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Course Descriptions | Fall 2024

This page provides course descriptions for the current semester or the next. See the main UT Curriculum page for a list of all undergraduate courses on the books (not all are offered at any one time). See this page for our English 102 Inquiry Topics. See here for course descriptions of past semesters, undergraduate, and graduate.

Courses that satisfy VolCore requirements are identified in this way:

AH – Arts and Humanities
AAH – Applied Arts and Humanities
EI – Engaged Inquiries
GCI – Global Challenges – International
GCUS – Global Challenges – US
WC – Written Communication

Undergraduate Courses

ENGL 301 | Premodern Beasts (AH) (GCI)

British Culture to 1660

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Mary Dzon

This course will explore some famous as well as more marginal literary works from the medieval and early modern periods, with the focus given to humans and nonhumans or hybrids. Most of the texts we will consider were written in Britain, though some originated in Europe and were influential in England. The theme of premodern beasts/animals will enable us to sample a variety of genres and to explore issues such as personal identity, nature, the human body, gender, society and the environment.


Two Exams, short responses, presentation

ENGL 303 | Witch Trials, Warfare, and Utopia (AH)

American Cultures

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Marie Taylor

This course will focus primarily on texts associated with the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. In the first half of the class, we will examine the literary production leading up to the witch trials focusing extensively on the role that colonization, religion, gender, magic, medicine, and race played in setting the stage for the trials. In the middle of the course, we will analyze the trial transcripts, letters, sermons, and other documents associated with the trials themselves. In the last part of the class, we will explore the literary aftermath of the trials and discuss the continued repercussions of the trials today. Along with the trial transcripts, we will also read: excerpts from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), Thomas Harriot’s A Brief and True Report (1588), excerpts from John Smith’s The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles (1620), Indigenous Treaties, medical treatises, birth narratives, indentured servant petitions, sermons, and scientific treatises, as well as some poems, short stories, and plays.

The aim of this course is twofold. First, it helps us understand the 17th century colonial mindset out of which the trials developed and second, it helps us practice using literary methods to read and interpret texts that are not traditionally considered literary such as maps, sermons, court records, medical treatises, letters, journals, and local histories.


Participation, short response papers, a group presentation, and a final project.

ENGL 306 | Shakespeare and Film

TR 12:55-2:10 | 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 culture that produced them? Hamlet may well be right to insist that “the play’s the thing,” and yet the sheer number, variety, and popularity of films that mark themselves as “Shakespearean” have challenged critical understandings about what that “thing” might be, about how it is best represented, and about who that Shakespeare is for the directors adapting his plays into film. This course explores a variety of answers to such questions with double intent: both to consider the interpretation of Shakespeare’s plays across several genres and to call attention to a variety of remarkable modern and postmodern films that make their own claims to aesthetic achievement.


Attendance, two papers, two exams, and quizzes.

ENGL 311 | Race in Horror, Sci-Fi, and Thriller

TR 12:55-2:10 | DeLisa Gore

This course engages with a variety cultural material, including literature, films, television series, and music to consider how horror, sci-fi, and thriller challenge and explore the social construction of race and its societal impacts. Students will critically examine materials from the early-twentieth century to the present related to contexts such as enslavement, scientific racism, and legal injustice with attention to how these and related topics appear in horror, sci-fi, and thriller.


Attendance, two papers, quizzes, and final exam.

ENGL 321 | Introduction to Old English (GCI)

TR 12:55-2:10 | Roy Liuzza

An introduction to the language, literature and culture of early Medieval England (roughly 500-1100 AD). This course will give you a reading knowledge of Old English, the ancestor of the language we speak today. In the first half of the class we will concentrate on the structure and vocabulary of Old English. After a midterm exam consisting of translation and grammatical questions, we will have more time to spend on outside reading and critical analysis. Our texts will include prose and poetry; most of them wrestle, in one way or another, with the problems of English in relation to Latin, origins and cultural identity, and the interweaving of Christian and secular cultures.


Quizzes, midterm exam, final exam, research project.

ENGL 332 | Men, Marriage, Motherhood, and Myths (AH) (GCUS)

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 332 | Women in American Literature (AH) (GCUS)

MWF 11:30-12:20 | Erin Smith

In this course, you will gain a greater breadth of knowledge on the history of womanhood in America through the literature they produced. From the “damned mob of scribbling women” in the 1850’s to the strong political presence of women and femme writers in contemporary America, these works will attempt to represent the changing notions of femininity in this country and the way that not only gender, but race, class, region, and sexuality form new models of woman.


One paper, one group project, one final project.

ENGL 333 | Black Genders & Sexualities (AH) (GCUS)

Black American Literature and Aesthetics

TR 9:45-11:00 | Dionte Harris

This course deepens students’ knowledge of the rich tradition of African-American literature, with a particular focus on queer, trans, and women writers. Focusing on 20th and 21st African American artistic expression—literature, film, music, visual art—we will consider how the writers and artists studied employ race, gender, and sexuality as a medium for social critique and artistic innovation in the Black social imaginary.


