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

Spring 2023 Courses

200-Level Courses

  • EH 205-QLA: Intro to Creative Writing
    Instructor: Slaughter

    This course is an introduction to the practice of creative writing, with a particular focus on poetry and fiction writing. By the completion of the course students will:

    • Employ the crucial vocabulary and terms necessary to discuss, read and write poetry and fiction;
    • Practice and apply a range of techniques to help students write original, image-driven, polished poetry and fiction;
    • Discover the incredible amount, quality, and range of writing being produced by living writers via contemporary online literary journals;
    • Revise their creative writing and recognize that successful creative writing is always the result of a lot of hard work.

    To this end, expect to devote considerable attention to strategies for observation and focus, modeling, accurate language choice, achieving a precise image, and the elements of structure.

  • EH 213-1A: Ideas in Literature: Latino/a/e/x Lit
    Instructor: Santiago

    Hispanic? Latino? Latine? Latin@? Latinx? While the blanket terms used to define this diverse population are often contested, what is inarguable is the fact that Latinos constitute the largest ethnic minority group in the United States—a fact that has profound political, social, and cultural implications. Importantly, Latine experiences are not monolithic; there are as many experiences and perspectives about Latinidad as there are ethnicities and nationalities. In this course we will study selected works from the rich body of literature produced by Latinx authors residing in the U.S.A. and writing in English. Particularly, we will examine questions of home, identity, ethnicity, and nationality as manifested in Latine literature. These texts often ask:

    • What does it mean to be Latin American?
    • How do race, ethnicity, and nationality overlap? How do these identities interact with those related to gender, class, religion, and ability?
    • How do does one remain authentic when straddling multiple identities?
    • What does it mean to be an American who lives on literal or metaphorical borderlands?

    As we explore these questions we will encounter multiple genres of classic and contemporary texts—from Sandra Cisneros to Bad Bunny—while examining their historical and social contexts. Assignments and expectations will be typical of 200-level lit courses.

  • EH 213-1CB: 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, documentary, poetry, and social media as we explore queer identities and queer experiences in writings by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, nonbinary, and asexual authors. Along the way we will learn some queer history and consider the impact of social and institutional forces on queer lives—as well as the ways that queer lives can impact society and institutions.

    Whether you are gay, straight, ally, or simply curious, this course is designed as an introduction to LGBTQ+ literature and issues. 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 213-1EB/1FA: Ideas in Lit: Money and Happiness
    Instructor: Temple

    In this class, we will read American literary explorations of connections between money and, for lack of a better term, “happiness.” By reading from writers such as Benjamin Franklin, Elizabeth Stoddard, Horatio Alger, Ralph Ellison, Richard Yates, and Cormac McCarthy, we will discuss issues such as the moral/ethical ramifications of the pursuit of money; the effects of race and gender on access to money and the pursuit of happiness; and the kinds of communities, institutions, pastimes, and even perversions that result from a society structured around the goal of private accumulation. Assignments will include two essays, an out-of-class final exam, and periodic study questions.

  • EH 213-2A/2B: 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.

    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 213-2C/2D: Literature at the Movies
    Instructor: Ellis

    This course will explore intersections between literature and film by studying stories that take their characters to the movies, poems about cinema, and the ways films interpret literature by adapting stories for the screen. We will examine films about the study of literature and author biopics, as well as criticism and reviews of film, film theory, and screenplays as literary texts. Looking through both page and screen as lenses, we will consider identification, spectatorship, psychoanalysis, narrative, and the cinema as cultural institution. Works may include selections from Agee, Anzaldua, Baldwin, Ellison, Farrell, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, King, Morrison, Puig, and Schwartz.

  • EH 223-2E: Witches
    Instructor: Dwivedi

    The issue of representation is problematic, particularly for witches; this semester, we will explore the identity of witches as violators/violated. We will study two novels (Maguire’s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and Conde’s I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem), a few fairy tales, and some excerpts to understand how authors have resisted the established discourse on witches and appropriated the witch narrative in their own writing.

    There will be short supplemental materials, which will be posted on Canvas, and which will help you understand the context and how the narrative has changed. For instance, we will read chapter 12 from Wizard of Oz, which is about the Wicked Witch of the West, and then start reading Wicked. In terms of major assignments, there will be a literary analysis essay, a midterm exam, and a final project.

