Fall 2020 Course Descriptions

500-Level | 600-Level

500.001: Introduction to the Professional Study of English

TR 1230-1345 
Jesse Alemán, jman@unm.edu

This course prepares students for literary studies at the graduate level. It will introduce students to the English Department’s graduate requirements, policies, and programs; students will also learn about the resources of the UNM’s libraries. We will cover fundamental bibliographic, research, and MLA methods and learn the major and minor genre conventions expected in graduate coursework and in the profession. It will be a (low-risk) writing intensive class combined with a high degree of participatory pedagogy expected in and out of the scheduled class time, with the overall goal of ushering students into the professional, scholarly expectations of literary studies. 

511.001: Sex and Empire

R 1600-1830 
Bernadine Hernandez, berna18@unm.edu

This graduate class will examine the rise of American empire in relation to sex, gender, and sexuality in nineteenth-century American literature. We will examine how problems of empire and its related forms of American Exceptionalism are shaped up and against these technologies of power that are often only considered ‘identity categories’. In other words, how is gender and sexual order/power that is regulated through private and public life inextricable from other normative conventions of property holding, labor, and citizenship? Our class will interrogate the notion of modern sexuality as it emerges through sexual colonial, expansionist conquest, and violence in nineteenth-century America; slavery, settler colonialism, border drawing, land displacement, genocide, the rise of industrialism, and shifts in capital. This class will be a practice in cultural and critical theoretical studies, as we will be reading literary texts by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Jacobs, Louisa Mary Alcott, Sarah Winnemuca, María Amapro Ruiz de Burton as well as legal cases from the Supreme Court (territorial), Works Projects Administration (WPA) narratives, visual materials, and other archival materials. The theoreitcal framwork we will be departing from is critical gender and sexuality theories and post structualist theories of personhood. 

515.001: Publishing

W 1600-1830
David Dunaway, dunaway@unm.edu

Have you wanted to publish a book or scholarly article ? Find a job in publishing? This course is for post-graduate students who understand  that publish or perish remains a reality for academics. Open to students from multiple departments.

This course introduces students to the publishing industry, in the U.S. and internationally, from the multiple perspectives of the author, the editor, the agent, and the publisher. Our primary goal is to provide a successful strategy for later publishing your work in journals, magazines, books, and on the internet. Our secondary goal is to prepare an informed community of writers: able to understand contracts, industry procedures, and publishing’s cultural significance.

516.001: Biography & Autobiography

M 1600-1830
Michelle Kells, mkells@unm.edu

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.

518.001: Proposal & Grant Writing

W 1600-1830
Stephen Benz, sbenz@unm.edu

As its title suggests, this course is all about writing grants and proposals. Our primary focus will be on academic and research grants in the Humanities (e.g., Fulbright, NEA, NEH). A secondary focus will address the preparation of book proposals. Depending on student interest, the course might also consider grant writing and proposal writing as professional activities (e.g., as part of a professional writer’s work for a nonprofit organization). In all cases, we’ll be examining the generic conventions of grants and proposals as document types.

520.001: T: Blue Mesa Review 

TR 1400-1515
Lisa Chavez, ldchavez@unm.edu

Hey writers, if you want to learn more about literary publishing and how literary magazines work, this is the class for you!  This class introduces students to the production of UNM’s national literary magazine, Blue Mesa Review. The 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.  Understanding how literary magazines work can be of great value for writers, and can help improve writing, as well as help writers learn more about the submission process.   

521.001: Creative Writing Workshop - Fiction

M 1600-1830
Julie Shigekuni, jshig@unm.edu

This graduate fiction workshop will focus on authorial vision and how writers discover through exploration their place in the world and voice on the page. Each participant will be encouraged to use readings to deepen a personal understanding of place, and to question how "setting" (cultural and historic; internal and external) contributes to authorial vision and voice. Discussion of readings, primarily novel excerpts, will focus on how material gets generated, distilled, and structured. In addition to the discussion of participant work, workshop sessions will include weekly readings and writing prompts. At the heart of the graduate workshop in fiction is your writing; my ultimate goal to keep you primed and fed.

522.001: Creative Writing Workshop - Poetry

T 1600-1830
Lisa Chavez, ldchavez@unm.edu

This graduate workshop in poetry will focus on generating new material and revising poems in progress.  While much of the class will be focused on workshopping student poems, we will also read and discuss a variety of books by contemporary poets, with a particular focus on first books of poetry.  In keeping with the idea of looking at first books, this workshop will include the option for workshopping entire manuscripts (full manuscript length or chapbook-length).  Students will also do a brief presentation on a relatively recently published book of poetry. 

