Current Semester Courses - Fall 2017
500.001: Introduction to the Professional Study of English
Sarah Townsend, email@example.com
This course prepares first-semester M.A. and Ph.D. students in English for graduate study and professionalization. The first unit of the course will trace the stages of a graduate career in English. Our focus will be on professionalization, and students will develop skills and strategies aimed at preparing them to succeed in each phase of a graduate career, from coursework and graduate-level research to qualifying exams, thesis/dissertation, conferences, publications, pedagogy, the job search (both academic and alt-ac), and more. Advanced graduate students, faculty, librarians, dissertation coaches, and consultants will also share their expertise. The second unit of the course will reflect historically and philosophically upon English as a discipline and academia as a profession. The focus will be on interrogating our shared assumptions about the practices we implement (writing, pedagogy, critique) and the values we seek to foster in our scholarly work (accessibility, collegiality, mindfulness, and joy). By reexamining our textual objects of inquiry, considering the relationship between scholarship and teaching, and contemplating the changing nature of academic labor and the university workplace, the course will prepare students to navigate their graduate degrees and professional careers both knowledgably and purposefully.
501.001: Introduction to the Profession for Writers
Daniel Mueller, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the gateway course for students enrolled in UNM's MFA Program in Creative Writing and a requirement for Teaching Assistants planning on teaching English 224/Introduction to Creative Writing. In it, we’ll examine all aspects of the "writing life" except the creative writing itself. From the professional to the personal, the course will cover the balancing act that most writers perform in order to support themselves and their families while engaged in the production of literature. Units include creative writing’s history in the academy; creative writing pedagogy; publishing (traditional, university, indy, self, and online); finding an agent; applying for fellowships, teaching positions, grants, and prizes; organizing one’s time; and participating in the global, national, and local literary communities as book reviewers, bloggers, teachers, editors, interviewers, interviewees, publicists, and experts.
511.001: T: Job Seekers Workshops
Jonathan Davis-Secord, email@example.com
The academic job market presents a unique set of expectations and challenges. This course prepares students to craft their application materials and navigate the process successfully. Students will learn the timeline for assembling their materials and the expectations for the various documents in an application, including cover letters, CVs, writing samples, and teaching and research statements. In addition to discussions of the job application process and its documents, the course will involve significant workshopping of each student’s materials. We will also demystify conference interviews, Skype and phone interviews, campus visits, and job talks. While applying to academic jobs will be the main focus for the course, we will also discuss jobs outside of academia, including the challenge of identifying employment options, distinguishing between CVs and resumes, and justifying the PhD. This course will be especially useful to students finishing their degree, but it is open to students of every level, and it could be helpful for students to take the course more than once.
511.002: ST: Feminist Theories
511.003: ST: Advanced Queer Theories
511.004: T: Power, Ethics, Politics
518.001: Proposal & Grant Writing
Kyle Fiore, firstname.lastname@example.org
This course explores the fine art of raising money with a focus on how to raise funds for scholarships, graduate studies, and non-profit organizations. You will meet with fund raising executives and scholars at UNM, and foundation directors from Albuquerque. You will study winning scholarships, research applications, and non-profit proposals to understand the successful moves they make. You will learn how to research, locate, and evaluate RFPs (requests for proposals) to find the best match between your project and a prospective funder. You will practice how to persuade a funder to support you, and/or your project. or nonprofit organization. Finally, you will create a calendar and craft your own application to fund an aspect of your graduate studies.
520.001: T: Writing with Class Trope
Jerome Shea, email@example.com
This course focuses on rhetorical tropes and schemes, on recognizing them and using them in our writing. You will develop a store of particularly useful tropes to amaze your friends and confound your enemies. Not only will we write, but we will analyze other writings, leaning to spot the coy apophasis, the elusive hypophora, the flashy chiasmus, the bullying bdelygmia, and many more. No exams, just writing: five or six short papers.
520.002: T: Blue Mesa Review
Mark Sundeen, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.
Please contact instructor for more information on requirements and meeting times.
Andrew Bourelle, email@example.com
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut.” --Stephen King
In English 521, students will read a lot and write a lot, as Stephen King suggests, but we will take this practice one step further. Students will read a lot and write a lot together, helping each other through critique, discussion, and support. The class will address fiction in general but will focus specifically on short stories. Students will write, read, analyze, and discuss a variety of short stories in an exploration into the realm of possibilities available in fiction writing. Class discussions will address plot, point of view, character, conflict, setting, style, syntax, and more. Students will write and workshop at least two of their own stories, with classmates providing substantive written feedback as well as engaging in comprehensive discussions about the students’ work. By reading a lot and writing a lot—and doing so in a guided and supportive environment—students will continue to develop their skills, craft, and processes for writing fiction.
