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School of Humanities

English Graduate Course Descriptions

January Intersession

ENG 627 
Introduction to Publishing 
Dr. Joshua Bernstein 
MTWRF, 8 - 11:30 am - January Intersession (Jan. 2-16, 2024) 
**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, writer, and editor 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 reviewing 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 2024

ENG 625 
Readings In Fiction  
Dr. Monika Gehlawat 
W 2:30PM-05:15PM 
**fulfills a creative writing elective, creative writers only 
Readings in Fiction offers a craft-based approach to studying literary classics, modern and contemporary literature, as well as seminal craft essays and books. Drawing from fiction on exam lists as well as from new and emerging writers, this class is open to creative writing students who will read and discuss literature with an eye towards formal innovation and the choices writers make to get there. Students will be responsible for leading one class discussion with a formal presentation and submitting a final paper that makes a focused argument about the function of craft in one or more texts we read. Among other writers, we'll read Marilynne Robinson, Henry James, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro, Renata Adler, James Baldwin, Michael Ondaatje, and Kazuo Ishiguro. 
ENG 641 
Advanced Research and Methods in English  
Dr. Kate Cochran 
W 2:30PM - 5:15PM 
**required for MA and PhD in literature 
** fulfills creative writing elective  
In this course, students will develop and practice the skills in research and editing necessary to produce a publishable scholarly article. Some common areas we’ll address include focusing a thesis-driven argument, crafting a strong opening, integrating the most current and integral secondary sources, and addressing the critical conversation about the article’s topic/text(s). To that end, we’ll have scaffolded assignments that result in multiple revisions of article drafts, submitted to the instructor and peers for feedback. Students will also be working with their thesis advisors and/or scholars specializing in relevant field(s) for guidance: by the end of the semester, students will have a publishable article ready to submit to a peer-reviewed journal they have identified as a likely venue for their work. This class welcomes both literature and creative writing students. 
ENG 644 
Topics in Literary Theory--Gender and Queer Theory & Criticism 
Dr. Eric Tribunella 
M 2:30PM-05:15PM 
** fulfills theory requirement 
This course will survey major works in the fields of gender and queer theory and criticism, and it will involve the study of major figures—from foundational theorists like Foucault, Butler, and Sedgwick to the more recent work of Halberstam, Hurley, and others. It will include readings on the invention and history of sexuality, Freudian psychoanalysis, the intersection of sexuality and space/place, distinctions between feminist and gender theory, sexuality and race, transgender theory, and queer politics. The readings should make it possible to theorize the cultural constructions of gender and sexuality and their relation to other cultural discourses, artifacts, and practices. We will conclude with a selection of literary readings in order to practice gender and queer literary criticism. 
ENG 670 
Early American Women Writers and National Literature 
Dr. Luis Iglesias 
T 6:00-9:00 PM 
** fulfills American pre-1865 
Early American Women Writers and National Literature will read and recover the dense history of women’s literary contribution to the national literature of the United States, noting the consistent and varied contributions made by these writers dating back to the earliest expressions of literary nationalism. Among the most prolific and widely read of authors throughout the early national period and the 19th century, women writers made important contributions to the expansion of the American literary marketplace producing most of the nation’s bestsellers, garnering the highest salaries among contemporary writers, and by shaping the aesthetic interests of Early American Literature. 
Among the works read: 
Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple (1791) 
Catharine Maria Sedgwick, A New-England Tale (1822) 
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) 
Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall (1854) 
Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron-Mills (1861) 
Lydia Huntley Sigourney, poetry (1820s-1860s) 
Emily Dickinson, poetry (1840s-1880s) 
ENG 673  
African American Literature: Black Reconstruction: New South, New Negroes
Dr. Sherita Johnson  
TH 2:30PM-05:15PM  
** fulfills American post-1865 
** fulfills non-traditional requirement 
After the Civil War, African Americans wrote literature that signals a vexed freedom. Their political and civil rights hung in the balance during the “tragic era” of Reconstruction (1865-1877), especially for thousands in the South. In the transition from slavery to freedom, the federal government sent military forces to the region to restore law and order in the former Confederate states. This period is defined by drastic political and social changes for the South as former slaves were granted civil rights to become U.S. citizens. To understand the challenges these “New Negroes” faced, this course will examine the reconstructions of a place, people, and literary tradition. We will discuss how race was defined by law (e.g., “black codes”) and how segregation developed in the “New South.” We will consider theoretical approaches to understanding southern cultural heritage. We will read autobiographies, poetry, and fiction as well as letters, essays, and speeches by and about black southerners. The course roster includes writings by Elizabeth Keckley, William Wells Brown, Frances Harper, and Charles Chesnutt, among others.
