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Current Upper Division Courses

Fall 2018 course descriptions are now available

 

Spring 2018 course descriptions

 

Fall 2017 English Department Courses

The following are the Upper Divison courses offered for Fall 2017. The complete updated list of courses being offered is available in Peoplesoft.


Introduction to Literary Studies Requirement

Class Number: 20523
Dr. Dave Mazella
MWF 10:00-11:00
ENGL 3301 is focused upon Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. As with the other sections of ENGL 3301, this is a “gateway course” designed to provide students entering the major with a pragmatic introduction to contemporary literary studies. Swift and Literary Studies focuses upon a single literary text and author, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, to discuss current methods of critical reading, writing, and especially research. The theoretical discussions, however, will always be brought back to practical questions of research and writing.

This is a demanding course designed for English majors. It is not an introduction to literature, but to the forms of scholarly research practiced in the discipline of literary studies. Non-majors and English minors are advised to contact the professor before enrolling. Students who have not taken at least one sophomore-level literature course at UH should also consider taking that before signing up for ENGL 3301. English 3301 will not presume any previous experience in the areas covered, but it will require students to engage seriously with a select group of challenging texts, to work independently and in groups on the topics raised, and to plan and execute a research project on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels that reflects current thinking in literary studies.

Because this course is taught seminar-style, with in-class assignments, student presentations, group work, and student-designed research projects, students must be prepared to show up, keep up with the reading, and hand in their written work according to the class schedule. Students are also required to participate in group work and regularly visit and contribute to the course-blog.

All this varied work is designed for you to develop your research skills, along with a more sophisticated understanding of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.


Class number: 21624
Dr. Hosam Aboul-Ela
MW 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Course Goals: The goal of this course is to instill critical thinking skills and improve students’ ability to analyze literary, rhetorical, and cultural texts. Improved writing and reading skills and introduction to a sample of basic critical schools and literary genres are among the secondary goals. We are also interested in literature’s place within world, and literature as a socially significant artifact, so please consider this theme as you undertake each reading. You should start this course with an ability to write a critical paper about literature. Therefore, the course will emphasize reading and critical thinking.

Requirements: Students will write three formal papers of approximately 4 pages in length and complete a series of short assignments and reading quizzes.

Readings:
Butler, Judith. Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations.
Eagleton, Terry. How to Read Literature.
Kincaid, Jamaica. Lucy.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet.
Short poems, stories, and essays.


Class Number: 21625
Dr. Margot Backus
TTH 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Overview:
When asked what he felt the central insight that his notoriously complex theory of deconstruction should have for all students of literature, Jacques Derrida responded: “slow down!” This section of English 3301 will apply Derrida’s advice (not Derridean theory) in a very specific way, by deliberately emulating the reading of a Victorian novel as it would have been read by its original audience, who read each of the novel’s eight books as a serial installment.

Eliot’s 800-page masterpiece has been celebrated as the literary realist novel’s fullest realization, and as such, Middlemarch is frequently invoked as a touchstone against which various prior and subsequent developments in the novel are defined. Yet as a work understood as the fulfillment of several literary traditions, including fiction, the novel, the marriage plot, the historical novel, and realism, and as the standard from which subsequent developments such as naturalism, symbolism, modernism and meta-fiction depart, Middlemarch currently poses numerous problems for English majors. Given its enormous size, in our busy and information-inundated world Middlemarch is increasingly difficult for faculty to assign, or for students to carefully read when they do. Furthermore, Middlemarch’s status as the epitome of the high realist novel, when accepted unquestioningly, with little or no serious investigation into such far from obvious questions as what the novel, fiction, and realism are, can turn not only this novel but “the realist novel” as a whole into something that seems deceivingly straightforward. To the contrary, however, a “slowed down” examination of Eliot’s realism raises very sophisticated questions concerning the relationship between an objective, external world, if any, and Eliot’s intricate verbal construct. Such a deliberate, disciplined reading of the novel lends itself to an “Introduction to Literary Studies,” because we will have room for readings in biography, close reading, aspects of Victorian culture and history, and in generic issues including fiction, thenovel, and realism, and also for weekly workshops aimed at developing majors’ abilities in the areas of close reading, the application of source materials to a text, library and archival research, and the drafting and revision of critical essays. We will spend every fourth class meeting working on specific reading, invention, research, and writing skills, so that the final course grade will reflect, roughly equally, the informal writing exercises and in-class participation the course will require, and the final, polished critical essay each course participant will produce.


Class Number: 26653
Dr. Amanda Ellis
TTH 11:30 am-1:00 pm

British Literature before 1798 Requirement

Class Number: 18311
Dr. Wyman Herendeen
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
In this course we will explore the variety and range of some of Shakespeare’s most original dramatic work, including samples of his tragedies, comedies, history plays, and romances. We will read five plays, including Hamlet and The Tempest; the first play that we will read is As You Like It (the others to be announced). The English Renaissance, when Shakespeare was writing, was one of major social, political, and cultural transformation, the impact of which is still being felt. During the course, we will discuss some of the social, political, and cultural contexts out of which Shakespeare’s work emerged, and how that social and cultural flux gets represented in the plays. The class will emphasize close critical reading and critical writing, and the development of research skills.

