Fall 2012 Course Descriptions
500.001: Introduction to the Professional Study of English
This course prepares students for literary studies at the graduate level. It will cover fundamental bibliographic, research, and MLA methods; it will introduce students to major ideas in contemporary literary theory; it will consider the cultural poetics and politics of the history of English studies; and it will prepare students to produce graduate scholarship and writing. It will also introduce students to the English Department’s graduate requirements and policies; the department’s faculty; and the resources of UNM’s libraries.
510.001: Criticism & Theory
511.001: Feminist Theories
518.001: Proposal and Grant Writing
518.010: Proposal and Grant Writing
In this course, you will learn how to write persuasive grant proposals. Drawing off the principles of rhetorical analysis, you will learn how to develop a clear statement of need, offer achievable objectives, design logical step-by-step plans, create specific and accurate budgets, and present your organization powerfully. We will explore how to locate appropriate funding opportunities and how to evaluate requests for proposals. We will also discuss methods of writing persuasively that are both ethical and effective, and study how to use document design to create a professional proposal package.
Because proposal writing is not a solitary task, but rather a process of working with others to identify needs, locate opportunities, and develop a persuasive solution, it is helpful to understand how the process works in the real world. To accomplish this need for real world experience, the major project for the course will be to write a real proposal by working with a local organization in a service learning experience.
520.004: Blue Mesa Review
Open Lab hours: W 2:00-3:50, F 3:00-5:00
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.
520.003: Writing the Southwest
This is a workshop course in writing about place--our place, the Great Southwest. Based in part on a national radio series and research project, Writing the Southwest takes you to the State Fair, and to worlds inside your memory for inspiration. This creative nonfiction class allows students to workshop their way to a more grounded, nuanced understanding of the techniques of selective description, characterization, and the publication process for nonfiction. The instructor has written for a wide variety of national publications, ranging from the New York Times to Country Music.
520.001 Writing with Classical Tropes
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, learning 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.
521.001: Graduate Workshop in Fiction
This fall will be a time of mysteries. We’ll read some together—both long and short—and look at how “mystery” is created in your work and in the work of published authors. Participant work will serve as the primary text. But expect to devote some time to outside readings and writing experiments as well.
522.003: Graduate Poetry Workshop
This graduate course will focus primarily on workshop of students' writing. Because students arrive in a graduate workshop with a variety of backgrounds, styles, and interests in poetry, we will engage in ongoing discussions about lineage and the different schools of thought in poetry. The course will include some focus on writing which might resist genre classification. The course will involve some exploration of the verse novel, the theory and practice of translation, and on prose written about the art. Students will also write one creatively critical essay or review and give a presentation. Portfolios of about 30 pages, including about 7-10 significantly revised pieces, will be due near the end of the semester.
523.002: Creative Writing Workshop: Nonfiction
R 7:00-9:30 pm
This workshop course brings together students of professional and creative writing for a reading and a writing of the one of the most commercially viable forms of creative nonfiction. The principal assignment is to write a chapter of your life and someone else's (as if from a book).
We read works by and about Twain, Kerouac, and Angelou, to study their craft and narrative strategy. The course culminates in readings of the written work and concrete plans for its publication. The instructor has published lives long and short, ranging from Aldous Huxley to Pete Seeger.
537.001: Teaching Composition
540.001: Introduction to Writing & Cultural Studies
Michelle Hall Kells
“Ideology is rhetoric that persuades its audience that it’s not rhetoric” –Paul de Man
The scope of ENGL 440/540 Introduction to Writing & Cultural Studies will include examination of regional, national, and international themes through the lens of cultural rhetorical studies. Cultural Studies (consciously and unconsciously) seeks the rhetorical means (genres, strategies, and media) for resistance. The intellectual operating space of this course rests at the intersection between rhetorical studies and cultural studies to promote study of how writing (text) and the performance of identity (and the struggle for power) happens through legitimate social institutions as well as outside sanctioned social institutions. Combining literacy studies, rhetorical analysis with critical theory this course will promote the study of public discourses related to self-representation (and the transition from political and social marginalization to civic inclusion).
