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Course Descriptions | Fall 2023

This page provides course descriptions for Fall 2023. See the main UT Curriculum page for a list of all undergraduate courses on the books (not all are offered at any one time).

Undergraduate Courses

ENGL 306 | Shakespeare and Film

TR 2:30-3:45 | Robert Stillman

This class begins with questions. What can film contribute to an understanding of Shakespearean plays and what do Shakespearean films contribute to an understanding of the contemporary culture that produced them?   We will explore a variety of answers to such questions with a particular emphasis on Shakespeare as an entertainer—and the efforts of contemporary directors from Franco Zeffirelli (Taming of the Shrew) and Kenneth Branagh (Much Ado about Nothing) to John Madden (Shakespeare in Love), Baz Lurhmann (William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet), and Neil Coen (The Tragedy of Macbeth) to create Shakespearean films that  popularize his works in our own contemporary moment.  


Two exams and two papers.

ENGL 331 | The Prophetic Mode

Race and Ethnicity in American Literature

TR 2:30-3:45 | Robert Spirko

Popular discourse imagines prophets speaking of the future, but understood historically and theologically, real prophets speak truth to their present moment. The prophetic mode often begins in condemnation and ends in hope: the movement from dystopia to eutopia, or from oppression to liberation. This course will focus on the power of prophetic rhetoric, primarily in Black, Latin@ and Indigenous writers and how it contrasts with and augments lyrical and narrative approaches. We’ll trace thru lines from Phillis Wheatley to Frances E.W. Harper to Audre Lorde and Octavia Spencer; from Frederick Douglass to James Baldwin; from Zitkála-Šá to Joy Harjo and Gloria Anzaldúa. We’ll consider the uses of the prophetic mode to inspire, indict, and motivate in social and literary movements.


Assignments will include short papers on textual and contextual analyses, weekly response paragraphs, a video presentation for class, and a final paper.

ENGL 332 | Men, Marriage, Motherhood, and Myths

Women in American Literature

TR 11:20-12:35 | La Vinia Jennings

English 332 will examine the novels of American women in the twentieth century that treat diverse geographical regions, ethnicities, social classes, and cultures. Discussions will emphasize various institutions—patriarchy, marriage, family, and motherhood—and their impacts on female selfhood and identity.


Two research papers, frequent quizzes, limited absences, and consistent participation.

ENGL 333 | Black American Literature and Aesthetics

TR 9:45-11:00 | Dionte Harris

ENGL 336 | Caribbean Polyrhythms

Caribbean Literature

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Gichingiri Ndigirigi

ENGL 336 focuses on contemporary Anglophone Caribbean literature. Edouard Glissant, a prominent Caribbean literary critic, argued that what the Americas have in common is an irruption into modernity. Caribbean literature exemplifies this irruption particularly well through its deployment of anarchic aesthetics informed by the polyrhythms of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America. If prestigious literary prices are any indication of literary value, the Caribbean has produced two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature while a third won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature since 1990, all within the first fifty years after the publication of the first major novel from the region. In this course, we study the works of these prominent writers alongside a newer generation of writers who push the boundaries of modernism, speculative fiction, life writing, and Western genre conventions more broadly. We cover a variety of genres including the novel and its Bildungsroman variant, short story, drama, and some poetry. We pay attention to some of the most prevalent themes in the literature including displacement, migration and return, the search for identity, Atlantic modernity/modernization, and the Caribbean tourist imaginary. Discussion of Caribbean popular culture is integrated into the course to illuminate the ways Carnival, reggae, calypso, soca, and other festivals and popular genres animate the literature. By the end of the course, students should be able to competently analyze Caribbean texts using conventional literary tools—or explain aesthetic justifications for deviations from convention, comprehensively situate the texts in an emergent literary tradition, and explicate its larger contexts. Major authors include Kamau Brathwaite, Lamming, Lovelace, Naipaul, Kincaid, Walcott and Nalo Hopkinson.


Attendance and meaningful participation, four 500-word papers, a mid-term and a final exam

ENGL 339 | Fantasy to Cyberspace

Children’s Literature

Online Asynchronous | Amy Billone

In this class we will watch the young adult as it floats from innocence to experience and back again in various genres from literature to video games to other forms of media today. We will study fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan, Narnia, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games and a number of other works of interest to college students today.


Written posts, video replies, final exam, final project (analytical or creative).

