Undergraduate Courses

AML 2600
Introduction to African American Literature: “Contested Blackness”
Alisha Gaines
WMS 228 amgaines@fsu.edu

Do you know blackness when you see it?

Does it have a sound?

Can blackness be learned?

Can it be taught?

Or is it simply the “truth” of biology?

This course serves as an introduction to African American literature refusing to take its own blackness for granted. The texts we will read throughout the semester revolve around the theme of racial passing. Looking at the African American literary canon through this lens allows us to trouble what we think we know about authenticity and black identity.

In what way is identity shaped by who can and can’t pass?

AML 3041
Virgilio Suarez

In this course we are going to focus on key major authors of color in American Literature, and our reading list will consist of mainly novels and other selected texts of interest. Short fiction, long fiction, poetry and drama as well. We will be using CANVAS as a platform upon which to augment our face to face learning. Be prepared to read a novel every two weeks and to write 1-3 page reader responses. Your final grade will be based upon an 8-12 page paper on the topic of your choice using the literature we will have read.

AML 3311
Major Figures in American Literature
Joann Gardner

This course will include a selection of 19th century U.S. authors whose works are considered important to the development of American cultural identity. We will approach 5 novels (James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Kate Chopin’s Moby Dick), through the perspective of 4 central themes: Idealism & Materialism, Law & Order, Gender Issues, Heroes and Heroism. Students will choose one of the 4 themes as their primary focus and apply it to each of the 5 books. Quizzes will take the shape of objective/factual questions and short essays. There will be a final paper summarizing the results of the student’s chosen theme.

AML 3311
Virgilio Suarez

In this course we are going to focus on key major authors of color in American Literature, and our reading list will consist of mainly novels and other selected texts of interest. Short fiction, long fiction, poetry and drama as well. We will be using CANVAS as a platform upon which to augment our face to face learning. Be prepared to read a novel every two weeks and to write 1-3 page reader responses. Your final grade will be based upon an 8-12 page paper on the topic of your choice using the literature we will have read.

AML 3630
Latino/a Literature in English: Latinx Studies on Trial
John Ribó

“Latinx Studies on Trial” frames an introductory survey of Latinx literature from the colonial period to the present within contemporary debates on the role of ethnic studies in public education and public life in the United States. Throughout the semester as we read memoirs, essays, poems, short stories, plays, and novels, we will return to questions raised by the banning of Mexican American Studies and the censorship of books written by Latinx authors in Arizona in 2010 and the denial of tenure of prominent Latinx Studies scholars at Ivy League universities a decade later. Why was the Mexican American Studies curriculum banned? Why were these books censored? Why were these scholars denied tenure? Who sets educational curricula and defines literary canons?

This course meets the diversity requirement.

AML 4213
John Mac Kilgore

How does Florida (especially Tallahassee) choose to preserve, narrate, and commemorate its early history through museums, memorials, monuments, and other historical sites? What does Mission San Luis say—or not say—about Spanish colonization of the area, the Goodwood Museum about plantation slavery? How are the Indigenous nations of Florida represented at the Museum of Florida History? And more to the point for this class, how does the literary archive of Florida open up or reveal perspectives on Florida history and culture that the above places fail to consider? This course will tackle timely questions such as these by surveying the early literature of Florida from the period of first nations through the nineteenth century, and then putting our reading into conversation with sites of public memory in and around Tallahassee. We will analyze the material rhetorics of history and place, and discuss the political, cultural, and literary legacy of Florida, yesterday and today. Our goal will be to explore old Florida literature as itself a form of cultural memory that shapes both the history and imagination of the state; conversely, we will approach sites of public memory as narrative forms which tell stories about Florida at the intersection of fact and fancy, history and myth.

AML 4261
Literature of the South: Nature, Gender, Class, Race
Diane Roberts

We will explore a variety of texts from and about the American South, with special attention to how race shapes Southern culture. Students will be expected to read and comprehend at a very high level (this is an advanced course and will be taught as such) and produce sophisticated, erudite, clear, and intellectually-rigorous writing. You will produce one short paper (topic supplied) and one long research paper (9-12 pages on a topic of your choosing), plus a midterm exam.

