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Fall 2023 Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Coursework


ENGL 2123 Creative Writing (CW) 
Todd Fuller 
MWF 1:30-2:20PM 
Introduction to imaginative writing, especially short stories and poems; some analysis of literary models, but major emphasis is on student writing. (F, Sp)

ENGL 2223 Poetry (IV-AF)
Bill Endres 
TR 9:00-10:15am 
Recent years have been traumatic. As if covid-19 was not bad enough, we witnessed the killing of George Floyd (at the hands of police) and the protests that followed. We witnessed the first insurrection since the Civil War. And now the war in Ukraine rages on.  Politically, the country has never been more divided. In light of these events, we will explore whether poetry can communicate across boundaries such as race, class, privilege, sexual orientation, culture, generations, and time. If so, how does it do it? We will focus on the U.S. tradition, beginning with contemporary poets (such as Joy Harjo, Natalie Diaz, Billy Collins, and Tyehimba Jess). Then, we will look back at early American poets (such as Anne Bradstreet, Phyllis Wheatley, Emily Dickinson, and Edgar Allan Poe). However, American poets have also been profoundly influenced by traditions from around the world; therefore, we will examine a few of them, including surrealism, romanticism, haiku, Chinese poetry, and mystical poetry (such as the Sufi poet Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī). Finally, we will try our hand at writing some poetry, getting a sense of knowing it from the inside.


ENGL 2273-001 Literary & Cultural Analysis: “Love and Desire” (CC; IV-AF)
Justin Sider 
MW 4:30-5:45 
Love is one of literature’s greatest themes and one of its oldest. This term we will read poetry, fiction, and drama from across many historical periods and written from many different perspectives. Thinking about love in literature means thinking not only about the nature and orientation of our affections (whom do we love and how do we love them), but also about the possible worlds in which those affections prosper or are thwarted. The loves we consider will be various: affirming or destructive, passionate or domestic, between romantic partners, between parents and children, among friends. This class offers an introduction to the methods of literary and cultural analysis. We’ll learn about poetic forms and literary genres, and we’ll discover together the history and conventions that bind these works together in a conversation across centuries. This fall we’ll read a wide selection of love poetry by writers like John Donne, Anne Finch, John Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Gwendolyn Brooks (among others), William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, and Iris Murdoch’s philosophical novel of infidelity A Severed Head.


ENGL 2273-002 Literary & Cultural Analysis (CC; IV-AF)
Amit Baishya 
TR 10.30-11.45 
This class introduces you to modes and methods of reading, responding to and conducting research on literary texts. You will have specific modules focused on specific genres: poetry, short fiction, drama and novels. This is a writing heavy class—so we will begin with close reading exercises (poetry and short fiction), a comparative reading exercise (drama) and a longer research based paper (novel). While there will be a number of poems and short stories that we will read during the semester, the longer works that you will need to purchase are William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Aime Cesaire’s A Tempest and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.


ENGL 2283 Critical Methods (CC)
Henry McDonald 
TR 3:00-4:15PM 
In this course, we will read American literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries focusing on the radical changes in gender, familial, and social relations that took place during the period. For this purpose, we will draw on a critical method, based on the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault and others, which views the historical study of literature as valuable not just because it  informs us about the past, but because it brings to light the changes in social and personal life that took place in that past and which condition our own more “modern” practices and ways of thinking and feeling, thus allowing us to gain a more critical perspective on those practices and on ourselves. Among the authors whose work we will read are Sarah Orne Jewett, Katherine Anne Porter, Henry James, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Susan Glaspell, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Maxine Hong Kingston.   

ENGL 2443 World Literature, 1700-Present (Early Survey; IV-WC)  
Julie Tolliver 
TR 9:00-10:15AM 
What is literature, and where does it come from? Perhaps you’ve held an old book in your hands, noticed its crumbling yellowed pages, leather cover, and threaded binding, and wondered how humans came to put together these various materials into something that became a vessel for stories. In this course, we will study key texts from early world literature. We will examine how these texts were materially built as well as how they represent the universe—how they imagine the relations among nature, the human, and the divine. We will consider how the texts construct value systems and how they use language to concretize these abstract ideas. We will analyze methods of narration and the place of the storyteller in the texts. Examples of texts might include hymns to the goddess Inanna pressed into clay tablets in ancient Sumer; excerpts from the Hindu epic Mahabharata; excerpts from The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway, written by Edward Benton-Banai; excerpts from As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, an 11th-century autobiographical text by an anonymous Japanese woman; the Epic of Sundiata, passed down orally from ancient Mali before being transcribed and published; lais by the 12th-century poet Marie de France; and Aphra Behn’s 17th-century prose fiction Oroonoko. Understanding and comparing these texts will require flexibility and imagination on our part as we think through how to use what we know, and how to find out what we don’t, as we explore how storytelling came to be.