ENGL 342 | Medicine and Literature

MW 10:20-11:10, F Online Asynchronous | Stan Garner

This course examines literary representations of illness, medical care, and biotechnology through the study of fiction, drama, poetry, essays, nonfiction and film. It poses the following questions: How have writers represented and given meaning to illness and health? How are these states and experiences invested with social meanings, and in what ways are acts of medical diagnosis and treatment shapes by cultural and political factors? How has literature clarified the stakes of biomedical ethical debates? How do our understandings of the individual and its place in the world change when we pay attention to the body’s biological vulnerabilities and the historical, cultural, and political fields that shape medical knowledge and practice? In short, the course will explore the opportunities for understanding and creativity that illness opens up during the current pandemic and throughout history. Available for Honors-by-contract.


Attendance, two papers, weekly worksheets on asynchronous Spotlight modules, online midterm and final exam

ENGL 345 | Graphic Novels and Comics

TR 12:55-2:10 | Mary Papke

What is this artifact called the graphic novel? While most of us know comics, few of us have studied this new art form of the literary graphic novel. We will do so in this course, focusing in particular on groundbreaking works from the 1980’s and 90’s and then moving on to much more recent award-winning fictional and auto-fictional narratives. The majority of the texts under study address issues of gender, sexual identity, class, race, and disability as well as overarching themes of maturation, morality, and mortality. Please be aware that these novels are “graphic” in every sense of the word.


Attendance, participation in class discussion, informal writing exercises, critical analyses.

ENGL 351 | The Short Story

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Doug McKinstry

The Short Story will feature some of the world’s best short stories, but may include preceding forms such as myths, fables, parables, fairy- and folktales. Short stories will represent five or six continents, numerous countries, and some of the earliest (e.g., de Maupassant, Chekhov, Gogol, Poe), later (e.g., Joyce, Woolf, Mansfield, Hemingway, Faulkner, Borges, Mann), and contemporary (e.g., Oates, Erdrich, Walker, Tan, Gautreaux, Dantikat, Achebe, ) masters of the genre. Daily activities will include lecture, large-group discussion, small-group interaction, in-class writing in response to open-ended and focused prompts. This course is perfect for lovers of good writing and for new or experienced fiction writers because the required readings will offer immense entertainment value, will encourage incisive and penetrating analysis, and may inspire students to undertake or increase their own fiction-writing.


Attendance, two papers, quizzes, tests, a journal, a vocal/visual presentation.

ENGL 355 | Rhetoric of Communities and Cultures

Rhetoric and Writing

TR 9:45-11:00, 11:20-12:35 | Robin Nicks

This course serves as an introduction to the rhetoric and writing concentration of the undergraduate major in English and covers both theory and practice, focusing on multiple modes and genres of writing. Students will learn rhetorical theory, discourse analysis, and social movement theory, among other theories and genres, applying these to analyze and produce rhetoric by and about communities/cultures of which they are members.


Three papers, reflections, homework, in-class writings.

ENGL 355 | 357H | Rhetoric Beyond Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

Rhetoric and Writing

M Online Asynchronous, WF 10:20-11:10 | Jeff Ringer

This course seeks to extend and deepen your understanding of rhetoric by exploring contemporary theories of rhetoric and how they relate to writing. We’ll move beyond (but not ignore) appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos to think about how writing works on readers—to move and persuade audiences, but also to foster identification, constitute social realities, and celebrate shared values, among others. In doing so, we’ll zero in on the critical role that values, beliefs, and assumptions play in any form of rhetorical action, written or otherwise. Major projects will ask you to analyze published writing from various critical perspectives, produce a variety of genres for rhetorical ends—maybe even stories!—and then use the terms and rhetorical concepts we learned to analyze your own rhetorical productions.


Weekly reading and discussion boards, three major projects, in-class attendance, active asynchronous and in-person participation.

Honors: Weekly reading and discussion boards, three major projects, in-class attendance, active asynchronous and in-person participation, additional and/or more in-depth assignments worthy of an honors designation.

ENGL 360 | Technical and Professional Writing

Online Asynchronous | Sally Harris

In this fully online, asynchronous class, students develop rhetorical strategies for clear communications and for working in teams. They also hone critical thinking skills by analyzing the content, channels, genres, and audiences of their communications. Students complete seven projects, including genres such as process descriptions, application materials, proposals, and major reports. Additionally, they work in teams strengthening their online collaboration and document creation skills.


Quizzes; discussion posts; peer reviews; six or seven technical writing documents such as process descriptions, instructions, reports, and proposals.

ENGL 360 | Digital Security, AI, and Nuclear Conflict

Technical and Professional Writing

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Anne Snellen

Several hacks have occurred throughout the 12 Colonies. Though there is no proof, the Colonial Fleet worry these hacks may precipitate a larger event and ask, “have we adequately prepared for a full-scale Cylon attack?” To prepare, we must create appropriate technical documentation to guide the crew through the crisis. These documents might consist of memos, PSAs, instructions, manuals, proposals, descriptions, definitions, illustrations, and videos to disseminate information to the community. To aid in our research, we will study Battlestar Galactica as well as primary sources from Hersey’s Hiroshima, Terkel’s The Good War, and the Atomic Archive.

