English Course Offerings

The English Department's course offerings vary by semester. We offer 100-level composition courses, 200-level introductory courses, 300-level intermediate courses, 400-level advanced courses, and 500-level graduate courses. For a listing of everything in the departmental catalog, please visit:

http://www.southalabama.edu/bulletin/current/courses/english/index.html

For a listing of courses offered in a given semester, please visit PAWS. Enter the catalog term you wish to search and select "English" as the subject on the following page.


Summer 2017 Undergraduate Course Offerings


Technical Writing - EH 372 | Allison Morrow
MTWRF, 10:20 am to 12:15 pm

Practicing professionals of any discipline are required to do some sort of writing. That writing varies different across different audiences, contexts, and purposes. The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written genres required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of genre writing from the conceptual stage through the editing stage. At the same time, students will learn to recognize and adapt their writing to fit the various contexts, genres, and situations they may find themselves writing for. This course is structured using the Team Based Learning pedagogy.


Structure in the Novel and Short Story - EH 390 | Linda Parker
MTWRF, 10:20 am to 12:15 pm

This course examines "structure" as a foundational element in creative writing--especially short stories and novels. The course also includes a workshop component where students will experiment with "structure" in their own writing.


Studies in Film: Adaptation - EH 478 | Becky McLaughlin
MTWRF, 12:40 pm to 3:10 pm (MAYMESTER)

The theme of this course is adaptation, and so we will be watching films and reading the novellas or short stories upon which they have been based. The two central and interrelated questions we will address are how and why screenplay writers and film directors choose to deviate from the original texts in the ways that they do. In order to tackle these questions, we will pair Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut with Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story, Jack Clayton’s The Innocents (screenplay written by Truman Capote) with Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, Paul Shrader’s The Comfort of Strangers (screenplay written by Harold Pinter) with Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now with Daphne Du Maurier’s “Don’t Look Now,” Stephen Frears’ Mary Reilly with Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Guiseppe Patroni Griffi’s The Driver’s Seat (starring film icon Elizabeth Taylor and art icon Andy Warhol) with Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat. One of the major assignments in the class will be to write a screenplay.


Fantasy from Homer to Game of Thrones - EH 490 | John Halbrooks
MW, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

In this course we will study the history of the fantastical in literature, beginning with Homer. Authors will include the likes of Dante, Tolkien, Junot Diaz, Octavia Butler, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


The Spirituals & 20th Century Black Novel - EH 492 | Kern Jackson
MTWRF, 9:10 am to 10:05 am

Daily discussions will explore common themes in the "sorrow songs" known traditionally as "Negro Spirituals." We will examine both texts and recordings then contemplate how the same aesthetic principles are continued in the work of modern artists including Zora Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison.

This course meets the historical requirement for coursework in twentieth century literature and provides thoughtful reflection on a prominent element of contemporary American culture, enhancing your ability to interpret meaning in modern applications of the aesthetic specific to Negro Spirituals.


Summer 2017 Graduate Course Offerings


Fantasy from Homer to Game of Thrones - EH 590 | John Halbrooks
MW, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

In this course we will study the history of the fantastical in literature, beginning with Homer. Authors will include the likes of Dante, Tolkien, Junot Diaz, Octavia Butler, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


Studies in Film: Adaptation - EH 590 | Becky McLaughlin
MTWRF, 12:40 pm to 3:10 pm (MAYMESTER)

The theme of this course is adaptation, and so we will be watching films and reading the novellas or short stories upon which they have been based. The two central and interrelated questions we will address are how and why screenplay writers and film directors choose to deviate from the original texts in the ways that they do. In order to tackle these questions, we will pair Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut with Arthur Schnitzler’s Dream Story, Jack Clayton’s The Innocents (screenplay written by Truman Capote) with Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, Paul Shrader’s The Comfort of Strangers (screenplay written by Harold Pinter) with Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers, Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now with Daphne Du Maurier’s “Don’t Look Now,” Stephen Frears’ Mary Reilly with Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Guiseppe Patroni Griffi’s The Driver’s Seat (starring film icon Elizabeth Taylor and art icon Andy Warhol) with Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat. One of the major assignments in the class will be to write a screenplay.


