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Upcoming Courses: Fall 2022

Undergraduate Courses

2123-001 Creative Writing (CW; ME)
Instructor TBA
M/W 3:00-4:15PM

Prerequisite: ENGL/EXPO 1213 or EXPO 1223. Introduction to imaginative writing, especially short stories and poems; some analysis of literary models, but major emphasis is on student writing. (F, Sp)

 

2123-002 Creative Writing (CW; ME)
Susan Kates
T/R 12-1:15PM

This course is meant to spark your literary interests, talents, and inclinations, so that you can walk away with a clearer image of who you are – or rather, who you might be – as a writer. This is a course for those who might have never written creatively before, as well as those who are fairly decided on their preferred forms of writing. We will read and analyze short stories, poems, and creative non-fiction, analyzing the stylistic choices of a wide range of writers. You will critique the work of your classmates and help one another to revise a portfolio of writing that will be produced over the course of the semester.

 

2223 Poetry (ME, IV-AF)
Bill Endres
T/R 10:30-11:45AM

Gives an introduction to the elements and rhetoric of verse. The focus will be on the canon of American and British verse. 

 

2273-001 Literary & Cultural Analysis: “Spies, Colonial Subjects, and Divided Souls” (CC)
Chris Carter
M/W 3:00-4:15PM

This course is an introduction to literary analysis focusing on textual explication, interpretation, and critique.  We will consider poetic forms, narrative structures, the workings of genre, key literary terms, and other topics pertinent to the study of literature.  In other words, we will assemble a toolbox of analytical instruments and then employ these to pry loose all kinds of meanings from the cultural artifacts under our examination. Although some of these meanings are fairly obvious, others require strenuous extraction.  We will accept this challenge, improving our interpretive techniques by testing them on an assortment of poetry, short fiction, and three modern novels.  

More specifically, we will look at short pieces by, among others, Sappho, Dante, Coleridge, Shelley, Emily Dickinson, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Louise Gluck, Islamic mystics, and Japanese haiku.  Our main “practice texts”—the longer works we will use to confirm our growing skills--will be Franz Kafka’s The Trial, Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day, and Louise Erdrich’s Tracks.  These particular texts have the additional advantage of illustrating some of the ideological forces currently at work in our world.  

In other words, this course will involve history and aesthetics and will be global in scope, gender-balanced, and sensitive to a changing world.  An appropriate banner to hang over the project: “Spies, Colonial Subjects, and Divided Souls.”

 

2273-002 Literary & Cultural Analysis: “Magic, Enchantment, and the Supernatural” (CC)
Justin Sider
T/R 9:00-10:15AM

The supernatural is a fixture of the literary imagination—from fairy tales and Arthurian legends to gothic novels and Romantic balladry. Even realist novels sometimes tease us with hints of the unexplained, mysterious, and magical. This semester, we’ll consider the role of magic in literary works. We’ll read about enchanted visions, witches’ prophecies, and servants of the devil in order to consider what magic helps writers make, see, and do. This class offers an introduction to the basic methods of literary analysis. Throughout our semester, we’ll learn about poetic forms and literary genres, and we’ll discover together the history and conventions that binds these works together in a conversation that reaches from classical literature to the latest work in fiction and cinema.

 

2283 Critical Methods (CC)
Amit R. Baishya
T/R 3:00-4:15PM

Postcolonial studies brought matters of empire and colony to the center stage of literary studies, and it has initiated provocative discussions about literatures from formerly colonized areas of the world. This course is designed to introduce you to the various facets of the fascinating, yet highly contested field of postcolonial studies. We will begin our class by reading two colonial era texts: Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines. Both texts are fascinating and ambivalent problematic representations of the colonial “other.” We will then go on to examine a diverse selection of postcolonial literatures and theory emanating from some of the major former geographical centers of colonialism: Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. We will address a wide range of topics including: the lingering impact of colonialism, ideologies of racism, technologies of colonial terror, forms of anti-colonial resistance, the power and limits of anti-colonial nationalisms, the hybridity of cultures, the exclusions of nationalist discourse, the gendering of nations, the patriarchal construction of women as emblems of the nation, violence and representation, neocolonialism, neoliberalism,  postcolonial rewriting, contemporary forms of colonialism and the question of alternative futurities in postcolonial science fiction.