Prerequisite: Junior standing in student’s major or consent of instructor.


Documents might consist of memos, PSAs, instructions, manuals, proposals, descriptions, definitions, illustrations, and videos.

ENGL 360 | Technical and Professional Writing

TR 8:10-9:25 | Jamal-Jared Alexander

Students are introduced to inclusive workplace writing, transitioning from writing for academic audiences to communicating with workplace audiences. Throughout ENGL 360, students will design and design professional documents, synthesize and evaluate arguments on technology and society, and collaborate in teams to present technical information.


Attendance and major assignments.

ENGL 363 | Intermediate Poetry Workshop

Writing Poetry

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Erin Smith

ENGL 363 is a three (3) credit course designed to help you learn more about writing poetry, including working in free verse and poetic form, revising your work, and preparing your work for submission to literary journals.


Class participation, presentation, weekly assignments, and final portfolio

ENGL 363 | Writing Poetry

TR 11:20-12:35 | Iliana Rocha

This course provides a focused instruction to the joys and insights of poetry through an attentiveness to craft (tone, persona, voice, literal and figurative imagery, diction, poetic forms, style, symbolism, myth and archetype, allusion, sound). Specific aims of English 363 are, primarily, to increase the ways we can all become more curious and engaged readers of poetry; to inspire confidence as writers thinking through the work of both established poets and that of our peers; and to provide us with the vocabulary to respond critically to literary texts, as well as to our own poems. In exploring how contemporary poets are in conversation with voices from the past, we will learn that poetry, too, can be an instinctive and necessary response to the world.


Class presentations, discussion board posts, final portfolio.

ENGL 364 | Writing Fiction

TR 2:30–3:45 | Destiny Birdsong


ENGL 364 | Writing Fiction

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Sarah Harshbarger


ENGL 365 | Writing the Screenplay

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Emily Moeck

In this class we will examine and practice the art of screenwriting. We will interrogate story and cinematic structure—through reading full-length scripts and watching the films produced from those scripts—in an attempt to understand what makes screenwriting different from other creative writings, and, more generally, what makes film different from other narrative arts. Through this work, and the practice and analysis of our own writings, we will consider character development, tension, dramatic action, visual storytelling, and other craft and narrative techniques and concerns. By the end of the semester, you should have a foundational understanding of what makes a high quality screenplay, the craft choices screenwriters use in creating stories for film, and the developed the materials to complete a feature-length screenplay of your own.


Creative Drafts, Reading Responses, Attendance, Participation, Peer Feedback, Final Portfolio.

ENGL 365 | Writing the Screenplay

TR 4:05-5:20 | Margaret Dean

Before they are edited, performed, or photographed, films are written. Screenplays create the earliest versions of the characters, stories, and themes that will become iconic—the first step of a collaborative art form. In order to gain an understanding of screenplay structure and form, we will read screenplays by Bong Joon-ho, the Coen brothers, Pete Docter, Greta Gerwig, Spike Jonze, Jordan Peele, Taika Waititi, Billy Wilder, Chloe Zhao, and many others. Previous coursework in creative writing and/or film is encouraged but not required.


Attendance, weekly script coverage, a variety of exercises, a treatment for a feature film with sample scenes.

ENGL 369 | Writing Creative Nonfiction

TR 12:55-2:10 | Margaret Dean

The term “creative nonfiction” refers to essays that are grounded in fact but use tactics of creative writing to achieve their purposes. These creative tactics can include description, scenes, dialogue, and most importantly, a strong sense of voice. Units will include the history of creative nonfiction as a genre and the ethics of truth and lies in creative nonfiction. Texts will be available online and may include essays by Eula Biss, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Joan Didion, Leslie Jamison, Naomi Shihab Nye, Hunter S. Thompson, Jesmyn Ward, and emerging writers published during the course of the semester.


Attendance, weekly reading responses, multiple short exercises, peer reviews, and two full-length essays.

ENGL 371 | Foundations of the English Language

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Hooman Saeli

English/Linguistics 371 traces the 1200-year history of the English language, from its beginnings as a West Germanic dialect spoken on an island in Europe to its rise as a global lingua franca in the 21st-century. We will uncover the dramatic shifts that have rendered the language’s earliest forms completely unintelligible to modern speakers and along the way, we’ll explore many fascinating questions: Where did the “v” come from in knife/knives? When was double negation (e.g. don’t nobody want…) the rule? We will especially focus on how the history of English is a social one, and how English’s status as an ever-changing language shapes the way we know and use it today.


