Spring 2020 Course Descriptions Archive

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


1110: Composition I

Many days, times, and online sections available

Covers Composition I: Stretch I and II in one semester, focusing on analyzing rhetorical situations and responding with appropriate genres and technologies. (EPW)

Credit for both this course and ENGL 1110X may not be applied toward a degree program.

Meets New Mexico Lower-Division General Education Common Core Curriculum Area I: Communications.

Prerequisite: ACT English =16-25 or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing =450-659 or Next Generation ACCUPLACER Writing =>279.

1110Y: Composition I (Stretch II)

Many days, times, and sections available

First and second semester of Composition I stretch sequence. Focuses on analyzing rhetorical situations and responding with appropriate genres and technologies. (EPW)

These are the first and second courses in a two-part sequence. In order to receive transfer credit for ENGL 1110, all courses in this sequence (ENGL 1110X, ENGL 1110Y) must be taken and passed.

Credit for both ENGL 1110X and ENGL 1110 may not be applied toward a degree program.

Students with ACT English <15 or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing <430 or ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills <109 will begin their English Composition Sequence with ENGL 1110X. 

Prerequisite for 1110Y: 1110X.

1120: Composition II

Many days, times, and online sections available

Focuses on academic writing, research, and argumentation using appropriate genres and technologies. (EPW)

Meets New Mexico Lower-Division General Education Common Core Curriculum Area I: Communications.

Prerequisite: 1110 or 1110Y or 1110Z or ACT English =26-28 or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing =660-690.

1410.001: Introduction to Literature

MWF 1000-1050
Kevin Jackson, kj273@unm.edu

As an introduction to the study of literature, English 1410 will examine two questions: Why does literature matter? And what conventions are used by authors, poets and playwrights to make their literature impactful? Most importantly, we will learn how to appreciate and find meaning in literature as we study its themes from humanity’s earliest texts through the 21st Century.

We will explore a representative variety of texts from major genres (fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama), as well as movements and subgenres pertaining to each. We will pay particular attention to the way we can answer new questions through old texts, such as FrankensteinThe Iliad or Canterbury Tales—and how more recent writers such as W. H. Auden, Jonathan Safran Foer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Conor McPherson, and many others reaffirm the importance of our literary tradition as they seek answers to contemporary problems.

1410.002: Introduction to Literature  

Jesús Costantino, jcostantino@unm.edu

New American Literature

Drawing from recently published literary works in the US and Latin America, this course teaches and applies critical reading, critical writing, and critical analysis to the study of contemporary American literature. By studying closely literature from across a wide range of genres and populations, students will learn to produce meaning from a text by way of formal and informal written responses. Students will learn to identify and describe the ways in which individual texts absorb, repel, and exist alongside present-day political and social movements. This course also asks students to make sense of the material objects (like books or libraries) and virtual platforms (like e-books or online archives) that house what we continue to call "literature." Readings will include Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends, Samanta Schweblin’s A Mouthful of Birds, and Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts. By the end of the course, students will have a more informed understanding of what literature is (now), what it does (now), and what we can say about it (now).

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


2110.001: Traditional Grammar

MWF 0900-0950  
C. Tyler Johnson, ctylerjohnson@unm.edu

In this class, we will review word-level parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, etc.) and then use your linguistic intuitions about how parts of a sentence are put together to create appropriate and grammatical sentences. You will study and understand phrase structure forms such as noun phrases and prepositional phrases, and understand functional roles that they can play such as adverbial and adjectival phrases. You will understand how verbs determine sentence structure and you will become proficient in identifying those structures. As languages are rule-governed systems that change over time, and despite the course title, we will also look at examples of English language change and we will question commonly held prescriptive language attitudes. Coursework will consist of practice quizzes, quizzes, a short paper, and discussion board posts.

2120.001: Intermediate Composition

MWF 0800-0850       
Jessica Bowen, jjbowen@unm.edu

We Are What We Eat: Food as Social, Cultural, and Political Storytelling

How often do you think about what you eat? For some, food is an afterthought—little more than fuel to be purchased as cheaply as possible and eaten as quickly as possible. For others, food is a passion—something to savor and celebrate. For many, especially in the United States, food occupies a complicated and emotionally fraught space in the overlapping realms of health, fitness, weight, and self-image. The food we eat is rich with stories about our cultural and social norms and the ways we interact with (or are blind to) the economic and political systems that shape food practices in the United States. In this course, we will investigate our personal, social, cultural, and political relationships with food through books, scholarly articles, and documentary film. Throughout the semester, we will examine food culture in the United States, looking specifically at food as rhetorical storytelling, food as the enactment and/or subversion of gender norms, and food as the product of complex political institutions. Together, we will uncover and write the hidden stories of food and the complicated journey it takes to arrive on our plate.