Class Number: 24250
Dr. Irving Rothman

TTh 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Dr. Jamie Ferguson
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
This is an introduction to the literary and historical study of the Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament in the King James Version (1611), which scholars consider a generally reliable reflection of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek originals – but which, for our purposes, has the additional advantage of being itself a classic work in English. We shall read the biblical texts in the context of other Near Eastern literature, from the perspectives of traditional Jewish and Christian exegesis, historical-critical and literary analysis, and the history of translation. For some texts, we shall compare the KJV with other versions. Our readings will include: Genesis, 1-2 Samuel, Amos, Jonah, selected Psalms, Job, 2 Esdras, the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, and the Epistle to the Romans. The Bible includes a veritable anthology of literary genres: narrative, song, dream vision, folktale, lament, dramatic dialogue, parable, proverb, epistle, apocalypse, etc. This generic variety is matched by copious literary craft, including close plotting, irony, complex characterization, rhetorical address, metaphor, allegory, and much else. In addition, the biblical canon, written over the course of some twelve centuries, includes within itself many layers of repetition, redaction, reworking, and self-commentary. This complex of texts offers a rich and varied field for interpretation; it also raises fundamental issues of originality and derivativeness, vision and revision, authorial intent and interpretive latitude. This course satisfies three hours of the British Literature pre-1798 requirement for English majors. The course is open to all students but may be taken for Honors credit (without petition).

Textbooks:
The English Bible, King James Version. Norton Critical Edition. Norton, 2012.
· Vol. 1: The Old Testament. Ed. Herbert Marks. ISBN 978-0-393-92745-0
· Vol. 2: The New Testament and the Apocrypha. Ed. Gerald Hammond and Austin Busch. ISBN 978-0-393-97507-9

Dr. Lorraine Stock
TTH 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This course traces the development of the myth/history of the British legendary character Robin Hood from its pre-medieval roots, through its literary development, to the most current iterations of the hero in politics and popular culture. The course will ask class members to revaluate their instinctive impression of Robin Hood as the benevolent outlaw who “robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.” The course’s coverage of the developing legend may include: pre-medieval folklore; medieval ballads about a yeoman outlaw; Elizabethan plays about a gentrified Norman aristocrat-turned outlaw, Robert of Huntington and his love interest Maid Marian; 18th-century broadside ballads providing the back stories about the “Merry Men”; 19th century novels, lyric poems, and plays; 20th-century popular culture entertainments including operas, popular fiction, feature films and television series video games, graphic novels, etc. devoted to the Robin Hood legend. Through these adaptations, Robin Hood became a protean cultural symbol that has been variously appropriated by systems of authority as well as rebels against authority. From her origins as a fertility goddess, the May Queen, to her most recent film adaptations as a gutsy warrior women, reinterpretations of Maid Marian have mirrored the development of women’s history in the past century, turning a once passive damsel in distress into a post-feminist, proactive female partner of the male hero. In the 2008 American election Barack Obama was associated with the British outlaw by both supporters and detractors. In the commercial sphere, the RH “brand” has advertised products: underwear; bullets; milk.

Required Books:

  1. Stephen Knight/ Thomas Ohlgren, ed. Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales (Kalamazoo: University of Western Michigan Press; TEAMS Medieval Texts) ISBN 978-1580440677.
  2. 2. Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (NY: Dover, 1968) ISBN-10: 0486220435; ISBN-13: 978-0486220437

These will be supplemented by online texts, (Thomas Love Peacock, Maid Marian; Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Foresters; and others material about writing about film) and books and films on reserve.

Films:

Students will become familiar with the major films and television adaptations of the Robin Hood story and do independent research about lesser known films and TV from the instructor's personal collection. Selected film clips will be available on Blackboard and complete films will be placed reserve in the library.

Any British Literature Requirement

* Courses in the British Literature before 1798 category will also satisfy this requirement

Dr. Karen Fang
TTH 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Why are Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Blake, and Shelley some of the most reproduced poets in the English language? What were the major issues shaping their writing, and what might the concerns of this handful of nineteenth-century British poets have to teach us about our ways of seeing the modern world?

In this survey of the major works and figures of the Romantic era, we will consider the chief literary and historical issues in which their writing were shaped: the return to nature; a new valuation of originality and interiority; political and industrial revolution and its subsequent disillusionment; a new desire for posterity; and the critique of these new principles by women or lower-class figures excluded from the cultural elite.

Requirements: reading, class participation, oral presentation, midterm and final. Students will also have the option of submitting an additional creative final project.

