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 5191: Internship in English Studies 
Instructor: Scott DeWitt 
This internship opportunity will offer students experience in creating timely, relevant and compelling short-form promotional media (primarily video and audio) for the Department of English. Students will work closely with their supervisor (Professor DeWitt) as well as with key communications personnel to develop projects and set priorities and deadlines. English 5191, Promotional Media Internship, will be intensely hands-on and focus almost exclusively on digital media production and related work-management skills in professional settings. This internship opportunity is especially applicable to students across majors who would like to develop their digital media skills in a workplace setting and for those who have digital media skills with nowhere to apply them. Media skills are NOT a pre-requisite for this internship; students will have the opportunity to learn all media skills necessary for the class. (This internship fulfills the digital media requirement for the Writing, Rhetoric and Literacy concentration in the English Major.) 
Potential Assignments: YouTube videos, podcasts. 
Guiding Questions: How can a promotional media internship opportunity help students across majors develop their digital media skills in a workplace setting? 
Additional Materials:  Experience with technology is helpful, but you will learn all of the skills you need in class. 

English 5664: Studies in Graphic Narrative: Graphic Memoir 
Instructor: Robyn Warhol 
A course designed for both graduate students and advanced undergraduates, “Graphic Memoir” will introduce the styles, structures and strategies of autobiographical life stories told in comics form. Starting with “how-to” texts by comics artists, we will investigate the relationship among form, content and medium in graphic memoirs in a variety of styles. The readings fall into three groupings: lifewriting set in the context of larger historical events; memoirs of illness and recovery; and women’s memoirs focusing on gender and sexuality. 
Guiding Questions: How do comics make meaning through graphic design? What can graphic narrative do for autobiography that prose narrative can't do? How (and why) do comics artists use their medium to represent personal, national and familial traumas? 
Potential Texts:  David B (1996), Epileptic; Lynda Barry (2005), One! Hundred! Demons!;  Alison Bechdel (2006), Fun Home; Bethany Brownholtz (2013), Exercises in Style: 21st-century Remix pdf;  Phoebe Gloeckner (2002), Diary of a Teenage Girl; Matt Madden (2005), 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style; Marisa Acocella Marchetto (2009), Cancer Vixen; Scott McCloud (2006), Making Comics; Khale McHurst, I Do Not Have an Eating Disorder (web comic); Raymond Queneau (1947/1981), Exercises in Style pdf; Marjane Satrap (2000), Persepolis; Art Spiegelman (1991), Maus; GB Tran (2011), Vietnamerica
Potential Assignments: Students write weekly reading responses and do two kinds of oral presentations, one a commentary on a critical reading and one a close reading of a single page of graphic memoir. Each student creates a one-page graphic memoir. For the final project, students may choose to write a research paper or to create a more extended graphic memoir. 

English 5721.01/5721.02: Graduate Studies in Renaissance Drama 
Christopher Highley 
This course will introduce students to current critical approaches, methodologies and resources in the study of Early Modern drama. It defines drama broadly, in a way that encompasses many forms of performance, from adult and boy plays on the public stage, to school plays and court masques. Topics include: the business of theater; playwrights, players, and playgoers; the control and regulation of the stage; drama in print; the closing of the public theaters; and editing Early Modern plays. The plays we read will depend on student interests, but there will be a mix of the canonical (Marlowe's Dr Faustus) and the more obscure (Ralph Roister Doister). We will also read modern scholarship, as well as documents from the period. 
Guiding Questions: What forms did dramatic performance take in early modern England? What functions and whose interests did it serve? Why did a culture of public playgoing emerge in London and its suburbs in the later sixteenth centuries? How was public theater organized, managed and regulated? What sorts of questions and approaches have guided recent criticism of this drama and English theatrical culture more generally? What new resources are available for the study of this subject? 
Potential Texts: Various paperback versions of plays as well as lots of Carmen readings. 
Potential Assignments: Students will give in-class reports and write a research paper (which may be based on an examination of a play in the library's rare book room). There will also be various short exercises that utilize resources like the Early English Books Online (EEBO) database; the Database of Early English Playbooks (DEEP); Martin Wiggins, British Drama: A Catalogue; the Records of Early English Drama (REED); and the Map of Early Modern London (MOEML). 


English 6718.01/6718.02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Chaucer 
Instructor: Ethan Knapp 
Introduction to advanced study in Chaucer, with a focus on The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. 

