Spring 2013 Course Descriptions
518.002: Proposal and Grant Writing
MWF 1:00 - 1:50
This course will introduce students to grant and proposal writing in the business, scientific, technical, and activist domains. Students will examine the rhetorical and practical implications of grant and proposal writing. Students will be required to identify an organization that would benefit from the expertise of a grant and proposal writer and assist the organization by developing, creating, and presenting a completed grant or proposal by the end of the semester.
520.001: Blue Mesa Review
W 2:00-3:00, F 3:00-4:00
Justin St. Germain
This class introduces you to the production of UNM’s national literary magazine, Blue Mesa Review. We receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of submissions each year from authors hoping to see their stories, essays, or poems published in our journal. Your primary responsibility in this course is to assess these submissions—collectively called “slush”—for possible publication in BMR. In addition, you will keep an informal journal about your participation in slush, attend two discussion meetings, and write a few short papers. This class requires you to be self-motivating; in some respects, it is very much like an independent study. You must be able to keep up with the workload on your own—and often on your own time.
NOTE: The meeting times listed are open computer lab hours, NOT class meetings. Please contact instructor for more information on requirements and meeting times.
520.002: Prose Stylistics
Prose Stylistics is a wide ranging course that tries to find out what makes for good prose (and what makes for wretched prose). We will study periodic sentences and running sentences, noun style and verb style, parataxis and hypotaxis. We will study such questions as “What do we mean by voice?”; “What assumptions do we bring to prose that we don’t bring to poetry?”; and “What do we mean by ‘high style’ and ‘low style’?” And we will question whether prose is transparent or opaque, and what the ramifications of that are. Five or six short papers, no midterm or final.
520.004: Professional Writing in a Globalized World
This course arises out of the recognition that there are more nonnative than native speakers of English and that we can increasingly expect to communicate with people from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds in our professional lives. The class will begin by giving students a theoretical grounding in cross-cultural communication with readings primarily from scholars in applied linguistics and rhetoric that focus on issues such as native/nonnative speaker power hierarchies, communication styles, and cultural situatedness. As the semester progresses, the readings will focus on cross-cultural communication considerations when communicating in different professional settings: journalism, advertising, technical communication, and internal corporate communication. Anticipated projects include a facilitated cross-national email exchange with an accompanying reflection essay, a cross-national media analysis, a research paper focused on comparing/contrasting communication styles in two cultures, and various applied projects such as product instructions and press releases.
521.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Prose Fiction
Sharon Oard Warner
Reading (and Writing) the Novella:
For our purposes, we will define the novella as 60-120 pages of fiction that typically follows “the fortunes of a single character through a limited time in a circumscribed locale, focused on a central action.” This working definition comes courtesy of Philip Gerard, from his essay, “An Architecture of Light: Structuring the Novel & Story Collection.” Early in the semester, we will delve deeper into the various descriptions of the genre by writers as diverse as Steven Millhauser, Howard Nemerov, and Henry James.
As a form, the novella lends itself to both expansion and compression and is therefore an excellent project for fiction writers who find themselves challenged in either direction. A novella can contain more characters than a story, but, that said, the dramatic arc is still relatively simple. As Debra Spark so aptly puts it, “the novella is Goldilock’s form, not too much of this and not too much of that but just right.”
Those enrolled in the course will be expected to formulate and draft a novella over the course of the semester and to devise a plan for its eventual revision.
In addition, class members will read and discuss a number of novellas—both classic and contemporary.
522.001: Poetry Workshop
This graduate level poetry workshop might be called “A little bit of this, a little bit of that” in that, beyond the obvious focus on reading and critiquing student writing, it will also have a few other themes. One will be on publishing and first books, and we will read and discuss several first books, including some by graduates of UNM’s MFA program. Students will also have the (optional) opportunity to have a manuscript in progress (full length, chapbook length or even just a series of poems) workshopped by the whole class, with an eye towards submitting this manuscript for publication. Students in the class will also need to do one paper with a corresponding presentation that will be focused on either a literary journal or a first book contest.