Dr. Margot Backus
TTh 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
This course will focus on the emergence, consolidation, and transformation of the realist novel through a close, comparative reading of British literature’s most canonical coming-of-age/marriage plot novels. Of necessity, we will begin with the most canonical and influential of all marriage plot novels, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. We will read and discuss subsequent novels on our syllabus – Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, Middlemarch and Mrs. Dalloway – as each introduces adjustments and challenges to the literary realist novel, considering how and why realism proved so successful over the course of the nineteenth century, and why realism was so rapidly overshadowed in the first decades of the twentieth century by a new kind of novel that drew its aesthetic and moral vitality from the disruption and inversion of realism’s conventions.

The course will emphasize two basic skills: appreciative and effective reading of literature, and critical writing exploring each novel analytically, in relationship to prior works of literature, and its social context. I will help to provide a sense of British social and literary history through a series of short lectures. Course time will be spent discussing the assigned texts. These discussions will take place in small discussion groups and as a class. For each small discussion I will designate a group member to summarize group discussion for the class as a whole. Grades will be based on attendance, preparation, short exploratory essays for each assigned novel, and a final 10-12 page comparison/contrast essay exploring an assigned novel’s adoption or adaptation of one particular aspect of an earlier novel.

Dr. Sebastian Lecourt
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
This course will introduce students to some of the key texts of science fiction as the genre emerged during the nineteenth century. We will consider the intellectual contexts for the form’s development in Britain, France, and the United States, as well as its emerging narrative conventions. In particular, we will consider how early sci-fi writers used non-realistic modes to dramatize problems and discoveries were at once real and yet hard to fathom within the parameters of everyday cognition: deep geological time, alternative social arrangements, post-human landscapes. Texts we read may include Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

American Literature before 1900 Requirement

Dr. Paul Guajardo
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Henry David Thoreau stands among the great philosophers, naturalists, essayists, and journal writers, and Walden is a uniquely American text that has been enormously influential and is one of a handful of works that deserves to be studied slowly over the course of a semester. Nevertheless, it is important to read Walden in the context of the American transcendental movement and alongside some of Thoreau’s other works: “Civil Disobedience,” “Life Without Principle,” and “Walking.” Our primary text is The Portable Thoreau, edited by Jeffrey S. Cramer, but the class will begin with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays, “The American Scholar,” “Self- Reliance,” and the “Divinity School Address.”

Requirements:
attendance and participation
expository essay (5-8 pages) on any aspect of the chapter “Economy.”
research paper (10-15 pages)
individual project and class presentation
reading quizzes, mid-term & final exam

Dr. Jason Berger
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
This is not your old school environmental literature class. Here, you’ll bump into Donna Haraway’s Cthonic earthly monsters (“replete with tentacles, feelers, digits, cords, whiptails, spider legs, and very unruly hair”); examine nonhuman forms of “plant thinking”; and delve into the strange and new forms of ecological awareness that Timothy Morton calls “Dark Ecology.” In terms of literature, we will consider a variety of texts from the American nineteenth century, including Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Herman Melville’s Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, and parts of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp as well as contemporary works such as Juliana Spahr’s poems in That Winter the Wolf Came, Indra Sinha’s novel Animal’s People, and Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild. Throughout, we will explore a number of contemporary critical approaches that question and complicate received notions about nature and the human.

*This course will satisfy the American literature before 1900 requirement (via petition).

Any American Literature Requirement Courses

* Courses in the American Literature before 1900 category will also satisfy this requirement

Dr. Hosam Aboul-Ela
TTH 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Course Goals: Our purpose is to improve skills in critical thinking, literary analysis, composition, and style. In this course, we will work on these skills through reading and discussion of modern and postmodern American literature, focusing on a small sample of major authors, movements, and issues. Most of the readings involve travel, the family, or the tension between them. Cumulatively, the family suggests the dissonance within communal units reflecting on our desire for cohesiveness as a nation. Travel is central to the canon of American letters. It also reflects the fluidity of what we consider American. The readings raise large issues in the American cultural landscape: modernity, exceptionalism, the American dream, capitalism, race relations, gender roles, sexuality, nationalism, and the transnational. Through analysis of these categories, we will search for deeper understandings of these common themes.

Requirements: 3 papers and several pop quizzes.
Prospective Reading list includes:
Amiri Baraka, The Dutchman
Nell Larsen, Passing
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Alice Walker, The Color Purple
Edith Wharton, Summer
Poems and stories by Bowles, Crane, Eliot, Falkner, Hemingway, Plath


