Course Descriptions Spring 2023

500-Level | 600-Level
502.001: Technical And Professional Communication

Stephen Benz,

An online course, ENGL 502 introduces you to the practices and procedures of professional writing and editing. You will learn about expository writing style, persuasion, audience analysis, genre analysis, and document design. Projects in this course will guide you through the process of document development and introduce you to the most common genres of workplace writing. These projects are designed to help you create material for a portfolio you can use when looking for an internship or employment in the field. Following the workshop model commonly used in creative writing courses, this course gives you the opportunity to share your work with a representative audience—your fellow classmates—who will provide you with evaluative responses and feedback.

520.001: T: Blue Mesa Review II

Face to Face MWF, 1400-1450
Marisa Clark,

This class introduces you to the production of UNM’s national literary magazine, Blue Mesa Review. We receive hundreds of submissions each year from writers hoping to see their stories, essays, or poems published in our journal. Your primary responsibility is to assess these submissions for possible publication in BMR. In addition, you will keep a journal about your participation reading submissions, write a couple of short papers (maybe a blog post or book review for BMR's website), and engage in discussions that arise from the submissions we receive. Understanding how literary magazines work can be of great value for writers; not only can it help you improve your own writing, but it can focus your editorial sensibilities as well as help you learn more about the submission and publication process.

If you're interested in the class, talk to other grad students who have taken it; talk to the current editors! They'll give you more insight about how the class works and what to expect overall. You can talk to me too, of course. This class is also the gateway into becoming an editor for BMR

Email me at to get you set up to enroll in the class. Tell me a little about your literary interests and aspirations, and be sure to add your Banner ID number.

522.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

Face to Face, R 1600-1830
Michelle Brooks,

This course will focus on both the reading and writing of contemporary poetry. Students will be expected to present and respond to work in workshop, as well as in other settings. We will also discuss other writer-related issues in terms of publication, readings, and teaching. 

523.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Non-fiction

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Gregory Martin,

This is a writing workshop focused on the lyric essay. Each student will write two new lyric essays and  we will workshop each of these twice (We’ll workshop the first draft and then we’ll workshop the revision.) 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. Along the way, we’ll have to somehow figure out what a lyric essay even is. What is a lyric essay? What are its essential qualities?  How does it work? How does one revise a lyric essay? Is maybe the best way forward to set aside generalizations and see what’s out there calling itself a lyric essay? Then maybe go for emulation?

Readings for discussion in class will consist of (1) lots of lyric essays, as well as (2) essays on craft and process. One 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. 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. 

532.001: Multimodal and Online Pedagogies

Face to Face, TR 1100-1215
Tiffany Bourelle,

Multimodal and Online Pedagogies will prepare you to teach digital composition in the twenty-first century. Specifically, you will learn how to craft multimodal assignments and corresponding curriculum for a fully online course, which you will subsequently teach from in following semesters (if eligible). This course will be taught within a variety of formats, including face-to-face, remote, and online, in an effort to immerse you within the environments in which you will teach either at UNM or elsewhere. You have to take this course in order to teach fully online at UNM.

540.001: T: Writing Program Administration

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Tiffany Bourelle, 

Writing Program Administration will prepare you for administrative roles within an English department. You will also learn skills that will make you more marketable for various faculty positions. For instance, you will learn to create job advertisements and compile materials for preparing/leading a hiring committee; to observe and mentor faculty in all teaching environments (including fully online); to create a package of training materials for new instructors; and to conduct a large-scale assessment of student portfolios. But this isn’t all! In conjunction with the texts we read in class, you will complete a final project based on your own interests. This could be drafting a comprehensive plan and policies to address racism on campus and/or in the first-year classroom; developing a training package to guide new instructors when entering the FYC classroom; creating a training workshop based on newer pedagogical practices; or drafting new classes/revising existing classes for a university program (could be UNM or somewhere you’d like to work). The possibilities are endless! This class will be student-led and driven, with you reading texts and creating projects based on your own interests. 