523.001: Graduate Creative Nonfiction Workshop
This is a writing workshop focused on revision. Each student will write two new pieces of creative nonfiction. We will workshop each piece twice. Then, each of you will choose one of these two essays to revise again, and you will submit this at the end of the semester to six literary magazines. The goal of the course is to push you to produce more than you thought you could, to break down what Jane Smiley calls “evasion strategies.” The particular subgenre of creative nonfiction you may turn in to the workshop is wide open: Autobiographical Narrative (an essay that has the dramatic structure of a short story); a Lyric Meditation (a more “classic” Montaigne-like essay that is structured meditatively or philosophically or associatively); Profile; Travel Writing; Literary Journalism. A hybrid essay that combines two or more of these forms. It’s all fair game.
Readings for discussion in class will consist of (1) published essays from a variety of the subgenres above, as well as (2) essays on craft. In selecting pieces for us to read and discuss, my aim is for eclecticism--to give you a sense of the range of literary nonfiction, to give you a sense of the possibilities of the form. My hope is that the course will push you stylistically and technically, and encourage you to take risks, to raise your standards for what you consider good writing, and then to meet those standards through the development of the habit of art.
535.002: Creative Writing Pedagogy
This graduate course will focus on imaginative and innovative ways to teach writing. The course will offer a variety of creative writing techniques and exercises which participants can incorporate into their own courses. It will address various concerns of writing pedagogy, including constructive criticism, motivation, and the balance of reading, analysis, exercise, and workshop. Students will read some pedagogical essays, but most of the course time will be practice-oriented. Students will have the opportunity to develop, refine, and modify their own exercises and lesson plans. I intend the course to be useful to participants’ own creative ventures, as well as provide a number of valuable ideas and methods to carry to the classroom.
(Required course, offered once a year, for TA's seeking to teach the 224 creative writing workshop the following year.)
538.001: Writing Theory for Teachers
This course examines sociocultural approaches to written composition and their bases in theories of mind, language, and society. Students will inquire into how their own implicit theoretical assumptions influence practice, as well as how the composition frameworks we explore might inform their teaching. In addition to this reflective work, students will design a composition curriculum and construct a rationale for its application that is grounded in their understandings of course readings.
539.01: Teaching Professional Writing
This course provides graduate students with a foundation in the theory, pedagogy, and practice of teaching technical and professional communication. We will focus on how to teach English 219: Technical and Professional Communication since that is the course you will have an opportunity to teach at UNM, but we will also discuss how to teach other professional writing courses both in the academy and the workplace. Throughout the semester, you will read a variety of articles and discuss how the ideas presented influence your approach to teaching. The first half of the semester, we will focus on understanding rhetorical theory and historical background of professional and technical writing, genre theory, ethics, multi-cultural issues, and user-centered document design. During the second half of the semester, we will explore teaching methods such as case studies, service learning, collaborative work, and computer mediated instruction that you can employ in your classroom.
540.001: Adult ESL Learner's identities
Pisarn Bee Chamcharatsri
This course aims to explore issues of identity (re)construction of adult ESL or second language (L2) learners in different contexts (on-line, classroom, work place) and populations (undergraduate students, graduate students, novice scholars, and immigrants). Through critical pedagogy lens, we will discuss and unpack the issue of power/ideology in relation to the native speaker norms, the issue of “Standard English” both in spoken and in written formats, and issues of emotions and self-marginalization from L2 learners themselves. We will explore possible ways to emancipate and empower our L2 learners.
543.002: Major Texts: Contemporary Rhetoric
Michelle Hall Kells
This course will explore contemporary rhetorical theory and practice through the analysis of textual representations of citizenship and agency within democratic social structures. The purpose of this class is to create opportunities to consider your roles as citizens, rhetors, and scholars through a deeper understanding of deliberative engagement and civic participation. We will examine, apply, and critique contemporary rhetorical theories as well as analyze case studies in 20th century civic activism.
Each theoretical system of rhetoric advocates a model of symbolic action and maps the exercise of influence within a socio-historical context. The study of rhetoric calls attention to the means by which rhetors represent and advance their interests as individual agents and collective entities. Rhetoric is social action; creative and symbolic; dynamic; context-dependent; intrinsic to human communication; inherent to all forms of social organization. We will apply these framing questions to our analyses of each theoretical system:
- What is rhetoric?
