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Deptarment of English graphic

Upper Division Courses - Spring 2007

Please note: descriptions have not been submitted for all Upper Division English courses that will be offered in Spring 2007. Please check the online course listing for the full roster along with information on class days/times.

Course Titles

ENG 3302 - Business and Technical Report Writing

ENG 3304 (Online) - Advanced Business and Technical Report Writing

ENG 3305 (Online) - Essay Writing

ENG 3305 - Essay Writing

ENG 3313 - Studies in Dramatic Literature

ENG 3314 - Studies in Autobiography

ENG 3315 - Studies in Science Fiction: Created Universes

ENG 3317 - Studies in the Theory of Rhetoric

ENG 3318 -Studies in English Grammar

ENG 3320 - History of the English Language

ENG 3325 (Online) - Medical Writing

ENG 3326 - Proposal Writing

ENG 3328 - Documentation and Manuals

ENG 3340 - Cultural Criticism ( U.S. Prison Culture)

ENG / HUM 3340 - Cultural Criticism: Gothic Literature and Culture

ENG 4309 - Advanced Creative Writing

ENG 4311 - Contemporary Literature: The Cultures of Postwar London

ENG 4311 - Contemporary Literature: Postmodernism

ENG 4312 - Literature of the South and Southwest

ENG / HUM 4313 - Psychology Through Literature

ENG 4314 - Major Authors: Sylvia Plath

ENG 4321 - Harlem on My Mind: The Literature, Sights and Sounds of the Harlem Renaissance

ENG 4360 - Publications Workshop

Course Descriptions

ENG 3302 – Business and Technical Report Writing

Dr. Wayne Schmadeka

Three Sections:

MW 7:00am – 8:15am

MW 8:30am – 9:45am

MW 10:00am – 11:15am


Three credit hours of English literature.


Study and practice writing the types of documents frequently used in the workplace, including cover letters and resumes, proposals, progress reports, formal reports, and PowerPoint presentations.


Learn to develop documentation to identify, study, and document real world solutions for the real world challenges students face in their work and personal lives. 

Probable major assignments

Propose a formal report

Write a progress report

Write a formal report

Recent examples of formal reports include:

Recommending construction of a pedestrian walkway from an off-campus parking lot to the UHD campus

Evaluating whether it is better for the student to remodel her existing home or build a new home

Soliciting funds from the Gates Foundation for an HIV prevention program in provincial China

Recommending upgrading HISD Police vehicles with state-of-the-art communications equipment


Jones, D., and Lane, K. Technical Communication. 7th ed. New York: Pearson Education, 2002.

English 3304 (Online) - Advanced Business and Technical Report Writing

Robert L. Jarrett

The University Catalog describes English 3304 as "Practice in writing in varied professional contexts. Special attention is given to audience and purpose, tone, logic, and accuracy." English 3304 is an upper-level course to satisfy the degree’s requirement for upper-level writing courses. In the course, you will develop visuals from data, write collaboratively an online or paper-based manual, write a letter for a corporation that communicates risk to customers, and research and write a report based on library research or a usability study. These assignments typify the range of documents produced by technical or professional communicators.

English 3302 is the course prerequisite.

By the end of the course, you should

    1. demonstrate fluency in adapting formal, informal, and electronic report formats to communicate information effectively to a range of different technical, professional, and lay audiences
    2. gain experience in document and project planning for group writing
    3. appreciate modes of communication typical in documentation, science writing, and multimedia production
    4. increase facility in analyzing audiences & in adapting organization and tone to suit audience needs
    5. create and choose visuals to convey information clearly
    6. improve and polish intermediate and advanced skills in Word & Excel useful to technical communicators, including charting & document editing/review functions

ENG 3305 - Essay Writing (Fully Online)

Dagmar Stuehrk Corrigan

CRN 20187

In this course, students will study, analyze, and practice advanced rhetorical principles in non-fiction, with a view to increasing clarity, effectiveness and precision in academic style. The prerequisites for English 3305 are Sophomore Literature and junior standing.

