Graduate Courses Fall 2013

For times and meeting places, please see the latest schedule download.

 

ENG 552: ARTHURIAN LITERATURE - DR. MICHAEL SALDA

Fulfills Brit lit I requirement.

"Arthurian Literature: The Beginnings"

A survey of seminal British, Welsh and continental Arthurian works, c. 500-1500. 

Primary readings will include selections from Gildas, Bede, Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Mabinogion, the Welsh AnnalsSir Gawain and the Green Knight, Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, Malory, and others.

Student requirements will include exams, presentations, and a research essay.

 


ENG 611: STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE - DR. KATE COCHRAN

Fulfills Contemporary lit requirement.

"The South in Literature and Film"

This course is designed to provide insight into how the South has been portrayed in American film and literature in the 20th and 21st centuries, from one of its first filmic appearances in The Birth of a Nation (1915) to the recent Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), and its correspondence in fiction, from the multi-genre Cane (1923) to the new short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove (2013).  We will be supplementing our viewing of primary films and discussions of primary fiction with a variety of clips from other films, theoretical and critical articles, and brief, focused lectures.  The course is arranged by topic, rather than chronologically, and examines some of the major tropes in movies about the South: the plantation legend and the Civil War, racism and civil rights, mystery and horror, etc.  In addition to completing readings and viewing films, students will be expected to maintain a reading journal, participate in class discussion, and craft a well-researched seminar essay.  

Probable texts:

  • William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom
  • Cormac McCarthy, Child of God
  • Karen Russell, Vampires in the Lemon Grove
  • Jean Toomer, Cane
  • Alice Walker, The Color Purple
  • Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

ENG 620: POETIC FORMS

Creative writing elective.

 

ENG 625: READINGS IN FICTION - PROF. STEVEN BARTHELME

Creative writing elective, repeatable to 6 hours.

Readings in contemporary fiction, one book a week plus handout materials, emphasis on craft and manufacture concerns, requires short weekly responses, an annotated bibliography or critical essay.   Readings to include but not limited to:      

  •             Nine Stories, J. D. Salinger
  •             Seize the Day, Saul Bellow
  •             Goodbye, Columbus Philip Roth
  •             The Beetle Leg John Hawkes
  •             End of the Road John Barth
  •             Crying of Lot 49 Thomas Pynchon
  •             Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down Ishmael Reed
  •             Leaf Storm, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
  •             The Burning House, Ann Beattie
  •             Cathedral, Raymond Carver
  •             The Cement Garden, Ian McEwan
  •             Disgrace J. M. Coetzee
  •             Eeeee Eee Eeee, Tao Lin

 

ENG 640: CRITICAL READINGS & METHODS - DR. MONIKA GEHLAWAT

Graduate requirement for all but MA-CW students.

ENG 640 is designed to introduce or review the methods of research in literary studies, the conventions of scholarly conversations about literary works, the critical approaches to literary analysis, and the components and mechanics of literary-critical essays.  A requirement for all English graduate students, this course will prepare both literature and creative writing students for their work in graduate seminars and their future research. 

 

ENG 644: LITERARY THEORY - DR. CHARLES SUMNER

Fulfills theory requirement.

This course will begin with a general survey of literary theory.  Once we have a sense of the major schools under our belts, we will then concentrate specifically on Marxism and psychoanalysis, and we will see how "psycho-Marxism" can be used to refute the claims of some of the most contemporary approaches to literary criticsm, such as "thing theory" and "surface reading."

 

ENG 670: AMERICAN LITERATURE I - DR. ELLEN WEINAUER

Fulfills American lit I requirement.

"The American Renaissance"

At its most specific, the term “American Renaissance” refers to the years that witnessed the publication of central works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman.  Yet these same years also saw a massive explosion of American literary production by other writers, in other genres, as well.  Placing our readings in the context of the political, socio-economic, and theological upheavals of the American 1850s, we will examine works of traditional “American Renaissance” writers alongside less canonical texts. Looking in particular at the genres against which such writers as Emerson, Hawthorne, and Melville have been defined—namely, abolitionist literature and the sentimental novel—we will attempt to re-visit and re-describe the boundaries of the American Renaissance itself. 

