Graduate Courses


ENGL 750: Literature of British Empire and Imperialism

Instructor: Dorice Williams Elliott
55767 | MW 12:30 – 1:45 PM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

In the nineteenth century, “the sun never set on the British Empire” and “Britannia ruled the waves.” At the same time that the empire reached into the “darkest corners of the earth,” Britain’s colonial encounters with new cultures and peoples fundamentally changed England itself. In addition, the unprecedented wealth that flowed into England from the colonies underwrote the profound technological, scientific, and cultural “progress” that Britons were so proud of. In this course we will consider the ways that Victorian literature, particularly the novel, reflected, constructed, and critiqued imperialism. We will also consider the ways the novel as a form, according to Benedict Anderson and Edward Said, may have been implicated in inventing British nationalism. We will read novels set both in the colonies and in England, looking at the ways these novels represent Englishness as well as the way they portray the indigenous peoples they encountered. We will also read and discuss selected theoretical and critical essays about imperialism, nationalism, and literature. Students will write a short paper (5-6 pages) and a longer seminar paper (12-15 pages), plus a response to someone else’s paper. Texts will include Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (1814); Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son (1848); Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone (1868); Marcus Clarke’s His Natural Life (1875); Olive Schreiner’s Story of an African Farm (1883); H. Ryder Haggard’s She (1887); and Sara Jeannette Duncan’s Set in Authority (1906), as well as selected theoretical and critical essays posted on Canvas.

Map of British imperialism

ENGL 756: Contemporary Dramatic Writing

Instructor: Darren Canady
55769 | W 7:00 – 9:30PM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

In this course, students will explore scripts, performances, and recordings across multiple dramatic writing forms, including playwriting, screenwriting, television writing, and scripted podcast writing. Focusing on texts and performances from within the last decade, students will explore how the various fields of dramatic writing have developed, the implications of recent craft innovations in the field, and what dramatic writing craft practices could be applied to other creative writing forms. Students can also expect to analyze how playwrights, screenwriters, and other media makers are facing recent production challenges and opportunities.

Drama masks

ENGL 760: Transatlantic Modernisms

Instructor: Katie Conrad
55770 | Tu 6:00 - 8:30 PM | WES 3001A - LAWRENCE

This course will explore the form, politics, and aesthetics of a variety of modernisms across the Atlantic, taking a “new modernist studies” approach and including some of the authors in dialogue with modernism (e.g. Irish Renaissance authors, Harlem Renaissance authors, and WWI poets). While we will take an expansive and global view of modernism, and students are encouraged to pursue their research in this broader area, our own focus will be somewhat tighter temporally and geographically. Students will be expected to participate regularly, complete an annotated bibliography at the Spencer Research Library, and propose and complete a final project with approval of the professor.

Klingen (Sound) by Johannes Molzahn

ENGL 790: Indigenous Literatures & Media Studies

Instructor: Robert Warrior
55771 | Tu 12:30 – 3:00 PM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

Pages of book

ENGL 800: Methods, Theory, & Professionalism

Instructors: Laura L. Mielke
45554 | TuTh 11:00 – 11:50 AM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

English 800 prepares students for graduate coursework and exams, the writing of a scholarly thesis or dissertation, and the submission of work to the larger scholarly community. Assignments facilitate the acquisition of skills and tools essential to these activities. Across the fall and spring semesters, students will acquire strategies for reading scholarly writing; produce a range of professional genres, including conference proposals; learn more about their selected areas of study and the best venues for sharing work in those areas; and develop a comprehensive plan for their graduate studies. This semester, in addition to continuing our exploration of methods, we will learn about research resources in English studies, practice writing conference proposals, research areas of scholarly focus, and develop individual academic plans.

hybrid photo blending image of bookshelves with two students smiling in glasses

ENGL 801: Study and Teaching of Writing

Instructor: Mary Jo Reiff
56071 | Th 10:00 - 10:50 AM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

English 801 aims to support new GTAs’ teaching of first-year writing by providing structured opportunities to reflect on their teaching practices in dialogue with other writing teachers. Over the course of the fall and spring semesters, GTAs will examine perspectives on writing pedagogy that will inform their practices in the classroom (from responding to student writing, to facilitating writing groups and peer review, to creating inclusive classrooms, etc.) and will produce their own pedagogical materials (such as course designs, teaching statements, and teaching portfolios). As such, this course will give GTAs an opportunity to examine and reflect on their teaching practices as they work to develop pedagogical approaches and materials that they can build on throughout their teaching careers.

hybrid photo blending image of bookshelves with two students smiling in glasses

ENGL 880: Composing Disability

Instructor: Sean Kamperman
55772 | Th 2:30 - 5:00 PM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

This course offers an examination of rhetoric and composition theory, pedagogy, and practice through the lens of disability studies. We will consider the myriad ways writers make meaning about, or compose, disability; the influence of the disability rights movement on contemporary writing practices and technologies; and the implications of disabled epistemologies and knowing-making for the future of the field. For their final projects, students will have the option of composing a traditional research paper in their area of study, a born-digital project (scholarly or applied), or a pedagogical resource such as a syllabus, course module, or program of study. Prerequisite: ENGL 780 or equivalent.

Red pen editing text on a printed piece of white paper with black words

ENGL 908: Cultures of Climate Change

Instructor: Paul Outka
55773 | W 2:30 - 5:00 PM | WES 3001A – LAWRENCE

This class will examine literary and theoretical representations of nature and human/nature relations in the context of the Anthropocene, a new era in the geological history of the earth when human activity has fundamentally changed the planetary climate. The course will begin by examining the relation of this supposedly contemporary crisis in nineteenth century US views of nature, with particular attention to practices of enslavement. We will then connect those writings to an emerging genre of speculative work called “Climate Fiction” or “CliFi” for short, and, more broadly. We will be concerned throughout to ask how literary works might help us envision the dangers and possibilities for human and nonhuman life on earth, both in the recent past and in the imagined future.

Foggy landscape with lake in foreground and trees in background