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Upcoming Courses - Fall 2018

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

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

Dee Dee Lopez
(505) 277-6347
Humanities 213


200-Level | 300-Level | 400-Level

150.001: Study of Literature

TR 1100-1215

150.002: Study of Literature

MWF 1300-1350

150.003: Study of Literature

MWF 1000-1050


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

220.001: Meddling in Middle Earth: Influences on J.R.R. Tolkien

MWF 900-950
Daniel Scooter Gatsch,


This course will explore the medieval and modern texts that influenced the world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit continue to be respected mainstays of fantasy culture, both literary and film. In addition to these popular works, Tolkien left behind notes and writings that explained much of the history, culture, and races of Middle Earth. These notes, as well as Tolkien’s background as a medieval scholar, grant insight into the different source materials that influenced his work. This class will offer students a deeper insight both into Tolkien’s world and into the real-world cultures that guided his writing. Through readings and viewings of Tolkien’s work as well as the wide range of cultures from which he drew inspiration, students will have the opportunity to compare and analyze historically important texts and a broader spectrum of modern work.


220.002: Science Fiction

MWF 1100-1150
Vicki Vanbrocklin,


Light sabers to space ships 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 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, race, gender, war, technology, and climate change.


220.003: Expository Writing: Let the Talking Dogs Lie

MWF 1200-1250
Tori Cárdenas,


Why and how are fictional anthropomorphic worlds used as vehicles for deeper messages? With animals as their mouthpiece, some authors create allegorical worlds that introduce readers, especially young-adult audiences, to complex political ideas and questions regarding ethics, morality, and history.

In this section of expository writing, we will explore politics, cultural/ethnic identity, diaspora, perseverance, and resilience through the eyes of our beloved furry friends. We will consider how politics are presented in these fictional worlds and governments, and how to develop an understanding of how the anthropomorphic genre can introduce readers to critical thinking and analysis.

Short assignments will culminate in a research paper. Students will keep a reading journal, lead and participate in small discussion groups, and create/present a multimedia project. With readings from: Richard Adams, George Orwell, Karl Marx, Art Spiegelman, Joseph Campbell, Franz Kafka, and more. 


220.004: Identity at the Crossroads

MWS 1300-1350
Kyle Fiore,


From poetry to film, self portraits, selfies, and social media we explore the question of "Who am I?" We also struggle to understand “Who are you?” These two questions have joined and separated us  since the beginning of language. How do we see ourselves and others? How do others see us? How do we make our mark? How do we translate the marks made by those from other countries and cultures? This course focuses on how we define ourselves and other people through art, writing, and activism. We will consider customs and rituals that bring us together and cultural differences that separate us. We will look at the actions people take to make their voices heard, and consider how those voices are received. Students will keep a journal, write memoirs, movie reviews, and create a multimedia project. Short assignments  will culminate in a  research paper. Authors, artists, and activists studied will include: Joy Harjo, Miranda July, Frida Kahlo, Jamaica Kincaid, Herman Melville, Tim O’Brien, Jordan Peele, George Saunders, David Sedaris, Kira Walker, and others.


220.005: Expository Writing

MWF 1400-1450


220.006: News that STAYS News vs. FAKE News: Literature and Responsibility

MWF 1500-1550
Sarah Worland,


In 1934’s ABC of Reading, Ezra Pound posed a question: “Why study literature?” His answer: “Literature is news that STAYS news,” later adding, “If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.” If literature, then, is long-lasting and indicative of a thriving of society, what are its responsibilities, and what are the responsibilities of those who engage with literature: the author, reader, and critic? Writing, reading, and interpreting literature are interactive and engaging practices, and each literary role contributes to the construction of meaning. In this course, we will discuss ideas like tradition, representation, perceived truth, etc. as we consider examples of poetry and prose in fiction, nonfiction, science fiction, and visual media in order to establish an understanding of our personal roles in the literary process. Readings include works by J.R.R. Tolkien, Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes, and Ursula K. Le Guin, among others.


