Spring 2010 Courses: Graduate Level


Instructor: David Vance
Class Time: R 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: MB 1.208

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to “the premises, concepts, and methods of literary study, including literary history, terminology, bibliography, and various critical and theoretical approaches to literature”(Graduate Catalog), and to provide them opportunity to begin cultivating the critical skills required for successful completion of the M.A. degree, including the comprehensive exams. As stated in the department guidelines, examinees should aim at demonstrating:

- Close familiarity with the text
- Ability to identify a major theme in a text and show how structural and/or narrative elements convey it
- Ability to show how salient features of the text do/do not reflect cultural and philosophical assumptions of the period or development of the genre
- Ability to understand and apply literary terms, especially basic terms such as narratorpersonadictionepicimagerycomedytragedy, etc.
- Ability to integrate specific textual evidence into a coherent thesis
- Ability to relate multiple texts one to another and to situate these texts within broad critical and theoretical frameworks 

This course is also intended to help students familiarize themselves with the various opportunities, expectations and responsibilities relevant to their pursuing a graduate degree at UTSA.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands - La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 2 ed. United States: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. [ISBN-13: 978-1879960565]

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts.. United States: Grove Press, 1994. [ISBN-13: 978-0802130341]

Eliot, TS and Michael North. The Waste Land. Critical Editions Ser. United States: WW Norton & Company Incorporated, 2000. [ISBN-13: 978-0393974997]

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6, illustrated ed. United States: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.  [ISBN-13: 978-0873529860]

Guerin, Wilfred L  (et al). A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. 5, Revised illustrated ed. United States: Oxford University Press Incorporated, 2004. [ISBN-13: 978-0195160178]

Harmon, William. A Handbook to Literature. 10, Revised ed. United States: Prentice Hall PTR, 2005. [ISBN-13: 978-0131344426]

Shakespeare, William, and Cyrus Hoy. Hamlet. Critical Editions Ser 2, illustrated ed. United States: WW Norton & Company Incorporated, 1992. [ISBN-13: 978-0393956634]

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and J Paul Hunter. Frankenstein. Critical Editions Ser illustrated ed. United States: WW Norton & Company Incorporated, 1995. [ISBN-13: 978-0393964585]

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Critical Editions Ser illustrated ed. United States: WW Norton & Company Incorporated, 1998.  [ISBN-13: 978-0393966404].

Recommended Texts  and Materials
Drabble, Margaret. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6, Revised, illustrated ed. United States: Oxford University Press Incorporated, 2006.

Hart, James D., and Phillip Leininger. The Oxford Companion to American Literature. 6, Revised ed. United States: Oxford University Press Incorporated, 1995.

EndNote (bibliographical software)

Assignments/Grade Distribution 
Class Participation (10%): To include in-class writing assignments, discussion-leader” and “book review presenter” assignments, and the student’s overall contribution to class discussions (including assigned WebCT discussions).“ 

Weekly Writing Assignments (15%): These will consist primarily of 2pp responses to assigned readings. Students will be expected to post these assignments to WebCT at least 24 hours before we are scheduled to discuss the reading in class. 

Case Study (20%): This assignment will take as its subject a text from the M.A. exam list that we have not covered in class, but which you plan to include on your individual list. Students will be expected to analyze a minimum of six articles representing a range of distinct critical perspectives. At least one of the articles should not be available in electronic format, and at least one should not be available here at UTSA (and so should require use of interlibrary loan). Students will be expected to provide photocopies of the articles they analyze, a one- to two-page summary of each article, a two- to three- page assessment of the critical debates that these sources as a group address, and finally a one- to two-page review of useful on-line resources. 

— Conference Paper (25%): This 8-10pp paper should situate one of the texts from this course in terms of the theoretical schools/approaches addressed in class. You must provide a list of Works Cited at the end of your paper. 