English 6751.02/6751.22: Intro to Graduate Study in Folklore II: Fieldwork and the Ethnography of Communication 
Instructor: Gabriella Modan 
Introduction to fieldwork and ethnology in the humanities: interviewing, participant observation, ethics, ethnographic representation. The ethnography of communication as an approach to community-based expressive forms. 

English 6757.01/6757.11: Introduction to Graduate Study in African-American Literature, 1746-1900 
 Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́ 
A survey of creative texts and critical interpretations representing and reflecting black culture and literary expression in the United States from 1746 to 1900. 

English 6765.01/6765.02: Graduate Workshop in Poetry 
 Marcus Jackson 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of poetry for MFA students in fiction or creative non-fiction with limited experience as poets. 

English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 
Lee Martin 
This is a writing workshop for students enrolled in our MFA Program. We'll study the craft of fiction through assigned readings and the discussion of student-written manuscripts. 

English 6765.02: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 
Nick White 
Poets! Memoirists! This workshop is for you. It is a truth universally acknowledged that fiction is the art of lying, crafted by the lying liars who tell them. "Art is the lie that tells a truth," Picasso said, or maybe he didn't. Point is, it feels like something a Picasso would say, and the sentiment strikes at the heart of what we fiction writers must puzzle through: by learning how to lie (and lie with gusto) we somehow discover our own authentic voices. Curious? Come join me.  
Potential Texts: An online anthology of various stories and craft essays.  
Potential Assignments: We will spend the first half of the semester writing flash, and then we will move on to longer stories.  

English 6766.01/6766.02: Introduction to Graduate Studies in 20th Century Literature, 1900-1945: Modernist Studies Today 
Jesse Schotter 
This course will give students a snapshot of modernist studies today by focusing on the most frequently discussed texts, methodologies, and topics at the Modernist Studies Association conferences over the last five years. Topics may include new media (film, radio, comics), transnationalism, gender, disability studies, travel, periodical studies and others. Alongside primary texts we will read critical articles predominately by early career scholars. 
Potential Texts: Texts may include The Waste Land, Montage of a Dream Deferred, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, The Return of the Spirit, As I Lay Dying, The Lonely Londoners, Voyage in the Dark, The Last Lunar BaedekerKrazy Kat comics and others. 
Potential Assignments: Assignments will include two conference length papers or one article length paper, one presentation, and participation in class discussion. 

English 6768: Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction 
Elissa Washuta 
This creative nonfiction workshop is open to current students in the MFA program in creative writing. Students primarily working in other genres in the program are welcome, but prior instruction in creative nonfiction is very strongly recommended. 
Potential Texts: Students' essays will be the primary texts for the course; others may be added to supplement as needed. 
Potential Assignments: New essays, revision and peer critiques.

English 6769: Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing 
 Angus Fletcher 
A special topics course in the writing of fiction, poetry, and/or creative nonfiction. 

English 6780.01/6780.02: Current Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Writing 
Susan Lang 
Modern theories of composition; topics include: invention, style, sentence combining, evaluation, and the composing process.

English 6788.01: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Imaginative Writing 
Timothy Griffin 
“What if there were a hidden pleasure/ in calling one thing/ by another’s name?,” writes poet Rae Armantrout in her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2009 volume Versed. That even the words we use everyday can mean more than one thing—and that phrases may be understood more than one way—is key to understanding both the pleasure and speculative power of poetry. And, in fact, the idea is a core premise of this course for graduate students coming from fields outside of writing: how ordinary and specialized language alike can take new shape and form, giving new weight and possibility to our most idiomatic expressions. Through both reading and writing assignments, students will both learn the discipline of poetry and, moreover, discover the poetry in what they already do.
Guiding Questions: How have poets sourced and used language differently in recent decades, and how have poems taken different form over time? How might these shifts relate to those taking place in other fields of study?
Potential Texts: Examining the recent history of poetry, students will read and discuss the works of modern and contemporary poets such as Amiri Baraka, Rita Dove, June Jordan, Marianne Moore, Fred Moten, George Oppen, Claudia Rankine, Layli Long Soldier, Wallace Stevens, and Ocean Vuong, among others.
Potential Assignments: Composing and sharing imitations of the above poets; writing and workshopping a final independent creative work.
Additional Materials: Readings will be available on Carmen.