220.007: Monsters and Mad Scientists: Exploring the Gothic Supernatural

TR 1100-1215
Kaella Alvarez,


This course will explore the Gothic by way of studying Tim Burton’s unique twist on the genre. As one of the most idiosyncratic artists and directors, he re-imagines Gothic tropes seen in many of the novels we will be reading. The texts that will serve as the basis for distinct characteristics of the Gothic are Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Gothic literature is known to feature common themes and motifs such as darkness, isolation, madness, death, dreams/nightmares, the aristocracy, and especially the supernatural. In accordance with these texts, the course will examine some of Burton's films such as Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Beetlejuice. Alongside the study of Tim Burton’s nuance of the Gothic genre, this course begs the question: Between whimsical creatures and the humans surrounding them, who are the real monsters?


220.008: The (Short) Stories of America

TR 1230-1345
Laurie Lowrance,


This course focuses on advanced expository writing for students who wish to improve their writing skills by learning to critically read, contextualize, analyze, and respond to American short stories as literary texts documenting American experiences. We will look at how American writers from the 19th century to the present use the short story form to create, respond to, challenge, inform, and resist narratives concerning race, gender, sexuality, land dispossession, class, economic development, war and more. We will examine, explore, and respond to short stories from the 19th century through the present in an effort to develop a better understanding of the power of writing in shaping and documenting America and American experiences and identity and of the power of our own writing. By reading, researching, and responding to American short stories, you will develop your own skills—and voice—in understanding, speaking and writing to meet the demands of academic and professional writing in diverse disciplines.


220.010: Expository Writing

TR 0930-1045


220.021: Do You Know Who You Are?

Emma Mincks,


The purpose of this 220 is to explore notions of the self and synthesize a variety of opinions about identity and being into personalized, argumentative responses. We will be learning together about personhood in modernity and exploring a variety of texts (from youtube videos to self-help books) and writing responses to our readings based on personal experience, critical thinking, and the research we do throughout the semester.

We’ll look at both the problems and the joys created by the notion of the self. Our readings will include texts that interrogate being and selfhood as well as the development and acceptance of selfhood. We will examine discourses of the self from both a theoretical and philosophical framework, examining self-representation, self-determination, and the unknowable nature of self-understanding. We will explore psychological notions, as well as look at orientations of modern philosophies and self-help literature.

We will also attempt to uncover who we are personally in relation to both traditional and modern notions of selfhood in western culture, as complicated by colonialism and capitalism. This class is designed to help students determine how their relationship to selfhood impacts their interactions with the world around them.


224.001: Intro to Creative Writing

MWF 1000-1050
Tori Cárdenas,


This course will focus on identity through craft. Students are encouraged to write about their experiences, identity, and history, and to bring readings to class that inspire them or inform their work. 

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

With selected readings from Danez Smith, Franny Choi, Natalie Diaz, Carmen Maria Machado, Davis Sedaris, Alice Walker, Elie Weisel, and more.


224.002: Intro to Creative Writing

TR 1400-1515
Mitch Marty,


Introduction to Creative Writing will explore various contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry texts, learning about craft and analyzing craft features of each genre, learning how to employ these skills through the process of writing (and revision). Throughout the semester, students will be asked to bring in published works and/or brief artist statements that relate to their own writing as a way to provide a framework for discussing their creative works.


224.003: Intro to Creative Writing

TR 1100-1215
Cary Mandel,


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. 


224.004: Introduction to Creative Writing

MWF 1300-1350

This Introduction to Creative Writing course will survey published works of contemporary literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry through a craft lens. We will learn to describe and analyze these works through craft features (voice, POV, image, distance, characterization, plot, structure, etc.). Strategies for revision, reading as a writer, and the workshop process are core components of the class. This course will also introduce students to the literary magazine world. Students will lead discussions, work in small writing groups, and compose written work in each genre throughout the semester.


224.005: Introduction to Creative Writing



224.006: Intro to Creative Writing

TR 930-1100
Tatiana Duvanova,


ENGL 224 will introduce students to creative writing by exploring fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students will be expected to produce creative work in all three genres. We will learn about craft (e.g. plot, character, POV), complete short writing exercises and three larger projects (one in each genre: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry). 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.


224.007: Intro to Creative Writing

Hayley Peterson,


Introduction to Creative Writing will expose students to the genres of literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Students will read, analyze, and discuss published examples of each, examining elements of craft in the different genres. Students will write in each of the genres and share their work with classmates, giving and receiving feedback as a way to improve their writing and the writing of their classmates.


