Spring Course Descriptions

ENGL 160A/Abraham ENGL 160A1-002/Brown ENGL 160D1-001/Hendricks ENGL 160D1-002/Cardenas
ENGL 263-001/Pearmain ENGL 265-001/Evers ENGL 280-001/Brown ENGL 280-002/Hogle
ENGL 280-003/Sherry ENGL 280-006/Lempert ENGL 295A-001/Brown ENGL 300-001/Jenkins
ENGL 304-001/Iromuanya ENGL 309-001/Briante ENGL310-001/Cokinos  
ENGL 310-003/Skibsrud ENGL 340-002/Hendricks ENGL 351A-001/Klotz ENGL 355-001/Reed
ENGL 362-001/Abraham ENGL 380-001/Dahood

ENGL 389-001/Licona

ENGL 389-002/Pearmain
ENGL 389-003/Monson ENGL 396A-H-001/Melillo ENGL 396- /Cardenas ENGL 401-001/Monson
ENGL 404-001/Bernheimer ENGL 404-002/Johnson ENGL 405-001/Dahood ENGL 416-001/Melillo
ENGL 416-002/Sherry ENGL 424-001/Evers ENGL 431B-001/Willard ENGL 470-001/Johnson
ENGL 471-001/Hendricks ENGL 478-001/LeSeur-Brown ENGL 479-001/Pettey ENGL 486-001/Cooper Alarcón
ENGL 486-002/Jenkins ENGL 489A-001/Nathanson ENGL 496A-001/Raval ENGL 496A-002/Scruggs
ENGL 496A-004/Licona ENGL 489B-001/Cooper Alarcón    


ENGL 160A-    Critical Cultural Concepts—The Problem of Evil    Abraham
Online Offering

In this course, we will investigate how the concept of evil has evolved historically across different disciplinary domains by asking “What constitutes evil? What attributes must a person or event possess to be deemed ‘evil’? How has evil been identified and dealt with in various times and places?” To answer these questions, we will take a close look at some specific events in which the concept of evil has been invoked to understand the extremes of human behavior. The course will also focus on conceptions of evil in non-Western cultures. Key course texts will include Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil, Phillip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect, and John Keke’s Evil.

ENGL 160A1-002  Introduction to Colonial and Post-Colonial Literature   Brown

The authors listed here will guide us through a rigorous, challenging, and hopefully-sometimes-revelatory of reading in the literature of post-colonialism in English. This semester, we’ll work to get a sense of how these authors talk to us (however we construe that “us,” which will be something we’ll discuss at length) and to each other, the historical and political contexts shaping their artistic concerns, and how they view the role of art and the production of literature in an increasingly globalized world. We’ll think about the emergence of English as a language that has been used in literature to colonize, to define the nation, to create international connections, and to theorize the global. We’ll discuss what it means for post-independence authors to choose to work in a colonial language (or, in the case of one of our authors, to refuse to do so). We’ll do this by looking at a variety of literary forms, including the novel, drama, poetry, and works that are betwixt and between those more traditional forms. Readings will include works by Wole Soykina, Derek Walcott, Louise Bennett, Leslie Marmon Silko, Agha Shahid Ali, Eimear McBride, and Chimanda Ngozi Adichie.

ENGL 160D1-001  Critical Cultural Concepts   Hendricks

The Lawyer

Across cultures and throughout history, writers have depicted the Lawyer in various and conflicting ways.  What does this say about a particular society? What does this say about the legal system in which the Lawyer operates?  And, importantly, what does our modern portrait of this figure tell us about our own values and ethics today?  As the liaison between the citizenry and official authority, the Lawyer -- whether as attorney, advocate, judge, or legal rhetorician -- functions, among other things, as an enforcer or a shield in relation to that authority.  The civil law of European nations, the common law of England and the United States, the religious law of major religions, and the law of tribal societies have all created differing roles for their advocates, and writers have long worked to describe the complexity of this power relationship.  We will take a critical, and hopefully entertaining look, at their ideas and stories. 

ENGL 160D1-002  Introduction to US Popular Culture   Cardenas

 What can the study of popular cultural forms like Television, Films, Advertisements, Video Games, Facebook as well as cultural practices like shopping, viewing habits, and other modes of consumption reveal about US American Values? How do representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality disseminated within these popular texts shape the way we come to see others and ourselves? These are some of the guiding questions we will be exploring in our study of US popular culture.  Through an examination of both critical essays and primary texts, students in this course will learn not only how to critically read and interpret various cultural forms, but also will come to understand the ways in which popular culture structures our day to day lives. 

ENGL 263-001 Topics in Children’s Literature: Children’s Literature Through the Ages    Pearmain
Online Offering

From the “origins” of the Children’s Literature to the current day call for diverse voices in the genre, this course examines the development of concepts of the child, children’s literature, and Western Culture. We will read a broad spectrum of historical and contemporary U.S., British, and world literature, and works representing a variety of genres and cultures. Through a survey of folk tales, picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels we will consider the historical development of children’s literature as well as its dual agenda of instruction and amusement.

