Spring 2021 Course Descriptions

500-Level | 600-Level
511.001: New Wave Science Fiction: The Space-Age Epic

Remote Scheduled, T 1600-1830
M. R. Hofer, mrh@unm.edu

Course Flyer

The dates for this interdisciplinary analysis of the fantasy and reality of space travel—from 1955 to 1981—span the period from the conception of Russian satellite Sputnik I to the first U.S. Challenger shuttle mission. Grounded in literature, film, music, history, and philosophy, the course is based on widespread notions of science “fiction” (which is of course not limited to prose) becoming thinkable possibility, even “fact.” Beginning shortly after the so-called Golden Age of science fiction and stopping just before Ridley Scott and William Gibson produced their respective masterpieces, Blade Runner (1982) and Neuromancer (1984), which helped to give rise to Steampunk/Cyberpunk as a popular aesthetic, it adopts the New Wave focus on the person holding the “gizmo” rather than the “gizmo” itself. In terms of critical thinking, its overarching objective is to address in critical and historical terms the extension of high modernist aesthetic innovation into a multi-generic proto-postmodernism that asks meaningful questions about the forms of human discovery. Our key themes turn on concepts of normativity and difference, including languagesbodiesmindshomeexilefreedom, and authority.

+ Likely authors include J. G. Ballard, Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, William S. Burroughs, Edward Dorn, Ronald Johnson, & Sun Ra.

+ Likely films include 2001: A Space OdysseyAlphavilleSpace Is the PlaceSolaris, & World on a Wire. 

520.001: T: Blue Mesa Review

Remote Scheduled, MWF 1400-1450
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 you to the production of UNM’s national literary magazine, Blue Mesa Review.  Your primary responsibility in this course is to assess submissions for possible publication in BMR. In addition, you’ll keep an informal journal about your reading, 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 should take this class if you’re interested in being part of BMR’s editorial board in the future. 

522.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

Remote Scheduled, T 1600-1830
Michelle Brooks, mbrooks7@unm.edu

This course will focus on the creation of and editing of poetry. Students will participate in workshop of their poetry, as well as writing exercises. We will discuss contemporary poetry, as well as addressing issues related to publication, both of individual poems and poetry collections.

523.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Non-fiction

Remote Scheduled, M 1600-1830
Gregory Martin, gmartin@unm.edu

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 writing process “evasion strategies,” and to produce a polished essay ready for publication.  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. 

533.001: Teaching Professional and Technical Writing

Remote Scheduled, R 1600-1830
Julianne Newmark Engberg, newmark@unm.edu

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: T: Community-Engaged Rhetoric

Remote Arranged
Tiffany Bourelle, tbourell@unm.edu 

In this class, students will research the theory and practice behind community-engaged rhetoric before choosing their own issue to research. The class will be student led, as students will choose a community issue and research its systemic causes and roots, sharing scholarly articles on the subject with the class. Students will become critically engaged with their chosen issue, creating a document for change based on their own interests and the needs of their determined audience for the piece (i.e., proposals, grants, conference papers, magazine articles, op-ed articles, etc.). Course projects will include a proposal pitch regarding topic, annotated bibliography of sources, “document for change,” and a final presentation of the research.

543.001: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric

Remote Scheduled, M 1600-1830
Bethany Davila, bdavila@unm.edu

This course is a survey of situated histories and theories of contemporary (1960-present day) rhetorical studies. Drawing from ethnic studies, disability studies, queer theory, and feminist rhetorical theories, we will engage the production of knowledge as a raced, gendered, ableist, and contest process with material consequences. We will examine social constructs created by rhetoric(s) as they exist in cultural, historic, economic, and political contexts. As a survey course, this class involves a lot of reading with regular informal reader response papers, a discussion leader activity, and a final project in which students will analyze an issue of their choice through the lens of contemporary rhetorical theorists.

551.001: T: Medieval Latin

Remote Scheduled, TR 1230-1345
Jonathan Davis-Secord, jwds@unm.edu

The phrase “medieval Latin” covers an amazingly wide array of time periods, genres, and geographical locations. It applies to exegetical treatises written in Italy in the fifth century, letters written in northern Europe in the ninth century, and saints’ lives written in England in the fifteenth century. In this class, rather than attempt a scatter-shot survey of this overwhelming abundance, we will focus on a small number of texts from early medieval England that comprise a form popular at the time, the opus geminatum, which pairs a prose and a verse version of a text to form a hybrid work. We will translate an anonymous vita (saint’s life) and then Bede’s prose and verse adaptions. This focus will allow students to increase their facility with Latin generally and their knowledge of the distinguishing features of Medieval Latin specifically, while also gaining expertise translating one of the most influential authors of the period. Students will write a significant research paper. Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.