English 6795.01/6795.02: Introduction to Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition 
Christa Teston 
English 6795 prepares graduate students to conduct research in rhetoric, composition and literacy studies. This course provides an introduction to methods for analyzing texts and contexts, studying writing instruction and researching literacy practices. It also introduces students to methodological and epistemological issues related to these activities. 
Potential Texts: Saldaña & Omasta's Qualitative Research (2nd edition). 
Potential Assignments: Textual, empirical, and archival research projects. 


English 7837.01/7837.02: Studies in 18th Century Genre; The Early Novel, Slavery and the Black Atlantic 1660-1817 
Roxann Wheeler 
While this course will highlight the early novel’s contribution to practices of narration, character and incident, it will focus on the novel’s robust engagement with enslaved characters and colonization and study selected influential poetry and non-fiction about slavery, including the slave narrative. While there is surprising overlap between fiction and non-fiction, the novel itself is one of the most important ways that so-called common slaves were first imagined as important figures with interiority: we will study a very long literary engagement with noble and commoner characters who become enslaved. At its heart, this course is both a cultural and literary exploration of slavery and the Black Atlantic world. 
Guiding Questions: How did the racial formation of the slave-based colonies differ from Britain's? Why did novelists continue to be captivated by nobly-born slave characters into the nineteenth century? When common enslaved characters were ventriloquized, what did they say? Why were Englishmen's narratives the most attentive to the violence of slave-based Caribbean societies? 
Potential Texts: Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (2006); Omi and Winant, Racial Formation in the United States, 3rd. ed. (2015); Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave (1688); the Inkle and Yarico stories; Daniel Defoe, Colonel Jack (1722); Samuel Richardson, Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded (1741); The Memoirs of Unca Eliza Winkfield, or the Female American (1767); John Gabriel Stedman, Life in an Eighteenth-Century Slave Society (Surinam) (1790); Anon. The Woman of Color (1808); Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince (1831). 
Potential Assignments: Annotated bibliography and in-class presentation; research paper on literary, theoretical or cultural topic. 

English 7844.01/7844.02: Seminar in Victorian Literature; Undoing Victorian Realism: Character, Form and World 
Instructor: Jill Galvan 
This course asks what Victorian realism looks like when, untying it from traditional literary historical accounts, we pay active attention to its characterology, form and world-making. The Victorian “novel” has been canonized as a genre bent on moral didacticism and social consensus, kind of like an ideology-delivery mechanism. It is also often a major foil in the narrative of the rise of modern aesthetics, based on the premise of the Victorians’ non-interest in form, perception and sense experience. Our class will undo these presumptions by analyzing the intricacies of Victorian realism’s most distinctive features—interiority; the multiplot form; and the fine, novel-length tracing of human being in the world. To catch these features, we will read novels slowly. We will also pursue realism’s aesthetics by exploring how it extends outside the Victorians per se and persists even today. While deliberately hitting nineteenth-century British “classics,” we will open up, rather than close down, their social and ethical complexities (e.g., their treatment of whiteness), and we will trace both transatlantic and transhistorical affinities, reading the Victorians alongside American and modern/contemporary texts.  
Potential Texts: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Charles Dickens, Bleak House; Hannah Crafts, The Bondwoman’s Narrative; Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles; James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk; either Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway or Elizabeth von Arnim, Vera.  
Potential Assignments: Engaged participation, two brief analytical responses, a researched presentation and a final seminar paper.  

English 7861.01/7861.02: Studies in Narrative and Narrative Theory; Storytelling in Everyday Life: Interactive, Dialogic Approaches to Narrative   
Instructor: Amy Shuman 
Studies of narrative interaction take into account how participants in a storytelling occasion manage their relationships to each other, to their larger worlds and to the events and characters within the narrative. Narrative is one cultural resource for negotiating meaning across these relationships in both local and larger cultural, historical and social contexts. This is not to say that narrative does successfully negotiate meaning, but rather that it holds out this possibility. Interaction implies relationships between tellers and listeners but also invokes other relationships beyond the narrative occasion, including cultural institutions, ideologies and other social frameworks. This course explores a variety of narrative interactions, including face-to-face conversation, social media exchanges, legal affidavit and other written communication. In each course session, we will cover both formal elements of narrative (how narrative works) and examples that integrate ideologies and narrative exchanges (for example, in disability rights discourses, in political asylum hearings, in human rights narratives, in classrooms, in families, in ritual occasions, etc.) 
Guiding Questions: How does narrative work in everyday life, and how are personal narratives entangled in cultural, societal ideological frameworks?  
Potential Texts: All readings will be available on Carmen. 
Potential Assignments: Students will design a final project, for example, a paper for a conference presentation, a creative work, a blog or podcast or annotation of further readings.  

