Spring 2019 Course Descriptions
516.001: Biography & Autobiography
Michelle Hall Kells, email@example.com
ENGL 416/516 Biography offers critical examination of the genre of biography (autobiography and memoir) across the subfields of English Studies (Rhetoric, Creative Writing, and Literary Studies). This course will provide models, practice, and feedback through writing workshops and the theoretical study of biography as craft. In addition to practicing the rhetorical art of narrative (and story-telling), students will cultivate a meta-discourse about biography as genre (form and function).
The course will include exploration of: Rhetorical Biography; Political Biography; Literary Biography; Personal Biography (autobiography and memoir/creative non-fiction). Students will analyze examples of each form toward discovering frameworks for their own original manuscript as well as examine various public and academic venues as platforms for publication of their scholarly and creative work.
The course will require researching a life (a public or private figure) to be rendered in writing. Capstone project for the course will include composing a biography (rhetorical, political or literary biography, or personal memoir) informed by primary qualitative research (archival, bibliographic, autoethnography, and/or oral history) for a target literary/rhetorical journal or publication house. The capstone project may also be designed to serve as a suitable contribution to an undergraduate Honors thesis; MA Portfolio writing sample; and/or PhD dissertation chapter.
Students’ final projects will be appropriately prepared for the professional writing submission process toward publication in the respective venues of the field (for Rhetorical Biography; Political Biography; Literary Biography; Autobiography or Memoir).
518.001: Proposal & Grant Writing
Kyle Fiore, firstname.lastname@example.org
520.001: T: Blue Mesa Review
Mark Sundeen, email@example.com
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.
521.001: Creative Writing Workshop - Fiction
Daniel Mueller, firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe every piece of fiction has contained within it the seed, or blueprint, of what it ultimately wants to be. For the author, fully realizing a piece of fiction requires carefully listening to what the narrative is telling him or her during the act of composition, from the first sentence to the last, and at every stage of revision. In this way, it seems to me, pieces of fiction are born. Fully realized works of fiction rarely happen in single sittings; for this reason, the fully realized short story, meant to be read in a single sitting, is always a sleight-of-hand, the weeks, months, and even years the author devoted to it seamlessly concealed. For this reason, too, fiction writing must be a practice, excelled at, if such a thing is possible, only over time and by making it a routine in our lives.
In essence, as members of a fiction workshop, we try to listen to each work as carefully as its author has and formulate in words the messages it has for him or her. In simplest terms, a fiction workshop provides serious fiction writers an invaluable opportunity to have their work read deeply and discussed deeply by a panel of equally serious fellow writers who share, in their hearts and minds, a singular commitment to bringing pieces of fiction as close as possible to completion.
523.001: Creative Writing Workshop - Non-Fiction
Mark Sundeen, email@example.com
This is a workshop for writing memoir, personal essay, lyrical prose, narrative journalism, and any hybrid thereof. We will concentrate on building a book-length memoir or collection. Workshops will focus on five basic elements of craft: voice, character, theme, structure, and plot. Lessons will include strategies for revision and short assignments to experiment with new genres. We will also hone the skill of providing verbal and written feedback: learning to comment on peers’ work with insights that are honest, kind, and constructive.
531.001: Teaching Stretch & Studio Composition
Charles Paine, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: This is a second-8-weeks course, with the first class on Monday, March 18.
This course will prepare you to teach Stretch and Studio Composition at UNM by introducing you to relevant theory and pedagogy in the areas of basic writing, multilingual writing, metacognition, and reading instruction.
While the English 530: Teaching Composition Practicum aims to give you a broad understanding of teaching composition using a genre approach, this course asks you to consider how to tailor your pedagogy for students who may require additional layers of support. I will encourage you to, above all else, view your students’ existing skills and literacies as resources that can be built upon in your class. And, of course, I will support you in developing a course that will promote your students’ progress toward the Core Writing student learning outcomes.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for English 531
In this course you will:
1. become familiar with the theory and pedagogy of basic writing, multilingual writers, metacognition, and reading instruction as outlined by the required texts below;
2. develop best practices in writing instruction for students who have been traditionally marginalized in higher education, including how to design assignments, rubrics, lesson plans, and activities to meet these students’ needs;
3. learn to scaffold the above assignments and activities in order to support your students’ progress in addressing the learning outcomes A through H for first year composition as outlined in the Core Writing Handbook;
4. recognize students’ existing skills and home literacies as resources and strengths that can be built upon as students learn to develop and reflect on their genre-based writing skills.
532.001: Teaching Professional & Technical Writing
Tiffany Bourelle, email@example.com
This course will be taught in the Maymester from May 13th-24th. The course is designed to help you to become effective instructors of technical writing and technical communication. At the end of this course, you should have a strong foundation for building your own technical communication course. Throughout the course of this semester, we will read a great deal of theory about technical communication pedagogy. We will examine the intersections of theory and pedagogy and identify ways that theory informs pedagogy. In addition, we will work on practical skills, like creating assignments and activities and assessing student writing in a technical communication course.
This is a Maymester course that will take place from May 13th-24th.
543.001: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric
Todd Ruecker, firstname.lastname@example.org
In this course, students will select a topic or issue of their choice and analyze its rhetoric through the lenses of contemporary rhetorical theorists. Students will study the works of contemporary rhetorical theorists, synthesizing and applying these theories to their selected topic. The goal is for students to gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary rhetorical theories, synthesize these theories, and apply their own understanding of rhetorical analysis to a modern topic of their choosing.