This course will serve the needs and interests of students pursuing degrees within and outside the department of English whose professional, civic, and academic lives demand strong, versatile writing skills that extend across diverse discourse communities. It will allow students to engage in critical and rhetorical analysis as well as close readings of various kinds of texts, and to produce scholarship in the discipline of English Studies not limited to traditional genres and canonical categories. The emphasis is a way not just to link to diversified writing contexts, but to respond to them through the production of multiple writing genres. To examine the relationship of rhetorical situation to genre, we will also conduct various field work exercises to observe and participate in public rhetorics (e.g. political campaigns, spoken word poetry, film, art, community events, etc.)
This course aligns and promotes each of the three strands within English Studies: Rhetoric & Writing, Literature, and Creative Writing. Cross-disciplinary concentrations will be articulated by the needs, interests, and goals of students themselves. Students will examine the varied ways that writers exercise agency by constructing situations through genres as well as constructing genres through situations. As Charles Paine argues: “Our writing, then, rather than acting as a one-time inoculation against an ever-changing dominant ideology, might bring our students toward more healthy attitudes about argument and public participation” (The Resistant Writer: Rhetoric as Immunity 201). Previous course work in Cultural Studies or Rhetoric not required.
- Class Discuss Leader (2)
- Reader Response Log (5 entries)
- Community Literacy/Public Rhetoric Observation Report (1 Midterm Report)
- Team Project & Presentation (1)
- Rhetorical Analysis Portfolio (2 Analysis Essays from one of the following contexts:)
- Poetry/Spoken Word
- Public Rhetoric/Community Literacy
Berger, Arthur Asa. Cultural Criticism: A Primer of Key Concepts. Sage Publications, 1995.
Goldblatt, Eli. Because We Live Here: Sponsoring Literacy Beyond the College Curriculum. Hampton Press, 2007.
Nystrand, Martin and John Duffy, eds. Towards a Rhetoric of Everyday Life: New Directions in Research on Writing, Text, and Discourse. University of Wisconsin, 2003.
Thomas Rosteck, ed. At the Intersections: Cultural and Rhetorical Studies. London: Guilford Press, 1999. (Graduate Students Only)
Raymond Williams. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Rev. ed. Oxford University Press, 1985.
Required Films: (Available at Zimmerman Reserve Desk)
Each of the following films is situated within various transcultural/transnational contexts. These very different narratives explore the social dynamics of shifting subject positions and the possibilities of transformative relationships across class, race, gender, and national boundaries. 10 Items or Less. The Band’s Visit. Il Postino. Antonia’s Line.
Course readings, assignments, exercises, and class discussions are designed to promote the following learning outcomes:
Negotiate diverse discourse communities through oral and written communication;
Engage the analytical resources of rhetorical studies;
Apply concepts of cultural studies;
Analyze the use of genre in relation to the rhetorical, contextual, and ethical dimensions of communicative situations;
Examine and apply the principles of cultural criticism;
Guide and participate in class discussions of course readings;
Evaluate the interpretative resources of cultural studies;
Use the writing process as recursive stages (from invention to editing) for writing tasks;
Conduct observations and generate field notes of diverse cultural and rhetorical events;
Connect learning to the rhetoric of everyday life;
Cultivate alliances with peers and work collaboratively toward common goals;
540.002: Scholarly Writing & Publishing
Michelle Hall Kells
“Shitty first drafts. . . . All good writers write them.” Anne Lamott
The scope of ENGL 540 Scholarly Writing and Publishing includes guidance, mentoring, and workshop support for academic writing and publication toward cultivating job search-ready professionals in the field of Rhetoric & Composition. This course is designed for graduate students in their second year (or beyond) in the Rhetoric & Writing Program. The focus of this course will center on revising, re-imagining and re-purposing -progress projects for the:
- MA Portfolio (preface and writing samples)
- PhD Dissertation (proposal and chapters)
- Professional Conference Presentations
- Journal Articles
- Book Projects
We will engage the “intellectual life cycle” of academic writing, moving your projects from “writers drafts” to “readers drafts.” The ultimate outcome of the scholarly life is publication. To “publish” means to make “public” (in other words, making visible and transparent the process, the data, the findings, and the interpretations of your research) to your peers and critics in the field. The peer review process is the deliberative process demanded of all stakeholders (novices and experts) within their area of academic specialization in order to gain entrée into the field. Your authority in the field is dependent on your success as an “author” (to generate new scholarship).
