Upcoming Semester Courses - Fall 2024

The schedule posted on this page is tentative and therefore subject to change without notice due to any number of factors, including cancellation due to low enrollment. Course Descriptions are provided for reference only and are also subject to change.

If you have any questions about the courses to be offered next semester, please contact the scheduling advisor for English:

Dee Dee Lopez
(505) 277-6349
Humanities 213 

500-Level | 600-Level
501.001: Introduction to the Profession for Writers

Face to Face, TR 1400-1515
Andrew Bourelle, abourelle@unm.edu

There is more to the writing life than writing.

In this course, we will discuss other parts of the writing life outside of craft and process. Topics will include submitting work for publication, querying agents, applying for fellowships and prizes, teaching creative writing, and figuring out how to pay the bills while also pursuing a life of writing. The course will include guest speakers to discuss publishing, teaching, and life after the MFA.

502.001: Technical and Professional Communication


Tiffany Bourelle, tbourelle@unm.edu 

A workshop-based graduate-level introductory technical and professional communication course focused on audience and genre analysis, research, and persuasion. Included genres: brochures, instructions, reports.

510.001: Criticism and Theory 

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Carmen Nocentelli, nocent@unm.edu

What is theory? Why does it matter, and what do we do with it? This course introduces critical and theoretical tools for analyzing cultural texts, including domains of everyday practice such as the social, the psychic, and the economic. We will begin by considering some thinkers (e.g., Plato, Aristotle) whose work has been foundational to the field. For the most part, though, we will focus on modern and contemporary theoretical movements (e.g., structuralism, post-structuralism, postcolonial theory, queer theory, ecocriticism), tracking their connections, and exploring the dialogue between theorists. Our focus will be on learning how to ask the questions that theoretical movements have productively used to analyze culture, as well as on identifying an argument’s limits. By the end of the course, you will be familiar with a number of critical “moves” you can build on in your writing and thinking.

518.001: Proposal and Grant Writing

Face to Face, R 1600-1830
Charles Paine, cpaine@unm.edu

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 rarely a solitary task, but rather a process of working with others to identify needs, locate opportunities, and develop persuasive solutions, 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 community-engagement experience.

520.001: T: Blue Mesa Review I

Face to Face, MWF 1400-1450
Marisa Clark, clarkmp@unm.edu

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 log 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. This class is also the gateway to becoming an editor for BMR.

To enroll in the class, send an email to Dr. Clark at clarkmp@unm.edu briefly detailing your literary interests and aspirations, as well as your Banner ID number.

522.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Lisa Chavez, clarkmp@unm.edu

This graduate workshop in poetry will focus on generating new material and workshopping and revising poems in progress. While much of the class will be focused on student work, we will also read and discuss a variety of books by contemporary poets, including some by UNM MFA graduates and other local writers. We will also write in class, and in keeping with that goal, I'll ask workshop members to lead us in one writing exercise per class. Start your week writing and discussing poetry!  

523.001: Creative Writing Workshop: Nonfiction

Face to Face, R 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 pieces 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:  Memoir or Autobiographical Narrative (an essay that has the dramatic structure of a short story); a Lyric Essay or Meditation; a 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. 

530.001: Teaching Composition

Face to Face, MWF 0900-1300 (08/12/24 - 08/16/24)

Lab, TR 0930-1045 (08/19/24 - 12/14/24)

Stephen Benz, sbenz@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 with an overview of the goals, values, and student outcomes of the Core Writing Program. We will also review course materials for the semester and develop initial lesson plans so that you can hit the ground running. During the semester, the course will focus on issues related to your professional development as a teacher of diverse student writers. In addition to discussing selected readings on pedagogy, this course offers practical mentoring through classroom observation and feedback on the development of classroom materials.