ENGL 265-001    Major American Writers    Evers

We will read five works closely, focusing on their cultural and literary contexts: Willa Cather, My Ántonia;  Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses; and Louise Erdrich, Tracks.  Additional critical readings will be assigned on D2L.  Lecture, small group discussion, quizzes, a class presentation, five response papers (each five typed double-spaced pages), and a longer final paper.

ENGL 280-001    Connecting Literature        Sterling Brown

Through an exploration of various kinds of texts, which will include drama, poetry, and prose, this course will introduce students to different authors as we work on developing close reading skills. By dissecting both the language and structure of our texts, we will gain a deeper understanding of each literary work and establish connections among texts that, on the surface, may appear completely unrelated. This course will be writing intensive, with a specific focus on literary analysis. Students can expect weekly short writing assignments and extensive feedback on their writing.

ENGL  280-002    Introduction to Literature    Hogle

This intentionally basic class -- now required for English and Creative Writing majors and minors -- will help students learn how to better (1) closely read literary texts for greater understanding of underlying suggestions and meanings and (2) write analyses of literature with improved insight, structure, use of evidence, and compositional quality.  The literature itself, analyzed in class and on paper, will come from representative short works of poetry and then prose fiction.  The writing will consist of multiple short essays interpreting selected works that will be developed with commentary from both the instructor and fellow students.  In this whole process, an ultimate objective for this class is to open the full wonder and power of literature to students, as well as to hone solid skills in analyzing and writing about literature that will be helpful to
students in their future lives and careers.

ENGL 280-003  Introduction to Literature  Sherry

Conrad: Heart of Darkness:  This course has for its purpose to teach students the fundamentals of the interpretation and analysis of literary works.  This entails learning to write interpretive essays. The focus of these essays will be on Conrad's Heart of Darkness, one of the great works of modern literature.  Learning to write competently means practicing; students will write a series of six short interpretive essays, and a take-home essay final.

ENGL 280-006  Introduction to Literature   Lempert

This course introduces students to literary analysis and persuasive essay-writing in the English program. Interpreting poetry, short stories, and novels, we will practice close reading, the activity of mining a small portion of text for its rich implications. Students will compose a number of brief essays that develop foundational skills for the major or minor: formulating arguments, proving them with close reading, organizing evidence, and attending to the quality of their own writing. In relation to our literature, we will also address foundational concerns: what is reading, what is its value, and how might it alter who we are? How do fictional characters arise out of language, attract or repel us, and offer us certain kinds of knowledge?

ENGL 295A-001  Art, Activism, and Apocalypse in Modernist London   Brown

In the early decades of the twentieth century, London was the site of confluence for revolutionary work across the arts, popular culture, and mass politics. Radical innovation in the visual arts and modernist aesthetic experimentation in literature made their way to England from the continent. The capital of the British Empire became a center for mass politics as well, playing host (often involuntarily) to demonstrations by women’s suffragists, nationalist movement leaders from across the empire, striking workers, terrorist plots, and the spectacle of mass mobilization during World War I. In this course, we’ll use the visual and literary arts to explore life in London at this pivotal moment in British cultural history. Our authors will include Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Robins, Walter Benjamin, and Wyndham Lewis. We’ll take in some early Alfred Hitchcock, as well as examples of painting in the post-impressionist, cubist, and futurist traditions produced and exhibited in London. ​

ENGL  300-001    Shakespeare on Screen   Jenkins

In conjunction with the Spring 2016 visit to UA of Shakespeare’s First Folio and the late 2015 release of Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, we will examine the process of adapting Shakespearean drama to film. Through analysis of language, imagery, themes, and meaning of the plays and filmic adaptations, students will examine the tropes and devices of drama and cinema. We will focus on the creation of spectacle on stage and for the screen through close reading of staging, characterization, lighting, camera work, voice-over, score, and other sonic devices, editing styles and mise-en-scène.  In particular, students will consider how cinematic technique contributes to characterization and exploration of such issues as interiority, alienation, violence, duplicity, moral ambiguity, pure evil, power, the supernatural, ethnicity, gender, and class difference in the Shakespearean cinematic world.  We will analyze the texts and cinematic adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V, and The Tempest and see the ART stage production of The Tempest. Substantive reading, thinking, and analytical writing required: a montage assignment; a découpage and scene analysis; a term project.

ENGL 304-001  Intermediate Fiction Writing   Iromuanya

As an intermediate fiction writing workshop this course extends and complicates craft technique introduced at the beginning level. The emphasis of this course is to help you to begin developing a collection of short stories or a novel-in-stories. Through a combination of workshops, exercises, and craft discussions, we will explore how stories function individually and how they can come together in a collection to form a coherent and unified story or experience. 