2120.002: Intermediate Composition

TR 0930-1045     
Tania Balderas, tbalderas@unm.edu

The Telling of Oneself: Analysis of Autobiographical Texts 

This course will be centered on the theme of autobiographical texts: in an era dominated by Facebook timelines, Instagram and other online profiles displaying carefully curated aspects of our personalities, we seem to focus on individualism rather than collective identity. Through the course of this semester, we will discover and analyze how authors from different cultural backgrounds have defined themselves through a variety of primary texts, critical/theoretical texts and documentaries. This course will ask the questions: What purpose do autobiographies serve under different cultural and sociopolitical contexts? What elements of our memories and personal backgrounds do we chose to create and construct ourselves? Are autobiographies artistic, political or historical endeavors? And very importantly, how do we shape our identities through text and language? For this, we will analyze autobiographical essays, articles, fragments of novels and short stories accompanied by some theoretical analysis.

2120.003: Intermediate Composition

MWF 1100-1150  
Chrysta Wilson, camcw@unm.edu

Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy

This course aims to unearth the legacy of women in science fiction and fantasy and to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the perspective women bring to a genre that has been tasked with reimagining the present and shaping the future. In this class, we will examine work by and/or about women in science fiction and fantasy. We will investigate the role of gender and sexuality in texts from a wide variety of genres, including novels, graphic novels, short stories, video games, and manga.  We will discuss the changing landscape of gender politics and the ways in which these texts engage with changing conceptions of science, biology, and gender. Ultimately, we will launch an earnest investigation into the tropes that women have embraced, defied, embodied, or dismantled as writers, readers, artists, and characters of science fiction and fantasy. By the end of this course, students will have a better understanding of ways that literature promotes or disrupts societal norms for people of all genders.

2120.004: Intermediate Composition

MWF 1300-1350
Samantha Patterson, pattsam2@unm.edu

Without Sedation: A Literary Investigation of Historical Medication

By investigating texts from Hippocratic Oath to the journals of World War I doctors, students will trace the development of medicine as we understand it. See medicine’s magical origins with the Old English charms. Explore the eighteenth-century origins of vaccination. Wonder at Frances Burney’s description of her 19th-century mastectomy without the benefit of anesthesia. Witness the professionalization of nursing through the writings of Florence Nightingale. By gaining a deeper understanding of ancient, medieval, and early modern medical practices, students will develop a more thorough understanding of and appreciation for medical practices in the current day. Students will be exposed to significant texts and contribute to invigorating discussions on the development of medical understandings. Students have the opportunity to independently investigate medical phenomena and present their findings to their classmates.

2120.005: Intermediate Composition

TR 1230-1345
Emily Murphy, rwmurphy@unm.edu

Thought and Vision: The Occult and the Esoteric in 20th Century Literature

In this course we will be examining the influence of the Western Esoteric tradition on various 20th century authors. Among others, we will study H.D., Italo Calvino, and James Merrill. With each of our texts, we will focus on how our authors developed their own unique literary works by engaging with various Esoteric traditions and praxes including late Victorian Lodge Magic, Ouija Boards, and the Tarot. Students will have the opportunity to develop their research skills into a final research-oriented project that may take the form of a scholarly article or a creative project that engages with similar traditions.

2120.006: Intermediate Composition

MWF 1000-1050
Emily Reiff, ereiff01@unm.edu

Gulp: Digesting and Regurgitating Scientific Writing and Media

Guided by authors such as Mary Roach (Stiff, Gulp, Packing for Mars), this class will challenge our understanding of what science writing can look and sound like. Though this is not a journalism course, we will use sources from science writers and content creators who excel at making difficult topics easy to understand, relate to, and care about. We will bridge the gap between science and creative nonfiction to demonstrate that the two are not mutually exclusive, in addition to increasing students’ confidence and skill when presenting, analyzing, and reflecting on the social norms which influence how we discuss scientific topics. In addition to reading Gulp, we will examine shorter articles and excerpts from a variety of sources on topics including nature, anatomy/biology, and astronomy. The class will watch TED Talks and episodes of Planet Earth, read articles from National Geographic, and listen to podcasts; students will be expected to reflect on the stylistic and technical choices made by the authors we read/watch/listen to in order to produce their own nonfiction writing. Major course assignments will consist of one literary analysis, one research paper, and one multimodal presentation based on their own areas of interest.

2120.007: Intermediate Composition

TR 1100-1215
Austin Tyra, atyra@unm.edu

"What Hath God Wrought": Innovation, Exploitation, and the Cost of Technology in America

Since America’s conception, the nation has been permanently locked into a state of rapid technological expansion. This course seeks will attempt to trace that trajectory in order to better understand the historical conditions that necessitated certain inventions, explore how these inventions affect(ed) the societies they came into contact with, and to ultimately explore the question: “At what cost have these machines come into our lives?” The course will begin in the mid 19th century alongside the Civil War, slavery, and the Second Industrial Revolution. We will then jump forward in time to the mid-20th century in order to investigate the twin World Wars, the global impact of the atomic bomb, and the prominent surveillance culture of the Cold War. Lastly, we will analyze our contemporary moment in an attempt to understand to what degree privacy exists in the age of the internet and where future technological advancements may take us. The readings for this class will be a mixture of historical, philosophical, and literary with the addition of several films. Perhaps, by the end of this class, we may be able to answer Samuel Morse’s enduring question following his invention of the telegram: “What Hath God Wrought?” 

