter fans. We will ask new questions about how the books function as literary texts and how they confront our world though Rowling’s created world.

Students will keep a commonplace book and write three short papers.

300-Level Courses

EH 301-1D: Reading/Writing/Research for Lit Classes

Instructor: Quinlan
  1. Read poetry, drama, fiction, and criticism closely & confidently;
  2. do research using UAB databases;
  3. write thesis-driven essays in an informed scholarly context;
  4. demonstrate competence with writing style and MLA format;
  5. show familiarity with literary terms & theoretical approaches to literary analysis; and
  6. become familiar with departmental offerings & career opportunities

This is “literature slow” with lots of opportunities to see how interpretations are arrived at by careful analysis of a limited range of texts.

EH 301-2F: Reading/Writing/Research for Lit Classes

Instructor: Hutchings

This course—basically an Introduction to Writing as an English Major--is designed to teach students to write clearly organized, well supported, cogently argued analyses of literary works, both with and without documented evidence from secondary sources (i.e., literary criticism). The emphasis in the course is on developing those skills that are needed—and expected—in upper-level English courses and graduate school.

Students will learn MLA documentation, library research techniques, and an overview of different types of critical approaches to literature; there will also be much emphasis on developing the skill(s) of “close reading” of prose, poetry, and drama.

EH 309-7P: Beginning Fiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Braziel

We will look at contemporary short stories, craft and style. Then students will write stories for the workshop.

EH 315-1E: Intro to Professional Writing

Instructor: Wells

Students will explore professional writing as a discipline and learn how to compose professional documents that are common to the workplace. These documents include instructions, proposals, memos, brochures, newsletters, and handouts. We will also study and practice how to pitch ideas and collaborate during professional meetings. As successful professional writing involves effective composing processes, we will take documents through processes of invention, audience analysis, document design, drafting, revision and editing. Finally, students will not only learn genres and practical skills, but will also think about the rhetoric and ethics of professional writing and information design.

EH 324-2B: African American Lit: Intro to African American Literature

Instructor: Dunbar

This course will examine the significance of the African American literary tradition in shaping both the identities and the histories of people of African descent in the United States. The fiction of the writers featured in this course spans such periods as the New Negro Movement or the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s; the fiction of post WWII or the "indignant generation"; The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and contemporary African American fiction which is defined by what some scholars term a Renaissance in fiction by African American women. Throughout the course we will focus upon the historical and cultural contexts that shape the artistic development of African American writers as well as the manner in which they experiment with forms of fiction.

The purpose of the course is not only to serve as an introduction to the fiction of major writers within the African American literary tradition and the eras which in part defined them, but, equally as important, to provide the skills and background that will enable you to identify and examine the most salient themes, forms and patterns that define their fiction. Together these themes, forms and patterns constitute a shared symbolic geography from which emerges the dynamic and evolving tradition of African American literature.

  • W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
  • Nella Larsen, Passing
  • Richard Wright, Native Son
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • Leroi Jones, The Dutchman
  • Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
  • Trey Ellis, New Black Aesthetic

400/500-Level Courses

EH 409/509-9H: Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop

Instructor: Braziel

We will read contemporary short story collections. Then students will be asked to come up with ideas for their own collections and write stories for those collections in the workshop.

EH 415/515-2C: Forms of Fiction

Instructor: Vines

We will aspire to write sentences and paragraphs like these from Lydia Davis:

I prune the plants in my windowbox as though I were alone in the world, and she, with the same air of preoccupation, pinches the tomatoes that sit in a row on her windowsill and untangles a sprig of parsley from the bunch that stands yellowing in a jar of water. We are both so quiet that the scratching and fluttering of the pigeons in the eaves above seem very loud. Our hands tremble, and that is the only sign we are aware of each other.

Be prepared to peruse and to critically investigate in writing and discussions contemporary flash fiction collections, to compose and revise flash fiction according both to my draconian restrictions and to your dictates, and to critique your peers' flash during workshop.

EH 424/545-2D: African American Lit: The Indignant Generation

Instructor: Dunbar

The Great Depression of the 1930s worsened the already bleak economic situation of African Americans. They were the first to be laid off from their jobs, and they suffered from an unemployment rate two to three times that of whites. In early public assistance programs African Americans often received substantially less aid than whites, and some charitable organizations even excluded blacks from their soup kitchens.

As it was becoming increasingly evident that the democratic project was not working to the benefit of black Americans, many began to look for alternative forms of governance that might close the widening gap between black and white Americans. By the 1930s African Americans had become increasingly intrigued by the Bolshevik Revolution, turning to communist rhetoric as a possible solution to the socio-economic issues confronted by black communities.