English 7872.01/7872.02: Seminar in English Linguistics: Introduction to Discourse Analysis
Gabriella Modan 
This course is an overview of some major approaches to analyzing spoken and written discourse used in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, including interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, ethnography of communication, pragmatics and critical discourse analysis. We will explore how social interaction both constructs and is constructed by discourse which occurs in or in relation to it. The approach that we will take to analyzing texts is a micro one, focusing on the details of linguistic structure and how those details connect to more macro spheres of social engagement. Students will collect examples of spoken and written texts, and analyze them in short paper assignments. For students interested in examining discourse as a methodology in social science or humanities research, this course will give you the tools to investigate how language structure – not just content – shapes perceptions and social interaction in ways that can have material consequences.  
Potential Assignments: 3 short papers, discussion leading, a final paper. 

English 7878.01/7878.02: Seminar in Film and Media Studies 
Jian Chen 
An intensive study of selected issues, themes, and forms in Film & Media Studies. 

English 7889.01/7889.02: Seminar on Digital Media Studies: History, Theory and Practice of Digital Media
John Jones It is safe to say that all of our media is now digital—from television and newspapers to movie theaters and books, while the final media product may take different forms, it is nearly impossible to find a mass media that does not include digital tools in some stage of its production. Given the ubiquity of digital media, its study is inherently interdisciplinary and multifaceted. In this course, we will study the uses and impacts of digital media through its history and development in the 20th and 21st centuries with the goal of better understanding the origins of current digital communication technologies. The course will touch on topics like the pre-history of digital media, networks, race, accessibility, multimodality, the digital humanities, maker culture and rhetorics of code. While this course is located in the Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy program, students from all concentrations who are interested in the history and future of digital media are welcome. We will read widely in digital media theory and history.  


English 8858.01/8858.02: Seminar in Folklore: Ecocritical Fairy Tales
Mary Hufford  
Over the past four centuries Fairy Tale has been continually rescripted as a staging ground for ideological debate between a Voice of modernity and the voices (masks) of its Others. This graduate seminar brings ecofeminist and ecocritical perspectives to bear on the study of fairy tales. Linking the domination and exploitation of women and nature under patriarchal capitalism, ecofeminism offers an angle onto myriad Others inhabiting Fairy Tale: poor woodcutters laboring at forest edges far from castles, dwarves toiling in mines, giants and dragons guarding their hoards, together with a coterie of more-than-human others: animals, vegetables, minerals, and those category defying mycelia, aka toadstools. Ecocriticism, the critique of the environmental effects of the literature we produce and consume, frames our exploration of the literary ecology of fairy tales, an ecology intertwined with industrialization, modernity and the fate of the global forest.
Using critical and social theory, we will explore the transformations of fairy tale landscapes, players, and plots, and meanings made of these in contemporary literature and cinema. Our guides will include leading scholars of fairy tale, social history, forest ecology, environmental history, and ecofeminist and ecocritical theory. How might worldwide historical variants and contemporary revisions of fairy tales model and enact struggles over gendered, racialized, colonized, naturalized, spiritualized, and post-humanized social identities? Modelling stages of transformation, how might contemporary renditions of fairy tales ratify or contest dominant narratives of development (human, industrial, post-industrial and more)?
Coursework will include in-class presentations, contributions to the course discussion board and leading discussion, writing and archival exercises, and a term project. On the way, you’ll become acquainted with tools indispensible to folk tale scholars and fairy tale revisionists: motif and tale-type indexes. Your term project could be: 1) an ecofeminist or ecocritical comparison and analysis of international variants of a tale type; 2) an analysis and comparison of revisions (including emergent memes) of a particular tale type; 3) description and analysis of an ecocritical trope characterizing contemporary fairy tale revisions; or 4) a curriculum module for educational or therapeutic use – well-annotated and theorized, and designed to contribute to an unfolding, unfinalizable conversation on the fate of Fairy Tale in the Anthropocene.
Guiding Questions: Why are fairy tales so popular? What social functions are ascribed to fairy tales? How do revisionists use fairy tales to question norms and assumptions? How have historical and contemporary revisionists repurposed fairy tales for both ecological restoration and social change?
Potential Texts: Maria Tatar, ed. The Classic Fairy Tales; William McCarthy, Cinderella in America; Robert Pogue Harrison, Forests: The Shadow of Civilization; Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature; Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats; Iiro Kuttner and Ville Tietavainen, Tales by Trees; Diana Beresford-Kroeger, The Global Forest: Forty Ways Trees Can Save Us; Emma Donaghue, Kissing the Witch; Patrick Chamoiseau, Creole Folktales; selected articles, variants, and films posted to Carmen; Lapine and Sondheim, Into the Woods; and a shadow syllabus to include readings identified and agreed upon by students in the seminar.
Potential Assignments: Identify and analyse fairy tale references in the media; locate variants of a particular tale type by consulting the ATU Tale Type index; correspond with and for Dr. Henwife, an obscure but extremely wise advice columnist; post and respond to prompts on the discussion board; complete a term project (for examples please see the course description above)
Additional Materials: Access to Carmen and to films that I will assign
*This is a combined-section course. Cross-listed in CompStd.