ENGL 309-001   Poetry Writing   Briante

How do contemporary poets do what they do? How can we learn from the past and yet still “make it new”? In this class, we will look at poetry from the ancients to the present as models for our own work. We will consider poetic traditions as well as contemporary poetic procedures. During the first few weeks of class we will review the most important characteristics of poetry (rhyme, rhythm, repetition, image, music, etc.). Then we will shift emphasis away from product (the published poem) toward process, away from polishing drafts and toward the cultivation of one’s attention to the world and to experience. Finally, we will work through the various stages of creation and revision with aim of becoming better readers and editors of our own as well as our classmates’ work. 

ENGL 310-001      Studies in Genres                Cokinos

Explore the literary and cultural phenomenon that is the science fiction short story.  You don’t have to be a science fiction reader to enjoy the work in this course.  In fact, a central tenet of the class will be to investigate genre reading conventions and literary reading values simultaneously.  We’ll learn about the deep history of the genre and trace its development from the mid-19th century to the rise of the pulps–especially Astounding, Galaxy and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction–then on to the highly literary and experimental New Wave of the 1960s.  We’ll continue into the late 20th century and a look at the first years of the 21st.  We’ll become familiar with such science-fiction historians, critics and theorists as James Gunn, Brian Aldiss, Darko Suvin and Farah Mendelsohn.  Authors we’ll read include, among many others, Eden Robinson, William Gibson, Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford Simak, J.G. Ballard, Harlan Ellison, Bob Shaw, Ursula Le Guin, Pamela Zoline, Pamela Sargent and Carol Emshwiller.

Did the obscure Fitz James O’Brien invent the modern SF story?  How did John W. Campbell revolutionize the field then get left behind?  What are the relationships among science, technology, politics and science fiction?  What happens when attention to style and character clashes with–or works in harmony with–with the genre's traditional foci on premise and plot?  Why all the funky cover art?  What’s a “novum”?  And just who are the Mundanes?  This course will answer those questions--and raise many more.

ENGL 310-003    “The Mark on the Wall”: Subjectivity and the Modern Novel    Skibsrud
 “As we face each other in omnibuses and underground railways,” writes Virginia Woolf in her short story, “The Mark on the Wall,” “we are looking into the mirror that accounts for the vagueness, the gleam of glassiness, in our eyes.” The novelists of the future, she writes, “will realize more and more the importance of these reflections, for of course there is not one reflection but an almost infinite number; those are the depths they will explore, those the phantoms they will pursue…”
This course will examine the representation of subjectivity and intersubjectivity in the post-World War Two novel. Woolf’s short story will provide the backdrop to in-depth analyses of self-reflexivity, fragmentation, multiple perspectives and non-linear temporality in the modern novel. The course will be discussion based and will culminate in a final in-class presentation. ?

ENGL 340-002  Topics in Professional and Technical Writing   Hendricks

Legal Writing

Calling all prospective law students!  This class is an introduction to legal writing -- a first look at the special qualities and rules of this professional subject -- with the intention of providing an advantage for future law students.  To this end, students will learn the basics of “objective legal writing” (applying the law in fact-based analysis, analogical analysis and policy analysis) and “persuasive legal writing” (making rhetorical arguments and counterarguments in motions and briefs).  Students will come away with a working knowledge of the field and will be better prepared to engage the subject in law school. 

ENGL 351A-001   Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Literature   Klotz

This course offers an introduction to queer theory and culture, looking at what happens to literature and film when one looks at it through the prism of sexuality and gender.  We will be interrogating the meaning of sex, sexuality, gender, and sexual / gender identity in a variety of contexts: in terms of the experience of authors, the constitution of characters, the meaning of settings, the relationship of literature or film to larger political issues, the practice of reading, shifting historical meanings, temporality, religion, and in relation to race, class, and able-bodiedness. We will be examining not only how sexual discourses constitute the shifting meaning of “gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer” identity and experience, but “straight” or “normative” identities and life narratives, as well. 

ENGL 355-001   Sociolinguistics:  Intercultural Communication   Reed

Sociolinguistics studies the variety of ways that people use language within social groups, such as different accents, vocabulary, grammar forms, and conversational patterns. In this course, we will study general principles of sociolinguistics and then move on to examine the unique case of English and concepts of using English to communicate in different social groups and communities locally and around the world. We will explore questions like: How does politeness vary between social or cultural groups? How do social conventions guide interactions? How can we avoid cultural misunderstandings? To address these questions, we’ll examine perspectives of culture, verbal communication, and global contexts, as well as analyze interactions of various social encounters in English and examine the impact of culture on everyday and international communication. 

