English Courses

Course Descriptions, Fall 2009

Class Numbers are included in parentheses following the course number and are followed, when applicable, by the previous course catalogue number.

1330-001+ (2744) [1320]. THE WORLD OF SHAKESPEARE.

10:00 MWF.
100 Hyer Hall.
Prof. Neel.

Introductory study of ninemajor plays, including comedies, histories, tragedies, and occasionally romances, with background material on biographical, cultural, historical, and literary topics. Lectures include taped professional performances of scenes; required or recommended viewing of selected performances on stage, film, and television. Writing assignments: frequent detailed quizzes, two one-hour essay tests, final examination, optional extra paper.

Texts:The Norton Shakespeare, Second Edition, 2008 & Arp’sSynopses of the Plays

2302-001 (3776). BUSINESS WRITING.

12:30 TTh.
G16 Clements Hall.
Prof. Tongate.

This course introduces students to business and professional communication, including a variety of writing and speaking tasks, and the observation and practice of rhetorical strategies, discourse conventions, and ethical standards associated with workplace culture. The course includes much active learning, which means students will attend events on campus and off and will conduct a detailed field research project at a worksite. The course meets in a computer lab, and may not be counted toward requirements for the English major. Writing assignments: summaries, analyses, evaluations, letters, reports, memoranda, and individual and collaborative research reports, both oral and written.

Texts: Kolin, Philip C.Successful Writing at Work, 9thed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage, 2010, and Troyka and Hesse,Quick Access,6thed.

2302-002 (3777). BUSINESS WRITING.

2:00 TTh.
G18 Clements Hall.
Prof. Tongate.

This course introduces students to business and professional communication, including a variety of writing and speaking tasks, and the observation and practice of rhetorical strategies, discourse conventions, and ethical standards associated with workplace culture. The course includes much active learning, which means students will attend events on campus and off and will conduct a detailed field research project at a worksite. The course meets in a computer lab, and may not be counted toward requirements for the English major. Writing assignments: summaries, analyses, evaluations, letters, reports, memoranda, and individual and collaborative research reports, both oral and written.

Texts: Kolin, Philip C.Successful Writing at Work, 9thed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage, 2010. And Troyka and Hesse,Quick Access,6thed.

2310-001+ (4323) [2327]. IMAGINATION AND INTERPRETATION.

1:00 MWF.
143 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Ards.

This course surveys classic texts of autobiography, from the “first” book-length autobiographical narrative in the West, theConfessionsof St. Augustine of Hippo, to Alison Bechdel’s contemporary gender- and genre-bending comic book-style memoir,Fun Home.As its Greek etymology suggests (auto= self,bio= life,graphia= writing), autobiography is a mix of genres and narrative styles: memory and history, fact and fiction. Through texts that span a range of historical periods and genres (nonfiction prose, poetry, drama, the graphic novel), we will explore how crafting a sense of self on the page articulates an ethical worldview. In the process, we will also learn about the process of textual analysis and interpretation.

Texts: St. Augustine,Confessions;Jean-Jacques Rousseau,The Confessions; William Wordsworth,The Prelude; Benjamin Franklin,The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Harriet Jacobs,Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl;Stew,Passing Strange; Alison Bechdel,Fun Home.

2311-001+ (3267) [2305]. POETRY.

12:30 TTh.
120 Clements Hall.
Prof. Rosendale.

An introduction to the study of poetry and how it works, examining a wide range of poems by English and American writers, and attending to the form, history, analysis, and interpretation of poetry. Special attention to writing about literature. Evaluation: 15-20 pages of writing (distributed over several short papers); midterm and final exams; class participation.

Texts: TBA.

2311-002+ (3778) [2305]. POETRY.

3:30 TTh.
156 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Holahan.

Introduction to the study of poetry and how it works, examining a wide range of poems by English and American writers. Special attention to writing about literature.

Texts: TBA.

2312-001+ (2745) [2306]. FICTION.

9:00 MWF.
115 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Weisenburger.

Human beings use story-telling to compose and express understandings of ourselves, others, and our world. While giving us pleasure, narrative also structures memory and is thus foundational to critical and historical thinking and knowledge-making in general. This class aims to build analytical, critical, and writing skills through guided studies of and writings about the short story, novella, novel, and narrative film. We ask what individual fictionsdo,how they do what they do, where and why these doings are unique to narrative art, and how some stories work to conserve storytelling traditions while others work disrupt conventions. Developing such critical sensitivities to the designs of literary narratives will sharpen our sense of how narrative operates in other fields. This is an introductory course using discussion and lecture, close-reading, and short critical essays.