530.001: Teaching Composition

August 10 - August 14 - MTWRF 0900-1300
Lab - August 18 - December 1 - TR 0930-1045
Rachael Reynolds, reynoldsr@unm.edu 

This course is designed for new teachers in UNM’s Core Writing Program. We begin the week before the start of the fall semester reviewing the goals, values, and student outcomes of the Core Writing Program and provide you with course materials for the semester so you can hit the ground running. Over the course of the rest of the semester, we will focus on issues of professional development as a teacher-scholar through reading, research, class discussion, conferencing, and course projects. You will learn and apply current theory and pedagogy in Composition Studies and Rhetorical Genre Studies to guide you as a teacher of diverse student writers. We use a genre approach in our writing program because we recognize that FYC (first year composition) courses should aim toward helping students gain skills, habits, strategies, and experience that will transfer or can be applied to other college courses across the disciplines and to personal and professional writing situations. Topics will include best practices in teaching and assessing writing, teaching multilingual writers, creating multimodal assignments, culturally sustaining pedagogy, reading instruction, metacognition, and more. This is a three-credit graduate course.

532.001: Teaching Multimodal and Online Composition

August 3 - August 14 - MTWRF 0900-1300
Lab - Online
Tiffany Bourelle, tbourell@unm.edu  

This course will be an Augustmester course from August 5th-August 16th, with an online lab component throughout the semester. In this class, students 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 students to teach an online course, helping them 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 students will develop a first-year course shell to teach in the subsequent semester (if eligible). The first-year class students will 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 English 532 class will teach graduate students the theory and practice of multimodal composition, helping them create materials such as assignments and multimodal instructional tools that mimic the texts first-year students develop.

534.001: Composition Theory

T 1600-1830
Pisarn Chamcharatsri, bee@unm.edu

This course aims to prepare you to learn more about theories that shape the field of composition studies. In this course, you will be reading different composition theories in various topics such as audience, genre, peer responses, second language writing, translingual pedagogy, assessment, among others. By the end of the semester, students will understand the roles of theories in relation to different practices that inform our teaching of writing.

545.001: History of the English Language

TR 0930-1045
J. Davis-Secord, jwds@unm.edu

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. Special attention will be given to the role of colonialism in making English internationally dominant and to the validity of dialectal variation.

551.001: Medieval Lyrics

R 1600-1830
Anita Obermeier, aobermei@unm.edu

This course provides a comparative overview of the medieval lyric as a genre in diverse historical contexts. We will embark on a tour of lyrical Europe, examining medieval Latin lyrics—such as the Goliardic Carmina Burana—songs of the Provençal troubadours and their female counterparts the trobairitz, Italian sonnets and Dante’s dolce stil nuovo, German Minnesang poems, Northern French aubades, Spanish and Mozarabic lyrics. The course will culminate in examining lyrics of the British Isles, primarily Old and Middle English, but also some Scottish and Irish poems, to demonstrate how continental European traditions influenced both medieval and post-medieval English poetic production. Most of the non-English lyrics will be read in translations with occasional facing-page originals to achieve a more diverse representation. The course also emphasizes the musical quality of lyrics and whenever available, we will engage performed lyrics. Further focus will be on subgenres and thematic groups, such as the love lyric, the political lyric, the nature poem, the penitential lyric, the crusade song, to name a few.  

565.001: Chicana/o Literature

M 1600-1830
Melina Vizcaino-Alemán, mviz@unm.edu

Chicano/a literature became a recognized field in the aftermath of the Civil Rights era, and the post-Civil Rights period saw the recovery of many early twentieth-century texts. This course begins with the recovered novel George Washington Gómez by Américo Paredes, written in the 1930s but first published by the Recovery Project in 1990. We will explore the criticism and debate about Paredes’ work to understand better the field of Chicano/a literature, its canon, and its problematic histories. Other readings include folktales, short fiction, poetry, autobiography, coming-of-age novels, and personal essays. We will also read a range of criticism to explore the themes of region, race, and gender in the selected works, and we will consider written texts alongside of oral and visual texts to elucidate twentieth-century Chicano/a literature. The course meets in seminar-fashion for more in-depth coverage of the topic, and students develop their own research projects tailored to their specific interests and academic programs of study. Academic essays, creative pieces, and pedagogical projects are all acceptable. With attention to literary scholarship, aesthetics, and place-based pedagogy, the course is of interest to MA, PhD, and MFA students.