Attendance, two papers, two exams, three presentations, eight homework assignments.

ENGL 376 | Colloquium in Literature

MWF 11:30-12:20 | Martin Griffin

We often believe we are comfortably familiar with the principal categories and genres of literature—fiction, poetry, and drama—but sometimes it can be worth revisiting the basics. In this class, we will take a broad perspective, looking at the main genres and asking the key questions that surround the identification, reading, and critical analysis of literature. A novel or two, a couple of short stories, poetry (of various types), and one older and one modern/contemporary play will be on the menu, as well as a series of short critical and theoretical texts.


Two short papers, an in-class mid-term, potentially one small presentation, a final in-class exam.

ENGL 398 | Horses in Literature and Culture

TR 12:55-2:10 | Nancy Henry

Horses have been essential to the development of human civilization across the globe. Until the Industrial Revolution horse power was the primary source of energy for building cities and roads. Horses were essential to agriculture, warfare and colonial expansion. They also played a role in sporting and leisure activities (foxhunting, horseracing). This course will look at how horses are represented in literature, visual art and film from the eighteenth century to the present. We will read classic works such as Jonathan Swifts’ Gulliver’s Travels (1726) and Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty (1877), view films such as Clarence Brown’s National Velvet (1944) and recent literature such as Geraldine Brooks’ Horse (2022). These works offer an opportunity to think about the history of literature and the contemporary scholarly field of Animal Studies as they intersect with questions of race, economics, breeding, class and more.


Attendance, class participation, weekly discussion posts, student presentations, and a substantial research paper.

ENGL 402 | Chaucer, Women, and Medieval Culture


MW 1:50- 2:40, F Online Synchronous | Mary Dzon

Chaucer’s world was dominated by the Church, but it was also one in which lay people were becoming more influential in cultural spheres, and where women’s roles in the fashioning of literary culture were becoming more pronounced. This course will focus on the ways in which Chaucer built upon both secular and religious literary traditions using his native English language, and often gave special place to female characters in his writings. Most of our time will be spent on The Canterbury Tales, but we will also sample some of his other writings, such as The Book of the Duchess and his Legend of Good Women. One of the questions we will consider is how idealized images of female saints and martyrs, popular at the time, and also literary goddesses, influenced Chaucer’s writings.


Attendance, short essay, midterm exam, and quizzes.

ENGL 404 | Shakespeare I: Early Plays

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Anthony Welch

This survey of Shakespeare’s early plays explores the first half of his career, culminating in Hamlet. We will read six plays, including romantic comedies (such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream), histories (such as Henry V), and early tragedies (such as Titus Andronicus). Together we will trace Shakespeare’s evolution as a playwright over the first decade of his professional life. Along the way, you can expect to work closely with Shakespeare’s dramatic language, learn about Elizabethan acting and stagecraft, and get acquainted with the social world of early modern England. We will also sample a range of modern critical approaches to Shakespeare’s work—from formalist studies to psychoanalysis and gender criticism—and we will glance at the plays’ rich performance history, both on the stage and on film.


Active participation, brief weekly reading responses, two critical essays, and one exam.

ENGL 405 | Experiencing Shakespeare

Shakespeare II: Later Plays

TR 11:20-12:35 | Robert Stillman

Experiencing Shakespeare works best when you study the best of Shakespeare: this class focuses on his late comedies (Measure for Measure), the great tragedies (Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth), and the tragicomedies (The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest).


Attendance, two papers, and two exams.

ENGL 420 | The 19th Century British Novel

TR 11:20-12:35 | Nancy Henry

Realism sounds like a straightforward description of a literary style, but in fact realism as it developed in the nineteenth century encompassed a variety of narrative modes including the sensational, sentimental, gothic and melodramatic. This class focuses on the history of the nineteenth-century British novel with particular attention to the emergence and predominance of realism in the Victorian period (1837-1901). We will trace the strategies used by nineteenth-century novelists such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot (Marian Evans), and Anna Sewell to represent the past and present British world to their readers. Examining the moral, social, economic and political critiques that became central to the novel form, we will also consider the history of literary critical approaches to interpreting these novels


Attendance, discussion posts, mid-term and final examinations, close reading and research papers.

