Course Descriptions for Fall 2017

100-Level | 200-Level | 300-Level | 400-Level

150.001: Introduction to the Study of English

TR 1100-1215
Kelly Hunnings,

This course introduces non-English majors to the study of literature. We will read from a variety of genres including short stories, poetry, drama, the novel, and we will explore oral and visual literary forms. Throughout these genres of literature, we will focus particularly on themes of nationhood, class, and gender, and trace where these vectors of identity intersect with one another. Students will develop a deeper appreciation for literature and improve their abilities to discuss and analyze a literary text through a consideration of genre conventions, style, themes, historical context and representations of identity. In addition, students will learn to compose in both textual and multimodal modes of literary scholarship. Required work in this course includes quizzes, short response papers, and two literary analysis projects.

150.002: Introduction to the Study of English

MWF 1300-1350
Belinda Wallace,

This course is an introduction to the study and appreciation of literature for non-English majors.  In our quest to develop a greater understanding of and increased enjoyment from literature, this class will teach students how to read and interpret literature as well as how to write about the literature they have read.  In this section of ENGL 150, we will explore contemporary Caribbean literature and the theme of “home” in order to engage and understand: 1) various literary genres; 2) different strategies for reading and interpreting literature; and 3) effective practices for writing about literature.

150.003: Introduction to the Study of English

MWF 1000-1050
Kadeshia Matthews,

100-Level | 200-Level | 300-Level | 400-Level

220.001: Expository Writing: Modern Love

MWF 0900-0950
Brent Colby Gates,

How do we define love in the modern age? In this course, we will search contemporary novels, films, and albums for answers. Through the lens of science and anthropology, we will examine a diverse, wild, gutsy array of narratives that challenge and reinforce ideas about what excellent composition can accomplish. The supporting course materials range in scope and experience— from Anne Carson to Beyoncé .

220.002: Expository Writing: Postmodernism: Race, Sex, and Simulation

MWF 11-11:50
Jared Valdez,

Who are we? What is human? Are the dimensions of our psychology unique? Furthermore, what functions of the simulacra, the robot, and the machine do we as humans also possess? These are some of the processes and propositions posed by the postmodern author. Culture, identity, structure, and expectations are skewed, deconstructed, and harbor a strange dichotomy of an organic cybernetic framework. Through its endless chaos, anti-heros, and post-human riddles, the postmodern function displays a reality uniquely fit to be the representation of contemporary American culture and identity. Intersectionality of sex, race, class, and politics, are all undertaken by these postmodern narratives and through their strange perspectives, an array of understanding, critique, and knowledge can be discovered. As a class it will be our journey to discover these postmodern truths. Students will purchase two texts, Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions and the 7th edition of the Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. From this collection of short stories, we will examine various works from the modern period and postmodern periods (i.e. Truman Capote, Shirley Jackson, Raymond Carver, and Tobias Wolff). We Will also be watching two films: Her (2013), directed by Spike Jones and Birdman (2014) directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.

220.003: Expository Writing: The Supernatural and the Fantastic in English Literature

MWF 1200-1250
Ying Xu,

English 220 is an intermediate composition course for students who wish to increase their skills in gathering, reporting, and interpreting information, and making cogent arguments based on solid evidence. In this section of 220, we will use “texts” on the haunted, the gothic and the supernatural– primarily short stories, but also novels and film – as a means to learn how to analyze the audience, purpose, and social and cultural contexts of certain “texts,” and write effectively about them.

Many writers have borrowed the tropes of ghosts, the supernatural, fox-spirits, forebodings, dreams of premonition, metamorphoses to represent unspeakable fear, horror, and anxieties. The course will study a wide range of ghost and supernatural stories in English literature that include Mary Shelley, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Jean Rhys, Toni Morrison, and Leslie Silko. Through examining the ghostly presence and the supernatural elements in these texts, the course aims to help student understand how the fantastic elements function in relation to the specific social contexts that produced these texts. The course is designed in three sequences, focusing on analyzing the repressed and the haunted in terms of identity formation. Students will be challenged to reexamine issues such as race and gender and come up with their own definitions of the fantastic and the gothic. The course reflects a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic approach to literature through the incorporation of texts reflecting a variety of beliefs, customs, cultures, and backgrounds.

220.004: Expository Writing: Exploration of The Self: Visual Readings of Identity

MWF 1300-1350
Melisa Garcia,

A diverse survey of most recent graphic novels that explore the notion of identity through narratives of the self. The class focuses on the relationship of text and image, thematic themes strung through each reading, the use of identity and its intersections as a means to tell a story about the self. Students will critically look at the technical aspects of composing a graphic short by reading McCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art and discussing the key components when creating their own aesthetic and style. Ideally, students will explore the aspects of identity which include race, nationality, ethnicity, social status, gender and sexuality, coming of age, religion, etc. Furthermore, they will pay close attention to how language can be represented visually and textually through a multimodal presentation where they wille explore those implications. Finally, this course is designed to grapple and critically analyze the exploration of identities found in various contemporary graphic novels. The graphic novels read will span from Bechdel’s Fun Home, Sezen's A Snapshot of a Girl, Yang's American Born Chinese, Tomine’s Shortcomings, and others. 

220.005: Expository Writing: Putting the YA in Gay: LGBTQ+ Young Adult Literature

MWF 1400-1450
Breeanna Watral,

This course will cover several important 21st century works of young adult LGBTQ+ literature, including novels by Malinda Lo, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and David Levithan.  All of the works we will read have major LGBTQ+ characters, none of whom fall into negative tropes and all of whom survive their respective stories: a phenomenon that is disturbingly rare in LGBTQ+ representation in literature, television, and film.  We will analyze the ways in which the characters' discovery of sexuality/gender identity shape and enrich these coming-of-age stories and will discuss the importance of representation of all LGBTQ+ individuals in both literature and popular media.

220.006: Expository Writing: Irony and Popular Culture

MWF 1500-1550
William Barnes,

English 220 is an intermediate writing course designed for students who wish to improve their writing skills and meet the demands of academic writing across the disciplines. Students will study and practice various rhetorical forms, and the rhetorical foundations necessary for adapting writing to any situation. This section focuses on irony and popular culture, grounding students in the rich interdisciplinary history of the concept and focusing on contemporary expressions of irony in fashion, literature, music, film, art, as well as communication and new media. Students choose assignment formats from a range of digital and traditional mediums including: digital or print multimodal movie, music and literature reviews, gallery curation proposals, mock conference presentations, scripted podcasts, social media “jamming,” video blogging, dialogues, scripts, and mini-screen plays. All students write a short research paper, and a final portfolio collecting and editing their best work from the course. No exams. 

