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

Spring 2021 Courses

200-Level Courses

EH 213-1D: Ideas in Literature – 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.

EH 213-1E: Ideas in Lit: 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.

EH 213-QLA 213-QLB: Ideas in Lit: Love and Loss

Instructor: Ellis

This course will examine the ways literature helps people express grief and do the work of mourning, both personally and culturally. We will study elegiac poetry, short stories, memoirs, and a novel, considering how gender and diverse cultural identities affect and inform the grieving process. 

EH 213-QLE & QLF: 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-QLG: Ideas in Lit: Queer Lit

Instructor: Butcher

Though often portrayed as a single, unified group, the LGBTQ community is filled with diverse—and sometimes competing—voices. We will examine poetry, 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, and asexual authors.

Possible authors include Jon Redfern Barrett, Hasan Namir, Del Shores, Sarah Gailey, Julia Kaye, Aiden Thomas, Jeanette Winterson, Gloria Anzaldúa, Dorothy Allison, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Casey Plett, Claire Kann, A.K. Summers, 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.

EH 221-1F: British and Irish Literature before 1800

Instructor: Bach

In this course we will read literature from premodern Britain through the Eighteenth Century. This literature speaks to, and from, a shifting world: from Viking raids to England’s colonization of Wales and Ireland. We’ll talk about poems that celebrate kings and plays that make fun of prime ministers. We’ll also talk about how these texts by men and women form literary traditions, how they speak to one another. The texts we will read together comment on how England began to think of itself as nation and then an empire, how the British Isles became Catholic and then Protestant, how family structures and gender roles changed over time, how new technologies changed writing, and how writers transformed from dependence on rich patrons to people who could criticize their social superiors.

This course is also designed to teach you how to write about literature.

300-Level Courses

EH 301-QLA: Reading, Writing, and Research for Literature Classes

Instructor: Clements

This course provides students with the essential elements of literary research, including approaches to textual interpretation, the conventions of literary analysis essays for structure and content, and research methods and tools. We’ll focus on writing argumentative essays that are rooted in close-reading and situating those claims in the broader scholarly conversation about that primary text. To that end, we will work through research strategies using specialized library databases, examine various models of literary analysis, and developing techniques for writing convincing and compelling arguments about literature.

EH 302-QLA: Intermediate Writing

Instructor: Ryan

Required Text and Materials

  • Robert J. Bonk. (2015). Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences. Broadview Press. 
  • One two-pocket folder for turning in major writing assignments (all process work and final products for evaluation).

Course Description

EH 302: Intermediate Writing develops students’ critical thinking and composing strategies necessary for communicating in a variety of academic and professional contexts. The class will address the following throughout the semester:

  • taking a problem-solving approach to communication
  • identifying various stakeholders for specific contexts and determining how best to reach these stakeholders for articulated purposes
  • creating multi-pronged strategies for meeting stakeholder needs (both within a single document and across several communications addressing a specific problem)
  • understanding and implementing appropriate research for crafting effective arguments 
  • gaining confidence in reading, analyzing, and critiquing documents prevalent in a number of contexts for a continuum of stakeholders (disciplinary experts, healthcare practitioners, health consumers, insurance company representatives, etc.)
  • utilizing multimodal composing strategies
  • demonstrating knowledge of appropriate style and usage conventions for professional communication
  • adhering to the ethical and legal guidelines for communicating in various professional contexts

