Graduate Courses


The Department of English offers over 200 courses for undergraduate- and graduate-level students. These courses focus on a diverse array of topics from across the fields of American and British literature; world literature; critical and narrative theory; film, video game analysis and other areas of popular culture studies; rhetoric, composition and literacy; digital media studies; and folklore. We also offer creative writing workshops in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. 

For complete and accurate meeting days and times for courses of interest, and to register, please visit the Ohio State Master Course Schedule. The master schedule is maintained by University Registrar and includes information about Department of English courses offered across all of our campuses. While we make every effort to ensure that the information below is complete and correct, the link above is guaranteed to be so. 




English 5189s/CompStd 5189s: Ohio Field School 
Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth and Katherine Borland 
The Ohio Field Schools Course provides an introduction to ethnographic field methods (participant-observation, writing field notes, photographic documentation, audio-interviewing), archiving and the public exhibition of research for both undergraduates and graduate students. Students will contribute to a team-based, immersive research project designed to document the ways that diverse communities express and preserve a sense of place in the face of economic, environmental and cultural change. This year’s projects involve working with grassroots organizations on succession planning.The semester-long, experientially-based course will consist of three parts: 

  • Introduction to fieldwork (on OSU campus in Columbus) 
  • A one-week field experience in Perry County during spring break (where students will reside together on-site)  
  • Accessioning, digital gallery preparation and reflection (on OSU campus in Columbus) 

Thus, throughout the semester, students will practice all of the skills necessary to construct a permanent record of local expressive culture that will be accessible to future researchers and community members. Participation in all parts of the course is required. 
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.* 

English 5664: Studies in Graphic Narrative: Comics, History and Time 
James Phelan 
The focus of this course will be graphic medicine: fiction and nonfiction narrative about illness and disability.  We'll read the Graphic Medicine Manifesto, some other  work on comics theory, and some other work in narrative theory.  But the main focus will be on the practice of graphic artists, including Alison Bechdel, Ian Williams, Ellen Forney, and many others.  Students will do agenda settings, two analytic papers, and will try their hands at graphic storytelling.  By the end of the course, students should have a great appreciation for the power of graphic narrative and its efficacy (and limits) in medical situations.
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.* 

English 5720.01: Graduate Studies in Shakespeare 
Jennifer Higginbotham 
This course is designed for teachers pursuing an MA in English who want to achieve an advanced knowledge of Shakespeare. Emphasis will be on understanding Shakespeare’s work in historical context and exploring the most up-to-date research on his theatrical practices, the early history of his plays in print, and scholarly methods for understanding his work. Readings will include representative works from his comedies, tragedies, and histories as well as examples of literary criticism that have impacted how we read, watch, and think about Shakespeare.  
*Advanced undergraduate students are encouraged to enroll in 5000-level courses.* 

English 6718.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in ChaucerChaucer and His Afterlives
Ethan Knapp
No figure has loomed larger in the stories told about the shapes of culture and the forms of literary history in both the Medieval and Early Modern periods than Geoffrey Chaucer. This course is going to reexamine Chaucer's work and later influence by following three routes of inquiry that have been rewriting a number of traditional readings of Chaucer. 1) Gender and Sexuality. Chaucer's treatment of both gender and sexuality have been the subject of intense debate from the beginning. As the creator of characters such as the Wife of Bath, he has often been credited, by people such as Carolyn Dinshaw, with startling insights into both gendered identity and the shifting forms of sexuality present in medieval culture. Others, of course, have questioned the extent to which he was entirely a friend to women. This disagreement has meant that all of the most important scholarship on gender and sexuality in medieval studies in the past couple of decades has had to take its course through Chaucer's works, and we will consider this debate in detail. 2) Global Chaucers. Another revolution in the reception of Chaucer has been a reconsideration of how little the old category of 'Englishness' really does to describe the context of his writing. Following recent biographers such as David Wallace and Marion Turner, we will think about how Chaucer's work develops in a truly global context, one reaching out to France and beyond, to Genoa and beyond, to all the imaginations that spread out from this Mediterranean culture into the east and the global imagination beyond. 3) Chaucer's Afterlives. Beginning with the sense of diasporic cultures in Chaucer's own work, we will move beyond his own writings to think about what subsequent writers have done with Chaucer. Here I anticipate looking at the ways his writings are revitalized in Early Modern England, considering both continuities and displacements across this divide.  We will also move into contemporary diasporic culture and look at ways that Chaucer has been reimagined by contemporary poets, both in England and elsewhere. (To get a sense of the remarkable archive of Chaucerian retellings/adaptions, take a look at the website "Global Chaucers." Exact readings here would vary according to student interest, and the rich potential for research projects, but I would plan to begin with Baba Brinkman and Patience Agbabithe—the first a contemporary rap artist, the second a contemporary British poet of Nigerian background.) Secondary readings will be selected to fit the particular research interests of enrolled students, with some group consultation. The aim of this course will be both to equip everyone to be able to teach Chaucer in the future, and to advance the particular research interests of each student.  