Fall 2017 Undergraduate Course Offerings


Introduction to Literary Study - EH 300 | Steve Trout
TR, 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

Required of all English majors, this class provides preparation for 400-level courses by covering the basic tools of literary scholarship. Students will learn how to clear the space for an original argument, how to employ textual evidence and quotations from other scholars, and how to conduct research. The readings for the course--drawn from the Professor's personal favorites--will include works by Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, and Joseph Conrad, and William March.


Classical Mythology - EH 310 | Becky McLaughlin
TR, 5:00 pm to 6:15 pm

In this course we will examine a number of canonical texts that recount the myths, legends, and folktales of ancient Greece and Rome, but we will also examine how and why writers vary in their treatment of the material. For example, Homer and Sophocles both deal with the myth of Oedipus, but their accounts are strikingly different. According to Homer, Oedipus continues to rule after the truth of his birth comes out, while in Sophocles’ dramatic version, Oedipus gouges out his eyes and leaves the city of Thebes to become a homeless wanderer. While neither can be considered the "true" version, the one that has received the most "play" (especially vis-à-vis a writer such as Freud) is that of Sophocles. Perhaps as interesting as how the Greek poets made use of the material is how it metamorphosed in the hands of later Roman writers such as Ovid and Virgil, and by much later writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Yeats, or even a contemporary filmmaker such as Theo Angelopoulos, director of Ulysses’ Gaze. We will explore these metamorphoses, combining an analysis of the role specific myths played in Greek and Roman culture with an assessment of the philosophical, psychological, political and/or social significance these myths continue to hold in our own.


Chaucer - EH 315 | John Halbrooks
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm

In this course we will study Chaucer's major works in historical context.


Shakespeare's Tragedies and Histories - EH 323 | Richard Hillyer
TR, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

We will study a representative selection of Shakespeare's work as a playwright in two genres: tragedies and histories. Assignments will consist of two papers, a midterm, and a final.


British Romanticism - EH 351 | Cris Hollingsworth
TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm

Representative poetry and prose of Romantic and neo-romantic writers such as William Wordsworth, Emily Bronte, and D. H. Lawrence.


British Novel from 1900 to 1945 - EH 364 | Steve Trout
TR, 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm

This course will focus on British fiction during an especially rich period that abounds in experimentation and daring explorations of new subjects. We will start with Rudyard Kipling, the most popular writer in the world circa 1900, and then move on to Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene.


Modern Short Story - EH 369 | Ellen Harrington
MWF, 10:10 am to 11:00 am

This class introduces students to the short story by examining a wide variety of authors and styles of short fiction in relation to cultural and historical contexts. We will start with a general anthology, then read such varied and fascinating collections as Joyce’s The Dubliners (1914), O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965), Marquez’s Strange Pilgrims (1993), Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies (1999), Evans's Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self (2010), Díaz's This Is How You Lose Her (2012). Students will be encouraged to examine an author’s relationship to his or her writing in a series of stories or story cycle, as well as the relationships between the various authors, styles, and issues covered in the course of the semester.


Approaches to English Grammar - EH 371 | Nicole Amare
TR, 9:30 am to 10:45 am

This course is designed for individuals who want a working knowledge of grammar to (1) teach it to others and (2) function within the discipline of English Studies. In addition to learning grammar and usage concepts, we will explore different approaches to teaching grammar. You will research articles about the changing role of grammar in the English Studies curriculum to help you contextualize these concepts within the larger debate of English Studies and the teaching of grammar.


Technical Writing - EH 372 | Annmarie Guzy
MWF, 10:10 am to 11:00 am

This course will introduce you to types of written and oral communication used in workplace settings, with a focus on technical reporting and editing. Through several document cycles, you will develop skills in managing the organization, development, style, and visual format of various documents.


Technical Writing - EH 372 | Allison Morrow
MWF, 12:20 pm to 1:10 pm

Practicing professionals of any discipline are required to do some sort of writing. That writing varies different across different audiences, contexts, and purposes. The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written genres required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of genre writing from the conceptual stage through the editing stage. At the same time, students will learn to recognize and adapt their writing to fit the various contexts, genres, and situations they may find themselves writing for. This course is structured using the Team Based Learning pedagogy.