This semester we will focus on the topic of education and writing in the social sciences. We will also use the APA style for formatting and documentation of sources.

Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to

  • Analyze and apply basic rhetorical principles to any piece of writing
  • Demonstrate clarity, effectiveness, and precision in extended, researched essays
  • Utilize current technology to search databases for information
  • Apply principles of editing to your own writing and that of others
  • Demonstrate proficiency with standard written English grammar
  • Apply the APA style to formatting and documentation of sources

Required Texts

• McCourt , Frank (2006) Teacher Man Scribner Publishers ISBN: 0743243781

• Galvan, Jose L. (2006). Writing Literature Reviews: A Guide for Students of Social and Behavioral Sciences. 3rd Edition. Pyrczak Publishing. ISBN: 1-884585-66-3

• Goodman , Ken. et al ( 2004). Saving Our Schools: The Case for Public Education Saying No to “No Child Left Behind.” RDR Books. ISBN: 1-57143-102-0

Online Time Available per Week

Traditionally, a university student is expected to spend 2 hours outside of class for each hour spent within class. Therefore, approximately 9 hours a week should be devoted to our online class. This course is divided into units, with each unit covering 3 weeks of the semester. During the spring semester, each unit will begin on a Monday and end on a Sunday, at midnight, with the exception of the first week of the course. Time-management skills are essential.

Scheduled attendance times or places, if any

There will be no scheduled face-to-face meeting times during the spring semester. I will be on the UHD campus Monday-Thursday. Please call me to schedule an appointment so that we can meet face-to-face, via telephone, or through the Chat function in WebCT. I am available to help and want to see everyone succeed in this course.

Course Assignments

Since this is an online course, there will be plenty of opportunities to practice writing. Assignments include a narrative essay, an evaluation, and a researched literature review. There are also unit-driven discussion board postings and responses required.

ENG 3305 - Essay Writing

Catherine Howard

W 8:30 - 11:15 am

CRN: 21724

The University Center

This course is designed for students in all departments who would like further training in expository writing. It is not an "extension" of freshman English, but a course on style. In addition to writing and revising seven to eight papers, we will be doing substantial reading and rhetorical analysis of expository prose, as well as written exercises on style and rhetoric. The course will culminate in an extended "Survey Analysis of Professional Journals" in each student's academic field. Because this is a workshop-style course and because we only meet once a week, class attendance is expected.

We will read nonfiction essays by authors such as E.B. White, William Golding, Joan Didion, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, J.S. Mill, James Baldwin, Jessica Mitford, Vladimir Nabokov, Lewis Thomas, John Locke, Susanne K. Langer, Paul Fussell, Kathleen Norris, Jonathan Swift, Annie Dillard, Maya Angelou, John Donne, Plato, Eudora Welty, Martin Luther King, and Michel de Montaigne.


1. Richard Marius, A Writer's Companion , 4th ed. Boston : McGraw-Hill, 1999. ISBN: 0-07-304015-0

2. Robert Miles / Marc Bertonasco / William Karns, Prose Style: A Contemporary Guide , 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1991.ISBN: 0-13-713181-X

3. Linda H. Peterson / John C. Brereton, eds., The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction, shorter 11th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.ISBN: 0-393-97807-9

Course Prerequisite: three hours of literature (one ENG sophomore literature survey)

English 3313 - Studies in Dramatic Literature

Paul Fortunato

TR 7:00am - 8:15am

Oscar Wilde wrote that to create art is to lie. That is, when one creates a piece of literature (a story), one is taking some truths, distorting them, infusing one's style (and worldview) into them, and creating a startling, provocative, and beautiful un-truth. We will begin our study of drama with some of Wilde's plays together with his writings on the theater and on art. We will then survey various eras and cultures through plays, from the Elizabethans, to the modernists, to the present.

Moreover, we will live the theater. We are going to institute an in-class (and extra-curricular) Readers' Theater, something I have already begun this semester. Without memorizing plays, and with minimal preparation, we will enact scenes with students assuming various roles, including being the director.