ENGL 2543 English Lit from 1375-1700 (Early Survey; IV-WC) 
Jason Lubinski 
TR 9:00-10:15AM 
This course explores the major literary authors of the late fourteenth century through the end of the eighteenth century, a period filled with political upheaval, religious concerns, and cultural significance. The survey will explore the larger themes and historical contexts that accompany the texts of each period. The aim of this course is to allow students to incorporate their own questions about the texts to strengthen critical thinking skills through literary analysis. Authors include Chaucer, Malory, Shakespeare, the writings of Elizabeth I, Milton, and Margaret Cavendish. (IV-WC)


ENGL 2713 Intro to Black Lit in the U.S. (Late Survey; MC) 
Cedric Tolliver 
MW 1:30-2:45PM 
In this course, you will be introduced to several genres of literature in the African American literary tradition: slave narratives/autobiographies, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose. Your success in the course will depend on the demonstration of your skill at interpreting literary texts in class discussions, exams, and written essays.


ENGL 2733 American Indian Lit – Early/Traditional (Early Survey; MC)  
Rachel Jackson 
TR 3:00-4:15PM 
Story, in American Indian culture, manifests itself in many different ways—from the oral tradition, to performance, to poetry, to plays, to novels, to autobiographies, to works that defy genre, and works that mix many forms together. Story inhabits song and ceremony, daily life and written works. Story has been recorded in our Native languages, passed from generation to generation by both word of mouth and the written word seen even in petroglyphs.  Indigenous peoples passed stories from generation to generation, family to family, group to group, individual to individual, ancient knowledge to a future world.  From the images on Plains Ledger books and Mayan Codices, the material record and eventual written word merged with the oral tradition to enhance the telling of story to contemporary and complex audiences, bequeathing now to our generation a vital gift.  As ever, story invites us to think on Indigenous worldviews and experiences and to see how their stories connect with ours. Beyond us, and through the process of American settler colonial history, Native American stories have been transcribed and published in English, French, German, and numerous other languages as our words are shared with the world. European explorers and ethnographers across five-hundred years plus of colonial occupation have recorded the words and voices of elders.  Since the early 20th century, story has been audio-recorded by anthropologists and captured on film by Native writers, directors, producers, and actors. These now stories comprise and inform multiple tribal literary traditions, 549 literatures recognized together as Native American literature.  Of this wide expanse, our course will cover a rich representation.  These will include precontact writing traditions, American Indian oral traditions utilizing recorded archival stories and graphic collections, and American Indian written literature in English up to the year 1945 by authors such as William Apess, Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa), Mourning Dove, Samson Occom, Charles Eastman, John Rollin Ridge, Will Rogers, and Alexander Posey.


ENGL 2773 American Literature I (Early Survey; IV-WC)  
Jim Zeigler 
MWF 10:30-11:20 
This survey examines significant literary and non-literary writings of the Americas from 1492 to the U.S. Civil War. To confront this lengthy, long-ago history, our strategy will be to identify how our readings deal with the novelty and turmoil of two big historical events: 1) the encounter between European colonizers and the Indigenous people of the Americas; 2) the emergence of the United States as a constitutional republic founded on a dizzying combination of revolutionary political violence, democratic ideals, lawful debate, and the labor of enslaved Black people. We will learn that reckoning honestly with histories of genocide and slavery are necessary to understand and explain these remarkable events. 

We will study and practice how to make responsible, intelligent, and persuasive evaluations of moral decisions made by other people long ago in circumstances much different from our own. While we will investigate key historical events of the period in as much detail as possible, as students of literature we will be most attentive to how textual form shapes historical understanding. 

Readings will include all of the following and more: John Smith’s original tale of “Pocahontas” and contrary historical evidence from Powhatan culture; Shakespeare’s The Tempest; Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative; court records of the Salem Witch Trials; Equiano’s autobiography; Royal Tyler’s play The Contrast; “Rip Van Winkle”; the Cherokee Memorials; essays by Judith Sargent Murray, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Margaret Fuller; stories by Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. 