Technical Writing - EH 372 | Christine Norris
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm

The purpose of this course is to train students in the kinds of written reports required of practicing professionals, aiming to improve mastery of the whole process of report writing from conceptual stage through editing stage. This particular section emphasizes the intersection of technical writing and writing for social justice and technical writing with new technologies. We will also study alternative modes of communication, such as memes.


Horror - EH 379 | Anmarie Guzy
MWF, 9:05 am to 9:55 am

Do scientific, political, cultural, and technological developments alleviate our deepest fears, or do they create new ones? How do we express and confront these fears through literary and cinematic works? In this course, we will investigate ways in which the horror genre has developed from and in turn has shaped our culture. Through active class discussion, formal oral presentations, and written papers, students will learn to analyze and critique aspects of the horror genre and to relate horror works and themes to areas of personal and professional interest. Readings will include both fictional texts and scholarly commentary on the genre; video clips and feature-length films will also be viewed and discussed.


Poetry Writing I/II - EH 395/396 | Charlotte Pence
TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm

Poet Richard Wilbur once remarked that "whatever margins the page might offer have nothing to do with the form of a poem." In this course centered on the writing of poetry, we will accept Wilbur’s challenge and learn the variety of ways we can give shape to our lyrical expressions. We will practice writing poems in different modes and forms, from the intellectual slinkiness of Shakespeare’s sonnets to the cosmic embrace of Whitman’s free verse. Our focus will not be so much on the rules regulating each form, but on the deep history, artistry, and context behind those rules so that we can begin to choose the right form for our poem’s content. Some modes and forms will include syllabics, spoken word, persona poems, and eco-poems. How one varies these forms and tailors them to a personal aesthetic will be both the challenge and the pleasure of the class.

We will also keep writing notebooks where we begin poems and hone our craft. Since part of the writing process is the revision process, workshop will play a fundamental role in our course. In workshop, our poems will be read, critiqued, and evaluated with the goal of a polished manuscript being presented by the semester’s end.


Teaching Composition - EH 401 | Larry Beason
TR, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm

EH 401 is primarily for English majors planning to teach writing at the secondary level. The course offers theoretical, practical, and hands-on experience to prepare one for teaching students to write effectively in various genres and situations. Students interested in the course but NOT planning to teach should consult Dr. Larry Beason before enrolling.


Literary Criticism to 1900 - EH 421 | John Halbrooks
MWF, 2:30 pm to 3:20 pm

This course will survey some of the major debates about literature beginning with Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle. What is literature? What does it do, and what is its function? What is the relationship between literature and the world? How do we define and categorize literary form and genre? What is the responsibility of the writer? How can women respond to a predominantly male literary canon? What might constitute productive strategies of literary interpretation and analysis?

As we will see, these debates have been ongoing for 2500 years and continue to this day, and these are not merely abstract issues. As funding for education in general and the humanities in particular is on the wane, it is vital for those of us in the field to articulate arguments about the value of what we study. An historical understanding of literary criticism and theory also will enable us to think more deeply about the texts we read and our relationship to them.


Literary Criticism since 1900 - EH 422 | Justin St. Clair
MWF, 1:25 pm to 2:15 pm

The primary objective of this course is to provide a broad overview of literary theory since 1900.  We will begin with various formalisms, wend our way through a succession of -isms, schisms, and camps, and finally conclude with a unit on cultural studies.  As we traverse topics ranging from deconstruction to psychoanalysis, from gender studies to post-colonial theory, we will develop a better understanding of the critical approaches literary scholars employ.