English 8982.01/8982.02: Textual Criticism and Editing 
 Sarah Neville 
Evaluation of literary editorial methods, past and present; training in skills requisite to the textual critic and scholarly editor; practice in textual editing. 





English 5710: Introduction to Old English
Instructor: Leslie Lockett
This course teaches students to read and declaim Old English, which was the spoken language of the English people in the early Middle Ages (up to ca. 1150), and the original language of evocative poems including Beowulf and The Wanderer. In the first half of the semester, we will learn declensions, conjugations and vocabulary; in the second half, we will translate works of Old English prose and poetry. No prior knowledge of Old English or other languages is required.
Guiding question(s): What did English look and sound like in the centuries before Chaucer, and long before Shakespeare? How is classical Old English poetry radically different in form from any other English poetry since the age of Chaucer? How did non-literate poets compose their poems, and how were poems passed down in manuscripts when printing was not yet available?
Potential text(s): Mitchell and Robinson's A Guide to Old English.
Potential assignments: Students are graded on their preparation for each class meeting, eight quizzes, three written translation assignments and a final exam.

English 5720: Shakespeare's Dramaturgy 
Instructor: Sarah Neville 
This course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates will examine Shakespeare’s stagecraft and consider both his playwrighting techniques and the way his practices responded to the ever-changing circumstances of the theatrical ecosystem in which he worked. We will ask (and try to answer) questions about matters like properties (“How spectacular is a severed head?”), juxtaposition (“How do repeated entries train audiences to see patterns?”), character (“Who gets to speak soliloquies?”), structure (“Why do plays often begin with figures we never see again?”), pace (“How much time elapses between scenes?”), genre (“Why are the comedies set in foreign countries?”) and the way that such choices affect the relationship between actors and an audience. 
Guiding question(s): How does Shakespeare...DO THAT? 
Potential text(s): Titus AndronicusKing LearMacbethRichard IIIHenry IVTwo Gentlemen of VeronaMuch Ado About NothingA Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Winter’s Tale
Potential assignments: Students will be evaluated by short writing assignments, a minor presentation and a long paper. 


English 6410: Introduction to Medical Humanities and Social Sciences
Instructor: Jim Phelan
This course functions both as the core requirement for the Interdisciplinary MA in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences and as an elective for other students with an interest in its subject matters. The course addresses the question of how our understanding of medicine alters when we shift from conceiving it primarily as a science to conceiving it as a cultural practice, something that inevitably has political, ethical, ideological and even aesthetic dimensions. We will divide our inquiry into the following units: medical inquiry, historical foundations, cultural critiques of medicine, disability studies and narrative medicine. By the end of the course, students should have a deeper understanding of the methods and some key findings of the medical humanities and social sciences, and in that way, be well-equipped for further study in the field.
Guiding question(s): What happens to our understanding of medicine when we shift from conceiving of it as driven by science and technology to conceiving of it as a cultural practice?
Potential text(s): Mukherjee, Sidharth, The Laws of Medicine; Starr, Paul. The Social Transformation of American Medicine; Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down; Tweedy, Damon, Black Man in a White Coat; David, Lennard, ed. The Disability Studies Reader; Crosby, Christina, A Body Undone; Charon, Rita, et al. Principles and Practices of Narrative Medicine; Frank, Arthur, The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics; and the documentary How to Survive a Plague, dir. by David French, and the film Gattaca, directed by Andrew Nicoll.
Potential assignments: Weekly writing exercises (in class); agenda setting; short analytical paper; abstract, presentation and final paper.