220.007: Expository Writing: X-MEN: Slashing Boundaries, Binaries and Mutating Identity Politics for the 21st Century 

MWF 1000-1050
Lauren Perry,

This course will cover the expansive history and ground-breaking texts of X-MEN comics from their inception in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The X-MEN comic titles were the best-selling comics from the mid 60s through the early 80s, due in large part to their status as a band of misfit, international characters. X-MEN introduced the first queer characters along with many other important firsts in comics and pop culture. From their early Silver Age titles to their modern film adaptations, X-MEN graphic novels and characters continue to portray under-represented and disenfranchised voices in global conflicts. They are a symbol of counter culture and the most successful emblem of LGBTQ, female, and mixed race inclusion in mainstream popular culture (along with being written and directed by extremely successful members of these under-represented communities). This class will sample theoretical framework in conversation with these texts and address issues of identity, politics, the body, race, gender, class, nationality, sexuality, and queer theory. It will seek to analyze these texts by reading primary source material in the form of original Silver Age comics, graphic novels, and films featuring various X-MEN characters and narratives. Students will utilize modes of literary analysis and critical thinking to produce writing that focuses on how these texts represent the voiceless, challenge identity and subject conceptions, and how these texts critique the political discourses of their given time periods. The X-MEN not only changed and saved comics as a medium; these texts revolutionized and reinvigorated diversity in popular culture. Students will read theory, research, and produce complex written criticism of these texts and the conversations surrounding them.

220.008: Expository Writing: The Cultural Hero  

TR 1100-1215
Mark Caughey,

This course will explore not only how cultures construct their heroes but also how heroes construct a sense of cultural identity. We will consider both the hero’s ancient origins and its transformation over time and across cultures -- from the epic hero to its latter-day counterpart: the superhero. To that end, we will examine such texts as The Epic of GilgameshThe Saga of the Volsungs and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Along the way, we will develop a framework that will help us understand how some characteristics of the hero remain constant while others arise from specific cultural beliefs and values. Students will hone their writing and research skills through assignments that include reviews, comparative analyses and annotated bibliographies.

220.009: Expository Writing: Children's Writing and Literature

TR 1230-1345
Erick Martinez,

Children’s Writing and Literature explores the art and craft of writing for children, including language/appropriate vocabulary, voice, audience, style and technique. This course focuses on literary understandings, critical perspectives, and trends and issues related to the field of children’s and young adult literature. As opposed to focusing on the pedagogical uses of texts, this course is grounded in thoughtful, intellectual discussions that challenge popular constructions of readers and authors, texts, and contexts. Because children’s responses to texts are as varied as those of adults, participants are expected to focus on their own responses to the texts with which we engage (as opposed to attempting to predict how children—or any child—will respond). 

Wonderful children's books—both classic and contemporary—will be dissected, including authors such as: Maurice Sendak; Margaret Wise Brown; William Steig; Shel Silverstein; Arnold Lobel; Dr. Seuss; S.E. Hinton; J.D. Salinger; Walter Dean Myers; Judy Blume; Marilyn Nelson; Jacqueline Woodson, and countless other new and original voices. A major goal for students in this class is to discover a primal child's voice in oneself. Close inspection of the literature will reveal it has been selected to demonstrate a myriad of approaches to handling picture books and young adult books. Accordingly, elements of character, point of view and diction, for example, will be addressed. The class will be taught sequentially in terms of age level, starting with pre-k and progressing to young adult.

220.010: Expository Writing: Light Sabers and Today: What Science Fiction Tells Us about Today 

TR 0930-1045
Vicki Vanbrocklin,

Light sabers to space ships to creatures to robots: Science Fiction. No other genre has experienced such dramatic changes. Its roots lie in 18th century gothic literature and has become a staple of modern literature and films. Science Fiction’s longevity has much to do with what inspires its writers. While early scholars of Science Fiction called it speculative literature, this class will focus on Science Fiction as a response to culture and history rather than imagining what the future might hold. These writers are more concerned with their present rather than the future. We will begin with mother of Science Fiction, Mary Shelley and make our way forward with short stories, films, and television show episodes to exam modern day issues such as immigration, class, war, technology, and climate change.

220.021: Expository Writing: The Supernatural and the Fantastic in English Literature

Ying Xu,

English 220 is an intermediate composition course for students who wish to increase their skills in gathering, reporting, and interpreting information, and making cogent arguments based on solid evidence. In this section of 220, we will use “texts” on the haunted, the gothic and the supernatural– primarily short stories, but also novels and film – as a means to learn how to analyze the audience, purpose, and social and cultural contexts of certain “texts,” and write effectively about them.

Many writers have borrowed the tropes of ghosts, the supernatural, fox-spirits, forebodings, dreams of premonition, metamorphoses to represent unspeakable fear, horror, and anxieties. The course will study a wide range of ghost and supernatural stories in English literature that include Mary Shelley, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Jean Rhys, Toni Morrison, and Leslie Silko. Through examining the ghostly presence and the supernatural elements in these texts, the course aims to help student understand how the fantastic elements function in relation to the specific social contexts that produced these texts. The course is designed in three sequences, focusing on analyzing the repressed and the haunted in terms of identity formation. Students will be challenged to reexamine issues such as race and gender and come up with their own definitions of the fantastic and the gothic. The course reflects a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic approach to literature through the incorporation of texts reflecting a variety of beliefs, customs, cultures, and backgrounds.

224.001: Intro to Creative Writing

MWF 1000-1050
Tatiana Duvanova,  

ENGL 224-001 will introduce students to creative writing by exploring fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Students will be expected to produce creative work in all three genres. We will spend the first half of the semester learning about the craft (e.g. plot, character, POV) and completing short writing exercises. The second half of the course will be devoted to workshops. Throughout the semester, we will read and discuss exemplary work by published authors (short stories, poems, memoir excerpts, etc.). The major project for this class is a portfolio that should include work in all three genres, but can be primarily focused on one: fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. 

224.002: Intro to Creative Writing

TR 1400-1515
Mark Caughey, 

This course will introduce students to the craft of writing in the genres of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.  In the first half of the course, assignments will stress generative strategies; in the latter half, we will focus on structuring, revising and refining our work.  Likewise, while the first few weeks will address issues of craft common to all genres, we will ultimately be focusing on those concerns and conventions that define and distinguish each genre.  Although each student will be writing in all three genres, no one will be expected to master any of them.  After all, the goal is exploration, not conquest.

Because one cannot be a thoughtful writer without first being a thoughtful reader, we will be engaged in quite a bit of reading -- using stories, poems and essays by established authors as models for our own work.  Moreover, students will be expected to give considerable and considerate feedback on their classmates’ writing.

224.003: Intro to Creative Writing

TR 1100-1215
Ruben Rodriguez,  

This course will introduce students to the craft of writing poetry, literary fiction, and creative non-fiction. The class will spend equal time with each genre. Students should expect to read examples of established writers and discuss aspects of the work that contribute to its success. Over the course of the semester, students will generate work in all three genres. As a necessary part of the process, revision will be a major component of the course. Throughout the semester students will be asked to share their work with the class, and at the end of the semester students will participate in peer review. The course will culminate in a final portfolio.

224.004: Intro to Creative Writing

MWF 1300-1350
Samuel Nichols,  

As an introduction to creative writing and workshop methods, ENGL 224 will cover poetry, creative nonfiction, and short fiction. We will learn the conventions of each genre through readings, writing activities, and discussions. We will also cover the basics of submitting work to literary journals and contests for publication.

224.005: Intro to Creative Writing

MWF 1100-1150
Hayley Peterson,

We will be exploring various contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry texts, learning about and analyzing craft features of each, and learning how to implement them in your own writing. 