582.001: Teaching Shakespeare for Social Justice

W 1400-1515
Marissa Greenberg, marissag@unm.edu

This course approaches the works of William Shakespeare through the theory and practice of social justice pedagogy. Despite efforts to rethink the canon, Shakespeare retains a powerful grip on curricula in literary studies, theater arts, and language instruction, and his plays and poetry feature prominently on syllabi at every level of education. How might we leverage Shakespeare’s status not only to convey field-specific knowledge but also to enable greater access to higher education, self-reflection, intergroup dialogue, even social activism? Both established and emerging scholar-pedagogues of early modern English literature are currently pursuing such questions in an effort to promote social justice in their classrooms. In this course, we will read a selection of Shakespeare’s works alongside recent publications on teaching and learning Shakespeare with explicit attention to issues of student and faculty diversity, inclusion, and equity. Points of entry into our reading of Shakespeare will reflect the range of identities and positionalities on today’s college campuses, including race, gender, sexuality, disability, socio-economic class, immigration status, and language/dialect. This is a hybrid course, so students will explore Shakespeare and social justice pedagogy in both face-to-face and online learning environments.

587.001: Blurred Boundaries

W 1600-1830
Gregory Martin, gmartin@unm.edu

Blurred Boundaries is a graduate craft seminar for creative writers in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction about “unclassifiable” literature, works that intentionally and provocatively challenge genre conventions and that bookstores and libraries don’t quite know where to shelve.  What kind of book is this?  Is this fiction or memoir?  A verse novel?  A travel memoir, biography or literary criticism?  Together, we will explore the spaces between genres, investigating not only the “truth” and “invention” of fiction and nonfiction, but also the space between journalism and memoir, between nonfiction and fiction, between the lyric and associative construction of poetry and the personal essay.  Course readings will include novels, memoirs, short stories, essays, and prose poems as well as essays and interviews on craft.  We will look at how writers, implicitly and explicitly, manipulate the reader’s desire for "literal” truth and the relative safety of the categories and conventions of genre.  The course is also practical.  Each week we ask the questions:  How was this made?  How does this work?  What is its design? What are its organizing principles?  How does an understanding of its construction shape my own work and sensibility, and inform my ambition? 


500-Level | 600-Level

640.001: SEM: Language and Identity

R 1600-1830
Bethany Davila, bdavila@unm.edu

In this course we will examine the role of language in constructing identity and making identity visible. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the relationship between language and identity, including units on the relationship between language and various social identities like gender, social class, and race. Class work will include regular readings, several short papers, and a final research project.


660.001: SEM: Race & Ruination in the Americas

W 1600-1830
Jesús Costantino, jcostantino@unm.edu

Despite appearances, ruins are a relatively recent creation. Among the many consequences of the colonization of the Americas in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was the drawing of stark lines between modern and ancient cultures, and between civilized and primitive peoples. As violent conquest fueled the modernization of cities in Europe and the Americas, so too did it fuel urbanites’ taste for illustrations, objects, and histories of all things ancient, pre-modern, and primitive. Crumbling architectural relics of earlier times and of “vanished” people became newly marketable motifs of a bourgeoning heritage industry. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the most influential works of aesthetic philosophy, literature, and the visual arts would come to revere ruins as ideal objects of sublime contemplation, and at the same time, the new discipline of archaeology would begin to quantify and rationalize ancient ruins in order to develop a more scientific view of the past. In both aesthetics and archaeology, ruins have come to signify the exotic, racial Other of modernity.

With an eye to this longer history of “ruinophilia,” this course focuses on contemporary depictions of architectural ruin in the Americas and its close connection to the colonial process of racialization. In the present day, what we might now see as beautiful ruins-in-the-making are, in fact, the material signs that the dispossession of vulnerable populations continues unabated, and that rather than having ended at some point in the past, the process of forcible displacement has instead expanded in the present to include ever more precarious populations. If “race” was a category produced in order to justify conquest, dispossession, exploitation, and slavery, then “ruins” are the material residues and architectural scars that makes that process visible and tangible in the present. Through careful examination of works of art, literature, archaeology, film, anthropology, photography, and more from throughout the US and Latin America, we will attempt to identify what is at stake in the modern fascination with ruins in the Americas. While we will examine works from an array of American populations, all class materials will be made available in English translation.


Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021