2120.008: Intermediate Composition

TR 1400-1515
Steven Romero, sromero179@unm.edu

Race, Gender, and the Rhetoric of Sports

From the treatment of Muhammed Ali for his stand against the Vietnam War, the erasure of Alice Milliat and other female athletes during the 1920’s who created their own Olympics in response to gender inequality, to the media representations of Serena Williams for calling out sexist umpiring while on the court, and the continued blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick from the NFL for taking a knee against police brutality, the ethos of sports is filled with complex political and social issues.

This class examines the history of sports rhetoric with a focus on the ways in which race and gender have been articulated and contested. Students will explore how this history informs and complicates contemporary conflicts and issues across global, national, and regional sports topics. By the end of this course, students—athletes, fans, and critics—will be able to engage in thoughtful, intellectual dialogue on the rhetorical intersections of sports and politics."

2120.015: Intermediate Composition

Sarah Worland, sworland@unm.edu

"To Whom It May Concern": Letters and Literature

The first known postal document dates from 255 B.C.E. in Egypt, but history suggests letters were exchanged long before then. The letter-writing (what we will come to know as the “epistolary”) tradition in literature is rich and extends into multiple genres (novels, poetry, historical documents, etc.) and across continents. In this course we will read letters in various forms from American literature, and we will consider these texts as they pertain to themes such as nation, politics, gender, race, censorship, and experimentalism.

Throughout the semester, we’ll ask and write about questions like: what are the defining features of a letter? What is the form of a letter able to do? How important is the audience – or recipient – of a letter? How does the rhetorical situation and genre of a letter determine meaning? How has social media influenced the art of the letter? In this process, we will write our own letters, work together to learn more about different writing forms and research techniques, and read texts by James Baldwin, Sandra Cisneros, Elizabeth Bishop, and Tom Raworth.

2210.001: Professional & Technical Communication 

Many days, times, and online sections available

Professional and Technical Communication will introduce students to the different types of documents and correspondence that they will create in their professional careers. This course emphasizes the importance of audience, document design, and the use of technology in designing, developing, and delivering documents. This course will provide students with experience in professional correspondence and communicating technical information to a non-technical audience. (EPW)

Meets New Mexico Lower-Division General Education Common Core Curriculum Area I: Communications.

Prerequisite: 1120 or ACT English =>29 or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing =>700.

2220.001: Intro to Professional Writing

Julie Newmark Engberg, newmark@unm.edu

This is an 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 Intermediate Composition 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 TPC 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 course are group collaboration and the engagement (virtually and in-person) with working professionals in the field.

2240.001: Introduction to Studies in English

T 0930-1045
Diane Thiel, dthiel@unm.edu

English 2240 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. Some class sessions will include conversations about employment or opportunities for graduate school. The final task will be to craft a letter of intent documenting an intended course of study and future goals.

2240.002: Introduction to Studies in English

W 1300-1350
Diane Thiel, dthiel@unm.edu

English 2240 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. Some class sessions will include conversations about employment or opportunities for graduate school. The final task will be to craft a letter of intent documenting an intended course of study and future goals.

2310.001: Intro to Creative Writing    

MWF 1300-1350       
Seth Garcia, sgarcia94@unm.edu

A beginning course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Emphasis on process over product. Introduces issues of craft, workshop vocabulary, strategies for revision, and the habit of reading as a writer.

2310.002: Introduction to Creative Writing    

TR 1100-1215
Jane Kalu, janekalu@unm.edu

A beginning course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Emphasis on process over product. Introduces issues of craft, workshop vocabulary, strategies for revision, and the habit of reading as a writer.

2210.003: Introduction to Creative Writing        

MWF 1100-1150       
Amarlie Foster, amarlie@unm.edu

A beginning course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Emphasis on process over product. Introduces issues of craft, workshop vocabulary, strategies for revision, and the habit of reading as a writer.

2310.004: Introduction to Creative Writing    

TR 0930-1045
Darren Donate, ddonate@unm.edu

A beginning course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Emphasis on process over product. Introduces issues of craft, workshop vocabulary, strategies for revision, and the habit of reading as a writer.

2310.005: Introduction to Creative Writing    

TR 1400-1515
Mario Montoya, sol1@unm.edu

A beginning course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Emphasis on process over product. Introduces issues of craft, workshop vocabulary, strategies for revision, and the habit of reading as a writer.

2310.008: Introduction to Creative Writing    

Michelle Gurule, mgurule5@unm.edu

A beginning course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Emphasis on process over product. Introduces issues of craft, workshop vocabulary, strategies for revision, and the habit of reading as a writer.