Students will prepare two essays of approximately 2000 words, a legal brief about one of the witches executed in Salem in 1692, an analysis of how a story from Early American Literary History was retold in the 20th or 21st centuries, and a comprehensive final examination.



ENGL 3103-001 Writers and their Readers 
Kathleen Welch 
TR 3:00-4:15PM 
Writers and Their Readers, an advanced writing course for any major, is a traditional writing workshop in which students' writings in the class are used as the primary course texts. The focus of the course is understanding which readers, or groups of readers, are important in a given work of writing and which are extraneous.  The few published texts we will work on are Aristotle's _On Rhetoric_, Book 2 (with its dazzling list of emotions and their counterparts) and Meta G. Carstarphen and Kathleen  Welch's _Race and Resentment:  New Days of Rage (_Rhetoric Review_).


ENGL 3103-002 Reading and Writing Spiritual Autobiographies (CW/RWS; ME)
Susan Kates 
TR 3:00-4:15PM 
This course focuses on spiritual autobiographies written by adherents of Native American religions, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Secular Humanism.  We will engage in productive discussions about spiritual commitments through consideration of our own and others’ spiritual journeys and identities.  We will write about what we learn from the spiritual lives of others as we identify what spirituality means for the writers of texts we read and for our own spiritual autobiographies.  We will use the following questions to guide our study: A) What are the various meanings of spirituality? B) How do different literary forms (poetry, narrative) “work” when they’re used in the service of an autobiography? C) How can literature—specifically autobiography—help us to explore larger philosophical issues in our own lives? D) How do external forces of oppression and personal suffering fit into a spiritual autobiography? How do autobiographers interpret their own suffering, and what are the purpose and effect of their narratives?   


ENGL 3103-003 Writing for Justice (RWS/CW; ME)
Rachel Jackson 
TR 12:00-1:15PM 
Justice exists deep in the heart of humankind and through centuries cultures across the earth have articulated and practiced it in their own ways.  Rhetoric, as American culture inherits it from ancient Greek traditions, emerges from the Acropolis where senators argued on behalf of both deeply held cultural ethics and communally held interests.  Beyond Greece, rhetors and writers throughout time and space provide examples of writing for justice and models for voicing calls for mercy, equity, compassion, and wisdom that benefits all.  In this class, we will gather these examples from both the past and present to imagine how writing shapes and reshapes the world and how our words matter.  Beginning with an ancient Socratic dialogue entitled Phaedrus, we will explore the roots of justice and the nature of love as well as the cultural change unfolding from the advent of writing in Greek culture. From there we will switch and expand our view by reading excerpts from justice writing from other geographical, historical, and cultural locations and across a wide range of issues.  Students will be asked to gather their own examples from their own social justice interest sites.  In our reading and discussing together, we will identify collective rhetorical tactics and writing strategies to inform the writing completed for course assignments.  By the end of the semester, students will gain confidence as they continue to advocate for their own and others’ justice concerns knowing their work connects them to a long story of challenge and change peopled and powered by writers much like themselves.


ENGL 3123-001 Fiction Writing (CW; ME)
Rilla Askew 
TR 1:30-2:45PM 
Intensive writing of short stories, with class attention to writing process, style, technique, revision and contemporary developments in the genre. Coursework includes reading published short fiction on Canvas, assigned readings from the required text, Building Fiction, and written and oral responses to fellow writers’ work. 

This course focuses on the skills writers need to create compelling fiction. We’ll work on specific elements of the craft of fiction—concrete sensory details, point of view, plot, character, setting, dialogue, and so forth. Through feedback and peer review you’ll enlarge your understanding of your strengths as a fiction writer and the areas of craft that need improvement. You’ll increase your analytical strengths as you practice “reading like a writer” and offer constructive, detailed critique of fellow students’ work.  (Prerequisite: ENGL 2123 Introduction to Creative Writing)


ENGL 3123-002 Fiction Writing (CW; ME)
H. F. Jeffers 
MW 4:30-5:45PM 
This class is designed for the beginning fiction writer needing an introduction to fiction craft. The production of short stories, the literary analysis of fiction, peer workshopping, and professorial mentoring are the primary foci of this class. This class requires the writing of literary fiction. There will be no writing of fantasy, science fiction, folklore, magical realism—or any other kind of speculative fiction—or children’s literature in this class. Prerequisite: Successful completion of ENGL 2123 is required to enroll in this class.  