English 6755.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in American Literature, Origins to 1840—How to Read the Natural World in Early American Literature 
 Molly Farrell 
Climate, ecology and species extinction are central concerns that reappear across colonial and early U.S. writing. What we now call science was an essential colonizing tool, but more than that, settler colonialism insists on delineating which forms of knowing the world are authoritative, or "real." This class investigates early American literature as a sustained fascination with the natural world, and a site of contestation over indigenous, African and European medical and scientific practices. What can we learn from early debates about the effect of changes in climate? How can we listen to science today in a way that respects the settler colonial violence involved in deciding whose knowledge of the natural world gets to matter? Readings may include writings by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samson Occom, Cotton Mather, Olaudah Equiano and Leonora Sansay; we will also consider documents relating to debates about inoculation and the practice of Obeah. Secondary sources will span works from science studies, environmental humanities, early American literary criticism and the history of natural philosophy. 

English 6763.01: Graduate Workshop in Poetry 
 Marcus Jackson 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of poetry.  

English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 
 William White 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of fiction.  

English 6767.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in 20th Century Literature, 1945-Present 
 Jessica Prinz 
We will read broadly in the area of literature from 1945 to the present, focusing on the theme of science. Although “science fiction” is a genre devoted to science and its fusion with literature, we will be looking at other genres, as well, as we explore some of the central concerns and themes of the period. Along with a smattering of theory (to be assigned), the following works will be considered: Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49; Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go; Delillo, White Noise; Zadie Smith, White Teeth; Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad; Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler; LIghtman, Einstein’s Dreams; Eggers, The Circle; Spiegelman, MAUS (Volume One); McEwan, Machines Like Me. Other works may also be assigned.

Course Requirements: One seminar presentation including a writing component, and one term paper, 10-15 pages in length.

English 6768 (10): Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 
 Elissa Washuta 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction.  

English 6768 (20): Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 
 Lee Martin 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of creative nonfiction.  

English 6769: Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing (Special Topics)—Intro to Story Engineering 
Angus Fletcher 
In this course, we'll learn how to create effective (and personalized) plots for novels, short stories, memoirs, essays, lyric chapbooks and all other narrative forms of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. We'll learn some general strategies for story engineering, and we'll also workshop your own original creative projects (new, projected or already underway). Whether you're stuck on a specific plot-point in your novel or just want to grow your storytelling abilities in general, you'll explore and apply cutting-edge methods for story development (many of them developed here, at Ohio State's Project Narrative, the world leader in story science). Our goal will not be to impose any unified master narratives, but to help you expand your own personal storytelling technique, tailored to your particular aesthetic, ethical and social commitments, and consistent with your unique writing style. 

English 6776.02: From 1900 to the Contemporary Period 
Adeleke Adeeko 
The seminar will be organized around the theme of representation. Among the questions to be addressed are: "why represent"? "does representation report or create"? "what does representation create"? "what does it report"?  These topics will be approached through "literary theory," that briefcase phrasing used to refer to writings that examine the ends of representation as these pertain to literature and culture. We are going to be reading original texts and (not summaries of concepts) from diverse disciplines, ranging from philosophy to narratology.  

Each student will lead two class sessions of approximately 1-hour each. Each student will also write two papers, each about 10 pages. Of course, punctual and regular class attendance and active participation in seminar discussions will be expected. 

One main anthology--to be determined--will be required. 