English 6662: Literary Publishing 
Instructor: Nick White 
This course is designed for writers in the MFA Program in Creative Writing, and explores the world of publishing—its past, present and future. From placing work in literary journals to querying agents, we will study this ever-changing landscape and prepare writers for what they may encounter on their journey to publication. 
Potential text(s): Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers by Carolyn See; Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book by Courtney Maum; Literary Publishing in the Twenty-First Century edited by Travis Kurowski, Wayne Miller and Kevin Prufer.
Potential assignments: Reading for The Journal; presentations on literary journals and small presses; book reviews; author interviews; editorial projects; copyediting exam.

English 6700: Introduction to Graduate Study in English
Instructor: Aman Garcha
To introduce you to graduate study in English, this course will help you understand some answers to a number of large questions: What are some of the main theoretical assumptions that underlie the field’s practices? What counts as research in English studies? What counts as knowledge? What are some of its concrete, lived realities—in terms of its system of graduate education, the job prospects of its scholars and its mechanisms of publication and advancement?
We will approach these questions in a variety of ways—through close readings of literary texts, discussions of essays in literary theory, reviews of recent and past examples of criticism in English studies, and analysis of research by Ohio State faculty members. To ground our discussions throughout the semester, we will often focus on a few particular problems in literary and cultural studies including the following: how to understand what language refers to and how it gains meaning; the history of nationalism and its relationship to language and literature; the history and theory of prose narrative, one of the contemporary age’s most ubiquitous, distinctive literary forms; the concept of social power and that concept’s relationship to language; and the ideas of individuality, social collectivity and social action as it is conceived by some scholars in our field. To ground our discussions even further, we will take Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway as our object text, which will help us understand something about literary history, cultural studies, popular culture, rhetorical analysis, theoretical controversies, and how research is and has been done.
Potential text(s): Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

English 6700.01: Introduction to Graduate Study in English
Instructor: Kay Halasek
This course will prepare students for future success both in other graduate courses in the Ohio State Department of English and throughout their careers as teacher‐scholars of English. This class introduces students to tools, research methods, and theoretical approaches used to make and share knowledge in the field of English Studies. It also reviews strategies for effective academic writing and argumentation and issues related to teaching in contemporary college classrooms.
Guiding question(s): What constitutes an effective scholarly "reading" of a text or artifact? What critical and theoretical questions have informed and continue to inform research and scholarship in English studies? How and why have those questions changed over time? What does it mean to situate a reading within or from a particular critical perspective? How does one evaluate the success of a scholarly argument? What generic principles and practices typically inform successful scholarly arguments? How do I go about reading, researching and writing successful academic arguments?
Potential text(s): Culler, Jonathan. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2011; Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. 1818. Norton Critical Edition. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2012; Wilder, Laura. Rhetorical Strategies and Genre Conventions in Literary Studies: Teaching and Writing in the Disciplines. Southern Illinois University Press, 2012. (Note: This text is available for free via Project Muse).
Potential assignments: Frankenstein reading log; discussion posts; scaffolded research activity sequence; final project.

English 6755: Introduction to Graduate Study in American Literature—Origins to 1840
Instructor: Elizabeth Hewitt
This course will introduce students to graduate study in early U.S. literature (both before and after the establishment of the nation). We will read a wide range of genres (sermon, poetry, slave narratives, political tracts, autobiography, epic and novel) from the 17th through the early 19th centuries. In reading and studying the archive of early American literature, we will also consider some of the major theoretical and historical problems central to current scholarship in the field. Where do we locate the historical “origins” of the field? What are the geographical borders of a colonial territory that is “owned” by many nations? How do you represent literary voices that were not documented by the emerging print culture of 18th-century North America? How do writers living in North America invent a national literature? How is literature used to establish and police racial, national and gendered identities? Although our study will interrogate the fallacies of American exceptionalism, we will also investigate the ways that the establishment of a legitimate national literary culture was an inextricable component of political legitimacy broadly conceived. 
Potential text(s): Anne Bradstreet, Jonathan Edwards, Mary Rowlandson, Samson Occom, Benjamin Franklin, Olaudah Equiano, Thomas Jefferson, Phillis Wheatley, Charles Brockden Brown, Hannah Webster Foster and Catherine Maria Sedgwick.
Potential assignments: Short response papers; an annotated bibliograpy; and a longer essay/final project.