- Who is the rhetor (agent)?
- What is the rhetorical situation?
- What is exigence?
- Who is the audience (implied, targeted, unintended; primary, secondary, tertiary)?
- What is rhetorical agency?
- What are the key words/terms/concepts of each rhetorical theory?
- How does rhetoric shape citizenship (belonging)?
The rich literary and rhetorical legacy of twentieth century democracies can be examined through diverse rhetorical artifacts including film, poetry, speeches, drama, essays, letters, fiction as well legal treatises and policies. These different genres tell the stories of collective struggle, achievement, and citizenship that shape current trends in education, law, socio-economic status, government, private organizational policies, and political participation. Concomitant to our study of rhetorical theories, we will focus on civic issues and political texts of the 20th century with emphasis on the environmental justice movement.
Course Assignments include:
- Rhetorical Analysis Exercises (5)
- Class Discussion Leader (2)
- Supplementary Reading Report & Presentation
- Mid-Term Take Home Exam
- Final Rhetorical Analysis Project
- Language Rights
- Immigration and citizenship
- Voting Rights
- Religious Freedom
- Environmental Justice
- Reproductive Rights
- Equal Opportunity (Education and Employment)
- Civil Rights & Equal Access Issues
ENGL 543 Required Texts:
Hannah Arendt. The Promise of Politcs. Schocken Books, 2005.
Andrew J. Bacevich. The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism. Henry Holt, 2008.
David R. Hiley. Doubt and the Demands of Democratic Citizenship. Cambridge UP, 2006.
Albert O. Hirschman. The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy. Harvard UP, 1991.
Sonja Foss, Karen A. Foss, and Robert Trapp. Contemporary Perspectives on Rhetoric. 3rd ed. Waveland Press, 2001.
M. Jimmie Killingsworth. Appeals in Modern Rhetoric: An Ordinary-Language Approach. Southern Illinois UP, 2006.
Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrects-Tyteca. The New Rhetoric: A Treatise on Argumentation. University of Notre Dame, 1969.
Philippe-Joseph Salazar. An African Athens: Rhetoric and the Shaping of Democracy in South Africa. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002.
Films (Zimmerman Reserve Desk):
Internationally Speaking. Christine Rose.
Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train. Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller.
This Is What Democracy Looks Like. IMC/Big Noise Films.
The Fog of War.
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Judith Erlich & Rick Goldsmith.
545.001 (LING 590): History of the English Language
The English language can be traced back many centuries to a form nearly unrecognizable to most modern speakers. Nonetheless, present day English still contains many significant features of its previous incarnations. This course will examine the history of English from its Indo-European roots through its medieval developments to its modern, international forms. In the process, students will learn methods of linguistic analysis and description along with the historical contexts of the developments. No previous knowledge of Old or Middle English is necessary.
555.001: The Gothic in Art and Fiction
During the last decades of the eighteenth century, the ideology of mutual well-being between society and the individual crumbles in the face of economic and political conditions. Between 1760 and 1820, perilous conditions flame out in disastrous events such as the Gordon Riots. Gothic art and fiction mark this social and political climate as fearful genres for a fearful time. What cultural specters may inspire Gothic supernatural specters? What is it about these fantastical works that was and still is seductive to readers?
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764)
Matthew Lewis, The Monk (1796)
Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (1797)
William Beckford, Vathek (1786)
Charlotte Dacre, Zofloya (1806)
James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
Emma Clery and Robert Miles, eds., Gothic Documents, A Sourcebook 1700-1820
20th- and 21st-century criticism and theory: posted on WebCT
557.001: Victorian Studies: Scandalous Victorians
In the popular imagination, it sometimes seems as if to be Victorian was to be scandalized—by lapses in religious orthodoxy, by representations of sexuality and transgressions of strong sexual norms, even (apocryphally) by uncovered piano legs. In this course we will examine the literature and culture of Victorian Britain through the lens of scandal. We will explore the representation of different types of scandal in a variety of literary genres, as well as some representative historical episodes of scandal. We will ask why some kinds of transgressions become scandalous, while others are merely “problems,” and will explore what kinds of social responses and reactions are evoked and foreclosed by the rhetoric of scandal.