551.002: T: Uppity Medieval Women

Face-to-Face and Remote Scheduled, R 1600-1830
Anita Obermeier, aobermei@unm.edu

Course Flyer

This course examines medieval discourses about women and by women. Even though many dichotomous labels exist for women in the Middle Ages—such as saint and sinner, virgin and whore—these belie the variety of subcategories within the spheres of medieval women: handmaidens to God, virgin saints, mystics, anchoresses, trobairitz, courtly ladies, ethereal dolce stil nuovo women, bourgeois merchants, lovers, witches, writers, and fighters. The course explores female characters penned by male authors and works written by medieval women. Women in the Middle Ages can be “uppity” in a number of ways but especially through sword, pen, and sex. For instance, female authorship is a transgressive act. We examine the ways the writings of medieval women differ from works by men, both in British and continental literary texts. For the theoretical framework, we apply medieval authorship theories, ancient and medieval gender theories, and modern feminist approaches. Authors and texts may include, but are not limited to, Sappho, Ovid’s Heroides, trobaritz poetry, Lais of Marie de FranceThe Letters of Abelard and Heloise, Julian of Norwich, Celtic Women, the Virgin Mary, Christina of Markyate, Margery Kempe, Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Silence, Chaucer, Boccaccio, Christine de Pizan, The Condemnation Trial of Joan of Arc, and the Malleus Maleficarum

The class will be taught in the classroom and on Zoom simultaneously to accommodate all students’ needs.

559.001: Irish Literature and Race

Remote Scheduled, R 1600-1830 
Sarah Townsend, sltownse@unm.edu

In the second episode of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, the anti-Semitic schoolmaster Mr. Deasy tells Stephen Dedalus, “Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the jews… Because she never let them in.” Deasy is, of course, wrong: Dublin had a long-established Jewish community at the time of the novel’s setting in 1904. But he identifies two popular misconceptions about race and ethnicity in Ireland that persist today: 1) that until recently, the Irish could not have been racist because Ireland was a homogeneous society, and 2) that the Irish are naturally anti-racist because of their own treatment as an inferior race under British colonialism and as immigrants in the U.S. and elsewhere. These misconceptions are especially concerning in light of two contemporary developments: Ireland’s transformation over the past 25 years into a multiracial society, and the current weaponization of Irishness in the U.S. to reinforce white nationalism.

This semester we’ll consider the history of racial and ethnic difference in modern Ireland through an examination of literature, criticism and theory, and archival research. We will start by investigating how the Irish race was portrayed by the British colonial state in the 19th and 20th centuries, and how Irish nationalists responded by depicting an essentialized version of Irishness that excluded outsiders, including the indigenous Traveller community. Next, we will look at how Irish whiteness evolved in the 20th-century U.S. and Ireland, especially as both nations became globalized. We will conclude by reading works by contemporary Irish artists of color who are currently remapping conversations about race and racism in Ireland. You’ll be guided throughout the semester by a Korean-American Irish literature professor and recently naturalized Irish citizen who is trying to make sense of what that means.

Our primary readings will include drama, fiction (including Ulysses, arguably the most famous work of literary modernism, which we will read in its entirety), and nonfiction. Supplemental criticism and theory will offer students an introduction to Irish history, theories of nationalism, critical race theory, and whiteness studies. The course will also feature virtual discussions with guest speakers, including Margot Backus and Joe Valente, who will present on their new book about the child sex abuse scandal in modern Ireland.

568.001: T: C19 Origins of Afrofuturism

Face-to-Face, Remote Scheduled, R 1600-1830
Finnie Coleman, coleman@unm.edu

Mark Dery’s anthology Flame Wars: The Discourse of Cyberculture (1994) featured his “Black to the Future: Interviews with Samuel R. Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose,” a foundational text in the study of Afrofuturism, a term Dery coined to describe what Daylanne K. English and other theorists view as a contemporary “movement of African American, African, and Black diasporic writers, artists, musicians, and theorists.  Afrofuturism comprises cultural production and scholarly thought—literature, visual art, photography, film, multimedia art, performance art, music, and theory—that imagine greater justice and a freer expression of black subjectivity in the future or in alternative places, times, or realities.”  In this 19th and early 20th century literature course we will touch on many of these areas of interest but will focus primarily upon the origins of speculative fiction by Black writers in the United States.  Keeping in mind the aesthetics and technologies undergirding Black Rococoa, Steamfunk, and Dieselfunk, we will explore how “the North” functions as utopic alternate reality in American slave narratives; how science and technology functioned in the construction of race in America, and the African American novelistic tradition as both a response to and rebuke of American White Supremacy.  Martin Delany’s Blake; or Huts of America, Sutton Griggs’ Imperium in Imperio, Pauline Hopkins’ Of One Blood, W.E.B. DuBois’ “The Comet,” excerpts from Jean Toomer’s Cane, and George Schuyler’s Black No More set the stage for an Afrofuturist reading of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.

592.001: Teaching Literature and Literary Studies

Remote Arranged
Aeron Haynie, ahaynie@unm.edu

Teaching is a radical act of hope. It is an assertion of faith in a better future in an increasingly uncertain and fraught present. It is a commitment to that future even if we can't clearly discern its shape." Kevin Gannon, Radical Hope, 2020.

