Graduate Course Offerings

ENC 6930.010Topics in Professional, Public, & New Media Writing
Professor Julia Mason Tuesday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

This course explores the production and consumption of professional, public, and new media texts, as well as emerging composition practices and rhetorical strategies for writing in the digital age. Our exploration will be guided by questions about how texts are made, how they are interpreted, and what their implications are to writers, audiences, institutions, communities, and ideologies where they operate. To do this, we will draw on cross- and interdisciplinary theories of composition, visual rhetoric, new media, and cultural studies, and we will read and write in a variety of media, genres, and platforms.

While the course requires only basic computer proficiency (word processing, internet use), students should be prepared to explore new technologies and experiment with composing in digital, visual, and new media forms. Ultimately, students will leave the course with a better understanding of the relationship between text and meaning, a theoretical foundation from which to critique texts, and the rhetorical skills (and some technical skills) required to read and write in digital environments.

Concentration: Rhetoric & Composition; Pedagogy (MAT)


LIT 6934.001Postcolonial Literature: Text, Pre-Text, Context
Professor Eric Berlatsky Monday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

Many of the most important texts of postcolonial literature echo or reply to foundational texts of the Western tradition. In addition, many of the “great” Western texts disturbingly display colonialistand racist assumptions at their very core. In this class, we will explore how and why postcolonial literature both relies upon and responds to some of the most important British colonialist texts. While we might think that the response to colonialism should be (merely) rejection, in this class we willdiscuss why such texts as The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, and Heart of Darkness remain so important to the postcolonial imagination and howrewriting such texts becomes an important form of resistance. In the latter part of the semester we will also explore alternative sources of influence for postcolonial writers (like Africa) and debates over the form appropriate to a postcolonial literature of resistance. We will also discuss the problems with labeling literatures postcolonial in the first place (why group together texts from the Carribbean, Africa, and the Indiansubcontinent? Don’t they have more differences than commonalities?). Finally, we will read some of the most important and influential essays of postcolonial theory and discuss their relationship to postcolonial literature. As a bonus, we’ll read some great books and havesome lively discussions! Readings will include many, if not all, of the following: Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, DeFoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Césaire’s A Tempest, something by J. M. Coetzee, Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, poems by Derek Walcott and Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea (and excerpts of Brontë’s Jane Eyre), E. M. Forster’s Passage to India (or Kipling’s Kim), Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things and probably something by V.S. NaipaulA variety of theorists and critics (like Edward Said, Benita Parry, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Chinua Achebe, and Frantz Fanon) will also be read and discussed.  Assignments will likely include a 15-20 minute classroom presentation, a short 5-7 page paper, and a 15-20 page seminar paper.

Concentration: Multicultural & World Literatures


ENL 6305.002Shakespeare
Professor Emily Stockard Thursday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

In order to rescue Shakespeare’s plays from the isolation in which they are so often studied, we will read selected works alongside relevant plays by his contemporaries. Assigned readings will represent a variety of critical approaches and will provide some cultural context. Most class sessions will consist of text-based discussions of the plays, requiring substantial student participation. Discussions of the secondary readings will begin by way of student presentations.

Concentration: British Literature


ENG 6009.001Principles & Problems of Literary Study
Professor Barclay Barrios Wednesday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

In this class we will examine the principles, problems, and practices of literary studies. In terms of praxis, you will become familiar with basic research skills and the genres of academic writing. In terms of the principles and problems we will examine the role of research in the construction of the field as well as current issues surrounding research in literary studies and in creative writing.



LIT 6932.003Science Fiction: Alienness, Otherness, Difference
Professor Pawel Frelik Thursday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

The course will focus on the encounter with alterity, one of science fiction's essential tropes which opens the field for discussions of racial, sexual, cultural, and biological difference. The primary texts will include short stories, novels, and films. The theoretical readings will include cyborg theory, gender theory, race theory as well as text-specific critical articles. Readings will include texts such as: Stanislav Lem’s Solaris, Justina Robinson’s Natural History, Peter Watt’s Blindsight and other novels as well as short stories by Octavia Butler and Paul Di Filippo and some films including: Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, Splice, and District 9. Assignments will include in-class presentations, midterm and final papers, and weekly responses on the course blog (due the day before class).