2510.001: Analysis of Literature 

MWF 1100-1150 
Bernadine Hernandez, berna18@unm.edu

This course will provide an introduction to literary studies through Hemispheric American Literary Studies.  We will examine and interrogate how texts form, circulate, and mitigate by focusing on several zones of contact and discussing the ways in which major and minor genres - the novel, travel literature, short stories, the captivity narrative, political essays, poetry, and drama – knit the extended Americas together in complex narratives of interdependence.  Focusing on how literature produces meaning, we will build a literary vocabulary necessary for critical literary analysis, supplemented by theoretical literary methods.  We will examine how the complexities of multilingualism, competing nationalisms/colonial powers, ethnic, and racial differentiations, migrations, and U.S. expansion and imperialism inform robust literary readings that take into consideration a literary history of culture, politics, production, and form.  Texts we will examine are Mary Jemison A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, Jean Laffite Le Journal de Jean Laffite/The Memoirs of Jean Laffite, William Faulkner Absalom Absalom, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton Who Would Have Thought It, John Rollin Ridge/Yellowbird Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, Geromino: His Own Story, Rosario Ferre Sweet Diamond Dust, Junot Diaz The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Ana Castillo So Far From God, and others.

2510.001: Analysis of Literature 

TR 0930-1045
Emma Mincks, emincks@unm.edu

In this literary analysis course, we will be looking at Victorian texts from a transnational perspective. Most of these texts will be from women, travelers to London from other places, colonial authors, and people living in England who were critical of British nationalism and the expansion of Empire-- hence, these texts were often received with ire from the broader discourse of this time period. We will read and analyze texts from nineteenth-century short stories, poetry, and one novel alongside nineteenth century newspapers, law documents, and other archival material. Contemporary and Victorian literary theory and philosophy will also be used as a tool for understanding these texts.


By doing close readings of historical documents in and outside of London, examining the historical context of the Victorian Period, and through understanding concepts about capitalism, colonialism, and biopolitics we will see how the British Empire and its cultural and textual production was experienced and viewed by writers in multiple parts of England, Africa, the Americas, Ireland, and India. By better understanding the Victorian rhetoric and the writers whose bodies (both physical and textual) were disregarded in the time of their production because of gender, sexuality, nation, politics, colonization, or racialization, or a combination of multiple intersections, we can learn to analyze history, nationalism, and literary culture in the deep context of colonization and the industrial revolution. 

2610.001: American Literature I

MWF 1400-1450       
Sarah Hernandez, hernands@unm.edu

This course is a survey of American literature through 1865. This semester we will focus on both canonical and non-canonical texts to examine the richly layered dimensions of American life from the colonial, early national, and antebellum periods. Our emphasis will be on the diversity of American social life in this period. Students will read, discuss, analyze, and write about these early works in their specific cultural, historical, and political contexts. Emphasis in this course will be placed on critical reading and close textual analysis.

2620.001: American Literature II

Online, 2H   
M. R. Hofer, mrh@unm.edu

This 2H online course surveys the evolution of American literature from the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth, with special emphasis on cultural and social issues frequently associated with modernism and modernity. For each of our four modules we will discuss at least one major fictional work, a generous selection of influential poems, and also a culturally significant film.

Our study begins with a week on the Civil War that extends to the beginning of World War I. From there, we will shift our focus to the growth of the modern metropolis from the “roaring” 1920s through the 1940s. In week three, we will investigate racial identity in the American “melting pot” with reference to the Harlem Renaissance as well as the Black Arts Movement. Our fourth and final week will be dedicated to the Cold War era and an indigenous, if not insular, sense of what it meant to be an American when the country was one of two viable global superpowers.

The survey introduces many canonical authors whose reputations — if not individual works — you may already know. However, it aims to do so in conjunction with other important American writers who are perhaps, and perhaps unjustly, lesser known. Our survey will center on prose by Sherwood Anderson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston, and J. D. Salinger, poetry by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, W. S. Merwin, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley, and films by Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Marian C. Cooper, and Stanley Kubrick.

There are no prerequisites for this course, and no formal knowledge of literary criticism, history, or theory is required in order to be successful in it.

2630.001: British Literature I

MWF 1200-1250
Lisa Myers, myersl@unm.edu

Engl 2630 British Literature I is a survey of literary works produced in Britain from the early Middle Ages to the close of the 18th century. Readings include the epic Beowulf, the romance Sir Orfeo, medieval and Renaissance drama, the poetry of John Donne, Eliza Haywood’s novel Fantomina and the memoir of Olaudah Equiano. The goal of the course is both to gain an understanding of the development of literary forms and traditions as well as to put texts into conversation with each other in order to gain a sense of both the history and the variety of human experience. 