Active attendance, quizzes, reading responses, short presentation, two papers.

ENGL 334 | Film and American Culture (GCUS)

MW 10:20-12:20 | Eleni Palis

This course considers American film as works of art, as historical documents, and as powerful forms of cultural expression. Students will explore American film history, especially the consolidation of and aesthetic norms solidified by “classical Hollywood cinema.” Along the way, we will study American cinema through a variety of lenses, including formalism, genre theory, auteur theory, and with attention to gender, race, class, and sexuality. As we move across time and across the country, students will explore the relationship between American cinema and the historical, cultural, and political contexts that have shaped American movies.


Course grades will be determined by regular attendance and participation, weekly quizzes, two analytical papers, and two exams.

ENGL 335 | The Traveling African (GCI)

African Literature

TR 11:20-12:35 | Gichingiri Ndigirigi

The founding texts of modern African literature were preoccupied with interrogating European misrepresentations of the continent and its people. A new generation of African writers has emerged that goes beyond the Achebe generation. In this course, we study representative works of the New African Diaspora, products of the new diaspora of colonialism that groups together writers dispersed to multiple global locations at/after the end of formal colonialism. Whereas European travel writing privileged the European “seeing eye,” newer writing features ‘the traveling African’ at home in multiple locations on the globe. We follow cultural transplants and transnational subjects who move easily between “local” spaces denoted not by the ubiquitous “village” in earlier writing, but temporary locales in the African city, and more permanent ones in the Western metropolis. If diasporas are defined by “living here but desiring or keeping alive the memories of another place,” the new global Africans embody these tensions.


Attendance, presentations, four short papers, two exams.

ENGL 339 | Fantasy to Cyberspace (AH)

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 340 | Science Fiction and Fantasy (AH)

TR 9:45-11:00 | Mark Tabone

This course will explore literary, historical, and philosophical approaches to Science Fiction, paying special attention to the genre’s use of “fantastic” tropes and devices to speculate about humanity’s future as well as to critique the state of humanity in the present. As we examine various theoretical approaches to Science Fiction, we will read some of the most influential texts from the genre’s long history.


Requirements include attendance, short response papers, two formal papers, a presentation, and an exam.

ENGL 340 | Utopia, Dystopia, and Other False Choices: Stories of Optional Futures (AH)

Science Fiction and Fantasy

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Martin Griffin

We have been dividing utopian and dystopian science fiction and science fantasy modes from each other for so long now that we have come to think that only these two categories exist.  In this course, however, we will take a step back and look at sci-fi texts as not always so easy to toss into one or the other basket.  Some novels, short stories, and TV/movies are deeply interested in the utopia or dystopia they imagine, while others show ambivalence or even try hard to get past that binary.  Sometimes a sense of inaccessible mystery, a tilt toward humor and satire, or an underlying political or religious conviction complicates the picture.  We will read, among others, Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, Ursula Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven, and Stanislaw Lem’s The Star Diaries to see how radically different literary or philosophical perspectives on the future can be.


Requirements will involve attendance, one take-home paper, one in-class writing exercise with revisions, an in-class mid-term, and a final paper or research project on a topic of the student’s own interest.

ENGL 342 |Literature and Medicine (AH)

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 asks the following questions: How have writers represented and given meaning to illness and health? How are these states and experiences invested with social meanings? How has literature clarified the stakes of biomedical ethical debates? Finally, how have writers responded to pandemics and other public health crises throughout history? This course will be valuable to English majors, students contemplating careers in medicine and health, and students with other plans who are interested in the human body and the stories we tell about it.

Note: May be taken for Honors-by-Contract.


Two papers, weekly Spotlight worksheets, midterm and final exam, attendance and participation.

ENGL 346 | The Gothic (AH)

TR 12:55-2:10 | Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud

This course explores Gothic fiction, which exploded in popularity in the nineteenth century, starting with its emergence during the French Revolution and continuing to this day with horror movies. We’ll examine Gothic tropes such as monsters and innocents, haunted houses and the return of the dead, concealed and underground spaces, violence, bloodlust and repressed desires, doppelgangers, ancient curses and superstitions, and secret histories that need exposing, among other conventions. We’ll engage with the classic Gothic novels, Frankenstein (1818) and Dracula (1897), as well as a number of other literary and filmic works.


Two essays, weekly reading responses, and regular online reading quizzes.

ENGL 351 | The Short Story

MWF 11:30-12:20 | Doug McKinstry

Students will read short stories spanning the life of the genre. American and British authors will be a primary focus, but five or six continents will be represented. Slight emphasis may be on mystery and sci-fi/fantasy genres. Course requirements will be three open-book tests, two short papers, a journal, and a brief oral report. Class meetings will feature lecture and discussion, small-group activity, a few exercises in creative writing, one or two viewings of film adaptation.


Graded class requirements will be three open-book tests, two short papers, a journal, a brief oral report.