Abstract and Presentation (20%): Shortly before mid-term students will be asked to formulate an abstract specifying the area of inquiry they propose to pursue for their Conference-length paper (and an actual conference where the paper could potentially be presented). They will submit this abstract following standard professional dictates concerning conference proposals and they will then present their findings to the class in a formal, 15 minute presentation of the sort one might give at an academic conference, after which they will field questions from the audience. Please be aware that outside guests will be invited to attend these presentations. 

Final [Mock M.A.] Exam (10%): This exam will mimic the style of questions one might expect to see on the M.A. exam. [For the purposes of determining grades on individual assignments and for overall course grades, the following scale applies: 90-100 A; 80-89 B; 70-79 C; 60-69 D; ≤59 F.]


Instructor: Bonnie Lyons
Class Time: R 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: HSS 3.02.24

Course Description

We’ll begin with Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov and work our way through the 20th century ending with August Wilson and Tony Kushner. Modern drama is extremely varied and introduces political and social issues and significant literary styles and movements, such as realism, naturalism, theater of the absurd.

Course Texts
Lee A Jacobus, ed. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama
Samuel Beckett, Endgame and Waiting for Godot
August Wilson, Three Plays

Course Assignments for Grades
One oral paper accompanied by an annotated bibliography ( 30%)
Weekly mini-papers and outlines (30%)
Seminar paper comparing 2 or more plays from our syllabus (40%)


Instructor: Mark Bayer
Class Time: T 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: HSS 3.04.12

Course Description

This course will address a number of important issues in book history. We will consider the construction and transmission of books from the early manuscript period to the present, paying special attention to origins of print in the fifteenth century, the migration of the book to America, copyright debates in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the possible alternatives to the book in the future. In the process, we will encounter a number of important theoretical and cultural issues concerning orality, literacy, artifactuality, authorship, and reception. By the end of the course, I want you to have a working knowledge of the basic tenets of bibliography, but most of all, I want you to think seriously and critically about the impact of print and how the ways books are produced and published inflect literary study today.

Course Texts
Howsam, Old Books and New Histories
Finkelstein, The Book History Reader
A collection of readings on reserve

Course Assignments for Grades
A short paper, presentations, final research paper


Instructor: John Stoler
Class Time: M 2:00 - 4:45 p.m.
Class Location: HSS 3.04.12

Course Description

This course meets a period requirement for the M.A. degree.

A “panorama” is (1) “an unlimited view of all visible objects over a wide area” and (2) “a comprehensive picture of a chain of events or a specific subject.”  For this class, the basic “panoramic novel” is defined as “a novel  of scope: geographical, societal, or both.  It is the kind of novel that contrasts with the highly focused “interior” novels of Defoe, Richardson, Austen, and Hardy.  We will attempt to add to this basic definition by examining structure, characterization, point-of-view, and theme, among other concerns that pop up in our discussions.  This exploration will try to answer the question, “Is the panoramic novel a genuine sub-genre of the novel?”  These works also will  be treated as cultural documents reflecting important aspects of their times and therefore adding to our knowledge of the periods in which they were produced.  Thus, the course aims at giving students insights into the 18th and 19th centuries, the evolution of the novel form, and the tradition (if we can show there is one) of the panoramic novel.  Catch-22  is on the reading list to show how this kind of novel influenced American fiction.  Although this is not a course in literary theory, students are encouraged to bring various theories to bear upon our discussions.


Texts for the course (which will be read in this order) are:

Fielding, Henry.  Tom Jones.  Oxford.

Smollett, Tobias.  Roderick Random.  Oxford.

Thackeray, William.  Vanity Fair.  Penguin.

Dickens, Charles.  Bleak House.  Signet.

Eliot, George.  Middlemarch.  Penguin.

Heller, Joseph.   Catch-22.  Simon and Schuster.

In the interest of economy, I have selected the cheapest editions I could locate.  The Norton Critical Editions have various critical materials, but they are expensive.  Students may use editions other than those I have ordered; however, the use of such texts will cause some problems in class discussion in that different paginations will make specific passages difficult to locate during our discussions.