Dr. Maria Gonzalez
MWF 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Dr. Lawrence Hogue
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Contemporary American Fiction will be examined within the context of an emerging postmodern American society. Since the 1960s, a new phenomenon of American social reality has emerged. The emergent forms of a new commercial culture, the rise of computer and information networks, the mechanization of culture, the mediation of culture by the media, the shift from print literacy to images, urbanization, the absence of meta-narratives, and the co-existence of diverse cultures, races, and religions are all features of this new American society. We have diverse urbanization coinciding with the proliferation and extension of mass culture. This is a pregnant moment in the United States because you have the racial, religious, and cultural pluralization of institutions and practices and thus the creation of an image of the United States as a newly heterogeneous society. Within the span of the semester, we will hear as many of these diverse voices and examine as many of the literary trends as possible. We will read texts written mostly after 1980. The readings will be taken from the following texts: Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, Sherman Alexie’s Blasphemy, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada, Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Darcey Steinke’s Jesus Saves, Rikki Ducornet’s The Jade Cabinet, Richard Powers’s Gain, Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Carole Maso’s Ava, David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, Mary Gordon’s Final Payments, Brian Evenson’s Fugue State, Lance Olsen’s 10:01, Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and George Saunders’s In Persuasion Nation.
Requirements include a short paper, a mid-term exam and a final exam.

Dr. Bill Monroe
MWF 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
This course will be organized and conducted as a colloquium. The readings and discussions will visit and revisit a family of experiences that are, in English, designated by the word “love.” The Greeks used three different words to denote three different kinds of love: eros, agape, and philia. The love that we talk about when we talk about love—the subtitle of the course—is an actual title of a short story by Raymond Carver and may be any one of these types of love or a curious combination. We may find, in fact, that there are as many kinds of love as there are lovers. In the works we read, love may be depicted as an amusing pastime, a terrible addiction, or an ennobling virtue. It is most often a transformative experience, grounded in esteem and desire. We will want to consider in what ways and to what ends the transformations of love occur. The books we read will themselves offer us erotic occasions—that is, occasions for transformations initiated by beauty and esteem. We want to be in the company of that which we esteem; we emulate what we identify as attractive and beautiful. Thus it is that literary works can possess an erotic power, a power to seduce and transform by means of their narrative, lyric, and imagistic loveliness, their honesty, authenticity, courage, sincerity, and glorious ambition. We will learn better what we talk about when we talk about love if we learn to love the stories and the storytellers who talk about it well.

Dr. Cedric Tolliver
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
This course introduces students to several genres of writing in the African American literary tradition: slave narratives/autobiographies, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. The study of these texts will be grounded in the principles of contemporary literary and cultural criticism and will require students to develop close reading, critical thinking, and clear writing skills. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to acquire at least rudimentary research skills in order to undertake a self-directed literary-historical research project. This project will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of literary texts as aesthetic responses to and reflections of particular historical moments. In sum, this course is about learning to read literary texts, conduct research, and write essays.

Literature since 1950 Requirement Courses

Dr. Auritro Majumder
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The novel is by far the most significant type of literature today. Novel reading and writing is a global cultural phenomenon, as we will see in this course by exploring the work of some recent internationally acclaimed novelists, from India (Aravind Adiga), China (Koonchung Chan), Zimbabwe (Tsitsi Dangarembga) and Ireland (Emma Donoghue). What are some of the themes, styles, and concerns of contemporary novel writing, and how has the novel evolved from its earlier stages? This will be a reading and discussion-based class; writing requirements include an in-class midterm exam and three essays – an 800 word close reading, a 1200- 1500 word short paper, and a 2000 word final essay. Since we will develop most of our ideas in this class through conversation, a willingness to participate in informed and thoughtful debate is essential. In addition, you are expected to take notes in class, follow up on suggested reading resources, and generally be invested in humanistic thinking.


Dr. Lois Zamora
ONLINE
This online course will focus on recent novels that have been described by the term "magical realism." Magical realism engages the usual devises of narrative realism, but with a difference: the supernatural is an ordinary matter, an everyday occurrence, accepted and integrated into the rationality and materiality of literary realism. We will read a number of novels from different cultural contexts in order to compare the workings of magical realism in North and South America and explore the diversity of its contemporary styles and subjects. We will also pay attention to the visual arts and their connection to the novels we are reading.

Required Texts:
Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, eds. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (Duke University Press, 1995)
Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia)
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths (Argentina)
Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World (Cuba)
Louise Erdrich, Tracks (USA)
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (USA)
Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits (Chile)

Course Requirements:
Weekly reading quizzes and discussion board postings
Final Paper
Final Exam

Dr. Lawrence Hogue
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Contemporary American Fiction will be examined within the context of an emerging postmodern American society. Since the 1960s, a new phenomenon of American social reality has emerged. The emergent forms of a new commercial culture, the rise of computer and information networks, the mechanization of culture, the mediation of culture by the media, the shift from print literacy to images, urbanization, the absence of meta-narratives, and the co-existence of diverse cultures, races, and religions are all features of this new American society. We have diverse urbanization coinciding with the proliferation and extension of mass culture. This is a pregnant moment in the United States because you have the racial, religious, and cultural pluralization of institutions and practices and thus the creation of an image of the United States as a newly heterogeneous society. Within the span of the semester, we will hear as many of these diverse voices and examine as many of the literary trends as possible. We will read texts written mostly after 1980. The readings will be taken from the following texts: Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, Sherman Alexie’s Blasphemy, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, Ishmael Reed’s Flight to Canada, Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, Darcey Steinke’s Jesus Saves, Rikki Ducornet’s The Jade Cabinet, Richard Powers’s Gain, Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Carole Maso’s Ava, David Foster Wallace’s Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, Mary Gordon’s Final Payments, Brian Evenson’s Fugue State, Lance Olsen’s 10:01, Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and George Saunders’s In Persuasion Nation.
Requirements include a short paper, a mid-term exam and a final exam.