Concentration: Science Fiction & Fantasy


CRW 6024.001Book Arts
Professor Kate Schmitt Tuesday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

This course will combine the traditional creative writing workshop with the practical and theoretical elements of bookarts, examining the development of bookarts as an accepted genre within the art world, and the use of text and art that complement one another and are, in effect, inextricable from one another in the final product. Students will complete focused writing assignments that consider the possibilities of the bookarts context and may be used in their projects. The class will meet half time in the studio at the Jaffe Center for Bookarts, and after several presentations of works from the collection, students will work on their own projects. Some materials will be provided, but students should consider investment of materials in terms of conventional textbook purchases. The culmination of the course will be a bookarts project of the student’s own design that includes both creative writing and the skills learned in the studio.



AML 6938.001Poe and His Literary Circle
Professor Adam Bradford Wednesday, 4:00pm–6:50pm

One way to conceptualize literary art is as a web of aesthetic and cultural connections stitched together, but certainly not “created,” by an author – it is a “discourse” to quote Foucault, a “fabric of quotations” according to Barthes. What each of these critics is pointing towards is the imbricated nature of literature’s production. Every author’s work, they insist, derives from already active cultural codes, other authorial pronouncements, and, of course, social, political and historical phenomenon of a variety of stripes. Within antebellum America, one of the most localized and important sites for the transmission and circulation of all that was essential to the production of literary art was the literary salon. In the parlors of figures like Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta, Everett Duycinck, and Annie Fields, the literati of the age gathered, conversed, read, and sometimes even wrote. Edgar Allan Poe was a fixture in many of these salons. Despite the fact that most of these were populated by women writers whose main production was sentimental poetry, Poe and his gothic work was invariably welcome – until his pursuit of otherwise unavailable (i.e., married) women made him a pariah. It is this unusual welcome that, in a sense, forms the springboard for the investigation that this course will take. What was it, we will ask, that allowed the most notable writer of Gothic horror to dwell in welcome in the halls of domestic propriety? And knowing what we do about the nature of literary influence, how did his work influence these otherwise sentimental writers, and, in turn, how was Poe’s work influenced by them? Such questions are, in essence, pushing us to examine the nature of the relationship between sentimentalism and dark romanticism – the real crux of our investigation in this class. Using Poe and the largely women writers, such as Frances Sargent Osgood, Ann S. Stephens, and Caroline Kirkland, in whose orbits he circled, we will seek to gain a better understanding of how sentimentality and terror are each essential to the production of the other. Through a rich examination of contemporary cultural discourses regarding death, fear, transcendence, and sympathy, not to mention the contemporary cultural rituals that brought these discourses into conversation with one another, we will hopefully gain the purchase needed to begin to break down the boundaries between genres that are otherwise usually enforced by our discipline, and gain a rich understanding of the work of Poe, his contemporaries, and antebellum America, as well.

Concentration: American Literature (pre-1900)


AML 6938.002Undead Souths
Professor Taylor Hagood Tuesday, 7:10pm–10:00pm

If you like ghosts, vampires, and zombies roaming throughout the United States South and the Caribbean, then this is the course for you. If you are fascinated with the idea of undeadness as a trope that can be discerned as a cultural phenomenon that incarnates in ways that having nothing to do with literally undead figures, then this is also the course for you. Faulkner famously wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” but his haunted South is just one version among many depicted by Cherokees, Choctaws, African Americans, Appalachian poor whites, and others. This course will engage a range of textualities to examine the undead, including fiction, poetry, film, comic books, and music. These materials will include, but not be limited to, The Walking Dead, Zora Neale Hurston’s Tell My Horse, Johnny Cash’s “Long Black Veil,” True Blood, and Jeremy Love’s comic Bayou.

Concentration: American Literature