543.001: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric 

Face to Face, W 1600-1830
Bethany Davila,

Drawing from racial and ethnic studies, disability studies, queer theory, and feminist rhetorical theories, this course engages histories and theories of contemporary (1960-present day) rhetorical studies. As a survey course, this class involves regular reading and informal writing, 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.

558.001: Modern British Literature

Face to Face, TR 1230-1345
Sarah Townsend,

This course will approach the subject of British and Irish modernism by exploring authors’ experiments with time. The modernists were fascinated with the phenomenon of time, especially its two extremes: the plodding minute-by-minute progression of modern-day living, and the vast expanse of the mythical past. Our readings will focus on two of their signature temporal (time-related) experiments, the single-day narrative and the two-day narrative. Texts will include poetry, plays, film, and novels—including James Joyce’s masterpiece, the novel Ulysses, which we will read (almost) in its entirety. The works we will encounter are experimental, often funny or downright irreverent, and openly ambitious. The class invites students to approach the material with curiosity, good humor, and a willingness to get lost and sometimes confused! No previous experience with the topic or material is needed. Our course will conclude with a unit on the global “turn” in modernist studies, where we will trace modernism’s far and long-lasting legacies in contemporary world literature and film. Assignments will include presentations, critical essays, and a research blog that will invite students to investigate the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and manifold ideas of the modernist era.

568.001: T: Long C19 American Gothic

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Jesse Aleman,

This seminar focuses on the emergence of the American gothic in literary and cultural production during the long nineteenth-century. The course will study the emergence of the gothic across different literary and expressive forms, including art and architecture; the rise of the asylum and cultures of the dead; pseudo-science and slavery; and empire and environmentalism. We’ll begin with the long-standing critical position that race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect in the gothic, but we’ll also underscore how such intersectionality produces forms of the gothic specific to the United States and its formation between the 1770s-1900s. Here, we’ll encounter the indigenous, domestic, and eco gothics, alongside the hauntologies of slavery, sexuality, and racial mixing and the horrors of class, conquest, and expansionism in emergent US literary forms such as folklore, short fiction, and the novel—all three of which proved to be formative expressive vehicles for the US’s gothic literary tradition. The usual specters will appear on our reading list—Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Chopin, and Alcott—alongside indigenous folktexts and emergent African American gothic pieces by Collins, Harper, and Chesnutt, to name a few. Weekly readings will also include recommended secondary works on the history, theories, and critical movements of the American gothic as a growing subfield of American literary studies. The course fulfills literature distribution requirement C for the MA and MFA. Final project: student designed. 

581.001: Chaucer and Gender

Face to Face, R 1600-1830
Anita Obermeier,

Chaucer has often been credited with creating the first psychologically viable women characters in English literature: The Wife of Bath and Criseyde, one a contemporary fourteenth-century antifeminist caricature, the other an ancient Juliet. In this course, we will test this scholarly commonplace and examine just how conservative or avant-garde Chaucer really was in relation to gender. Of course, Chaucer’s canon contains numerous women characters aside from Alisoun and Criseyde—among them nuns, lovers, martyrs, wives, virgins, queens, bourgeois merchants, adulteresses, courtly and peasant women—as well as colorful male characters, such as the Troilus, Pandarus, the Miller, the Reeve, Harry Bailey, the Friar, the Pardoner, to name a few. We will read a selection of shorter poems, The Book of the DuchessThe Parliament of FowlsTroilus and CriseydeThe Legend of Good Women, and an assortment of Canterbury Tales. In our inquiries, we will enlist feminist, gender, and queer theory. I posit that the examination of Chaucer’s works with a gendered lens will provide us with new and fresh insights into the characters—both male, female, and non-binary—the works, and the author. 

587.001: T: Image in Narrative

Face to Face, W 1600-1830
Daniel Mueller,

Joseph Conrad wrote about his own work, "Above all I want to make you see." In this seminar-style course, we'll explore the wide variety of ways that writers have used images not just as appeals to vision but as structural attributes of narratives. The reading list will include poems, stories, essays, and novels from the Modernist and Post-Modernist eras. 

