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School of Humanities

English Graduate Course Descriptions


ENG 627 eng627bernstein
Introduction to Publishing 
Dr. Joshua Bernstein 
MTWRF, 8 - 11:30 am - January Intersession 
**fulfills CW Elective, creative writers only 
Welcoming both seasoned editors and newbies to the world of literary publishing, ENG 627 will help you cultivate your talents as a reader and writer of creative writing. We’ll read submissions and choose finalists for the Mississippi Review Prize, produce an issue of Product Magazine, and (hopefully) host a party to celebrate its launch. We’ll also meet with a series of professionals from the publishing world to learn about their experiences and what they look for in selecting and promoting work. We’ll ask how the literary landscape is evolving, both for better and for worse, and gauge its efforts to boost representation and nontraditional voices. Finally, we’ll try our hands at writing book reviews, learn about best practices and good literary citizenship, examine what (and what not) to do in querying agents and submitting manuscripts to contests and publishers, and develop our own skills at crafting cover letters and inquiries. 

Spring 2023


Taught by: Michael Fox 
Online Asynchronous 

** fulfills research tool 
This follow-up course to the more theoretical HUM 501 Introduction to Digital Humanities will provide hands-on experience in digital humanities methods and tools. Through a series of weekly labs, students will gain technical and critical skills in digital editing and curation, data analytics, and the culture of computation. For the semester-long assignment, students can choose either to write a mock grant proposal for a digital humanities project of their own design or, if it can be coordinated, to work on an existing project under the guidance of both the faculty leading the project and the teacher of this course. Students will come away from the course better equipped to imagine and carry out their own digital humanities projects or to make valuable contributions to ongoing ones. 

eng641jordanENG 641 
Advanced Research and Methods in English 
Dr. Nicolle Jordan 
Tu 2:30-5:30 
**required for MA and PhD in literature 
ENG 641 focuses on research methods and critical methodologies for literary study. The bulk of our efforts will involve workshopping seminar papers. In preparation for this work, we will first develop a solid understanding of the essential components of article-length literary scholarship: argumentation, critical diplomacy, and close reading. We will also hone our understanding of various critical methodologies by reading in a range of sub-fields. Students will give presentations that evaluate scholarly articles and then build on this work in their final projects. They will also undertake shorter assignments—written and oral—that aim to make their final projects appealing and accessible to non-specialists. 

eng644parkerENG 644  
Topics in Literary Theory: Disability Studies 
Dr. Leah Parker 
M 6:00-9:00 pm 
** fulfills theory requirement 
Disability is the only minoritized identity category that anyone can join at any time; indeed, the longer we live, the more likely—more inevitable—it is that we will. And yet, our world is constructed in ways that often disadvantage, isolate, and oppress bodies that do not conform to normative expectations of what bodies should be, do, or how they should feel. By critically analyzing the representation and production of disability in literature and culture, we have opportunities not only to better understand art, language, and the human condition in all historical periods, but also to influence new ways of understanding the human body in the humanities, sciences, and public policy today. 
This course will survey methodologies for analyzing both the representation of disability in literature and the use of literature to shape cultural phenomena around disability. Our reading will be light on primary texts, instead digging deeply in critical theory. We will read foundational and cutting-edge scholarship, including (but not limited to) work by Lennard Davis, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Alison Kafer, Robert McRuer, David T. Mitchell, Ato Quayson, Sami Schalk, Tobin Siebers, Sharon L. Snyder, and M. Remi Yergeau. Students will build upon this theoretical foundation by writing essays about literature in their own geographical/temporal area of specialty through the lens of disability studies. Students will leave the course prepared to employ disability studies methods in their theses and/or dissertations, and also possessing strategies to deeply engage with other critical lenses as their scholarly interests evolve. 