ENGL 421 | Modern British Novel

MWF 11:30-12:20 | Urmila Seshagiri

This course will introduce students to the radical, controversial, and beautiful fiction that came out of the modernist movement in Great Britain. Focusing on modernist representations of time, space, and consciousness, we will examine the relationships between social change and artistic experimentation in the early 20th century. We’ll also explore various cultural discourses circulating in Britain between the turn of the century and the 1930s: aesthetics, psychology, industrialization, mass culture, the decline of the British Empire, debates about gender, and, perhaps most crucially, the trauma of the Great War. We’ll investigate the modern era’s promises and anxieties not only through experimental novels and short stories by Conrad, Mansfield, Woolf, Lawrence, Joyce, Forster, Bowen, and Greene, but also through artwork from the women’s suffrage campaign, manifestoes by Imagists, Vorticists, and Futurists, contemporary film adaptations of literary texts, and documentaries about art and history.


Attendance, two papers, journals, group presentations, and midterm.

ENGL 425 | Black Feminist Theory

TR 9:45-11:00 | Danielle Procope-Bell

What is Black feminist theory? This course answers this question by introducing students to a wide range of critical works within the field by authors such as Anna Julia Cooper, bell hooks, and Toni Morrison. We will cover topics such as misogynoir, intersectionality, and respectability politics. Students will also have the option to attend related university events and take part in a service-learning opportunity. At the end of the semester, students will complete a creative project reflecting an area of the course they found most engaging.

ENGL 436 | Modern American Novel

TR 2:30-3:45 | La Vinia Jennings

English 436 provides a critical introduction to prominent, twentieth-century, American novels written between 1920 and 1980 and their defining socio-political themes and stylistic elements. The class will identify, compare and contrast the driving political, historical, cultural, and aesthetic forces at work in and between these selected works. Reading List: The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway), Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston), The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck); Native Son (Richard Wright); and Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison).


Two research papers, frequent quizzes, limited absences, and consistent participation.

ENGL 439 | Race and Ethnicity in American Cinema

W 2:15-4:20, TR 2:30-3:45 | Dionte Harris


ENGL 443 | Topics in Black Literature

TR 11:20-12:35 | Danielle Procope-Bell

What can we learn from early Black women writers? How did nineteenth century Black women understand questions of gender, labor, and empire? This course explores these questions and others by analyzing major works of fiction and non-fiction by African American women writers from the Civil War through the Harlem Renaissance. Students will be introduced to important literary figures such as Frances E. Watkins Harper, Pauline Hopkins, and Anna Julia Cooper and examine how these authors, among others, transcend hackneyed depictions of nineteenth century literature and culture and in fact anticipate contemporary discourses regarding subjects such as gender, race, and labor.

ENGL 454 | Somewhere, Nowhere, Everywhere: International Modernism and its Legacies

20th Century International Novel

9:45-11:00 TR | Lisi Schoenbach

In this class, we will consider a diverse group of twentieth-century authors and international locations. We will consider how and why questions of national identity, home and exile, center and periphery, movement and migration, exoticism and regionalism figure so prominently in the literary innovations and historical moments referred to as “modernist.” We will also consider how contemporary novels respond to these questions, and to their modernist precursors, and how they incorporate the figures of the expatriate, exile, traveler, tourist, refugee, wanderer, nomad, conqueror, and flaneur. We will also examine more local forms of movement, as we follow our authors in tracing the walking routes of their characters through urban, rural, and sometimes imaginary spaces.


Short response papers, two five-page papers, final exam, class participation

ENGL 459 | Contemporary Poetry: The Politics of Form

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Ben Lee

This course surveys English-language poetry from the second half of the twentieth century and the first two decades of the twenty-first. We’ll discuss poets known for their originality and cultural impact, the historical pressures to which they responded, and the literary-historical assumptions that have shaped the reception of their work. Key terms orienting our discussions include modernism, postmodernism, confessionalism, colonialism, and open form. We’ll pay close attention to the political gestures contemporary poets have made through their formal choices, and we’ll ask ourselves how contemporary poetry has been shaped by and responded to globalization. Is all poetry global now, or are local/national landscapes and poetic identities just as prevalent as ever?


Regular attendance, two short essays, a final essay, a recitation/presentation, and a final exam.

ENGL 462 | Digital Publication in an AI Landscape

Writing for Publication

MW 9:10-10:00, F Online Asynchronous | Sean Morey

This course will explore digital forms of publication that go beyond traditional print formats. In particular, this class will research and examine how AI is changing, or could change, the publishing landscape. We will consider how to research, write, and edit for AI platforms, including the professional, legal, and ethical implications for incorporating AI into publishing. While we will focus on emerging formats such as AI, we will also incorporate a few traditional genres such as proposals and abstracts.


One proposal, one paper, one multimodal project, discussion posts, and attendance; contract grading will be used for assessment.