2640.001: British Literature II

TR 1230-1345
Feroza Jussawalla, fjussawa@unm.edu

This is a survey class in the second half of British Literature, basically from the Romanticists to the present age. Usually, I begin with the Romantic Poets and work up to the early 20th Century.  Some of the longer works to be studied include Heart of Darkness and E.M. Forster’s Passage to India and subsequently some short works from British Postcolonial authors. The three texts for the class include ANY Norton Anthology of English literature that covers the major authors from Wordsworth to E.M. Forster. I have ordered three separate volumes of the Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th edition, volumes D, E, and F. These should be in the bookstore, together with In Search of Authority by Bonnycastle (pdfs are available online) and you should have the MLA Guide to Writing Papers.

Assignments: We will write 4 papers: three short reaction response papers, and one long research paper of 8-12 pages on a topic of your choice from within the syllabus. Here is a rough outline of the readings and dates for assignments. We can change this or modify as we go along.

2650.001: World Literature I: On Hate & Restorative Justice

TR 1100-1215 
Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, nahir@unm.edu

A general overview of early world literature and culture with a focus on the themes of Hate and Restorative Justice. Our ambitious goal is to investigate texts from China, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Japan, Persia, Arabia, Europe, India, and the Americas by exploring how and if the texts move away from ideologies that produce hate to a system of Restorative Justice. Through this mode of study, we will gain a sense of the differences and similarities that shape the varieties of human experience across time and cultures. Readings will include all or parts of works such as: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Ramayana, The Tale of Genji; plays by Aeschylus and Kalidasa; poetry by Sappho, Catullus, Li Bai, Ono no Komachi, Petrarch, Ibn Hazm, and Farid ud-dun Attar. 

Meets New Mexico Lower-Division General Education Common Core Curriculum Area V: Humanities and Fine Arts.

2660.001: World Literature II     

MWF 0900-0950
Belinda Wallace, bwallace@unm.edu

This course will introduce students to a variety of literary genres and cultural traditions from across the world, written between 1600 and the present. This section of English 2660 will place texts in conversation with one another so that students may increase their knowledge of literature; understand the importance of historical context; and enhance their appreciation of and respect for different cultures that make up the human experience. Students may also consider how these literary works relate to contemporary experiences, cultural norms, and artistic expressions.

2670.001: African American Literature

MW 1100-1215
Finnie Coleman, coleman@unm.edu

In this course, we will review the first two centuries of African American literature (1746 – 1940) with an eye toward better understanding Black identity development and what it meant to be a Black American from the earliest days of the “American” 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[1] 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 the “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. 

[1] We use the second edition of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature (ISBN-10: 0393977781).  The three sections that we will study (1201 pages) cover 194 years of literary history (The Literature of Slavery and Freedom (1746 – 1865) (119 years, 389 pages); The Literature of Slavery and Freedom (1746 – 1865),” move on to “Literature of the Reconstruction to the Negro Renaissance (1865 – 1919) (54 years, 411 pages); the Harlem Renaissance (1919 – 1940) (21 years, 401 pages)). 




304.001: Bible as Literature  

Kelly Van Andel, kvanande@unm.edu

This course studies biblical texts within their historical and literary contexts, and it examines how the authors of the Bible utilize literary forms and tools such as the parable, proverb, allegory, 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 Gospels, the Letter, Apocalyptic Literature, and the Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament in English and American Literature. There are weekly quizzes and discussions, two exams, and one short presentation. 

305.001: Mythology  

MWF 1300-1350       
Nicholas Schwartz, nschwar@unm.edu

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.

315.001: T: Black Science Fiction & Film

MWF 1000-1050
Belinda Deneen Wallace, bwallace@unm.edu

This course will introduce us to the genre of science fiction, specifically black science fiction—which is commonly called Afrofuturism. Through an examination of graphic novels, film, and comic books, we will explore how science fiction can be used as a lens through which to view and understand contemporary Black culture and experiences. The stories we will examine offer intriguing narratives that allow for complex analysis on the intersections of race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality.

315.003: Race, Class & Feminism

TR 930-1045
Andrea Mays, amays@unm.edu

321.001: Intermediary Creative Writing Fiction 

MWF 1100-1150
Marisa Clark, clarkmp@unm.edu

English 321 emphasizes the analysis, production, and revision of literary short stories. Our class will read and discuss published stories by a diverse selection of authors and do exercises designed to hone the use of craft elements, such as scene and summary, plot, character development, POV, and setting. Ideally, these exercises will inspire ideas for your stories. You will also write, workshop, and significantly revise at least one full-length short story during the semester.

We’ll explore how to create complex characters and realistic situations through carefully selected details that strip away the mask of the mundane. The craft techniques we study and writing we do should be able to serve you in all areas of your creative work, and we’ll also touch on how to incorporate these features to produce successful speculative and genre writing.

322.001: Intermediary Creative Writing Poetry  

TR 1230-1345
Lisa Chavez, ldchavez@unm.edu

This intermediate creative writing class is focused on the art of poetry.  We will begin with an examination of what makes poetry strong in general (image, line, voice and more) and will go on to try out exercises in a variety of poetic forms. You’ll read, write and revise a lot, as well as discuss poetry by contemporary poets and classmates.  