Texts: a fiction anthology, Raymond Chandler’s classic detective novel,The Big Sleep(1939), and a narrative film to be determined.

2312-002H+ (3779) [2306]. FICTION.

12:00 MWF.
137 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Sudan.

An introduction to the genre of fiction with an emphasis on the Gothic novel. The course will combine primary texts with short secondary texts. Writers include Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Wilkie Collins, and Bram Stoker. Writing assignments: weekly quizzes, two short essays, one longer essay.

Texts: TBA.

2312-003+ (4045) [2306]. FICTION.

2:00 TTh.
155 Fondren Science.
Prof. Foster.

TBD.

2313-001+ (5721) [2307]. DRAMA.

11:00 MWF.
307 Florence Hall.
Prof. Crusius.

Introduction to the study of drama as both literary and theatrical experience. Students will examine dramatic texts and study available video or film versions of the works. Writing assignments: four short essays, mid-term, final examination.

Texts:Duck Soup; Shakespeare,Othello; Ibsen,A Doll’s House; Williams,The Glass Menagerie; Miller,Death of a Salesman; Wilson,Fences; Ives,Sure Thing; Wasserstein,The Heidi Chronicles; selected other texts.

2314-001H+ (4165) [2308]. DOING THINGS WITH POEMS.

3:00 MW.
101 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Spiegelman.

Introduction to the study of poems, poets, and how poetry works, focusing on a wide range of English and American writers. Some attention to matters of literary history. Writing assignments: approximately five short essays, daily paragraphs, final examination if necessary. Students will memorize 100 lines of poetry.

Texts: Vendler, Poems, Poets, Poetry; Hollander, Rhyme's Reason.

2315-001+ (3612).INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY.

1:00 MWF.
102 Hyer Hall.
Prof. Moss.

Introduction to the discipline for beginning English majors, covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of genres and historical periods.

Writing assignments: brief weekly exercises, four essays, midterm, final examination.

Texts: Murfin and Ray, The Bedford Glossary of Literary and Critical Terms; Shakespeare, Hamlet; Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience; Baldwin, The Fire Next Time; Austen, Emma; Joyce, Dubliners.

2315-002+ (3613).INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY.

3:00 MW.
357 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Ards.

Introduction to the discipline for beginning English majors, covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of genres and historical periods. Writing assignments: brief weekly exercises, four essays, mid-term, final examination.

Texts: Chris Baldick,Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms; Walt Whitman,Leaves of Grass;Mark Twain,Pudd’nhead Wilson;T.S. Eliot,The Waste Land;Arthur Miller,The Death of a Salesman;Lorraine Hansberry,A Raisin in the Sun;Don DeLillo,White Noise;selected poetry and short stories.

2315-003+ (3648).INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY STUDY.

11:00 TTh.
351 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Dumitrescu.

Introduction to the discipline for beginning English majors, covering methods of literary analysis in selected texts spanning a range of genres and historical periods. Writing assignments: brief weekly exercises, four essays, mid-term, final examination.

Texts: Murfin and Ray, The Bedford Glossary of Literary and Critical Terms; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Webster, The Duchess of Malfi; Pope, The Rape of the Lock; Twain, Huckleberry Finn; Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest; Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; selected poems.

2391-001# (3781). INTRODUCTION TO POETRY WRITING.

2:00 TTh.
137 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Key.

A workshop in which student poetry and directed exercises in basic techniques form the content of the course. Open to everyone, regardless of background and experience in poetry. Emphasis on contemporary poetry.Writing assignments: 12-15 poems, along with journaling and annotations on books read.

Texts: Myers & Weingarten,New American Poets of the 90s; Myers,The Portable Poetry Workshop.

2392-001 (3369). INTRODUCTORY FICTION WRITING.

11:00 TTh.
153 Fondren Science.
Prof. Stone.

A beginning workshop in theory and technique, and the writing of fiction. Writing assignments: class exercises, writing and rewriting short stories.

Texts: TBA.

2392-002 (3370). INTRODUCTORY FICTION WRITING.

3:30 TTh.
137 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Haynes.

