Undergraduate Courses Fall 2014
Please note that course descriptions are only posted for variable content courses, and represent only a few of the classes that will be offered. For a complete listing, please click "Latest Schedule Downloads" above. For a list of course descriptions offered on on Gulf Coast campus, please click here.
ENG 203 H013 - WORLD LITERATURE - DR. EMILY STANBACK
Beginning with Homer’s The Odyssey and concluding with Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel Persepolis, this section of World Literature will focus on literary works that, in one way or another, might be read as travel narratives. Travel is an enduring theme in literature, and often depicts, or enacts, various forms of encounter—between diverse cultures, races, and religions; between past, present, and future; between the “real” and the “imagined”; between different languages, literary forms, and narrative traditions. As we read about such varied encounters, and as we explore the formal and thematic implications of “travel,” we will also consider the ways that we as readers—especially as readers in a World Literature course—encounter texts, as well as the cultures and individuals from which they issued.
ENG 319: LITERARY STUDY OF THE BIBLE - DR. JAMEELA LARES
In this class we will be looking at the Bible as a work of literature, identifying its various genres (kinds of writing) and doing “close readings” or examinations of how the texts are constructed to achieve their effects. Texts: Leland Ryken’s very readable Words of Delight: A Literary Introduction to the Bible and the wonderful new Norton Critical Edition of the King James Bible, the most important English translation and the one that has informed English literature for centuries. Course requirements: regular reading and class participation, three longer written assignments, weekly reading quizzes, midterm and final exam.
ENG 332: ADVANCED COMPOSITION - DR. CHRISTOPHER GARLAND
"The Visual Rhetoric of Death and Dying"
In this advanced composition class we are dealing with a specific theme: the visual rhetoric of death and dying. We will first address visual rhetoric as a form of academic inquiry, and then we will engage with a range of visual texts that attempt to describe, explore, narrate, and interrogate the experience of death and dying. More specifically, we will be thinking about how different visual media–photography, documentary film, photojournalism, social media, human rights posters–represent the experience of death and dying. We will also consider the relationship between cultural, religious, and national contexts and the visual rhetoric of death and dying. Moreover, we will apply our knowledge of rhetoric and persuasion to real-world issues revolving around the theme of death and dying.
ENG 351 H002: BRIT LIT II - DR. EMILY STANBACK
This section of ENG 351 focuses on the city as it appears in British literature from the Romantic era to the present. The texts we will discuss foreground the metropolis as a site of exploring—or staging, addressing, or problematizing—modernity and specific aspects of modern life, and we will examine topics including gender, disability, poverty, and race; figures including the chimney sweep, the flâneur, and the urban detective; and historical moments including the 1790s, the Blitz, and the 1980s. The primary texts we will discuss include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, and journalistic writing by authors including William Wordsworth, Thomas De Quincey, Henry Mayhew, Charles Dickens, Amy Levy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Hope Mirrlees, T. S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bowen, and Martin Amis.
ENG 400 H001: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. CHARLES SUMNER
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 400 H002: SENIOR SEMINAR - DR. JONATHAN BARRON
"The 20th Century and Robert Frost
This seminar will read Robert Frost’s collected poems in light of the great political, social, scientific, and world transformations that marked the 20th century. Frost’s poetry has much to say about the singular events of the 20th century. His poetry engages the century’s many events from cataclysmic war to startling discoveries in quantum mechanics. In this seminar, we will look at the century through the eyes of Robert Frost.
ENG 465: ROMANTICISM - DR. EMILY STANBACK
This course focuses on the ways that literature of the Romantic period explores the problems and possibilities of human sympathy, also called “fellow-feeling.” Why—and how and when—do we sympathize with the emotions of others? What are the implications of feeling sympathy—or of not feeling sympathy—for those who are different from us? Is it actually possible to know, let alone to feel, what anyone else feels? And what is the role of literature in evoking the reader’s fellow-feeling—or even in perhaps expanding the reader’s sympathetic capacities?
We will begin by examining 18th-century theories of sympathy, most notably Adam Smith’s, and we will move on to consider works by a wide range of authors from the Romantic era, including William Blake, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Charles Lamb, Mary Robinson, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Smith, William Wordsworth, and Ann Yearsley. In exploring the stakes of sympathy in Romantic literature, we will engage with many of the era’s most pressing philosophical and political concerns. We will read abolitionist poetry, for example, that aims to elicit the reader’s sympathy for slaves; we will consider literature that depicts misunderstandings between children and adults, calling into question the processes of human development and socialization; we will discuss competing depictions of the “idiotic” and the “mad” that attempt to redraw the borders of the human community. We will also discuss the formal and aesthetic implications of Romantic sympathy, and we will interrogate the ways that Romantic texts seek to elicit sympathy, pity, ambivalence, and antipathy in the reader.
ENG 471: AMERICAN REALISM - DR. CRAIG CAREY
"Realism and Recording"
What is the "real"? How is "reality" constructed? What are the different forms, genres, and media that express the "real" historically? We live in a culture where reality television and digital media are augmenting reality through a range of programs and protocols, from first person video games to the competitive nature of Survivor to the simulated interfaces of Google Glass. Everywhere reality is simulated, mediated, and augmented, making it ever important to understand the history of realism as an aesthetic and literary mode of representation. In this course, we'll trace the emergence of realism back to the late nineteenth century, specifically the history of literary realism and naturalism in the United States. We'll consider realism as an aesthetics of representation, but also as a method of recording and processing what constitutes reality. How do authors mediate and augment the "real" in different ways? What stylistic forms do they innovate and how do these innovations respond to historical media like the typewriter, cinema, and phonograph? In addition to literary texts by American realists and naturalists, we'll also engage literature in dialogue with other realist modes of representation, including visual art, film, photography, and early sound recording. At the same time, we'll also consider the emergence of realism in the broader context of region, class, race, gender, immigration, urbanization, popular culture, journalism, incorporation, philosophy, and science. Course requirements include participation in a class blog, one group presentation, a final paper, and other critical and creative assignments, some of them digital.
ENG 489: STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE - DR. MARTINA SCIOLINO
"American Fear from Fiction to Film"
How does literature work, both to shape a reader’s consciousness and to express (and contain) social anxieties? By observing how literary thrillers change when they’re adapted to film, we might better understand how writing works as a medium. Further, with the help of critics who’ve interpreted these thrillers in social terms, we’ll consider how popular and literary storytelling both engage issues of cultural transformation that provoke anxiety for North Americans.
- Henry James. The Turn of the Screw. Jack Clayton. The Innocents (1961)
- Daphne DuMaurier. The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock. The Birds (1963)
- Shirley Jackson. The Haunting of Hill House. Robert Wise. The Haunting (1963)
- Ira Levin. The Stepford Wives. Bryan Forbes. The Stepford Wives (1974)
- Steven King. The Shining. Stanley Kubrick. The Shining (1980)
- Cormac McCarthy. The Road. John Hillcoat. The Road (2009)