ENGL 355 | Rhetoric and Writing (WC)

Online Asynchronous | 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 and Writing (WC)

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

This course invites students to question their assumptions about rhetoric and writing in two distinct, yet related ways. First, it invites students to think about the effectiveness of rhetoric and writing at a subterranean level, in terms of the narrative structures that often operate beneath the surface but shape readers’ responses in profound ways. Students will read rhetorical theory toward that end, conduct analyses of their own writing, and engage in deep revision to achieve the rhetorical goals outlined in that theory. Second, the course invites students to interact with generative artificial intelligence to investigate whether tools such as ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing, or Google Bard can produce the same kind of narrative-based writing considered during the first part of the course. The course culminates in a public-facing project wherein students convey something about what they learned from the course for an audience of their choosing.


Four major projects; discussion boards; attendance and participation.

ENGL 355 | Rhetoric and Writing (WC)

TR 11:20-12:35 | Tanita Saenkhum

This course, which is writing-intensive, provides students with a foundation in the theory of rhetoric and writing. Through readings, class discussions, and major writing projects, the course explores contemporary theories of rhetoric and their relationships to writing and, subsequently, develops students’ knowledge of rhetoric and writing skills. We will consider ways in which rhetorical situations contribute to strong, audience-focused, organized, and well-established arguments. Specifically, we will closely examine how writers construct their identities, engage audiences, and move readers to action through shared/conflict values. Major writing projects will involve students analyzing published writing from various critical perspectives as well as producing a variety of genres for rhetorical ends. To this end, students will be able to understand “the relationships between community expectations and the individual writer, … [the] community and individuality (Hyland, 2015, p. 33).


Discussion posts, three major writing projects, final reflection, attendance & participation.

ENGL 360 | Technical and Professional Writing (WC)

Writing for Remote Work

Online Asynchronous | Sally Harris

In this fully online, asynchronous class, students develop rhetorical strategies for clear communications and for working in teams remotely. 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; major assignments such as process descriptions, instructions, reports, and proposals.

ENGL 360 | Technical and Professional Writing (WC)

Online Asynchronous | Daniel Wallace

This is a great time to be sharing complex ideas with the public. Thanks to new tools that enable writers, organizations, and companies to communicate effectively with an engaged audience, it is possible to earn a living, make a difference, and find a community through serious writing. This course introduces you to the major forms of technical writing: the instructional guide, the complex essay, the proposal, and others. We will approach these forms as if we are each forming our own email newsletter or similar writing enterprise: you will finish the class with a portfolio of technical writing you can show to a future employer or use to begin your own independent venture.


Five major assignments, discussions, homework assignments, and a final exam.

ENGL 360 | Digital Security, AI, and Nuclear Conflict (WC)

Technical and Professional Writing

MWF 10:20-11:10 | Anne Snellen

Several hacks have occurred throughout the 12 Colonies. Though we have received no clear indication of culpability, some veterans of the Cylon Wars worry these hacks may precipitate a larger event, prompting the question, “have we adequately prepared for a full-scale Cylon attack?” To prepare, this class will create technical writing to disseminate to Colonial personnel should a Cylon attack become eminent. To aid in our research, we will study Battlestar Galactica as well as primary sources and other materials. If we are lucky enough to survive Cylon attack, focusing on human adoption of artificial intelligence technology is easily transferable to other disciplines. Those who study digital security, robotics, nuclear safety, political diplomacy and emergency preparedness often use killer robots as a generic stand-in for specific enemies or other disasters. Thus, the writing skills you learn in this class can be transferred to other non-Cylon contexts—should we survive.


Documents included: memos, definitions, forensic analysis, instructions, flow charts, infographics, informal and formal reports, illustrations, and a manual.

ENGL 360 | Technical and Professional Writing (WC)

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

Students are introduced to professional workplace writing, transitioning from writing for academic audiences to writing workplace technical documents. Throughout ENGL 360, students will design and write professional documents, synthesize and evaluate arguments on technology and society, and collaborate in teams to present technical information. Specifically, students will be introduced to game design by thinking and making critical choices while engaging in practice and design application.


Attendance and major assignments.

ENGL 363 | Writing Poetry (AAH) (EI)

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 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 response to the world.


Attendance, literary analyses, class presentations, workshop, and final portfolio.

ENGL 363 | Writing Poetry (AAH) (EI)

MWF 10:20-11:10 | TBA


ENGL 364 | Writing Fiction (AAH) (EI)

MWF 11:20-12:20 | Chris Hebert

This class is for students interested in taking creative writing seriously, even if they have little or no experience. We will study the craft of writing through the discussion of daily readings (mostly short stories from contemporary authors), through a variety of writing exercises, and through the composition of a full-length short story. These full-length stories will be shared with the class, discussed, and revised. The peer workshopping of student work allows for the introduction and sharpening of critical skills vital to the development of astute readers and writers.


Attendance, participation, exercises, peer reviews, original story, revision.

ENGL 364 | Writing Fiction (AHH) (EI)

TR 12:55-2:10 | Michael Knight

This class is designed to provide an introduction to the craft of writing fiction with a focus on the short story. Students should leave this class with a basic understanding of core elements of the short story form, the ability to recognize how those elements function in published fiction and the ability to put those core elements into practice in fiction of their own.