ENGL 463 | Advanced Poetry Writing

R 5:10-8:00 | Cornelius Eady

Poetry is not a museum piece; it is a living, breathing and changeable art form, written by living, breathing and changeable human beings, and in this poetry workshop students will be able to not only walk their way through the various ways we make a poem, they will also be able to have first-hand knowledge with working poets to see the ways those rules are used (and broken) You will be doing three main things here: 1) writing and revising your own work (including exercises), 2) Doing close reading of the poems assigned. 3) Interviewing visiting poets. The final in this workshop will be a chapbook of 10-12 of your best poems written and revised over the semester, with a short introduction (2 pg. min.) written in the third person by the author, due the last day of class. Come with a sense of play and adventure.


Attendance, prompts, workshopping, interview questions of our Zoom guests, and a final 10-12 page chapbook w/intro.

ENGL 464 | Advanced Fiction Writing

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Chris Hebert

This class is for students with experience in fiction writing who are looking to deepen and sharpen their critical abilities and writing skills. Throughout the semester—through a combination of readings and workshops—we will be revisiting and reinforcing the core elements of fiction, such as concrete detail, character, conflict, plot, and scene. But we will move beyond them as well, exploring new techniques and new complexities, seeking to broaden our understanding of how fiction works and what it can do. Students should expect to put significant time and effort into their own and their classmates’ work.


Students should be prepared to write and workshop two different works of fiction and complete one substantial revision, along with occasional exercises. There will also be regular assigned readings of stories and essays on writing craft. Attendance and participation will be required.

ENGL 466 | Document Design & Graphics

Writing, Layout, and Production of Technical Documents

TR 9:45-11:00 | Jamal-Jared Alexander

This course covers design principles, color theory, typography, and graphics. Students learn to analyze and improve the design of existing documents, as well as to design new documents to meet stakeholders’ needs.


Attendance, major assignments, service learning with community partner.

ENGL 471 | Sociolinguistics

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Rima Elabdali


ENGL 477 | Pedagogical Grammar for ESL Teachers

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Rima Elabdali


ENGL 480 | Fairy Tales

Fairy Tale, Legend, and Myth: Folk Narrative

Online Asynchronous | Amy Billone

What makes fairy tales popular today? In this class we will study the evolution of popular fairy tales from Greek mythology to the Arabian Nights through versions of stories by Basile, Straparola, Perrault, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. We will simultaneously trace the cinematic and televised adaptation of these stories by Disney and other major media outlets.


Written discussion posts, video replies, final exam, final project (analytical or creative).

ENGL 482 | Flannery O’Connor and Muriel Spark

Major Authors

TR 2:30-3:45 | Tom Haddox

This course will focus on the fiction and nonfiction of two major writers from the second half of the twentieth century: Flannery O’Connor, of Savannah and Milledgeville, Georgia; and Muriel Spark, of Edinburgh, Scotland. These two women are shockingly funny, occasionally terrifying, masters of the short story and the short novel, and full of surprising wisdom about (among other things) education, religious belief, illness and disability, the craft of writing, cults of personality, and the psychology of crime. What else do they have in common, and what else will you find? Take the course and see. Their work is unforgettable.


Attendance, two papers, occasional quizzes and short writing exercises, active class participation, one final exam.

ENGL 493 | Careers for English Majors

Online (1st Session) | Daniel Wallace

English majors bring strong writing, analytic, and communication skills to today’s job market. But translating what they studied in the English classroom into the language of careers and employment can be a tricky task. 

This fully-online, asynchronous 1-credit class will help students understand how to approach jobs in diverse fields, market their skills through compelling application materials, and learn how to take the initiative in their job-seeking and career development. The interactive course will include opportunities for feedback, questions, and discussion. At the end of the course, students will have prepared various materials for the job market (resume, job letters, narratives).

ENGL 494 | Cultural Rhetorics

MW 11:30-12:20, F Online Asynchronous | Lisa King

This course endeavors to think of rhetorics – all rhetorics – as culturally situated. In this class, we will be reading about and examining rhetorics of race, ethnicity, cultures, gender, sexuality, class, abilities, etc. to understand rhetoric’s relationship to these constructions and how they intersect and relate to one another. We will explore categories of writing, texts, digital rhetorics, performance, popular culture, material rhetorics, visual rhetorics, and more. Our reading will cast a broad net, and provide you with opportunities to both expand rhetorical and cultural knowledge and dig into a rhetorical phenomenon of your choice for further research.

Required Texts and Materials:

  • Burgett’s Keywords for American Cultural Studies, 2nd edition, ISBN 978-0-8147-0801-9
  • Access to a computer, the internet, and Canvas to access posted course materials


Class discussion, reading, regular discussion posts, three written projects (two with presentation components), and a final portfolio.