ENGL 3133 Poetry Writing (CW; ME)
H. F. Jeffers 
MW 3:00-4:15PM 
This class is designed for the beginning poet needing an introduction to prosody and poetics. The production of poetry, the literary analysis of poetry, peer workshopping, and professorial mentoring are the primary foci of this class. This class requires the writing of literary poetry. There will be no writing of fantasy, science fiction, folklore, magical realism—or any other kind of speculative literature —or children’s poetry in this class.  Prerequisite: Successful completion of ENGL 2123 is required to enroll in this class. 

ENGL 3173 UX Writing (RWS; ME)
Will Kurlinkus 
MWF 9:30-10:20AM – SYNC ZOOM 
How can anxiety inducing air travel experiences be bettered? Why is Disney World so fun? How can one coffee shop use storytelling to outcompete another? In this technical writing and research course, students will learn the basics of user experience (UX) research, writing, and design, developing a portfolio to enter the field of UX, which studies and improves product experiences from hospital stays, to going to Disney World, to taking courses at OU. To do so, we will:  
1. First learn how to study and explain user experiences and needs, from the accessibility of university buildings to poorly functioning cell phone apps, in both physical and digital environments. To study these experiences, we'll learn methods including interviews, surveys, site observations, user personas, and journey mapping.  
2. Next, we'll identify design gaps; create  briefs, proposals, and competitive audits; and ideate solutions. 
3. Finally, you will learn to wireframe and usability test your own physical and app designs with real users. Though you won't create fully functioning apps or products in this course, we will learn to use the wireframing program Figma as well as storyboarding to mock up our designs. 
By the end of the course students will have created 2 fully-researched and designed experiences, one physical and one digital, each of which will include: 
-A design brief/proposal 
-A research report (including interview and survey data as well as research visualizations) 
-A wireframe and storyboard depicting the proposed experience 
-A experience test with real users


ENGL 3223 Reading & Writing Oklahoma: Region and Representation (CW/RWS; ME)
Susan Kates 
MW 1:30-2:45PM 
This course provides an introduction to regional writing about Oklahoma.  We will read primarily works by Oklahoma writers whose voices have been shaped by place, as well as a few works by non-Oklahomans whose writing has contributed to constructions of the state in various historical moments.  Through an examination of fiction, poetry, essays, music, photography and film, we will trace a history of words and images that tell stories about Oklahoma—an Oklahoma diverse in its cultural productions.  In particular there will be a focus on Oklahoma cultures as a source for literature and on the creative work of the course participants themselves. We will examine Oklahoma cultures and cultural production in order to challenge stereotypes and work together to analyze the complexities and richness of the state itself. The first half of the semester the reading load will be heavier than the writing load, and the second half of the term students will continue to read as they design and implement their own writing projects about Oklahoma.  These projects will be heavily drafted and revised with help from the course participants and the professor.  The primary work of the course will be to analyze cultural representations of the region and its inhabitants in terms of one another as we consider what regional writing is and how it functions to deliver the essence of place. 

ENGL 3243 Race and Film (ME)
Joshua Nelson 
TR 3:00-4:15PM
From the earliest images captured on film, like Thomas Edison’s recording of traditional American Indian dances, all the way to Oscar Award-winning movies by Black directors, cinema has worked toward conflicting ends, on one hand constructing racial identities and reinforcing stereotypes; and on the other, reimagining histories, celebrating communities, and staking out spaces for cultural, political, and artistic self-representation. As we consider the narrative and visual strategies of mostly minority-directed films made in a variety of times and genres, we will put thematically related works into conversation with critical theories about visual sovereignty, interracial relationships, class, gender, integration, violence, and other topics relevant to Oklahoma’s social and geographical circumstances. Assignments will likely include article summaries, film reviews, and a major research paper.