224.006: Intro to Creative Writing

TR 0930-1045
Heather Johnson Lapahie, 

This course will introduce students to the literary genres of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. We will focus on developing the foundations of craft in each genre, recognizing the commonalities between genres, and then exploring what makes each genre distinct. We’ll read and discuss literary works in every genre as examples of craft and models for our own writing. Students will also be introduced to the process and practice of writing, focusing on substantive revision, and the constructive dynamic of workshop.

224.007: Intro to Creative Writing

Lisa Chavez,

This online introductory course will introduce students to the craft of writing literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.  We will begin with issues that all genres share, and then go on to  look at some of the conventions of the individual genres.  Students should be prepared to learn to read like a writer, to try out a lot of different exercises, to learn the art of revision, and to write in all three genres.  I also expect lively online discussion of the assigned readings, and there will also be an introduction to peer review in small groups. 

240.001: Traditional Grammar

MWF 1300-1350
Cristyn Elder,

Most native speakers of a variety of English use the language every day without having to think about the rules. In fact, people who have learned English as a foreign language often know the grammatical rules of standardized American English better than native speakers. In this class, we will learn various parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions) and how they are put together to create meaningful units of sentences and basic sentence patterns. And, as English is a rule-governed system that changes over time, we will also look at examples of language change and common language attitudes. Course work will consist of quizzes, short papers, readings, and discussion board posts.

240.002: Traditional Grammar

TR 1230-1345
Erin Lebacqz, 

Most native speakers use English every day without having to think about the rules. In fact, people who have learned English as a foreign language often know the grammatical rules better than native speakers. However, as non-native speakers know well, English is a rule-governed system that changes over time. In this course, we will uncover the many levels of structure that make up the English language, language change over time, and common language attitudes. Course work will consist of regular homework, quizzes, tests, and a paper.

249.001: Intro to Studies in English

W 1100-1150
Diane Thiel,

English 249 is a one-credit, eight-week class that brings together students majoring in English. It is a required course and must be taken before embarking on the major coursework. Students are introduced to the subfields of rhetoric and professional writing; creative writing; literary studies; and critical theory and cultural studies. Students will be introduced to the life of the department through class visits with faculty members, attendance at departmental events, and a variety of readings and discussions. The final task will be to craft a letter of intent documenting an intended course of study.

249.002: Intro to Studies in English

T 1100-1215
Diane Thiel,

English 249 is a one-credit, eight-week class that brings together students majoring in English. It is a required course and must be taken before embarking on the major coursework. Students are introduced to the subfields of rhetoric and professional writing; creative writing; literary studies; and critical theory and cultural studies. Students will be introduced to the life of the department through class visits with faculty members, attendance at departmental events, and a variety of readings and discussions. The final task will be to craft a letter of intent documenting an intended course of study.

250.001: Literary Textual Analysis

TR 0930-1045
Vincent Basso, 

English 250 will orient you to the practice of literary analysis and provide a base for you to develop your understanding of the field of literary studies. As we work you’ll develop familiarity with prominent theoretical modes, develop a critical vernacular, better understand genre conventions, and become increasingly confident in researching, analyzing, and writing about literature. Over the course of the semester we’ll work through major genre forms: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, comics, and film, and consider how various cultural forces and aesthetic practices respond to one another and affect our ideas about literary texts.

Sample works may include: Jack London: White Fang, Pietro di Donato: Christ in Concrete, James Baldwin: Go Tell It On the Mountain, Peter Benchley: Jaws, Galway Kinnell: The Book of Nightmares, Claudia Rankine: Citizen, C.D. Wright: One Big Self, Conor McPherson: The Seafarer, David Wojnarowicz: Close to the Knives, Charles Burns: Black Hole, and Gilbert Hernandez: Heartbreak Soup. Films may include: Orca, Blackfish, Jaws, and Night of the Living Dead.

250.002: Literary Textual Analysis

TR 1230-1345
Feroza Jussawalla,

This is the required introduction to reading literature and writing about it theoretically. we will be using the Norton Anthology of English Literature volume F, the Modern Period. Additionally we will use Bonnycastle's In Search of Authority.We will use texts like Conrad's Heart of Darkness to explore issues in contemporary theory. This course requires the doing of a reserch paper according to my "cookie cutter!" It also entails learning how to use the MLA Style sheet.

250.003: Literary Textual Analysis

MWF 1000-1050
Scarlett Higgins,

English 250 is the gateway course to the English major. In it we will learn the fundamental skills needed for literary textual analysis, including critical reading practices, construction of an argument, the use of textual evidence to support an argument, and the best practices for bringing all of these skills together in a research essay.  

To do so, we will study a variety of texts in the major genres (literary fiction, poetry, and drama, in addition to film and graphic novels) all of which have themselves been adapted, transformed, or created as an homage to a text in a different genre. Close analysis of these texts will allow us to see clearly the ways that concepts of genre, inherently involving reader/viewer expectations, affect our reading practices.  

Sample texts may include a segment on noir, with Raymond Chandler’s novel The Big Sleep (1939), Howard Hawks’ film adaptation of the novel (The Big Sleep (1946)), and the Coen brothers’ comic update to the noir genre, The Big Lebowski (1998); a segment on Shakespeare’s sonnets and a variety of writers’ tranformations and re-writings of them; Vladimir Nabokov’s novel-as-poem Pale Fire (1962); and Ron Wimberly’s 2012 graphic novel adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, entitled Prince of Cats.

287.001: T: Film, Literature and Comics

TR 0930-1045
Jesús Costantino,

What does it mean to read literature visually? What does it mean to visualize narrative? How do visual forms of storytelling complicate, extend, or obviate verbal forms of storytelling? What happens to a verbal text when we translate it into a visual one? To answer these questions, this course will introduce students to the critical study of visual narrative genres including comics, film, video games, and photo-texts.

290.001: Introduction to Professional Writing

Julianne Newmark Engberg, 

This is an online Intro to Professional Writing course. This class will introduce you to methods of effectively communicating technical, professional, and business information to multiple audiences, in multiple modes. You will develop an understanding of theories of technical communication and will practice technical communication in many forms. With an eye constantly focused on audience needs and expectations, we will plan, organize, draft, revise, and edit documents and multimedia texts. We will learn that the content and appearance of each written document must be appropriate to the intended audience. This course introduces strategies of expository writing style, persuasive communication, and multimodal document design. You will also learn about ethical considerations in the workplace that impact technical and business communicators and the public. Assignments in this course will represent the most common genres of workplace writing, including resumes, informational graphics and data visualization, usability studies, memoranda, business letters, technical reports, white papers, and instructions. In addition, this class will serve as an introduction to the field of professional communication, and will educate you about the history of Technical and Professional Communication (TPC), about career options in TC and related fields, and about workplace issues in these fields (including analysis of audience, significance of user-centered design and usability, expectations for collaborative work, and the standards of web writing). All projects in this course are designed to help you create some initial materials for a portfolio you can use when looking for an internship or employment in the field.  Key components of this online course are group collaboration and the viewing of a series of videos created specifically for this course by working professionals in the field.