In this course, we will examine the geo-political conditions that lead black writers and artists to shift their discourses from the relative safety of Harlem Renaissance respectability to the increasingly radical ideological approaches of the indignant generation (1930-1964). We will begin with a brief overview of the literary periods that preceded the stock market crash of 1929, including the slave narrative and the new negro renaissance. We will then read the works of canonical black writers from the realism/naturalism and modernist era. Finally, we will close with a text that marks the move from indignation to black power.

The purpose of the course is not only to serve as an introduction to the fiction of major writers within the African American literary tradition and the eras which in part defined them, but, equally as important, to provide the skills and background that will enable you to identify and examine the most salient themes, forms and patterns that define this particular era.

EH 436/536-2F: Writing for Young People Workshop

Instructor: Madden

This workshop will focus specifically on writing stories for young people. Students will be presented with a range of children's authors from picture book to early reader to middle grade to young adult. From Maurice Sendak to James Marshall to Kwame Alexander to Judy Blume to Jaqueline Woodson to Linda Sue Park to Rainbow Rowell to Laurie Halse Anderson to Gary Paulson to Irene Latham to Pam Muñoz Ryan, students will read a range of stories and styles and learn about writing for children.

Students will write three picture books, including a fractured fairy tale, one chapter of a middle grade novel and one chapter of a young adult novel. They will also be expected to revise their work based on feedback in the workshop. A visiting author will come to the workshop during the semester to discuss writing and children's literature. The class will culminate in a visit to Epic Magnet or Glen Iris School near campus for UAB students to read their stories developed in the workshop to the children in grades K-5 at Epic.

EH 442/542-1D: Literary Theory and Criticism: 20th Century to the Present

Instructor: Bach

In this class, we will read some of the greatest hits of literary theory. We will start with Psychoanalytic Theory and Marxist Theory, and move on to Feminism, Queer Theory, Critical Race Theory, Animal Studies, Postcolonial Theory, and Ecocriticism and Science Studies. That trajectory will help students to understand both the history of literary theory, and the ground on which current theorists are building their texts. Students will learn how to take apart difficult theoretical texts and use their insights to read in new ways.

Students will keep a reading journal and take three exams.

EH 453/553-1C: History of the English Language

Instructor: Clements

Have you ever wondered where English came from, how it is related to languages like German or Latin, or why American pronunciation is different from British English? This course traces the history of English from its ancient past to the present, including changes in its sound, spelling, and use over time. Central to our discussions in each historical unit is the perceived function of language within human culture and how language responds to or reflects social, political, and technological changes, from contact with Old Norse in the Viking Age to the creation of Twitter.

This course aims to help students appreciate the nature of English in earlier periods and to gain familiarity with the original language of several literary works—such as letters, poems, speeches, plays, and novels—and includes working closely with Old and Middle English texts. This focus on primary sources fosters a stronger sense of the value of linguistic inquiry in composition, creative writing, and the study of literature.

By the end of this course students should be able to describe the characteristics of English in the different stages of its history and identify these features in textual examples; explain the historical and sociolinguistic aspects of language change; and discuss the ideological stakes of standardization in the present and the future of English.

EH 455/555-2E: Digital Publishing

Instructor: Bacha

Beginning with the shift from print to digital publication, students in this course analyze how the act of text production is changing and learn rhetorical strategies necessary to publish information in newer communication contexts. Specifically, students explore how newer trends and technologies for digital communication are influencing how people read, write, interact with, and share publicly available information.

Students in this course are also introduced to a variety of industry standard communication technologies designed to help them prepare and publish interactive information (including web-based and video productions) designed to function in a number of different communication contexts. No prior experience with any type of technology is required for this course.

EH 457/557-9I: Writing and Medicine

Instructor: Ryan

In this course, we will examine how medical knowledge and practice are “written”—or constructed—according to particular socio-historical values. Overarching institutional assumptions and norms as well as specific texts and practices will be considered in our study of medical discourse, including:

  • an examination of historical influences on the biomedical model privileged in Westernized medicine
  • the analysis and critique of “mediated” medicine, identifying frames and other presentation devices that influence how health, illness, and medicine are represented to various stakeholders
  • an evaluation and composition of texts situated in particular cultural contexts (e.g., health campaigns)
  • an introduction to working terminology in the investigation of medical discourse

Required Texts

  • Arntfield, Michael, and Johnston, James. Healthcare Writing: A Practical Guide to Professional Success.
  • Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
  • Additional assigned readings available through Sterne and Lister databases.

