Upcoming Semester Courses - Fall 2023

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
517.001: Editing

Stephen Benz, sbenz@unm.edu

This course focuses on editing as a professional practice. Along with improving advanced copyediting skills, we will learn about "information design": the development and production of documents that are complete, accurate, correct, comprehensible, usable, and appropriate for readers. Because editors often must be responsible for a document from its inception to its presentation as a finished product, we will also learn about layout and document design, as well as contemporary production processes. Successful completion of this course will provide you with the foundation necessary for a future career in the field, whether as an editor in the publishing industry or as an editor of documents for organizations, businesses, and institutions.

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. You can talk to me too, of course. This class is also the gateway to becoming an editor for BMR.

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

520.002: T: Taos: Professional Writing & Publishing History

Face to Face, W 1600-1830

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

This is a first-half (1H) course.

• Learn about Northern New Mexico literary, artistic, Indigenous, and settler history and textual outputs

• Practice techniques for site assessment, curation, and preservation

• Create public-facing interpretive on-site and digital texts, using professional writing and public humanities approaches

Field experience: required weekend in Taos (8/26-28); and paid-for travel as a part of the class.

521.001: Creative Writing Workshop - Fiction 

Face to Face, T 1600-1830
Jennifer Givhan, jennabee_84@yahoo.com

This is a writing workshop focused on magical realism, surrealism, and worldbuilding that blurs boundaries between reality and the imaginary. As Haruki Murakami writes, “People say it’s magic realism – but in the depths of my soul, it’s just realism.” Each student will write two to three new pieces of fiction (standalone stories or scenes of a novel) that incorporate elements of the supernatural, mythical, and/or dreamworld to illuminate deeper thematic issues and propel the narrative. We will workshop and revise each piece toward our newfound understanding of what magical realism can achieve at the levels of both craft and theme.

Readings for discussion in class will include craft essays that illuminate the genre as well as fiction by Toni Morrison, Jesmyn Ward, Ana Castillo, Gabriel García Márquez, Victor LaValle, Neil Gaiman, Isabelle Allende, Salman Rushdie, and Kazuo Ishiguro. We will examine how elements of the fantastical can deepen our understanding of what it means to be human and allow us perspectives outside the mainstream. From a craft lens, we will utilize magical realism and its variants to build propulsive storylines, immersive settings, and realistic characters that readers will root for.

522.001: Creative Writing Workshop - Poetry

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Jennifer Givhan, jennabee_84@yahoo.com

This workshop focuses on creating cohesive sets of poetry, from the micro level (such as a triptych or sonnet crown) to the macro (with a chapbook or full-length). We will examine how connective elements such as the release of information, recurring images, and thematic threads shape a compelling, satisfying, and surprising body of work. Students will draft approximately ten to twenty pages of poems, comprised of one or more long forms or several shorter pieces that function together as a whole.

Our readings will include both craft essays and poems that showcase various interpretations of what a collection can mean. Variations on a theme. A menagerie. A shattering journey. Our goal is to examine and create stylistically varied poems that cohere to a similar voice, tone, narrative, or another cohering element to showcase a range of styles that function together, offering each student a solid foundation for organizing a body of work that will serve our writing journeys at any stage of writing and publishing. We will learn how to write, curate, and polish our best work to submit to presses, contests, and grants, developing a clear perspective on what “our best work” means and how the arrangement can shift the entire composition.

530.001: Teaching Composition

Face to Face, MTWR 0900-1300
Lab - TR 0930-1045

August 14th - 18th
Rachael Reynolds, reynoldsr@unm.edu

This course is designed for new teachers in UNM’s Core Writing Program. 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 this course because 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.

We begin the week before the start of the fall semester, when we will review the goals, values, and student outcomes of the Core Writing Program and you will also have a chance to familiarize yourself 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. Topics will include best practices in teaching and assessing writing, teaching multilingual writers, creating multimodal assignments, culturally sustaining pedagogy, reading instruction, metacognition, and more. You are not expected to know any of this before we discuss it in class. I do hope you share your experiences as students and learners,  as well as your thoughts as a new instructor for the English Core Writing program as we work our way through this material. This is a three-credit graduate course.