548.001: Advanced Old EnglishMWF 1000-1050
Jonathan Davis-Secord, email@example.com
Beowulf is the most celebrated and studied Old English poem, yet it remains ambiguous and contested. Modern scholars continue to scrutinize difficult points in the text and wrestle over approaches to the poem. This course will be devoted to a close reading of Beowulf in the original Old English, coupled with pertinent scholarship on specific points in the poem along the way. We will explore the roles of women in the text, the meanings of the monsters, the patterns of gift-giving, the linguistic intricacies of the text, and many other topics. Students will prepare translations of the poem, read secondary literature, and write a critical research paper for the semester. Prerequisite: ENGL 447/547 or the equivalent.
Marissa Greenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
This course introduces students to the writings of John Milton, the early modern English radical polemicist and epic poet. We will focus on Paradise Lost, Milton’s retelling of the fall of humanity from the Bible, in the contexts of Milton’s other writings, including lyric poetry, political tracts, and drama; the seventeenth century, which was characterized by social turmoil, religious reformation, civil war, global expansion, and scientific revolution; and current scholarly and popular debates on such topics as the publication of instructions for 3D-printer guns and whether literature justifies terrorism. Straddling historical and presentist approaches, you will be able to assess the relevance of Milton’s writings, both then and now.
This is a hybrid course. We will meet face to face once a week, and students will participate in weekly online activities. Coursework will include regular participation in in-person and online discussions as well as independent and collaborative research and presentations.
562.001: American Realism & NaturalismTR 1230-1345
Kathryn Wichelns, email@example.com
As literary movements, American realism and naturalism express and respond to the crisis in national identity that characterizes the post-Civil War period. The era is marked by cultural shocks: demographic shifts, as non-Protestant, non-white, and non-English speaking immigration to the U.S. increases; unprecedented economic inequality, urbanization and overcrowding; federal withdrawal from the South and the rise of Jim Crow; continued Westward expansionism and the series of brutal conflicts known as the Western Indian Wars; the 1898 Spanish-American War; the emerging visibility of women workers; and an explosion in scientific and pseudoscientific discourses (including social Darwinism and eugenics). Writing in the period of the Gatling gun, the railroad, the telegraph, and the photograph, these authors call for an end to literary romanticism, seeking to depict life as it really is. In different ways, each examines the influences of environment, race, heredity, and gender on individual development. Mark Twain, Henry James, and Edith Wharton explore the conflicts of their own changing society through depictions of characters who most embody its values. Rebecca Harding Davis, Louisa May Alcott, W.E.B. DuBois, and Jacob Riis form new approaches to writing as activism. Sarah Orne Jewett, Zitkala-SÌŒa, Charles W. Chesnutt, and Abraham Cahan question the value of a cohesive (Anglo-American) national identity by emphasizing differences of region, race, and ethnicity. The conflicts evident in literary expression during this dynamic era reflect profound contradictions inherent to the ideological concept of an American national consciousness—variously understood by the authors we examine as a bad joke, a hard-won social good, a naive fantasy, or a form of colonial whitewashing. Students enrolled in this course will be evaluated on one in-class presentation related to their own research, and one article-length essay written for submission to a specific peer-reviewed journal.
587.001: T:Writing Mystery Stories
Andrew Bourelle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Otto Penzler, series editor of The Best American Mystery Stories, describes the mystery genre as “any work of fiction in which a crime or the threat of a crime is central to the theme or plot.” For this class, we will use this broad definition to explore the genre of mystery, which includes traditional detective stories, thrillers, police procedurals, noir, and literary stories wherein crime is a central focus. Students will read contemporary mystery novels and short stories, and they will write and workshop their own mystery fiction. Even if students don’t aspire to be mystery writers, the class will still be valuable, as our discussions on plot, structure, point of view, character, and narrative voice should help writers develop their craft. A mystery story is designed to build and maintain suspense—to keep readers turning pages, wanting to know what happens next. It’s my hope that closely studying page-turning mystery stories will help expand the writer’s toolbox of all students in the class regardless of their genre focus.
610.001: SEM: National and Post-National Theories of Literature
Sarah Townsend, email@example.com
Why do we in academia still organize the study of literature according to national origin and/or language? Why are foreign language and literature departments and comparative literature programs housed separately from English departments? Why are English departments so often divided into American and British literature, despite the fact that nowadays most of them teach postcolonial, hemispheric, transoceanic, and world literature courses? And how did literary theory manage to “go global” while academic institutions remained looking the same?
English 610 will seek to answer these questions while providing students with a wide-ranging theoretical and methodological toolkit for reading literature within and beyond the context of the nation. We will cover foundational theories and critical works that employ the following scholarly paradigms: nationalism, postcolonialism, postnationalism, transnationalism, comparative literature, world literature, global literature, quantitative/scalar analysis, and more. We will also spend several workshop sessions in the special collections library focusing on archival methodology, book history, and the sociology of reading. The course will conclude where it began, by thinking about the politics of the university and the ways literary study might be organized in the future.
Grads from all fields are welcome. We will read an array of works from American, British, postcolonial, world, minority, and indigenous perspectives. Course assignments will invite students to focus on primary texts of their choice, employing theories and methodologies from the course.