 

2413 Introduction to Literature (ME)
TBA
M/W 1:30-2:45PM

Concentrates on close readings of masterpieces in fiction, drama and poetry. The readings are drawn from periods ancient to modern and may be American, British or Continental. (Irreg.) [IV-AF]

 

2543 English Lit from 1375 to 1700 (CC; IV-WC)
Jason Lubinski
M/W/F 11:30-12:20PM

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.

 

2713 Introduction to Black Literature in the United States (CC) -- TENTATIVE
Kalenda Eaton
M/W 3-4:15PM

Prerequisite: 1213 or equivalent. An introduction to Black writing produced in the United States. Introduces students to important texts and their major concerns. Attention is given to the struggle between literature that criticizes racial injustice and literature that celebrates Black cultural identity. (Irreg.)

 

2733 American Indian Lit - Early/Traditional (CC)
Rachel Jackson        
T/R 1:30-2:45PM

For Native American peoples, story structures and animates the world around us and shows our right relationship to land, to plants, animals, and the elements, and to others with whom we share them.  As the center of Native American cosmologies, story inhabits sacred songs and dances, traditional and fine arts, food ways and medicine practices. Story enriches ceremony and informs daily life.  Oral traditions unique to each tribal nation serve as the first and oldest literatures of the United States.  Native American literature recorded in the written word grew from these sacred storied traditions to include poetry, plays, novels, autobiographies, political treatises, as well as works that defy western genre and mix many forms together.  Passed from individual to individual, nation to nation, ancient generations to future generations, this course honors the gifts we inherit in the present and helps us to better understand the connection between the Ancestors’ world and our own.  This course will cover precontact oral traditions, utilizing recorded stories and graphic collections, and Native American written literature in English up to the year 1945 by authors such as William Apess (Pequot), Zitkala-Sa (Yankton Dakota), Mourning Dove (Okanogan), Samson Occom (Mohegan), Charles Eastman (Santee Dakota), John Rollin Ridge (Cherokee), Alexander Posey (Muscogee), among others.

 

2773 American Literature Survey I (CC; IV-WC)
Henry McDonald
M/W 3-4:15PM

This course will survey early American literature before the Civil War with an emphasis on the influence of the classical tradition of republicanism during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Among the authors we will read are John Winthrop, Royall Tyler, Hannah Webster Forster, Thomas Paine, John and Abigail Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, and Rebecca Harding Davis.

English 3103.001  Writers and Their Readers
Kathleen Welch
TR 3 - 4:15 pm
Video Conference

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).

 

3103 Autobiographical Writing (CW; ME)
Susan Kates
T/R 3:00-4:15PM

This course is designed to help you tell the stories you wish to tell about your life.  It explores the basic elements of writing autobiography drawing on memories, diaries, photos, dreams and fantasies with a focus on the forms of autobiography, memoir and the personal essay. If you work hard in this class, you will develop your skills as a writer, increase your control over the process of writing, and hone your awareness of how a sense of audience, persona, tone, and other elements of style can influence the ways that readers make sense of and respond to your writing.

English 3103 is designed around the “workshop” method—which means working in groups to share your own writing and respond thoughtfully to that of others.  Although much of the work in this class will consist of your own writing and the reading and discussion of your classmates’ writing, we will also read and analyze essays by a number of essayists from the U.S. and around the world.

 

3113-995 Nature/Environ/Science Writing: Nonwestern Ecological Memoir (MC; RWS; IV-WC)
Kasey Jones-Matrona
ASYNC ONLINE

In this course, students will examine non-Western perspectives on human beings’ relationship with the environment, how the environment shapes culture and identity, and how culture shapes the environment. Readings will include memoirs drawn from Indigenous, Black, South Asian, or other traditions, which investigate and construct self and communal identity, human and nonhuman interactions, and cultural knowledge. Students will respond to the readings and explore their own unique understandings of the environment, in creative, scholarly, and hybrid assignments.

 

3123 Fiction Writing (CW; ME)
Eddie Malone
T/R 1:30-2:45PM

Prerequisite: 2123, application and departmental permission. Intensive writing of short stories, with class attention to writing process, style, technique, revision, and contemporary developments in the genre of literary fiction.