535.001: Ethics in Technical and Professional Writing

Tiffany Bourelle, tbourell@unm.edu

This course will focus on professional ethics of technical and professional communication. You may think you already know what ethics is: the ethical obligation to provide honest, accurate, safe, and usable information to end users, clients, and customers. However, sometimes ethics goes beyond “doing the right thing” to include making sure that the documents you produce, both multimodal and print-based (and the organization you work for), do no harm to specific groups or communities and/or the environment. For instance, consider the Enron scandal where documents were written to cover up the fact that the company was in a massive downfall. These documents were first written and then distributed and read by employees of the company who eventually blew the whistle on the organization’s ethical mishandling of information. Or consider the environmental implications documents that instruct employees to bury waste or cover up pollutants being dispersed in the air. Lastly, consider how documents dehumanize or further marginalize groups of people or communities, or how certain communities might not have access to informational documents (i.e., recent research has indicated that specific communities have not received adequate information regarding how to receive the Covid vaccine). In this class, we will consider ethics from a variety of angles, looking at documents written for the workplace and reviewing cases in history where documents and/or activities have impacted people, places, and the environment; these cases will explore local and global ramifications. Finally, we will look at social justice theory to inform a redesign of documents that may impact communities in which we are a part or are familiar.

When analyzing cases and issues in this course, we will look at social constructs that influence us regarding what is right, wrong, or "moral." As a class, we will draft a code of ethics that will inform how we communicate with one another and how we approach the projects we create in this class, and this code can inform the work you will do in the workplace as well. Remember: ethics is not universally obvious or intuitive. It is socially constructed by legislative, judicial, political, economic, and public discourse (and we will discuss the implications of those social constructs as well and who or what groups are often impacted by such discourse or constructs). We may not reach consensus or agree with one another’s views of ethics or, indeed, what groups are affected by such legal and political constructs; however, we will explore and analyze various historical and present ethical cases that will help you create your final project in this class, which includes examining and redesigning documents from a social justice angle. Specifically, you will find existing societal or workplace documents, rhetorically analyze the language used and the ramifications or effects of such language on various populations or groups/communities, and redesign the documents from an ethical, social justice standpoint.

540.001: T: Research Methods

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

This course is an introduction to three types of research­– action research, archival research, and empirical research methods that will support you in your development as an ethical researcher. We will begin with readings that explore the research traditions in writing studies, including an aversion to empirical research, as well as look beyond traditionally “western”-centered approaches. Much of the course will focus on empirical research methods and learning how to engage in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches through various interdisciplinary readings alongside work analyzing the methodological approaches presented in a variety of articles. This work will be complemented by practical projects aimed to give you experience (or build on experience) in designing a research project, including developing research questions, a research plan, and research instruments; completing CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) certification; writing an IRB (Institutional Review Board) protocol; analyzing data; and writing up findings in response to data. Course participants will choose a topic of focus 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.Weekly course assignments will include readings, a discussion board post, and in-class discussions. 

545.001: History of English Language

Face to Face, MWF 1000-1050
Nicholas Schwartz, nschwar@unm.edu

Ever wonder where “bad words” come from? Have you ever looked at a passage from Chaucer or Shakespeare and wondered why everything seems misspelled? Then this course is for you! The English language has a long and fascinating history, but to many students the most ancient form of English—Old English—looks practically nothing like the Present-day English we are all familiar with today. This course will trace the development of the English language from its very earliest Indo-European beginnings all the way up to the present. Students will learn about important historical and linguistic influences on English and develop skills for analysis and an appreciation of the English language. No previous experience with linguistics or Old or Middle English is needed for this course. All are welcome.

547.001: T: Medieval Latin

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

Early Medieval England produced some of the most influential and significant authors of Latin in the Middle Ages, including Aldhelm, Bede, and Alcuin. This course will survey important works by these and other authors from England to develop students’ familiarity with the major texts, authors, styles, and genres of “Anglo-Latin” while increasing their facility with Latin generally. Additionally, the course will trace the development of the opus geminatum form, which pairs a prose and a verse version of a text to form a hybrid work. We will begin the semester with several weeks learning and/or reviewing advanced syntactic constructions, and we will spend the rest of the semester translating portions of Aldhelm’s prose and verse De virginitate, Bede’s Vitae of Cuthbert, Alcuin’s Vitae of Willibrord, and Lantfred and Wulfstan’s Vitae of Swithun. Prerequisite: LATN 102 or equivalent.