300-Level Courses

  • EH 301-1E: Reading, Writing, and Research
    Instructor: Grimes

    English 301 is a methods course focusing on the practice of reading literary texts, locating and studying the critical and historical contexts of those texts, and writing well-crafted and well-informed critical essays that explore the meaning, value, and significance of those texts. Having taken EH 301, students will be able to:

    • Read closely such that they can recognize and describe the significant features of a given literary text. This skill presumes that the student has command over the basic terminology used in literary and rhetorical criticism and has a fundamental understanding of the major literary genres and periods of literary history.
    • Conduct effective library research in secondary sources using databases such as the Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) and the Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL). They should also be able to use JSTOR and other full-text repositories of critical materials, and they should be able to locate and use materials from the Sterne Library collection. Students who have developed these abilities will also recognize both the legitimate uses and the limitations of such tertiary sources as "SparkNotes" or other students' guides.
    • Write critical essays which situate an original thesis in an appropriate and well-informed scholarly context. Students should be able to incorporate both primary and secondary source material into their own writing and then document the essay accurately but unobtrusively using the MLA documentation system.
    • Recognize the aims and principles of some of the central theoretical approaches to literary analysis that have been prominent in recent critical writing. While EH 301 is not a course in literary theory, students should gain sufficient exposure to prominent theoretical approaches so as to be able to recognize when a critic is writing within, for example, a psychoanalytic or feminist or poststructuralist (or other) context.
  • EH 305-2D: Beginning Poetry Writing Workshop
    Instructor: Vines

    EH 305 is a poetry writing workshop that emphasizes reading, writing, and critiquing poetry. Throughout the semester, we will explore the fundamental elements of poetry and closely examine poetry by writers with various styles and sensibilities. Our discussions will employ the types of vocabulary and considerations specific to poetry and poetry criticism. These discussions should help you to articulate your impressions and criticisms—a facility you'll need for workshopping the poems of your peers and for writing critical responses and original poetry.

    Required Texts

    • Chad Davidson and Gregory Fraser, Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches
    • Two contemporary poetry collections
  • EH 315-1B: Introduction to Professional Writing
    Instructor: Wells

    In this course, students will explore and practice the work of professional writers. We will study how professional writers use research to better understand their rhetorical situation, which often includes the organization(s) for whom they are writing. From there, we will study how professional writers make choices about their writing based on what they have learned about their audience, purpose, and context. Students will practice processes of invention, audience analysis, document design, drafting, giving feedback, revising, and editing.

  • EH 327-2B: Finding the Lost Generation
    Instructor: Young

    Extended Title: Modernist Expatriates in Early-Twentieth-Century Paris

    “You are all a lost generation.”

    This is the epigraph from Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. He credits the comment to his literary mentor, the iconoclastic American writer Gertrude Stein. The idea of a lost generation may not have been new in 1926, however. Indeed, in his posthumous memoir A Moveable Feast, Hemingway recounts that Stein overheard a French garage owner use the phrase with exasperation as he berated a mechanic. But when Stein says it, she does so with an eye toward the young, mostly American writers and artists who populate her Paris salon. At once pithy and enigmatic, Stein’s observation provides a way for these artists to self-identify and to explain what they are seeking—in their work and in Paris. They are looking for themselves. And in that search, they find each other.

    In this course, we will explore texts by writers who made up the artistically fertile early-twentieth-century expatriate community in Paris. We will not limit ourselves to works by American writers but will also consider those of writers from other English-speaking countries as well as performing artists. Our work will deepen our understanding of what literary scholar Donald Pizer calls the “Paris moment” specifically and Modernism generally and will allow us to draw connections with our own historical and cultural moment.

    We will read fiction, non-fiction, and poetry produced by writers like T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein, though we will certainly add selections by others.

    Major assignments will include two exams and a multimodal project.

  • EH 345-1S ST: Rhetoric of Human Rights
    Instructor: Minnix

    It is difficult to imagine a situation where words matter more than in the advocacy, activism, law, and policy-work that seeks to secure and protect the rights of our human community. In fact, we might say that a significant part of the work that takes place in social movements, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS), legislative bodies, and other key organizations is rhetorical work, work designed to compel the recognition of human dignity and rights through the power of persuasive speech.