240.002: Traditional Grammar

TR 1230-1345
Bethany Davila,


This course walks students through multiple ways of studying English grammar—from syntax and form to language change and rhetorical effect. The course will give students the vocabulary to talk about grammar, the knowledge to analyze it, and the opportunity to improve their writing by using grammar rhetorically. Course work consists of regular homework, quizzes, tests, and a paper/project. 


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. 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.


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. 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.


250.001: Literary Textual Analysis

TR 0930-1045


250.002: Literary Textual Analysis

TR 1230-1345


250.003: Literary Textual Analysis

MWF 1000-1050
Belinda Deneen Wallace,


Our section of 250 is designed to introduce us to literary genres, literary criticism, and literary analysis while promoting critical thinking. Through an examination of a specific kind of speculative fiction called Afrofuturism, in our course, we’ll examine a number of literary genres—namely, graphic novel, film, comic books, and novel—and several modes of theory and literary criticism—such as intersectionality, semiotics, and new historicism. The authors we will encounter offer intriguing narratives that allow for complex analysis on the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality as we seek to enhance our understanding(s) of the contemporary African American experience.


264.001: Introduction to Native American Literature

MWF 1100-1150

Lauren Perry,

This course will consider the importance of literature to Native peoples, including the impact stories by and about Indigenous peoples have had upon the world, the use of stories in political and cultural advocacy, and the controversies those stories sometimes contain. We will reflect upon literature and rhetoric as a unique political tool, and we will examine its efficacy and power in Native history. As a survey, this class will read a wide range of Indigenous writing across genres, including life narratives, short stories, poetry, essays, and novels. We will read stories from vastly different cultures and geographical spaces, but we will take the time to focus on the impact of Indigenous writing in our local communities, including the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and New Mexico. Throughout the course, students will continue to develop their skills of textual analysis, critical thinking and discussion, and research-based written arguments.

290.001: Intro 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 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 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 Literature - Ancient Through 16th Century

TR 0930-1045

Beginning with the earliest literatures of the Ancient World, working up through the Medieval Period and moving into the Early Modern period, this course will explore some of the key works of the world’s literatures through the seventeenth century.  Placing memorable plays, poems, and works of fiction in their cultural and historical contexts, we will not only gain a greater understanding of the development of literature and literary traditions in China, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Japan, Persia, Arabia, Europe, India, and the Americas, but we will gain a sense of history and a sense of the differences and similarities that shape the varieties of human experience across time and cultures.  As we marvel at powerful tales about love and war, heroic journeys, spiritual pilgrimages, courtly intrigue, and colonial contact we will be alert to the varying degrees that these works display the globalizing tendencies that have culminated in the richly diverse tapestry of the modern world.  Readings will include all or parts of such works as the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, The Ramayana, The Aeneid , and The Tale of Genji; selections from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, Bhagavad Gita, and Qur’an; plays by Aeschylus, Kalidasa, and Shakespeare; poetry by Sappho, Catullus, Li Bai, Ono no Komachi, Petrarch, Ibn Hazm, and Farid ud-dun Attar; as well essays, letters and memoirs by Macchiavelli, Ibn Khaldun, Montaigne, and Columbus.  Requirements will include several short papers, quizzes, and a midterm and final examination. 

292.002: World Literature - Ancient Through 16th Century

MWF 1400-1450

Beginning with the earliest literatures of the Ancient World, working up through the Medieval Period and moving into the Early Modern period, this course will explore some of the key works of the world’s literatures through the seventeenth century.  Placing memorable plays, poems, and works of fiction in their cultural and historical contexts, we will not only gain a greater understanding of the development of literature and literary traditions in China, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Japan, Persia, Arabia, Europe, India, and the Americas, but we will gain a sense of history and a sense of the differences and similarities that shape the varieties of human experience across time and cultures.  As we marvel at powerful tales about love and war, heroic journeys, spiritual pilgrimages, courtly intrigue, and colonial contact we will be alert to the varying degrees that these works display the globalizing tendencies that have culminated in the richly diverse tapestry of the modern world.  Readings will include all or parts of such works as the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, The Ramayana, The Aeneid , and The Tale of Genji; selections from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, Bhagavad Gita, and Qur’an; plays by Aeschylus, Kalidasa, and Shakespeare; poetry by Sappho, Catullus, Li Bai, Ono no Komachi, Petrarch, Ibn Hazm, and Farid ud-dun Attar; as well essays, letters and memoirs by Macchiavelli, Ibn Khaldun, Montaigne, and Columbus.  Requirements will include several short papers, quizzes, and a midterm and final examination.  