549.001: T: Old to Middle Irish

Face to Face, TR 1230-1345
Nahir Otano Gracia, nahir@unm.edu

As an introduction to Old Irish, one of the most fascinating and complex Indo-European languages, this course concentrates on three aspects of the language. First, we will spend considerable time learning the intricacies of the grammar, from the acquisition of grammatical principles to vocabulary and pronunciation. Second, we will reinforce the grammar with translation and grammar exercises including translating Conchobar Mac Nessa and Scéla Mucce Meic Dathó. Finally, we will read several Old Irish stories in translation to get a feel for the literature. We will also keep in mind the history of Ireland as one of the first colonies of England, and how the creation and preservation of Old Irish texts create community and resist Anglo Norman subordination.

551.001: T: Med Research and Bibliography

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Timothy Graham, tgraham@unm.edu

This course will offer intensive training in the research and bibliographic skills necessary for the study of the Middle Ages while also introducing students to the history of medieval scholarship from the sixteenth century onwards. A key aspect of the course will be a detailed orientation to the major published resources available to medievalists, including the volumes of the Patrologia Latina, the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, and the Early English Text Society. Participants in the course will learn about the techniques used by scholarly editors when preparing a medieval text for use by a modern readership; they will also be introduced to the conventions of the modern apparatus criticus. Students will learn how to read and analyze charters and other types of medieval document and will receive instruction in the basics of such important ancillary disciplines as medieval chronology and sigillography. The section of the course devoted to the history of medieval scholarship will include a special focus on the origins and development of scholarship on Old English from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.

557.001/650.001: He Said/She Said: Victorian Studies

Face to Face Via Zoom, F 1400-1630
Gail Houston, ghouston@unm.edu

This course takes us through a topic of fierce concern to the Victorians, the Woman Question, which of course implicitly raised the Man Question. With the goal of writing a publishable paper, we will compare and contrast how male and female writers discussed gender and ambition, gender and the Grand Tour, gender and race, and gender and class by coupling different texts, including the following: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, and Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield; Charlotte Brontë’s Villette and George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda; a fin de siecle novel titled Fellowe and his Wife, written by William Sharp and Blanche Willis Howard, features the male writer writing the husband’s side and the female writer writing in the voice of the wife.

565.001: Chicanx Literary Studies

Face to Face, M 1600-1830
Bernadine Hernandez, berna18@unm.edu

This class will examine pre-Civil Rights, Chicana/o movement literature and think about its modernist literary tradition. Caught in between Latin American modernismo and the American modernist movement, we will examine how form, content, theme, language, narrative, and device is explicated in Chicana/o/x modernism. We will attempt to unsettle the term modernism in relation to modernity for racialized people of Mexican decent. Meaning, we will think hard about how subjectivity within modernism was a historic condition that began not with a literary movement, but within a coloniality framework – whereas Walter Mignolo states, coloniality is constitutive of modernity. We will begin the class with parsing out modernismo and modernism as literary schools of thought. We will move into the works of María Cristina Mena Short Stories, Daniel Venegas’ The Adventures of Don Chipote, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca’s We Fed Them Cactus, Americo Paredes’ George Washington Gomez, José Antonio Villarreal’s Pocho, Mario Suarez’s short story collection Chicano Sketches, WPA stories, and modernist art making in the Southwest (furniture, Southwest fashion aesthetics, amongst other art). Students will be required to lead one class conversation, turn in weekly ruminations, an annotated bibliography, and a final paper.  

587.001: T: Queer Texts

Face to Face, W 1600-1830
Marisa Clark, clarkmp@unm.edu

In this craft seminar, designed for creative writers of any genre, we will explore how queer authors navigate identity, depict their bodies as the site of narrative, and queer written text as a means of representing their experiences. We’ll look at ways writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction work within the normative confines of Western writing (Freytag’s pyramid, anyone?) and/or invent architectonics more suitable to their particular queer form and content. As often as possible, we’ll use a portion of class time to write together.

In addition to book-length works in several genres, we’ll read short selections of prose and poetry. Short assignments will include reading responses and writing prompts, and the semester will culminate in a creative project (a story, essay, packet of poems, etc.).

And in case it needs to be said, all writers—any genre, any identity—are welcome. I expect our discussions to be invigorating, inspiring, and respectfully conducted.


