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 205-QLA: Intro to Creative Writing
    Instructor: Wood

    This online section of Introduction to Creative Writing will give students an opportunity to learn and practice the conventions of writing poetry and fiction (with some limited opportunity for creative non-fiction). The course's emphasis is on the generation of new material and learning how to read contemporary work from a writer's perspective. Students will be in regular conversation with one another about their work. The course culminates with a small portfolio of your revised work.

  • EH 213-2B and EH 213-2C: Ideas in Literature: SciFi Lit
    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 213-2E (HON): Ideas in Literature: Nature Writing
    Instructor: Grimes

    Global warming, urban sprawl, shrinking biodiversity, pollution, sustainable agriculture...the relationship between humankind and the environment is one of the abiding issues of the modern world.  And, at least since the days of Genesis, nature has also been one of the great and recurrent themes of both creative literature and non-fiction prose.  In this course we will explore the many expressions of Nature in writing.  Through such classic writers as Wordsworth and Thoreau and even Grimm's Fairy Tales, through more modern writers like Rachel Carson, Loren Eisley, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, and others, and even through national park brochures, nature magazines, and conservation and industry websites, we will consider some of the questions about Nature that have been significant in our history and that have bearing on current environmental discussion: 

    • Are natural resources here for human use, or do we damage Nature by using natural resources? 
    • Is Nature simply an uncivilized and perhaps violent chaos that we need to "tame," or is Nature a beautiful, perhaps even spiritual essence with which we should strive to live in harmony? 
    • Does natural beauty express some genuine moral or ethical values? 
    • Is there some deeply spiritual quality in Nature that we need to protect, or is Nature just our name for a set of mechanical processes that are indifferent to human desires? 
    • Why do people spend energy and time working to buy things like cars and houses...and then spend their weekends fishing, or camping, or hunting, or "getting back to Nature"?  

    There are as many questions about Nature as there are nature writers fascinated by its marvelous, terrible, necessary beauty.  This course will consider writing about nature from a very wide perspective--everything from reverent celebrations of natural beauty to hard-headed scientific essays that "explain" nature.  We will read and discuss these works in class and online, we may have a field trip or two, and we will write a couple of papers--one short critical essay about the readings and a longer paper/project at the end of the course which can be, optionally, an original essay in a nature writing genre.

  • EH 213-QLA & EH 213-QLB: Ideas in Lit: #funnynotfunny
    Instructor: Slaughter

    This class is titled, "#funnynotfunny" because we will read a varied selection of the major genres of literature—poetry, fiction, and drama--that use humor in different ways to get to the heart of some of the most elemental human questions and experiences. 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 discussions of the texts. The texts will also provide a basis for developing skills in literary interpretation, presentation, analysis, and discussion. 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.

  • EH 213-QLC and EH 213-QLD: Ideas in Literature: Dog Lit
    Instructor: Major

    In this class we’ll read about dogs. We’ll learn about the history of the complex bond between humans and dogs, and we’ll explore a range of texts that use dogs as symbols, voices, characters, or inspiration. We’ll examine how the dog has been “constructed” (literally and figuratively). We’ll analyze texts to understand how they work as literature, and we’ll ponder what this literature teaches us about dogs, as well as what it reveals about humans through our relationships with dogs. This investigation will also provide entry into various social issues and ethical questions involving dogs. Ultimately, the literature this semester will help us better understand our personal, cultural, and ethical relationships with dogs, and it will encourage us to reevaluate how we (humans and dogs) inhabit each other’s worlds—both real and imagined.

  • EH213-1B: Ideas in Literature: Queer Literature
    Instructor: Butcher

    Though often portrayed as a single, unified group, the LGBTQ community is filled with diverse—and sometimes competing—voices. We will examine fiction, creative nonfiction, graphic literature, film, and poetry as we explore the varieties of queer identities and queer experiences in writings by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, nonbinary, and asexual authors.

    Possible authors include Jon Redfern Barrett, Hasan Namir, Del Shores, Sarah Gailey, Julia Kaye, Aiden Thomas, Maia Kobabe, Gloria Anzaldúa, Dorothy Allison, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Jericho Brown, Jennifer Espinosa, Saeed Jones, Stephen S. Mills, Mary Oliver, Danez Smith, Christopher Soto, and L. Lamar Wilson.

    Whether you are gay, straight, ally, or simply curious, this course is designed as an introduction to LGBTQ literature. Students need bring only a willingness to read carefully, discuss openly, and think carefully about the topics and texts at hand. As with other 200-level courses, assignments may include tests, essays, quizzes, and journals.

300-Level Courses

400/500-Level Courses

  • EH 427/527-2F: Post-1800 Special Topics: The Short Story in America
    Instructor: Jessee

    This course explores American literature and culture through what has been called America’s uniquely national art form, the short story. The course will have as its overarching theme the question of why the short story is described as uniquely American. We will consider the genre as a literary art form, as a social and historical record, and as a reflection of the cultural values that shape American identity. From 19th-century ghost stories that capture American societal terror to fantasies about technological advancement in the 20th-century to tales of national identity in the 21st-century, the short story represents diverse visions of American experience. We will construct methods for thinking about and a critical vocabulary for discussing and writing about the short story in America.

    A tentative list of authors covered in the class includes Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Junot Diaz.

  • EH 431/531-2E: Film Visions
    Instructor: Siegel

    In this course we will dive into the work of four major filmmakers: Elia Kazan, whose American stories bridged the ordinary and the epic; Ingmar Bergman, who plumbed the depths of the human soul; Agnès Varda, who showed people with all their customs, convictions, and foibles; and Spike Lee, whose fierce and funny polemics made confrontation an art form. We’ll discuss the different elements that enter into a director’s works—personal history, cultural background, political beliefs, thematic obsessions, visual style, philosophy—and the alchemy that combines them into what we might call the director’s “vision.”