The project of Rhetoric and Composition Studies represents an exercise in mapping, tracing the process from rhetorical imagination to rhetorical efficacy. Similarly, the measure of an academic career, is mapping this very same process. The apprenticeship of graduate school through the tenure review process is a journey tracking our trajectory of authority (influence). We represent our growing authority through the accretion of intellectual projects, mentorships, accolades, honors, recognitions, and contributions we cultivate along the way.
At first it seems like what we are doing is just gathering this stuff. But in truth, we are giving up something of ourselves along the way (our time, energy, commitment, preconceptions, convictions, and doubts) and receiving something in exchange. Lewis Hyde would describe this academic exchange as a deep engagement in a gift giving circle of the scholarly life. “A gift that has the power to change us awakens a part of the soul. But we cannot receive the gift until we can meet it as an equal. We therefore submit ourselves to the labor of becoming like the gift” (The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property 51).
What we don’t often confess to our graduate students (but I think we should) is that we (scholars, teachers, and mentors) are continuously being crushed—celebrated and critiqued—raised up and ground down at the same time, often for the very same thing. In the dichotomy of deep commitment and deep doubt that is our intellectual operating space, we hopefully develop the judgment, intellectual poise, and discernment along the way to withstand the crushing pressure of recognition and criticism. In other words, we all need to learn to enjoy the successes and weather the rejection letters. Our intellectual life begins and ends in this crucible of critique. Fortunately, we all have ample reminders that humility wears better than hubris in our professional lives.
When we are immersed in our graduate studies, obsessed with demonstrating intellectual excellence, preoccupied with building a competitive edge for the job market, it is easy to live a monadic existence and subscribe to the myth of individual exceptionalism. We can overlook the vital connections that sustain us now and will sustain us in the future. Who are our sponsors, the intellectual, social, and collegial sources of support? This course will help you cultivate those vital networks through your graduate program (and beyond). The connections formed in graduate school can be the most enduring professional relationships we ever have.
If you can’t make a commitment to write daily (and revise a set of -progress projects) over the sixteen weeks of the semester, this course is not for you. You can’t fake it. You can’t procrastinate until the end of the semester to achieve the learning outcomes and goals of this course. All students will be required to write five hours/week (one hour/day) and respond to the work of their peers (through weekly writing workshops). Assigned reading of academic publishing support resource materials will be limited to no more one hour/week.
- Student Learning Outcomes Contract (Your Goals and Plans for this Course);
- Professional Research & Scholarship Portfolio:
- The Five Year Plan: Statement of Research Program;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- Project Placement Plan & Target Journal Submission Guidelines;
- (3) -Progress Projects for Workshop and Revision.
- “Job Talk,” Dissertation or MA Portfolio Defense Presentation;
- Professional Research & Scholarship Portfolio “Exit” Interview with Kells.
Progress Samples (15-25 pages) can include the following genres:
- MA Portfolio Samples (seminar papers);
- MA Portfolio Reflection Essay;
- Dissertation proposal;
- Dissertation chapters;
- Conference papers;
- Journal articles;
- Book proposal.
The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time Academic Authors. Eleanor Harman et al eds. 2nd ed.
Getting Published: The Acquisition Process at University Presses. Paul Parsons.