294.001: Survey of Earlier English Literature

TR 1230-1345
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.


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

304.002: Bible As Literature

Kelly Van Andel,


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

TR 930-1045
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. Texts include the ancient Mesopotamian Gilgamesh and other related myths, the Judeo-Christian Bible, along with works from the classical and medieval periods like Homer’s Odyssey and selections from Norse myth, 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.


320.001: Advanced Expository

MWF 1300-1350
Michelle Kells,



321.001: Intermediate Fiction Writing

MWF 1400-1450
Marisa P. Clark,


This intermediate fiction-writing course emphasizes the analysis, production, and revision of short stories. In the first half of the semester, you will read published stories by a diverse assortment of authors and do exercises designed to hone the basic elements of craft, such as the use of scene and summary in plot, character development, POV, and setting. Ideally, these exercises will help you unearth ideas for your fiction. You can expect to write and significantly revise two short stories over the semester.

The focus of this course is the production of literary fiction—that which deals with an action or event that might happen to real people in ordinary life and traces it in a unique or extraordinary but credible way. Often, genre work—sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance, and the like—does not meet literary standards because it follows formula and employs stock characters, and for the most part, writing it for this class will be off-limits. That said, we will look at some examples of successful genre work and/or speculative fiction at the end of the semester and may do a little speculative writing. In the meantime, the craft techniques we study and writing we do should be able to serve you in all areas of your creative work.


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.: perspective, diction, 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 Nonfiction

MWF 1100-1150
Michelle Brooks,


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


350.001: Medieval Tales of Wonder

MWF 900-950
Lisa Myers,

Medieval Tales of Wonder will introduce students to texts from the Middle Ages that are designed to amaze and astonish. The class will place an emphasis on the historical and cultural contexts of these works and approach them through the techniques of literary analysis and theory in order to uncover the ways in which these texts use wonder to explore issues of gender, power, faith and the fear of the unknown. We will read about heroes and monsters in Beowulf and the Nibelungenlied and about magic and fairies in medieval romances such as Sir Degare. We will examine the ideology surrounding the natural world through bestiaries, maps and travel narratives like The Travels of Sir John Mandeville and we will study the afterlife, ghosts and demons in religious texts such as The Life of St. Guthlac. All texts will be read in modern English translations.


352.01: 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 Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Henry V. It will enable you to speak knowledgeably about Shakespeare’s early plays through careful, guided reading; brief lectures; and specific skill-based assignments. Through regular discussions with your peers, you will delve in depth into key themes of Shakespeare’s early plays. And because reading Shakespeare’s language aloud is key to understanding the plays, you will prepare recitations using audio-video technology available through our course site. All course materials – the plays and other readings as well as performances, images, and podcasts – will be online.


353.001: Later Shakespeare

MWF 1300-1350
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, All’s Well That Ends Well, Coriolanus, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline and selected sonnets.


354.001: Milton

Marissa Greenberg,


John Milton’s Paradise Lost, published in 1667 in the immediate aftermath of the English Revolution, holds a unique place in British and global literary history. In this epic in twelve books modeled on the classical epics of Homer and Virgil, Milton reimagines events related in the Bible, in particular the fall of Adam and Eve. Many of the poetic, theological, political, and personal concerns of Paradise Lost are already evident in Milton’s early poetry. It is not only Milton’s biblical reimagining but also his engagement with these pressing issues of his day—and ours—that explains the popularity of his poetry for the past 350 years and throughout the world. In this course we will read Paradise Lost and Milton’s early poetry both to develop a rich understanding of the form, content, and cruxes of Milton’s poetry and to interpret the ongoing significance of Milton’s poetry today.