292.001: World Literatures: Ancient World Through the 16th Century

TR 1100-1215
Lisa Myers,

English 292, “World Literatures: Ancient World through the Sixteenth Century,” introduces students to a representative sample of influential works from a variety of the world’s traditions—from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, to Greece and Rome, China, India, Japan, Europe and the Americas. Readings range from The Epic of Gilgamesh and Shakuntala to The Tale of Genji, and Othello. In addition to such key literary works, the course will also include some philosophical, historical, and cultural texts in order to place these works in their unique time and place. The aim is not only to gain a greater understanding of the development of literary forms and cultural traditions of the world, but also to put these diverse texts into conversation with each other in order to gain a sense of history and the varieties of human experience. Students will consider the ways in which literary works from these various cultures and historical periods relate to readers and the world today.

292.002: World Literatures: Ancient World Through the 16th Century

MWF 1400-1450
Dalicia Raymond,  

English 292, “World Literatures: Ancient World through the Sixteenth Century,” introduces students to a representative sample of influential works from a variety of the world’s traditions—from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, to Greece and Rome, China, Japan, and Europe. Readings range from The Epic of Gilgamesh and the poems of Sappho to The Bhagavad Gita, and the Decameron to Shakespeare’s sonnets. In addition to such key literary works, the course will also include some philosophical, historical, and cultural readings to situate these works in their unique time and place. Students will gain an understanding of the literary forms and cultural traditions of the world, as well as consider how these texts reflect the cultural and historical contexts from which they emerged.  Students will engage with and draw connections between the texts and will consider how the texts relate to the modern world.

293.001: World Literatures: 17th Century through the Present

MWF 0900-0950
Deborah Weagel, 

This survey of world literature introduces students to some of the most influential literary works of the world from 1650 through the present. By following a chronological approach, students recognize interrelationships among peoples, nations, and cultures. Although they find universal themes among cultures from all over the globe, they also see that many communities have unique traditions and customs that give them a sense of individuality. Students learn the historical and cultural contexts of the international readings and engage in critical discussions regarding a variety of issues. They also analyze the readings in terms of literary themes, motifs, styles, and structures. Ideally, students better understand their own place, as well as that of others, in the global community. 

In this course, students take three exams, complete five writing assignments, and participate in small weekly projects. Please note that this is a reading- and writing-intensive course designed to help students think critically about and deeply engage with the assigned texts. 

294.001: Survey of Earlier English Literature 

MWF 1100-1150
Carolyn Woodward,

In this survey of literature from the eighth through the eighteenth centuries, we’ll read traditional texts such as Beowulf and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as well as less-known pieces such as a 12th-century romance by Marie de France and 17th century poetry by Aphra Behn and John Wilmot (“Rochester”) surprisingly modern in its graphic details about sex.  We’ll make use of Norton’s Web resources to enrich our readings: for example, of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with materials from Jewish and Muslim accounts of the Crusades, and of Olaudah Equiano’s slave narrative with 18th-century arguments for and against the slave trade.  Central to our study will be the construction in Anglo-Saxon epic poetry of basic features of the novel, the creation in the Renaissance of sonnet form, and the 18th-century development of musical comedy.

295.002: Survey of Later English Literature 

Gail Houston,

This is a survey of British/Irish literature from the Romantics (1789-1832), through the Victorians (1832-1901), and through Modern and Postmodern/Postcolonial time periods. Searing topics engaged these writers, including slavery, women's rights, class divisions, industrialization, the crisis of faith, colonization, sex, drugs, and rock & roll, as well!

296.001: Earlier American Literature  

TR 1530-1645
Amy Gore, 

This course surveys the literary texts produced within the shifting boundaries of the United States through the lens of print culture. Beginning with literary selections from Native America and ending with the Civil War, this course will consider the material conditions of print and their role in shaping early American literary production, including newspapers, literary journals and magazines, broadsides, pamphlets, and the bound book. While this is a survey course, we will have several thematic questions to guide us: What is an “American” book? What impact did the medium of print have in shaping American literature? How did print mediums, combined with social and political circumstances, create new genres? How did print culture offer opportunities for the voices of marginalized peoples? This course will offer several hands-on opportunities with early American literature as we avail ourselves of library resources. Students will explore the diversity of early American literature and examine the attributes and impact of print culture in America. They will also learn and apply literary terminology, and they will continue to develop their analytical skills through class discussions and written assignments.

297.001: Later American Literature

MWF 1300-1350
Jana Koehler,  

This course surveys American literary history from the American Civil War to the twenty-first century. Drawing on poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, novels, and film, we’ll chart diverse rhetorical traditions and stylistic innovations for American literature in relation to national and transnational networks of meaning. We’ll pay careful attention to the shifting historical and cultural contexts for literary movements including realism, regionalism, naturalism, modernism, and confessional poetry as well as a cluster of contemporary “posts”: postmodernism, postcolonialism, and posthumanism. By the end of the course, students will map the ways in which America becomes imagined and reimagined in terms of contested territories, wild and domesticated spaces, overlapping cultural traditions, and various forms of social and political experimentation. Course requirements include two short essays and two exams.


100-Level | 200-Level | 300-Level | 400-Level

304.002: Bible as Literature

Kelly Van Andel,  

This course studies biblical stories within their literary and historical contexts, and it examines how the authors of the Bible utilize literary forms and tools such as the parable, proverb, allergory, and so on to convey particular messages. It additionally stresses the importance of the Bible as a source of English and American literature. Units of study include Narrative, Poetry, the Synoptic Gospels, the Letter, Apocalyptic Literature, and the Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament in English and American Literature. There are two exams and one short paper or presentation.

305.001: Mythology

TR 0930-1045
Nicholas Schwartz,

This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of mythological traditions that are most necessary to learn and recognize for the study of American and British literature and culture. As such, our focus will be primarily—but not only—on the Western mythologies which most often exerted a major influence on these literatures and cultures. This does not mean, however, that we will spend all of our time reading those myths which feature prominently in Ancient Greek and Roman Literatures. The scope of this course is broad, both geographically and temporally speaking. We will start with myths from ancient Mesopotamia, like Gilgamesh, and also touch base with the Judeo-Christian Bible, Ancient Greece and Rome, and Medieval Iceland, amongst others. Students will not only develop a valuable familiarity with these various mythological traditions, but they will also be exposed to a number of different ways of reading and analyzing them.

306.001: Arthurian Legend and Romance

TR 1530-1645
Anita Obermeier,  

The Arthurian Legend has been the single most prolific literary motif in Western literature. This course will investigate this enduring strength and attraction of Arthurian legends from their pan-European beginnings in the medieval period to contemporary literature, popular culture, and film. We will read masterpieces from the Celtic tradition, Chrétien de Troyes, the French Lancelot-Grail Cycle, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Thomas Malory, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain, Naomi Mitchison, and others. This way, we can observe how each version serves a new authorial, political, or cultural agenda—whether it is to establish a national foundation myth, to endorse specific religious values, to revive medieval values in an industrial age, or to challenge gender stereotypes in modern times. We will also focus on the evolution of other important Arthurian characters, such as Gawain, Tristan, Perceval, Morgan le Fay, Galahad, Merlin, Lancelot, and Guinevere.