A beginning workshop in theory and technique, and the writing of fiction. Writing assignments: class exercises, writing and rewriting short stories.

Texts: TBA.

2392-003 (6342). INTRODUCTORY FICTION WRITING.

2:00 TTh.
101 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Stone.

A beginning workshop in theory and technique, and the writing of fiction. Writing assignments: class exercises, writing and rewriting short stories.

Texts: TBA.

3310-001 (2746) [3304]. CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO LITERATURE.

9:30 TTh.
351 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Householder.

What is literature? How do we read it, and why? How can students make sense of and use literary criticism? This course introduces linguistic, cultural, and theoretical issues informing contemporary literary discourse and appliesa variety of contemporary criticalapproaches to a few literary texts. Writing assignments: several short response papers, longer formal essay, final examination.

Texts: Tyson,Critical Theory Today; Fitzgerald,The Great Gatsby;Joyce,TheDead;Shakespeare,The Tempest;plus additional essays and poems.

3310-002 (4164) [3304]. CONTEMPORARY APPROACHES TO LITERATURE.

3:30 TTh.
106 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Murfin.

What is literature? How do we read it, and why? What counts as "literature"? How can students make sense of and make use of literary criticism? This course addresses these questions by introducing the linguistic, cultural, and theoretical issues informing contemporary literary discourse, as well as by studying some literary texts and contemporary interpretations of them. Writing assignments: weekly in-class short exercises, one short essay, one longer essay, final examination.

Texts: Brontë,‘Wuthering Heights’: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism;Conrad,‘Heart of Darkness’: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticismand‘The Secret Sharer’: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism; Shelley,‘Frankenstein’: A Case Study in Contemporary Criticism.

3344-001+ (6133) [3341]. VICTORIAN GENDER.

3:30 TTh.
107 Hyer Hall.
Prof. Newman

An exploration of gender in the literature of Victorian Britain. The course examines the way writers of both sexes produced, assumed, articulated, resisted, and rejected the dominant cultural ideas about gender (both masculinity and femininity) and sexuality. It also considers the role of race and class in the formation of these ideas. Writing assignments: three papers (4-5 pages); mid-term and final examinations; reading quizzes; possible short, informal postings to discussion board or group discussion-planning.

Texts: C. Brontë,Jane Eyre; Dickens,Great Expectations,Hardy,Jude the Obscure;The New Woman and Other Emancipated Woman Plays; Wilde,The Picture of Dorian Gray;selected nineteenth-century poems and cultural documents posted to Blackboard.

3362-001#+ (3675) [3367]. AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE.

11:00 TTh.
107 Hyer Hall.
Prof. Dickson-Carr.

The course is devoted to the study of key texts and authors in African American literary history, including works considered essential within the tradition of African American literature, as well as recent works that may be either nontraditional or not yet widely read. We shall pay special attention to the way in which African Americans have constructed and developed individualidentitiesandcommunitiesthrough shared experiences in these works to explore (and defy): definitions of “race,” class, and gender; the nature of oppression; and possibilities of transcendence. The ultimate goals of the course are to seek through the literature a better understanding of the historical situation and cultural dynamics of these communities and the individuals within them, and to help broaden our understanding ofAmericanhistory and culture via the particular insights African American literature provides.Our main text will beThe Norton Anthology of African American Literature, but we will supplement this with additional materials, as needed.Writing assignments: weekly quizzes; regular handwritten and online journaling, including responses to take-home and in-class prompts; three essays (one requiring research); final examination.

Texts: Gates, McKay, et al.,The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Second Edition;Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl;Johnson,Incognegro; Schuyler,Black No More; Ellison, Invisible Man;Morrison, A Mercy;additional essays, stories, and criticism.

3366-001+ (6275) [3307]. AMERICAN LITERARY HISTORY II.

11:00 MWF.
101 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Weisenburger.

A survey of major writers and developments in the American literary tradition from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Movement and the 1960s: a time of increasing urbanization, industrialization, of segregation and civil rights struggle, women’s rights and . . . war upon war. How American writers respond to these profound changes, to modernity and its many discontents, will guide our reading and inquiry during the semester. We will read primarily from a standard anthology, supplemented by two novels from the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway’sThe Sun Also Risesand Nella Larsen’sPassing. Students will write two short papers, a mid-term and a final exam.

3373-001H#+ (5693) [3359]. MASCULINITIES.