Assignments and Percentages

EH 457 Students:

  • Short Paper (4-5 double-spaced pages) Medical Discourse Analysis and Critique: 20%
  • Final Project (10-12 double-spaced pages) Approved Writing and Medicine Topic of:
    • Student’s Choice
    • Written Paper: 30%
    • Oral Presentation (5-7 minutes): 10%
  • Final Exam (assessment of comprehension and application of course material): 25% In-Class and Take-Home Writing Exercises, Reading Quizzes 15%

EH 557 Students:

  • Short Paper (6-8 double-spaced pages) Medical Discourse Analysis and Critique: 15%
  • Final Project (14-16 double-spaced pages) Approved Writing and Medicine Topic of:
    • Student’s Choice
    • Written Paper: 30%
    • Oral Presentation (8-10 minutes): 10%
  • Discussion Leader Assignment 10%
  • Final Exam (assessment of comprehension and application of course material, with 557 students completing an additional section): 20%
  • In-Class and Take-Home Writing Exercises, Reading Quizzes 15%

For more information, contact Dr. Cynthia Ryan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

EH 461/561-1B: American Literature before 1820: England, America, and the 18th-Century Atlantic World

Instructor: Bellis

In this course, we’ll look at the intersections between English and American culture during the 18th century. For most of this period, of course, “Americans” thought of themselves as Englishmen, and many figures moved back and forth across the Atlantic, writing, speaking, and working in both London and the colonies.

We’ll begin with a pair of troublemaking journalists, Daniel Defoe and Benjamin Franklin, but we’ll also talk about poetry by Alexander Pope and essays by Addison and Steele. Throughout the century, American writers drew from and defined themselves against such British models, whether in gothic fictions—The Castle of Otranto and Edgar Huntly—or theatrical comedy—The School for Scandal and The Contrast.

Atlantic trade was not just intellectual, however: England and America were connected economically by slavery and the exploitation of the West Indies—we’ll also discuss both Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative and the poetry of Phillis Wheatley.

Over the course of the term, I’ll ask you to complete three papers totaling 20-25 pages and make an in-class presentation.

Texts may include:

  • Addison and Steele, essays from The Spectator
  • Brown, Edgar Huntly
  • Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Equiano, The Interesting Narrative
  • Franklin, Autobiography and Other Writings
  • Pope, Selected Poetry
  • Sheridan, The School for Scandal
  • Tyler, The Contrast
  • Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
  • Wheatley, Poems

EH 464/564-1F: American Literature 1914-1945

Instructor: Quinlan

“Make it New!” was the mantra of American literary culture at the beginning of the 20th century. Following a conflict in social and religious outlooks between the older and younger generations—compellingly depicted in Willa Cather’s My Antonia and Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night—the era presented a startling degree of experimentation in all of the arts. This experimentation was intertwined with other innovations of the age—cars, skyscrapers, radio, and movies (resulting in several of the writers working for Hollywood studios). At the same time, the Great War served as yet another disruptive marker between the coherent past and the fragmented present and indirectly provoked renewed calls for racial and gender equality.

We will explore these issues in texts by Cather, O’Neill, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, William Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nella Larsen, and others as we reel our way through the Jazz Age and the bewilderments that followed.

EH 476/576-7M: Shakespeare: Page and Stage

Instructor: Bach

Shakespeare wrote his poems and plays before standardized spelling and English dictionaries. In this course we will learn to attend to the multiple meanings available to Shakespeare as a writer. We will look at Shakespeare’s texts before they were edited, and we will see how Shakespeare has been edited and read over the centuries. Students will also read current research on Shakespeare’s plays on the Renaissance stage.

Students will write one short paper and complete a final research project. For undergraduate students, this includes an annotated bibliography and an eight-page paper. Graduate students will write a 12-15 page research paper.

EH 481/581-2C: 18th Century Literature and Culture

Instructor: Grimes

This course will explore some of the canonical literature from the “long 18th century,” including works by Dryden, Behn, Pope, Swift, Johnson, Haywood, Fielding, Gray, Goldsmith, and others.

EH 487/587-1C: Nineteenth-Century British Novel

Instructor: Siegel

What are novels for? The nineteenth century is considered the great age of the novel, an age when fiction had reached its maturity as an art form and prospered, blissfully unscarred by the formal abrasions of modernism. English bookstands, libraries, and parlors were flooded with novels; everybody—nearly everybody—read them. But what were they for? While the pedigree of fiction was established and its profits were undeniable, its purpose was an open question. Should a novel be a manifesto, an argument dressed up as a story? Ought it to be romantic or realistic? Should it feed and exploit the crass hysteria of a mass audience? Or should it instead be obscure, difficult? Was the novelist a scientist, recording the vicissitudes of social behavior? Was she an artist, painting with words? Or was the plot the thing?