ENGL 362-001   Rhetorical Traditions    Abraham

In this course, we will focus on the historical power of words, rhetorics, and rhetorical traditions to create barriers between people, communities, and nations. By using Kenneth Burke’s famous definition of rhetoric in his A Rhetoric of Motives (“Put identification and division together and you have the characteristic call to rhetoric”), we will study how the very conditions of possibility for persuasion arise out of both “identification” and “division.” We will examine Burke’s concept of “congregation through segregation” by exploring specific the Israel-Palestine conflict in relation to a larger historical survey of rhetorical traditions.


In addition, we will also engage fictional works around the Israel-Palestine conflict by reading some recently published novels by both Jewish and Palestinian authors. 

ENGL 380-001    Introduction to Literary Analysis     Dahood

Through close reading of important works from a number of literary genres the course introduces students to the practice of thinking perceptively about literature. Students will engage with lyric poetry, prose, and drama from different times and places. We will cover basic terminology of literary criticism, the primary tools of analysis. Students should come away from the course confident of their ability to discuss any work of literature intelligently.

ENGL 389-001   Introduction to Publishing: Community, Collaboration, and Social Change   Licona

In this course, we will explore publishing practices over time and across race, class, gender, and sexuality to consider how writers (especially those not traditionally considered ‘authors’) and their publishing practices, productions, and technologies seek to challenge existing social orders. We will examine questions about who can be considered an author, as well as whose knowledges get circulated: how, and where. Students will explore self-, community, and grassroots publications as distinct publication routes and as action-oriented tools to consider how the world might be changed by what some consider radical publishing practices that aim to reach particular and often non-traditional audiences. Readings will include historic, cultural, and political critiques written as departures from mainstream publications and publishing practices through which authors address issues of everyday importance in and beyond their distinct home communities. Finally, in this course, students will produce collaborative self-publications for particular audiences that address issues of shared interests and importance.

ENGL 389-002    Introduction to Publishing: The Children’s Literature Market    Pearmain

This course will provide an overview of the Children’s Literature literary and academic publishing industry. It is designed to provide aspiring editors and writers basic knowledge of the field including research and discussion of: editing, querying, publishing trends, agents & agenting, submissions, digital publishing, scholarly journals, and publishing houses. Students will read and gain an understanding of the genres of Children’s Literature (short stories, picture books, fiction, non-fiction) as well as the scholarly study and academic writing on these works.

ENGL 389-003   Introduction to Publishing  Monson


This course is designed to provide students interested in the publishing field with a basic understanding of the profession through working for the magazine DIAGRAM <thediagram.com>, the second oldest literary magazine online, and/or for the New Michigan Press, a chapbook publisher of prose, poetry, and hybrid texts.


Students will research and read literary magazines and journals, both online and print, and discover and discuss the ways in which writers, readers, editors, agents, and publishers interact with literary magazines.


How does a print magazine work differently than an online journal? How do essays, stories, and poems find their way to readers? How do literary contests work? How do writers find and submit their work to magazines? As a writer, how can you better research markets to increase your acceptance rate? As an editor, how can you get involved in a literary magazine or small press? How can you start your own and get people to pay attention to it? How can you build a readership and a reputation?


Students, acting as editorial assistants, will read and evaluate and discuss submitted work, and be part of the editorial discussions in making decisions as to which stories, poems, essays, and schematics are accepted for publication.


Students will be encouraged to propose and develop their own projects based on professional interests, and to commit acts of literary citizenship.  

ENGL 396A-001 Honors   Poetics and Sound   Melillo

Alexander Pope claimed that in poetry “sound must seem an echo to the sense,” and as close readers we are generally good at hearing and interpreting these “echoes,” but what happens when we reverse Pope’s claim and say, “sense must seem an echo to the sound”? In the expanded sonic field of contemporary poetic practice—in which poetry, music, sound poetry, sound art, performance art and noise music all vie to upset the smooth, “echoic” relationship between signifier and signified—we need new ways of understanding the relationship between sound and sense. In this course, we will listen to, analyze, theorize, and research the ways in which sound works in within the world of contemporary poetics. What happens to metrical analysis when poetry is no longer tied to classical meters or oral mnemotechnologies—or even words at all? What happens to poetry when writing is no longer the primary way of producing, reproducing, and storing word-sounds? In this class we will necessarily confront and complicate one of the oldest ways of analyzing literature—investigating it as an ordered set of sounds—and not only rethink the sonic, phonemic, rhythmic, lexical, and rhetorical particles that make up poetry but also reimagine the mediums in which and by which those particles of move: speech, meter, text, song, phonograph record, tape machine, digital audio, and more. “Sound-writers” we will be studying will include Sappho, Emily Dickinson, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, W.B. Yeats, Langston Hughes, Robert Creeley, Henri Chopin, William Burroughs, Clark Coolidge, Eileen Myles, Charles Bernstein, Bernadette Mayer, Swans, Sonic Youth, Public Enemy, Kendrick Lamar, and many more. Students will conduct their own long research project on the relationship between sonics and poetics: this will include a long final essay, a prospectus, an annotated bibliography, a discography, multiple draft workshops, and a public presentation. 