 

3133 Poetry Writing (CW; ME)
Instructor TBA
M/W 4:30-5:45PM

Prerequisite: 2123, application and departmental permission. Conducted in workshop format; emphasizes the preparation of a coherent, chapbook-length manuscript of poems. Students are also required to formulate a personal poetics and to complete selected exercises in translation or adaptation. (Irreg.)

 

3183 Digital Composing: Digital Media Design (RWS; ME)
Will Kurlinkus
T/R 9:00-10:15AM

In English 3183, Digital Design, you will gain the skills necessary to be technologically literate in the 21st Century. While we will be learning technical skills (Photoshop, web design in HTML/CSS, video editing, and techniques of human-centered design), we will also be exploring socio-technical questions and values (e.g., how does a meme circulate on TikTok? How does misinformation spread on twitter? How has the pandemic changed our digital habits?) Assignments will include a website designed for a client business, a video essay, a photoshop cultural jamming campaign, and a final "make the world a better place" project. Graduates of this course have used class skills to get jobs as information designers, marketing managers, interior designers, etc.

 

3203 Rhetoric and Sexuality (RWS; ME)
Sandra Tarabochia
T/R 10:30-11:45AM

This course investigates intersections of literacy, rhetoric, and sexuality as they function socially, politically, and for each of us personally. Together we will explore and develop what Jonathan Alexander calls “critical sexual literacy” or the ability to recognize the role of sexuality in our individual and collective identities and examine dominant values underlying representations of sexuality.  We will read theory and research-based texts in order to identify key concepts and principles that will aid us in our study of rhetoric, literacy, and sexuality. Drawing on that knowledge base we will analyze how gender, sex, and sexuality are represented in public texts, employing a broad definition of “text” to include written, visual, audio, and digital material as well as social structures and culture as texts. We will use writing to conduct critical self-reflection, to rhetorically analyze the world around us, and to join scholarly/public conversations about literacy and sexuality. Deep, recursive thinking and revision (of ideas and texts) are key activities that will drive our work in this course. In particular, you will accomplish the following:

  • Critically read and discuss theory and research-based texts to explore issues of rhetoric, literacy, and sexuality
  • Reflect on and write about the ways rhetoric and sexuality operate in your life
  • Rhetorically analyze representations of sexuality in public texts and conversations
  • Conduct research to investigate questions related to rhetoric, literacy, and sexuality
  • Analyze how your composing practices are (and/or can be) shaped by theories of literacy, rhetoric, and sexuality
  • Engage in writing and research as processes requiring inquiry, planning, drafting, revision, and collaboration

 

3253 Native Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature (Post-1700; MC; ME)
Kimberly Wieser
T/R 9-10:15AM

Children’s books and movies in the United States are permeated with stereotypical depictions of American Indian peoples and cultures. Both because of the powerful impact of mass media images put forth by such films such as Pocahontas and Peter Pan and because the majority of elementary school teachers themselves do not have enough familiarity with American Indian peoples and cultures to choose materials that combat these stereotypes, many non-Native children grow up believing these images to be reality. American Indian young people are continually subjected to these stereotypical images from the mainstream as well, giving rise to internalized racism and lowered self-esteem.  This course will examine the stereotypes of the mainstream, give students a greater understanding of American Indian realties today, and introduce students to texts by American Indians for both children and young adults. Additionally, students will read American Indian comics and graphic novels suitable for not only children, but all ages. You will take a quiz over stereotypes, do a major project of your choice with my approval, take a midterm and final, and write a short position paper.

Books include Muscogee author Cynthia Letich Smith’s Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids and Sisters of the Neversea; Super Indian Vol. 1, by Kickapoo author and artist Arigon Starr; Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection; Choctaw author Tim Tingle’s How I Became a Ghost and House of Purple Cedar; Cherokee author Art Coulson’s The Reluctant Storyteller; Dog Rib author Richard Van Camp’s Welcome Song for Baby; Comanche Tribal Chairman and author Mark Woommavovah’s The Little Indian Runner; Turtle Mountain Ojibwe author Dawn Quigley’s Jo Jo Makoons : The Used-To-Be Best Friend and Apple in the Middle; Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Grand Ronde author Charlene Willing McManis’ Indian No More; and more.