ENG 678 
Women Writers: Women’s Literary History 
Dr. Nicolle Jordan 
W 6:00PM-9:00PM 
** fulfills British post-1800 
Description: This course seeks to define, practice, and challenge women’s literary history. We will ask how women’s literary history is a form of feminist criticism, and how it differs from other approaches to feminist scholarship. What is excluded from women’s literary history, and with what consequences? What kinds of biases or faulty assumptions does it encourage? What kinds of critical maneuvers are necessary when bringing a feminist lens to literature written well before the emergence of organized feminist politics? How does literature written by men figure into women’s literary history? With these questions in mind, we will explore, for example, Margaret Ezell’s skepticism regarding the notion that “there is a ‘tradition’ of women’s writing to be recovered [and] that this tradition reveals an evolutionary model of feminism.” How does the history of women’s writing change when we privilege, for example, one genre (such as the novel) over others? Or when we prioritize race or ethnicity? class? sexuality? What is the status of aesthetics in women’s literary history? 
Exploring these questions will prepare students to write a seminar paper that engages in depth with one or more of these issues. We will read poetry, drama, and novels written c. 1660-1860 by Margaret Cavendish, Jane Barker, Anne Finch, Sarah Scott, Jane Austen, and George Eliot. 
ENG 721 
Seminar In Fiction Writing 
Dr. Joshua Bernstein 
 T 2:30PM-5:15PM  
** fulfills fiction workshop 
Although all forms of literary fiction will be welcome in this workshop, our focus this semester will be on longer projects, namely novels and linked story collections. Rather than requiring the traditional two or three submissions per writer, we will encourage writers to workshop one longer submission, such as the opening pages of a novel or collection. (Those who would rather submit shorter works at multiple points will also be permitted to do so.) Thus, this workshop is especially well-suited for those who hope to query an agent or assemble disparate works into a cohesive whole. We’ll also talk about the process of publishing, editing, working with agents, submitting to contests, crafting excerpts for journal submission, and more, and we’ll read with an eye towards producing a book-length work. Likely readings will include Rebecca West’s The Return of the Soldier, Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Passenger, among others. 
ENG 721  
Graduate Seminar in Fiction Writing 
Dr. Olivia Clare Friedman 
T 2:30PM-5:15PM 
** fulfills fiction workshop 
How can workshop be the most beneficial for your current writing? What kinds of classroom conversation can help you bring your current draft to the next level? To help you address these questions, 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 
-- workshopping alternate beginnings, middles, and ends 
You will have two main submissions, and you may submit either short stories or novel excerpts. You will also submit a piece of flash fiction at the end of the semester. We’ll devote some time to craft topics, as well as informal writing, with in-class writing exercises, both solo and collaborative. At the end of the term, you’ll complete a revision of one of your workshop pieces. 
Text: Matt Bell, Refuse To Be Done 
Other outside readings will be distributed in class. 
ENG 722  
Seminar in Poetry Writing 
Dr. Adam Clay 
T 2:30PM-05:15PM  
** fulfills poetry workshop 
In ENG 722 students will write, workshop, and revise poetry with an eye towards their dissertations and theses. Along with workshopping individual poems, students will also draft a longer poem (or sequence of poems) over the course of the semester, with a section drafted each week. Throughout the semester we’ll read and consider some sequences/long poems from contemporary poets to analyze approaches to this form. At the end of the semester, students will submit their longer sequences for workshop critique. 
ENG 754  
Seminar in Medieval Literature 
Dr. Leah Parker 
M/W 11–12:15 am 
** fulfills British pre-1800 
Topic: "Middle English Poetry: Lovers, Fighters, and Dreamers" 
What was English poetry like before Shakespeare? Before the printing press? Before English was even the Present-Day English language? 
In this seminar, we will explore the poetic forms of Middle English from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries, including chivalric romance, dream visions, and debate poems. We will deliberately practice reading and pronouncing Middle English, so that participants have the confidence to both research and teach literature from this period of English literary history. Students will not only practice creating compelling literary analysis of Middle English verse forms—many of which, like blank verse in iambic pentameter, have been immensely influential for centuries—but also prepare to teach Middle English literature, whether as an area of specialty or as part of broader survey courses. 
ENG 763  
Seminar in English Romanticism: Crip Romanticism 
Dr. Emily Stanback 
 T/TH 9:30AM-10:45AM 
** fulfills British post-1800 
** fulfills theory requirement
** fulfills non-traditional 