Graduate Courses

ENGL 551 | Readings in American Literature

TR 9:45-11:00 | Mary Papke

This is an intensive reading course focusing on American literary production from, roughly, the post-Civil War period to the start of World War I, from the last gasps of sentimental literature through the emergence and explosion of regionalist, realist, and naturalist literature. We will survey numerous forms of literary production in multiple genres and with particular attention to inclusion of ethnic, minority, and women writers; different types of critical categorization; and the history of canonization. Our survey will cover the majority of authors cited on the reading lists for the M.A. and the Ph.D. American Literature, 1830-1914 examinations for the time period under study.


Attendance, participation in class discussion, three take-home essay examinations.

ENGL 575 | Issues in Second/Foreign Language Rhetoric and Composition

T 5:10-8:00 | Tanita Saenkhum

Teaching Second Language Writing introduces students to issues and strategies in the teaching of second language writing in different contexts. We will explore various instructional contexts and the characteristics of different groups of second language students and their writing. We will also consider various instructional practices and strategies, including course and assignment designs, reading-writing connection, teacher and peer response, grammar instruction, error treatment, classroom assessment, plagiarism and textual borrowing, text selection and material development, and online writing instruction. One of the major goals of the course is to develop students’ understanding of the nature of second language writing as well as various issues and concerns when working with second language writers.


Weekly assignments (e.g., teaching context description, syllabus analysis & design, genre analysis, writing prompt, assessment rubric, peer response task, position statement on error correction), teaching philosophy, electronic-teaching portfolio (final drafts of weekly assignments), and attendance & participation

ENGL 580 | Fiction Writing

W 5:10-8:00 | Chris Hebert

This graduate-level course is for serious, advanced fiction writers. The course will revolve around the workshopping of student fiction, but our focus will include the study of writing craft and the discussion of published fiction (typically by contemporary authors). In addition to writing two original, full-length stories or novel excerpts, students should expect to produce and present a craft inquiry connected to a creative project. Active participation is required of all class members, both through workshop discussions and through written critiques of classmates’ work.


By permission of instructor only.

ENGL 581 | The Prose Poem and Other Hybrid Forms

Colloquium in Poetry

T 5:10-8:00 | Iliana Rocha

Beckian Fritz Goldberg writes, “[T]he prose poem, too, is not a ‘blend’ of both [prose and poetry], some sort of ‘compromise,’ but an independent creature. Each involves a different way of thinking about time and space.” This course, Colloquium in Poetry Writing: The Prose Poem and Other Hybrid Forms, provides a focused instruction on such unidentifiable “creatures,” difficult to classify in terms of genre. Exploring texts that combine strategies, forms, and gestures of prose (fiction, nonfiction, memoir, etc.) with those of poetry like Goldberg’s Egypt from Space, Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, Victoria Chang’s OBIT, Rigoberto González’s Autobiography of My Hungers, among others, will generate discussion of the literary usefulness (or lack of it) of naming and categorizing genre and form. Lines of demarcation between this and that can be arbitrarily limiting. Students will compose in such interstices, pushing the boundaries of what a poem is and does.


Class leadership, workshop poems, final chapbook.

ENGL 585 | Issues in Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics

MW 2:30-3:45 | Lisa King

As a survey of contemporary research in rhetoric, writing, and linguistics, this course will provide a broad foundation for studies in rhetoric, composition, and language as well as an overview of recent research and hot topics in these fields. The course will provide students with opportunities to do some exploratory work in areas such as classical rhetorics, various composition pedagogies, archival work, feminist rhetorics, critical pedagogy, genre theory, cultural rhetorics, visual and material rhetorics, technology in rhetoric/composition, and more.

Required Texts:

  • Composition, Rhetoric, and Disciplinarity. Rita Malenczyk, Susan Miller-Cochran, Elizabeth Wardle, Kathleen Blake Yancey, eds. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press: 2018.
  • Other readings will be pdfs provided by the instructor (articles and book chapters), or articles accessible through the library databases.


Required work for the course will include readings, participation in class discussion, discussion posts, a book review, research presentation, and seminar paper based on the presentation.

ENGL 590 | Critical Race Theory

Special Topics in Critical Theory

TR 11:20-12:35 | Katy Chiles

This course will survey the exciting subfield of critical theory that has come to be known as critical race theory. We will read some of the important, foundational work in critical race studies, and then we will focus on critical race scholarship from a number of different fields. Thus, the course will both introduce students to critical race theory broadly and demonstrate how this approach has contributed to the students’ own fields of interest. The course will also introduce students to the number of fantastic courses and scholars working in Critical Race Theory at UTK. Requirements include active participation, a presentation, informal writing assignments, and a formal paper.