English 7817.01/02: Seminar in Early Medieval English Literature 
 Christopher Jones 
This seminar on Old English poetry will allow students to continue to develop their reading fluency of the original language while also considering some important critical questions: What features constituted the "poetic" in the earliest period of English?  What did early English poetry owe to oral traditions, and how did the growth of literacies impact the composition and transmission of vernacular verse?  In what ways can study of surviving manuscripts help contextualize Old English poems?  While exploring these and related issues through a sampling of recent scholarship, we will ground our discussions of Old English verse through a close examination of specific poems, mainly from the "Exeter Book," the most extensive and diverse collection of poetry that has survived.  We will cover all the poems of the Exeter Book in Modern English translations, and we will read and discuss representative selections of many of them in the original Old English, including the famous Old English riddles, elegies and bestiary poems, as well as examples of heroic legend ('Deor" and "Widsith"), hagiography ('Guthlac"), theological meditations ("The Advent Lyrics" and Cynewulf's poem on Christ's Ascension) and wisdom literature ("The Gifts of Men"). Basic reading knowledge of Old English (equivalent to ENG 5710) is recommended, but the course is open to students who are willing to work with the texts in translation. Course requirements include daily primary and secondary readings, frequent short presentations, a bibliography project and a final project (with variable options).


  • S.A.J. Bradley, Anglo-Saxon Poetry, Everyman Library, revised edition (London, 1995).  ISBN-13:  9780460875073 
  • Jun Terasawa, Old English Metre: An Introduction (U of Toronto P, 2011). ISBN-13: 9781442611290 
  • J.R. Clark Hall, A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th edition, with supplement by Herbert Dean Meritt, Medieval Academy of America Reprints for Teaching 14 (U of Toronto P, 1984) ISBN-13: 9780802065483" 

English 7820.01/02: Seminar in Shakespeare 
Jennifer Higginbotham 
Queer Shakespeare. Readings and assignments will offer intensive study of the influence that queer theory has had on Shakespeare Studies with a particular focus on his poetry.

English 7838.01/02: Seminar in Critical Issues in the Restoration and 18th Century 
Sandra MacPherson 

An intensive consideration of a selected critical problem or a selected intellectual focus in the scholarly study of Restoration and/or eighteenth-century literature and culture.  

English 7864.01/02: Postcolonial/Transnational Literatures: Race, Caste and ClassComparing Dalit and African American Histories and Identities
Pranav Jani 
The historical oppression and marginalization of Dalits in India and African Americans in the US has often led to comparisons between these two groups. Dalits (disdainfully called “untouchables”) and Blacks have been subject to bonded labor and enslavement, and entire ideologies have been built to justify their subordination. Ritually marked as impure, their very bodies have been subject to violence and assault from ruling elites. On the flip side, Dalit and Black resistance has involved the assertion of a distinct cultural identity, debates about tactics and militancy and an awareness that their liberation would involve a restructuring of the entire society. At a deeper level, caste oppression has often been described as racialized, and racial oppression has been said to function like a caste system.

Using an interdisciplinary approach, we will examine histories, literature, essays, political speeches and film to investigate parallel and divergent tracks of Dalit and Black experiences and identities. I contend that understanding race and caste in the context of changing forms of class societies will help to develop a common framework for comparison. We will aim to answer questions such as the following: What were the origins of caste in India, and how was it shaped during and after British colonialism? How were Dalit identities shaped amidst the racialization of all Indians under colonial rule? What parallels can we draw between this history and that of Blacks in the US, from enslavement and emancipation amidst the rise of the US as an industrial power, to ongoing struggles against white supremacy and structural racism? What comparisons can we make between Dalit and Black writers and artists, both in terms of their struggles to exist and to be recognized, and their representations of those struggles in literature and film? How have Dalit and Black writers challenged their marginalization and objectification in the face of ongoing white supremacy and upper-caste dominance?

Requirements: Short Carmen posts; 3 short papers; final paper, and a willingness to read literature and autobiography alongside comparative historical and sociological work. 

English 7871.01: Seminar in the Forms of Literature 
 Marcus Jackson 
A graduate seminar in the forms of poetry, fiction and/or creative nonfiction.  