In several ways disability was central to what we now think of as Romanticism. Many of the era’s authors and many of its central literary characters were disabled, and Romantic texts often meaningfully explore the nature of disability experience. The era also was key to the emergence of “disability” in its modern form, so studying Romantic disability can be enormously fruitful for those who seek to understand disability in contemporary society. 
In surveying Romantic disability, this course has two primary preoccupations: literary form and intersectionality. How does disability help us account for—and offer new readings of—the fragment, repetition, and other formal features of the era’s literature, especially its poetry? In terms of intersectionality, the course starts from the following positions: to understand Romantic disability, we must also understand the era’s conceptions of race; and, class and gender significantly shape how disability was experienced and depicted in the era. 
Major authors include Lord Byron, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Prince, and Charlotte Smith. We also will consider foundational texts in contemporary disability studies and disability theory. Major assignments will include a scaffolded conference presentation. Those interested in digital humanities will have the opportunity to work towards a publication for The Gravestone Project. 
ENG 769  
Sem In Mod Brit Lit  
Dr. Charles Sumner 
TH 6:00PM-9:00PM  
** fulfills British post-1800 
This course will examine major figures of British modernist literature, including Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, Wyndham Lewis, DH Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Mary Butts, Jean Rhys, Mina Loy, and Christopher Isherwood, and Anthony Burgess. We will round out the semester with a look at contemporary literature from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, including works by Ian Banks, Patrick McCabe, and Niall Griffiths, respectively. 
ENG 406/506  
History of the English Language 
Dr. Leah Parker 
In ENG 506, we will trace the history of the English language from its prehistoric Indo-European roots, through sound changes of the Middle Ages, standardization in the era of print, and diversification as a global language in the modern world. You will learn the basics of linguistics; the pronunciation and basic grammar of Old English (spoken ca. 450–1150 CE) and Middle English (spoken ca. 1150–1500); how to fully utilize dictionaries and editions of English texts; and how dialects develop through isolation, imperialism, and human interactions. 
Graduate students will choose between two “tracks” for their projects: the sociolinguistics/TESOL track and the literary history track. In the sociolinguistics/TESOL track, students will complete a 15–20-page lit review on a relevant topic in sociolinguistics and contemporary language instruction as well as an accompanying TESOL/HEL topical lesson plan informed by current scholarship and debates within the field. Students choosing the literary history track will produce a “mini-edition” of a pre-1700 English text of their choice as well as a 15–20-page seminar paper analyzing the text of their mini-edition utilizing both literary and linguistic methodologies. 
ENG 506 will be fully online and asynchronous in Spring 2024—there will be no required full-class synchronous meetings, though office hours and individual or small-group meetings will be available to help students succeed in the course. Space in this course is limited and students whose research/creative projects require advanced study of historical linguistics or who are in the TESOL MA will receive priority. If you wish to be notified if more space becomes available, email Dr. Parker at Leah.ParkerFREEMississippi.%C2%A0


HUM 502 
Digital Humanities Practicum 
M 6:00 – 9:00 PM ONLINE CHAT 
Dr. Patrick Hoehne 
Want to uncover a counterfeiting ring? 
In this interdisciplinary graduate-level course, you will learn to use innovative computational tools and methods to contribute to a largescale digital humanities project. This semester, the class will work on a project centered around the reconstruction of a far-reaching, closely affiliated band of horse thieves and counterfeiters whose criminal activities spanned the length of the antebellum Midwest. This is a hands-on, apprenticeship-style course where you will receive training in tools like GIS mapping and network analysis and then apply those tools on real, public-facing research. All students will receive contributor credit for their work, and will leave with a toolkit of valuable digital skills. 
While some students complete HUM 501 before taking HUM 502, it is not a requirement. Taking both courses makes you eligible for the Digital Humanities Badge. 

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