I’ve designed this course to be an intellectually engaging seminar on literary pedagogy and also a hands-on practicum for developing teaching skills. In addition to preparing you to teach literature as a graduate student, the materials you develop for this course will help you build your teaching portfolio for job applications. Although we will focus on the pedagogy of literary studies, we will also examine recent research about how students learn, culturally inclusive and anti-racist teaching, teaching online, and writing to learn. Throughout the course we will return to the question, what does it mean to teach literature at a Hispanic Serving Institution? Finally, we will examine the pro/emise of the quotation above. In these fraught times, how might the study of literature serve the needs of our students?


500-Level | 600-Level
640.001: Sem: Writing Across the Curriculum

Remote Scheduled, T 1600-1830
Cristyn Elder, celder@unm.edu

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) promotes writing as a tool for learning in every discipline. As each discipline has its own discourse, written genres, and ways of knowing, WAC views writing as an integral aspect of all levels of education that should not simply be relegated to writing courses. Furthermore, WAC recognizes that students come to the classroom with a wide range of literacy, linguistic, technological, and educational experiences. As a result, WAC seeks to build on students’ strengths as they work to become more flexible and effective writers, thinkers, and problem solvers. 

In this seminar, we will read some of the theories and history that inform current WAC practices at both the classroom and program level across campuses, including working with diverse writers, designing assignments and curriculum, and implementing strategies for responding and evaluating (student) writing across disciplines. 

Seminar students will choose a topic of focus and from among a menu of major course assignment options, allowing you to choose assignments that will best help you explore and address your academic and professional goals. Topic examples include researching writing within a particular discipline, examining WID (writing in the disciplines) through a chosen critical or rhetorical lens, writing within a particular industry, etc. Weekly course assignments will include readings, a discussion board post, and synchronous in-class discussions. 

This class is designed particularly for those interested in teaching writing at the postsecondary level and across various disciplines; in facilitating a faculty development program; in administrating a writing center or WAC program; and/or in working as a professional writer in and across industries. 

650.001: Sem: Intersectional Feminist Futurisms

Remote Scheduled, M 1600-1830
Belinda Wallace, bwallace@unm.edu

Course Flyer

This course will introduce us to the genre of futurism. Futurist thought, much like its texts, is varied and complex. Our class will explore the history of futurism and its origins in early twentieth century Italy; however, we will do so only as it relates to and informs contemporary futurisms, including Latinx futurism and Afrofuturism. More precisely, we are keen to utilize contemporary intersectional and feminist manifestations of futurism (graphic novels, film, fashion, music, and comic books) as lens through which to view and understand contemporary women’s lives, culture(s), politics, and experiences. To borrow from Sarah Kember, futurism is a tool for taking stock of, re-reading, and bringing forward those particularly silenced, forgotten, or marginalized areas of feminist debate. Going beyond the imperfect dualism of utopias and dystopias, the stories examined in this course offer intriguing narratives that allow for complex analysis on the intersections of race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality.

660.001: Sem: Postmodern Selves: Understanding Identity in Postmodernism and Beyond

Remote Scheduled, W 1600-1830
Scarlett Higgins, shiggins@unm.edu

This graduate seminar assumes no prior knowledge of postmodernism (all are welcome!) and can function as a (fast-paced) introduction to the subject.

We will take as a point of departure bell hooks’s 1991 essay “Postmodern Blackness,” in which hooks voices one succinct response to the postmodern critique of identity: “‘Yeah, it’s easy to give up identity, when you got one.’ Should we not be suspicious of postmodern critiques of the ‘subject’ when they surface at a historical moment when many subjugated people feel themselves coming to voice for the first time.”

We will begin with an overview of some of the literary, critical, and theoretical texts of postmodernism, as well as those that have attempted to, as hooks describes, find the relevance of “the postmodern critique of ‘identity’. . . for renewed black liberation struggles,” even as it is “posed in ways that are problematic.” How, that is, can postmodernism’s critiques of identity, the subject, and essentialism be a source of strength for the liberation struggles of oppressed groups? (Can they?)

The second half of the course will examine in detail one imaginative trope found across post (and post-post)modernism, that of the metaphysical detective, whose search for the truth ends up being a search for the self. The detective story has been a persistent feature of literature since the nineteenth century, as well as film and television during the twentieth, and into the twenty-first. Our continuing fascination with mysteries, and particularly with those who attempt to solve those mysteries, has provided an apt vehicle for a variety of creative explorations of the very conundrum concerning identity that hooks describes. In this, the prototypical question of the detective story, “Who dunnit,” or “what is the identity of the criminal,” is transformed into the question, “who am I,” or, “am I that criminal that I have been searching for?”

Texts may include those by Paul Auster, Caryl Churchill, Theresa Hak Jyung Cha, Don DeLillo, Lyn Hejinian, Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael Reed, Art Spiegelman, Vu Tran, Colson Whitehead, Jeanette Winterson, and Karen Tei Yamashita. Films may include Bladerunner, The Matrix, and Memento.

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