ENGL 396A - 002    Culture Matters: Critical Approaches in Cultural Studies   Cardenas

In 1964 when the University of Birmingham created the Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies, one of its principle areas of investigation was to highlight how systems of social power are enabled and reinforced by popular culture texts. Fifty years later, the interdisciplinary field of cultural studies is still invested in exploring how cultural forms such as radio, television, film, advertisements provide the “materials out of which we forge our very identities; our sense of selfhood; our notion of what it means to be male or female; our sense of class, of ethnicity and race, of nationality, of sexuality; and of ‘us’ and ‘them’” (Kellner 1995: 9). What Kellner and other scholars reveal is that the study of culture indeed matters, since  it structures how we see others and ourselves. As such, this course seeks to provide students with a broad analytical framework for understanding how cultural productions, especially those circulated within popular and mass media, have profound social effects. In order to obtain this objective, students in this course will be introduced to different  theoretical approaches commonly used to study both literary and cultural texts including: Semiotics, Marxism, Feminism, Queer theory, and Postcolonialism.  This course is recommended for students interested in writing about non-traditional texts like video games, fashion, music, social media; those invested in exploring the connection between art and politics; as well as those who enjoy learning about various methods of interpretation.

ENGL 401-001    Advanced Creative Writing        Monson

This is the advanced workshop in nonfiction, which, we should start by admitting, isn’t a genre. Nonfiction is just a descriptor, and not a very good one, since intelligent people don’t entirely agree about what it describes and what rules of engagement practitioners are expected to play by. Instead we often use the term creative nonfiction, a little better, or, even better, literary nonfiction, which at least properly owns its snobbery. More specifically, what we’re interested in is nonfiction writing that aspires to art and is serious about its craft. More often than not we’ll be talking about the essay, which is both a sort of writing as well as a way of thinking and of being, even. Essaying is a way of engaging with the world. Essay, as you probably know, comes from the French, meaning to try, to attempt. That is, what we’re doing is inherently experimental. Well, why should that surprise us? The history of literature is the history of experimental literature. So we’ll be experimenting. I’ll assign you research or writing experiments every couple weeks as prompts.

In class we’ll proceed in the workshop format, being that you will submit your work in progress to the workshop at least twice this semester, and we’ll discuss it—its best qualities, its shapes and possible shapes, its subjects, its moves, its material, its methodology, and directions for improvement and expansion—as a group. We do this not just to improve the work on the table in front of us, but as a way of talking about what we’re working on ourselves. So when we’re workshopping an essay on Final Fantasy XII by student Y, we are always talking about your work. Particularly when you’re still early in your writing careers, it is often easier to clearly see and tlak about others’ work than your own.

Research is super important to the nonfiction writer. A case could be made that research is the central skill of what we do. Though we can write about ourselves, we’re not always that interesting (we become a lot more interesting by having something besides ourselves to go after). And we only find out what we think by researching and writing about the world and its details. So we’ll work on that.

ENGL 404-001 Advanced Fiction Workshop   Bernheimer

This class is for experienced students of fiction interested in writing and talking about magical realism, fabulism, and fairy tales. This class might be for you if you like writing weird stories where strange things sometimes happen.  It could be the class for you if you like writing plain stories about hungry siblings helping each other alone in the world. The class focuses on your new fiction manuscripts, presented for discussion as work-in-progress. We will read these manuscripts with an eye toward identifying, supporting, and expanding your dexterity with the techniques of fairy tales. Class will be a mix of writing exercises and manuscript discussions. Some readings will be assigned so we develop a shared craft-based vocabulary about narrative traditions over the centuries and around the globe. Some class time will be spent discussing your writing habits, and we will work on specific ways to incorporate writing into your daily routine. There will be homework around the question of discipline and art. The primary content of the course is your own work-in-progress. This class is intended for fiction writers who want to read closely, and talk closely about, your peers' newest work in a classroom setting.

ENGL 404-002  Advanced Undergraduate Fiction   Johnson

This course offers an opportunity to write and think creatively, learn about the craft of fiction writing, learn how to get more enjoyment from your reading, to incorporate rewriting into your writing process, and develop as an articulate, generous critic.


Your time will be divided between writing and rewriting your own work, reading and commenting upon the work of your fellow student writers, and reading and discussing contemporary and classic short stories.  You must expect to read and write a lot; these are time-consuming undertakings.  You may expect to emerge with better reading, writing, and critical analysis and communication skills, as well as a greater familiarity with contemporary and classic fiction.  Emphasis throughout the semester will be on student participation and the building of a community of literary peers.   You are required to write two stories of 10-15 pages; a major revision of one of those stories; occasional short critical analyses of classic and contemporary published work; and to participate fully in workshop discussion.