 

3403 The Graphic Novel (Post-1700; ME; IV-AF)
James Zeigler
M/W 1:30-2:45PM

The books for this class have a lot pictures, but reading them won’t be easy. To succeed in interpreting the sophisticated and ambitious comic books selected for this course, we will draw on key concepts from narrative theory (i.e. “narratology”). We will discover, however, that stories communicated through the interplay of pictures and words present a special challenge to the conventional methods of formal literary analysis. To handle provocative and thoughtful comics, literary studies needs an update. As our course proceeds, our consideration of the artfulness and design of graphic narratives will expand to investigate how comic books test and reward other approaches to interpretation that are important to the discipline of Literary & Cultural Studies. We’ll supplement our comic books with articles in narrative theory, moral philosophy, gender politics, and historiography. With our comparative analysis of different approaches to interpretation, we will entertain what it would mean – i.e. how great it would be! – for the study of graphic novels and comic books to be mandatory rather than optional for majoring in English. This course also fulfills the Gen Ed requirement for "Artistic Forms." All majors are welcome.

Our attention to the recent history of graphic narratives will concentrate primarily on a new “canon” of works of literary esteem. The comic artists covered may include Jason, Alison Bechdel, Thi Bui, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Nick Drnaso, Los Bros Hernandez, Cathy Malkasian, Frank Miller, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman, Craig Thompson, Chris Ware, Richard McGuire, Ben Katchor, Emil Ferris, or others. All of the required readings will instruct and reward our understanding of popular culture since the early 1980s, which means this course will also offer sensible, correct information about the often misused term “postmodernism.” Assignments will include two papers of four to seven pages, a timed-writing midterm about Batman, a curated multimedia presentation on underground comix & protest culture of the 1990s, and a comprehensive final examination.

 

3483 Native American Writers: Indigenous Poetic Spaces in Oklahoma [IV-NW] (MC)
Todd Fuller
T/R 12-1:15PM

Prerequisite: 1213. May be repeated once with change of content; maximum credit six hours. Investigates the ways native American writers reflect their cultural histories and thought systems through their writing. By focusing on the emergence of native literature over the past three decades or on native writers of Oklahoma, students will learn how native traditions have been translated into literature. In addition to contemporary writers, we’ll also consider Native authors from the 19th and early 20th centuries – many of whom were eyewitnesses to and survivors of removal, relocation, and readjustment (among many other issues) in and around Oklahoma. Writers considered will be John Rolin Ridge, Alex Posey, Lynn Riggs, Ruth Muskrat, Winnie Lewis Gravitt, and Hen-Toh, to name a few.  Their reflections upon various circumstances through creative expression provides a greater understanding of the period, its spaces (and how people negotiated those spaces), and the various and dynamic places.

 

3993 Literature and Medicine (HONORS)
Ronald Schleifer
M/W 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.)

4003 European Modernism and Beyond (Post-1700; ME)
Pamela Genova
M/W 1:30-2:45PM

Taught in English, MLLL 4003/ENGL 4003 presents a variety of literary works indicative of some of the most influential European cultural movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Modernism, Surrealism, Existentialism, Post-Modernism, and beyond. Readings include poetry, theatrical texts, and prose from such celebrated writers as Virginia Woolf, Federico García Lorca, Vladimir Nabokov, Samuel Beckett, Marguerite Duras, and Italo Calvino. (IV-WC)

 

4013/5013 Major Figure: Joseph Conrad (Post-1700; ME)
Amit R. Baishya
T/R 4:30-5:45PM

(Slashlisted with ENGL 5013) Joseph Conrad is one of the major authors referred to in discussions of colonialism and colonial discourse. While this course focuses on Conrad and colonialism, it extends the ambit to consider the Polish-born writer’s representation of the environment and as a figure who anticipates some of the major questions being discussed in the Anthropocene. To clarify: our goal is not to resuscitate Conrad as an environmental writer; instead, we will focus on how Conrad represents the changes to the environment engendered by colonialism and extractive capitalism. In addition, as one of the most powerful writers to have represented the sea and archipelagos, Conrad anticipates many of the questions that dominate the Anthropocene—the controversial name for the geological epoch where the human species has supposedly emerged as a nonhuman force to leave its stratigraphic mark on the planet. Conrad’s representation of the practices of extractive capitalism, the complex relationships between land and water, his representations of the crafts of seafaring and of forms of life in archipelagic formations (as in Lord Jim) are forerunners of many of the ideas being discussed in the Anthropocene epoch. We will think about these questions through a close discussion of major Conradian texts like Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, Lord Jim, Typhoon, An Outpost of Progress, The Secret Sharer and Victory (among others). 