Attendance, participation, writing exercises, writing short stories, workshopping and revision.

ENGL 365 | Writing the Screenplay (AAH) (EI)

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Chris Hebert

When it comes to movies, what dominates the headlines and the public imagination are the actors, the directors, the budgets and box-office earnings. Often lost in the visual spectacle of film is the fact that it begins with the written word. The characters, stories, and themes that loom so large on the screen first emerge on the page.

The goal of this class is twofold: first, to explore the structure and form of screenwriting through the reading and analysis of screenplays, both contemporary and classic. Then to turn that study into practice through a variety of exercises and through collaborative projects, which might include workshops, readings, and the group work of writers’ rooms. The major student project at the core of the class will be a treatment for a feature film with sample scenes. Previous coursework in creative writing and/or film is encouraged but not required.


Attendance, treatment, scenes, exercises, responses, peer reviews.

ENGL 365 | Writing the Screenplay (AAH) (EI)

TR 2:30-3:45 | 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 (AAH) (EI)

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Laura Hoffer

Along the rich spectrum of creative nonfiction, you will find literary journalism and food writing and travel essays and memoir and flash nonfiction and more.  This course will introduce you to many of those genres and familiarize you with the vocabulary and techniques employed by creative nonfiction writers.  You will investigate a wide range of published material in this course, including a book on the craft of writing creative nonfiction (Writing True) and creative work by established and emerging writers such as Roxane Gay and John Lee Clark. This semester, we’ll also pay particular attention to the personal writing process and consider the many ways an essay can develop from the pre-writing stage through revisions, giving you the opportunity to discover more about your own individual writing process.


Short exercises; two longer essays (memoir or personal story and a travel essay); peer workshops; responses to classmates’ drafts; a final portfolio with one revised essay.

ENGL 371 | Foundations of the English Language (GCI)

TR 2:30-3:45 | 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 (WC)

TR 9:45-11:00 | Lisi Schoenbach

This class poses two related questions: “What is literature?” and “What should we do about it?” The “we” of the second question could be broad or specific enough to include literary critics, students of literature, English majors, or the members of this class. We will spend the semester trying to figure out what it means to be a reader of literature. What intellectual, artistic, psychological, and ethical lessons are we trying to learn from literature? What different modes of reading are available to us? Why do different texts seem to invite or benefit from different sorts of readings? We will focus these questions around a variety of theoretical approaches, including feminist, Marxist, psychoanalytic, post-structuralist, and postcolonial. We will spend time developing a shared vocabulary for literary study, sharpening our close reading skills, developing literary arguments, and positioning ourselves within current critical debates.


Attendance, two papers, presentation, final exam.

ENGL 398 | Life/Writing: Modern Memoirs (WC)

Junior-Senior Honors Seminar

TR 9:45-11:00 | Urmila Seshagiri

“My god, how does one write a biography? And what is a life?” exclaimed Virginia Woolf in 1938. How have writers around the world answered these questions? This seminar takes a deep dive into biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, graphic novels, poetry, and auto-fiction, as well as film, painting, photography, and music. Writers include Woolf, Nabokov, Morrison, Rushdie, Manguso, Kalanithi, Spiegelmann, and others. From traditional coming-of-age narratives to memoirs devoted to food, race, revolution, incarceration, love, grief, and fame, “Life/Writing: Modern Memoirs” asks a question that lies at the heart of the study of language and literature: what are the stakes of telling one’s story?

HONORS SEMINAR: Enrollment is limited to students who have maintained 3.5 GPA in the major and completed two upper division (300 or 400 level) English courses.


Regular response papers, one 7-10 pp. essay, one 4-part Reading Journal, in-class Group Presentation, and final Memoir Project.

ENGL 402 | Chaucer

TR 12:55-2:10 | R.D. Perry

Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was the most widely read work of English literature in the Middle Ages. Chaucer’s concerns—what is the relationship of poetry to society, how do we construct a good society, what is the importance of political and interpersonal consent, how do other cultures relate to each other, how do we treat those with less power in a culture—are still ours, in part because his culture became our own and in part because he was thinking through essential facets of what it means to be a human. In this course, we will read through almost the entire Canterbury Tales (slowly at first, as you learn Middle English, and then at a steady pace), discussing both the way that Chaucer relates to his culture and how he relates to ours. 


Attendance and participation, short responses, translation quiz, one short paper, and one long paper.

ENGL 404 | Thinking with Shakespeare

Shakespeare I: Early Plays

TR 11:20-12:35 | Heather Hirschfeld

This class will explore the shape of Shakespeare’s early career as a writer for print and performance. Our texts will include a variety of dramatic and poetic forms, which we will link together by a recurrent interest in how Shakespeare thought about the stage and how his characters think on it. We will pay special attention to theatrical conventions — cross-dressed actors, soliloquies, plays-within-plays – and how they speak to persistent social and cultural concerns. We will begin with a selection of sonnets and Comedy of Errors before moving to the romantic confusions of Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night. We’ll then turn will turn to the controversies of Merchant of Venice and Titus Andronicus before finishing the semester with Hamlet.