This course can count toward the Social Theory Graduate Certificate and the Africana Studies Graduate Certificate.


Requirements include active participation, a presentation, informal writing assignments, and a formal paper.

ENGL 590 | Disability Studies and Literature

Special Topics in Critical Theory

TR 2:30-3:45 | Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud

This course explores the politics and aesthetics of physical, psychological, and cognitive disabilities through theoretical texts and select literary representations. Exploring key ideas in the field of disability studies, we will address topics such as normalization and biopolitics, ableism and compulsory able-bodiedness, medical and social-construction models of disability, technological and social accommodation, as well as intersections between disability and other kinds of difference such as race, gender, and sexuality.


Attendance, weekly reading responses, presentation, and seminar paper

ENGL 620 | Literature, the Laity and Spirituality in Late-Medieval England

Studies in Medieval Literature

MW 11:20-12:35 | Mary Dzon

In this course, we will explore Middle English literature that engages in vernacular theology, sampling a range of authors, including Richard Rolle, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Capgrave. We will also cover several anonymous authors from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, such as writers of Middle English lyrics, treatises in verse, and imaginative accounts of the otherworld. As background, we will read and discuss a few medieval works available in translation (for example, the prayers and meditations of St. Anselm). In addition, to sharpen our skills in close reading we will translate together in class several selections in Middle English that are relatively accessible to modern readers. Areas of focus will include the depiction of saints and sinners, the treatment of mercy and punishment, the risks and advantages of being a layperson or a vowed religious, and the range of feelings and behaviors that comprise what is commonly known as “affective piety.” (No previous background in medieval literature and language is required or presumed.)


Class participation, weekly discussion board posts, a few informal presentations, an annotated bibliography, and a term paper.

ENGL 670 | Metamodernism: Modernism’s Afterlives

Studies in 20th Century Literature

TR 12:55-2:10 | Lisi Schoenbach

This course explores the ongoing conversation between contemporary novelists and modernist precursors. We will consider the many legacies of modernism, from its stylistic innovations to its thematic preoccupations to its experiments with form, genre, and style. The reading list will offer pairings of modernist texts and contemporary responses. We will conclude the semester by considering future directions for both the novel and for our understanding of modernism. Reading list may include works by Andre Breton, Gertrude Stein, Teju Cole, Monique Truong, Elena Ferrante, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Marcel Proust, Jeanette Winterson, Toni Morrison, Tom McCarthy, George Saunders, Nicholson Baker, Helen Dewitt, and China Mieville.


Active participation, response papers, a review essay, and a final pape

ENGL 682 | Conducting Empirical-Qualitative Research in Writing Studies

F 12:40-1:30 | Jeff Ringer

Rhetorician Bob Broad defines empirical-qualitative research as research that investigates systematically the words that real, live human beings use to describe their experiences, beliefs, practices, perspectives, and values. Following Broad’s definition, in this course we’ll explore a related set of empirical-qualitative research methodologies that pertain to the teaching and learning of writing. Methodologies may include phenomenological interviewing (Seidman), portraiture (Juzwik & McKenzie), the discourse-based interview (Dilger & Baird), various case study methodologies, and grounded theory (Broad). Readings will include those that define the methods and methodologies themselves, as well as examples of writing studies scholarship that employs those methods. Attention will be paid to theoretical frameworks, to coding qualitative data, to research ethics, to navigating the IRB, and to hands-on application of the methods explored.


Weekly reading and discussion boards, mini-projects, an IRB proposal, seminar project or project proposal, in-class attendance, participation

ENGL 688 | Drama, Theatre, and Performance

Studies in Literary Criticism

MW 12:55–2:10 | Stan Garner

This course examines the intersecting fields of drama, theater, and performance theory, with special focus on developments within these fields during the last thirty years. After preliminary consideration of Plato, Aristotle, Bertolt Brecht, and Antonin Artaud, we will spend the rest of the semester considering current approaches and methodologies specific to the study of drama, theatre, and performance inside and outside the theatre. Topics will include: political theater; performance studies; gender and sexuality studies; disability studies; postcolonial and critical race theory; intercultural theater, cognitive approaches to performance, theater and new media. A core of required texts will be supplemented by readings available electronically. Although this course will prove particularly useful for students with primary or secondary interests in drama (of any period), it is also designed for students in other areas who are interested in exploring a variety of theoretical approaches to specific issues, texts, and mediums.


Seminar paper (12-15 pages), two presentations, regular attendance and participation.