 

4033 Indigenous Political Writing (Post-1700; MC)
Rachel Jackson
T/R 4:30-5:45PM

As Native American Literature and Rhetoric scholar Scott Lyons (Ojibwe/Dakota) puts it plainly, the cultural and physical violence enacted by settler colonialism on North America’s Indigenous peoples often occurred at “the scene of writing.”  Indigenous political writing provides a means of understanding the ways in which Native American leaders, activists, and writers use literary and rhetorical tools (including but not limited to alphabetic print) to respond to settler colonial violence, policy, and pressure – like “counting coup on the text” used to silence and oppress them (Lyons 448 – 449).  This course will include writing produced primarily in the 20th century and takes a particular interest in local sites of Native resistance.  After reading several texts to situate us in terms of Native American literary, rhetorical, and decolonial theory, we will work closely with the OU Library’s Western History Collection to curate two new digital collections – one on the State of Sequoyah proposed by tribal governments in response to arguments Oklahoma statehood in the early 20th century and the other on 20th century Native American advocacy in general.  Students will have the opportunity to explore Indigenous political writing held in the OU archives and will learn to identify and gather materials for these collections.  In this way, the course contributes to making Native American political writing more legible for audiences in the state of Oklahoma and beyond.

 

4273 Women Writers: Big, Ambitious Novels by 21st Century Women (Post-1700; ME)
James Zeigler
M/W/F 10:30-11:30AM

In this course, we will challenge ourselves to read well just five novels written by women since the year 2000. Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Valerie Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman, and Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being are examples of “encyclopedic novels.” Compelling and artful stories, these books are also rich with information and instruction, especially about history. And they aren’t short. Be assured that we’ll take the time for slow reading.

We will supplement our study of the novels with research into the historical contexts of their composition and publication. And we’ll turn to works of feminist criticism, narrative theory, and cultural studies to discern better how these novels engage with the historical circumstances they describe and the world in which we live. This collection of critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful novels will enable us to consider the ways in which particular books “make it” in the global literary marketplace. We’ll also take an interest in the ways that these authors and others like them have become public intellectuals who are sought out for their opinions on matters both relevant to and remote from the subjects of their books.

Assignments will include much reading; active participation in smart, lively discussion; response papers; briefs on history; informal presentations on theory and/or the five authors’ online identities; and a final major paper that utilizes original research into topics investigated by these books.

Enrolled students will be required to read Rebecca Solnit’s essay “Men Explain Things to Me” for the first meeting of the course. The essay is said to be the origin of the term “mansplaining.”

 

4523 Shakespeare Comedies (Pre-1700; ME)
Karen Feiner
T/R 4:30-5:45PM

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. What do a pound of flesh, enslavement, domestic abuse, and an ass have in common? They are plot points from some of Shakespeare's greatest comedies. In Shakespeare's Comedies we are going to look at what made Shakespeare's audiences' laugh and if we are still laughing now. Along with Shakespeare's works, we will be delving into criticism, history of the man and the theatre, dramatic traditions, movie interpretations, performance theory and acting.

 

4853 The English Capstone Course: “Victorian Poetry and the Modern Self” (CC)
Justin Sider
T/R 10:30-11:45AM

This course explores Victorian poetry on the subject of selfhood, identity, and the soul. What goes into making a self? And once you’ve got one, what will you do with it? We’ll sharpen our thinking on these questions by focusing on the genre of the dramatic monologue: poems “spoken” by fictional characters. We’ll read monologues in the voices of an enormous cast of characters: saints, sex-workers, murderers, madmen, lecherous monks, vindictive noblemen, and austere deities. We’ll read these poems alongside poetic theory from the Victorian era itself as well current scholarship on Victorian poetry and major works of genre theory. Authors will include Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Augusta Webster, A.C. Swinburne, and Amy Levy, among others.

 

4923/5923 Advanced Fiction Writing (CW; ME)
Honorée Jeffers
M 4:30-7:20PM

Prerequisite: ENGL 3123 Fiction or with submitted 8-15 pp fiction writing sample.