Attendance, short responses, one paper, final exam.

ENGL 405 | Shakespeare II: Later Plays

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Anthony Welch

A survey of Shakespeare’s dramatic works after 1600, including the ‘problem comedy’ Measure for Measure, three great tragedies (Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth), and two enigmatic late romances (The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest). In our journey across the dark and beautiful landscape of these plays, we will explore some key concerns that preoccupied Shakespeare in his final decade as a dramatist, such as the tangled web of gender, race, and power; the joys and torments of sex, marriage, and generational change; and the meaning of human action under the sway of time and death. We will also study Shakespeare’s language and dramaturgy, situate his writing in the social world of early modern England, and see how his plays have been interpreted by generations of editors, performers, and literary critics.


Weekly discussion board posts, two short exercises, and two critical essays.

ENGL 421 | Modern British Novel

Houses of Fiction: British Modernism and its Legacies

TR 12:55-2:10 | Lisi Schoenbach

This course explores the confluence of two powerful and overlapping legacies: the legacy of the British empire and the legacy of the British novel. As the British novel struggled to reinvent itself through radical innovations in form, style, and subject matter, it was continually forced to reckon with its own literary-historical, national, and political pasts. We’ll examine modern British novels that imagine narrative innovation by returning to established narrative traditions, that articulate new freedoms by returning to convention, and that can only imagine new social relations by remembering political histories of domination.


Attendance, two papers, presentations, final exam.

ENGL 435 | American Fiction to 1900

TR 12:55-2:10 | Dawn Coleman

Before viral videos and Instagram influencers, podcasts and streaming TV, Americans had novels. The diverse casts and suspenseful stories of nineteenth-century novels made them popular entertainment, a retreat from the pressures of modern life. Yet novels were also a major form of public discourse. They spoke to contentious political issues and transformed dry abstractions into memorable stories that people cared about. In this course we will read and analyze novels and a few short fictions that engaged and provoked nineteenth-century readers and that continue to reward attention today. We will consider how these works responded artistically to their historical contexts and how they represent issues that still affect us, such as racial and gender inequities and the pressures of capitalism on our individual lives and intimate relationships. Authors studied include Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frank Webb, Herman Melville, Elizabeth Stoddard, and Henry James.


Attendance, active class participation, informal writing assignments, two take-home exams, and a 6- to 7-page formal essay

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.


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

ENGL 443 | Black Queer Studies (EI)

Topics in Black Literature

TR 2:30-3:45 | Dionte Harris

This course will survey the exciting fields of Black feminist, trans, and queer critical thought. We will consider race, gender and sexuality as categories for critical and literary analysis while also taking into consideration how these categories provide the conditions of possibility for alternate ways of being in the world. We will not only learn about Black queer lives but also about creative possibilities and resources for our own being and writing. Topics of discussion include race, gender, and sexuality, black study, queer study, questions and theories of the Human, social death, bodily vulnerability, Black feminist, trans and queer practices of world-making, Black queer becomings, Black life and aliveness.


Active attendance, quizzes, response posts, short presentation, analysis paper, research abstract, annotated bibliography, and research paper.

ENGL 451 | Modern British and American Poetry

MWF 12:40-1:30 | Ben Lee

This course is designed to help students develop a rich sense of the poets and poetic approaches that helped shape modern poetry. We’ll survey British, American, and cosmopolitan poetry from the first half of the twentieth century, reading poets in relation to one another and in light of wider cultural and historical developments (including racialization, industrialization, abstract art, mass warfare, and the rise of mass culture). Among the poets we’ll consider are Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Loy, H.D., Hughes, Stein, Stevens, Toomer, Williams, McKay, and Auden. Key terms orienting our discussions will include symbolism, imagism, avant-gardism, and vernacular modernism.


Attendance, participation, two short essays, a longer final essay, a final exam, and a brief in-class presentation.

ENGL 454 | 20th-Century International Novel

TR 12:55-2:10 | Urmila Seshagiri

International. Modern. Novel. The exciting and beautiful literary works we’ll read in this course span 20th- and 21st -century fiction from Czechoslovakia, England, Argentina, South Africa, France, Nigeria, the United States, and Italy. As we study novels, novellas, and short stories by Kafka, Rhys, Borges, Coetzee, Morrison, Ishiguro, Adichie, Ernaux, and Lahiri, we will investigate how literary forms respond to political history; we will study global aesthetic innovations; and we will also consider the complex relationship between the arts and the state. We will watch feature films by world-renowned directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, Mira Nair, Agnès Varda, and Jafar Panahi. Our primary works will be supplemented with documentaries, interviews, essays, and literary criticism.


Reading responses, one short (4-6 pp.) and one long (8-10) pp. essay, in-class group presentation, midterm.