592.001: Teaching Literature and Literary Studies

Aeron Haynie,

This course will be 100% online and we will discuss the affordances of both face-to-face and online literature teaching.


500-Level | 600-Level
610.001: Sem: Queer Theories

Face to Face, W 1600-1830
Kathryn Wichelns,

This seminar in literary theory focuses on both a specific set of approaches and a method of reading. Grounding our initial inquiries in an overview of key figures in the intellectual history of queer literary studies, we also will explore concurrent activist writing that points out the gaps in foundational scholarship. We'll place Gayle Rubin, Audre Lorde, Cherríe Moraga, Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Jose Esteban Muñoz, the Combahee River Collective, the Against Equality Movement and others into conversation in this segment of the course. From there we'll move into writing of our own period, which will provide us with the tools to grapple with the course’s central questions. How do historically-specific beliefs about race, class, ethnicity, gender expression, citizenship status and so on intersect with ideas about sexuality, and vice versa? Does “queer” retain political and social meaning when it is unmoored from identity claims, and whose interests are served by these processes? How, as scholars, do we ethically and usefully use 21st-Century ideas to read forms of cultural production from earlier periods? By the end of the semester, students will have gained a substantive knowledge of queer theories, queer of color criticism, and sexuality studies. They will be able to approach emerging currents in the field with a fuller sense of their background in and contributions to a long discussion. Grading will be based on one conference-style presentation and an article-length final research paper; active participation is expected. 

640.001: Sem: Creativity, Multilingualism, and Teaching of Writing

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Bee Chamcharatsri,

This doctoral seminar course focuses on the discussion on creative writing genres to promote linguistic diversity and research in the field of composition studies. The creative writing in composition studies is treated as a marginalized scholarship and we will explore how we can bring this to the spotlight and different approaches to incorporate creative writing in our composition classes to combat monolingual ideologies.

650.001: Sem: Black Beowulf - Gay Grendel

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Jonathan Davis-Secord,

What if Beowulf were Black? What if Grendel were gay? Ask new questions of an old text in this class. The study of early medieval England is simultaneously exploring vibrant, new intellectual territory while also witnessing the resurgence of white supremacists and misogynists in the field. In this seminar, we will address the racism and sexism presently causing division and their entrenched histories in the development of the field. We will also survey contributions that take the field in positive, new directions—such as eco-criticism, critical race theory, trans studies, queer theory, and feminist criticism—as well as new visions of old issues. Prior knowledge of Old English or Medieval Latin is not necessary, but discussions will engage with the primary texts in those languages. Permission required for registration.

660.001: Sem: Modernism and Harlem Renaissance

Face to Face, R 1600-1830
Finnie Coleman,

Should we be convinced by Houston Baker’s argument that the writers of the Harlem Renaissance were attempting to define themselves in “modern” terms?  How do we answer his principal question surrounding the Harlem Renaissance “Why did the Harlem Renaissance fail?”  Why did Baker “locate” the New Negro Renaissance (confine it) in Harlem, New York.  Is the term Harlem Renaissance doubly false as the movement did not occur exclusively in Harlem nor was it in any way a “renaissance” or rebirth?  How do we move beyond imagining that the Harlem Renaissance was a Black-inflected form of modernism that heralded a counter-modernism?  Where did Modernism begin and where did it end?  Finally, how does the Harlem Renaissance fit or not fit into standard periodization of “American” literature?  In this course we will delve into the profoundly complex racial, social, and political contours of American Modernism and Postmodernism.  More precisely, we will explore the contours of the Harlem Renaissance (as marked by texts ranging from “I Too Sing America,” Cane, and Their Eyes Were Watching God) and the classics of the Jazz Era (paced by Fitzgerald’s Gatsby).  Our goal will be to gain a better understanding of how these two movements came into being, how they intertwined, and what understanding these coincidental literary and cultural movements tell us about our own historical moment.


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