Advanced Fiction Writing is designed for the advanced fiction writer, one who has not yet published in peer-reviewed print journals, but who is serious about their fiction and has been writing fiction for quite some time. The writing of short fiction, the mastering of craft aspects of fiction, and the critical analysis of fiction (by published authors as well as student peers) will be emphasized in this class. You must have passed ENG 3123 Beginning Fiction Writing with a “C” or above, in order to enroll in ENGL 4923 or receive departmental permission after submitting a fiction writing sample. Notes: 1) We do not write science fiction, children’s literature, fantasy, folklore, or magical realism in this class. 2) We will not be working on novels in this class, although much longer short stories--such as the novella or novelette—would be great for students to submit.

 

4950/5970 Neustadt International Literature Course: Boubacar Boris Diop (Post-1700; MC)
Daniel Simon
M/W/F 12:30-1:20PM (Fridays - SYNC)

This course will introduce students to the work of 2022 Neustadt Prize winner Boubacar Boris Diop (b. 1946), the legendary Senegalese novelist, essayist, journalist, playwright, and screenwriter. Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison described Diop’s novel Murambi (2000)—his “multivoiced” account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide—as follows: “This novel is a miracle. Murambi verifies my conviction that art alone can handle the consequences of human destruction and translate these consequences into meaning. Diop, with a difficult beauty, has managed it. Powerfully.”

Students in the course will be required to participate in all events of the Neustadt Lit Fest scheduled for Oct. 24–26, 2022, either in person or on Zoom (TBA). Participating scholars will include Fatoumata Seck (Stanford University), Marame Gueye (East Carolina University), and Jennifer Croft (the Booker Prize-winning translator who successfully nominated Diop for the award) as well as OU African Studies Institute professors Kalenda Eaton, Rita Keresztesi, and Bala Saho. Students will have dedicated time to meet with Mr. Diop and opportunities to interact with all the participating scholars.

 

4970/5513 Chaucer and the 14th Century (Pre-1700; ME)
Joyce Coleman
W 1:30-4:20PM

(Slashlisted with 5513) This course will explore the period and the poet that created English literature. Geoffrey Chaucer liked to write himself into his fictions as an innocent stumbling around the language-but he was a brilliant, subtle writer, a linguistic innovator, a master of form, and a penetrating student of human nature. The course will place Chaucer and his achievements within the context of the literary system of his time and the other writers of the period.

Graduate Coursework

5003 The Biopolitics of Feeling in American Literature during the “long” 19th Century: Gender, Race, and Affect
Henry McDonald
W 4:30-7:20PM

Since it gained currency among critics and historians in the 1970s and 80s, thanks in part to the influence of the work of Michel Foucault (1926-84), the term, “biopolitics,” has often been used in a descriptively historical sense to refer to the progressive politicization of the human body and somatization of consciousness that can be traced in literary, scientific, and philosophical discourses over the course of the “long” 19th Century, from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries, which means in an American context from the Revolution to World War I. In recent decades, however, especially since “the affective turn” of the 1990s, historians of emotion and affect theorists have extended such historicization of bodily experience to include that of affect and emotion, which forms the basis of what Kyla Schuller calls “the biopolitics of feeling.” Although such feelings, or classes of feeling, as “passion,” “sentiment,” “desire,” “emotion,” and “affect,” are still often conflated or blurred in everyday and academic usage, critics and historians have increasingly argued that these terms have distinct historical, social, and political meanings and resonances through which can be traced the development of the modern -- gendered and racialized -- affective subject. Both “sympathy” and “desire,” for example, were understood in pre-modern times as forms of “passion,” which was traditionally imaged as caused by forces acting externally on the mind and body. Not until the late 18th and early 19th centuries did these terms assume some of their more modern, bodily and somatic meanings and connotations, displacing elements of an earlier romance tradition and fueling the rise of what has been called “sentimental biopower,” a feature of some of the best-selling American novels of the 19th century, which included abolitionist literature. The histories of “shame” and “guilt” provide other, much discussed examples of the transformations of affective life in the 19th century. “Emotion,” on the other hand, which is unique among the terms mentioned above in having no ancient or pre-modern roots, did not become common until the late 19th century when, influenced by the rise of modern experimental psychology and neurology, and notwithstanding Freud’s notorious disinterest in “emotion,” it quickly became established as the dominant affective discourse of modern times. Even twenty-first century “affect theory” defines itself in critical relation to the modern discourse of “emotion” that was established more than a century before; psychologist William James’ essay, “What is an Emotion?” (1884) is often cited as a benchmark of this establishment and viewed by some affective neuroscientists today as a foundational text of their field. 