ENGL 405-001/GER 405    History of the English Language    Dahood

The course aims to provide students with a sophisticated understanding of language development, with especial focus on English. We will trace the evolution of individual sounds, forms, and vocabulary from their earliest traceable Proto-Indo-European beginnings to English of the present day.

ENGL 416-001  Advanced Literary Analysis: Theories of Lyric from Aristotle to the Present Day    Melillo

In this class, we will encounter a variety literary criticism through the lens of lyric poetry. What makes a poem a “lyric”? What is this literary form’s relationship with other genres and forms of art? What different theories of self, society, and reading create the space to imagine lyric’s difference from other kinds of speaking, writing, and communicating? How can we imagine the generic relationship between texts as radically different as the anonymous 16th century writer of “O Western Wind” and the slapdash rhetoric of Ted Berrigan? What has lyric poetry offered to literary criticism at large—as both the prime example of the difference of literary texts and as a problematic mode in all communication? Readings will include essays and books by poets, theorists and scholars, and will include poets like Campion, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Emerson, Dickinson, Pater, Swinburne, H.D., Pound, Moore, Eliot, Williams, Olson, Howe, and critics like Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Henri Meschonnic, Yopie Prins, Virginia Jackson, and many more. This course will have a heavy reading load. It will also emphasize in-depth discussion of our readings and an extensive set of critical writing projects. 

ENGL 416-002  Advanced Literary Analysis: Tragedy   Sherry

Tragedy is a word with a history.  Nietzsche said that words with a history have no meaning.  Meaning has been lost through overuse and misapplication, as is the case with words like hero, truth, justice, etc.
In this course we will read two tragedies--Agamemnon by Aeschylus, and Antigone by Sophocles--and the great philosophical commentaries on tragedy by Aristotle and Hegel.  If time allows we will also read the works on tragedy by Jean-Pierre Vernant and scholars associated with him.  The aim in doing this is to recover some of the lost meaning of what tragedy and the tragic mean.Three papers will be required, 5-10 pages each, and a take-home essay final.


ENGL/AIS 424-001     Studies in Southwestern Literature:  Poetics and Politics of Water in the Southwest    Evers

We will study some exemplary texts that consider and interpret water in the region we now call the American Southwest.  How and for whom was the text produced? What cultural and literary traditions did the makers work within? How did they realize and, perhaps, transcend those traditions? What is the relationship between physical landscapes and imagined cultural geographies?  Throughout we will ask what a focus on water, literal and metaphorical, can contribute to our understanding of the literary and cultural heritage of the region.

Five response papers (each 3-5 typed double-spaced pages), class presentation, and final paper.

Readings will include Ofelia Zepeda, Where Clouds are Formed;  Mark Reisner, Cadillac Desert;  Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire;  Leslie Silko, Ceremony;  Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge;  Louis Urrea, Devil’s Highway;  as well as assigned selections from other works.

ENGL 431B-001    Shakespeare The Later Plays    Willard
Close study of six or seven plays written during the early seventeenth century, with attention to their histories on the stage and in print. Likely choices are Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, King Lear, Coriolanus, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. Activities will include lectures, discussions, quizzes and in-class writings, a researched essay, and a final examination.

ENGL 470-001    The Interior Journey:  Reading and Writing the Inner Life    Johnson

This seminar will survey creative nonfiction, memoir, and fiction (with poetry making guest appearances) in the rich mode of interior journey:  spiritual, philosophical, metaphorical.  Students will be encouraged to use reading and writing as a means to shaping and deepening their contemplative lives, with attention to craft but with an emphasis on addressing their individual engagement with the great existential questions:  Does life inherently have meaning or must we create it, and if the latter, what are our means to that end?  How does reading and writing figure in your relationship with God / Goddess / the gods and goddesses, concepts and words – with ample time and space given to atheists and agnostics?

Students will be required to meet with the instructor to undertake a practice, or deepen a current practice, outside the class – a method through which they will enrich their interior lives, e.g., brief regular meditation, yoga, centering prayer, journaling.  Students will be asked to write five short (3 page) response papers across the course of the semester, and one cumulative longer (10 pp.) essay comparing / contrasting two of the readings and/or practices we have discussed.  With instructor approval, students may submit a creative effort (e.g., story, long poem or series of poems, memoir) to meet the long-paper requirement.

ENGL 471-001   Law and Literature   Hendricks

This course is about the law in literary texts as these reflect the texts of actual laws.  It thus asks students to analyze literary texts involving issues of law within the context of legal statutes and decisions considered as texts, as themselves subject to literary analysis.  It offers, in fact, a two part approach to the growing field of Law and Literature.  Part One considers how we might apply the critical language of literary study -- such as figuration, interpretation, rhetoric, and culture -- to the legal language of judicial decisions and legislative acts, as well as to the traditional legal canons of statutory construction.  Part Two then applies the reading strategies of both jurisdictions --  both the literary and the legal -- to culturally significant works of literature that offer legal themes, such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Trial, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Song of Solomon.