We’ll approach these questions through an array of the century’s great British novelists, including Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and others. Only take this class if you like to read long novels: we’ll be covering about 200 pages a week (sometimes more), with regular quizzes. Other work includes two shorter essays and a final research paper.

EH 488/588-2D: British Novel: The Modern Age

Instructor: Hutchings

Primary emphasis in the course will be on changes in the form, style, narrative techniques, and subject matter of British fiction in the 20th century, examined through novels which are, in one way or another, about radical changes (in status, insight, personality, etc.) that the characters undergo.

Textbooks:

  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical Edition, 4th edition)
  • D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers (Dover Thrift edition)
  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Norton Critical Edition)
  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (Norton Critical Edition, 2nd edition)
  • Virginia Woolf, The Mrs Dalloway Reader, ed. Francine Prose (Mariner Books)
  • Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Plume Books)
  • John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Back Bay Books)
  • Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (Norton Critical Edition)
  • Samuel Beckett, How It Is (Grove Press)

Note: This is the ONLY course at UAB that can PROMISE that once you have read all of the books in the course you are GUARANTEED to know exactly HOW IT IS !!!! (Think how you will impress your friends—and astonish your parents!)

EH 496-QLA: English Capstone

Instructor: Bacha

This seminar will provide an opportunity for students to reflect upon and to use the knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed in previous English coursework.

600/700-Level Courses

EH 615-9I: Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop

Instructor: Vines

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make a book.” -–Samuel Johnson

“The writer is initially set going by literature more than life.”-- Flannery O’Connor

“The true artist is known by what he annexes, and he annexes everything.” –Oscar Wilde

“Without Tennyson’s reading of Keats, we would have almost no Tennyson.” –Harold Bloom

“No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance . . . is the appreciation of his relationship to the dead poets and artists.” –T.S. Eliot

In this workshop, we will focus on investigating “the anxiety of influence.” Eliot said of Milton that a “man may be a great artist and yet have a bad influence.” We will look at poets who are by and large good artists, and we will try to discern what makes them effective/ineffective influence models for our poems.

Be prepared to peruse and to critically investigate in writing and discussions contemporary poetry collections, to compose and revise poems according both to my draconian prompts and to your dictates, and to critique your peers' poems during workshop.

I will also anticipate, as Padgett Powell articulates so well, "full efforts at writing well, at criticizing for the benefit of others, at attending religiously, at speaking cogently when you can, at surrounding yourself in a warm air of intelligent reticence when you can't."

Leading critic and poet William Logan complains that

Many younger poets . . . have no concern for the richness of words, the complication of expression, and rarely use what might be called the subsidies of sense (as opposed to plain, bread-and-butter prose meaning). These subsidies might include ambiguity, nuance, the right word, music of various sorts (alliterative, consonantal) patterns of adherence (meter, set form), thematic tangles, sensitivity to verb tense, timing and delay—in short, the ways that poets have traditionally put English on English.

In our drafts, we will show concern for all of these complex subsidies of sense.

EH 646-9H: Practicum in Teaching Writing

Instructor: Minnix

Writing is a complex act. You already know this because as writers you grapple with the complexities of argument, audience, and style every time you sit down to write. But, the teaching of writing in the university is often described as the teaching of a “basic skill” and often relegated just to courses in Freshman English. In EH 646 we will grapple with this description on both a theoretical and practical level and learn how composition studies has challenged prevailing contentions that writing in the university is basic, neutral, and monolingual. We will leave the course not only ready to teach our first composition course but also ready to engage others across the disciplines in conversations about the teaching of writing.

The course provides a thorough introduction and outline of the major concepts, theories, and conflicts that make up the field of composition studies, as well as opportunities to apply the insights from composition studies to the design of our own EH 101 courses. Our projects for the semester will include a literacy narrative, a portfolio of EH 101 course materials, a teaching praxis portfolio made up of students’ reflections on the observation of a composition classroom and their work with students, and a journal assignment that asks you to apply the insights of the composition research and theory we read to specific classroom situations.

EH 690-7M: Major Writers Seminar: Byron

Instructor: Grimes

This course will explore the major works of Byron, perhaps the most popular and culturally influential poet of the 19th century. Readings will include Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Manfred, Don Juan, and several of the lesser-known poems and plays.