ENGL 3523 Sixteenth-Century English Literature (Pre-1700; ME) 
Joseph Mansky 
MW 1:30-2:45PM 
The sixteenth century saw the great flowering of English literature. Driven by patronage, print, and popular audiences, the arts flourished like never before. This was the century that gave us Thomas More’s fantastical travelogue, Utopia; Edmund Spenser’s sprawling epic, The Faerie Queene; Thomas Kyd’s bloody revenge saga, The Spanish Tragedy; Christopher Marlowe’s demonic drama, Doctor Faustus, and, of course, many of the works of William Shakespeare. But these were tumultuous times. England swung precipitously between Catholicism and Protestantism. Heretics were burned at the stake. Hungry peasants took up arms against their rulers. Even poets and playwrights did not escape unscathed: More was beheaded for treason, Marlowe died in a barroom brawl, and Kyd was brutally tortured in prison. In this course, we will journey deep into the wild world of sixteenth-century literature to investigate what it meant five hundred years ago—and what it might mean to us today.


ENGL 3643 Muslim Women’s Writing (MC; Post-1700)  
Zeynep Aydogdu 
TR 3-4:15 PM 
(Cross-listed with WGS 3220) What does it mean to be a “Muslim woman” in the West? This interdisciplinary course considers Muslim women’s literary, intellectual, and cultural production against the backdrop of the post-9/11 proliferation of narratives about the fictive unity called “Middle Eastern/Muslim women.” Women in this category are often presumed to share a unified and homogenous identity as “victims” of oppression  and have been perceived through pity, fear, and fascination, particularly in the West. In this course, we look at how Muslim women respond to and engage with such representations through an analysis of their intellectual, literary, artistic, and cultural contributions from the early 20th century to the present. We begin by understanding the debates around Muslim women as gendered subjects embodying religious difference and “otherness” by looking at the history of Orientalism. We then examine autobiography, fiction, poetry, film, and comics representing Muslim women's complex identities, lives, histories, and subjectivities. To contextualize these texts, news media reports, political discourse, and popular culture will be studied. Topics include immigration, gender and sexuality, media representations, the local and global impact of war and violence, community and religious practice, intersectional politics, Mipsters, veiled superheroes, and popular culture.


ENGL 3693 Literature and Medicine (HONORS; ME) 
Ron Schleifer 
TR 1:30-2:45PM 
Literature and Medicine is a small seminar course that aims to examine the relationship of the humanistic study of literature and language with the art and science of medicine.  Specifically, it will examine the conjunction of the interpretations of literature and the interpretations in the diagnoses of medicine and the place of representation in the understanding of general experience and of the specific experiences of health and illness.  To this end, it will focus on the "History of Present Illness" that is part of medical practice in relation to literary and non-literary narratives and descriptions.  It will also examine somatic, psychological, scientific, and social conceptions of illness and health; and of empathy, Theory of Mind, and Narrative Transportation. The course is organized around actual every-day aspects of healthcare -- diagnosis, professionalism, engagements with people of different backgrounds, ages, belief-systems, etc.  Each class examines a real-life "vignette" from the practice of medicine in relation to literary texts, which allow people to understand those problems in new ways.  One important aspect of this course is discussing and tutorials about "personal statements" required of people seeking post-graduate education in healthcare and other professions. (More than half of the OU Rhodes Scholars since 2000 took this class and went to Oxford to study the health humanities.)

* Non-HONORS students may enroll pending instructor permission



ENGL 4003 Dogs in Global Cultural Production (Post-1700; MC; ME)
Amit Baishya 
TR 12.00-1.15 
Dogs are among the most “humanized” of animals. However, a survey of world literature and culture shows that dogs play very ambivalent and complex roles in human societies. Focusing on contemporary literature and cinema, this course will explore the ambivalent representations of dogs in human cultures through a focus on four major themes: 1) Living-with Dogs, 2) Dogs Tell their Stories, 3) Dogs and the Political and 4) Stray Canine Documentaries. Ultimately, the aim of this course is not only to defamiliarize a companion animal, but to ask what goes into the making of that complex and slippery term “the human.” Texts we will read will include: Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend (US), Virginia Woolf’s Flush (UK), Paul Auster’s Timbuktu (US), Patrick Chamoiseau’s Slave Old Man (Martinique), Saadat Hasan Manto’s “The Dog of Tetwal” (India/Pakistan), Mohammad Hanif’s Red Birds (Pakistan) and Patrice Nganang’s Dog Days (Cameroon). Movies we will watch will include Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; Mexico), White Dog (Sam Fuller, US), Taskafa (Andrea Luka Zimmerman; Turkey/UK), Dogs of Democracy (Mary Zournazi; Greece/UK) and Pariah Dog (Jesse Alk; US/India). Readings screenings will be supplemented by critical readings from human animal studies and what is now called “literary canine studies” (Caralyn Kendall-Borwick).