323.001: Intermediary Creative Writing Nonfiction       

MWF 1400-1450
Gregory Martin, gmartin@unm.edu

In this course, we will explore creative nonfiction its many forms and idiosyncrasies, from the memoir to the lyric essay, from literary journalism to the meditation, from the prose poem to the travel essay.  We will also write our own creative nonfiction, experimenting each week with low-stakes freewrites, exercises, and improvisations, and later choosing one of these pieces to expand upon, workshop and revise as the semester’s final project.   The class will help you to build upon your understanding of prose craft and technique, and we will focus on the development of the "habit" of art, emphasizing process more than product, emphasizing exploration, risk taking, and pushing yourself to write in ways that you could not write before.  In the beginning weeks of class, we will focus on generating material, experimenting with different craft techniques, creating the messy “stuff” out of which all good writing comes.  Throughout the semester, we will focus on the ways that good writing is collaborative and that responding constructively to another’s work is an equally important skill, and as much an act of the imagination.  One primary goal is to encourage you to write what is urgent and essential to who you are—to help you develop your writing persona, the character who is you, telling a story.  In order to write well, we must read well, and read as writers, and so this class will combine the discussion of published authors with formal and informal workshopping.  Finally, I hope to debunk the myth of the artist.  We all can participate in the making of art.

324.003: Intro to Screenwriting    

T 1730-2000
Matthew McDuffie, mcduffie@unm.edu

336.001: T: Fairy Tales

TR 1530-1645
Susanne Baackmann, baackfrau@gmail.com

338.001: T: Culture of Russian Terrorism

MWF 1200-1250
Irina Meier, imeier@unm.edu

347.001: Viking Mythology     

TR 0930-1045
Nicholas Schwartz, nschwar@unm.edu

This course is designed to comprehensively introduce students to Viking Mythology. It will cover Norse ideas about the creation of the world, the end of the world, and pretty much everything in between. Students should expect to read about Odin, Frigg, Thor, Loki, and a host of other characters not so well-known today. Additionally, students will read accounts of important events like the settling of Iceland and the conversion to Christianity. Those who register for the class will learn about the culture(s) that produced these wonderful stories and their literary conventions. This course will foster a valuable familiarity with this important mythological tradition and expose students to a variety of methods of reading them. Texts include, but are not limited to, The Poetic/Elder Edda, Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, The Saga of the Volsungs, and The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok. Assignments include a midterm, final, written assignments, and quizzes.

350.001: Medieval Tales of Wonder

TR 1400-1515      
Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, nahir@unm.edu

This course will provide students the opportunity to explore and analyze medieval tales of wonder. From the Old English wundor (noun), wundrian (verb), wonder implies a feeling of surprise from something beautiful or unexpected, or a desire to know something unknowable. With this definition in mind, the course will explore texts that emphasize descriptions of unknown lands, tales of monsters and monstrous beings, dream visions, heroes, and antiheroes. In short, the human experience through the eyes of the fantastical. We will read well-known materials such as the Arthurian myths as well as lesser-known texts such as the Norse Romances, Irish poetry, and Welsh literature. We will also take time to explore how our modern sensibilities have redefined medieval wonder through graphic novels and films.

352.001: Early Shakespeare   

MWF 1100-1150       
Carmen Nocentelli, nocent@unm.edu

Over 400 years after his death, Shakespeare remains the most often quoted poet and most regularly produced playwright of the English-speaking world—and has now become one of its most popular screenwriters as well. Why is that? What’s so great about Shakespeare’s writing? What meanings did Shakespeare’s works have in his own time, and what meanings can they have for us? What should we pay attention to when we read Shakespeare’s plays or watch them in performance? And whose plays are we reading or watching, anyway? We’ll tackle these and other questions as we examine and discuss several major plays penned during the early part of Shakespeare's career, including The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, and The Merchant of Venice.

353.002: Later Shakespeare   

Marissa Greenberg, marissag@unm.edu

In this fully online course, you will study a selection of Shakespeare’s later plays – some may be familiar, such as Othello and The Tempest, whereas others will probably be new to you, like The Winter’s Tale and Cymbeline.


What makes these plays worth your time? First, all of them showcase the mature Shakespeare’s poetry, which reaches new heights and greater complexity in the second half of his career. Second, they create vivid stage images that invite us to imagine their performance. Third, and perhaps most importantly for our purposes, these plays take on topics that remain important to us today, including racial prejudice and violence against women.


By thinking with these plays in this course, you will gain insight into and mastery of Shakespeare’s language, theater, and ongoing significance in crucial social issues.  


More specifically, by the end of this course, you will be able to

  1. Identify the characters, plots, and conventions of several of Shakespeare’s later plays.
  2. Describe the contexts for the creation and reception of Shakespeare’s later plays.
  3. Interpret Shakespeare’s later plays in a variety of ways.
  4. Demonstrate facility with Shakespeare’s language.