eng658laresENG 658 
Milton and the Poetic Vocation 
Dr. Jameela Lares 
Th 2:30-5:30 
** fulfills British pre-1800 
This seminar will examine Milton's poetry and a few works of prose in light of his explicit statements about his sense of calling, the state of poetry in his time, and the pressure of earlier models. Besides participating in weekly discussions, seminar members will also facilitate part of a class meeting, present on a work of Milton criticism, and write a seminar paper that combines their own interests with some aspect of Milton. 

eng672cochranENG 672  
Topics in American Literature: Mississippi Writers 
Dr. Katherine Cochran 
W 6:00-9:00 
** fulfills American post-1865 
Mississippi lays claim to some of the most esteemed and celebrated American writers, including multiple winners and nominees of the National Book Award, the American Book Award, the Newbery Award, the O. Henry Award, the Pen/Faulkner Award, the Pen/Malamud Award, and the Pulitzer Prize, as well as a two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Fiction. Given the number of great authors from the state, it’s no surprise that one of the ways in which Mississippi markets itself is as the home of important American writers. But how are these authors being marketed, and to what effect? 
This course will investigate the place of Mississippi writers through the lens of literary tourism by reading texts by selected twentieth and twenty-first century authors along with secondary/theoretical works relevant to the literary tourism industry. Required components of the course, in addition to regular and substantive class participation, will include conference-length essays and presentations. There will also be a weekend trip to sites of Mississippi literary tourism in Jackson, Oxford, Clarksdale, Greenville, Natchez, and Gulfport. 

ENG 673 
African American Literature
Legacies: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Frederick Douglass
Dr. Sherita Johnson 
M 2:30-5:30 
** fulfills non-traditional requirement 

Any literary study of the long nineteenth century would be amiss without recognizing the life and legacies of two prominent African Americans, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Frederick Douglass. Both activist-intellectuals produced volumes of literature as they labored in social reform and political movements. Harper (1825-1911) wrote and published several collections of poetry, popular short fiction, and one of the first African American novels—Iola Leroy (1892). A leading abolitionist orator and suffragist, Harper’s activism infused her writings about the experiences of the enslaved, exploited, disenfranchised, and discriminated. And, yet, most people today do not even know her name, her legacy discarded. More famous today, Douglass’ (1818-1895) experiences of being enslaved and later his escape from the “peculiar institution” launched an activist and literary career that span throughout the abolitionist movement, Civil War, and Reconstruction eras. This course will survey Harper’s writings across genres, contextualized by a cultural history of racial and gender inequality, along with readings in literary criticism. We will also examine Douglass’ autobiographies, speeches, a novella, and radical journalism. Taking a deep dive into the archive, ultimately, we will place Harper and Douglass in context of the Colored Conventions movement as recovery work is necessary to preserve their legacies in Black Print Culture. 

Assignments: Analysis papers, presentations, and/or seminar paper / publishable essay. 


eng721friedmanENG 721 
Graduate Seminar in Fiction Writing 
Dr. Olivia Clare Friedman 
Tu 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM 
** fulfills fiction workshop 
We’ll experiment with the form of workshop. You’ll always have an option to have a traditional workshop, but you’ll have other options too. These will include: 
-- workshop conversation between writer and readers 
-- workshop that begins with a series of set questions 
-- workshop that begins with questions composed by the writer 
-- discussion of low-stakes writing alongside your fiction 
-- workshopping alternate beginnings, middles, and ends 
-- discussing a poem, yours or not yours, alongside your fiction 
You may submit either short stories or novel excerpts. We’ll also devote some time to craft topics, as well as informal writing, with in-class writing exercises, both solo and collaborative. You’ll write two imitations as informal exercises, and at the end of the term you’ll complete a revision of one of your workshop pieces. 
Text: Amy Hempel, The Collected Stories 
Other outside readings will be distributed in class and will include work by: 
Yiyun Li, Leslie Jamison, Carl Phillips 

