Graduate Courses Fall 2024

ENGL 709: Critical Theory Problems & Principles - Animal Studies

Instructor: Phillip Drake
26527 | TuTh 11:00-12:15 PM | Wescoe 3001A - LAWRENCE

This course examines animals in literature along with the emergence of animal studies as a field of inquiry. Embodying a complicated set of interdisciplinary tools and perspectives, animal studies scholarship prompts exploration into the lives of animals, focusing particularly on interactions between human and nonhuman animals. These bodies and relationships provoke complicated and often uncomfortable questions that challenge conventional understandings of a host of issues, including kinship, care, embodiment, individuality, power, precarity, death, extinction, and living well. Furthermore, interactions between human and nonhuman animals often intersect with constructions of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sex, inviting consideration of justice and social awareness at various scales, from the body and household to the nation and globe. In addition to covering a diverse range of literature, we will explore various disciplinary (literary, anthropological, biological, ethological, psychological, etc.) and theoretical (queer, postcolonial, feminist, existentialist, poststructural, posthuman, ecocritical, etc.) lineages that animate (and are animated by) multispecies studies.

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ENGL 753: Writers Workshop

Instructor: Darren Canady
26528 | W 7:00-9:30 PM | Wescoe 3001A – LAWRENCE

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ENGL 774: Black Speculative Fiction

Instructor: Giselle Anatol
22370 | M 4:00-6:00 PM | Wescoe 3001A - LAWRENCE

The term “speculative fiction” was coined by science fiction writer Robert Heinlein in the mid-twentieth century to describe works set either in the future or in the past that speculate about society, time, and space. Instead of science fiction’s narrower focus on scientific and technological ideas, a looser array of styles and genres are encompassed by speculative fiction: utopian fiction, dystopian fiction, fantasy, the gothic, horror, and conventional sci fi. In this class, we will investigate how writers of African descent have employed these genres to question the realities established by colonial regimes, neo-colonial powers, and racist legal, social, and political structures. We will therefore consider postcolonial theory alongside monster theory; how narratives about extraterrestrial aliens tie into contemporary immigration debates; how different writers challenge the rules of "reality," time, and space. Texts will include an array of subgenres and styles, such as ghost stories, dystopian fiction, body horror, secondary world fantasy, space travel, and slipstream. Authors may include Octavia Butler, Maryse Condé, Samuel R. Delany, Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemisin, Victor LaValle, Helen Oyeyemi, Nnedi Okorafor, and Rivers Solomon.

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ENGL 790: Latinx & Latin American Literature of Trauma & Testimony

Instructor: Marta Caminero-Santangelo
27483 | MW 12:30-1:45 PM | Wescoe 3001A - LAWRENCE

This course considers approximately 50 years of Latin American and US Latino/a literature that has attempted to address and represent human rights crises in the second half of the 20th-century and through today, by constructing something like a "testimonial" voice in fictional and non-fictional narrative. We will read texts that represent such issues as: Guatemalan oppression and genocide; totalitarian dictators in Cuba and the Dominican Republic; exploited Chicano farmworkers; the massacre of ethnic Haitians in the Dominican Republic; and undocumented immigration. By moving from Latin American examples of testimonio to US Latina/x/o versions of the latter, as well as some classic Latin American films and a recent Cuban play, we will consider issues such as theories of trauma and the construction of cultural trauma, representation of / by the "subaltern,” the imagining and construction of group identities, the nature of testimony, the potential power of narrative to affect human rights discourses, and obstacles to the affective / effective power of storytelling. The pedagogy in this course involves active learning via class discussion, small group breakouts and working groups, presentations, and weekly responses to the reading. Research has shown that such forms of active learning increase student success across the board and also help to “level the playing field” in terms of diversity and inclusion. I will also endeavor to be as transparent as possible in the class by making grading criteria and expectations explicit throughout.

Two women standing in front of banner that reads "Mas de 626 Masacres en Los Pueblos Indigenas, y aun niegan que Hubo Genocidio"

ENGL 800: Introduction to English Graduate Studies

Instructor: Katie Conrad
23801 | M 2:00-2:50 PM | Wescoe 3001A - LAWRENCE

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ENGL 801: Study and Teaching of Writing

Instructor: Sarah Ngoh
19688 | TuTh 9:30-10:20 AM | Wescoe 3001A – LAWRENCE

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ENGL 880: Topics in Composition Studies & Rhetoric - Research Methods

Instructor: Sean Kamperman
26529 | TuTh 1:00-2:15 PM | Wescoe 3001A – LAWRENCE

This course prepares graduate students to conduct research in writing studies, with an emphasis on research practices in rhetoric, composition, literacy studies, and technical & professional writing. The course provides an introduction to methods for analyzing texts and contexts, studying writing instruction, and researching literacy practices. It also introduces students to methodological and epistemological issues related to these activities. Though assigned readings will primarily focus on the subfields listed above, the course is suitable for students across English studies with an interest in studying texts (broadly construed) in site-specific contexts, including online/digital contexts. We will discuss and practice an array of specific methods and methodologies: rhetorical analysis, quantitative analysis, contextual inquiry, ethnography, archival research, case studies, etc. For their final projects, students will have the opportunity to design and execute an original IRB-approved research study with the instructor’s support. Alternatively, students may conduct a study of a professional/technical communication tool, practice, or system for a business/nonprofit audience. Prerequisite: ENGL 780 or equivalent.

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ENGL 970: Seminar in American Literature - Whitman & Dickinson

Instructor: Paul Outka
27051 | W 2:30-5:00 PM | Wescoe 3001A – LAWRENCE

This seminar will provide the opportunity to read extensively in the work of two of America’s most significant poets. We’ll read most of Whitman’s and Dickinson’s poetry, a substantial selection of both writers’ prose, as well as secondary work on each author. Discussion will alternate authors to encourage intertextual connections between two artists at once sharply different stylistically and culturally, and yet profoundly linked by (among many other things) their queer sexuality, the textuality of gendered embodiment, the creation and politics of authoritative voice, and an engagement with the wider culture. In the latter part of the course we will turn to several modernist poets from the early twentienth century who were explicitly or implicitly influenced by Whitman or Dickinson. Making that turn should both illuminate the originality of the earlier poets, and offer a way to appreciate modernism’s claims to newness. Requirements for the course include regular engagement in discussion, weekly responses and a critical bibliography, as well as a final seminar paper.

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