363.001: Nineteenth-Century America

MWF 1300-1350
Kathryn Wichelns, wichelns@unm.edu

Our course focuses on the long nineteenth century, roughly 1790 – 1910. We will examine a series of canonical and little-read works, towards the goal of situating authors in cultural and historical context via focus on a few key concepts that were widely influential throughout this period: the theory and practice of Manifest Destiny, shifts in beliefs about race and biology, and developments in publishing by and for women. Materials will include novels, short fiction, essays, poetry, photography, journalism, advertising, and film. Students will be evaluated on a series of short response papers, one midterm essay exam, and a final paper.

364.001: T: Native American Literature & Culture

MWF 1100-1150
Sarah Hernandez, hernands@unm.edu

This course examines the portrayal of Native Americans in film, and the effects those representations have had on our knowledge of and interaction with tribes and tribal people.  Native American representations in film, television, and literature tend to vacillate from one extreme to the other.  Native men are often either portrayed as noble warriors or ignoble savages, while Native females are stereotyped as beautiful princesses or downtrodden squaws.  Although some of these stereotypes are positive and seemingly innocuous, many of these misrepresentations have had a detrimental effect on tribes, as these stereotypes tend to dehumanize Native people, and contribute to their invisibility in mainstream society.  Research indicates that this type of marginalization and exclusion is also problematic, because it tends to erode the public’s perception of tribes and support for tribal issues.  In this course, we will investigate the origins of these myths and stereotypes; consider how film, literature, and the media has been used to oppress Native people and communities; and explore how contemporary filmmakers, scholars, and grassroots practitioners are challenging these representations, and changing the narrative about tribes and tribal people.


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


413.001: Science, Medical, and Environmental Writing

TR 1400-1515
Michelle Kells, kells@unm.edu

This course will examine writing across academic, public, and professional spheres to promote the circulation of knowledge toward environmental justice, public health, and community wellbeing. It is a key tenet of this course (an Aristotelian “first principle”) that climate change, natural resource depletion, and biodiversity loss condition (and will continue to condition) the health, wellbeing, and survival of all life on this planet now and into the future.

417.001: Editing        

MWF 1000-1050
Cristyn Elder, celder@unm.edu

This course teaches students how to approach editing as a career or as writers who want to improve their own writing. Along with practicing advanced copyediting skills, you will learn how to perform comprehensive editing that results in documents that are complete, accurate, comprehensible, usable, and reader-focused. Assignments include regular homework, quizzes, and two large editing projects as well as reflection on your progress toward the student learning outcomes.

420.001: T: Blue Mesa Review         

MWF 1400-1450       
Mark Sundeen, marksundeen@unm.edu

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.

420.002: T: The Craft of Literary Journalism

TR 0930-1045
Stephen Benz, sbenz@unm.edu

This special topics course focuses on the craft of literary journalism. We will study the work of literary journalists such as Joan Didion, John McPhee, and Susan Orlean. We will also read interviews and essays in which accomplished literary journalists discuss the work that they do and how they do it. Finally, through short exercises and longer writing assignments, we will work on writing our own pieces of literary journalism. The goal of the course is to explore the genre of literary journalism—its history, its precursors, its conventions, and its practitioners. We’ll learn about the origins of literary journalism, what it tries to do, and what forms it takes. Most important of all, we will learn how to write magazine-style articles using the storytelling techniques that make literary journalism such an appealing genre for readers and writers.

421.001: Advanced Creative Writing Fiction  

Julie Shigekuni, jshig@unm.edu

Strong content arises out of identifying and carefully nurturing each layer of a story. In this online course, you will isolate and combine layers of story to see what is possible in your work. In addition to short writing assignments, you will be expected to contribute with insight toward the development of the work of your peers and to read and discuss published short stories, craft essays, and author interviews. The bulk of your time will be spent crafting your work into a fully-realized story. Participants must be willing to have their work read and discussed by the group; each member of the class will receive two workshop-style critiques.

422.001: Advanced Creative Writing Poetry       

TR 1400-1515
Lisa Chavez, ldchavez@unm.edu

Take your poetry to the next level! This advanced creative writing workshop in poetry will help you make your words shine. This class presupposes a certain understanding of the genre: ie. at least a basic understanding of the use of image, line, and form, but our goals will be to hone craft skills, try new styles and forms of poetry, and practice revision skills. We will read the work of published authors, including local poets, and focus on workshopping student poems.

424.001: Creative Writing Workshop Script   

R 1730-2000
Matthew McDuffie, mcduffie@unm.edu

432.001: T: Climate Fiction: Literature & FIlm

MWF 1000-1050
Susmitha Udayan, sudayan@unm.edu

441.001: English Grammars

W 1600-1830
Bethany Davila, bdavila@unm.edu

Studying grammar doesn't have to be boring! This course helps students approach the study of grammar from different perspectives, all while attending to language politics, language attitudes, and language use. Projects include considering grammar in use in relation to written rules about grammar, examinging our own and others' grammar in academic writing using corpus linguistics, and studying a local issue related to language attitudes and the politics of language.