Writing Can Change Your World

"You don't write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say." - F. Scott FitgeraldWelcome to Freshman Composition at UAB!

Our first year composition courses are designed to promote your success as a writer both inside and outside of the classroom.

Our small, hands-on classrooms immerse you in processes of writing and provide you with an important set of tools and strategies for writing in academic, professional, and public contexts. You will learn how to analyze a variety of different print and visual texts, explore interesting academic research questions, use sources effectively and ethically, use rhetorical strategies to persuade others, and write in a variety of different genres and mediums.

Rather than a lecture or “drills and skills” class, each of our courses promotes your development as a writer by actively engaging you in writing and revising your work. You will receive consistent feedback on your work from the instructor and your peers that provides important guidance for revision. You will also develop a portfolio of your work throughout the semester that gives you the opportunity to revise your work and reflect upon your progress.

Our Course Goals

The design of each of our courses is informed by scholarly research on writing from composition studies and rhetoric. Our program’s goals or outcomes follow those outlined by the Council of Writing Program Administrators. Please visit their site for more information.

Ultimately, a central goal of our writing program is to treat each student not simply as a student but as a writer. As writing teachers, we want our students, whatever their major or discipline, to see themselves as confident, effective, and adaptable writers.

Questions?

If you questions regarding Freshmen Composition, please contact Christopher Minnix, Director of Freshman English.

Students interacting in a classroom. The English Honors program offers you the chance to fulfill the requirement for a Capstone experience by crafting a scholarly, creative, or professional writing project over the course of your senior year. You will work closely with a faculty mentor to plan and execute the project. The subjects for the projects are up to you and your faculty mentor to decide, but some previous topics include:

  • poetry collections, short story collections, novellas, and memoirs;
  • analyses of works by William Shakespeare, John Milton, J. K. Rowling, and Charles Dickens;
  • analyses of various genres of film such as horror movies;
  • technical writing projects such as creating a style guide, website building, and writing manuals.

Our honors students gain valuable scholarly research experience, personalized writing instruction, and the opportunity to acquire especially strong letters of recommendation from committee members — all of which can help you in future careers or applications to graduate schools. By completing the program, you would be recognized at the English Department Awards Reception and would graduate from UAB "With Honors in English" at commencement.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Honors Program in English, a student must:

  • be enrolled as a UAB English major
  • have earned a 3.5 GPA in English courses taken and a 3.0 GPA overall

Requirements

Students in the English honors program are required to do the following:

  • Meet with the director of Departmental Honors to discuss the possibility of entering the honors program.
  • Select a member of the English graduate faculty to serve as faculty mentor. The mentor and the Director of English Honors will constitute the Honors Project Committee.
  • Submit a completed English Honors Program application form to Margaret Jay Jessee, Director of the Honors Program, for approval. Students must secure permission of the director in order to enter the program. Submit the honors application form.
  • Be enrolled in EH 494: English Honors Research and EH 495: Honor Capstone Thesis in consecutive terms.
  • During EH 494, compile a thesis proposal or work in progress (for creative writing students) and have it approved by the Honors Thesis Committee. Once approved, a paper copy and an electronic copy or the proposal or work in progress should be given to the Director.
  • During EH 495, write the thesis under the committee's guidance.
  • Obtain final approval of the thesis from all members of the Honors Project Committee and submit a completed copy to the director in electronic form.
  • Prepare and present honors project work at the Honors Symposium.

These requirements can also be reviewed in the UAB Course Catalog.

Contact

If you have any questions about the honors program, please contact:

Margaret Jay Jessee
Director of the English Honors Program
Humanities Building 225A
(205) 975-3751

Hear from Our Students

  • Wallace Golding
  • Jaclyn Hogan
  • Jessica Robbins
  • Courtney Melvin
  • Anna Simms
  • Toby Camp
  • Wallace Golding

    ""

    "Completing an honors thesis was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my college career. It allowed me to explore the intricacies and minutiae of my particular topic more than I would have been able to in a standard course, and the year-long structure of the program gave me the opportunity to formulate a thesis that I felt truly contributed to the academy."

    Wallace Golding
    “‘In Herself Complete’: Autonomy and Identity Creation in Milton’s Eve”
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alison Chapman

  • Jaclyn Hogan

    ""

    "Writing my honor's thesis was a fantastic experience. My mentor, Kerry Madden-Lunsford has been incredibly supportive of my writing for my entire time at UAB. The workshop meetings we had were very useful, and I really feel like my writing has improved because of it. The defense itself was a wonderful conversation with my committee, all of whom gave me very insightful feedback and encouraged me to continue writing and to complete the work that I started with my thesis. I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to consider completing an honor's thesis. It is truly a rewarding experience."