English 3314 – Studies in Autobiography

Antonio A. Garcia

TR 11:30-12:45

The course will investigate critical problems posed by autobiography as a literary genre through a study of works written in an autobiographical mode, by such authors as Roland Barthes, Vladimir Nabokov, Georges Perec, Richard Rodriguez, and Jean-Paul Sartre. By reading these works, along with influential secondary texts on autobiography and its problematics, including the autobiographical pact (Phillipe Lejeune), autobiography as de-facement (Paul de Man), autobiography as confession (Peter Brooks), and the autobiographical act (Elizabeth Bruss), students will uncover problems of self representation in our time. Class discussions and student writing about these primary and secondary works will provide a context for the analysis of an outside autobiography, chosen (from a list) by each student. Students will present major findings to the class in response to a motivating critical question related to their autobiography. This presentation will be the basis for a research paper due at the end of the semester.

ENG 3315 - Studies in Science Fiction: Created Universes

Dr. Carol A. Bernard

T 10 am -12:45 pm

Fort Bend Campus

Writers of science fiction and fantasy fiction often create alternate universes in which they can set up scenarios that might not be possible in a world that looks like ours. In this course, the scenarios that will interest us will be those that engage in discussions of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Science fiction and fantasy authors often use created universes as a way of exploring and experimenting with what is possible and what these concepts mean. In this course we will survey some popular science fiction and fantasy texts and examine how the authors address these central themes by using a world and/or a universe that is radically different from our own. The survey may include works from Frank Herbert, J. R. R. Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler, and others. We will also be examining some of the presentations of novels in film. Readings will also be drawn from theorists and critics of science fiction. Students will be expected to complete weekly readings and quizzes, a mid-term exam, a short paper, a longer research-oriented paper, and a final exam.


English 3317 - Studies in the Theory of Rhetoric

Professor A. Chiaviello

MW 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Ever wonder what "mass culture" means, or what it's doing to you via mass marketing, public relations, and advertising? The study of popular culture from a rhetorical perspective enables us to get to the implications of our mediated world across the spectrum of communication media. Enroll in this course to learn how to identify and comprehend the hidden agendas that permeate our consumer- and entertainment-driven society. This course is taught by Professor Anthony Chiaviello, who has a background in media, PR, journalism, and environmental rhetoric.  The course will use Brummett's Rhetoric in Popular Culture (new paper 2nd edition) to get at the motivational underpinnings of contemporary pop culture phenomena, and will study rhetorical critiques of race relations, Hip-Hop, Groundhog Day (the film), and Motorcycles, from the Brummett book. Optionally, individual projects can start with Bogart's examination of youth culture, Over the Top, and Dyson's analysis of Bill Cosby's critique of African-American culture (Is Bill Cosby Right?).

ENG 3318 – Studies in English Grammar

Linda Bawcom

Two sections:

TR 4:00 – 5:15pm

TR 5:30 – 6:45pm

Required Textbook:A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar by Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum (2005)

This course is designed to give the beginning student a basic but comprehensive introduction to English grammar. Through the process of studying the categories and functions of grammar in addition to the vocabulary related to describing it, students will gain a sufficient amount of “explicit” (conscious) knowledge to be able to analyze and describe much of the syntax of English (as well as other languages). With these tools, students will be able to hone their written (and oral) communication skills for current and future work in any field.

Like the ability to play the piano or solve a calculus problem, the ability to analyze English syntax can be acquired and refined only through practice.For this reason, students will be expected to attend all classes and complete homework assignments for reinforcement of the material. There will also be quizzes and two exams in order to evaluate how well the material has been presented, studied and understood. Students are also expected to actively participate in class. Questions, at any time, are welcome and, in fact, encouraged.

ENG 3320 - History of the English Language

Michael Dressman

W 11:30 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.