444.001: Practicum: Tutoring Writing          

TR 1230-1345
Rachael Reynolds, reynoldsr@unm.edu

Discuss and analyze theories in the field of composition and pedagogy. Learn to develop a broad theoretical basis for helping others develop their writing skills, purpose, and voice, while also including practice in the field. Apply theory to real-life situations: students will be paired with online English students and will serve as tutors for these students.

452.001: The Renaissance: Not Shakespeare!

Marisa Greenberg, marissag@unm.edu

Revenge, adultery, necrophilia, homophobia, and city life are some of the favorite themes of playwrights and audiences in Shakespeare’s England. In this fully online course, you will study a selection of these plays by a variety of writers … except William Shakespeare.

In 1592 the poet Robert Greene described Shakespeare as “an upstart crow,” an actor playing at being a dramatist, and an egotist whose best stuff is stolen from other writers. These other writers include Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, John Marston, and the playwright known only as Anonymous -- all of whom enjoyed incredible popularity in late-16th- and early-17th-century England. 

What made these writers so successful that Shakespeare wanted to join their ranks and steal their material? Why did they fall away from our stages and our English classes? And what might we gain by returning to them, including new understandings of culture, poetry, and performance?

The principal goal of this course is to introduce you to this fascinating body of dramatic literature. A second but no less important goal is to give you opportunities to delve into topics of importance to you through rigorous discussion, research, and writing.

More specifically, by the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the characters and plots of several non-Shakespearean plays.
  2. Describe the cultural, poetic, and theatrical interests of late-16th- and early-17th-century English dramatists and audiences.
  3. Interpret early modern English drama in a variety of ways.
  4. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of Renaissance plays and their meaning through independent research and analysis.

457.001: Victorian Studies

Gail Houston, ghouston@unm.edu

This course is an undergraduate senior level survey of British literature and culture of the Victorian period (1832-1901). We will read poetry, fiction, and drama, analyzing how writers responded to the dramatic social changes of their time. Guided by the preoccupations of Victorian writers, the course will focus on these themes:

  • the Condition of England question (including issues of industrialization, capitalism, and class society more generally)
  • the Woman Question
  • the Crisis of Faith  (faith and science)
  • and Empire

465.001: Chicano-a Literature: Young Adult Fiction

TR 1100-1215
Melina Vizcaíno-Alemán, mviz@unm.edu

This course is an advanced study of Chicana/o literature, with attention to young adult fiction and coming-of-age narratives that chart the complicated history and identity of Mexican Americans. Chicana/o literature became a recognized field of study as a result of the Civil Rights era, so the class begins with a critical examination of the Chicano canon as it emerged in the 1970s and developed into the contemporary period. The class will explore the various theories and debates about Chicana/o identity and its literary history, and it will read some canonical texts, including José Antonio Villareal’s Pocho, Tomás Rivera’s , . . And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Sandra Cisneros’s House on Mango Street, alongside more contemporary young adult fiction, like Rudolfo Anaya’s Curse of the Chupacabra, Rigoberto González’s The Mariposa Club, and Erika Sánchez’s I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. With a focus on young adult fiction, the class will reassess the uses of history, memory, and folklore, and it will explore the themes of cultural nationalism, feminism, queerness, and mestiza consciousness.

487.001: T: Blurred Boundaries

MWF 1300-1350
Gregory Martin, gmartin@unm.edu

Blurred Boundaries is a seminar for creative writers about “unclassifiable” literature, works that intentionally challenge genre conventions and that bookstores and libraries don’t quite know where to shelve.  What kind of book is this?  Is this fiction or memoir?  Is this a prose poem or an essay?  What does this have to do with readers and their expectations?  Does it matter?  Why?  This is a craft seminar which explores the space between genres, investigating not only the “truth” and “invention” of fiction and nonfiction, but also the space between journalism and memoir, between nonfiction and fiction, between the lyric and associative construction of poetry and the personal essay.  Course readings will include novels, memoirs, short stories, personal essays, and prose poems as well as essays and interviews on craft.  We will look at how writers, implicitly and explicitly, manipulate the reader’s desire for "literal” truth and the relative safety of the categories and conventions of genre.  The course is also practical.  Each week we ask the questions:  How was this made?  How does this work?  What is its design? What are its organizing principles?  How does an understanding of its construction shape my own work?  We will come to understand the “moving parts” of stories and essays in much the same way a mechanic understands the parts of an engine.  Along with discussion of published work, we will be doing our own low-stakes, improvisatory creative writing.  Many class sessions will include in-class freewrites and exercises, imitating and emulating what we're reading, looking to generate possibilities for future development, for our own stories and essays and poems.   

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