ENGL 455 | Persuasive Writing (WC)

MWF 1:50-2:40 | Lisa King

Every day we are inundated with multiple streams of information in countless forms: online news channels, newspapers, social networks, blogs, political satires and cartoons, advertisements, and much more. We navigate them constantly, but to what extent are we aware of how this information affects us? Given there is no “neutral” statement, how attentive are we to the way information is shaped as it is communicated? What functions as persuasion?

This class is designed to prompt critical thinking and writing about how communication and persuasion are constructed, consciously and unconsciously, in public, academic, and personal contexts. Beginning with a review of rhetorical basics from the Greco-Roman tradition and then working through contemporary theories of persuasion, in this class you will have a chance to explore how those principles of persuasion function. Student work will involve tracking what and how local, state, and national issues are debated, analyzing persuasive strategies, and critically engaging in those debates yourself for a variety of audiences.


Attendance and class discussion, 10 discussion posts, four formal writing projects, and construction of a digital media scrapbook.

ENGL 461 | Global Communication for Science and Technology (GCI)

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

Given the global nature of contemporary workplaces, knowing how to communicate effectively with an international audience is even more important for technical & professional communicators. This course explores the importance of cultural humility by learning the communication practices/customs of people from different cultures and countries. Students will learn how to communicate with high-context and low-context cultures, and how media and marketing play a vital part in medical, business, and technical discourse. This course prepares students to make informed and effective decisions as technical communicators in a global work environment.


Attendance and major assignments

ENGL 462 | Digital Publication in an AI Age

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 (EI)

TR 12:55-2:10 | Iliana Rocha

Development of skills acquired in basic poetry-writing course. A continuation of English 363, this course is an intensive practice in the craft of poetry and exploration of the imaginative process. Readings and assignments will investigate different impulses—formal, textual, tonal, thematic—in order to generate our own poetry, as well as to develop a sense of poetics (why and how we write). We will also consider how contemporary poets, specifically, raise personal, communal, ethical, and political dilemmas. As an advanced poetry workshop and reading seminar, we will delve into these contentions while building and contributing to our literary communities. We will work in the spirit of a shared experiment, as the goal of this course is to launch from introductory groundwork into advanced risk-taking.


Attendance, literary analyses, class leadership, workshop, final portfolio.

ENGL 464 | Advanced Fiction Writing (EI)

TR 4:05-5:20 | Margaret Dean

This class is for students with experience in fiction writing who are looking to challenge themselves by taking on longer, riskier, and more complex writing projects. Throughout the semester we will build on skills and concepts learned in earlier creative writing courses to develop and broaden our understanding of how fiction works and what it can do. Workshops throughout the semester will give students the chance to learn from discussions of works-in-progress.


Each student will design an ambitious fiction project tailored to their own interests. Midterm and final portfolios will include original fiction as well as work on craft and/or reflections on published fiction.

ENGL 470 | Postsecular Religious Rhetoric

Special Topics in Rhetoric

M Online Asynchronous, WF 12:40-1:30 | Jeff Ringer

Multiple voices in the mid-twentieth century predicted the death of religion in the face of rising secularity, yet in the early twenty-first century in the United States and elsewhere, religion and spirituality persist, though in arguably changed forms. This course investigates the nature of “religious” rhetorics in the wake of secularization, and it does so by first asking students to grapple with what “religious” rhetorics might even mean in our twenty-first century, postsecular context. Students will then investigate vernacular religious creativity, or the ways in which diverse social contexts shape the faiths, beliefs, and practices of individuals and groups. Particular attention will be paid to the rhetorical possibilities and constraints that arise from such creativity. Final projects can take the form of a social movement analysis or of an interview-based qualitative investigation into a focused population.


Two major projects, each with multiple parts/drafts; discussion boards; attendance and participation.

ENGL 471 | Sociolinguistics

TR 9:45-11:00 | Rima El abdali

ENGL/LING 471 probes language as it is socially situated. In many ways, we wear our language like we wear our clothes. In what ways does our talk reflect who we are or want to be, in what ways does our language change depending on who we interact with, with what interactional goals in mind, and based on which linguistic repertoires that are available? We will read about the theories that inform our understanding of socially situated language, explore them by reading the work of others who have applied (and in many cases, been the origin of) these theories, and use our knowledge to draw conclusions about our own language and the language of those around us.


Attendance and participation, Terminology & concepts quiz, Response papers/discussions, Final research project.

ENGL 472 | American English

TR 11:20-12:35 | Rima El abdali

This course introduces students to phonological, morphological, and syntactic characteristics of major social and regional varieties of American English with attention to their origins, functions, and implications for cultural pluralism.


Attendance and participation, final paper, response papers/discussions.