Restoration and 18th-Century Drama - EH 462 | Becky McLaughlin
TR, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

This course takes as its subject the sticky and touchy matter of gender, which of necessity opens its polyvalent arms to embrace a number of terrifically-snarled topics, concerns, issues, and questions—most importantly, perhaps, those of love, sex, and the insanity that emerges in the division between the two.  Because discourse organizes and/or creates whatever it is we call "reality," our use of language is always highly political, and thus in this class we will explore through the plays of Dryden, Wycherley, Etherege, Behn, Congreve, Trotter, Centlivre, Steele, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Burney the "poisonous" and "remedial" uses of language (or what might be called the homeopathy of language), searching for practices that erode the integrity of language and allow the characters in these plays to avoid accountability for what they say and/or do as well as practices that restore the integrity of language and force the characters to take responsibility for their words. The ultimate question for students, however, is whether in the theatrical world of sexual politics and intrigue, there is a language of love that allows one to stand by one’s words.


19th Century Literature - EH 475 | Pat Cesarini
TR, 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

This seminar will be a focused survey of writing about, and by, American Indians in the 19th- and early 20th-centuries. We will cover three types of literature and the inter-relations among them: Imaginative work by non-Indians about Indians (such as the “Leatherstocking Tales” of J.F. Cooper, H.W. Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha), historical and other non-fictional work by non-Indians about Indians (such as the ethnography of L.H. Morgan, the folklore of H.R. Schoolcraft), and both kinds of work by Indians themselves, such as memoirs and folklore by William Apess, Sarah Winemucca, Charles Eastman, and Zitkala-Sa; poetry by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and Alexander Posey; and fiction by Sophia Callahan and John Oskison. There will be weekly reading quizzes, and students will write two essays, one of which will require research.


Composition and Rhetoric - EH 481 | Christine Norris
MW, 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm

This course will focus on food writing and food culture. Specifically, we will be looking at how we use food preferences and food aversions to shape our identities, the history of good taste, and issues of authenticity and artificiality in food culture.
Seminar in specific topics dealing with writing, rhetoric, or language studies. May be repeated once for credit when course content varies. Junior standing required.


Sherlock and Crime Stories - EH 490 (H) | Ellen Harrington
MWF, 11:15 am to 12:05 pm

Moving from the emergence of detective fiction in the work of Poe, Dickens, and Collins to the figure of Sherlock Holmes and his contemporaries to various iterations of the detective in fiction, film, and television in 20th and 21st centuries, this class will consider the enduring resonance of the figure of the detective—and Sherlock Holmes in particular.


The Authorial "I" in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction - EH 492 | Charlotte Pence
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The relationship between the writer and the first-person speaker in creative writing is not a simple one. It is continually mediated through figurative language, omissions, dramatic irony, subject layering, and the creation of reliability (or the intentional lack of it). As Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter to Higginson: "When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse—it does not mean—me—but a supposed person." In this creative writing workshop, we will look at how each genre crafts and subverts the use of first-person narration in three distinctive genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. In fact, one could argue that what divides these genres is the construction of first-person and its relationship to the writer’s personal and imagined experience. As a way to aid our own of the first-person narrator, we will read texts that offer differing strategies including work by Lucille Clifton, Nox by Anne Carson, and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. A final portfolio of original work in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction with a critical introduction; a craft presentation; and attendance at two readings will constitute the course’s major requirements.


Fall 2017 Graduate Course Offerings


Graduate Writing: Gay Auden? - EH 502 | Richard Hillyer
R, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Much recent discussion of W.H. Auden has focused on his profile as a gay poet and his perceived influence in that capacity on such fellow authors as John Ashbery, Allen Ginsburg, Richard Howard, James Merrill, Frank O'Hara, Adrienne Rich, and James Schuyler. With the assistance of John Fuller's exhaustive "Commentary" and other perspectives, we will examine poems from all stages of Auden's career to assess the extent to which these reveal a specifically gay sensibility or outlook. Assignments will consist of oral reports on critical perspectives, an annotated bibliography, and a research paper developed in stages.


Teaching College Writing - EH 505 | Patrick Shaw
MW, 2:30 pm to 3:45 pm

This course examines issues in composition history, theory, and pedagogy in the context of teaching first-year composition. Students will use this knowledge to develop course material appropriate to teaching first-year composition. Topics include syllabus and assignment design, lesson planning, course management, teaching in the linguistically and culturally diverse classroom, and assessment. Pre-requisite/Co-requisite: EH 502.