Course Assignments and Evaluation Percentages

  • Collaborative Case Assignment: In groups of 3-4, students analyze and respond to a scenario involving conflicting issues among several stakeholders. Strategy Statement required. (10%)
  • Communication Analysis and Critique: This assignment includes two parts, each evaluated separately. No strategy statement is required for this assignment. 
  • Analysis and Critique of a Professional Document Targeting an Expert Audience: examination and assessment of an expert text situated in a professional setting, drawing on criteria discussed by Bonk (2015) and in class. Research required. (15%)
  • Analysis and Critique of a Text Targeting a Specific Patient/Consumer Audience: examination and assessment of a text related to the expert audience text presented in Part I but targeting a lay audience (e.g., a brochure, popular magazine article, select pages from a website, patient education document, etc.), drawing on criteria discussed by Bonk (2015) and in class. Research required. (10%)
  • Final Project: a project completed individually drawing on a topic of each student’s interests that has been approved by the instructor, demonstrating an understanding of the principles and practices we have covered throughout the semester. Written documents include one text targeting an expert stakeholder (15%) and one text targeting a patient/consumer audience (15%). Assignment components include an annotated bibliography (10%) and an oral presentation with accompanying presentation abstract (10%). Research required. Strategy Statement required.
  • Conversation Journal: a semester-long journal assigned and submitted on Canvas. Entries (assigned biweekly, as in once every two weeks) will draw on the material we are discussing and assignments we are completing in the course. Sample assignments may include summaries of assigned reading material, style and documentation exercises, completion of blog posts on specified topics, audience analyses, etc. Most entries will be evaluated on a 10-point numerical system or Pass/Fail basis. Scores on in-class exercises and reading quizzes will also be added to this assignment for final grade calculation. (15%)

EH 315-QLA: Intro to Professional Writing

Instructor: Bacha

In this course, students will explore professional writing as a discipline and learn how to compose professional documents. Successful professional writing begins with effective composing processes, including invention, revision, audience analysis, research, document design, usability testing, and editing. The professional documents that students produce in this class will vary from teacher to teacher but may include instructions, proposals, memos, resumes, slide presentations, blogs, brochures, newsletters, hypertext documents, and web pages.

EH 327-QLA: Truth, Lies, the USA, & Russia

Instructor: Wood

In this special topics course, we will examine the unique and often difficult perceptions of Russian writers have about American culture, and likewise American writers' perceptions about Russia. The course will cover the 1950s (the height of the Cold War) through the dissolvement of the Soviet Union, and into the contemporary political and social climates we experience today. We will particularly examine how each country's writers go beyond the militaristic axiom of "mutually assured destruction" and into a deeper appreciation of the other.

Writers in this course may include Vladamir Nabokov, Joseph Brodsky, Gary Shteyngart, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Vera Polozkova, among others. Important note: All writing will be in English, but there is also the possibility to see the original Russian should a student be interested. 

EH 329-QLA: Literature of the Vikings

Instructor: Clements

The corpus of texts from medieval Scandinavia tells the stories of the Norse gods, legendary heroes, and colorful families of the Viking Age. Focusing particularly on sagas, this course introduces Old Norse-Icelandic literature in translation and fosters skills in close reading and interpretation. We will also discuss the historical milieu in which these texts were composed and transmitted, and how the literature represents various aspects of medieval culture, including such topics as travel abroad and raiding, settlement, love and marriage, feasting, law, warrior ethics, blood feud, cosmology, and religious rituals.

400/500-Level Courses

EH 402/502-9H: Writing in Popular Periodicals

Instructor: Ryan

Required Texts and Materials

  • Holt, Sid, ed. The 2017 Best American Magazine Writing. New York: Columbia UP, 2017. Assigned journal articles and book chapters available through Sterne Library Databases or provided by the instructor.
  • One two-pocket folder for turning in the short paper and final project (including process work).

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the world of magazines and other periodical forms: print and online, consumer and trade, historical and contemporary. Throughout this course, we’ll be examining:

  • The cultural phenomenon of popular periodicals, including when and where these media forms first appeared and the role they played, and continue to play, in civil society
  • Approaches to understanding periodical audiences and their consumption habits
  • Strategies for pitching and producing effective prose for targeted periodicals

Course Assignments and Percentages

Assignments to be completed in this course include the following:

  • Magazine Journal (15%):  a series in-class and out-of-class writing assignments based on class readings and discussions. Additional requirements will be given to students in EH 502 for many of these assignments, including a required discussion leader exercise worth 15 points. 
  • Short Paper (20%):  paper examining an aspect of popular periodicals in historical context (e.g., representation of a particular historical issue in the pages of a single title). Research required.
    • EH 402: 5-7 pages
    • EH 502: 8-10 pages
  • Final Project (30%) and Final Project Oral Pitch (10%): completion of a project drawing on each student’s interests in the periodical industry. Research required.
    • EH 402: 10-12 double-spaced pages
    • EH 502: 14-16 double-spaced pages
  • Final Exam (25%): assessment of knowledge about concepts addressed throughout the semester and application of strategies and skills covered. EH 502 students will respond to an additional essay prompt on the final exam.