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 483 | Visions of the End in Early English Literature

Special Topics in Literature

MWF 3:00-3:50 | Mary Dzon

This course will examine how medieval writers and artists envisioned the end of human history and the transition from death to eternity of every individual. The majority of our literary sources will be from fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England, but we will also consider some earlier sources, including biblical and ancient apocalyptic texts. Besides considering how approaches to eschatology changed over time, we will focus on recurrent motifs and issues, such as the Fifteen Signs of Doomsday, legends of the Antichrist, representations of Christ as Judge and the role of angels, saints and demons at the Last Judgment, the development of “Purgatory,” calamities such as the plague, and modern appropriations of apocalyptic themes. We will study related artistic works and material objects, from illustrations in Books of Hours to stained glass windows to talismans and dramatic productions.


Response Papers, a midterm exam, a presentation, and a term paper.

ENGL 489 | Film Theory

Special Topics in Film

MW 1:50-3:50 | Eleni Palis

This course is designed to introduce students to the depth and breadth of film theory, spanning from the earliest attempts for viewers, thinkers, writers, and scholars to define film as a medium, a technology, an art form, and an experience, to contemporary scholarship on how film has changed in a post-digital, post-theory world. Along the way, we’ll consider foundational scholars debating aesthetics of realism, auteurism, film feminism, psychoanalysis, race and ethnicity-informed approaches, structuralism and post-structuralism. The main objective of this class is to foster fluency with a wide array of film theoretical terms, debates, and methodologies.


Weekly readings, weekly quizzes, two papers.

Graduate Courses

ENGL 520 | Triangulating Shakespeare

Readings and Analysis in Selected Areas of 16th- and 17th-Century Prose, Poetry, and Drama

TR 2:30-3:45 | Heather Hirschfeld

This class will study Shakespeare’s dramatic work as part of the rich corpus of professional drama that flourished on the public stage between 1576 and 1642. We will study five of his plays, “triangulating” them with works by Ben Jonson, Thomas Kyd, John Lyly, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton, William Rowley, and John Webster. In the process we will explore both the traditions and the innovations that characterized the early modern drama, engaging not only with themes and topics but also with the institutional structures of the theater. Our work will include the study of primary and secondary sources that give us fresh purchase on these structures and their intersections with early modern politics, religion, economics, and gender and race relations.


Attendance, two short papers, presentation, final paper.

ENGL 551 | Regionalism in American Fiction, 1870-1940

Readings in American Literature

MW 2:30-3:45 | Bill Hardwig

In his book Strange Talk, Gavin Jones has written about how dialect literature of the late-1800s had the ability to stereotype marginalized people through insulting linguistic distortions. However, he claims, it also “could encode the possibility of resistance, not just by undermining the integrity of a dominant standard, but by recording the subversive voices in which alternate versions of reality were engendered.” One might say, then, that the battles around the issues of racial and regional difference of this era crystalized in the local color fiction of the era, and especially in the recording of marginalized voices and experiences. This class will start with the thorny issues embedded in Jones’s claim and trace them forward into the first half of the twentieth century, examining how race and region are represented in American literature between the Civil War and World War II.


Participation, two essays, presentation.

ENGL 560 | The “Irruption” of Caribbean ‘Worldly’ Literature

Readings in 20th-Century Literature

TR 12:55-2:10 | Gichingiri Ndigirigi

Edouard Glissant, a prominent Caribbean literary critic, argued that what the Americas had in common was an irruption into modernity. In this course, we study the ways Caribbean literature exemplifies this irruption onto Pascale Casanova’s “world literary space.” If prestigious literary prices are indicative of global literary value, the Caribbean has produced two winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature while a third won the Neustadt Prize—“the American Nobel”—since 1990, and several Guggenheim fellowships to support major writers. A mere fifty years after the publication of the first major novel from the region, George Lamming’s hopes in 1960 that a tradition of Caribbean writing would emerge and be taken for granted by later generation of Caribbean critics now appear too modest. We will study the works of prominent writers who push the boundaries of realism, modernism, speculative fiction, and western genre conventions more broadly from multiple global locations. Starting with the “Windrush Generation’s” evocation of the exclusionary cartographies of the “mother country,” we trace the writers’ transformation of their new spaces into places ala De Certeau, as they organize “the play of changing relationships between places and spaces.” Recognizing that diaspora communities always take their roots with them, we probe the ways that Caribbean authors complicate the totalizing boundaries and essentialized identities of the metropole and its periphery and add the missing ideoscapes and soundscapes from Gilroy’s black Atlantic.


Attendance, presentation, two papers.

ENGL 580 | Fiction Writing

T 5:10-8:00 | Michael Knight

This class is devoted to the writing and discussion of literary fiction. Students should be capable of demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the craft and techniques of writing fiction, and through serious engagement with revision, be capable of producing publishable work.


By permission of instructor only. Attendance, participation, writing fiction, workshopping, revision.

ENGL 581 | Colloquium in Poetry

F 12:40-3:10 | Cornelius Eady

The thread that will provide the focus of our work this semester will be the June Jordan Anthology Poetry for the People I will also be inviting at least two guest poets to visit the class via Zoom to discuss how they use their art as activist. 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. If you have taken my class before that introduction will be a contrast and comparison between the book you wrote then and the book you wrote now. If you have taken my class before you know there is always a degree of intentional improvisation involved. Come with a sense of play and adventure.