Scandal is a useful lens through which to arrive at a broad understanding of issues that preoccupied Victorian Britain. Therefore this course may serve as a graduate-level introduction to Victorian literature and culture. Particular attention will be paid to questions of gender, sexuality, class and social mobility, and national and imperial identity, as well as to the issues of the dynamics of scandal and the processes of social change. By reading original historical documents alongside literary works, students will gain practice in cultural studies analytical and research methods. Reading critical and theoretical works will help develop our sense of the scholarly conversations that drive Victorian studies today.
Authors we read may include: Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, John Stuart Mill, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Robert Buchanan, Charles Felix [Charles Warren Adams]; Robert Louis Stevenson
568.001: Topics in American Literature—19th-century American Literature and the West
This course traces the development of the US’s western frontier as it appears in nineteenth-century literary and cultural production. We’ll consider how the “frontier” transformed into the “west” and in the process became a geo-literary space for writers and travelers to express fears and desires that emerge as a response to historical change. We’ll balance literary texts with cultural ones, such as John O’Sullivan’s 1845 “Annexation” editorial and American landscape paintings, to understand how the west works as a socially symbolic space, and we’ll frame our analysis within and against critical writings about the west, ranging from Frederick Jackson Turner’s “frontier thesis” to Richard Slotkin’s notion of “frontier violence.” Most importantly, the seminar will consider how three interrelated genres—the historical romance, travel narrative, and popular fiction—use the concept of the west to narrate cultural crises such as class conflict, racial anxiety, gender trouble, environmental change and industrialization; and the emergence of U.S. empire.
This course will focus on the shifts in how literary critics have periodized post-1945 American literature since the 1980s. We will begin with works central to postmodernism, featuring texts by Don DeLillo, Ihab Hassan, Linda Hutcheon, Fredric Jameson, Toni Morrison, Thomas Pynchon, and Art Spiegelman. We will then move on to works central to the reconfiguration of postwar American literature currently underway, including writing by James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Amy Elias, Mark McGurl, Norman Mailer, Walter Benn Michaels, and David Foster Wallace. We will conclude with an account of contemporary literature, focusing on writers like Dana Spiotta, Chris Ware, and Karen Tei Yamashita. In each section of the course, we will focus on how certain styles of postwar prose are elevated or left behind based on the political and aesthetic expectations of literary critical discourses. Course requirements include active participation, an in-class presentation, a book review, and a research essay.
581.001: Chaucer and Gender
Chaucer has often been credited with creating the first psychologically viable women characters in English literature: The Wife of Bath and Criseyde, one a contemporary fourteenth-century antifeminist caricature, the other an ancient Juliet. In this course, we will test this scholarly commonplace and examine just how conservative or avant-garde Chaucer really was in relation to gender. Of course, Chaucer’s canon contains numerous women characters aside from Alisoun and Criseyde—among them nuns, lovers, martyrs, wives, virgins, queens, bourgeois merchants, adulteresses, courtly and peasant women—as well as colorful male characters, such as the Troilus, Pandarus, the Miller, the Reeve, Harry Bailey, the Friar, the Pardoner, to name a few. We will read a selection of shorter poems, The Book of the Duchess, The Parliament of Fowls, Troilus and Criseyde, The Legend of Good Women, and an assortment of Canterbury Tales. In our inquiries, we will enlist feminist, gender, and queer theory. I posit that the examination of Chaucer’s works with a gendered lens will provide us with new and fresh insights into the characters—both male and female—the works, and the author.
587.001: Genre Studies: The Tragic Tradition
This course will survey the extended history of the genre of tragedy. We will read theories of tragedy from Aristotle’s Poetics to John Dryden’s An Essay of Dramatic Poesy to Raymond Williams’s Modern Tragedy. We will situate these theories within a body of dramatic writing and performance, specifically Shakespearean tragedy and its adaptation. Shakespeare’s plays, such asHamlet and King Lear, not only engage with neoclassical interpretations of ancient tragedy; they have also been repurposed to shape and to accommodate emerging notions of tragedy. This course will come up to the present day through examination of post-9/11 debate about the purpose and efficacy of tragic art. Students will be encouraged to shape their research to their areas of focus, whether classics or post-modernism, rhetoric or eighteenth-century studies.