532.002: Teaching Multimodal and Online Composition
Tiffany Bourelle, firstname.lastname@example.org
In this class, you will learn the theory behind online teaching and multimodal composition. Beth Hewett and Christa Ehmann (2004) indicate that teachers are often concerned about teaching online for the first time; however, they suggest that this worry is caused by a lack of proper training. This course will prepare you to teach your online course, helping you understand the best practices of designing a course, facilitating course discussions, holding online conferences, and providing feedback. In addition, the class will also be practical, as you will develop your own course shell to teach in the subsequent semester (if you are eligible). The class you’ll teach will be part of our online program, eComp, which is based on a multimodal pedagogy, where students are asked to choose their medium in response to the needs of their audience and the purpose of the document. As such, this class will teach you the theory and pratice of multimodal composition, helping you create materials such as assignments and multimodal instructional tools that mimic the texts your students develop.
533.001: Teaching Professional and Technical Writing
Julianne Newmark Engberg, email@example.com
This course trains graduate students to serve as instructors of technical writing and technical communication courses. Students will develop a strong foundation in technical communication that will emerge from engagement with the field’s history alongside study of scholarship on pedagogical practices. Students will work directly to build their own technical communication courses by creating assignments and activities, assessing student writing, and leading model classes within our 533 course.
540.001: Methods in Writing Research
Todd Ruecker, firstname.lastname@example.org
This course provides an introduction to empirical research methods that will support you as you become an ethical researcher in rhetoric and composition. We will begin with readings that explore the research traditions in composition studies, including an aversion to empirical research. The bulk of the semester will focus on learning how to engage in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research through various, interdisciplinary readings alongside work analyzing the methodological approaches presented in a variety of articles. This work will be complemented by practical projects aimed at giving you a foundation to progress from designing a project (e.g., developing research questions, instruments, and writing an IRB protocol) to analyzing data and writing up findings in response to data.
542.001: Major Texts in Rhetoric
Michelle Kells, mkells@unm
This course will explore classical rhetorical theory and practice as reflected in literary representations of Western history, education, and democratic political systems. We will examine the Greco-Roman Rhetorical tradition as it has shaped our historical and current roles as citizens, rhetors, and scholars. We will apply the lens of Classical Rhetoric to examine and critique contemporary civic issues such as the 20th century U.S. civil rights movements; environmental justice; feminist movements, etc. The rich literary and rhetorical legacy of the classical Greco-Roman tradition will 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 policy, government, and political participation.
551.002: T: Arthurian Legends
Anita Obermeier, email@example.com
The Arthurian Legend has been the single most prolific literary motif in Western literature. This course will investigate this enduring strength and attraction of Arthurian legends from their pan-European beginnings in the medieval period to contemporary literature, popular culture, and film. We will read masterpieces from the Celtic tradition, Chrétien de Troyes, the French Lancelot-Grail Cycle, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Thomas Malory, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain, Naomi Mitchison, and others. This way, we can observe how each version serves a new authorial, political, or cultural agenda—whether it is to establish a national foundation myth, to endorse specific religious values, to revive medieval values in an industrial age, or to challenge gender stereotypes in modern times. We will also focus on the evolution of other important Arthurian characters, such as Gawain, Tristan, Perceval, Morgan le Fay, Galahad, Merlin, Lancelot, and Guinevere.
551.003: T: Medieval Latin
Jonathan Davis-Secord, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anglo-Saxon England produced some of the most influential and significant authors of Latin in the Middle Ages, including Aldhelm, Bede, and Alcuin. This course will survey important works by these and other Anglo-Saxon authors to allow students to become familiar with the major texts, authors, styles, and genres of “Anglo-Latin” while increasing their facility with Latin generally. Additionally, the course will trace the development of the opus geminatum form, which pairs a prose and a verse version of a text to form a hybrid work. Students will spend most of the semester translating portions of Aldhelm’s prose and verse De virginitate, Bede’s Vitae of Cuthbert, Alcuin’s Vitae of Willibrord, and Lantfred and Wulfstan’s Vitae of Swithun. Students will also write a significant research paper. Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.
552.001: The Renaissance and Its Discontents
Carmen Nocentelli, email@example.com
The Renaissance is often regarded as one of the most important epochs in the history of Western culture. In this course, we will look at how the Renaissance came to receive its identity, why that identity has been seen as significant, and what that identity has meant at various points in time. Primary texts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries will be accompanied by critical selections illustrating recent trends in period scholarship, including queery theory and ecocriticism.
574.001: Contemporary Southwestern Literature
Jesse Aleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nuclear Southwest
On July 16, 1945, Los Alamos scientists convened at White Sands, near Alamogordo, to detonate "the Gadget." No little thing, the bomb's 20-kiloton explosion launched a cloud seven miles into the air and turned the sand at the blast site into trinitite, commonly called Alamogordo glass. From the Jornada de Muerto desert in southeastern New Mexico, the Gadget brought the world into the Atomic Age. This graduate class will examine the literary and cultural fallout of the atomic southwest--a constellation of texts, images, and films that confront the nuclear era with protest, critique, fear, survival, and humor. From poetry to sci-fi, memoir to the novel, and history to murder-mystery, we'll survey the way the blast transformed aesthetics and how writers and artists in turn imagined surviving downwind, so to speak. We'll cover the history of the bomb, screen documentaries of its impact, and read texts that express the personal, political, and environmental impact of the bomb years after the blast. We'll run the course as a graduate seminar accessible to MA, MFA, and PhD students interested in discussing, analyzing, creating, or researching the expressive culture of the nuclear southwest.