There will be a short (3-5 pages) paper on each novel.  Each paper should comment on how the scope or range  of the novel affects some important aspect of it, allowing or forcing the author to work in certain ways perhaps not as available in the more focused kind of “interior” novel.  Topics cannot be regurgitations of class discussion, but ideas treated in class may be used if they are elaborated upon in some way.

Grades will be figured as follows: short papers, 50% (the lowest grade on these papers will be dropped); final exam (PER
HAPS a take-home), 30%; individual or team oral reports, 20%.  However, oral reports may be omitted depending on the size of the class, in which case the short papers will count 70%. 


Instructor: Kinitra Brooks
Class Time: 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: MB 1.206

Course Description

In this course we will critically analyze the differences that occur when others write black women into this expanding subgenre of literature against when black women write themselves.  We will begin the course reading and discussing classic science fiction/fantasy/horror literary theory.  The rest of the course will be an exploration of how race and gender continue to complicate these theories. This class will also expand the notion of text, including novels, short stories, movies, comic books and graphic novels.  There are few black women whose supernatural creations make it into the realms of mainstream television, film and comic books. Most of their creations remain literary, specifically in the format of short stories and novels.  We will discuss the politics and the power of these disparities.

Course Texts
Dark Matter:  A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora, Sheree R. Thomas

So Long Been Dreaming:PostColonial Science Fiction and Fantasy, Nalo Hopkinson, Uppinder Mehan, Samuel R. Delany

Lillith’s Brood, Octavia Butler

The Bitten, L.A. Banks

The Salt Roads, Nalo Hopkinson

The Living Blood, Tananarive Due 

The Walking Dead: Volume 4, 5, & 6, Robert Kirkman

X-Men: Worlds Apart, Chris Yost

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon

Angel: The Series, Joss Whedon

Star Trek: The Original Series, Gene Roddenberry

Grade Distribution

Annotated Biblio.: 10%
Final Paper: 40%
Class Presentation: 15%
Participation: 10%
Response Papers: 25%
Final Grade: 100%


Instructor: Mark Allen
Class Time: R 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: HSS 3.04.20

Course Description

The works of Geoffrey Chaucer bridge medieval sensibility and modern thought, and his literary forms set a standard for later traditions of English and American literature. This course provides opportunities for students to explore Chaucer’s relations with English and Continental cultural traditions, and to investigate the critical legacy of his works. The course will begin with an introduction to reading Chaucer’s Middle English. Successful completion of this course fulfills three of the six hours required for literature before 1700 in the M.A. program in English.

Course Texts 
Fisher, John H., and Mark Allen, eds., The Complete Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006)

Windeatt, Barry, ed. Troilus and Criseyde (Penguin, 2003)

Miller, Robert P., ed., Chaucer:  Sources and Backgrounds (Oxford UP, 1977)

Course Assignments for Grades
Course work will include three essays (15%, 25%, 30%) and a final exam (30%). Students are expected to attend class, prepared to discuss their reading of all assigned work.


Instructor: Linda Woodson
Class Time: T 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: MB 1.206

Course Description

Sidney Dobrin and Christian R. Weisser in Natural Discourse speak of the importance of recognizing that “writing takes place,” emphasizing the significance of environment in the complex and interrelated places in which we write as both theorists and practitioners.  The writing about contemporary rhetoric concerns the rich diversity of those places:  new literacies, rhetorical sensitivities, relationships to literature, global cultures, activity systems, and so on.  Because of this diversity, this course is designed to explore the genres and conventions of rhetorical scholarship, including the connections to composition and/or literature, as it appears in contemporary journals and collections.  As part of the class, students will develop an article or chapter based upon a concept, outline, draft, or other beginning place that they have already begun to investigate.  They will analyze professional audiences, complete literature reviews, and identify editorial policies, as well as establish a plan to pursue publication.      