Dr. Cedric Tolliver
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
This course introduces students to several genres of writing in the African American literary tradition: slave narratives/autobiographies, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. The study of these texts will be grounded in the principles of contemporary literary and cultural criticism and will require students to develop close reading, critical thinking, and clear writing skills. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to acquire at least rudimentary research skills in order to undertake a self-directed literary-historical research project. This project will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of literary texts as aesthetic responses to and reflections of particular historical moments. In sum, this course is about learning to read literary texts, conduct research, and write essays.

Dr. Jason Berger
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
This is not your old school environmental literature class. Here, you’ll bump into Donna Haraway’s Cthonic earthly monsters (“replete with tentacles, feelers, digits, cords, whiptails, spider legs, and very unruly hair”); examine nonhuman forms of “plant thinking”; and delve into the strange and new forms of ecological awareness that Timothy Morton calls “Dark Ecology.” In terms of literature, we will consider a variety of texts from the American nineteenth century, including Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Herman Melville’s Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, and parts of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp as well as contemporary works such as Juliana Spahr’s poems in That Winter the Wolf Came, Indra Sinha’s novel Animal’s People, and Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild. Throughout, we will explore a number of contemporary critical approaches that question and complicate received notions about nature and the human.

*This course will satisfy the American literature before 1900 requirement (via petition).

Global Literature Requirement

Dr. Auritro Majumder
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The novel is by far the most significant type of literature today. Novel reading and writing is a global cultural phenomenon, as we will see in this course by exploring the work of some recent internationally acclaimed novelists, from India (Aravind Adiga), China (Koonchung Chan), Zimbabwe (Tsitsi Dangarembga) and Ireland (Emma Donoghue). What are some of the themes, styles, and concerns of contemporary novel writing, and how has the novel evolved from its earlier stages? This will be a reading and discussion-based class; writing requirements include an in-class midterm exam and three essays – an 800 word close reading, a 1200- 1500 word short paper, and a 2000 word final essay. Since we will develop most of our ideas in this class through conversation, a willingness to participate in informed and thoughtful debate is essential. In addition, you are expected to take notes in class, follow up on suggested reading resources, and generally be invested in humanistic thinking.


Dr. Lois Zamora
Online
This online course will focus on recent novels that have been described by the term "magical realism." Magical realism engages the usual devises of narrative realism, but with a difference: the supernatural is an ordinary matter, an everyday occurrence, accepted and integrated into the
rationality and materiality of literary realism. We will read a number of novels from different cultural contexts in order to compare the workings of magical realism in North and South America and explore the diversity of its contemporary styles and subjects. We will also pay attention to the visual arts and their connection to the novels we are reading.

Required Texts:
Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, eds. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (Duke University Press, 1995)
Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia)
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths (Argentina)
Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of this World (Cuba)
Louise Erdrich, Tracks (USA)
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (USA)
Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits (Chile)

Theory, Methods, and Cultural Production Requirement

Dr. Jim Zebroski
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm


English 3340 provides students with advanced writing practice. You will leave the course having composed improved written products. You also will enlarge and revise your understanding of writing process.

This is an elective course. It is also an advanced course. You should have an interest in improving your writing and moving it toward professional and disciplinary norms (careers and majors). Usually about half the students in class are majoring in areas that are not in English. Usually a fair number of pre-law students and a few pre-med students take this course. Often social science and education majors take the course.

This course will be an inquiry-driven course; that is, the course will be structured according to an empirical investigation of a question.

The primary question we will ask is-- How is writing constituted for the UH student in the fall of 2016? Why?

That is, if we make writing visible in its myriad forms in the student’s everyday life, on and off campus, what are the situations in which writing occurs? What are the expectations for writing? What are the different types of writing done? How do their contexts shape those various kinds of writing? Who are the audiences for writing? How does technology change writing? How do the writing processes and discourse communities of various majors or professions or other communities shape texts? And finally, what style characterizes the writing done in your major? Why?

In the first section of the course, students will practice writing by reviewing writing experiences they have had so far, at and outside of the university. Students will reflect on their literacy (reading and writing) experiences from childhood to early adulthood and beyond.

This first section of the course will give students some time to get their writing skills back into practice and to improve those skills. There will be a portfolio on writing on campus which will include a reflective essay on reading and writing experiences as well as documents that survey the writing you do. Then there will be a series of short, in class essays on the readings. The emphasis is on analysis of the form of language used.

