Spring 2016 Courses: Graduate Seminars

ENG 4953.002/Various Cross-Listings: #BlackLivesMatter: Critical Perspectives

Instructor: Sonja Lanehart
Co-Instructors: Drs. Theodorea Berry, Kinitra Brooks, Marco Cervantes, LaGuana Gray, and Howard Smith
Class Time: Tuesdays 6:00p.m. - 8:45p.m.
Class Location: MH 2.01.44

Course Description
#BlackLivesMatter: Critical Perspectives is a multidisciplinary class cross-listed in English (ENG), Humanities (HUM), Honors (HON), African American Studies (AAS), American Studies (AMS), Curriculum & Instruction (C&I), and Bicultural-Bilingual Studies (BBL) and offered at both graduate and undergraduate levels. The goal of this class is to critically exam the sociocultural and historical contexts of the #BlackLivesMatter and #CharlestonSyllabus movements. In order to do that, the first three weeks of class will focus on Critical Race Theory, Whiteness Studies, and Critical Discourse Analysis to theoretically ground students as they spend the course analyzing various literary, scholarly, and multimedia texts. At midpoint, the course will include a faculty, staff, and community panel of experts and activists to historically contextualize San Antonio, Texas, and the U.S.’s engagement in racial and social injustice and violence against Black and Brown peoples. The course will conclude with a student panel presentation based on research over the course of the semester.


  • Weekly Critical Reflection Papers
  • Midterm Exam
  • Final Exam
  • Research Project and Presentation

Required Texts

  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  • Gloria Naylor, Mama Day
  • Gloria Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
  • Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction
  • H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman, Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.

ENG 5053/ENG 6023/ENG 6063: Race and Rhetorical Criticism

Instructor: Sue Hum
Class Time: Mondays 6-8:45pm
Class Location: MB 2.306

Course Description
Is the time for race past and in a pluralist, global context? Should we no longer advocate a multicultural sensibility? Or are discussions of race more important than ever in a "post-race" era? Centered on these questions, this course has two agendas. First is content. We explore the developments of race in rhetoric and composition. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we explore the major rhetorical tenets on the representation of race. We read, discuss, and analyze a variety of texts and media concerning race. I hope students will participate in constructing the reading list on textual analysis. Second is process. Each student will develop an article or chapter based upon concept, outline, draft, or other beginning place that you have already begun to investigate. In a series of assignments--artical review, conference paper, "brown bag" workshop, and presentation--students will develop an article or chapter, which draws on the content of and frameworks discussed in the course. Alternatively, students may prefer to engage in a series of "tests" that help them develop composing skills that are applicable to the written MA comprehensive exams.

Assignments: 5053

  • Article Review (20%)
  • Theory Presentation (20%)
  • MA Test Prep: Explication & Historical (20%)
  • MA Test Prep: Genre & Theme (20%)
  • Case Study (20%)

Assignments: 6023 & 6063

  • Article Review (20%)
  • Theory Presentation (20%)
  • Conference-Length Paper (30%)
  • "Brown Bag" Workshop (15%)
  • Publication Porfolio (15%)

Required Texts

  • Eddy, Robert and Victor Villanueva, eds. A Language and Power Reader: Representations of Race in a "Post-Racist" Era, Utah State UP, 2014. ISBN 9780874219241
  • Omi, Michael and Howard Winant Racial Formation in the United States, 3rd e. Routledge, 2015. ISBN 9780415520317

ENG 5183: Theory and Practice of Teaching Composition

Instructor: Kenneth Walker
Class Time: Mondays 6-8:45pm
Class Location: MB 2.306

Course Description
This course introduces graduate students to foundational and emerging theories and practices for teaching composition. Students will improve their historical understanding of rhetoric and composition studies as they work through a cumulative sequence of assignments that refines theoretical perspectives, develops methodologies for pedagogy and research, improves academic writing skills, and builds a teaching portfolio. To ground composition studies in rhetorical practices we will review intersecting pedagogical theories including, but not limited to, genre, digital media, race, class, gender, sexuality, service-learning, social justice, and more. Our discussions and projects will provide a range of opportunities for students to apply these theories as they are appropriate for vertical writing curricula including first-year and advanced writing, professional and technical writing, community writing, and writing across the disciplines (WAC/WID). Our explorations of these theories and sites of application will allow students to reflect and redefine what we study and how we teach it. Upon completion, students will be able to enter scholarly conversations, articulate methods of teaching and research, and teach writing at a variety of levels with an established knowledge of best practices.