AML 4604
Black Is Beautiful: African American Poetics and Aesthetics: 1919-Present
L. Lamar Wilson

“We know that we are beautiful. And ugly too,” New Negro Renaissance wunderkind Langston Hughes wrote in his 1926 manifesto “The Negro Artist and Racial Mountain,” a response to “The Negro Art Hokum,” an essay that conservative satarist George Schuyler had published a week earlier in The Nation. This diversity in Western Civilization ("Y") course begins at the apocryphal moment these two black men (and a host of others) sparred over how African Americans should express themselves in literature (poetry, fiction, drama, essay), dance, music, film, and visual art, now that black folk had shown how integral they were to American art despite being denied for several centuries the opportunity to define for themselves an original beauty aesthetic untainted by European-American standards that shape popular perceptions in each of those genres and disciplines. Alongside our primary literary texts, we will read theoretical debates across time that drive the evolution of the mores of black aesthetics that have shaped the ways black artists interpolate the world around them. We will spend the semester investigating two central questions: How have African Americans invoked and revoked the stereotypical archetypes of blackness (Mammy, Buck, Jezebel, Sambo, Uncle Tom, pickaninny) in the wake of American chattel slavery and Jim Crow? To what end are contemporary representations of beauty of literature, dance, music, film and visual art shaped by those eras’ ills? What makes “black”-ness “beautiful,” then and now?

Learning Outcomes
In this course, I aim to serve as a guide as you:

  • read African American literary texts closely and critically for analytic and rhetorical inquiry about black aesthetic choices over the past century;
  • understand and articulate how these choices have shaped ideas and representations of blackness and beauty over the past century in literature, film, music, dance, and visual art;
  • learn the way scholars have historically posited arguments and how they communicate in discourse communities today;
  • draw upon multimodal and archival resources (visual, auditory, textual, digital) to develop arguments and present them in written and multimedia/electronic formats;
  • persuasively craft and revise your own original arguments;
  • master the art of making fair and effective use of the work of others;
  • build research and writing skill as you examine Americans’ historical memory of racial identity formation, anti-black racism, and the dehumanizing systems of slavery and Jim Crow.

Required Primary Texts

‘Black Is Beautiful’: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics, Paul C. Taylor (Ebook available via FSU Libraries)

Norton Anthology of African American Literature, 3rd edition, Vol. 2 (relevant excerpts from/full text of Cane, 1923; Passing, 1929; Maud Martha, 1953; A Raisin in the Sun, 1959; Funnyhouse of a Negro, 1964; Dutchman, 1964; and a host of poets and other authors—see calendar); if you can purchase Vol. 1 as well, go ahead.

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison (1970)

The Colored Museum, George C. Wolfe (1985)

We Cast a Shadow, Maurice Carlos Ruffin (2019)

AML 4680
Studies in Ethnic Literature: The Borderlands of US Popular Culture
John Ribó

Contemporary US popular culture seems obsessed with what lies just beyond its southern borders. Television shows such as Breaking Bad, Narcos, The Bridge, and Weeds depict white, Anglo-American protagonists who enter a world of drugs, violence, and crime along the borderlands connecting the US to the global south. While these border crossings prove bumpy, it is all too often the bodies of Latinx characters that bear the brunt of the violence these anti-heroes unleash. In this course we will trace the genealogies of such contemporary depictions of whiteness and Latinidad by comparing films and popular television series with the work of contemporary Latinx artists, writers, and intellectuals.

This course meets the diversity requirement.