541.001: English Grammars
Jill V. Jeffery
(Also offered as LING 441; Prerequisite: 240). This course presents a socioculturally informed framework for understanding grammar that emphasizes interplay between micro-level and macro-level discourse structures. Students in the course will examine relationships between English language variation, culture, and identity by analyzing diverse oral, written, and multi-modal texts. The course is designed to help students acquire a foundational, descriptive knowledge of English grammars that will support more effective teaching, learning, and interpretation of English. The culminating course assignment is a multi-modal research project regarding English language variation across time, space, and/or social strata. Graduate students will also present brief, interrelated discourse analyses and reflect on pedagogical implications.
542.001: Major Texts in Rhetoric
545.001: 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 prior knowledge of Old or Middle English is necessary.
547.001: Introduction to Old English
In this class, we will return to the earliest recorded form of English and read some of the oldest literature ever written in the language. We will read of a queen-turned-abbess, a divinely inspired cowherd, an exploration of the North, and the dangers of celebrity, all in the original Old English. We will supplement these translations by exploring current scholarly approaches to Old English literature. The first half of the semester will entail studying grammar in preparation for reading original texts. For daily work during the second half, students will prepare translations and occasionally read scholarly articles. No prior knowledge of Old English is required.
558.001: Modern British Literature
559.001: Irish Literature
568.001: The Atomic Bomb
568.003: American Literature at the Turn of the Century
The recent turn to transnational, hemispheric, and global frameworks for literary analysis offers new possibilities for evaluating texts from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. In this course, we will investigate modernity and its discontents during the turn from the Gilded Age to “the American century.” We will address how writers explore debates about immigration, imperial expansion, and technology as well as notions of the modern subject in the emergent discourses of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. From local color sketches and short fiction to large novels in serial form, we will pay particular attention to questions of scale and perspective. For instance, what relationships do various narratives construct between individual subjects and a larger social body? What are the effects of close or distant reading in an age of globalization? How does the persistent discourse of major/minor texts inflect critical models of interdisciplinarity or intersectionality? Which bodies of evidence do contemporary critics mobilize in order to map emergent literary structures from a previous century? We will focus on texts by S. Alice Callahan, Sara Orne Jewett, Stephen Crane, Queen Lili’uokalani, Mark Twain, Sui Sin Far, Frank Norris, and others, plus early Hollywood film. We also will address contemporary theoretical and cultural debates through the work of scholars such as Hsuan Hsu, Rachel Adams, Jodi Byrd, Wai-Chee Dimock, Franco Moretti, and Sharon Holland. Course requirements include active participation, a book review, and a research essay.
582.001: Shakespeare and Cultural Transmission
As part of a long chain of borrowings, adaptations, and appropriations stretching backward and forward in time, Shakespeare’s plays provide a crucial vantage point from which to investigate both the theory and the practice of cultural transmission. Shakespeare derived most of his material from other writers. His plays, in turn, have been (and continue to be) imitated, contradicted, competed with, and adapted all over the word. In addition to Shakespearean works such as The Comedy of Errors, Othello, King Lear, and The Tempest, we will likely read Plautus’ Manaechmi, Ovid’s Metamorphoses (selections), Giraldi Cinthio’s Hecatommithi (selections), Césaire’s Une Tempete, and Smiley’s A Thousand Acres. Cross-listed with COMP580.
587.002: Genre Studies: Poetry & Poetics
M. R. Hofer
This semester-long genre course provides graduate students an advanced introduction to the art of poetry from a critical perspective. During the first eight weeks, we will focus on the sequence of discoveries that led from romanticisms to modernisms; in the second eight, we will consider a series of “late-” and “post-” modern case studies that emphasize “Objectivist” and “Projectivist” writing. Our goal throughout will be to understand a range of innovative and experimental practices of poetic making as well as the theories that have informed it. To this end, we will also be working together, especially during the first half of the course, to develop a shared set of formal interpretive skills, which will provide a fresh sense of literary history, analysis, and evaluation. The form of the final project may be analytical or evaluative, depending on the interests and needs of each student.