CRN 20185

The University Center

This course is a study of the English language, as it has developed from a variety of German, spoken in northwest Europe in the fifth century, into the major world language it is today. It begins with a brief overview of human language and the method of studying it. This course serves for many students as an introduction to the formal study of language, which is called "linguistics." The major components of this field include the sounds of language (phonology), the development of vocabulary (lexis) and meaning (semantics), and the grammatical forms of words (morphology) and their systematic arrangement and interaction (syntax).

One major benefit from the course is that you can learn to analyze language as a systematic human process, not just a jumble of words and rules with mysterious reasons for being "right" or "wrong."

Next, there is a progressive study of the various stages of English from its Germanic beginnings to its modern varieties as spoken in the United States, Great Britain , and other countries. We will pay attention to changes in the sound systems, development of vocabulary and word forms, and dialect differences based on social and regional differences. The discussion of dialects includes a review of regional and ethnic varieties of American English.

In addition, there will be discussion of semantic change, which covers such topics as sexism in language, the adaptation of English to modern communication needs, and the history and uses of the dictionary.

The purpose of the course, then, is to (1) familiarize you with linguistics and its various areas of study and (2) familiarize you with the historical development of the English language.
Requirements: 3 exams and 2 reports (one oral; one written)

English 3325 (Online) – Medical Writing

Dr. Karina Stokes

English 3325(3 credit hours) involves “the study and practice of interpreting and incorporating findings and statistical results into clear, comprehensible, and well-organized prose.” Prerequisite: 3 hours of literature.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

Identify distinct purposes and audiences in specific genres of medical and scientific writing, including research reports, written procedures or guidelines, case studies, bibliographies, and patient education materials (e.g., consumer and commercial medical websites);

Understand the role of the scientific method of inquiry as it applies to medicine while appreciating why clinical medicine sometimes departs from this model;

Use scientific and medical databases to review the literature on medical topics;

Improve grammar, clarity, and precision in medical writing by eliminating wordy constructions, choosing accurate words, avoiding passive voice, and editing for consistency in number / tense;

Hone an effective medical writing style for various purposes and audiences;

Develop a peer review work ethic in editing your medical writing by working collaboratively on content, grammar, style, and mechanical issues; and

Identify the features of clear and useful graphic representation of medical information, especially numerical data.

Assignments – What Students Should Learn

Each assignment will add new skills to students’ repertoires.First, a review of using Word to format documents will be included in the class followed by an exercise in using the editing functions in Word.We will write a patient information pamphlet / insert for a procedure or drug by simplifying medical jargon into ordinary language.Then, students will gain an understanding of the medical research environment, its goals, and its relation to clinical practice. Interpretation of data and statistics will also be included (just enough to be able to write about it in a paper – we will not cover statistical calculations).Researching appropriate medical sources and gathering information and illustrations will follow; the culmination of this knowledge will be demonstrated in a clearly written review article concerning a moderately complicated medical topic.By the end of the class, students will have mastered the skills of finding and documenting medical information, planning and organizing a variety of medical documents for specific purposes, and producing lucid text in a visually pleasing layout with appropriate graphic elements.The key to success in this class is clear, correct writing.While it may help to have some background in medical terminology, that is not required for this class as the terminology can be acquired throughout the semester via medical dictionaries / resources like those listed below:

Toolkit for New Medical Writers Compliments of AMWA's Delaware Valley Chapter

Instructions to Authors in the Health Sciences.

Online Medical Dictionary at:

English 3326 - Proposal Writing

Professor A. Chiaviello

W 5:30 pm - 8:15 pm, The University Center

Thurs. 11:30 am - 2:15 pm, Cinco Ranch

Offered Spring 2007 at both The University Center in the Woodlands and Cinco Ranch, this course involves practice in writing and editing a series of proposals of varying scope and complexity. Beginning with the identification of an appropriate audience, such as an "RFP," students will work through the steps of proposal-writing, to produce a formal proposal as a term project. The text for the class is Johnson-Sheehan's Writing Proposals . For those advanced students who have in mind an actual grant, and would like to produce a proposal in application for funding, the textbook Grant Seeking in an Electronic Age is optional. Professor Chiaviello will consult individually with students, as needed, while they work through the steps of the proposal-writing process.