CRW 4120
Fiction Workshop: Perspective and Placemaking: Seeing the story and its teller
Ravi Howard

This course is designed to provide a space for students to develop fiction in a workshop environment. We will consider Toni Morrison’s notes on creating sites of memory within our characters, and we will discuss visual narration techniques found in fiction and photography. Students will begin the semester writing short pieces that will support the development of two short stories, up to 15 pages each. We will workshop these pieces, and our discussions will focus on craft questions. The students should leave the course with a more concise set of questions to consider as they write. Through our questions, each writer will see the importance of expressing and evaluating critique. Our craft lessons will come from The Art of Subtext by Charles Baxter and The Art of Time by Joan Silber. Additional craft lessons will come from craft essays by Edwidge Danticat, Tracy K. Smith, Margot Livesey, and Ben Percy.

CRW 4230
Poetry Workshop: The Solotaroff Protocol
David Kirby

In A Few Good Voices in My Head, Ted Solotaroff says that a piece of writing is a writer’s “only way to organize and to some extent comprehend life’s fullness and perplexity.” In this class we’ll be studying and writing that kind of poem in a format that departs from the traditional workshop set-up. There’s nothing wrong with sitting in a circle and passing poems around and discussing them, but here we’ll mainly be studying craft in the first month and, after that, alternating between select students giving 20-minute readings of their work to the rest of the class and roundtable discussions of additional craft issues and particular poems presented by individual students. Expect to write a poem a week and, when you’re not sharing it with the class, sending it to the instructor. Expect as well to partner with someone with whom you’ll swap poems weekly and also exchange portfolios in the last week of class. The result? More fully realized and engaging poems. By the way, I call this class “The Solotaroff Protocol” because that sounds vaguely like a Cold War thriller involving a protagonist who (a) starts with a plan that (b) quickly goes awry even though (c) things work out in the end if (d) not in the way anyone thought they would. You know, the way poems do. Note: The Instructor's permission is required for this course.

CRW 4320
Advanced Poetry Workshop
L. Lamar Wilson

In this course, we will move beyond parsing the important, intricate details of prosody and form you’ve ideally encountered in CRW 3311 (and possibly other sections of CRW 4320) and write into and against modes and schools of thought that dominate contemporary poetics, particularly our intense moment of hypervisibility and hyperviolence. We will resist a singular focus on refining the single “perfect poem” by navigating together the process of curating a series of poems whose speakers’ voices we can modulate to interrogate personal and cultural history and memory with greater veracity. We will attend to the ways that the performance of race, gender, and nationality contemporize and transform the ancient elegy and other modes. To achieve this ambitious feat, rather than reading several books, we will spend the better part of the semester studying these modes and schools vis-à-vis representative writers over successive fortnights before reading two new collections as exemplary models of our aim of producing a small poetry collection.

ENC 4212
Editing Manuscripts, Documents, and Reports
David L. Gants

This course will provide students with a basic grounding in the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage, plus an overview of the main copyediting styles for capitalization, quotations, and numbers/numerals. Through instructor lectures, small-group tutorials, and editing exercises, students will acquire core skills required to copyedit a wide variety of professional and academic documents.

ENC 4218
Visual Rhetoric in a Digital Age
Kristie Fleckenstein

English 4218 introduces students to the principles of visual rhetoric, especially as it is enacted across diverse media, shaped by multiple genres, and designed to achieve different goals with different audiences. Students will learn to analyze the rhetorical function of imagery, use images to respond to and organize arguments, and consider the impact of visual rhetoric on personal, civic, and professonal lives.

We begin with a brief orientation to Western rhetoric, uncovering the ways in which it has always been a visual as well as a verbal performance (Note: This will involve work in some digial archives). Thus, we establish the historical trajectory of visual rhetoric in the West. We then turn to the image itself, the heart of visual rhetoric, investigating its contested nature; its contribution to (and constitution through) cognition, affect, and culture; and its variability (forms and media). Throughout, we experiment with the image, testing various claims (memory, vividness, emotion, and efficacy) by collecting data, collating it, reporting it, and discussing it. Next, we unite image and rhetoric, exploring theories of visual rhetoric and assessing those theories for their strenghts and limitations within the context of a specific social movement. Finally, you will conclude the course by producing, analyzing, and assessing an original visual argument.