    You are welcome and encouraged to take the course even if you’ve never studied film before! Every week students will view films outside of class and write informal responses. For your formal work, you will learn how to use digital tools to create your own video commentaries.

  • EH 432/530-2B ST: Rhetorics of Parenthood
    Instructor: Wells

    This special topics course will apply rhetorical principles to discourse surrounding parenthood. We will study how texts like newspaper and magazine articles, film and television, and social media posts and blogs both portray and address parents. The course will involve extensive reading, writing, and class discussion.

  • EH 455/555-QLA: 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 461/561-1E: American Literature Before 1820 
    Instructor: Temple

    In this class we will survey a variety of North American writings from the colonial period through the early nineteenth century. Throughout the course, we will connect the literature we read to some of the more vexing questions that engaged early Americans, and that continue to resonate in our culture today. For example:

    • How should the values of Christianity be reconciled with those of a market economy?
    • How should the concept of “freedom” be defined, and what sorts of limits should be placed on popular enfranchisement?
    • How should the role of men in the new Republic differ from that of women?
    • How should patriotism be defined in the decades after independence from England?
    • To what extent should the “melting pot” ideal define American identity, and how compatible is a melting pot with racial, ethnic, or religious difference?
    • Is there even such a thing as an “American,” and if so, what are the defining traits of such a being?  

    Writers we will study include Hannah Foster, Royall Tyler, Charles Brockden Brown, James Fenimore Cooper, and Unka Winkfield.  

  • EH 464/564-1C: American Literature, 1914-1945
    Instructor: Bellis

    In this class we’ll discuss a number of American texts from the period between the World Wars. We’ll think about issues of race and class as they run through both the Roaring Twenties and the Depression—in works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and the writers of the Harlem Renaissance. But we’ll also look at the ways in which modernism challenged ideas about literary form—ranging across poetry by William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, and others, as well as photography and film.

    Our reading will include:

    • Eliot, The Wasteland
    • Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God  
    • Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
    • Fitzgerald, The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Hemingway, The Hemingway Stories

    As well as a number of other works to be posted on Canvas. (There will be a single Canvas site for EH 464 and 564.)

  • EH 470/570-1F: Arthurian Legend 
    Instructor: Clements

    This course covers the literary foundation of King Arthur and his knights, from the medieval formulation of these legends to modern adaptations. We will be discussing the historical foundation for the Arthurian “myth” in Roman Britain; the 12th-century tales that popularized (and invented) ideas about the Round Table, Avalon, and the knights themselves; and translations of Arthurian legends from across the medieval world, including Old Norse, Dutch, and Hebrew texts. In our final unit, we will also discuss the modern uses of Arthuriana in literature and film, and its iconic status and use in 21st-century pop culture.  

  • EH 476/576-9I: Shakespeare Across the Centuries
    Instructor: Bach

    In this class, we will read four Shakespeare plays intensively and look at how each of those plays has been responded to and transformed since the plays were written more than four hundre years ago. We will read some of the first literary criticism of Shakespeare, which was written by women. We will also read, and read about, how plays were rewritten in the eighteenth century to conform to new ideas about gender, sexuality, and race. As well as reading Victorian stories about Shakespeare’s women and post-colonial theoretical responses to plays, we will watch and discuss film versions of Shakespeare plays, made in the late twentieth century. Plays we will concentrate on include Othello and The Tempest.

    Undergraduate and Graduate students will write bi-weekly responses. Undergraduate students will write a paper and take an exam. Graduate students will write a research paper, developed over the term.

  • EH 496-QLA: English Capstone
    Instructor: Siegel

    This seminar will help English majors build a bridge between their academic work in college and their professional goals for the future. We will discuss the role of the humanities in our society, considering especially how the skills and values students have developed in the English major can be brought to bear in different professional contexts. Students will learn to talk about their coursework and academic achievements, and they will create documents (such as resumes, CVs, and application letters) that they can use in their career search after college.

  • EH 553-1D/LING 453: 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.

600/700-Level Courses

  • EH 646: Practicum in Teaching Writing
    Instructor: Wells

    This course will introduce theories and practical strategies for teaching college writing. We will study how to design courses and assignments, respond to and grade writing, and plan and lead class sessions. Students will observe instructors, practice commenting on papers, design writing assignments and units, and plan and demonstrate a class session appropriate for a Freshman English course.  

  • EH 693-2F: Animal Studies in Literature
    Instructor: Bach

    In this graduate seminar we will read and discuss the most important theory about nonhuman animals and our, human animal, relations with them. Theoretical texts will include work by Jacques Derrida, Cary Wolfe, Donna Haraway, and Erica Fudge. We will also read literature together, both poetry and prose. I anticipate teaching essays and some scientific studies of nonhuman animals as well. Students will write responses to the texts we read together and a seminar paper. 

    For the seminar paper: Creative writers may write creative non-fiction about nonhuman animals and relations to them. Rhetoric and composition students may write studies of nonhuman animals and relations. Literature students, and others if they wish, will write literary criticism.

    Subjects of discussion will include: what nonhuman animals can do that we cannot; how human development affects the other species we live among; how we hunt and eat other animals; how we love other animals; pet-keeping and zoos; our similarities and differences from other animals; nonhuman animals and children; nonhuman animals in children's literature, literature for adults, film, tv, and the internet.