Attendance, drafts and re-writes, two interviews (min), 10=12 pg chapbook with intro written in the third person (2 pg min)

ENGL 588 | History of Writing Studies

Special Topics in History of Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics

TR 2:30-3:45 | Tanita Saenkhum

“The past is past, but in a wonderful measure the past reveals the future,” said George Bradley McFarland, an American missionary and Emeritus Professor, Royal Medical College, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

This course explores the history of writing studies, an academic discipline predominantly situated in the United States. Through readings and class discussions, we will trace the development of writing studies and consider how its history has continued to shape current writing research and practices. We will also examine how historians (re)construct the history of writing education in the context of US higher education as well as in some other non-English dominant contexts, where the teaching of writing is largely neglected. That is, we will study approaches to doing historical work. Students will complete historical work on a selected topic for a semester project.


Readings; class participation and discussion; weekly responses; a semester project, including a presentation

ENGL 595 | Digital Humanities

MW 9:45-11:00 | Hilary Havens

This course is an overview of the tools and theory of Digital Humanities and is the foundation course of UT’s graduate certificate program in Digital Humanities. Topics include digitization and textual encoding; crowdsourcing; computational literary studies and visualization; metadata and data cleaning; GIS and spatial inquiries; and social media and network analysis. Readings throughout the semester will contextualize each of these topics alongside intersectional approaches related to gender, race, sexuality, and disability. The final week of the class will teach students how to promote their newly-acquired DH skills on the academic and non-academic job markets. In the spirit of DH, all of the class readings are open-access or available through the UT libraries page. Class requirements include an open-ended final project and presentation, a mini-presentation, and reflection papers on DH tools and projects, including the opportunity publish a review in a peer-reviewed journal (


Attendance and participation; reflection papers; mini-presentation; final project with presentation.

ENGL 610 | Studies in Old English Language and Literature

TR 9:45-11:00 | Roy Liuzza

This class will give you a reading knowledge of Old English, the language of England from roughly 600 to 1100 and the ancestor of Modern English. It will also serve, through readings in primary and secondary sources, as an introduction to the literature and culture of early Medieval England. In the first half of the class we will concentrate on grammar, structure, and vocabulary through short readings; weekly quizzes will gauge your progress and encourage you to keep up with grammar and translations. After a midterm exam consisting of translation and grammatical questions, there will be more outside reading as well as continuing in-class translation of Old English prose and verse. Along the way we will discuss some of the basic scholarly tools used in Old English studies; as a final project, you will prepare an edition of a short Old English text from manuscript facsimile.


Quizzes, midterm, final exam, research project.

ENGL 671 | Modernism & Drama

Studies in 20th-Century Literature

MW 12:55-2:10 | Stan Garner

During the period 1880-1945 modernism emerged as an international aesthetic that transformed the representational underpinnings of literature, theater, music, dance, and the visual and plastic arts. During the same years, the international movement that we call “modern drama” emerged in the rejection of nineteenth-century dramatic conventions and the demand that theater become a medium capable of reflecting modern life. Even today, though, the relationship between these two movements remains poorly understood. This seminar will consider the ways in which modernism manifested itself in the theater and the unique perspective that drama provides on modernism’s central issues. What does it mean to view theater through a modernist lens, and what happens if we try to theatricalize modernism? In addition to the texts we read, we’ll consider the visual dimensions of modernism, including scenic design, as a way of demonstrating the artistic collaborations that help define modern drama and theater.


Seminar paper, two seminar presentations, attendance and participation.

ENGL 682 | Advanced Studies in Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics

MW 11:20-12:35 | Lisa King

This course considers the broad constellation of research methods in RWL from the perspectives of cultural rhetorical work, decolonial methodologies, archival and historical work, and community-based research. Through readings, class discussions, and a mini-study portfolio with presentation, we will use the semester to consider how we use and design research, in the words of Stó:lō author Lee Maracle, to “story things up” and make sense of the world in a way that works reciprocally and responsibly with communities inside and outside of academia.


Readings; class participation and discussion; Canvas discussion posts; methodology analysis; research design project with presentation.

ENGL 690 | The Women’s Rights Movement in Literature

Special Topics

TR 12:20-12:35 | Dawn Coleman

This course examines the literature of the American women’s rights movement from the country’s founding to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. It strives for an expansive view of how American literature contended for women’s equality by setting older, triumphalist narratives centered on white women such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton alongside newer, more complex ones that acknowledge the conflicts within white women’s organizations and that include Black and Indigenous women. Integrating recent scholarship in history, literature, and women’s studies, it centers on close-reading key texts by such authors as Abigail Adams, Frances Wright, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Gove Nichols, Frances Harper, Lillie Devereux Blake, Zitkála-Ša, Anna Julia Cooper, Henry James, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as influential periodicals such as The Una, The Revolution, and The Woman’s Era.


Active class participation, discussion-leader questions (2), close-reading paper, object analysis paper, abstract, annotated bibliography, final paper presentation, and final seminar paper.