ENGL/AFAS 478-001  African American Literature   LeSeur-Brown

This course will be interdisciplinary wherein the history, culture and personal experiences  occupy a relevant spaces within American culture.  The key focus will be how the Negro/Colored/Bllack  man is depicted in works  by male and female writers, in nonfiction, fiction, drama and “spoken word.” 


My expectation is that  selected works will generate not the glorification  or demonizing of these men, but the realities of their  experiences and how each manages his circumstance.  We will also question their depictions and/or differences  depending on the historical eras, political movements, including things going on African American culture.  It has also been said that Black women writers do not write “fairly” about Black men.  We will test that by providing evidence  for each literary piece read.     


Additionally, will also look at and discuss certain traditions inherent  in the works, as well as canon formation in  African literature and its place in “American” literature.  Of course, we cannot negate the current status and the  “rumblings” about  our Black men.  Students are expected to keep a journal based on the readings,  current conversations and things which arise, regularly, in the media .   

ENGL 479-001    Alfred Hitchcock    Pettey

This course surveys the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock from the silent era to his final years.  Students will examine the development of Hitchcock’s style as an auteur and his cinematic innovations.  Students will pay particular attention to Hitchcock’s process of filmmaking, including storyboarding, plot construction, art direction, and sophisticated camera work.  Students will examine Hitchcock’s repetitions of themes and plot lines, his depictions of gender, sexuality, and fetishism, and his use of spectacle, spectatorship, and voyeurism in his films.  Students will study how major film scholars have analyzed the visual, narrative, and thematic structures of Hitchcock’s films.  Additionally, students will explore Hitchcock’s view of pre-World War II British society, Hitchcock’s often satiric commentary on post-War American culture, and Hitchcock’s penchant for dark comedy.
In class, students will not only examine technical, aesthetic, thematic, and cultural issues in Hitchcock’s work, but will also discuss his influence upon decades of filmmakers.  Students will also analyze specific scenes in terms of art design, lighting, mise-en-scène, camera angles, inventive editing, and the use of sound and music that have Hitchcock’s signature.
    As primary outcomes for this course, students will be expected:  
    1) to identify elements that characterize Hitchcock’s film aesthetic, particularly art design, fashion, mise-en-scène, lighting, camera work, editing, and sound;  
    2) to be conversant with terminology applicable to Hitchcock’s process of filmmaking;  
    3) to analyze Hitchcock’s process of creating storyboards, film scripts, and shooting scripts;  
    4) to articulate Hitchcock’s transformation from director to auteur, along with the French and American commentaries on his status and influence;  
    5) to become familiar with Hitchcock’s themes, narrative structures, and emphasis upon spectacle in this films;  
    6) to break down scenes from a Hitchcock film in terms of film aesthetics and to relate those to thematic and narrative issues;
    and 7) to write interpretive essays on Hitchcock film narrative, themes, and aesthetics.

ENGL 486-001  Topics in American Literature: Travel Narratives, Travel Fictions   Cooper Alarcón

This course will provide an opportunity to read, consider, and discuss a diverse array of texts we might broadly categorize as travel literature.  Our goal will be to identify the conventions of the various manifestations of this genre, as well as the different kinds of cultural work that travel literature performs at different historical moments.  As our starting point, we will take the European discovery of the New World in the late fifteenth century, and pay attention to the ways in which travel narratives became a crucial means by which Europeans attempted to understand and control this exotic, new space and its inhabitants.  As the course progresses we’ll think about how travel narratives were altered to accommodate new philosophies, ideologies, and artistic movements, and, as I hope the term “travel fictions” suggests, we will think about how and why these narratives often misrepresent, distort, and fabricate notions about the people and places they purport to describe.  We will also read several novels and stories that purposefully attempt to raise questions about different types of travel, including exploration, immigration, and tourism.  And, we’ll consider how travel narratives and travel fictions often borrow from one another, mutually reinforcing ideas, tropes, and modes of representation.  Finally, we’ll think about how reading and writing have become an integral part of traveling–shaping not just itineraries, but perceptions and beliefs about the places travelers visit. 


The literary works we will read and discuss include the narrative of Cabeza de Vaca, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, tramp stories by Bret Harte and Jack London, Paul Bowles’s The Sheltering Sky, Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine, Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, and Jacques Poulin’s Volkswagen Blues.  For more information, feel free to contact me at dfcooper@email.arizona.edu.  