ENGL 4303 Rhetoric and the Body (RWS; ME)
Sandra Tarabochia 
TR 10:30-11:45 
Inspired by the research and teaching of Stephanie Larson, this course invites participants to engage with rhetorical studies of the body and embodiment as we consider 1) the role of the body in rhetorical theory; 2)  the role of rhetoric in constructing the body; and 3) how material, feeling bodies challenge rhetorical constructions of bodies and theories of rhetoric. We will use theoretical frameworks from scholarship (in body studies, feminist studies, queer studies, disability studies, etc.) to explore rhetorical studies of the body, focusing on historical and contemporary examples and treating the body, our bodies, as sites of inquiry. Practicing various methodological approaches to studying the body, we will theorize how future rhetorical studies might re/conceptualize the body and embodiment, asking: What happens when bodies disrupt or resist dominant ideologies, when bodily difference punctures existing theories of rhetoric, and when forms of embodiment transform possibilities for making meaning? Course projects will invite class members to research and write about a topic of interest related to rhetorical studies of the body/embodiment in alignment with unique personal and professional goals.  


ENGL 4323 The Harlem Renaissance (Post-1700; MC; ME)
Rita Keresztesi 
TR 1:30-2:45PM 
This course surveys and evaluates the literature and political agenda of the Harlem Renaissance. During the period between the 1920s and 1940s artists, writers, and musicians employed culture to work for goals of civil rights and social equality. Harlem, a diverse community of African Americans, became home to civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, the National Urban League, and Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. Besides studying the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, we will situate this movement within a larger transnational context of the African Diaspora. We will read poetry, fiction, plays and essays and enrich our studies with film and music from the era. Grades are based on class participation, an in-class presentation, reading responses, and a final researched paper.


ENGL 4523 Shakespeare Comedies (Pre-1700; ME)
Joseph Mansky 
MW 3:00-4:15PM 
Today, we generally understand a “comedy” to be an entertainment meant to make us laugh. Shakespeare’s comedies certainly were that. But they were also much more. When early modern playgoers went to see a comedy, they could expect to encounter a particular set of tropes and themes, including witty wordplay, disguises and mistaken identities, and tales of frustrated lovers ultimately joined in marriage. We’ll spend the first half of the course studying plays that exemplify this kind of Shakespearean comedy, including A Midsummer Night’s DreamAs You Like It, and Twelfth Night.

Yet Shakespeare constantly complicates the comic narrative. The unruly forces of history, sexuality, and politics—just to name a few—threaten to disrupt the joyful ending promised by the genre. These forces will come to the fore in the second half of the course, when we turn to Shakespeare’s so-called “problem” comedies, including Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, and All’s Well that Ends Well. These plays defy the expectations of comedy, interrupting the antics of young lovers with urgent questions of violence, consent, and sociopolitical strife. Throughout the course, we will examine how Shakespeare made use of comic conventions—and how he challenged them and the worldviews that they entail.


ENGL 4713 Authors in 19th Century American Lit: Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville (Post-1700; ME)
Henry McDonald 
TR 4:30-5:45PM 
In contrast to the optimistic faith in scientific progress that characterized the thought of many 19th century American authors, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville have often been described as dark and tragic, their fictional characters and poetic personas seeming to be motivated less by reason and will than by unconscious emotional and affective forces. Both Hawthorne and Poe were in fact deeply interested in – and dramatized in their fiction -- the 19th century “science” of Mesmerism, in which the autonomy of the will is put in question, while Melville examined such issues in more explicitly political terms. In this course, drawing on contemporary research in the History of Emotion and Affect Theory, we will examine the interplay of reason and affect, as well as the cultural and historical contexts that influenced the literary forms it took, in the novels and stories of these three authors.


ENGL 4823 American Novel Since 1920 (Post-1700; ME)
Joshua Nelson 
TR 4:30-5:45PM 
The American story has often been conceived in chapters of war, or times between wars, as conflicts propel the nation into seemingly discrete periods that structure entire facets of our lives, from industry and economics to artistic modes and social relations. For all the differences among the Indian Wars, the Civil War, World War II, and the culture wars over race, gender, class, generations, and more, narrating war has revealed pervasive fears and provided outlets for violence, causes for guilt and grief, and, at times, avenues for progress. This course will explore depictions of war broadly considered in American novels written since 1920, including masterworks by writers such as Toni Morrison and Cormac McCarthy, together with innovative approaches to form, such as Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel treating the Holocaust in Maus, and contemporary anxieties over artificial intelligence. Writing assignments will include short papers and a major research paper. As a 4000-level class conducted in a seminar style, expectations for outside research, thoughtful discussion contributions, and a polished final draft will be high.