534.001: Composition Theory

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Cristyn Elder, celder@unm.edu

Composition Studies has a rich history with many areas of inquiry that influence the work we do as writers and as teachers of writing. In this course, we will read and discuss theories of audience, invention, genre, argument, voice, process, collaboration, second language writing, and multimodal composition, among others, published as articles and book chapters over the past several decades. By the end of the course, you should emerge with a broad understanding of various theories circulating in composition and have the understanding necessary to pursue further work in a particular area and apply these theories to your own pedagogy and practice. Class work will include weekly readings and weekly responses. For the major writing assignments, you will have the opportunity to apply the topics covered in class to your current (or future) teaching and/or research contexts. These assignments may take many forms, depending on your interests and goals, including a literature review, program research, course development, an exploratory or pilot study, a book review for publication, a detailed research proposal, and others you might suggest. 

540.001: T: Rhetorics of Oppression and Resistance

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Bethany Davila, bdavila@unm.edu

Because oppression is most effective when it is perpetrated ideologically, when it is hidden in “common sense,” this course prepares to you to identify and study the discursive and rhetorical (re)production of oppressive ideologies. Knowing how to uncover ideologies will allow you to better counteract such language in the future and to identify your own participation in structures of oppression. We will also study effective strategies of resistance, including using counterstory to center the stories and experiences of historically oppressed groups.

Course work includes weekly readings (available through Canvas) and informal writing assignments, several smaller “writing to learn” assignments, and a student-directed research project and paper.

548.001: Intermediate Old English

Face to Face, TR 1100-1215
Jonathan Davis-Secord, jwds@unm.edu

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. This semester will cover Old English poetry, including canonical short works, neglected gems, and selections from Beowulf. All readings will be done in the original Old English, and the course will focus on mastering Old English grammar and style while also learning the historical contexts of the readings. Prerequisite: basic knowledge of Old English.

549.001: Irish Literature

Face to Face, MW 1400-1515
Sarah Townsend, sltownse@unm.edu

This course will explore race and identity in 20th- and 21st-century Irish literature and culture. Ireland is a fascinating site for exploring changing conceptions of whiteness and otherness due to its diasporic history and recent demographic transformations. Since the 1990s, the country has seen a significant number of immigrants and asylum seekers arrive to its shores, and today a sizeable population of racial and ethnic minorities live in Ireland. These changes have given rise to two very interesting but incorrect claims: 1) that until recently, the Irish could not have been racist because there were no people of color living there, and 2) that the Irish are naturally anti-racist because they were also treated poorly by British colonizers at home and by Americans when they first arrived as immigrants to the U.S. This class will explore both of those ideas through readings and discussions of Irish fiction, drama, and literary criticism, as well as through historical and archival research. We will see how the Irish were portrayed as an inferior race by the British prior to Ireland’s independence, and we will see those same people “become white” (or more precisely, use and abuse the advantages of their whiteness) upon arrival to the United States. We will also see how Irish nationalists perpetuated narrow definitions of Irishness in their nation-building efforts, and we will examine how the Irish have imagined and treated various “Others” like Travellers (a peripatetic ethnic minority), Jews, Muslims, and the more recent wave of immigrants from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe, who are often collectively termed the “New Irish.” Most excitingly, we will read a number of literary works by young contemporary Irish writers of color who are changing the conversation about race and belonging. Course components will include an archival project, public-facing writing, a research essay, presentations, and visits with leading Irish Studies scholars. 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.

562.001: American Realism and Naturalism

Face to Face, R 1600-1830
Kathryn Wichelns, wichelns@unm.edu

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) that arise in the wake of the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. 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, Gertrude Bonnin, Charles W. Chesnutt, Abraham Cahan, and others dismantle the notion of an 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 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. 