eng722aderibigbeENG 722 
Poetry Workshop 
Dr. Michael Aderibigbe 
T 2:30-5:30 
** fulfills poetry workshop 
In ENG 722, students will write and workshop new poems. The class will be sorted into groups in alphabetical order, with one group submitting poems at a time. 
Craft is also an essential part of this course. To this end, in the first quarter of every class, we will engage a section of a prescribed text. In addition, students will also turn in one short paper and a handful of very brief responses over the semester. 
eng723ballEnglish 723 
Non-Fiction Writing 
Dr. Angela Ball 
Tu 2:30-5:30 
** fulfills CW Elective, creative writers only 
I read or heard this once, and it has stayed with me as a rationale for writing: “Each of us is a prisoner but with many keys, each of which might work for someone else.” In this spring’s graduate workshop in Nonfiction Writing, our focus will be personal experience; and our inspiration virtuoso essays available online, such as Chang-Rae Lee’s “Coming Home Again” and Virginia Woolf’s “On Being Ill.” Students will submit essays twice during the semester, producing from 5,000 to 10,000 words total over the course of the term. These will be workshopped in class and collected into a final portfolio. 

eng769sumnerENG 769 
Seminar in Modern British Lit 
Dr. Charles Sumner 
W 2:30-5:30 
** fulfills British post-1800 
This course will examine important figures and movements in modern British literature. Specifically, we will look at how modern popular and political culture alters traditional modes of self-perception, and, in turn, why our writers need new formal techniques to represent these alterations. Authors covered include Woolf, Eliot, Rhys, Rebecca West, Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Isherwood, Auden, McCabe, Banks, and Griffiths. 

eng771iglesiasENG 770 
Seminar in American Literature I: Inventing America 
Dr. Luis A. Iglesias 
Tu 6:00-9:00 PM 
** fulfills American pre-1865 
It goes unremarked that in the title of the course, “America” stands for The United States, erasing the fact that it is the name of a Hemisphere and not a singular country. In fact, before “America” was “discovered” and the U.S. emerged as a nation, it already had a place in the European imagination. It has been argued that the “invention of America,” emerging from a variety of social, cultural, and economic desires and preconceptions, not only fueled the transatlantic colonial enterprise but also the imagination of writers before, during, and after the settlement of the Hemisphere and the future nation that will monopolize its name. This course will examine a variety of texts, from exploration and travel accounts to imaginative narratives that shaped the idea of “America,” often before the fact, refashioning a European and Creole understanding and representation of the U.S. from its colonization and establishment to its cultural and political global hegemony. 
Among the reading selections: 
John Smith, A Description of New England (1616) 
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (1688) 
J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (1782) 
Timothy Dwight, Greenfield Hill: A Poem (1794) 
Joel Barlow, The Columbiad (1807) 
James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers (1823) 
Lydia Maria Child, Hobomok, A Tale of Early Times (1824) 
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855) 
Martin Delaney, Blake, or The Huts of America (1859) 
And, to prove a point, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925) 

ENG 771 
Readings in American Literature (post-1865) 
Dr. Ery Shin 
Th 6:00-9:00 
** fulfills American post-1865 
With an emphasis on the legacy of European conquest, this course reflects on the present and future of American letters and cultural sensibilities.  Trends, tastes, and core political exchanges between institutions such as news outlets, publishing houses, prize committees, censorship boards, and universities from roughly the end of the Civil War until today will be examined, culminating in a broader rumination on how narratives of nationhood and the public good circulate amongst that most elusive of entities: the American public itself.
Sample reading/viewing list: 
Graeber and Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything (excerpts) 
Mark McGurl, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (excerpts) 
Silberg, Reading the Sphere: The Landscape of Contemporary American Poetry (excerpts) 
Paeth, State Verse Culture: American Poets Laureate (excerpts) 
Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness 
Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 
Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem (excerpts) 
Sontag, Against Interpretation and Other Essays (excerpts) 
Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America 
Peele, Get Out 
Larsen, Passing 
Freeman, “What Was Dimes Square?” 

view previous course descriptions here


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