    In this course, we will explore this fascinating work in two ways. First, we will explore the rhetorical history of some of the most enduring and important rhetorical and philosophical statements of human rights. Second, we will take a case-study approach that asks us to explore what we know about practicing rhetorical history and the history of human rights. We will examine specific cases of human rights activism and advocacy, and students will have the opportunity to pursue a research project that allows them to develop their own rhetorical case-study of a particular human rights movement, event, law, or conflict that interests them. In addition, students will have the opportunity to meet and discuss the practice of human rights rhetoric with practitioners, activists, and advocates.

400/500-Level Courses

  • EH 402/502-7P: Writing in Popular Periodicals
    Instructor: Ryan

    Required Texts and Materials

    • Anthology of recent periodical writing.
    • Assigned journal articles and book chapters available through Sterne Library Databases and provided by the instructor.

    Course Description

    This course will introduce you to the conversations that flourish in a plethora of periodical forms: print and digital, consumer and trade, historical and contemporary. Throughout this course, we’ll be examining:

    • The cultural phenomenon of the “popular periodical” in global cultures, including the early history of newspapers and magazines and the role/s 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:

    • Reading Journal (15%): a series of mostly in-class and occasional out-of-class short writing assignments based on class readings and discussions. Additional requirements may be given to students in EH 502 for several of these assignments, including a required discussion leader exercise worth 15 points. Since reading journal prompts will be assigned throughout the semester, the grade for this portion of the course will be incomplete until the end of the semester. The instructor will, however, send updates about the number of points earned/points available at intervals throughout the semester.
    • Slice of History 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 Reading Journal (15%): a series of mostly in-class and occasional out-of-class short writing assignments based on class readings and discussions. Additional requirements may be given to students in EH 502 for several of these assignments, including a required discussion leader exercise worth 15 points. Since reading journal prompts will be assigned throughout the semester, the grade for this portion of the course will be incomplete until the end of the semester. The instructor will, however, send updates about the number of points earned/points available at intervals throughout the semester. Slice of History 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 427/527-1C: Money and Happiness
    Instructor: Temple

    In Volume I of Capital, Marx describes money as “the alienated essence of man’s labor and life.” In Marx’s view, the work we do as subjects of capitalism, our aspirations in life, and even the judgments we make about the moral character of others, are fundamentally connected to money, an abstract and essentially arbitrary symbol that “dominates us” as we “worship it.”

    Marx’s critique of capitalism and its primary goal, the accumulation of ever-increasing profit, was not universally shared, however. In fact, writers from a seemingly limitless array of disciplines and perspectives have examined the social ramifications of capitalism since at least the early decades of the nineteenth century. In this class, we will read American literary explorations of connections between money and, for lack of a better term, “happiness.”

    By reading from writers such as Benjamin Franklin, Elizabeth Stoddard, Horatio Alger, Ralph Ellison, Richard Yates, and Cormac McCarthy, we will discuss issues such as the moral/ethical ramifications of the pursuit of money; connections between competitive individualism, the American dream, and inequality in America; the effects of race and gender on access to money and the pursuit of happiness; and the kinds of communities, institutions, pastimes, and even perversions that result from a society structured around the goal of private accumulation.

  • EH 427/527-1C: Poems
    Instructor: Grimes

    This is a course in the “appreciation” of British and American poetry. Our aim will be to develop a comprehensive sense of the emergence and evolution of poetic techniques and traditions from the Early Modern period to the present. We will do this by close-reading a small sample of poems that have been influential in shaping the historical trajectory of poetry in English. By the end of this class students should have a detailed and comprehensive grasp on the history of English poetry, an intimate familiarity with a number of highly influential poems, and (if all goes well) a few new favorite poems.

  • EH 429/529-QL: Memoir in Film and Spoken Word
    Instructor: Madden

    "What would you write if you weren't afraid?" asks Mary Karr in her book, On Memoir. This is a memoir class. You will be mining your life's stories to create a memoir. We will be reading memoirs and watching films based on those memoirs, so you will also get to see the possibilities in adapting your memoir to film. Your memoir may be about a single period in your life, or it may be a series of connected stories.