By the end of this course, students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate facility with Milton’s language through close reading and oral recitation.
  2. Analyze key features of Miltonic poetry through application of learned information.
  3. Evaluate the relationship between Paradise Lost and current social justice issues based on external research and internal evidence.
  4. Demonstrate greater compositional facility through activities focused on writing for literary study and across disciplines (in fulfillment of criteria for “Writing Intensive” course for Majors in English).

To fulfill these course objectives, you will complete a range of activities, include guided reading, brief lectures, recitations, and group discussions. 


365.001: Chicana/o Cultural Studies

TR 1100-1215
Melina Vizcaino-Aleman,

This course explores the politics and aesthetics of Chicana/o cultural production through the literature, art, and film of the twentieth century. The course begins with the critical issues, theories, and key terms that preoccupy the field of Chicana/o cultural studies. We then move into the key literature, art, and film that predominate the field. The class approaches Chicana/o culture as a site of dialogue, debate, and contradiction, and it considers the struggle with and politics of representation in light of the historical issues that concern and shape Chicana/o communities. As such, the course considers the themes of Manifest Destiny and westward expansion, gender and nationalism, border conflict and violence, displacement and deterritorialization, immigration and migration, as well as race, class, nation, and language. While not exhaustive in its coverage of Chicana/o cultural production, the course focuses on literary and visual texts that provide dialogue and debate about Chicana/o cultural studies.



We begin this course with a brief examination of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Joyner Lucas’ “I’m Not Racist, Childish Gambino’s “This is America,” Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.,” Joey Bada$$’ “Land of the Free,” MC Ma’at’s disturbing “Puppet Massacre” and the dystopian vision of Hypocriticus in “Als ik om me heen kijk.”  This brief foray into political Hip Hop will serve as the backdrop for our study of African American literature and cultural history from the eve of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954 to the rise of Black Lives Matter Movement on our historical moment.   In this course, we explore “masterpieces” of African-American literature – particularly African American Novels - from four epochs in African American cultural history; the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Arts Movement, the Hip Hop Generation, and the Black Lives Matter movement.  We will begin with Ralph Ellison’s iconic novel Invisible Man (1952) and conclude with Paul Beatty’s hilarious The Sell Out (2014).  Along the way we will read James Baldwin’s autobiographical novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land(1965), Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979) as well as works by Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1985) and Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying(1993).  This course would be incomplete absent a reading of Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987).  These literary masterpieces will help us to better understand African American religious traditions, the legacy of Reconstruction, the promulgation of Jim Crow laws, segregation, Black nationalism, lynching, the struggle for civil rights, and the enigmas of hegemonic masculinity in the United States.  All of our work is geared toward helping us to make sense of the profoundly complex racial milieu in Post-Obama America – the troubling Post-Post Racial America where we must interrogate the impetus for and impact of Black Lives Matter, the “Me Too” movement, and the startling disarray of contemporary American politics.   

387.001: Comics, Cartoons, and Graphic Novels

TR 930-1045
Jesus Costantino,

In this course, we will look at the broad history and varied forms of comics, from early twentieth-century strips to contemporary graphic novels, as well as the national and cultural variations of comics, including American superhero comics, underground comix, Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées, midcentury pulp comics, and Japanese manga. As the course progresses, we will attempt to articulate what makes comics unique as a literary-visual form and what distinct social and political work they might do.


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

410.001: Criticism and Theory

MWF 1100-1150
Belinda Deneen Wallace,
Our course will introduce us to some of the major thinkers and movements of literary criticism and theory from the mid-20th century through the present. In so doing, we will consider how critical theory offers various lenses and tools through which to interpret literature that will enhance our understanding, writing about, and teaching of literature. To this end, we will work toward understanding a variety of criticisms and theories, including poststructuralism, semiotics, intersectionality, queer theory, and postcolonial theory. As we do this work, students will be introduced to important critics like Gloria Anzaldúa, Homi Bhabha, Laura Mulvey, Barbara Christian, Jean Baudrillard and Gayatri Spivak.


413.001: Science, Medical, and Environmental Writing

MW 1600-1715
Michelle Kells,


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. We will apply the theoretical frame of Rhetorical Studies to Technical/Professional Writing as a field of practice to apply, analyze, evaluate, and engage diverse discourses, genres, and media across a broad spectrum of document users (and stakeholders) within Science, Medical, and Environmental Studies. Course assignments will challenge you as writers to engage the difficult rhetorical work of generating and circulating scientific, medical, and environmental (academic) arguments across diverse public spheres.