EH 403/503-QLA: Business Writing

Instructor: McComiskey

In EH 403/503 Business Writing, students learn to write clearly and ethically in professional business contexts, with particular emphasis on memos, letters, resumes, and reports. Although these genres dominate communication in business settings, they are also common in other contexts, too, like academic institutions and non-profit organizations. Thus, the writing skills learned in Business Writing have wider applications than just corporate communication.

Assignments in Business Writing include letters and memos that respond to situational cases and reports that solve problems in institutional settings. Corporate experience is not required for success in EH 403/503 Business Writing. Textbook: Locker, Kitty, and Stephen Kaczmarek. Business Communication: Building Critical Skills. 6th edition. McGraw Hill, 2014.

EH 407/507-QLA: Advanced Creative Nonfiction

Instructor: Madden-Lunsford

This is an advanced course in the writing of creative nonfiction. Our objective will be to further grasp the techniques and the issues of our craft and put them into practice in the writing of our own creative nonfiction through memoir, essay, and literary journalism. We’ll be discussing different voices in creative nonfiction through Dinty W. Moore's book, The Truth of the Matter, as well as Tell It Slant and You Can't Make This Stuff Up. From Bill Bryson to Joan Didion to John Jeremiah Sullivan to Jesmyn Ward to Joseph Mitchell to Jacqueline Woodson to Seth Greenland, we will be reading a range of both memoir and essay.

Weekly workshop discussions of student-written work will be a major part of the workshop as well the necessary revisions to shape stories with an eye toward eventual submission and publication. Author Jamie Zvirzdin, writes about the craft of creative nonfiction in this way: “To be sincere is to be powerful and creative nonfiction allows me to do that, to be sincere. I don’t want to be content with what I know. I don’t believe in ghosts, the afterlife, and I don’t believe in the muse. I believe in hard work.” With Zirzdin’s words in mind, this online workshop will focus on finding voice in personal narratives and discovering place as character and how a strong sense of setting breathes both life and voice into creative nonfiction. 

This workshop will be a combination of lecture, discussion, writing prompts, and guest speakers in the field of Creative Nonfiction. This is a great place to work on your memoir or collected book of nonfiction essays. 

EH 427/527: Post-1800 Special Topics: Multicultural Britain

Instructor: Mahapatra

In this course, we will explore the literary contours of Britain from the late 1940s to today by way of fiction, poetry, and film. Examining cultural transformations catalyzed by the Second World War and the increased presence of immigrants in Britain, especially from its former colonies, we will ask questions such as: How does contemporary literature deal with the legacies of Britain’s imperial past? How do writers and filmmakers imagine multiculturalism? How do novelists and poets relate Britain’s multiethnic present to a global history of migration, including slavery and the mass migration following Windrush? And what, after all, counts as “British”?

The course texts will include T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922), Samuel Selvon’s classic 1956 novel The Lonely Londoners, selected poems by Philip Larkin and Daljit Nagra, Zadie Smith’s turn of the millennium novel White Teeth, Carol Ann Duffy’s dazzling dramatic monologues from The World’s Wife, and Bernardine Evaristo’s Man Booker Prize winning novel Girl, Woman, Other (2018). In addition, students will also study the films The Crying Game (1992) and Bend it Like Beckham (2002).

Students will read these literary accounts of multicultural England alongside scholarly studies to gender, ethnicity and queerness in global and Anglophone postcolonial contexts. Students will write weekly responses and three essays.