Contemporary Fiction - EH 573 | Justin St. Clair
M, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

This course is designed to introduce students to literary fiction of the past decade. We’ll be taking a somewhat unique approach in that we’ll be reading two books by each of the authors we cover. Texts will include:

Tom McCarthy: Remainder (2007) and Satin Island (2016)
Jonathan Lethem: Chronic City (2009) and A Gambler’s Anatomy (2016)
John Darnielle: Wolf in White Van (2015) and Universal Harvester (2017)
George Saunders: Tenth of December (2014) and Lincoln in the Bardo (2017)
Ben Marcus: Flame Alphabet (2012) and Leaving the Sea (2014)
Ali Smith: How to Be Both (2015) and Autumn (2017)


Drama, 1660 to 1800 - EH 590 | Becky McLaughlin
TR, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm

This course takes as its subject the sticky and touchy matter of gender, which of necessity opens its polyvalent arms to embrace a number of terrifically-snarled topics, concerns, issues, and questions—most importantly, perhaps, those of love, sex, and the insanity that emerges in the division between the two.  Because discourse organizes and/or creates whatever it is we call "reality," our use of language is always highly political, and thus in this class we will explore through the plays of Dryden, Wycherley, Etherege, Behn, Congreve, Trotter, Centlivre, Steele, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Burney the "poisonous" and "remedial" uses of language (or what might be called the homeopathy of language), searching for practices that erode the integrity of language and allow the characters in these plays to avoid accountability for what they say and/or do as well as practices that restore the integrity of language and force the characters to take responsibility for their words. The ultimate question for students, however, is whether in the theatrical world of sexual politics and intrigue, there is a language of love that allows one to stand by one’s words.


Food Writing and Food Culture - EH 590 | Christine Norris
MW, 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm

This course will focus on food writing and food culture. Specifically, we will be looking at how we use food preferences and food aversions to shape our identities, the history of good taste, and issues of authenticity and artificiality in food culture.

In addition to the requirements for 481 students, 590 students will read a variety of theoretical texts related to food and taste and present a presentation to the class on a key concept in food and taste studies.


Writing and Power in Native North America - EH 592 | Pat Cesarini
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

What happens to a people who cannot represent themselves in writing, in a society that uses writing to dominate them? What happens when those people begin to represent themselves, and to "write back"? This was the situation of American Indians during the long 19th century in the U.S. In this seminar we will explore such questions by focusing on the intersections between literary representation (novel, memoir, poetry, drama) and other, non-literary discourses (history, anthropology, law)--genres and discourses which were used by non-Indians to represent Indians, and then by Indians to represent themselves. We will read some major non-Indian writers of the period (e.g., James Fenimore Cooper, Francis Parkman), as well as some of the first non-literary Indian writers (e.g., David Cusick, William Apess) and their literary successors (e.g., Pauline Johnson, Gertrude Bonin). There will be weekly reading quizzes. Students will make presentations, and will write two essays, one of which will require research.


The Authorial "I" in Poetry, Nonfiction, and Fiction - EH 592 | Charlotte Pence
T, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The relationship between the writer and the first-person speaker in creative writing is not a simple one. It is continually mediated through figurative language, omissions, dramatic irony, subject layering, and the creation of reliability (or the intentional lack of it). As Emily Dickinson wrote in a letter to Higginson: "When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse—it does not mean—me—but a supposed person." In this creative writing workshop, we will look at how each genre crafts and subverts the use of first-person narration in three distinctive genres: poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. In fact, one could argue that what divides these genres is the construction of first-person and its relationship to the writer’s personal and imagined experience. As a way to aid our own of the first-person narrator, we will read texts that offer differing strategies including work by Lucille Clifton, Nox by Anne Carson, and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. A final portfolio of original work in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction with a critical introduction; a craft presentation; and attendance at two readings will constitute the course’s major requirements.


Thesis Hours - EH 599

Please see Dr. Harrington if you would like to register for thesis hours and have not already discussed your committee, graduation requirements, etc.