ENG 3328 – Documentation and Manuals

Stephanie S. Turner

Tuesdays 5:30-8:15 p.m.

Course Description

This course teaches you how to evaluate and prepare user documentation, writing and graphics that help people make decisions, perform tasks, and take other necessary action. Although the term “user documentation” often refers specifically to computer software- and web-related documents like online help and FAQs, in ENG 3328, it also includes hardcopy user manuals and handbooks, instructions on product packaging, task outlines, articles of incorporation and bylaws, managerial policies, standard operating procedures, emergency response plans, and other similar documentation.

Preparing and evaluating user documentation effectively can

  • help democratize the workplace by giving users influence
  • over the kinds of document design and language that best help them to do their jobs;
  • translate subject matter expertise into language
  • and graphics that are accessible to all users;
  • ensure the safety and legality of procedures; and
  • establish the ethical standards of a workplace.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to

  • Distinguish between policies, procedures, and tasks
  • Prepare documents that meet needs of specific audience(s) and users
  • Conduct the research necessary to write (or revise) policies and procedures, including reviewing source documentation; identifying the main reason(s) the policy or procedure needs to be written (or revised); and interviewing users, subject matter experts (SME’s), and managers
  • Apply usability testing concepts to evaluate user documentation
  • Create and apply style guides that govern text, graphics, and design features
  • Develop knowledge of and use appropriate Microsoft Word software tools to fulfill specific documentation needs, such as defining and using styles, creating indexes and tables, inserting hyperlinks, writing web pages, and working with graphics
  • Write policies and procedures that minimize the risk of the organization violating the law, being negligent, or breaking an implied contract


English 3340 – Cultural Criticism (U.S. Prison Culture)

Dr. Chuck Jackson

TR 10:00am - 11:15am

This course asks students to theorize the relationship between nation, imprisonment, and culture.We will examine how cultures emerge inside of prisons (amongst a population of over 2.2 million in the U.S.), how prisons affect the culture of those living on the outside (the “free” world), and what it means to a global community that the U.S. represents a culture that increasingly relies upon the logic of incarceration, detention, and repression to secure its status as a superpower.Each of the texts we read this semester will put into question the architectural and ideological walls that separate, to begin with, the prison from the community, the inmate from the citizen, the caged from the free.This means that a number of cultural forms will serve as our objects of study, including fiction, memoir, drama, architecture, documentary film, feature-length film, news journalism, television, nonfiction, radio, and music.Students will work collectively and independently as we grapple with difficult issues, including representations of violence, cultural voids, isolation, separation, rage, racism, underground or outlaw social and economic formations, and gendered forms of punishment. As well, we will consider matters of hope, love, justice, and decarceration.

We will study the creative writing collected in H. Bruce Franklin’s Prison Writing in 20th-Century America, and most likely John Edgar Wideman’s Brothers and Keepers as well as Miguel Pinero’s Short Eyes. I am still trying to select works from the following list:theoretical work by Michel Foucault, Angela Davis, Franz Fanon, Ruth Gilmore, Mike Davis, and Mumia Abu-Jamal; nonfictional work collected in Prison Nation: The Warehousing of America’s Poor, Mark Dow’s American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons, or Joseph Hallinan’s Going up the River: Travels in a Prison Nation; documentary films such as Eve Ensler’s What I Want My Words to Do to You and Jonathan Stack’s The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison; The Life of David Gale; HBO’s Oz and Fox’s Prison Break, work by Johnny Cash and Tupac Shakur, corporate and independent media reports on contemporary prisons, Ray Hill’s The Prison Show Houston’s 90.1 FM Friday 9:00pm-11:00pm, and the statements and posters from Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR).

Students will be responsible for in-class discussion, three shorter critical essays, one longer research paper (due at the end of the term), and participation in collective presentations.

ENG / HUM 3340 – Cultural Criticism: Gothic Literature and Culture

Dan Shea

Thursdays 7:00pm – 8:15pm

CRN 20151/20152

Note:This course requires travel to London at the end of the Spring semester.