Students will select a research topic (an environmental, medical, or public health issue locally and globally impacting your communities of belonging). Our course will constitute project-driven learning communities focused on examining and generating writing products for academic, public, and professional audiences. Capstone Project will include Multi-Modal writing samples (using field research and bibliographic inquiry methods) toward the production of an online portfolio of public health, environmental justice, and scientific research for the digital publication of Writing Communities.


415.001: Publishing

R 1730-2000
David Dunaway,


This course introduces students to the publishing industry, in the U.S. and internationally, from the multiple perspectives of the author, the editor, the agent, and the publisher. Our goal is to provide a successful strategy for publishing your work in journals, magazines, books, and on the internet. There are no exams. The axiom “publish or perish” remains true for those planning a future in publishing or the academy. This course offers publications-related survival skills for future employment and fulfillment in university life.

The class begins with a survey of trends, then a history of publishing in the U.S.; followed by an overview of ownership and control in the modern era. We will discuss procedures and standards for submissions of articles and book proposals to publishers of literary, scholarly, technical, and trade (general-adult) materials. We examine in detail the roles of editors and agents in manuscripts—with an emphasis on the increasing digitization (e-books) and globalization of publishing/media activities. Any writer interested in these topics is welcome to join us. 


417.001: Editing

S. 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: Grant and Proposal 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.


420.001: 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.


421.001: Adv Creative Writing Fiction

Sharon Warner,


The Novella Workshop

First off, let’s get straight on our terms.  For our purposes, we will define the novella as 60-120 pages of fiction that typically follows “the fortunes of a single character through a limited time in a circumscribed locale, focused on a central action.” This working definition comes courtesy of Philip Gerard, from his essay, “An Architecture of Light: Structuring the Novel & Story Collection.” 

As a form, the novella lends itself to both expansion and compression and is therefore an excellent project for fiction writers who find themselves challenged in either direction.  A novella can contain more characters than a story, but, that said, the dramatic arc is still relatively simple.  As Debra Spark so aptly puts it, “the novella is Goldilock’s form, not too much of this and not too much of that but just right.”

Those enrolled in the course will be expected to formulate and draft the major scenes of a novella (in accordance with the Aristotlean plot line).  Additionally, students will draft at least one scenario/synopsis.  We will use two novellas as touchstones or reference points, Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach (soon to be released as a major motion picture) and Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome.


421.002: Advanced Fiction Workshop

MWF 1300-1350
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

MWF 1400-1450
Lisa Chavez,


This is an advanced creative writing workshop in poetry.  This class presupposes a certain understanding of the genre: ie. at least a basic understanding of the use of image, line, and form.  Our goals in this course 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 New Mexico poets!--and focus on workshopping student poems.


423.001: American Biography and Autobiography

R 1730-2000
David Dunaway,

This is a creative non-fiction workshop to help students write, criticize, and appreciate biography and autobiography. Classwork and reading emphasize writing technique and literary history with a clear end: the writing of a chapter of a life, in detail. Life-writing is one of the most publishable formats today in nonfiction; it reaches out to readers with the authority of fact and the reader-friendly, narrative voice of fiction.

Students will contrast biography and autobiography of Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, and Maya Angelou, comparing organization, stylistics, narrative strategy, and research. Books are at the UNM Bookstore; UNM’s e-reserve system has the on-line reader for printing and reading. David Dunaway has published biographies with McGraw Hill, Harper, and Bantam and will provide advice on publishing, agents, and editors.


445.001: History of the English Language

MWF 1400-1450
Nicholas Schwartz,


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


447.001: Introduction to Old English

TR 1400-1515
J. Davis-Secord,


Hwæt! In this class, we will return to the earliest recorded form of English and read some of the oldest literature ever written in the language. We will spend the first half of the semester learning the grammar of Old English while working through introductory passages in their original form. We will then move on to reading Old English prose and poems, including some of Beowulf! No prior knowledge of Old English required.