500-Level | 600-Level
610.001: SEM: Feminisms and Difference

Face to Face, R 1600-1830
Scarlett Higgins, shiggins@unm.edu

This course will be an introductory theory seminar broaching the problem described by poet and essayist Audre Lorde in this quotation from her book Sister Outsider: “advocating the mere tolerance of difference between women is the grossest reformism. It is a total denial of the creative function of difference in our lives. Difference must not be merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependence become unthreatening.”

Mainstream Anglo-US feminism was accurately construed by many to be a primarily white and middle-class movement up until the 1980s when Lorde was writing. The 1980s and 90s saw an creative and theoretical upheaval of this constraint with the publication of Lorde’s Sister Outsider and many other significant texts by BIPOC feminists, including This Bridge Called My Back (ed. Cherie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa), All the Women are White, All the Black are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave (ed. Hull, Scott and Smith), bell hooks’s Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black, and Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/ La Frontera. In the decades since then, our theoretical vocabulary for considering issues of difference has expanded exponentially, so that alongside ideas of race, gender, and class, we increasingly consider sexuality, able-bodiedness, and an expanded sense of gender outside the male-female binary. Nevertheless, the problems and issues raised by Lorde seem as insistenly with us as they did in the 1980s.

In this course, we will begin our readings in the immediately preceding years to this breakthrough, the 1970s and move through to our current moment, considering both the opportunities for the “creative spark” that Lorde describes as an honest accounting of what difference can bring to the world, as well as the issues and problems resulting from the failure to grapple with difference.

640.001: SEM: Critical Whiteness Studies

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

In this course we will explore the interdisciplinary field of whiteness studies. We will learn about whiteness as an ideology of supremacy and domination that functions, in part, by labeling what white people do, think, and value as superior and normative. With the understanding of whiteness as an ideology—as opposed to a racial identity, experience, or skin color—whiteness studies is relevant for people of all backgrounds in order to examine how whiteness shapes society, beliefs, and practices.

Our goal is this course is to learn how to identify and challenge whiteness as part of an antiracist practice. In this course we will largely focus on whiteness in relation to colonialism, educational contexts, and language practices. Class work will include regular readings, informal homework and reflections, and a final research project.

650.001/557.001: SEM: He Said/She Said: Victorian Studies

Face to Face Via Zoom, F 1400-1630
Gail Houston, ghouston@unm.edu

This course takes us through a topic of fierce concern to the Victorians, the Woman Question, which of course implicitly raised the Man Question. With the goal of writing a publishable paper, we will compare and contrast how male and female writers discussed gender and ambition, gender and the Grand Tour, gender and race, and gender and class by coupling different texts, including the following: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, and Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield; Charlotte Brontë’s Villette and George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda; a fin de siecle novel titled Fellowe and his Wife, written by William Sharp and Blanche Willis Howard, features the male writer writing the husband’s side and the female writer writing in the voice of the wife.

660.001: SEM: Democracy and Literature

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

In this seminar on Literature and Democracy, we will examine the relation of formally active writing to the evolving public sphere across two especially charged and productive decades of American literary history. Formally active writing registers a fundamental commitment to the text not as a statement—which can be paraphrased or summarized—but as an expression that demonstrates how to think rather than declaring, in more or less plain terms, what readers ought to think.

We will begin with a consideration of how Walter Lippmann and John Dewey’s political/aesthetic debate during the 1920s framed and helped shape the high modernist literature produced at that time, and we will then extend those insights with an investigation of the effects on the avant-garde work of the 1970s of continental critical models championed by Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. We will, throughout, also reflect on the significance of contemporaneous theorizing to composition and reception in our own complicated historical moment, characterized as it is by post-truth, alternative facts, and fake news.

Although the syllabus and reading list are not yet finalized, we will read 1920s work by writers such as Langston Hughes, Mina Loy, Gertrude Stein, and William Carlos Williams, and 1970s work by writers such as David Antin, Amiri Baraka, Charles Bernstein, Edward Dorn, Robert Duncan, Larry Eigner, Nathaniel Mackey, Bernadette Mayer, and Hannah Weiner.

Please note: the best and most important works of these authors tend to resist the oversimplifications of genre (though many of them are, for the sake of convenience, categorized as poems).

No formal experience of poetry, poetics, or theory is required to be successful in the seminar, and, in consultation with the instructor, MFA students are welcome to produce creative final research projects.

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