The Gothic has maintained a firm hold on the English popular imagination since its appearance as a literary genre in the mid-eighteenth century. Gothic fascination with the sensational, terrible, and macabre has generated “high-cultural” and “low-brow” texts of every conceivable sort. This course offers students an introduction to a wide variety of British Gothic texts, from canonical literature to popular culture. The course will work to define the contentious boundaries of the genre and study a range of critical interpretations. Indeed, the Gothic is an ideal subject for a course in Cultural Criticism since, as a review of recent criticism shows, it has inspired a wide array of critical responses, including major historical, psychoanalytic, feminist, Marxist, postcolonial, and queer-theoretical analyses. Most critical camps, it seems, have an explanation for the Gothic. Students will review a sampling of major critical schools as we work to define the Gothic, study its history, and ask why it remains such a persistent object of fascination.

Please notice that enrollment in the course is limited to students participating in the study abroad trip to England and Scotland from May 14-23. Students interested in the course and/or the trip should contact me at

English 4309 – Advanced Creative Writing
Robin Davidson
TR 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

CRN 20160

This course is the second in a two-course sequence of creative writing classes at the University of Houston-Downtown. In English 3309 (Creative Writing), you may have explored literary craft spanning a range of techniques, conventions, texts, centuries, and cultures. You may have tried your hand at writing poems, short fiction, an essay, or a play. The intent of English 4309 is to extend your engagement with the possibilities of language for creative and literary expression. Rather than experiment in a range of genres, this course will ask that you work with seriousness in the development of a writing project in your preferred genre—poetry, fiction, literary non-fiction, or drama. (This does not mean the death of experimentation, of course.) You will be asked to select books by two authors working in your field whose work you admire, and offer a discussion of your engagement with those texts. We will, as a class, explore the idea of artistic inspiration, the Daimon, as well as the habits of mind which support a writer’s sustained work. And we will discuss the process of revision, editing, and publication with the goal of developing a trustworthy community of readers for your project.

Textbook: Hirsch, Edward. The Demon and The Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration. New York: Harcourt, 2002.

ENG 4311 – Contemporary Literature: The Cultures of Postwar London

Dr. Nicole LaRose

Tuesdays 7:00-8:15

Note:This course requires travel to London at the end of the Spring semester.

is a space of historic complexity, sociological diversity, and political uncertainty that make it impossible to fully conceive, translating its absences into its meanings.Some observers, such as biographer Peter Ackroyd and filmmaker Patrick Keiller, use the principles of psychogeography, which explains that mapping the ever-changing spaces and cultures of the city requires discovering the historical and cultural specificity of each locale instead of obsessing over an idea of the whole.In this course, we will use Peter Ackroyd’s recent biography of London as our continual reminder of the eclecticism that defines London.The historical layers, convoluted pathways, and back alleys will not overwhelm us but instead will ask us to be open to unexpected experiences.As readers are always tourists in another world, we will embrace that role and thus see how writers of twentieth-century London relate experience to place.The course will have three units: first, we will examine the legacy of imperial Britain; second, we will look at East End and working-class London, including the criminal underworld; and lastly, we will look at immigrant London.

Texts may include:

Peter Ackroyd London: A Biography and Patrick Keiller London (1994 documentary)

Imperial London: Maureen Duffy Capital and Martin Amis London Fields

Working Class and East End London: Iain Sinclair, White Chapell, Scarlet Tracings, Guy Ritchie Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (film), The Long Good Friday (film)

Immigrant London: Zadie Smith, White Teeth and Trainspottingg

Assignments will include weekly responses, one explication paper, a psychogeography scrapbook assembled based on research and exploration of London, and a collective oral presentation in the form of a walking tour.