5:30 W.
134 Clements Hall.
Prof. Wheeler.

A course that explores ideas of "the masculine" in representative European and American literary texts (and films).Why do we now condemn men for the very qualities our culture once applauded? In this course, moving forward in time from the ancient world to the contemporary period, we examine changing (and challenging) images of men in key cultural texts -- from the heroes of Homer'sIliadto those of thePoem of the Cid;from Plato's delight inThe Symposiumto Abelard's self-pity in his autobiography; from Shakespeare's conflictedOthelloto Balzac'sOld Goriotand E. M. Forster'sMaurice. We migrate to America with Owen Wister's myth of the cowboy inThe Virginian; Ralph Ellison's record of African-American experience inInvisible Man;the "hard-boiled heel," the private eye of Dashiell Hammett'sThe Maltese Falcon; the recent "guy" film,The Fight Club;and the stories ofBrokeback Mountainand slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk. Topics include war and oppression; sexualities; gender roles and social class; heroism and violence; black men in racist white societies; gay men in homophobic societies; ideologies of success and competition.

3379-001C# (4080). CONTEXTS OF DISABILITY.

11:00 MWF.
116 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Satz.

This course deals with the literary and cultural portrayals of those with disability and the knotty philosophical and ethical issues that permeate current debates in the disability rights movement. The course also considers the ways issues of disability intersect with issues of gender, race, class, and culture. A wide variety of issues, ranging from prenatal testing and gene therapy through legal equity for the disabled in society, will be approached through a variety of readings, both literary and non-literary, by those with disabilities and those currently without them. Writing assignments: two short essays, one 8-10 page essay; mid-term, final examination.

Texts: Rapp,Poster Child;Jamison,Unquiet Mind,Haddon,Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night;Lessing,The Fifth Child; Sarton,As We Are Now; Kupfer, Before and After Zachariah; Silverstein, Sick Girl; Mairs, selected essays; O’Connor, selected stories; selected philosophical essays.

3383-001C (3641) [3348]. LITERARY EXECUTIONS: IMAGINATION AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.

12:30 TTh.
101 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Holahan.

A study of the literary treatment of capital punishment. The aim is to locate a social issue of continuing importance within literary traditions that permit a different kind of analysis from that given in moral, social, and legal discourse. The literary forms include drama, lyric, novel, and biography; the periods of history represented range from the English Reformation and the Elizabethan Renaissance to the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and contemporary America. Writing assignments: three short essays, final examination.

Texts: TBA.

3391-001 (5805). INTERMEDIATE POETRY WRITING.

11:00 TTh.
120 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Key.

Workshop in which student poetry and directed exercises in basic techniques form the content of the course. Writing assignments: 12-15 poems. Prerequisite: ENGL 2391.

Texts: Myers & Weingarten, New American Poets of the 90s; Myers, The Portable Poetry Workshop. (Suggested reference work: Myers, The Dictionary of Poetic Terms).

***CANCELLED***

3391-002. INTERMEDIATE POETRY WRITING.

2:00 TTh.
101 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Key.

3392-001 (4090). INTERMEDIATE FICTION WRITING.

12:30 TTh.
137 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Haynes.

An intermediate workshop in writing fiction, building on craft techniques taught in ENGL 2392. Writing assignments: class exercises, writing and rewriting short stories. Prerequisite: ENGL 2392.

Texts: TBA.

4321-001^ (5807) [4371]. STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE.

2:00 TTh.
153 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Dumitrescu.

In this course we will follow the heroes of medieval epic as they vanquish dragons, seek treasure, fight to the death, betray and take vengeance, fall in (doomed) love, file lawsuits, play the fiddle, and make a host of bad decisions. Among the topics we will discuss along the way are: women in epic; manuscript and historical contexts; monsters, outsiders, and outlaws; ways of thinking about and representing violence; the role of epic in the creation of a community’s history; Christian and pagan traditions; and the afterlife of the medieval heroic narrative. Assignments: weekly reading responses, oral presentation, short essays, longer final paper.

Texts: Beowulf; Grettir’s Saga, shorter Old and Middle English narratives; Waltharius; Volsunga Saga; Nibelungenlied; Kudrun; The Song of Roland; Njal’s Saga.

4330-001^ (5808) [4361]. RENAISSANCE WRITERS: DONNE, HERBERT.