315.003: Interdisc Approaches to Lit:  African American Literature 

TR 1230-1345
Finnie Coleman,

In this course we will review the first two centuries of African American literature with an eye toward better understanding Black identity development and what it meant to be a Black American from the earliest days of the republic through the Harlem Renaissance.  With an eye trained on historical context, we will read the works of both “major” and “minor” writers from the first three distinct periods in African American literary history.  We will begin with what editors of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature designate as “The Literature of Slavery and Freedom (1746 – 1865),” move on to “Literature of the Reconstruction to the Negro Renaissance (1865 – 1919),” and finish with “Harlem Renaissance (1919-1940).” We must keep in mind that bracketing histories of literature, art, and culture chronologically is often fraught with inconsistencies and paradoxes.  As we will discover, “Periodizations” of African American Literature do not escape these inconsistencies and paradoxes; the periods adopted by Norton are not “universal” and may be contested. Along the way we will discuss rhetorical strategies and storytelling so important to Black writers in antebellum America; try to gain a better understanding of performance traditions and cultural nationalism that matured during the half century following Emancipation; and familiarize ourselves with the visual arts and the genesis of Jazz and Blues music that undergirded the Harlem Renaissance.  We will close the course with a look at how the Harlem Renaissance set the stage for the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s and the coterminous rise of Hip Hop Culture.  Throughout the course we will pay close attention to “Black Identity” development and the “healthy antinomianism” that has been present in this body of literature from its beginnings.   The Norton Anthology of African American literature will serve as the primary text for the course. 

320.001: Advanced Expository Writing

TR 0930-1045
Bethany Davila,

In this course students explore the relationship between language and meaning through readings about this topic as well as their own examination of language. Course assignments include an exploration of a particular value and how that value is represented and created through language, a rhetorical analysis of a text, a discourse analysis of a text, and finally a research paper on language and meaning within a given context (students choose areas of interest to them).

321.001: Intermediate Creative Writing-Fiction

Julie Shigekuni,

This online workshop will focus on the close reading of and experimentation in the writing of short fiction with an emphasis on voice: How it is created by contemporary authors, and how does it emerge in your work? During the first half of the semester, participants will create story fragments, each week isolating and treating an element of story (e.g., character development, image, setting, plot, point of view, theme) that contributes to an engaging narrative. Once you are familiar with the elements of craft, you will choose a story fragment to develop in the second half of the semester This story will receive a workshop-styled critique. In addition to putting your own work through the revision process, you will will read and respond to stories written by your classmates. Texts include material from craft sourcebooks alongside stories anthologized in 12 Short Stories and Their Makers.

321.002: Intermediate Creative Writing-Fiction

TR 1400-1515
Jacob Trujillo,

This is a craft-based class in short literary fiction. The focus of our work is one the specific elements of craft that writers (that's you) use to construct stories and an examination, using your own writing and the writing of others, of how those craft elements can be manipulated to achieve different narrative ends. The first half of the semester is spent attacking in multiple ways the first short story you write: changing point of view, starting the story at an entirely new place, or removing back story, for example. The second half of the semester is spent workshopping a second story written for the class. Both stories have specific limitations and rules (known lovingly around UNM as "Jack's Creativity-Destroying Rules"). Class requires much writing, much reading, two complete stories, a live reading review, a craft review of a collection of short fiction and written critiques of each of your fellow student's stories. Texts are Deepening Fiction by Sarah Stone and Ron Nyren and a collection of short fiction by a contemporary writer to be chosen by you in consultation with me.

322.001: Intermediate Creative Writing-Poetry

TR 1230-1345
Diane Thiel,  

In this intermediate workshop course, the readings and class sessions will focus on particular techniques or elements of poetry (i.e.: diction, perspective, rhythm, forms of poetry, etc.).  Creative exercises and assignments will accompany these discussions. Students will also be workshopping several poems throughout the course. Because students arrive in such courses with a variety of backgrounds, styles, and interests in poetry, conversations about lineage and the different schools of thought in poetry will be a vital element of the class. Some of this discussion will arise from the workshop of student poems.

323.001: Intermediate Creative Writing-Creative Nonfiction

TR 1530-1645
Marisa Clark,

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple." --Oscar WildeThis intermediate creative nonfiction course will introduce you to the many possibilities of creative nonfiction, including memoir and the personal essay, literary journalism, travel and nature writing, humor writing, and graphic nonfiction. The writing you do for the class will ask you to draw from your past experiences and passions, as well as your current interests and observations. In the first half of the semester, you will read a number of published pieces and do a variety of short exercises intended to target various craft elements of literary nonfiction and generate material for full-length works. The second half of the semester will be devoted to writing and workshopping your own literary-quality essays. Class discussions will concern elements of literary craft, naturally, but also the special kinds of responsibility that fall on writers of nonfiction. 

324.003: Introduction to Screenwriting

M 1430-1700
Matthew McDuffie,  

330.001: T: Surreal New Worlds

TR 1400-1515
Jesús Costantino,

Originally a fringe European avant-garde movement that blended dream with reality, Surrealism becomes unexpectedly central to the modern art and literature of the US and Latin America. Surrealism appears in the revolutionary murals of Diego Rivera, the folk stories of Zora Neale Hurston, the grotesque histories of William Faulkner, the wild labyrinths of Jorge Luis Borges, the racial picaresque of Ralph Ellison, the spaced-out jazz of Sun Ra, the forgotten communities of Toni Morrison, and the haunted landscapes of Yuri Herrerra. Why is this? Is it possible that a homegrown American Surrealism is the progenitor of magical realism, afro-futurism, chicanismo, and postmodernism? In our investigation, we will focus on representative works of prose and poetry by twentieth and twenty-first century writers from the US and Latin America. All Spanish and Portuguese texts will be read in English translation.

350.001: Medieval Tales of Wonder

MWF 0900-0950
Nicholas Schwartz, 

This course will offer interested students the opportunity to read, study, and analyze medieval tales of wonder written at various times in various places. The course will take a broad view of the term “wonder”; we will look at descriptions of unknown lands as well as tales of monsters and monstrous beings, dream visions, hagiography, heroes, and antiheroes. Texts will include (in no particular order) Beowulf (in graphic novel form!), The Song of RolandThe Travels of Sir John MandevilleEgil’s SagaGrettir’s SagaThe Wonders of the EastThe Passion of St. Christopher, and Tacitus’ Germania. Shorter works will include select Viking romances, the Old English “Dream of the Rood,” Chaucer’s “House of Fame,” selections from the Golden Legend, and Ibn Fadlan’s account of the Rus, amongst others. Reading these texts and others will reveal what medieval people valued about themselves and others in addition to offering a glimpse into what was frightening, impressive, and perplexing in medieval imagination, religion, and reality. All readings in Old English and other languages will be in translation. Some Middle English texts will be read in the original language, but no prior experience with Middle English is necessary. The course will include a midterm, final, short papers, and a longer term paper.

352.001: Early Shakespeare 

TR 1400-1515
Gerard Lavin,

This course will introduce you to some of the plays and poems of the first half of Shakespeare’s career, many of them among the most revered and lasting human artistic utterances, facing us with profound and timeless questions about ourselves and our world. But the texts in our textbook are not plays, any more than a screenplay is a movie. We will explore the relationship between text and performance, the conditions to which they responded and under which Shakespeare could have expected his plays to be performed, and we will examine what it means to derive a performance from these scripts in a modern context. Shakespeare's plays and poems also serve as an artifact of their age, and a mirror of our own, and so we will examine some of the ways that their cultural and historical context may have shaped their meaning for Shakespeare’s contemporaries, and some of the ways that our own context shapes their meaning for us. Finally, we will practice a range of methods that enable us to converse articulately about all these questions.