This course is part of a two-course sequence on Shakespeare. Students who took the first part of this sequence with Dr. Nocentelli in in Fall 2012 are especially encouraged to enroll in this course.
587.002: Genre Studies: Fragmented Narratives
Justin St. Germain
In this craft-based reading seminar for creative writers, we will explore the ways in which – and the potential reasons why – writers of prose narratives choose to fracture or fragment their stories. The primary genre focus of the course will be creative nonfiction, but we’ll read some fiction as well, especially fiction based in fact, and our in-depth discussion of structure will benefit writers working in any creative form. Course readings may include memoirs, essays, lyric essays, literary journalism, hybrid forms of nonfiction, short stories, novels, and many works that are difficult to classify. Texts will range in form from the conventional to the experimental, but we’ll focus primarily on contemporary writing. We’ll also read essays on craft, narrative structure, and documentary theory. As a class, we’ll examine how authors address the reader’s desire for narrative, and how they reconcile that desire with the reader’s expectation of reality or truth.
This course is geared toward writers rather than critics, and so we will read like writers. Our goal is primarily to observe and describe the readings, and most of all to understand how they function. We will pay special attention to structure, tension, and the representation of time, as well as how – and how much – reality is being filtered or mediated. And we will also read like thieves, looking for techniques we can steal from other writers, and examining other approaches as a way of broadening our understanding of the possibilities available to us in our own writing.
This is primarily a reading course, but because it is also a course for creative writers, I’ll expect you to apply what you learn to your creative work in writing assignments both in and out of class. Students will also be required to write brief free-form responses to readings, and will prepare a presentation to the class on one of the course texts. Class sessions will be largely discussion-based, so participation is also an essential requirement of this course. The goal is to create a community of engaged readers, writers, and thinkers, in which we can exchange ideas and explore new avenues for our creative work.
610.001: Critical Theory: Frankfurt School through Public Sphere
The term “Critical Theory” refers to the work of several generations of German theorists known as the Frankfurt School. A “Critical” Theory is distinguished from a non-critical theory in that a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human emancipation. Critical Theorists claim that social inquiry ought to combine rather than separate the pole of philosophy with those of the social sciences and humanities. Such an approach, Critical Theorists argue, permits their enterprise to be practical in a moral (rather than instrumental) sense. Critical Theory can importantly be seen as the beginning of what has been a very significant trend for our discipline: interdisciplinarity.
This graduate seminar will begin an exploration of Critical Theory with the most prominent members of the Frankfurt-based Institute for Social Research (Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and Walter Benjamin--who was not technically a member of the Frankfurt School), and continue through the work of Jürgen Habermas, their most significant inheritor. We will then follow what is (arguably) the richest branch of Habermas’s varied work, public sphere theory, through to the present day, ending with Michael Warner’s version of queer-inflected public sphere theory (or public sphere-inflected queer theory).
Students will be expected to write weekly responses to our readings on WebCT, be responsible for presenting the weeks’ material to the class several times during the semester, write one short essay, and one longer, article-length essay, and be active participants in our weekly seminar meetings.
640 001: Non/Standard Language and Literacy
R 4:00 -7:30
As the title suggests, this course examines language, literacy, and issues of standardness. As part of this work, we will focus our attention on definitions of non/standardness and the process and consequences of standardization. Throughout the semester, we will seek out examples of nonstandard language and literacies that are doing important work to increase linguistic equality for traditionally stigmatized students and populations.
650.001: Old English Queens and Cross-Dressers
One was a queen, two were transvestites, and all suffered in the name of their God. In this course, we will examine the Old English literary accounts of several female saints and explore the concepts of femininity and holiness in the texts. We will analyze how, even while celebrating these women, these texts portray the female body as something that must be controlled, hidden, or somehow de-sexed. The class will also focus on the depiction of virginity as a defining factor in female sanctity and on how purity relates to both body and mind in these texts. Discussion of these themes will figure largely in class, but equal emphasis will be placed on translating the original Old English. For daily work, students will read secondary literature and prepare translations, and we will meticulously analyze the language of each text. Students will write a major research paper for the semester. Prerequisite: Introduction to Old English.
670.001: Seminar: Creative Writing