Course grades will be based on the following: 1) three “mini-projects”: one identifying and describing a historical instance of visual rhetoric; one reporting on the results of our various “expermiments” with the image and addressing the implications of those results for your understanding of the image; and one assessing the use(s) of visual rhetoric in a social movement of your choice; 2) regular and sustained contributions to discussion board prompts and class discussion; 3) a final project involving the creation of an original visual argument (including proposal memo and final critical reflection).

ENC 4311
Advanced Article & Essay Workshop
Skip Horack

Advanced Article and Essay Workshop (ENC 4311) is a course on the craft and art of creative nonfiction writing, only available for those students who have already satisfactorily completed Article & Essay Technique (ENC 3310). This course assumes you have a serious interest in creative nonfiction writing, as well as in discussing creative nonfiction writing with others likewise engaged. Our concerns are mainly practical and craft-based: where you as author wish to go with a particular draft, and how we, as readers and writers engaged in a common cause, might help you get there. This semester, we will mostly limit our writing and study to: (1) portraits and profiles; (2) literary journalism/reportage; and (3) the personal essay. Accordingly, we will examine how various craft points are at work in a number of published nonfiction pieces. These works will serve as templates for imitation and inspiration, and we will look at each one with the aim of learning how to develop our own unique voices, as well as a stronger sense of narrative rhythm and pacing necessary for effective storytelling. That said, this class will primarily follow the workshop model, and therefore student work, and the discussion of same, will be our main focus. To that end, over the course of the semester students will be required to produce and share a short essay of between 500-750 words, as well as two longer essays (8-15 pages each). Also, please note that students will be required to purchase a course reader from Target Copy at the beginning of the semester.

ENC 4404
Advanced Writing and Editing
J. Perry Howell

This is a course about helping yourself, and helping others, to use writing to think and communicate more clearly. This class strives to help you to improve your writing and editing skills across a wide range of writing situations. We carefully consider matters of audience, tone, and effect. Writing and editing are distinct, though related, skills, and editing yourself is a very different situation than editing the work of others, and we work on both. In this class, we openly confront both the mechanical and the psychological challenges of to writing and editing well. The primary goals here are that you become a better writer and editor at the end of the class than you were at the beginning, regardless of your starting level of competence and confidence. This class will help you to get better at organizing ideas and at getting those ideas across to others.

In this course, we read and discuss a lot of writing, and, especially, do a lot of writing and editing. Your success in this course depends on your whole-hearted engagement in these activities.

ENG 3803
History of Text Technologies
Lindsey Eckert

From papyrus scrolls and printed books to medieval manuscripts and MacBooks, this course examines different text technologies across history and across the globe. Throughout the course we will return to large "keep you up at night" questions: How does technology influence what types of texts are created and kept? How do social, political, and economic power influence text technologies? How might the meaning of a text change if the medium of its presentation changes? How do we define “book" or "text"? Exploring these questions, we will develop detective skills to see aspects of text technologies that often remain hidden in plain sight, whether they be how new typefaces might alter a text’s meaning or how different techniques for binding a book might change the perception of what’s inside. Practicing this new way of seeing on historical text technologies will help us reflect more critically about the technologies we use today.

ENG 4815
What is a Text?
J. Perry Howell

This class is an adventure in trying to answer the question posed in the course’s title. If you are up for this adventure, you can begin this class thinking that you know the answer, sure that you do not know the answer, or even believing that the question cannot really BE answered.

We will be exploring texts and textuality by creating a lot of different kinds of texts ourselves, by discussing how many other people have tried to answer the “What is a text?” question, and by looking for textuality in uncommon places. Can clouds be texts? What about dreams? By experiencing texts both as creators and as audience, we will gain a fuller understanding of what a text can be.

Success in this class depends almost entirely on your honest and energetic engagement with the course activities and almost not-at-all with the instructor’s agreement with your final anwer to the course’s primary question.