352.010: Early Shakespeare 

Marissa Greenberg,  

In this fully online course you will read some of the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the first part of his career, including HamletThe Taming of the Shrew, and Henry V. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize you with Shakespeare’s plays as poetry and performance. To this end you will also learn to analyze Shakespeare’s plays through different lenses, such as close reading, critical theory, and theater history. By the end of the semester you may expect to be conversant in several of Shakespeare’s most famous plots, characters, and themes, the literary genres and performance conventions of his plays, and some of the current trends in Shakespeare studies. Course components will likely include low-stakes reading and lecture quizzes, directed small group discussions, short skills-based writing assignments, and a final exam or project.

353.001: Later Shakespeare 

TR 1230-1345
Lisa Myers,  

This course covers the Jacobean-era works of William Shakespeare. In examining his drama and poetry, the course will focus on the various conventions of the sub-genres of comedy, tragedy and romance as well as the sonnet and epyllion. The student will gain familiarity with the later works of Shakespeare and an understanding of the Renaissance theater as well as the importance of Shakespeare’s dramatic and poetic innovations. Texts include: Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline and selected sonnets.

356.001: The Nineteenth Century  

Gail Houston,

This course examines the role of feelings in nineteenth-century British literature, from how Charlotte Bronte defined her passion against Jane Austen's lack of feeling, to the Romantic expression of passion and feeling against the Age of Reason, to writers' uses of feeling to respond to the Crisis of Faith, to how the ability to have feelings acts as one of the arguments for the rights of women, slaves, the lower-classes, and animals.

360.001: T: Dickinson and Whitman  

TR 0930-1045
Kathryn Wichelns,

In this course we will engage deeply with what remain the two most anthologized nineteenth-century American poets. We begin with a close analysis of standard editions of Emily Dickinson’s Complete Poems and Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. One of many parallels that makes a comparison of these poets’ distinctive relationships to the lyric form productive is the fact that critical analysis of both Dickinson and Whitman varies markedly from generation to generation, reflecting the time periods in which their poetry has been read as much as the work itself. A selective engagement with Emily Dickinson’s fascicles, the self-assembled poem books discovered after her death, will enable us to explore her as a bookmaker and a lexicographer as well as a poet. Similarly, we will approach Walt Whitman’s self-published Leaves of Grass both as evidence of a poetic process and as a cultural artifact of the period 1855-1892—in numerous editions over four decades, Whitman repeatedly expanded and revised the original twelve-poem collection. Each of these poets compellingly reflects and resists nineteenth-century concepts of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, historical narrative, and national identity. Tracing the editorial history and critical reception of Dickinson’s and Whitman’s work provides us with a roadmap of American literary culture and its preoccupations, from the 1890s to 2017.

360.002: T: Jane Austen - One is Not Enough  

MWF 1300-1350
Carolyn Woodward,  

Through close reading of four Jane Austen novels followed by films and 21st-century spin-off novels, we’ll ask these questions:  What do Austen novels tell us about the Georgian and Regency periods in England? What do these sequels and spin-offs tell us about our own cultural moment? Texts: Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey; and Jo Baker, Longbourn; Alexander McCall Smith, Emma: A Modern Retelling;  Lynn Shepherd, Murder at Mansfield Park; Val McDermid, Northanger Abbey; and Emma Campbell Webster, Lost in Austen. We’ll view and discuss these films in class: Bridget Jones’s Diary, Lost in Austen, Clueless, Aisha and Cold Comfort Farm. Writing requirements: four one-page discussion questions and four 5-7 page formal papers.

365.001: Chicana-o Cultural Studies  

MWF 1100-1215
Jesse Aleman, 

Chicana/o horror in fiction and film focuses on La Llorona, chupacabra, vampires, and zombies. We’ll study the way Chicano/a horror emerges from the history of dispossession and alienation of Mexican Americans in the United States, and we’ll also pay careful attention to the relationship between folklore, fiction, and film to follow how folklore travels across genres, accumulating along the way different layers of horror. We’ll read classic Chicana/o texts alongside mystery novels, young adult books, and detective fiction (featuring a vampire Chicano private eye), and we’ll watch mainstream movies and B-movie horror flicks to analyze the way film represents border conflict, racism, and immigration as the stuff of horror through standard genre tropes (slasher and teen screams, for example). Books include Lucha Corpi’s Black Widow’s Wardrobe; Rudy Anaya’s Curse of the Chupacabra; Tomás Rivera’s . . . and the earth did not part; Mario Acevedo’s Jailbait Zombies; Films include: The WailerJ-ok’elMexican Werewolf in TexasAll Souls DayConstantineFrom Dusk till DawnJuan of the Dead.

388.001: T: Mulatto Fictions 

MWF 1300-1350
Kadeshia Matthews,


100-Level | 200-Level | 300-Level | 400-Level

410.001: Criticism and Theory

TR 1230-1345
Kathryn Wichelns,

In this course, we will engage in an intensive overview of significant movements in literary theory and criticism, with a focus on twentieth-century and contemporary thought. We begin with a review of foundational texts from earlier eras, representing some of the intellectual history that informs later developments: specifically, we will trace the ongoing influences of Kant, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx, and Freud. These discursive origins remain central to contemporary examinations of the role of literature in producing cultural meaning. We then will explore together the necessary ways that these first examinations are complicated over the course of the 20th Century. A whirlwind mid-semester tour through clusters of ideas representative of Marxist literary analysis, psychoanalytic criticism, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, critical race theory and other approaches will enable us to begin recognizing the dimensions of our own contemporary period in our recent predecessors. Their inquiries frame constellations that continue to shift in our time: queer of color critique, border studies, and postcolonial Marxisms, among other recent developments, gain dimension and clarity when we understand their long histories. 

411.001: ST: Advanced Queer Theories

TR 1400-1515
Amy Brandzel,

412.001: Capstone and Honors Seminar

TR 0930-1045
Stephen Benz,

This seminar-style course is designed for students participating in the English Department Honors Program (or those planning to apply to the program). The course addresses the challenges associated with designing a successful proposal and writing the honors thesis. The subject you choose for your honors project can come from any area of literary studies, creative writing, rhetoric, or professional writing. During the course, however, we will be focusing on texts related to World War I. Since the war occurred 100 years ago, this is an appropriate time to examine the war’s literature and rhetoric, including poetry, fiction, memoir, and journalism written by participants in the war. Readings will include Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Vera Brittain, e. e. cummings, Ernest Hemingway, and contemporary novelist Pat Barker, among others. In studying these texts, we will pay attention to different scholarly approaches to a given text, with the goal of helping you identify approaches that might inform your honors project. Coursework will include short papers, a longer paper, and a presentation.

415.001: Publishing

TR 1400-1515
Julianne Newmark Engberg,

This “Publishing” course will be enacted as a Digital Publishing Workshop, focused on the management, maintenance, and production of the online Technical Writing, Rhetoric, Composition, and Writing Tutoring journal Xchanges ( This course strives to introduce Writing Studies students to the theory and practice of meeting managerial responsibilities.  Students will gain experience with publication workflow, project management, online publication technologies, and professional communication editing and production practices. Students in this course will engage directly with these subjects via the production of a single issue of the journal Xchanges over the course of one semester.  Students will work with the Xchanges journal, a journal for which course professor Dr. Newmark has been Editor in Chief for 16 years.