ENGL 4853 The English Capstone Course (CC)
Rita Keresztesi 
TR 10:30-11:45AM 
This course situates the Caribbean at the crossroads of modern literary and cultural production. We discuss how European colonization and the African slave trade impacted the region and its peoples. Through readings in a variety of genres, such as travelogue, historical essay, fiction, poetry and song, we study the literature and culture of several islands. We also revisit the texts of major figures of British and American literature from a postcolonial perspective. We enrich our reading experiences through film and music. Readings include fiction and essays by V.S. Naipaul, Earl Lovelace, C.L.R. James, George Lamming, Roger Mais, Michelle Cliff, Patrick Chamoiseau, and poetry by Christian Campbell, as well as calypso and reggae music. Grades are based on participation in class discussions, a presentation, ten reading responses, and a final researched paper.


ENGL 4923/5923 Advanced Fiction Writing (CW; ME)
Rilla Askew 
M 4:30-7:20PM 
Intensive writing workshop designed to increase developing writers’ skills in the craft of fiction. The course is designed to engage writers in the act of discovery. Students are encouraged to investigate their sources and subject matter and to stretch themselves in terms of style and voice. 

The format of the class is a traditional writing workshop wherein students submit new works of fiction, offer constructive detailed critique of fellow students’ work, and hone the craft of revision. Coursework includes student presentations on assigned readings from the required text, Best American Short Stories 2021, detailed written responses to fellow writers’ work, and verbal analysis and feedback in workshop.

Prerequisites for 4923: ENGL 2123 Introduction to Creative Writing and ENG 3123 Fiction Writing or by permission.


ENGL 4950 Neustadt International Lit Course (Post-1700; MC; ME)
Jim Zeigler 
MWF 12:30 - 1:20 pm (Fridays via ZOOM)
This course studies and celebrates the work of Gene Luen Yang, the recipient of World Literature Today’s 2023 Neustadt Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. He is the author of many graphic narratives and comic books, most famously American Born Chinese. Yang will visit the OU campus October 23-25 to receive the award and to participate in various events, including a discussion with the class. We will prepare for his visit by reading several of his books and related works of scholarship on comics, world literature, YA writing, and Asian American cultural history. The schedule will include a dinner for the class with Gene Luen Yang. Attendance & participation at all Neustadt Prize events is a requirement for completing the course successfully.

American Born Chinese is one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed graphic novels ever published. Recipient of multiple awards, the book has been translated into more than 10 languages, and a Disney+ television series is in production. We will study it as an exemplary work in the medium of comics: narrative art composed in sequential pictures. We’ll investigate how its reception has helped to win esteem for comic books on par with conventional, canonical literature. We will examine how the narrative involves a retelling of the classic Chinese legend of the Monkey King (Sun Wukong). Yang’s incorporation of the Monkey King into American Born Chinese will enable us to study how a narrative of national importance in China since the 16th century has long been a global cultural phenomenon.

The second phase of the course will concentrate on Yang’s Boxers & Saints, a fantastical two-volume history of the Boxer Rebellion in China. We will pay particular attention to how Yang represents the relationship between myth and history as well as his effort to offer a good faith account of all sides of the violent conflict. The course will conclude with sessions on selections from Yang’s recent work in superhero comics – The Shadow HeroAvatar, New SupermanThe Monkey Prince – and examples of his earliest work, some of it initially self-published.

Graduate Coursework

ENGL 5003 Seminar: Topics in American Lit 
Cedric Tolliver  
W 4:30-7:20PM 

ENGL 5113 Teaching College Composition 
Roxanne Mountford 
R 1:30-4:20PM 
Prerequisite: Graduate standing and departmental permission. In this proseminar, students will apply readings in the field of rhetoric and writing to the teaching of first-year composition. 