ENG 4938
Honors Seminar in the Major: "Feminism and Travel"
Celia R. Caputi

“ '. . .As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.' ” --Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas

This course is premised on the notion of travel and mobility as feminist issues. From Chaucer's Wife of Bath onward, women who "get around" have been viewed with fascination and loathing by masculinist power, and female mobility (when not enforced by what Gayle Rubin terms "the traffic in women") has been stigmatized, eroticized, exoticized, and demonized. At the same time, having the means to travel—and the intellectual and spiritual freedom travel proffers—can be celebrated as marks of an individual woman's empowerment within a given culture. This course examines tropes of mobility and journey narratives in literature by women, both well-traveled and famously reclusive.

ENL 4112
Eighteenth-Century Novel
Candace Ward

Course Objectives: Yes!!! There were novels before those written by Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters! This course is intended to introduce you to a variety of eighteenth-century works that preceded later novels like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre that might be more familiar to English majors. ENL 4112 will enable you to develop a familiarity not only with these early novels, but also with the material and cultural circumstances in which they were produced. Throughout the semester, you will be called on to discuss the texts in class and to write about them in papers and on exams. In order to successfully fulfill the paper and exam requirements, you must exhibit not only a mastery of the course content (i.e., of the novels themselves and the background information provided in lectures, class discussions, and independent research), but also the ability to communicate your ideas using the critical and analytical techniques that characterize literary and cultural studies.

Required Texts*
Oroonoko (1688), Aphra Behn
Fantomina (1725), Eliza Haywood
Moll Flanders (1722), Daniel Defoe
Pamela (1740), Samuel Richardson
The Adventures of David Simple (1744) and Volume the Last (1753), Sarah Fielding
A Simple Story, Elizabeth Inchbald
Caleb Williams (1794), William Godwin
Maria; or the Wrongs of Woman (1798), Mary Wollstonecraft
The Woman of Colour (1808)

*NO KINDLE or E-TEXTS; you must obtain print copies of these novels!

ENL 4218
David Johnson

The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is one of the most enduring (and endearing) complexes of narrative material in western culture, and it has had a powerful hold on the popular imagination for centuries. In this class, we will focus on the most voluminous and—in the eyes of some—the greatest manifestation of the legend in the English language: Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. Sir Thomas Malory—accused thief, rapist, would-be murderer, and oft-imprisoned felon—wrote his Morte Darthur in prison during the turbulent times of the War of Roses, and thus the Morte provides contemporary political commentary through its Arthurian subject. This first major work of secular prose fiction in English is Malory’s attempt to combine the separate legend cycles of King Arthur, Lancelot, and Tristan, underscoring their warrior prowess and ill-fated love stories. In this class we will read the entire Morte with special attention to the literary sources Malory used to create his English Arthuriad, such as the French Vulgate Cycle, the Prose Tristan, and the Middle English Stanzaic Morte. We will also pay some attention to the Morte’s contemporary reception in the form of literary and film adaptation. Once we have finished Malory’s text, we will consider the issue of race in Arthurian romance through a reading of the anonymously authored Middle Dutch romance Moriaen (in translation). No previous knowledge of medieval literature or language is required, but a willingness to grapple with texts in their original Middle English will be a plus.

Required Texts:

  • Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain, ed. and trans. Michael Faletra (Broadview Press, 2008) ISBN-13: 1551116391
  • King Arthur’s Death (Penguin Classics) trans. Brian Stone (Penguin, 1989). ISBN-13: 978-0140444452
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed.and trans. James Winny (Broadview Press, 1995) ISBN: 9780921149927
  • Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur: A new Modern English Translation based on the Winchester Manuscript, ed. & trans. Dorsey Armstrong (Parlor Press, 2009). ISBN-13: 978-1-60235-105-9
  • Roman van Moriaen (text provided by the instructor).
ENL 4220
Renaissance Prose and Poetry
David L. Gants

This course will cover the poetry and prose of England from the end of the War of the Roses to the beginnings of the English Civil War. We will organize our readings around three different manifestations of Love: 1) Romantic Love, or the various ways in which writers have represented the relations between men and women; 2) Love of God, or the varieties of religious experiences found in literature from this time; and 3) Love of Community, or the literature celebrating tribal, civic, national, and political identities.