The course will use the production of an issue of Xchanges to meet many goals, including encouraging students towards “professionalism in the field” (with exercises in written and visual communication catered to help achieve this outcome); practice in editing, critical thinking, and oral presentation; production of original student research in technical communication and related fields; and collaborative and interactive group work.  Students will conduct research on the practice of production of online publications, editing of online publications, and management of academic and professional publications.  Students will create annotated bibliographies, written and oral presentations, and observational reports derived from their experiences working with various tasks associated with the production of the Xchanges journal issue.  The supplementary research analyses of other academic and professional journals will help students to see the ultimate outcome of the production-end of “publication” writ large.  Students will also gain experience using a content management system (CMS) as well as with social media coordination.

Through a tripartite structure (comprised of students’ work on aspects of the production of our specific journal, required research analyses and presentations on other journals and publications, and engagement with editors of long-standing publications via in-class or digitally transmitted presentations), students in the “Publications Management” class will build upon the skills developed in their other technical and professional communication courses and will hone specific skills applicable to usage in technical and professional publication (and workplace) contexts.

417.011: Editing

Stephen Benz, 

This course focuses on editing as a professional practice. Along with perfecting advanced copyediting skills, you will learn about "information design": the creation of documents that are complete, accurate, correct, comprehensible, usable, and appropriate for readers. Because editors must often be responsible for a document from its inception to its presentation as a finished product, you 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.

418.001: Proposal and Grant Writing

MWF 1000-1050
Kyle Fiore, 

This course explores the fine art of raising money with a focus on how to raise funds for non-profit organizations. You will meet with fund raising executives and foundation directors from Albuquerque. You will study winning non-profit proposals to understand the successful moves they make. You will learn how to research, locate, and evaluate RFPs (requests for proposals) to find the best match between a project and a prospective funder. You will practice how to persuade a client or funder to support you, and/or your project.

419.001: Visual Rhetoric 

MWF 1100-1150
Cristyn Elder,  

Visual Rhetoric is the art of using images to inform or persuade one’s audience. This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of visual argumentation and will cover various aspects of document design, including layout, use of headings, typography, photos, illustrations, charts, tables, and graphs for both personal and professional contexts. The assignments for this course involve analyses of these aspects in real-world examples, the revision of a real-world text related to your interests, and the creation of an “instructable” of your choice similar to that found at the following site:

420.001: T: Writing with Class Tropes

TR 0800-0915
Jerome Shea,  

This course focuses on rhetorical tropes and schemes, on recognizing them and using them in our writing.  You will develop a store of particularly useful tropes to amaze your friends and confound your enemies.  Not only will we write, but we will analyze other writings, leaning to spot the coy apophasis, the elusive hypophora, the flashy chiasmus, the bullying bdelygmia, and many more.  No exams, just writing: five or six short papers.

420.002: T: Blue Mesa Review 

TR 1400-1515
Mark Sundeen 

This class introduces you to the production of UNM’s national literary magazine, Blue Mesa Review. We receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of submissions each year from authors hoping to see their stories, essays, or poems published in our journal. Your 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.

Please contact instructor for more information on requirements and meeting times.

421.001: Advanced Creative Writing-Fiction  

TR 1530-1645
Michelle Brooks,

This class will consist of discussing story in all its forms. Students will present stories for workshop and respond  to other students’ stories. We will also read contemporary short fiction and discuss publication strategies. 

421.002: Advanced Creative Writing-Fiction  

MWF 1400-1450 
Daniel Mueller,

I believe every piece of fiction has contained within it the seed, or blueprint, of what it ultimately wants to be.  For the author, fully realizing a piece of fiction requires carefully listening to what the narrative is telling them during the act of composition, from the first sentence to the last, and at every stage of revision.  In this way, it seems to me, pieces of fiction are born.  Fully realized works of fiction rarely happen in single sittings; for this reason, the fully realized short story, meant to be read in a single sitting, is always a sleight-of-hand, the weeks, months, and even years the author devoted to it seamlessly concealed.  For this reason, too, fiction writing must be a practice, excelled at, if such a thing is possible, only over time and by making it a routine in our lives.

Responding well to another writer’s fiction is, I also believe, as arduous an act of the imagination as writing fiction, for it requires us not only to imagine the fictional world summoned by the words the author has chosen, but to imagine ourselves in the author’s position to their text. 

In essence, as members of a fiction workshop, we try to listen to each work as carefully as its author has and formulate in words the messages it has for them.  In simplest terms, a fiction workshop provides serious fiction writers an invaluable opportunity to have their work read deeply and discussed deeply by a panel of equally serious fellow writers who share, in their hearts and minds, a singular commitment to bringing pieces of fiction as close as possible to completion.

422.001: Advanced Creative Writing-Poetry   

TR 1100-1215
Michelle Brooks,

This class will consist of writing various forms of poetry, presenting your poems for workshop, and responding to other students’ poetry. We will also read contemporary poets and discuss publication strategies. 

423.001: Advanced Creative Writing-Creative Non-Fiction   

MWF 1300-1350
Lisa Chavez,

This is an advanced creative writing workshop in creative nonfiction.  This class presupposes a certain understanding of the genre: ie. at least a basic understanding of the use scene and dialogue and reflection.  Our goals in this course will be to hone craft skills, try out new techniques in exercises,  and practice revision skills.  While we will read the work of published authors and explore the variety of types of essays that fall into the category of creative nonfiction,  we will primarily focus on workshopping student work.

424.001: Creative Writing Workshop Script   

R 1730-2030
Matthew McDuffie, 

432.001: T: Magic, Witchcraft, Science   

TR 1400-1515
Carmen Nocentelli,

The “Scientific Revolution” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries laid the foundations of modern science. Yet the period from 1550 to 1650 also saw widespread interest in magic and the occult—and was the height of the “witch-craze” in Europe. Were these contradictory trends or complementary aspects of the same historical development? How did magic differ from witchcraft? And how did magic and witchcraft differ from science? “Magic, Witchcraft, and Science” will attempt to answer these questions through the analysis of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European sources.  

432.002: T: Magic Realism    

TR 1100-1215
Feroza Jussawalla,  

This is a course in Magic Realism as a literary device. Writers use it to cover up the political commentary they make in their writing. It is essential to what we call "Postcolonial Literature." The most important example of this use, is in Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses. This course will start with some simple examples, such as Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima, move on to Garcia Marquez's Hundred Years of Solitude, Gunter Grass' Tin Drum and then onto Satanic Verses and Mohsin Hamid's Exit West. We will mostly write reaction response papers and explore major trends in the genre as group research projects.

440.001: T: Food, Culture, & Rhetoric    

MWF 1300-1350
Michelle Kells,  

Food as a cultural, social, and rhetorical trope speaks to us across communities, place, and time. Good food feeds the body and the soul. The purpose of this class is to create a community of environmental thinkers and to cultivate opportunities for considering our roles as citizens, activists, scholars (of place) through the study of local and global food cultures.