English 4311 – Contemporary Literature:Postmodernism

Paul Kintzele

MW 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

You should do one thing to prepare yourself for this class: if you have not seen it, go rent The Matrix.This course will explore the very latest chapter in Western (now global) culture, a chapter that is still being written as we speak.Postmodernism, in the most general sense of the term, designates certain movements in art and architecture that emerged in the wake of World War II.For some, postmodernism is a sign of cultural decay, a loss of grand, animating narratives and a slide into relativism; for others, postmodernism represents the loss of “art” itself, as cultural production becomes absorbed—seemingly without remainder—into the economic sphere.For still others, however, postmodernism is simply the only way forward, an anti-art that still retains the performative power of art and its possibility for individual and social transformation.We will thus ask the questions, “What is it, why is it there, and where can it go from here?” Our primary focus will be on the Anglo-American literary scene, as we read Fowles’s short story “The Enigma,” Ballard’s Crash, Amis’s Time’s Arrow, DeLillo’s White Noise, as well as works by Carter, Calvino, and Murakami.We will look at some representative art and architecture and read extensive theoretical selections from Jameson, Bell, Venturi, Debord, Eco, and others.Requirements: three medium-length essays, weekly quizzes.

 English 4312 – Literature of the South and Southwest

Dr. Nell Sullivan

MW 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

This course will focus on literature written by and/or about people residing in the American South after the Civil War and the emergence of a distinctive sense of "place" in the literature of the South, both in terms of geographical location and in terms of the subject's place within the social/economic/political order.Representing the major trends in the development of Southern literature after the Civil War, the required readings demonstrate the impact of the region's history of racism and poverty on the subject's sense of place.As part of our examination of Southern literary history, we will explore the social, religious, and historical forces that have shaped the region, its mythologies, and its literature.

We will examine texts by authors such as Thomas Dixon, Thomas Nelson Page, D. W. Griffith, James Weldon Johnson, Allen Tate, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Cormac McCarthy, John Kennedy Toole, Dorothy Allison, and Randall Keenan.

ENG 4313 and HUM 4313 - Psychology Through Literature

Jon Harned

MW 10:00-11:15

From this class students both in literature and the other humanities and social sciences will become capable practitioners of psychoanalytic criticism. We will read substantial excerpts from the writing of Sigmund Freud that still have considerable influence and to lesser extent the contributions of subsequent theorists such as Melanie Klein and Jacques Lacan. Students will write two shorter analytic essays, one on Kafka's The Metamorphosis and one on a film by Alfred Hitchcock. For the research papers, students will pick a topic from their major and present the papers to the class at the end of the semester. Students should be prepared for an excursion into the neurotic, the infantile, the deviant, the creepy, and everything we'd like to forget about ourselves but can't—what Joseph Conrad calls "the fascination of the abomination." Major texts: The Freud Reader (Norton, ISBN: 0553213695); The Metamorphosis (Mass Market Paperback, ISBN: 0553213695).

ENG 4314 - Major Authors: Sylvia Plath

Joe Aimone

Mondays 7:00-9:45pm

Approach to the subject: Plath's writing is electric stuff. To understand it, we need to figure out what it means (it's difficult reading) and how it gets to us (it's hard to be indifferent or tepid—most love her or hate her), but also how it got to us. We will undertake a genealogy of the phenomenon we call "Sylvia Plath." She is arguably among the best American poets, the best British poets, and the best women poets writing in English. But her status as a canonical writer is only a part of the story we tell ourselves about her. She is also a very influential writer of texts associated with mental illness and suicide—she may be on your psychiatrist's recommended reading list. And she is something of a mythic figure in the culture at large. (She has even been called "the pinup girl of American poetry," perhaps not without reason.)