The second part of the course will be research-driven. Students will do a research project on the style of writing in their discipline (major). Using three different journals from the major, students will analyze the language and the rhetoric of three articles to discover the distinctive traits of writing and the writing process in their major. The end project is a research essay on writing, about ten pages in length not counting Works Cited page.

Dr. Chatwara Duran
MW 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
This course provides a foundation in linguistics as a field of study. Students will have theoretical and analytic skills for viewing and discussing language from a variety of perspectives, starting from sounds (phonetics and phonology), phrasal and sentential structures (syntax), and vocabulary (lexicon and morphology). Together, we will explore the denotative meanings of words (semantics) and the meanings of all of these linguistic categories combined in real situational contexts (pragmatics). In addition, we will discuss how human beings acquire all of these components of language (language acquisition) cognitively and socioculturally.

Dr. Chatwara Duran
MW 2:30-4:00
We will discuss and read about first and second language acquisition theories in this course. Students will be introduced to language teaching and learning methods developed from various theories constructed and researched in the field of applied linguistics. Techniques of teaching English as a second language to adolescents and adults will be focused.

Dr. Lauren Zentz
T 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
In this survey of the field we examine the social life of language, exploring topics such as: language contact and change; the politics of language, including research on language policies and language education and the roles of gender, race and class in linguistic interactions. Additionally, the contemporary global contexts of postcoloniality and globalization both domestically and abroad will be taken into account as we explore, through the lens of language, today’s highly mobile societies and our advancing communication technologies.

Dr. Jen Wingard
TH 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Course Description: The focus of the work in ENGL 4319 will be on how teachers can use writing and develop writing assignments to better assist students to become better readers. In other words, the course will ask you to read about and develop strategies and lessons that use writing to engage students in their reading. The course will be divided into three units: Unit One – How Writing can Help Teach Reading; Developing Sustained Reading Practices; Unit Two –Using Signposts to Teach Reading and Writing; and Unit Three –Teaching Multimodal Writing and Literacy. During the course you will be expected to be both a student and a teacher – on the one hand practicing the techniques we read and learn about (as a student would), and on the other hand develop lessons that you can give to students based on your engagement with the lessons and techniques you have explored in this class.

Dr. Lauren Zentz
TTH 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
This course examines English grammatical features: parts of speech, sentence elements, and doctrines of correctness. Together, we will discuss and explore grammatical applications and implications for language use in daily communication, writing, pedagogy, and English language learning.

Dr. Jason Berger
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
This is not your old school environmental literature class. Here, you’ll bump into Donna Haraway’s Cthonic earthly monsters (“replete with tentacles, feelers, digits, cords, whiptails, spider legs, and very unruly hair”); examine nonhuman forms of “plant thinking”; and delve into the strange and new forms of ecological awareness that Timothy Morton calls “Dark Ecology.” In terms of literature, we will consider a variety of texts from the American nineteenth century, including Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Herman Melville’s Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, and parts of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp as well as contemporary works such as Juliana Spahr’s poems in That Winter the Wolf Came, Indra Sinha’s novel Animal’s People, and Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild. Throughout, we will explore a number of contemporary critical approaches that question and complicate received notions about nature and the human.

*This course will satisfy the American literature before 1900 requirement (via petition).

Creative Writing Courses

Dr. Alexander Parsons
MW 1:00-2:00
Analysis and writing of fiction and poetry. Basic techniques and vocabulary in craft.

Instructor: Wanjiku Ngugi
TTH 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
In this course students will focus on learning what makes a good short story, and how to analyze
short stories and write them. Class time will be spent in examining published work and
discussing its strengths and weaknesses and using it as a model for student assignments; in
analyzing student work (both short prompt-based assignments and complete short stories); and in
studying craft vocabulary and techniques from our textbook.

Professor Pete Turchi
TTH 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
In this course students will read and write a variety of nonfiction, including but not limited to personal essays, profiles, essays about place, narrative essays, and perhaps even lyric essays. This is primarily a discussion class, though students will also respond to each other’s drafts. There will be reading, writing, or—most likely—both due for every class meeting.

Dr. Audrey Colombe
Literary magazine publication is the primary focus of this course. Glass Mountain Magazine is an international undergraduate literary magazine published by undergraduates at UH during fall and spring semesters. Production and editing are the primary goal of this course, though activities related to running a literary magazine (websites, social media, a reading series, writing contests, fundraising, the Boldface Conference, community outreach, and organizational activities) comprise a significant workload. Practical/theoretical issues related to magazine production are investigated as each activity progresses. The work is collective (most of the activities require small group input and effort) and individual (each member of the course is responsible for applying his/her own talents and interests). Students discuss assigned tasks, engage in editing activities, develop processes for completing stages of production, organize events, and develop communication strategies—as extensions of the central project, running a literary magazine. Effective interpersonal communication is a necessary element. Steady attendance at work sessions is required, along with extensive, separate preparation for in-class group activities and outside events. Discussion, investigation, and revision are constant. The course concludes with each student composing a reflective essay, a detailed observation of the successful activities and the gaps, with suggestions/reminders for future practicum actions.