Possible texts might include: The Day the Sun Rose Twice; The Woman at Otowi Crossing; Fight Back; Ceremony; The Last Cheater's Waltz; Refuge; Zia Summer; and The Nymphos of Rocky Flats; plus film clips from Them!; Tarantula; The Amazing Colossal Man; Dark Circle; and Uranium Drive-In.
587.001: Longform and Narrative Journalism
Mark Sundeen, email@example.com
In recent decades, magazines that historically introduced new fiction writers replaced monthly short stories with nonfiction: hybrids that combines the personal revelation of memoir, the persuasive intellectual rigor of essay, and the investigative research of reporting, all rendered with the suspense, scene, and voice of fiction. This craft seminar examines this distinctly American genre as it has developed in the past half century, from the “New Journalism” of the 1960s, through the memoir explosion of the 1990s, to the current renaissance of the reported essay. We will discuss the relative objectivity of the narrator, the reliance on factual reporting to reveal inner truth, and the inevitable compromises—and advantages—of working within a commercial form. As this is an emerging genre without an established canon, we will ask the basic question: which of these works constitute lasting literature? Authors and readings will likely include short pieces by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Claudia Rankine, Leslie Jamison, Gay Talese, Adrian Chen, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and such books as: Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion; The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe; In Cold Blood, Truman Capote; Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser; The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson; The Devil’s Highway, Luis Alberto Urrea; The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman; Down by the River, Charles Bowden; The Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert. We will devote at least one class to recent innovations in radio reporting and podcasts including Jenni Monet, Starlee Kine, and Nikole Hannah-Jones.
650.001: SEM: Hunger & Lit of Oppression
Sarah Townsend, firstname.lastname@example.org
This seminar will examine postcolonial and other minor literatures by focusing on narratives about hunger. Appetite, hunger, and satiety not only will constitute the subjects of our readings but, more fundamentally, will function as epistemological engines for examining the many traumas of colonialism and other scenes of oppression: severe poverty, starvation, linguistic alienation, and control by powers that do not meet their constituents’ most basic biological needs. Put simply, we will ask what hunger reveals about life in the margins. The course is designed to provide students with a theoretical and methodological toolkit for reading many different literatures of oppression. Irish literature will serve as one running case study in the course, but students will participate in selecting other primary texts that align with their areas of interest. Our analysis will be anchored in theoretical accounts of power, biopolitics, necropolitics, and bare life by Giorgio Agamben, Warwick Anderson, Patrick Anderson, Mieke Bal, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Maud Ellmann, Michel Foucault, Antonio Gramsci, G.W.F. Hegel, David Lloyd, Achille Mbembe, Elaine Scarry, and others.
We will begin the semester by reading a variety of works from and about the famines of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Ireland, India, China, and Brazil, investigating the theories of political economy that these catastrophes alternatingly confirm and confound. Next we will explore the psychic economy of hunger by asking how hunger shapes consciousness, subjectivity, language, and temporal perception. The third section of the course will investigate hunger as a political weapon. We will examine literature about hunger striking and chosen fasts, considering how starvation functions as a mode of bodily and political empowerment. Finally, we will end the semester by turning to literature about overconsumption and inebriation, investigating how writers turn negative stereotypes of voraciousness into methods for resisting master narratives of discipline and sobriety. Throughout the semester we will pay careful attention to how hunger is represented by different parties, while also considering hunger’s representational limits.
660.001: SEM: Humor, Culture, Society
Matthew Hofer, email@example.com
Unlike the broader genre of comedy, which has been essential to cultural production and performance since antiquity, modern theories of humor began with Henri Bergson’s influential study Laughter (1900) and Sigmund Freud’s groundbreaking Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905). The interdisciplinary framework of our inquiry into the forms and functions of humor in twentieth-century America will therefore take these seminal works as a point of departure and then expand to incorporate more recent contributions by critics, philosophers, cognitive scientists, even quantum physicists.
Our primary texts will emphasize experimental poetry and poetics as well as innovative stand-up comedy -- especially Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin -- but may also include forays into experimental prose and visual culture, (perhaps) including caricature, the Rube Goldberg machine, and influential film comedy after Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Some texts will feature mature themes; not all of it will be conventionally “funny.”
Together we will analyze the sociopolitical consequences of the transferals of energy stimulated by humor and literature, work through the relation of comedic expression and thinking, and consider how laughter animates the human experience.