450.001: Middle English Heroes, Saints, and Lovers

TR 1100-1215
Anita Obermeier,


This course is an introductory sampling of medieval literature (and some art) produced in England and the immediate Continent between 1066 and 1500. We start this historical, linguistic, and literary enterprise with the Bayeux Tapestry—art with text—fighting alongside Anglo-Saxon warriors. Then we will pray with English saints, sleuth with historians, learn the art of courtly love from medieval knights and ladies, look at the nature of God with mystics, and watch biblical drama unfold. The original texts are in Latin, Anglo-Norman, and various dialects of Middle English, which we will study in modern English, in bilingual facing-page translations, and the easier ones in Middle English. The texts cover various secular and religious genres, including epic, debate, saints’ lives, fabliaulais, romance, drama, allegory, and lyrics. The goal of the course is to highlight the variety and range of texts of the Middle English period, and to place those writings in their cultural, linguistic, and historical contexts.


455.001: Seduction, Rape & Courtship in Fiction by Women

TR 930-1045
Carolyn Woodward,


In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the novels of women writers were best-sellers.  Overwhelmingly, these fictions construct coercive sexual relations.  Narratives of seduction, rape and courtship pointed up power dynamics in any relations of inequality and encouraged readers to think in general about the appropriate uses and locations of authority.  Some questions will be important for us: How did people in the eighteenth century understand “seduction”? “rape”? “courtship”?  What was “marriage,” and what were the responsibilities and rights of a married woman? -a married man?  How do these women writers represent sexual desire —in female characters?  —in male characters?  We will ground our study in feminist theory by Mary Astell (1700) and Mary Wollstonecraft (1792), and we will read these novels: Eliza Haywood’s Anti-Pamela and Miss Betsy Thoughtless, Charlotte Lennox’s The Female Quixote, Sarah Fielding’s The Countess of Dellwyn, Frances Burney’s Evelina, and Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.  Four discussion questions, five short papers, one research paper.


461.001: American Romanticism

TR 1400-1515
Kathryn Wichelns,


In this course we will read the authors associated with American Romanticism in the context of their tumultuous period, from the late 1820s to the outbreak of the Civil War. Long depicted as somewhat removed from the social upheavals of their time, each in fact deeply is marked by conflicts surrounding slavery, abolitionism, and women’s rights as well as Indian removal, war with Mexico, and other concrete examples of the belief that the United States had a “manifest destiny to overspread the continent.” Additionally, the influences of Transcendentalism, other anti-clerical movements, and the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening helped frame this era’s struggles with notions of citizenship, personhood, and authority. The so-called “Fireside Poets” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier and others) use romantic tropes and devices tactically, to present the idea of an inevitable cultural and ethical reckoning surrounding the question of slavery. James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe all differently reflect on shifting ideas about community in the context of rising abolitionism, Westward expansionism, and the first Industrial Revolution. Work by Margaret Fuller, Mary Prince, William Wells Brown, Victor Séjour, and others reveals the limitations of reading this period as invested in the construction of a cohesive American national literature, limited to U.S. national borders. In addition to regularly participation in class discussions, students will take a midterm examination and submit a final argumentative research essay of 10-12 pages in length.


488.001: American Lit, Film, and Culture: The Culture of the Cold War

MWF 1000-1050
Scarlett Higgins,


This course will cover literary and cultural texts of the period post-World War II through the 1990s. We will read across genres, including poetry, prose (fiction and non-fiction), drama, and film. We will also read extensively in significant and relevant literary and cultural theories. This course will contain a special emphasis on texts responding to the socio-political tensions that defined the post-World War II era.

The period covered by this course, commonly referred to as the Cold War, was a complex and anxious period, with strong connections to our contemporary era. The texts we will be analyzing can be seen to represent the major tensions of the time, as they were imagined and interpreted. These tensions include not only the name sake struggle between the American and Soviet social orders, but also tensions in race relations, gender relations, the “generation gap,” the sexual revolution, and tensions felt as the United States adjusted to its status as an economic and military superpower and an imperial presence after World War II. They can aid in our understanding of the beliefs and values that characterized American culture in the years between the end of World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Taken in their historical and cultural contexts, these texts help us understand how international tensions influenced, and were influenced by, the domestic front and thus how, for Americans of the time, the struggle between capitalism and communism was waged not only through military development and diplomacy, but also in everyday life.

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