  • Collaborative Journal Review (15%)
  • Collaborative Facilitation of Course Readings (10%)
  • Daily Participation and Peer Reviews (15%)
  • Portfolio (60%) - comprised of Proposal with Literature Review (15%), Conference Paper (25%), and Teaching Philosophy and Syllabus (20%)

ENG 5743.001: British and American Literature 1950-Present

Instructor: Steven G. Kellman
Class Time: Mondays 6-8:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
Fish take water for granted, and it is (too) easy to presume that we understand the contexts and assumptions that shape the literature of the past sixty years. ENGLISH 5743 proceeds on the premise that the novels, short stories, plays, and poems produced in Britain and the United States since 1950 are as worthy of attention as those of any other period and that critical scrutiny of these works is made both easier and more difficult by the fact that they seem to speak our current language. The disintegration of the British Empire, the Cold War, the threat of nuclear annihilation, Vietnam, feminism, multiculturalism, the consolidation of American political, economic, and cultural influence, terrorism, environmental degradation, the expansion of mass media and consumer culture - these and much more are registered, sometimes obliquely, in the imaginative writings of this, the contemporary/postmodern era. Through a variety of provocative readings as well as class presentations, a final exam, and two papers, we will attempt to clock in on the literature of our own time.


  • Two Papers
  • Presentations
  • Final Exam

Required Texts

  • Fowles, John The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Back Bay. ISBN 0316291161
  • Markson, David Reader’s Block, Dalkey Archive. ISBN 9781564781321
  • Nabokov, VladimirPale Fire, Vintage. ISBN 0679723420
  • O'Connor, Flannery The Complete Stories, Noonday. ISBN 0374515360
  • O'Neill, Joseph Netherland, Vintage. ISBN 0307388778
  • Pinter, Harold The Homecoming, Grove. ISBN 0802151051
  • Ramazini, Jahan and Richard Ellmann, ed. The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume Two. Norton. ISBN 0393977927
  • Shephard, Sam True West, Samuel French. ISBN 9780573617287

ENG 5933: Graduate Seminar: Medieval Literature

Instructor: Kimberly Fonzo
Class Time: Thursdays 6-8:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
This course familiarizes graduate students with several traditions in medieval literature—elegiac, heroic, devotional, chivalric, folkloric, allegorical, autobiographical, dramatic—with an emphasis on works written in England. While still focusing on close reading and traditional modes of literary analysis, students will read works in their historical contexts, learning about medieval religious, political, and social customs and how they evolved through the centuries. Although students in this course read most works in translation, they also learn to pronounce and translate Middle English in class together. Whenever possible, students write their final papers quoting from the original Old or Middle English language.


  • Five 1-2 page Discussion Instigators
  • Rought Draft of Final Paper and Peer Review
  • Final Paper

Required Texts

  • Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, trans. Seamus Heaney (Norton Bilingual Edition)
  • The Lais of Marie de France, trans. Burgess and Busby (Penguin Classics)
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, Pearl, trans. Marie Borroff (Norton)
  • Langland, William Piers Plowman, trans E. Talbot Donaldson (Norton)
  • The Book of Margery Kempe, trans. Lynn Staley (Norton)

ENG 5933: Graduate Seminar: Topics in American Literature: Realism and Naturalism in American Literature

Instructor: Jeanne Reesman
Class Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30a.m. - 12:45p.m.
Class Location: MB 2.452

Course Description
This course is an introduction to the diverse authors, genres, styles, and subject-matter within the genres of Realism and Naturalism in American literature. Included will be texts representing wide variety of novels, stories, poems, and essays. Through theory, criticism, and close reading, we shall explore the precise literary meaning of these terms so commonly used. Is naturalism just an enhanced realism, or does it, following Darwin, propose an entirely new world view. ”Realism” as a largely middle- to upper-class phenomenon, while “Naturalist” authors portrayed the underside of society in social criticism but also recognizing human beings as prohibited from by forces beyond their control: heredity, worker exploitation, social class gender and race. There are heroes in Realism, but very few protagonists in Naturalism would be described as heroic. They are defeated by massive social an economic sanctions; they are the underside of the “Gilded Age,” in some respects parallel to today’s 99%.