ENGL 486-002    American Literature and the Technologies of Popular Culture, 1870-1920    Jenkins

After the horrors of the Civil War, the U.S. looked to leisure. Popular entertainments developed in ways that were accessible across class distinctions, from factory workers to those enjoying Gilded Age privilege. In this course, we’ll look at the rise of amusements, from print culture, board games, fairs and sideshows, comic books and scrapbooks to photography and early radio and cinema as they inform the production of popular and literary fiction. Readings will be chosen from among works by Twain, Howells, Norris, James, Alger, Bierce, Crane, Gilman and factory-girl fiction. Films will include silent Westerns, The Perils of Pauline cliffhanger serials, Houdini films, actualities and curiosities, and early Hollywood comedies. Substantive reading, thinking, and analytical writing required. Projects will involve archival research in primary source materials.

ENGL 489A-001   Contemporary American Literature: Poetry   Nathanson

Contemporary American poetry (much of which can be called postmodern) both extends and morphs the restless experimental energies and grand ambitions of the great American modernists.  We’ll read contemporary poetry both as a dialogic response to the modern tradition and as an engagement with contemporary political, economic, and cultural developments. Poets to be studied will likely include several of the following: Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, Philip Whalen, Charles Bernstein, Ron Silliman, Leslie Scalapino, Norman Fischer, Erica Hunt, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Bernadette Mayer, Harryette Mullen, Heriberto Yépez, Lisa Jarnot, Julie Carr.  (We won’t read all these poets: a reading list of seven to eight writers is most likely.)  Principal requirements: three short papers (3-5 pp. each), or two short papers plus a journal of imitations; a final exam.  Please note: the working assumption of the course is that the student has significant prior experience reading and writing about poetry (in a class such as English 380).

ENGL 489B-001  History, Historiography, and American Literature   Cooper Alarcón

Over the course of the semester, we will read and discuss literary works by a diverse group of contemporary American authors, each of whom attempts to grapple with the question of how to represent past events through narrative, and how our understanding of the past is mediated by narrative–which, of course, is subject to and shaped by memory and trauma, personal and political interests, and social forces and institutions.  Thus, while these works all focus on historical events, both large and small, they also, and more importantly, self-consciously examine the limits and consequences of historical representation.


The reading list is still taking shape, but will likely include works by Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Cormac McCarthy, Art Spiegelman, and Luis Valdez.  For more information, feel free to contact me at dfcooper@email.arizona.edu.

ENGL 496A-001    Colonial and Postcolonial Fiction    Raval

This course will deal with several major colonial and postcolonial novels, focusing on issues at stake in contemporary discussions of these works. Among the novelists to be explored are Conrad (Heart of Darkness), Forster (A Passage to India), Achebe (Things Fall Apart), Kincaid (Lucy), Naipaul (A Bend in the River), Coetzee (Disgrace), and Bharati Mukherjee (Jasmine). Nearly all the novels are quite short and are chosen to focus on larger cultural and political contexts and problems they explore. We will also read some portions of Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and Edward Said’s Orientalism and a selection of some short but important theoretical essays. The goal will be to examine these novels from the perspective of various major postcolonial concepts about identity, representation, nationalism, and globalization among a host of others. Each student will write ONE 1- or 2-page, single space commentary on an important aspect of each novel, a term paper, one class presentation, a mid-term exam, and a final exam. (Antigone Books at 411 N 4th Ave will have all required books for this course.)

ENGL 496A-002    Desire, Love and Friendship: Interwoven themes in English and American Literature    Scruggs

 We will begin the course with Plato (Symposium), Cicero (“On Friendship”), and St. Augustine (selections from his Confessions), texts that set forth the main issues of Eros and its permutations.  We will then move to the theme of courtly love in the Middle Ages (Andreas Capellanus’ De Amore, translated The Art of Courtly Love) and then to a Renaissance sonnet sequence (perhaps Shakespeare’s ) coupled with poems by the Greek poet Sappho. We will then juxtapose Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing with a Restoration comedy (perhaps George Etherege’s The Man of Mode).  In the Nineteenth Century we will read Keats’ famous Odes (especially “Ode to Melancholy” and “Ode on a Grecian Urn”) alongside poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson.  We will end the course with texts from the Twentieth Century—D. H. Lawrence’s The Fox, Phillip Roth’s The Dying Animal, Joyce Carol Oates’s The Tattooed Girl, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden.
Outside Reading: Selections from Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents.

ENGL 496A-004   Images as World-Making Possibilities: Reconsidering Ways of Looking and Seeing    Licona

In this seminar-style writing course, students will consider "the given to be seen" as a particular way of looking with consequences. Students will read and write about works that might move viewers/readers to look, to see, and perhaps even to feel differently. We will use what we read to interrogate visual images and to re/consider the relationships between images and textualities. Students will be asked to consider how such relationships might function as world-making practices and interventions to promote alternative visions of the past and alternative practices in the present. We will consider if and how images might move people to participate in action-oriented projects for social transformation. Students will reflect on a variety of images (and the con/texts within which they circulate, are produced, and are consumed) as moving / mobilizing possibilites. Together with their written work, students will have the opportunity to produce visual images that result from and might promote new ways of looking, seeing, feeling, and acting.



College of Social and Behavioral Sciences