Required Texts

Book-length Works:

  • Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (Longman) ISBN: 0582642647
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (Vintage) ISBN:0679731725
  • Zadie Smith, White Teeth (Vintage) ISBN: 0375703861
  • Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (Grove) ISBN: 0802156983

Selections from Books:

  • Philip Larkin (poems)
  • Carol Ann Duffy (The World’s Wife)
  • Salman Rushdie (short story titled “Chekhov and Zulu”)

Film:

  • Gurinder Chadha, Bend it Like Beckham
  • Neil Jordan, The Crying Game

EH 442/542-2B: Literary Theory and Criticism, the Twentieth Century to the Present

Instructor: G. Temple

This class will survey the major schools of 20th and 21st-century literary criticism and theory, with a particular emphasis on Marxism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, and cultural studies. Students will also learn practical strategies for incorporating literary theory into their research and writing. Assignments will include several short response essays, a final term paper, and a final exam.  

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 464-2C: American Literature, 1914-1945

Instructor: TBA

In this class we’ll discuss a number of American texts from the 1920s and 30s. We’ll think about issues of race and class as they run through both the Roaring Twenties and the Depression—in works by Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 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, Hart Crane, and others, as well as fiction by William Faulkner and journalism and photography by James Agee and Walker Evans.

Our reading will include:

  • Wharton, The Age of Innocence
  • Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Eliot, The Wasteland
  • Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom
  • Larsen, Passing
  • Other works to be posted on Canvas.

EH 476/576-7P: 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 hundred 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 478/578-2D: Milton

Instructor: Chapman

Sometime in the late 1650s, the blind poet John Milton began writing to “justify the ways of God to man.” Specifically, he was trying to explain why there is evil in the world and how a loving God can allow his creatures to suffer and die. The resulting poem, Paradise Lost, retells the fall of Adam and Eve, although Milton does not confine his imagination just to the Garden of Eden. The poem also includes the landscapes of Heaven where good and bad angels battle one another, the burning lakes of Hell, and the vast realms of Chaos that lie on the outer reaches of God’s creation. Many readers over the centuries have considered it the single greatest poem in the English language.

My main goal for this semester is for you to read Paradise Lost in its entirety and to do so with an appreciation for its stunning complexity and linguistic precision and with (hopefully) a growing enjoyment. Along the way, we will sample other works by Milton and his contemporaries in order to give you a broader sense of seventeenth-century questions of gender, theology, justice, ecology, and politics.

Assignments for undergraduates will include a number of low-stakes reading responses, two short papers (which may include creative or multimedia work), and a final exam. Graduate students will write a longer final essay in place of the exam.

EH 496-QLA: English Capstone Seminar

Instructor: McComiskey

EH 496 English Capstone Seminar encourages English majors to examine the subject of English as it relates to their own professional goals. Students will reflect upon the historical development of English as an academic discipline and then use this historical knowledge to evaluate English today and assess their own unique paths through the discipline. Finally, students will prepare a portfolio that translates their academic experience in English into practical documents that may be used in applying to graduate schools and various jobs, including a resume, job application letter, curriculum vitae, and graduate school application letter.

600-Level Courses

EH 646: 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. Yet, 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 addition, writing is also often discussed as if every student entering the writing classroom has the same background, as if there are not inequities in the educational system that have a significant effect on students’ feelings of agency and confidence with words.

In EH 646 we will grapple with these problematic understandings of writing on the theoretical and the practical levels 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 and its impact on our society. 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 693-9I: Cinema at the Margins

Instructor: Siegel

This class will study movies that deal with life at the margins, movies that turn the camera on people and communities who have been dispossessed or overlooked. We’ll emphasize films by artists who are themselves members of marginalized groups, filmmakers such as Claire Denis, Asghar Farhadi, Spike Lee, Agnes Varda, Pedro Almodovar, Dee Rees, and others. We’ll watch some older movies and many recent ones, from the U.S. and abroad.

You are welcome and encouraged to take the course even if you’ve never studied film before! It will be structured just like a literature class: students will view the films and do some reading outside of class, and in class we’ll have discussions (sometimes student-led). In addition to informal weekly writing assignments, the course will require one research project during the semester and an end-of-term seminar paper.