ENL 4341
Bruce Boehrer

Study of Paradise Lost and selected earlier verse, with particular emphasis on close reading, gender dynamics, and the intersection of classical and Christian traditions.
Requirements: This course fulfills the general literature requirement for for one course pre-1800.

LIT 3112
Understanding Literary History
David Johnson

This course will introduce you to the vibrant tradition of literature written in Britain from its earliest origins in the heroic Anglo-Saxon period up through the cosmopolitan close of the eighteenth century. Throughout the semester, we will cover more than a thousand years of literary history. We begin with the earliest written literature of our own language, the epic works of Old English, before exploring the magic of Middle English romance, the drama of the Early Modern English stage, and the globalism of the eighteenth century. The goals of this course are twofold: first, to introduce you to the central texts and authors that make up the first “half” (by volume, not by time period) of the corpus of literature written in Britain, and second, to demonstrate the continuity of the British literary tradition as a thriving expression of the social and cultural conditions of its time.

Required Text

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: Concise Edition, Volume A- Third Edition, ed. Joseph Black et al. ISBN 1554813123 – This is the HARDCOPY, and it is required. **Do NOT get the ebook**

LIT 3822
Latinx Drama
Carla Della Gatta

How are Latinx identities, inclusive of Afro-Latinidad and Indigeneity, depicted in dramatic literature and performed onstage? From its origins in El Teatro Campesino in the 1960s to themes of immigration and assimilation in the 1980s and 1990s, to the classical, musical, and historical adaptations and appropriations today, Latinx Theatre has changed vastly over the last sixty years. Approaches to dramaturgy and the casting and legibility of Latinx bodies onstage will be discussed in the context of performance. What is the relationship of Latinx identity to aesthetics and how do they inform ideas about Latinx theatre? Readings of critical race and ethnicity theory, Chicana feminism, and language politics will accompany readings of primary texts. No knowledge of Spanish is required though most texts will include some words and phrases in Spanish.

The class will include works selected from Luis Alfaro, Migdalia Cruz, Culture Clash, María Irene Fornés, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Virginia Grise, Quiara Alegría Hudes, John Leguizamo, Josefina Lopez, Cherríe Moraga, José Rivera, Octavio Solis, Caridad Svich, Luis Valdez, and more.

This course satisfies the genre requirement for drama.
This course satisfies the diversity requirement.

LIT 4013
Studies in the Novel: Moby-Dick and Whiteness
Diane Roberts

Herman Melville said of his great novel, "I have written a blasphemous book and I feel as spotless as the lamb." Other writers have called it subversive, or queer or an "indictment of imperialism" (CLR James) or an anti-slavery epic. This course delves into issues of race, diversity, and Otherness as we work our way--slowly--through the greatest American novel of the 19th century. Students will be required to write several short papers and one long project.

LIT 4033
Modern Poetry
Joann Gardner

:This course will familiarize the student with important works of poetry from the High Modernist period—that is, poetry produced in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, generally associated with the free verse movement. It will include such writers as W.B.Yeats, Ezra Pound, HD and Gertrude Stein, and it will take on the principal techniques, themes and values of this innovative period. In addition to reading, discussing and writing about a variety of relevant texts, students will each choose a poet or topic on which to report. There will be two exams: a midterm and a final.

LIT 4034
Postmodern / Contemporary Poetry: “Modernist Poetry in the American Grain”
Andrew Epstein

This course will provide students with a firm grounding in the major figures, movements, and innovations in American poetry since World War II. We will pay special attention to the rich period from the 1950s to the 1980s, as we focus on such topics as the postwar reaction to modernism and to the New Criticism, the conflict between closed and open forms, the turn to the self, the development of a poetics of everyday life, and the tension between individuals and literary movements. We will discuss how contemporary poetry grapples with issues related to gender, race, and the dialogue between poetry and politics, and will situate the poetry within the cultural climate and politics of Cold War America, the 1960s and beyond.