    Jaclyn Hogan
    “Sins of the Father”
    Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Madden-Lunsford

  • Jessica Robbins

    ""

    "My experience with the UAB English honors program has been wonderful. My faculty were there with me every step of the way to guide me. I was really nervous at first because it seemed like such a daunting task, but once I started working, ideas started coming. Before I knew it, I had written well over the necessary page count, and I could've kept going if given more time.

    "To anyone who is considering writing an honors thesis for the English department, it is a wonderful opportunity that will benefit you academically, professionally, and personally. In addition to the incredible support you will receive from the department faculty, it is also a great opportunity to gain valuable research skills and produce a real piece of meaningful scholarship that has the potential for publication. I am extremely grateful for the English honors program and I am so happy I decided to be part of it!"

    Jessica Robbins
    "Fairy Tales, Pet Snakes, and Fish Stories: An Analysis of the Roles of Nonhuman Animals in A Series of Unfortunate Events"
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Ann Bach

  • Courtney Melvin

    ""

    "The journey of writing and revising an Honors Thesis provided a great lesson in humility and, ultimately, in standing by my work. The process is tentative and cathartic at once. It was a joint effort. My director, Kerry Madden-Lunsford, was enthusiastic and hands-on, offering guidance at every opportunity. In the end, I walked away feeling like I'd really done something to contribute to my passion.

    "My advice to anyone considering this path: Do it. You can't go wrong when you're trying to better your craft. When the work is done and your hands are sore from typing or writing, you then get the chance to say, 'Here's why I chose the words that I chose.'"

    Courtney Melvin
    "What If It Hurts."
    Faculty Mentor: Professor Kerry Madden-Lunsford

  • Anna Simms

    ""

    "The English Honors Program challenged me to an honest exploration of my abilities in professional writing. The program allowed me produce a document that would stand as a testimony of not just the education that I took part in but also the steps I took to explore that education further."

    Anna Simms
    MEMORANDUM Style Guide
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Bacha  

  • Toby Camp

    ""

    "There were many nights of diligent work where I skipped meals to work on sentences. Yes the Honors Thesis was the hardest thing I've written so far without a doubt in my mind. But I encourage everyone to do it because it makes a better writer of us all. It has made me confident in my abilities."

    Toby Camp
    “Becoming Men: Analyzing the Heroic Journey into Toxic Masculinity in Sol Yurick’s The Warriors
    Faculty Mentor: Dr. Margaret Jay Jessee

  • Jay Haywood
  • Amy Roberts
  • Luke Richey
  • Jay Haywood

    Alumni Spotlight

    Jay Haywood

    Jay is a Product Support Representative at Fidelity National Information Services. Read more about Jay.

  • Amy Roberts

    Alumni Spotlight

    Amy Roberts

    Amy is the Communications Coordinator at Growing Kings, a non-profit providing school-based, group mentoring programs for at-risk males in Birmingham City Schools. Read more about Amy.

  • Luke Richey

    Alumni Spotlight

    Luke Richey

    Luke Richey is a Copywriter and Content Strategist at McNutt & Partners, LLC, a local ad agency, where he drafts copy for multiple clients on a myriad of social media platforms. Read more about Luke.

Members of the student professional writing club. What is professional writing, anyway? Those who study professional writing gain the knowledge and skills necessary to join a community of professionals who are communication experts in a multitude of workplace settings: nonprofit organizations, publishing companies, manufacturing plants, medical institutions, and legal offices, to name just a few.

Professional writers are the go-to people who dabble in web design, write copy for the launching of new products, personalize digital and multimedia documents for specific users, and much, much more. Professional writing is a field that’s fun, challenging, and dynamic. Check it out!

Major Concentration

The Professional Writing concentration prepares students for careers that require strong skills in writing, research, and document design.

English majors who concentrate in Professional Writing will learn how to write and design the kinds of documents that are most common outside of university classrooms, such as memos, brochures, newsletters, reports, instructions, manuals, multimedia presentations, and resumes. Professional Writing courses emphasize drafting, revising, and designing documents in both print and digital formats. Many of the courses provide students opportunities to engage the community and gain hands-on experience writing for real audiences and purposes.