Professor Giuseppe Taurino
MW 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
The poet W. H. Auden once called poetry “the clear expression of mixed feelings.” What motivates fiction, literary nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting and poetry is not a thesis or some logical utterance; instead, creative writing enacts the problem that it cannot explain. It operates from a writer’s attempt at recognition, as she tries to voice some severe utterance outside of herself—so that she may more deeply comprehend herself. Perhaps the better (though longer) explanation of this phenomenon comes from Robert Frost’s “Education by Poetry,” where he writes:

Every time a poem is written, every time a short story is written, it is written not by cunning, but by belief. The beauty, the something, the little charm of the thing to be, is more felt than known. There is a common jest, one that always annoys me, on the writers, that they write the last end first, and then work up to it; that they lay a train toward one sentence that they think is pretty nice and have all fixed up to set like a trap to close with. No, it should not be that way at all. No one who has ever come close to the arts has failed to see the difference between things written that way, with cunning and device, and the kind that are believed into existence, that begin in something more felt than known.

In this course, we’re going to work towards believing things into existence. We’re going to create new worlds out of our memories, imagination, and language. We’re going to create real people with the power to desire and think for themselves, the power to perform actions we may not have anticipated when we first created them. We’re going to strive to make these settings, characters, and plots so credible and engaging that we and others would prefer to spend our time exploring them than do just about anything else in the world.

Towards these ends, students will be asked to think of writing as a process. You will be asked to write extensively, and learn to “read as a writer,” analyzing the use of various craft elements by published writers, your classmates, and yourself.

Language and Linguistics Requirement

Dr. Jim Zebroski
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
English 3340 provides students with advanced writing practice. You will leave the course having composed improved written products. You also will enlarge and revise your understanding of writing process.

This is an elective course. It is also an advanced course. You should have an interest in improving your writing and moving it toward professional and disciplinary norms (careers and majors). Usually about half the students in class are majoring in areas that are not in English. Usually a fair number of pre-law students and a few pre-med students take this course. Often social science and education majors take the course.

This course will be an inquiry-driven course; that is, the course will be structured according to an empirical investigation of a question.

The primary question we will ask is-- How is writing constituted for the UH student in the fall of 2016? Why?

That is, if we make writing visible in its myriad forms in the student’s everyday life, on and off campus, what are the situations in which writing occurs? What are the expectations for writing? What are the different types of writing done? How do their contexts shape those various kinds of writing? Who are the audiences for writing? How does technology change writing? How do the writing processes and discourse communities of various majors or professions or other communities shape texts? And finally, what style characterizes the writing done in your major? Why?

In the first section of the course, students will practice writing by reviewing writing experiences they have had so far, at and outside of the university. Students will reflect on their literacy (reading and writing) experiences from childhood to early adulthood and beyond.

This first section of the course will give students some time to get their writing skills back into practice and to improve those skills. There will be a portfolio on writing on campus which will include a reflective essay on reading and writing experiences as well as documents that survey the writing you do. Then there will be a series of short, in class essays on the readings. The emphasis is on analysis of the form of language used.

The second part of the course will be research-driven. Students will do a research project on the style of writing in their discipline (major). Using three different journals from the major, students will analyze the language and the rhetoric of three articles to discover the distinctive traits of writing and the writing process in their major. The end project is a research essay on writing, about ten pages in length not counting Works Cited page.

Dr. Chatwara Duran
MW 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
This course provides a foundation in linguistics as a field of study. Students will have theoretical and analytic skills for viewing and discussing language from a variety of perspectives, starting from sounds (phonetics and phonology), phrasal and sentential structures (syntax), and vocabulary (lexicon and morphology). Together, we will explore the denotative meanings of words (semantics) and the meanings of all of these linguistic categories combined in real situational contexts (pragmatics). In addition, we will discuss how human beings acquire all of these components of language (language acquisition) cognitively and socioculturally.


Dr. Lauren Zentz
T 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
In this survey of the field we examine the social life of language, exploring topics such as: language contact and change; the politics of language, including research on language policies and language education and the roles of gender, race and class in linguistic interactions. Additionally, the contemporary global contexts of postcoloniality and globalization both domestically and abroad will be taken into account as we explore, through the lens of language, today’s highly mobile societies and our advancing communication technologies.

Dr. Lauren Zentz
TTH 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
This course examines English grammatical features: parts of speech, sentence elements, and doctrines of correctness. Together, we will discuss and explore grammatical applications and implications for language use in daily communication, writing, pedagogy, and English language learning.