ENGL 5203 Literary & Rhetorical Forms: “Aestheticism: Art, Politics, and Desire” 
Justin Sider 
M 1:30-4:20PM  
This graduate seminar explores the complicated cultural formation called “aestheticism” from its origins in Romanticism through its center in the late nineteenth century to its modernist finale. The writers and artists of the Aesthetic Movement argued that cultivating experiences of beauty and sensation constituted the highest goal in life. In pursuit of this goal, they produced novels about aesthetic experience and self-fashioning, probing historical accounts of antique art and culture, and poems in the style of ancient Greek poetesses and medieval troubadours. They scandalized readers and viewers with radical attention to desire, pleasure, and the body. As we grapple with their difficult work, we’ll consider various topics: the nature of aesthetic judgment, the politics of art, the expression of (queer) desire, the idea of aesthetic form.

We’ll read a broad range of poetry from Romanticism to modernism that participates in this cultural formation: poetry by John Keats and Alfred Tennyson; the paintings, prose, and poetry of the Pre-Raphaelites (especially Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, William Morris, and A. C. Swinburne), essays by John Ruskin, Vernon Lee, and Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater’s essays on art and history in The Renaissance, Michael Field’s ekphrastic poems, Henry James’s art-romance The Spoils of Poynton, the early poetry of W. B. Yeats, Ezra Pound, and H. D., and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.


ENGL 5403 The Digital Turn in Composition, Rhetoric and Literacy Studies 
Bill Endres 
R 4:30-7:20 
The digital has affected all three of these fields in profound and different ways, uniting and dividing them. It has opened exciting possibilities for composing and new methods for research. However, it has also generated its share of challenges—most notable, the new AI chat bots, such as Chat GPT. For each field, we will interrogate scholarship before and after the digital turn, examining research and research questions to gauge differences, influences, and commonalities. By assessing starting points and where scholarship now stands, we will attempt to assess impact and areas of future research that open scholarship to new knowledge. Finally, we will explore the problems and potentials of Chat GPT, recognizing that any new technology is a cultural negotiation impossible to predict. Therefore, rhetoric, composition, and literacy scholars need to be knowledgeable and assertive, aggressively interjecting their expertise into these public conversations and negotiations.


ENGL 5473 Women’s Rhetoric & Writing Practices  
Sandra Tarabochia 
T 1:30-4:20 
In this course, we will investigate women’s rhetoric and writing practices in historical, contemporary, and local contexts and consider the implications for our own writing, speaking, and pedagogical practices.  As we will see, women rhetors have used imaginative, even “transgressive,” strategies and forms to reach their audiences, to challenge what counts as evidence and knowledge, and to question the very category of “woman” itself. In that spirit, we will also engage imaginatively by using a variety of available means to express our ideas throughout the semester as we take up issues of power, privilege, authority, agency, civic engagement, and embodied identities (racial, ethnic, physical, sexual), along with interests and curiosities you bring to the table. Course texts will likely include: Available Means: An Anthology of Women’s Rhetoric(s) edited by Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald, Persuasive Acts: Women’s Rhetoric in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Shari Stenberg and Charlotte Hogg, Royster and Kirsch’s Feminist Rhetorical Practices as well as work by bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Luce Irigaray, Judith Butler, Rosemarie Garland-Thompson, and Melanie Yergeau among others.


ENGL 5923 Advanced Fiction Writing 
Rilla Askew 
M 4:30-7:20PM 
Intensive writing workshop designed to increase developing writers’ skills in the craft of fiction. The course is designed to engage writers in the act of discovery. Students are encouraged to investigate their sources and subject matter and to stretch themselves in terms of style and voice. 

The format of the class is a traditional writing workshop wherein students submit new works of fiction, offer constructive detailed critique of fellow students’ work, and hone the craft of revision. Coursework includes student presentations on assigned readings from the required text, Best American Short Stories 2021, detailed written responses to fellow writers’ work, and verbal analysis and feedback in workshop. 

ENGL G4933 Advanced Poetry Writing 
T 4:30-7:20PM 
Prof. Honorée Jeffers 
This class is designed for the advanced poet who is fully aware of prosody and poetics and who has been writing poetry for quite some time. The production of poetry and the critical analysis of poetry are the primary foci of this class. There will be no poetry review lectures in this class, and we will be hitting the ground running with writing poetry.

***Graduate students please enroll in 4933 section, which WILL carry graduate course credit. 


CC: Core classes (2273, 2283, Capstone, & surveys)



MC: Multicultural

CW: Creative Writing

RWS: Writing and Rhetoric

ME: Major Electives