English 7878.01/02: Seminar in Film and Media Studies — Disney (Plus): From Mickey to the MCU 
Instructor: Jared Gardner 
This course will study the history of Disney from its founding in 1923 as a small animation studio in a Hollywood dominated by major studios to its emergence in the 21st century as the world's most profitable global media conglomerate. Along with analysis of film, television and other media texts, the course will engage heavily with film history (including studio and industry history), media history and popular culture studies from 1920s-2020, considering not only Disney's own theatrical output but also the wide range of media that the company has acquired and developed, including Pixar, the Star Wars franchise and, of course, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The launching of the new Disney+ streaming platform will also provide us with an occasion to consider the state (and future) of transmedia storytelling and media circulation in the new age of the horizontally integrated "studio." 

English 7880.01/02: Seminar in CompositionThe Writing Center as a Scholarly and Pedagogical Site 
Beverly Moss 
Writing Centers have, in the past, been primarily examined as pedagogical sites, specifically sites focused on one-on-one, face-to-face discussion between an inexperienced writer and an expert reader/writing consultant about a specific writing task.  However, in the past 15-20 years, this master narrative of the work of the writing center has been challenged.  Writing Center practitioners push back against the "only for inexperienced writers" label by emphasizing that they work with all writers from all disciplines.  Emerging technologies challenge the traditional model of how writing center work is carried out:  do we need to be face-to-face; how do we accommodate writing groups and writers with multi-modal texts?  The growing body of scholarship on writing centers also establishes the writing center as a viable scholarly site where important questions about writing theories and practices are investigated.  In this seminar, we will examine the growth of writing center scholarship and how this growth influences the day-to-day running of centers.  We will read canonical and new theoretical and pedagogical texts, explore the role of technology and writing across the curriculum on current writing center practices as well as explore how writing centers serve English language learners.  Other topics will include how writing center work is named and valued within the academy and the future direction of writing centers within and beyond the university.  This course will be valuable for those interested in working in writing centers as writing consultants, for those interested in directing writing centers and those interested in engaging in writing center scholarship. 

English 7889.01/02: Seminar on Digital Media Studies 
 John Jones 
This course will explore the history, theory and practice of computer-based writing and rhetoric teaching and research. We will read foundational research and explore the tools of computers and writing instruction, placing them in the context of theoretical debates that have shaped research and pedagogy in the field. From this foundation we will explore contemporary trends in digital rhetoric, digital media studies and multimodal writing research and practice.  

English 7891.01/02: Seminar in Disabilities StudiesStigma, Competency and Normalcy 
 Amy Shuman 
One might say that stigma marks the difference between disability and illness, between normalcy and its opposites, and between competency and incompetency.  Stigma is a social marking (for the Greeks a literal mark on the body), that assigns negative, discrediting, value to particular personal attributes.  The study of disability shares many foundational concepts with studies race, class, gender and sexuality; the Disability Rights Movement grew out of the Civil Rights Movement and shares many of the premises developed in feminist research.  Although disability itself is a pervasive dimension of social life, the study of disability is often overlooked in studies of race, class and gender.  Our focus on stigma, competency and normalcy will address some of these overlooked dimensions and consider the many intersections, for example the role of disclosure as a choice/strategy/requirement.  Our methodological approach combines research in folklore/ethnography/linguistic anthropology with narrative research and feminist research. Readings include excerpts from Goffman’s StigmaThe Disability Studies Reader, Ato Quayson’s AestheticNervousness, Michael Berubé’s Secret Life of Stories, Ann Cooper Albright’s “Strategic Abilities” and others. The course requires a final project.

English 8904: Writing for Publication 
Roxann Wheeler 
This course focuses on writing and revising for publication in academic journals, and its objective is to help advanced graduate students prepare a work in progress for publication in a journal. While the course features various aspects of publishing in an academic journal, it also touches on writing for a graduate seminar versus writing for a conference, the dissertation, and book publication. The three main activities that will organize the course are workshops on your writing; visits by journal and academic press editors to demystify the submission, revision, and publishing processes; selected readings, discussions and critical treatments of journals in your own field and the profession more widely. The one prerequisite is that you arrive on day one with a seminar paper, dissertation chapter, or article that is a work in progress and that can be transformed during the semester.

Likely text: Wendy Belcher, Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success​​​​​​​. Likely assignments: Revisions of your work in progress; presentations of findings from research in journals in your field and the profession at large