  • Paper #1 (prospectus of 3-4 pages) (20%)
  • Paper #2 (Research with at least 3 sources and 10 pages) (40%)
  • Midterm Exam (30%)
  • Reports (10%)

Required Texts

  • Norton Anthology of American Literature, 8th edition, Volume C, 2011
  • James, Henry. What Masie Knew, Penguin, Rpt. 2010
  • Howels, William Dean. The Rise of Silas Lapham, Penguin, Rpt. 1983
  • Norris, Frank. Vandover and the Brute, Broadview, Rpt. 2015
  • McCarthy, Cormac Blood Meridian, Vintage 1922

ENG 5973: Shakespeare and Renaissance Tragedy

Instructor: Mark Bayer
Class Time: Wednesdays 6-8:45pm
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
Why are we so attracted to tragedy? What attracted Renaissance audiences to tragedy? And are the answers to these questions the same? In this course, I want to look at the tragedies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries from a variety of different perspectives. I want to examine these plays in their historical context, but I also want to examine how arguments about them are recast in modern critical conversations. We will try to understand how a play like Hamlet might have resonated for Shakespeare’s audience and then look at what it’s taken to mean by readers, critics, directors, and audiences today. Finally, because we are so used to assuming that Shakespearean tragedy is the pinnacle of dramatic achievement, we’ll look at the plays of some of Shakespeare’s contemporaries to see how they differ and how they are the same.


  • Short paper (8-10 pages)
  • Term paper (13-15 pages)
  • Presentation and class discussion

Required Texts

  • Greenblatt, ed., The Norton Shakespeare: Tragedies (If you have other copies of the plays--either a complete works or single plays--feel free to use them.)
  • Dillon, The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Tragedies
  • Bevington, ed., English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology
  • Other readings on Blackboard

ENG 6033.001: History of The English Language

Instructor: Bridget Drinka
Class Time: Thursdays 6-8:45pm
Class Location: MB 2.306

Course Description
This course examines the history of English in depth, beginning with its Indo-European origins down to the modern American and British dialects. Students will gain familiarity with Old and Middle English, and will learn to date texts and to identify their geographical provenance. We will take an in-depth look at such issues as the contribution that Shakespeare and his contemporaries made to the language, the role of prescriptivist attitudes in shaping Standard English, and the place that various social and economic factors have had in moving the language along certain paths. We will also explore what poets and writers instinctively know about the history of their language, and how this history is expressed in literary form.


  • Homework (10%)
  • Midterm Exam (40%)
  • Term Paper (50%)

Required Texts

  • Baugh and Cable, A History of the English Language 6th Edition
  • Watkins The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots 3rd Edition
  • Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Vendler, Helen ed., The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets

ENG 6073/ENG 7073: Theory & Criticism: Outlaw Literature: Case Studies on the Politics & Poetics of Crim in the Americas

Instructor: Ben Olguin
Class Time: Tuesdays 6-8:45pm
Class Location: MB 2.404

Course Description
This course is designed to facilitate a critical assessment of paradigms about the “outlaw” that are operative in western literature, film, and popular culture, as well as in public discourse and politics. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between outlaw identities and agency vis-à-vis ideology and the exercise of power. It is common knowledge that many artists, writers, and political figures consider themselves to be outlaws or rebels of one sort or another. But the term “outlaw” has never been fixed as it has meant vastly different things over time and place. Not all outlaws, for instance, are counterhegemonic. And not all counterhegemonic outlaws pursue egalitarian politics. This course will pursue a comparative approach to examination of the outlaw, with emphasis on U.S.-based case studies, and focused clusters on Latina/o outlaw paradigms. Several inquiries thus guide this course. How do different archetypes of the outlaw—such as social bandits, rebels, and revolutionaries as Eric Hobsbawm has differentiated—relate to each other. What other forms of outlaw subjectivity and agency intersect and diverge with these? What makes them unique “outlaws,” and what does their “outlaw agency” do in relation to the exercise of power and counter-power? Also important for this course is the question of genre. What constitutes outlaw literature, music, and other cultural forms? Is the outlaw category defined by an epistemology or a mode of discourse, both, or something else altogether?


  • Major Research Project
  • Two Expository Essays
  • Service Learning Project

Required Texts

  • Kaufman, Alan, The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, Basic Books, 2004
  • Olguin, B. V., t the Risk of Seeming Ridiculous: Poems from Cuba Libre, Aztlán Libre, 2014
  • Barrios, Greg, I-DJ, Hansen, 2016
  • James, Joy, mprisoned Intellectuals: America’s Political Prisoners Write on Life, Liberation, & Rebellion
  • Rodriguez, Dylan, Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals & the U.S. Prison Regime

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