Primary Texts:

  • William Wells Brown, Clotel
  • Frederick Douglass, The Heroic Slave
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson’s Prose and Poetry
  • Margaret Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth-Century
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, Selected Tales and Sketches.
  • Herman Melville, Moby Dick
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, Walden and Other Writings
  • Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

We will supplement the primary texts with pertinent secondary readings. 

Students will write weekly responses, one short critical essay, and a final research essay that they will present to the class in a conference-style format.

 

ENG 672: TOPICS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE - DR. LUIS IGLESIAS

“Acentos Latino: Contemporary Latino Literature”

Fulfills non-traditional requirement.

“Acentos Latino: Contemporary Latino Literature” will explore the multiethnic, multiracial, and sociallydiverse dimensions of contemporary Latino-American literature. Looking at a range of works in different genres by Hispanic American writers, we will seek to unpack the monolithic term “Latino,” which has come to represent a diverse set of communities that spreads across the full spectrum of American life, experiences, and geography. At the same time, we will seek to locate those moments – literary, aesthetic, and/or experiential – that define “Latino” identity in the U. S. that emerges from this rich (and prolific) body of writings.

Among our readings:

  • How the García Girls Lost their Accent. (1991); Julia Alvarez
  • Dreaming in Cuban. (1992); Christina Garcia
  • Imagine the Angles of Bread. (1996); Martin Espada
  • Diva. (1999); Rafael Campo
  • Bodega Dreams. (2000); Ernesto Quiñonez
  • Anna in the Tropics. (2003); Nilo Cruz
  • Watercolor Women, Opaque Men: A Novel in Verse. (2005); Ana Castillo
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. (2007); Junot Díaz
  • We the Animals. (2011); Justin Torres
  • Ink. (2012); Sabrina Vourvoulias

Please contact Prof. Iglesias with questions: Luis.Iglesias@usm.edu

 

ENG 690: THEORY OF TEACHING COMPOSITION

 

ENG 721: SEMINAR IN FICTION WRITING

 

ENG 722: SEMINAR IN POETRY WRITING

 

ENG 764: VICTORIANISM - DR. ALEXANDRA VALINT

"The Victorian Gothic"

Fulfills British lit II requirement.

Victorian Gothic seems to be having a cultural moment. ABC is planning a horror TV series called Gothica that features Victorian characters like Dorian Gray, Dracula, and Jekyll and Hyde. Showtime is planning a similar series called Penny Dreadful. And NBC has cast Jonathan Rhys Meyers in its new version of Dracula. But what exactly is the Victorian Gothic? How do we define it? What is specifically Victorian about it? And what's the reason behind its enduring relevance? This class will be an exploration of these questions. That exploration will takes us through a variety of genres associated with the gothic, including science fiction, detective fiction, monster fiction, ghost stories, romance, and sensation fiction. We'll read short stories (including some written for children), novels, poems, and hopefully a play; in addition, we'll read theorists of the gothic. We'll likely read titles by authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Richard Marsh, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Wilkie Collins, Lucy Clifford, and Margaret Oliphant.

 

ENG 771: SEMINAR IN AMERICAN LITERATURE II - DR. JONATHAN BARRON

"American Modernist Poetry of the 1920s"

Fulfills modern requirement.

In this seminar we will examine the remarkable decade that saw the publication of  Eliot’s The Waste Land, William Carlos Williams’ Spring and All, Langston Hughes’ The Weary Blues, Hart Crane’s White Buildings, Marianne Moore’s Poems, Wallace Stevens’ Harmonium, Robert Frost’s New Hampshire, among others. We will ask two questions: what is Modernism? And, is there an American Modernism?

In addition to reading primary collections by select American poets of the 1920s we will also read secondary works by Michael Levenson, Christopher Butler, and others.