    Through a series weekly writing sparks and readings, you will begin to discover the story you want to tell. Every memoir has a container. The container in Cheryl Strayed's memoir, Wild, is the Pacific Crest Trail, but it is actually the story of her late mother gone too soon. The container in Sarah Broom's The Yellow House is Broom's childhood home in New Orleans East, but it's really a story about family, loss, and the devastation wrought by Katrina. Art is the container in Allie Brosh's hilarious memoir, Hyperbole and a Half, about her crippling anxiety.

    From graphic to traditional memoirs, we'll be reading memoirists like Alison Bechdel, Vivian Gornick, Amy Tan, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mary Karr, Jesmyn Ward, Amos Oz, Tobias Wolff, Sally Mann, Jeannette Winterson, Tara Westover, and many others in our workshop. This class is an opportunity for you to consider how to shape part of your life experience into a narrative, and by the end of the workshop, you will have approximately 30-60 pages of a memoir. You will also create a Submittable Account to begin the process of submitting short and long essays to literary journals seeking the voices of new writers.

  • EH 442/552-2F: Literary Theory/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, 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.

    Course Requirements:

    • A reading journal collected weekly
    • Three exams
  • EH 455/555-2D: Digital Publishing
    Instructor: Bacha

    Beginning with the shift from print to digital publication practices, 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 476/576-2E: Shakespeare Across the Centuries
    Instructor: Bach

    In this class, we will read four Shakespeare plays intensively, and we will look at how those plays have been responded to and transformed since they were written more than four hundred years ago. We will read early editors of Shakespeare and talk about how and why his plays have been heavily edited. We’ll also read responses to Shakespeare from 19th and 20th century authors. We’ll talk about how his plays have been rewritten to conform to later ideas about gender, sexuality, and race. Students will learn to read the plays carefully in relation to their original cultural context, and they will learn what has happened to Shakespeare and his plays over the last four hundred years.

    Plays

    • As You Like It
    • Twelfth Night
    • Othello
    • The Tempest

    Course Requirements:

    • Six 750-word Responses
    • One 8-page Paper
    • A Final Exam
  • EH 478/578-2F: 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 understand why there is evil in the world and how a loving God can allow suffering and death. 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 and Hell, and the vast, wind-battered realms of Chaos.

    Many readers over the centuries have considered Paradise Lost the single greatest poem in the English language, and our main goal this semester will be to read it in its entirety. Along the way, we will sample other works by Milton and his contemporaries in order to develop a broader sense of seventeenth-century ideas about 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
    Instructor: Wells

    In the Capstone Seminar, students will reflect on their experiences as English majors, explore options for careers and continued education, and practice finding and analyzing job ads. Additionally, students will learn to describe their skills and experiences in documents like résumés and personal statements and study how to manage their professional identities and networks in online spaces like LinkedIn. Students will receive peer and instructor feedback on their job materials and will have many opportunities to revise.

600-Level Courses

  • EH 646 7P: Practicum in Teaching Writing
    Instructor: Mina

    This course is designed to prepare graduate students to teach writing at the college level. The course focuses on the theories, research, and pedagogies of teaching and learning college composition through readings, discussions, reflection, and mentored practices. Students will observe instructors, practice commenting on papers, design writing assignments and units, and plan and teach a class session while being mentored by an experienced instructor. Students will also produce their own teaching materials using the conceptual learning and classroom experiences accumulated during the course of the semester all while reflecting on their learning and teaching knowledge and practices.

  • EH 693-7M: Death in Medieval Literature
    Instructor: Clements

    This graduate seminar is centered on the topic of death in the early Middle Ages with a particular focus on dying and the dead in medieval literary texts. Students will be introduced to death’s historical and material contexts to explore how medieval cultures managed the event of dying and the various physical and spiritual stakes related to the handling of the body, burial, and mourning. We will use this contextual work to examine how early medieval writers addressed or represented death in a range of textual genres, from homilies and sermons to carved inscriptions and epic poetry.

    Students will read both primary and secondary sources each week, learning the history of scholarship on this topic over the last two centuries. Each student will present prepared material and lead discussion and will complete a culminating research project that explores this theme more deeply in a given text.

    Assignments will include midterm and final essays, an out-of-class final exam, and a critical presentation. Graduate students will be expected to produce more sophisticated, critically and theoretically nuanced, and consequently longer essays than their undergraduate classmates.