We will follow the process that began to be inarguably clear around the time of her death that led to her recognition. We will start with the reconstructed original manuscript version of her second book of poems, Ariel, found on her desk at the time of her death, then read the version edited by her husband, Ted Hughes, that established her reputation as an important poet. The first version impressed Hughes enough that he had to publish it, but the edition he created is significantly different from the one he found on her desk. Since her suicide is such an important factor in her reputation, we will then read her novel, The Bell Jar, which is based on her own experiences with suicide in an earlier attempt than the one that took her life. Then we will branch out into her other poetry, her short fiction, and poetry written about her by Ted Hughes. (He wrote two books of poetry directly about her, and we will read both.) We will study her relationship with him, reading Diane Middlebrook's joint literary biography of the pair, Her Husband. Although authorial psychology may be unfashionable in some critical circles, it is nearly indispensable in the case of Plath, and we will be considering it in some depth. In addition, we will look at the foundations of the theory of poetry she picked up from Hughes, derived from the White Goddess theory proposed by English poet Robert Graves, and deeply engraved in the work of both Plath and Hughes.

You will be expected to be reading on your own initiative in the secondary sources on topics related to the course throughout the term. Through such reading, you may bring into our discussions systematic critical perspectives—feminist readings, psychoanalytic readings, materialist cultural studies readings, deconstructive readings, etc. We will be collaboratively building an online working bibliography of secondary sources you may employ in your reading and in writing your papers for the course, though you may find your best secondary readings are not available in electronic form.

Expectations: If you are an English major, you may find this the most challenging course you take in your undergraduate career. You will be expected to read critically—and extensively—both literary and critical texts within their cultural and historical contexts. You will be situating Plath in both British and American poetry, in women's writing, in the early days of what has been called the confessional mode, in the discourse of mental illness, and perhaps in several other frames. You will be expected to recognize characteristics, conventions and techniques of poetry. You will be expected to write several very brief (1-2 p) papers on assigned topics and one major paper (12-15 p) that advances your own argument on a topic negotiated with the instructor. ("Negotiated with the instructor" means that either you or the instructor will propose your topic, but you both must agree to it for it to satisfy the assignment.) All of your writing will be held to standards appropriate for senior-level English majors. You can expect to be engaged in expert scholarly debates, and it will be most fruitful if you can apply a guiding critical methodology coherently, which will probably require considerable secondary reading outside the course reading list on your part. Be prepared to do research and to incorporate your research into your writing.

SPECIAL NOTE: As next fall will be the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium, we will organize the coursework around the assumption that students will write their major papers as if for participation in the symposium. Because there will be undergraduate panels at the symposium, students may actually be submitting abstracts and perhaps really participating in the conference, if their papers are accepted by the conference organizers and travel arrangements are feasible.

English 4321 – Harlem on My Mind: The Literature, Sights and Sounds of the Harlem Renaissance

Dr. Vida A. Robertson

MW 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

This course examines one of the most tumultuous and exciting moments in American cultural history, the "Harlem Renaissance." Through the consideration of literature, history, politics, art, and music, we will probe the impetus behind, the meaning, and legacy of this unprecedented period of artistic experimentation and socio-political activism. The divergent perspectives of African American leaders such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke and Marcus Garvey give rise to the eclectic nature of "The New Negro Movement."  Our class readings will primarily focus on literary texts, with careful and considerable attention given to their historical and political contexts. We will attempt to come to our own definition of when the Renaissance started, ended and why. We will explore all aspects of the debate surrounding whether it was, as many critics have argued, a flowering of Black art, or whether it was, as others claim, a period when Black artists allowed their work to be appropriated and exploited by mainstream America. Finally, this course will examine the products of the Harlem Renaissance literarily in relation to Modernism, politically in relation to communism, and historically in relation to the "roaring twenties" of the American industrial age.

ENG 4360 - Publications Workshop

Professor A. Chiaviello

Hours: to be arranged individually

This is a virtual independent study that involves working at Dateline: Downtown, the UHD student newspaper. Course requirements include the regular submission of publishable articles to the newspaper as well as general office and publication production and distribution duties. Students in this course become integral members of the newspaper staff and compile a portfolio of their writings for the course grade. Readings and exercises from the new book by R. Kanigel (The Student Newspaper Survival Guide) may also be assigned, and the student will use the AP Styleguide for guidelines to news writing. Close and sustained interaction with the student newspaper staff is essential, and the student conferences with the professor for mid-term and final grades, and on request.


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