     The course will be divided into four segments. The first will be a general introduction to the contemporary field of “the history of emotion,” a field whose origins are sometimes traced to an appeal made in 1941 by Lucien Febvre to his fellow historians, after Febvre had witnessed Hitler’s rise to power, to place emotion at the center of their studies. In my introduction, I will emphasize how important is the European context, and the work being done by contemporary European and English scholars in developing this field, to our own study. 

      That importance is demonstrated in the next segment of the course, which deals with the American revolutionary period up until 1800. For what many leaders of the Revolution, and all writers of fiction in this period, inherited was a European, especially English and French discourse of sensibility, of sympathy and sentiment, that was alien to the classical tradition of republicanism that these leaders saw themselves as reinvigorating. As recent historians of the period have shown, such an affective clash – ultimately between passion and sentiment – influenced our modern understanding of political “representation” which, no longer affixed to class and other distinctions that had traditionally served as fuel for the passions, rather focused on the inner sentiments of the individual, and hence set the stage for the development of the modern liberal subject in the 19th century, when sentiment’s triumph became complete. Our readings will include selections from the writings of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Royall Tyler, William Hill Brown, and Hannah Webster Foster.

     The third segment of the course will explore the role which sentimental biopower and the resistance to it played in 19th fiction and abolitionist literature, paying particular attention to the ways in which botanical versus animalistic metaphors were used to characterize gender identity. Our readings will include selections from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Fern (Sara Willis Payson), Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and Sarah Orne Jewett.

     In the fourth and final segment of the course, we will explore the role which a biopolitics of feeling, grounded in emotion rather than sentiment, played in the diaries of Alice James (1848-92), considering them against the backdrop of selections from the writings of her two more famous brothers, novelist Henry James and psychologist William James. Alice, who did not write for publication, was at once a prototypical example of the 19th century female hysteric and “the most brilliant member of the James family,” as Henry described her. Her comic-tragic struggles with her doctors, whom she portrays as self-appointed administrators of their patients’ emotional lives, are mimicked in some of Henry’s late fiction. Along with selections from the latter, we will read William James’ famous essay, “What is an Emotion?”

 

5013 Major Figure: Joseph Conrad
Amit Baishya
TR 4:30-5:45

(Slashlisted with ENGL 4013) Joseph Conrad is one of the major authors referred to in discussions of colonialism and colonial discourse. While this course focuses on Conrad and colonialism, it extends the ambit to consider the Polish-born writer’s representation of the environment and as a figure who anticipates some of the major questions being discussed in the Anthropocene. To clarify: our goal is not to resuscitate Conrad as an environmental writer; instead, we will focus on how Conrad represents the changes to the environment engendered by colonialism and extractive capitalism. In addition, as one of the most powerful writers to have represented the sea and archipelagos, Conrad anticipates many of the questions that dominate the Anthropocene—the controversial name for the geological epoch where the human species has supposedly emerged as a nonhuman force to leave its stratigraphic mark on the planet. Conrad’s representation of the practices of extractive capitalism, the complex relationships between land and water, his representations of the crafts of seafaring and of forms of life in archipelagic formations (as in Lord Jim) are forerunners of many of the ideas being discussed in the Anthropocene epoch. We will think about these questions through a close discussion of major Conradian texts like Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, Lord Jim, Typhoon, An Outpost of Progress, The Secret Sharer and Victory (among others). 

 

5113 Teaching College Composition
Sandra Tarabochia
R 1:30-4:20PM

Prerequisite: graduate standing and permission of department. In a workshop format, students will apply readings in composition and literary theory to such practical concerns of freshman English teaching as course planning, assignment preparation, grading and discussion techniques. (F)

 

5423 Classical Rhetorical Theory
Bill Endres
T 1:30-4:20PM

Prerequisite: graduate standing and permission of department. How well do contemporary scholars understand Classical rhetoric? Through this course, we will test their understanding and explore ways to generate methods for research from Classical rhetorical theory, reading a variety of primary and secondary sources. We will work through the Sophists, Isocrates, Plato, and Aristotle, find ourselves in Ancient Rome reading Cicero and Quintilian, and end in late Antiquity with St Augustine. Along the way, we will examine how non-classical rhetoricians use Classical rhetoric for their scholarship, whether working in medieval, early modern, or contemporary times. However, our journey will begin with a few readings from and about the early medieval period, the writers nearest Classical times. We will use early medieval understandings as a lens through which to test contemporary perspectives.