You must complete 42 hours of eligible English courses at the 200-, 300-, and 400-level. A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for the Professional Writing concentration are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Minor Concentration

The Minor in Professional Writing prepares students in any major for the writing required in their chosen careers. Students who Minor in Professional Writing will learn how to compose both academic and professional documents, emphasizing the requirements of writing in their own disciplines. Professional Writing courses emphasize drafting, revising, and designing documents in both print and digital formats.

A complete list of minor requirements and courses is available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Contact

Bruce McComiskey
Director of Professional Writing Programs
University Hall 5039
(205) 934-8572
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professional Writing Club
MEMORANDUM
Professional Writing Faculty

Student reading in a campus study area. The Literature program offers a great opportunity to pursue your intellectual passions while cultivating skills that will help you in almost any career field.

Our students engage with literary works from diverse historical periods and cultural perspectives, learning about the development of genres, forms, and styles in relation to the historical circumstances that surround them. Courses range from broad surveys of a period or movement to specific investigations into a single author or theme; they also reach across the media spectrum, from Elizabethan sonnets to propaganda films.

Major Concentration

Literature is the most flexible of the four concentrations within the English major. Students can choose electives not just in literature but in linguistics, creative writing, and professional writing.

If you choose this major, you will find that the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills you develop will help you to pursue careers in virtually any field. Employers know that an English major is someone who can write and think logically and critically and who is thus a desirable candidate for managerial and professional positions. Our graduates work in fields as diverse as book and magazine publishing, web publishing, teaching, law, medicine, library science, banking, public relations and development, and retail management. Many go on to achieve advanced degrees from graduate and professional schools.

You must complete 42 hours of eligible English courses at the 200-, 300-, and 400-level. A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for Literature concentration are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Minor Concentration

The minor in Literature offers you an exciting and practical way to make the most of your college learning experience and broadens your career options. The program gives you the opportunity to read challenging texts and connect with the language of literature and creative writing, and the courses will help you hone your writing, critical thinking, primary and secondary research, and text analysis skills.

If you are majoring in pre-law, business, education, biology/pre-med, or engineering, you'll find this minor to be valuable as you enter professions where excellent communications and writing skills are important. If you are planning to enter graduate school, the minor offers a chance to learn skills important to primary research in the community and secondary research in libraries and databases.

You must complete 18 hours of eligible English courses at the 300- or 400-level. A complete list of minor requirements and courses is available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Contact

Danny Siegel
Director of Undergraduate Studies
University Hall 5036
(205) 934-8574

 

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This program allows you to explore the scientific study of language. This concentration is recommended for anyone interested in understanding the principles that underlie language.

You can chose an English major with a concentration in Linguistics or a minor in Linguistics.

Major Concentration

To complete a major in English with a concentration in Linguistics you must complete 42 hours of eligible English courses at the 200-, 300-, and 400-level.

A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for the Linguistics concentration are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Minor Concentration

You must take 18 hours of eligible English courses at the 300- or 400-level.

A complete list of minor requirements and courses is available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

What Will I Study?

As a language scientist, you will study how people turn thoughts into sentences. You will explore such diverse topics as grammar, dialects, language history, sound systems, language acquisition, and language and the brain, among other areas. Linguistics is deeply interdisciplinary, having ties to anthropology, cognitive science, education, foreign language, philosophy, computer science, and psychology.

A student with a laptop studying.

What About My Career?

Completing the English major with a concentration in linguistics can make a student uniquely suited for a number of different professions — law, medicine, education, writing, government service (such as the FBI), professional translation, or diplomacy, to name a few. Our linguistics students have entered diverse fields upon graduation: speech therapy, technical writing, language-related software development, law, and neurological medicine.

Resources

Do you want to learn more about the study of linguistics, its uses in everyday life, the science behind it, or the many career opportunities it gives? Explore these websites:

Contact

David Basilico
Director of Linguistics
University Hall 5037
(205) 934-8588

Danny Siegel
Director of Undergraduate Studies
University Hall 5036
(205) 934-8574

  • Beth Shelburne
  • Ashley Jones
  • Jason Aaron

Our workshops introduce you to the craft of writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Over the course of a semester, you will learn ways of shaping stories and poems through various exercises and prompts. You'll read works by contemporary authors and use those works as models for your own writing, and classroom workshops offer a lively setting for students to respond to one another’s work. At the end of the semester, you will have gained wide-ranging new skills in writing creatively, critiquing, and revising.

Undergraduates can choose to major or minor with a concentration in Creative Writing, and qualified students can also elect to complete a departmental Honors thesis in Creative Writing.

Major Concentration

To complete a major in English with a concentration in Creative Writing you must complete 42 hours of eligible English courses at the 200-, 300-, and 400-level.