The rich literary and rhetorical legacy of food culture and environmental discourse will be examined through diverse textual artifacts (and genres) including the everyday rhetoric of menus and recipes, film, poetry, speeches, essays, letters, creative nonfiction, food reviews, and the multiple forms of food rhetoric in public culture.

This course will also focus on literary and rhetorical texts representing the ecology of place with special emphasis on New Mexico food cultures and environmental justice movements in relation to land and water rights, food cultivation, and biodiversity depletion. Participation in field exercises and out-of-class learning environments will be integral to this course. Our reading list will include environmental texts within and beyond the Southwest region.

The study of environmental rhetoric calls attention to the means by which activists, scholars, and citizens represent and advance their interests as individual agents and collective entities on behalf of diverse communities. Environmental writing is social action; creative and symbolic; dynamic; context-dependent; intrinsic to human communication; inherent to all forms of social organization. These conceptual framing principles (as topoi) will inform our analyses of place, citizenship, agency, and arguments about the multiple uses of cultural/environmental resources—particularly the circulation of water resources and the cultivation and distributions of food resources.

Capstone Project will include the construction of student Food Blogs (using field research and qualitative research methods) toward the production of an online portfolio of reflective writing, field reports, film analyses, food reviews, interviews, and a multi-modal team presentation.

Online Resources:
Kells Fall 2010 ENGL 640 Environmental Rhetoric Blog:

Kells Chicano Ecology Blog: 
Students will post segments of our weekly Reader Response Reflection Journals to our class blog at:

National Consortium of Environmental Rhetoric:

Required Texts: 
Bodio, Stephen. Querencia.
Cabeza de Baca Gilbert, Fabiola. The Good Life: New Mexico Traditions and Food.
Crawford, Stanley. Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequía in Northern New Mexico.
Hanson, Thor. The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History. 
Peña, Devon, G. Chicano Culture, Ecology, Politics: Subversive Kin.
Torres, Eliseo “Cheo.” Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing.

Required Films: (Available at Zimmerman Library Circulation Desk)
Salt of the Earth.
Milagro Beanfield Wars.
Como Agua Chocolate.
Babette’s Feast.

Learning Outcomes:
Course readings, assignments, films, field exercises, and class discussions are designed to promote the following learning outcomes: 
Engage the analytical resources of rhetorical studies to current environmental issues;
Explore food cultures locally and globally;
Interrogate questions related to environmental ethics, public health, food scarcity, bio-diversity, and natural resource depletion; 
Examine structural systems of exploitation impacting vulnerable communities and diverse environmental contexts in the U.S. Southwest;
Analyze the rhetorical representation of the complex economic and political relationships conditioning environmental justice and human rights (access to clean water and secure food sources);
Apply and integrate concepts of rhetorical studies to environmental texts;
Guide and participate in class discussions of course readings;
Participate in field exercises and public rhetoric events;
Conduct observations and generate field notes about different food cultures;
Connect learning to the environmental rhetorics of everyday life;
Develop an intellectual project through course assignments around the one of the major themes of environmental rhetoric;
Explore regional environmental resources and build awareness of local food communities;
Cultivate alliances with peers and work collaboratively toward common goals.

Course Assignments:
Class Discussion Presentations(2) - 50 pts. x 2 = 100
Food Reviews(4) - 25 pts. x 4 = 100
Field Work Reports(4) - 50 pts. x 4 = 200
Film Analysis(4) - 25 pts. x 4 = 100
Selected Reading Report(1) - 100
Final Project: Food Blog - 300
Team Presentation - 100
1000 pts. 

442.002: Major Text in Rhetoric   

MW 1600-1715
Michelle Kells, 

461.001: American Romanticism    

TR 1400-1515
Jesse Aleman, 

This course understands the American renaissance broadly as a historical moment during the mid-nineteenth-century that saw radical changes in everything from literature and print culture to domesticity and democracy. It was a time teeming with excitement and energy for the United States, as it developed into a national power and struggled to generate its own national literature. This course will thus survey and analyze the key texts and authors of mid-nineteenth-century American literature. It will focus on major movements such as transcendentalism and romanticism; major literary forms such as essays and novels; and major socio-historical factors such as Indian removal, slavery, domesticity, and the rise of market capitalism and industry, but we’ll also read and discuss lesser-known writings and authors to experience the variety of texts that the American renaissance fostered and fueled in the years preceding the U.S. Civil War.

468.001: T: Comedy, Humor & Literature    

TR 1530-1645
Matthew Hofer, 

Unlike the broader genre of comedy, which has been essential to cultural production and performance since antiquity, modern theories of humor only began to take shape with Henri Bergson’s philosophical study Laughter (1900), soon followed by Sigmund Freud’s psychological study Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905). The interdisciplinary framework of our inquiry into the forms and functions of humor in twentieth-century America will take these seminal works as a point of departure but also expand to include recent selections from several distinguished critics, thinkers, and even scientists.

Together we will 1) analyze the relation of comedic expression and thinking, 2) work through the sociopolitical consequences of the transferals of energy stimulated by humor, and 3) assess how laughter animates the human experience. Our primary texts will emphasize innovative literature as well as cutting edge stand-up, especially in routines by Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin. It may also include forays into visual culture, including influential film comedy from Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin through Mel Brooks and Woody Allen.

Please note: some of the texts for this course feature explicit language and/or mature themes; not all of the material will be conventionally “funny.”

472.001: Contemporary Literature    

MWF 1100-1150
Scarlett Higgins,  

This class in contemporary literature will focus on a genre of text that has seen an explosion since the middle of the twentieth century: the mystery.

The mystery— and particularly the detective story— evolved from nineteenth century roots, and we will begin our investigations with those nineteenth century predecessors, in particular the stories of Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. From there we will move to the years around World War II, reading hard boiled detective fiction and viewing its film adaptations that were later lauded by French critics with the term film noir.

In the period following the midcentury flourishing of noir, we see the rise of what has come to be described as the “anti-detective” novel. These texts typically combine elements of what is thought of as postmodernism—self-reflexivity, intertextuality, questioning of subjectivity, the self-aware character, information overload and/or misinformation, and lack of closure—with those elements common to the mystery—the (unlikely) detective, the femme fatale, murders and bodies, tropes of missing information, clues, and puzzles to be solved, and the privileging of rationality. The remainder of the term will be spent covering these texts (literary fiction and film) that can be described as the postmodern (and post-postmodern) mystery. I currently plan to end the semester with a class field trip to Santa Fe, for a group exploration of the art installation, “The House of Eternal Return,” at Meow Wolf.

Texts may include the following:
Auster, Paul-The New York Trilogy
Cain, James M.-Double Indemnity
Chandler, Raymond-The Big Sleep
Oates, Joyce Carol-Mysteries of Winterthurn
Pynchon, Thomas-The Crying of Lot 49
Inherent Vice
Tran, Vu-Dragonfish
Whitehead, Colson-The Intuitionist

The Big Sleep (Hawks, 1946)
The Big Lebowski (Coen, 1998)
Blade Runner (Scott, 1982)
Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944)
Memento (Nolan, 2001)

Assignments will likely include biweekly quizzes and short response essays, a research presentation, and a final research essay and/or final exam.


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