 

5453 Topics-Rhetoric/Comp/Literacy: Introduction to Memory Studies
Will Kurlinkus
M 1:30-4:20

In this course we will take both a rhetorical and cultural studies approach to memory--our main task, probing that key question of memory studies: who wants whom to remember what, why, and how? Along the way we'll be exploring such wide-ranging topics as activist memory (e.g., protesting Civil War memorials and arguing for the inclusion of minority memories in museums), spatial and regional memory, technologies of memory (from the humble babybook to TikTok and Facebook's On This Day), the socio-economic politics of "freetime," and the current nostalgia boom. We'll also be taking a field trip to the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum and touring the politics of memory on OU's campus. In addition to many provided articles, assigned books will include:

  • Phillips, Kendall. Framing Public Memory. U Alabama P, 2004.
  • Tanner, Grafton. The Hours Have Lost Their Clocks: The Politics of Nostalgia. Penguin, 2022.
  • Ahad-Legardy, Badia. Afro-Nostalgia: Feeling Good in Contemporary Black Culture. U of Illinois P, 2021.
  • Sharma, Sarah. In The Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics. Duke UP, 2014.

 

5513 Chaucer and the 14th Century
Joyce Coleman
W 1:30-4:20PM

(Slashlisted with 5513) This course will explore the period and the poet that created English literature. Geoffrey Chaucer liked to write himself into his fictions as an innocent stumbling around the language-but he was a brilliant, subtle writer, a linguistic innovator, a master of form, and a penetrating student of human nature. The course will place Chaucer and his achievements within the context of the literary system of his time and the other writers of the period.

 

5923 Advanced Fiction Writing
Honorée Jeffers
M 4:30-7:20PM

Prerequisite: ENGL 3123 Fiction or with submitted 8-15 pp fiction writing sample.

Advanced Fiction Writing is designed for the advanced fiction writer, one who has not yet published in peer-reviewed print journals, but who is serious about their fiction and has been writing fiction for quite some time. The writing of short fiction, the mastering of craft aspects of fiction, and the critical analysis of fiction (by published authors as well as student peers) will be emphasized in this class. You must have passed ENG 3123 Beginning Fiction Writing with a “C” or above, in order to enroll in ENGL 4923 or receive departmental permission after submitting a fiction writing sample. Notes: 1) We do not write science fiction, children’s literature, fantasy, folklore, or magical realism in this class. 2) We will not be working on novels in this class, although much longer short stories--such as the novella or novelette—would be great for students to submit.

 

5970 Neustadt International Literature Course: Boubacar Boris Diop
Daniel Simon
M/W/F 12:30-1:20PM (Fridays - SYNC)

This course will introduce students to the work of 2022 Neustadt Prize winner Boubacar Boris Diop (b. 1946), the legendary Senegalese novelist, essayist, journalist, playwright, and screenwriter. Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison described Diop’s novel Murambi (2000)—his “multivoiced” account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide—as follows: “This novel is a miracle. Murambi verifies my conviction that art alone can handle the consequences of human destruction and translate these consequences into meaning. Diop, with a difficult beauty, has managed it. Powerfully.”

Students in the course will be required to participate in all events of the Neustadt Lit Fest scheduled for Oct. 24–26, 2022, either in person or on Zoom (TBA). Participating scholars will include Fatoumata Seck (Stanford University), Marame Gueye (East Carolina University), and Jennifer Croft (the Booker Prize-winning translator who successfully nominated Diop for the award) as well as OU African Studies Institute professors Kalenda Eaton, Rita Keresztesi, and Bala Saho. Students will have dedicated time to meet with Mr. Diop and opportunities to interact with all the participating scholars.

ABBREVIATIONS

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

Pre-1700

Post-1700

MC: Multicultural

CW: Creative Writing

RWS: Writing and Rhetoric

ME: Major Electives