3:30 TTh.
101 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Rosendale.

John Donne and George Herbert were two seventeenth-century Anglican clergymen—the latter a quiet country parson, the former a brilliantly urbane (and often scandalous) social climber and eroticist—who also happened to be remarkable poets, the best-known writers of what has retrospectively become known as “metaphysical poetry.” Donne in particular is a fascinating figure, a writer of both magnificent devotional works and astoundingly dirty poems, and a famous preacher who both loved and resented God deeply. This course will intensively study the writings of these two figures, attending primarily to their knotty, challenging, conflicted, and deeply rewarding poetry. Grading: participation, presentations, two mid-length writing assignments, final exam.

Texts: Many and various poems and prose works; selected criticism

4332-001^ (3676) [4336] STUDIES IN EARLY MODERN BRITISH LITERATURE: SPENSER AND MILTON.

3:00 MW.
106 Hyer Hall.
Prof. Moss.

The Faerie Queene—Edmund Spenser’s endlessly imaginative allegory for the English nation and its queen—and Paradise Lost—John Milton’s epic portrayal of satanic vengeance, human frailty, and promised redemption—remain the most rewarding and influential long poems of the English Renaissance. After introducing ourselves to each poet’s earlier work, we will read these poems in their entirety, alongside extensive coverage of the religious, political, and social controversies of the early modern period. Writing assignments: brief weekly exercises, two short essays, one longer paper, final examination.

Texts: Spenser, The Shepheardes Calendar; The Faerie Queene; Milton, Comus; Paradise Lost; selected course material and criticism.

4333-001^ (3071) [4331]. SHAKESPEARE.

9:30 TTh.
156 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Holahan.

Close reading of the major tragedies along with representative later comedies, problem plays, and romances. Reading will be supplemented by the viewing of videotaped performances. Writing assignments: three essays, quizzes, mid-term, final examination.

Texts: TBA.

4343-701 (5812) [4342]. BRITISH LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS: NARRATIVE SECRETS, SECRET-SHARING NARRATIVES IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY FICTION.

6:30 T.
106 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Murfin.

A consideration of six works of fiction, some of which have important secrets known to the narrator and some characters (but not others, including the protagonist), others of which contain information unknown by the narrator and/orthe readeruntilrevelatory turning points in the plot, and still other texts that, in addition, seem to involvesecretsneverrevealed except through what J. Hillis Miller calls "traces or marks," "indirect signsannouncing their hidden existence"--secrets perhaps unknown at any conscious level by the authors themselves. Such fictions often involvereal or phantasmal doubles (twins) or Doppelgängers(counterparts) who are "in the know"; others are conveyed through complex narrative structures (twice-told tales, interpolated stories, so-called "Chinese box" narratives) that at once invite readers to be"in on" the secret and keep them at a distance. Novels and shorter works by five of the following writers will be covered: Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, Ford Madox Ford.

4346-001 (5813) [4371]. AMERICAN LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS: STUPIDITY.

12:30 TTh.
138 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Householder.

A no-nonsense examination ofliterary representations of America's idiots, dummies, dopes, dupes, dunces, dullards, fools, bumpkins, hayseeds, hicks, rubes, yokels, halfwits, dimwits, nitwits, airheads, ingénues, simpletons, fops, sops, saps, suckers, nincompoops, blockheads, chuckleheads, jackasses, fumblers, bumblers, and oafs, from the colonial period to Reconstruction. Writing assignments:two shorter papers, mid-term,final examination, 12-15 page research essay.

Texts:Heath Anthology of American Literature(5thedition); Crevecoeur,Letters from an American Farmer; Rowson,Charlotte Temple; James,Daisy Miller.

4356-001 (3786). MODERN & CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN WRITERS.

10:00 MWF.
351 Dallas Hall.
Prof. Satz.

The study of three important figures in twentieth century literature—Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison--with attention to the interrelationships among the writers and their works as well as to the relation of the works to important events and movements in American history, such as slavery, segregation, and the Civil Rights movement. Various critical approaches to the works. GEC Diversity credit by petition. Writing assignments: four essays of varying length, mid-term, final examination.

Texts: Hurston,Their Eyes Were Watching God, selected short stories; Walker,Meridian,The Color Purple,Possessing the Secret of Joy; Morrison,The Bluest Eye,Sula, A Mercy , ; essays by Hurston, Walker, and Morrison.