No prior experience with poetry criticism or poetic theory is required to succeed in this course, which is designed to help intellectually curious and adventurous students with an interest in either critical or creative writing (or both)
1) develop a nuanced appreciation of the continuing evolution of literary art,
2) acquire a range of strategies for approaching “difficult” texts with confidence, and
3) attain a refined vocabulary with which to address a important process of reading and thinking.
What you will learn in this course is thus meant to be portable to your other English classes—and, ideally, to your own literature (or writing) classrooms in the future.
N.B. Rather than requiring the purchase of an expensive yet fundamentally limited anthology, we will make frequent use of UNM’s subscription to The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry as well as relevant online resources including PennSound, UBUWEB, Representative Poetry Online, and Eclipse, at the University of Utah website.
592.001: Teaching Literature and Literary Studies
This course/practicum introduces ways of approaching literary and cultural studies in theory and practice. We will undertake a critical study of the formation and value of literary studies, linking that critical work to pedagogical theory and classroom practices. Readings will include recent (some not so recent) essays on literary value, the formation of literary study as an institutional practice, approaches to teaching literature, and learning styles. All course participants will be required to prepare and teach at least one section of a currently offered 200-level literature course, pre-arranged with the courses instructor of record. Requirements will also include several short papers and pedagogical exercises, as well as a teaching portfolio and teaching philosophy statement.
650 001: Postcolonial Seminar
This is a seminar in Postcolonial Theory and Literature, where we will explore the beginnings of Postcolonialism and see how the development of the theory leads to its interdisciplinary uses and to activism. PLEASE don’t be afraid of this class as being too advanced. We will begin with an introduction to colonialism and the subsequent history and development of “postcoloniality,” in the world at large, the beginnings of the literature and how it spawned a whole theory, now in use across the disciplines. In this class we will start with a very simple introduction to colonialism and postcolonialism from Ania Loomba’s Colonialism/Postcolonialism and progress to an anthology edited by Chrisman and Williams, entitled Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory. We will learn about the terms Post-colonial and Postcolonial (without the hyphen) about "nation making" and the "location of cultures." We will be reading selections from Homi Bhabha's Location of Culture, Edward Said’s Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism, Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism. We will interrogate the applicability of “postcoloniality” in the globalized world and discuss the possibility of indigenous critical approaches such as “Occidentalism.”
Students will be allowed to choose a track of their own and work with “postcoloniality” within that track, so that if students wish to work with topics in Rhetoric or Creative Writing, they may choose to do so.
660.001 What is African American Literature?
In What Was African American Literature? Kenneth Warren argues that African American literature was a product of the Jim Crow era, and therefore that it emerged more recently than scholarship generally admits and, more controversially, that it ended with the legal demise of Jim Crow in the 1950's and 60s. Warren’s claims raise a number of questions, including, how do we then characterize the literature black authors produced before Reconstruction and after the Civil Rights era? How important are race and racial identity to African American literature, and how important are legal and political events to defining black identity? Does writing by black authors that privileges other markers of identity (gender, class, sexuality) necessarily fail as African American literature?
In What is African American Literature? we will consider these and other questions. Our goal is not so much to come up with a definitive answer to the “What is it?” question as to examine the recurring debates around attempts to define and delimit African American literature. We will begin with Warren’s monograph and then study earlier iterations of this debate among African American authors and critics (black and white) of the literature. Both canonical and less-studied texts will ground our discussions of the literary-critical issues. Requirements include active participation, a formal presentation and an article-length essay.
680.003: The English Arthur
For many, King Arthur is the quintessential medieval British hero. This notion belies the fact that Arthur is a Celtic hero who had his genesis in a Latin chronicle and his major development in French romances. This seminar is going to examine the premier Middle English Arthurian works that feature a primarily English Arthur: the Arthur section of Layamon’s Brut and the Alliterative Morte. In contrast to those, we will also examine the Stanzaic Morte and parts of Malory’s Morte Darthur. We will explore thematic, historical, nationalistic, as well as poetic concerns, as several works belong to the alliterative tradition, to demonstrate how medieval English authors over a three hundred-year period utilize the Arthurian myths to express their developing sense of Englishness.