582.001: Shakespeare and Social Justice

Online, F 1300-1430
Marissa Greenberg, marissag@unm.edu

In this hybrid course we will examine a selection of William Shakespeare writingsthroughthe lens of social justice theory and practice. Together we will investigate how scholars, teachers, artists, and activists today are leveraging Shakespeare – as an icon and a body of literature – to spotlight histories of oppression,to challenge present-day injustice, to advocate for equity and access, and to foster communities of mutual responsibility and care. Our investigation will follow students’ commitments and interests, and previous knowledge of (let alone liking) Shakespeare is not required; in fact, the greater diversity of background and attitudes the better.Possible points of entryinclude borderlands adaptation, environmental issues,liberatory pedagogy, and Premodern Critical Race Theory. Course format is hybrid: we will gather on Zoom each Friday for 1.5 hours, and you may expect to dedicate the remaining 1.5 contact hourstoasynchronous student-centered activities (meaning, not recorded lectures). The professor is committed to this course being as fully accessible to the greatest number of students as possible. So, if you have unique learning needs, or if you wish to talk about any aspect of the course, please email Dr. Marissa Greenberg

587.001: T: Poetics Theories

Face to Face, W 1600-1830
Matthew Hofer, mrh@unm.edu

This class serves as an introduction to some of the most influential and enduring poetics theories of the twentieth century, with a special focus on the experimental work that amplifies and extends the “classical” tradition (in the senses of “Romanticism” and “classicism”). The goal of the class is to reveal how key discoveries of the twentieth century inform how writing is written now. Given the scope of our topic, some breadth has been surrendered in order to attain a richer knowledge in the main line of aesthetic and intellectual development of the so-called “language art.” Over the course of the semester, our readings will detail a progression from 1) modernist poetics, 2) objectivist poetics, 3) projectivist/open-field poetics, 4) “new thing” poetics, to 5) language-centered poetics.

No previous knowledge of poetics (or poetry) is expected, and none is required in order to be successful in this class.


500-Level | 600-Level

650.001: SEM: Celtic-Global Otherworlds: Colonization and the Borders

Face to Face, W 1600-1830
Nahir Otano Gracia, nahir@unm.edu

The “Celtic” otherworld was both a part of and separate from the lives of early Celtic peoples. As such, it takes many forms, especially in the vivid accounts available in Irish and Welsh texts. These depictions of the otherworld, however, are simultaneously layered by local, ancestral, Christian ideologies. They also often respond to and English colonization. Furthermore, the representation of the otherworld was appropriated by medieval romance writers, turning the otherworld into borderlands that racialized the peoples of the borders.  This seminar will examine different manifestations of the Otherworld and explores them through borderland frameworks and critical studies. There will be no need of prior knowledge of Old/Middle Irish or Middle Welsh, but discussions will not shy away from engaging with the primary texts in those languages.

660.001: SEM: Disappearance and Dispossession in the Americas

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Jesus Costantino, jcostantino@unm.edu

The conquest of the Americas never ended. It is an ongoing project that is continually renewed, redefined, reaffirmed, and reenacted in the present. This course attempts to reckon with and contextualize that process. In the present-day horrors of forced disappearance, mass incarceration, and immigrant detention, many authors and artists see a direct line between the history of conquest and the present-day atrocities of disappearance and dispossession. A fundamental problem that each of these authors and artists face is how to represent people and histories that have been made invisible. To that end, our examination will necessarily extend across a wide range of media forms and formats, including prose, poetry, film, fine arts, architecture, photography, and more.

We will limit our study to those works produced since the 1970s, when Chile’s military junta enforced the world’s first neoliberal economic system under the tutelage of US economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman. While the history of disappearance and dispossession in the Americas extends back to the European conquest, the advent of neoliberalism in the 1970s newly accelerated and normalized the process. In Latin America, countries became laboratories for testing the viability of Friedman’s economic ideas, while in the US, dramatic changes to incarceration and immigration policy reflected surprisingly similar shifts. The net result was a hemispheric system dedicated to the disappearance of racially and ethnically marginalized populations under the guise of “economic development.”

In addition to the literary and artistic works alluded to above, we will also read extensively from scholarly texts. Students will familiarize themselves with relevant research methods and materials, and they will produce two short essays addressing some aspect of the unfolding history of disappearance and dispossession.

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