Dr. Lauren Brozovich
TTH 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
This survey course will provide students with an advanced introduction to modern and contemporary American, British, and Irish poetry. Modernism is a vibrant, international movement, which brought about major innovations in literature, painting, sculpture, music, and dance. We will study the various ways in which modernist poets on both sides of the Atlantic responded to Ezra Pound’s famous injunction to “Make it new,” framing an aesthetic response to the many changes brought about by the advent of modernity. After the end of World War II, contemporary poets continued to renovate poetic forms and subject matter, inspired by, among other things, political developments, poetic manifestoes, new schools of literary theory, scientific innovations, environmental degradation, and the rise of the internet. Poets may include W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, H.D., Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Charles Olson, Elizabeth Bishop, Muriel Rukeyser, Randall Jarrell, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Larkin, A.R. Ammons, James Merrill, John Ashbery, W.S. Merwin, James Wright, Adrienne Rich, Seamus Heaney, Lyn Hejinian, Michael Palmer, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jorie Graham, Alice Notley, and Juliana Spahr.

Advanced English Elective Courses

Dr. Cedric Tolliver
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
This course introduces students to several genres of writing in the African American literary tradition: slave narratives/autobiographies, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. The study of these texts will be grounded in the principles of contemporary literary and cultural criticism and will require students to develop close reading, critical thinking, and clear writing skills. Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to acquire at least rudimentary research skills in order to undertake a self-directed literary-historical research project. This project will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of literary texts as aesthetic responses to and reflections of particular historical moments. In sum, this course is about learning to read literary texts, conduct research, and write essays.

Dr. Sebastian Lecourt
MW 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
This course will introduce students to some of the key texts of science fiction as the genre emerged during the nineteenth century. We will consider the intellectual contexts for the form’s development in Britain, France, and the United States, as well as its emerging narrative conventions. In particular, we will consider how early sci-fi writers used non-realistic modes to dramatize problems and discoveries were at once real and yet hard to fathom within the parameters of everyday cognition: deep geological time, alternative social arrangements, post-human landscapes. Texts we read may include Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Dr. Jason Berger
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
This is not your old school environmental literature class. Here, you’ll bump into Donna Haraway’s Cthonic earthly monsters (“replete with tentacles, feelers, digits, cords, whiptails, spider legs, and very unruly hair”); examine nonhuman forms of “plant thinking”; and delve into the strange and new forms of ecological awareness that Timothy Morton calls “Dark Ecology.” In terms of literature, we will consider a variety of texts from the American nineteenth century, including Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Herman Melville’s Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, and parts of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp as well as contemporary works such as Juliana Spahr’s poems in That Winter the Wolf Came, Indra Sinha’s novel Animal’s People, and Benh Zeitlin’s film Beasts of the Southern Wild. Throughout, we will explore a number of contemporary critical approaches that question and complicate received notions about nature and the human.

*This course will satisfy the American literature before 1900 requirement (via petition).

Dr. Karen Fang
TTH 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
From red light cameras and airport security to drones, biometrics, Edward Snowden and the NSA, our world is steeped in surveillance. What is surveillance and what does it do to those it monitors and whom it serves? How is it implemented or experienced in different places throughout the globe? Why is surveillance so ubiquitous in contemporary culture, and what can we predict about future possibilities for liberty, privacy, and unrestricted mobility? This upper-level course uses literature, film, critical and theoretical texts to explore one of today’s most pressing political and social topics. Texts and movies may include George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Bladerunner and citizenfour, and in addition to multiple writing assignments students will also have an optional creative final project. Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussion and should have experience in an upper-level literature, history, or political theory course.

Senior Experience Seminar Requirement

Dr. Jennifer Wingard
TH 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Course Description: The focus of the work in ENGL 4319 will be on how teachers can use writing and develop writing assignments to better assist students to become better readers. In other words, the course will ask you to read about and develop strategies and lessons that use writing to engage students in their reading. The course will be divided into three units: Unit One – How Writing can Help Teach Reading; Developing Sustained Reading Practices; Unit Two –Using Signposts to Teach Reading and Writing; and Unit Three –Teaching Multimodal Writing and Literacy. During the course you will be expected to be both a student and a teacher – on the one hand practicing the techniques we read and learn about (as a student would), and on the other hand develop lessons that you can give to students based on your engagement with the lessons and techniques you have explored in this class.

Dr. Ann Christensen
MW 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
The founding of Jamestown and unprecedented commercial expansion coincided with the flourishing of public theatres in the late 16th and early 17th centuries (called the early modern period). This course uses a core of dramatic and literary texts to focus our inquiry in and reflection on England Before Empire. We employ an inquiry-based approach to generate of a set
of critical questions, concepts, and historical terms that are central to Empire studies and foundational to this period. In this way, the course mindfully keeps theories of Empire in dialogue with what we can discern about period practices.

Assignments include reflection papers/blogs, discussion board leading, reading quizzes, in-class presentations, film viewing, and a research project.