Course Texts
The course will use both online texts and print sources.  The electronic sources will include, among others, Authoring a Discipline: Scholarly Journals and the Post-World War II Emergence of Rhetoric and Composition by Maureen Daly Goggin, “The Construction of Author Voice by Editorial Board Members,” by Christine M. Tardy and Paul Kei Matsuda, “Making the Gesture: Graduate Student Submissions and the Expectations of Journal Referees” by Richard McNabb, Publishing in Rhetoric and Composition by Gary Olson and Todd Taylor, and “What’s Love Got to Do with It?  Scholarly Citation Practices as Courtship Rituals” by Shirley Rose.  The required print sources will beBeyond the Archives:  Research as a Lived Process, edited by Gesa Kirsch and Liz Rohan; however, several other print sources will be highly recommended.

Course Assignments for Grades
Journal analyzing professional audiences and conversations, completing a literature search, and creating a publication plan (40%); two workshop reviews of article (20%); completed article (20%); presentation (20%).


Instructor: Catherine Kasper
Class Time: M 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: MB 1.204

NOTE: To be considered for enrollment for this course, you should submit a writing portfolio to the professor before regular enrollment begins. Please contact the professor by email with questions.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Creative Writing Certificate Students interested in learning about workshop pedagogy.

Content and Goals

This course is particularly suited to the student writer of fiction who also desires to teach creative writing workshops one day. Through examination and completion of idea-building writing exercises, the student will have an opportunity to brainstorm new ideas for her/his own writing, while analyzing methodologies of the workshop. This course assumes the student has previous experience writing the short story and has a serious commitment to writing fiction and being an active participant in the workshop. Students will participate in a workshop of one of their stories, and in reading and discussion of pedagogical concerns for the writing workshop. They will also be asked to create and present writing prompts, to serve as critique leaders in workshop, and to turn in written critiques. Students will be encouraged to engage in a community of writers through this intellectual and creative exchange in class, and outside this class at literary readings. Each student will be required to turn in a final writing portfolio.

Class participation; weekly reading and writing assignments; one short story for workshop, several presentations, one final writing portfolio, and attending no less than one literary reading outside class time.

Lydia Davis, The Collected Stories, Farrar, Straus, Giroux Publishers

Steven Millhauser, The Barnum Museum, Dalkey Archive Press

Wallace Stegner, On Teaching and Writing Fiction, Penguin Books

Kelly Ritter, ed. Can It Really Be Taught? Resisting Lore in Creative Writing Pedagogy, Boynton/Cook Publishers


Instructor: Annette Portillo
Class Time: R 5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Class Location: MS 2.02.12

UTSA Course Catalog Description

(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ENG 6013. Advanced and intensive research of key issues in cultural and/or cross-cultural studies. May be repeated once for credit when topics vary.

This interdisciplinary course seeks to examine American Indian feminisms by reading novels, poetry, testimonios, identity-based anthologies and socio-historical essays. The collective voices we read will allow for a better understanding of the diverse and complex identities of Native American women. Many of these works are not simply singular life-written narratives, but rather they are connected to tribal memories. This course will problematize Western notions of literacy as we read the works of storytellers who become agents of history. In addition, this course will insist that you critically examine cultural tourism and popular media stereotypes that continue to perpetuate gross misconceptions about Indigenous identity as we examine historical and contemporary (mis)representations of Native women. Lastly, we will examine the various ways in which Native women activists have empowered themselves and their communities. Topics may include: sexual violence, genocide, native spiritualities, environmental justice, sacred sites, religious rights, and two-spiritedness.


This seminar requires weekly essays, several presentations, and two major research essays (midterm/final).

Course Texts

Andrea Smith – Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide
Devon Mihesuah -- Indigenous American Women: Decolonization, Empowerment, Activism
Eds. Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird – Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America
Eds. Carolyn Dunn and Carol Comfort – The Eye of the Deer: An Anthology of Native American Women Writers
Eds. Heid E. Erdrich and Laura Tohe – Sister Nations: Native American Women Writers on Community
Leslie Silko – Ceremony
Linda Hogan -- The Woman Who Watches Over the World
Paula Gunn Allen - The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions
Leslie Marmon Silko --Almanac of the Dead
Ed. Barbara Alice Mann -- Daughters of Mother Earth: The Wisdom of Native American Women

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