A complete list of major requirements, courses, and a proposed four-year program of study for the Creative Writing concentration are available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Minor Concentration

The minor in English with a concentration in Creative Writing offers you an opportunity to write fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction as a complement to your major. You must take 18 hours of eligible English courses at the 300- or 400-level.

A complete list of minor requirements and courses is available in the UAB Undergraduate Catalog.

Publishing

Our undergraduates have opportunities to publish their work and to compete for awards and scholarships. They can also work as interns for our nationally circulated journals, Birmingham Poetry Review and NELLE, and many are involved with UAB’s literary journal Aura.

""Creative Writing Prizes

The Creative Writing program offers several prizes for the best work of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and the best poem or group of poems produced by students. Prizes of $200 each are awarded annually.

  • The Barksdale-Maynard Prizes in Fiction and Poetry are made possible by a gift from Isabel Barksdale-Maynard in honor of her family.
  • The Tom Brown Prize for Creative Nonfiction is named in honor of Dr. Thomas H. Brown, chair of the English Department from 1984-1992.

To be eligible you must be a currently enrolled UAB student in good standing with the University. Contact the director of Creative Writing for more details.

Contact

Kerry Madden
Director of Creative Writing
University Hall 5049
(205) 934-8573
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the best things about UAB is its amazing diversity of its students — we are one of the top most diverse campuses in the United States. We want you to have every opportunity to succeed in your course work and college life. Here are eight easy tips for you to follow:

Are you an international student interested in attending UAB? Explore the INTO UAB initiative.

  • Visit the UAB International Student and Scholar Services website. They have all sorts of forms, guides, and helpful links to make your life easier.
  • Don’t be shy. Let your instructors know that English is your second language.
  • Take advantage of class study groups. They let you go over material at your pace.
  • Record lectures (with your instructors’ permission). Transcribe your recording to notes.
  • Meet regularly with your advisor. They are experts and can help!
  • Visit the UAB English Language Institute. They will give you assistance with both oral and written English.
  • Visit the UAB Writing Center. They have tutors and instructional workshops.
  • Frustrated and out of options? UAB counselors are there for you.

We invite you to explore all of the programs and services offered to international students. International Student and Scholar Services will be able to advise you about how to apply and who to contact for information. Please visit their website, or send general questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

And remember — you are not alone! There are other international students/non-native English speakers in just about every class you take! Share your stories and help each other!

No matter how good a student you are, having good advice is essential to your academic success. Students are assigned College of Arts and Sciences advisors based on their status as a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior.

Advisor with undergraduate student in an advising session reviewing documents.

The College of Arts and Sciences' Academic Advising website has everything you need — advice, contact information, and all kinds of helpful links.

Incoming and Transfer Students

If you are a new student, meet with your advisor before signing up for classes. The hardest part of your first year should be your classes, not deciding what they should be. Take the easy way out: Make an appointment to talk or meet with your academic advisor before you attend New Student Orientation.

Contact the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office at (205) 934-6135 for help with registering but also with making the most of your choice to attend UAB!

Current Students

You can rely on your academic advisor for information, assistance, and encouragement throughout your time at UAB. In general, advisors will:

  • help you identify your goals and develop educational plans to reach them
  • help you understand degree requirements, course selection, and schedule planning
  • refer you to resources across campus that can boost your academic performance
  • help you understand academic policies and procedures
  • provide information about potential areas of study

Visit the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Office to find contact information for the English advisor.

""

Our undergraduate programs are designed for students with a passion for reading, writing, and thinking about language. Our students study writing that inspires them, even as they work to sharpen their own powers of expression and communication. Whether you want to write poetry, to be trained in digital publishing, to analyze medieval sagas, or to explore the mysteries of generative grammar, you’ll find our programs a perfect fit.

What Can You Do with an English Degree?

Our students have gone on to jobs in publishing and the mass media, technical writing and web design, teaching and public service, as well as graduate study in literature, law, and medicine in programs across the country.

Learn More: Careers

Student-Centered Resources

Our undergraduate major builds toward a capstone seminar or project, which will enable you to look back over your coursework and prepare for life after graduation. You can also apply for an internship or pursue your own research in an honors thesis. The department has several different student groups, including the Professional Writing Club, which publishes an online journal, MEMORANDUM. We’re also home base for UAB’s student literary magazine, Aura.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Linguistics

Linguistics

Literature

Literature

Professional Writing

Professional Writing

Honors

Honors

Freshman Composition

Freshman Composition