As we trace the roots and development of postmodernist American poetry, we will investigate the relationship between poetry and such developments as: the unprecedented historical calamities of World War II, the Holocaust, and Hiroshima; the Cold War era’s culture of economic expansion, conformity, repression, and paranoia; the rapidly changing values and circumstances of American society during the 1960s and the nation’s experience with Vietnam, the counterculture, and Watergate; the increasing omnipresence of the media and popular culture (TV, rock music) and the blurring of distinctions between high and low culture. Throughout the semester, we will explore how and why these poets invent new, unconventional literary methods to address changing ideas about the nature of the self, language and literature, racial and sexual identity, and America itself, in a world undergoing dramatic transformations.

Poets discussed will likely include Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Carolyn Forché, and Yusef Komunyakaa.

This course fulfills the Genre requirement for the LMC track.

LIT 4122
Nineteenth-century British Novel
Meegan Kennedy

Is the nineteenth century the golden age of the novel? Reading romance or realism, silver fork novels or Newgate (prison) novels, sensation novels or condition of England novels, New Woman novels or scientific romances, nineteenth-century readers rode a roller coaster of novel genres powered by the rapid changes transforming British society. Speeding through shilling shockers and penny dreadfuls, or clamoring for the next installment from a middlebrow periodical like Charles Dickens’ Household Words, the nineteenth-century reader consumed a remarkable diversity of genres and media. We can't fit in all those kinds of novels, but we will tackle some great novels to sample the pleasures and compulsions of nineteenth-century novel readers and writers.

This year, in response to the COVID pandemic, I’ve chosen a group of novels (plus a novelistic autobiography) that address the ever-changing landscape of nineteenth-century medicine; this period witnessed more changes to medical care than any other century. The texts for this course look at illness, injury, epidemic, quarantine, disability, depression, substance abuse, nursing, conventional and alternative medicines like herbalism or mesmerism, and death. They ask big questions about how we define wellness, education, and justice. You’ll never look at fiction – or medicine – the same way again.

Students in this course will write short papers and complete a final project. Readings include Austen, Scott, Shelley, Gaskell, Seacole, Dickens, Eliot. This course fulfills the genre requirement for the LMC major.

LIT 4205
Literature of Human Rights
Jerrilyn McGregory

Ours has been called a global "age of rights," an era in which respect for human rights is considered the highest aspiration of the international democratic community. With its literary approach, this course endeavors to make human rights “real” by emphasizing limitations in our own backyard. Rather than a globalizing gaze directed elsewhere, since the legitimate aim of the International Declaration of Human Rights is to eradicate significant and systematic human suffering, a closer inspection of its erosion at home may guarantee our democratic idea of freedom, dignity, and personal equality for all. Ultimately, the course will interrogate models of oppression beyond the usual suspected –isms by centering adultism, crossculturally, adultism in U.S. Young people have been either disparaged as a symbol of danger or simply rendered invisible. At this moment in history, it is more necessary than ever to register youth as a central theoretical, moral, and political concern for a better future.

LIT 4329
African American Folklore
Jerrilyn McGregory

Welcome to a course that promises a cultural pedagogy offering new interpersonal skills and insights. Folklore is an independent discipline in its own right. It is not an adjunct to literature. Although the word "folklore" is routinely used today, it exists without definitional consensus. Therefore, I settle on Bob St. George's estimation that folklore is the "extraordinary arts of ordinary people." Ultimately, we will discuss multiple genres of African American folklore relying on the wider lens of hip hop culture to interrogate traditional music, verbal art, and material culture.

LIT 4385
Major Women Writers
Celia R. Caputi

A reading-intensive (a novel a week) exploration of prominent women authors in the Anglo-American tradition, representing a diversity of cultural perspectives and working in a diversity of genres. We will engage in close textual analysis of classic works such as Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre along with more recent masterpieces by the likes of Toni Morrison and Sandra Cisneros. Requirements: weekly reading quizzes, two critical essays, class participation, 5-minute presentation, final exam.