English 6761: Introduction to Narrative and Narrative Theory
Instructor: Jim Phelan
This course focuses on one of the most significant and pervasive modes that humans have developed in order to come to terms with their experiences in the world: narrative. We will seek to establish a dialogue between primary narratives and narrative theory. We will ask both how narrative theoretical constructs can illuminate our selected narratives and how those narratives push back against or elude those constructs in ways that require responsible theorists to revise their ideas. In this way, the course seeks to engage students with the process of knowledge construction in narrative studies.
Guiding question(s): What is narrative? Why is it so pervasive? What are its dangers? How do we work on it, and how does it work on us?
Potential text(s): The theoretical readings will fall under the rubric of "Foundations and Innovations," which means we will read some older texts that remain crucial to work in the field: Aristotle's Poetics; Shklovsky's "Art as Technique"; Genette's Narrative Discourse; and some recent work on fictionality, cognitive narratology, intersectionality, and, most likely, narrative medicine. Our primary narratives will come from multiple media (print, graphic, film, television) and from the two macrogenres of fiction and nonfiction. Likely texts include Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, Jesmyn Ward's "On Witness and Respair," Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, a graphic narrative to be selected later and a range of short fictions and nonfictions.
Potential assignments: Exercises in reading theory; close reading paper; theory and interpretation paper; final paper designed by the student so that it's tailored to their interest.

English 6763: Graduate Workshop in Poetry
Instructor: Kathy Fagan Grandinetti
This is a workshop course for MFA poets. We will read and write poems and discuss strategies for improvement.
Potential text(s): Visiting poets and texts chosen to be shared by instructor and the class.
Potential assignments: Your poems; an aesthetics statement or learning journal; weekly poet presentations.

English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 
Instructor: Nick White 
This is a fiction workshop for graduate students enrolled in the MFA Program in Creative Writing. In this course we will explore and analyze the craft of writing fiction through reading, discussion and practice. The aim of this workshop is to cultivate a supportive community of writers invested in helping their classmates develop their craft and achieve their aesthetic goals. In this weekly workshop we will focus on the way original language and style, the creation of lifelike and surprising characters and the use of form and seamless structure support that undertaking. We will look closely at narrative structure, complex and intriguing characterization, vivid and detailed setting, scenes and summary, and so on. 
Potential text(s): Best American Short Stories, 2020 
Potential assignments: Several flash pieces and one or more longer stories or novel excerpts 

English 6768: Writing Creative Nonfiction
Instructor: Michelle Herman
This is the workshop in creative nonfiction for MFA students admitted to the program in nonfiction and other MFA students who feel confident enough to join us in the undertaking of writing and revising to completion personal essays, memoirs, lyric essays and any other of the many subgenres under the capacious umbrella of creative, or literary, nonfiction.
Potential text(s): We will create a class anthology of recommended readings to discuss—details to come.
Potential assignments: Short assignments based on prompts; two complete essays; revisions.

English 6768: Writing Creative Nonfiction 
Instructor: Lee Martin 
This is a creative nonfiction workshop designed for poets and fiction writers in our MFA program, and, if space permits, interested students outside the program. In other words, this is a workshop for those who have minimal or no experience with the genre. It's a safe space to try writing personal essays, lyric essays, pieces of memoir or whatever form of creative nonfiction that appeals to you. Most of our time will be spent studying and practicing the craft with students having the chance to present essays for our workshop discussion. I'll ask students to give me a significant revision of one essay at the end of the semester. 

English 6769: Special Topics in Creative Writing
Instructor: Kathy Fagan Grandinetti
This is a course for MFA students in creative writing who carry service loads either inside or outside the program. We will use this course as an internship experience while also exploring, with the help of professionals in the field, ways to translate service to post–MFA job skills.
Guiding question(s): How can we perform meaningful service for the MFA that can carry over into professional opportunities?
Potential assignments: Ongoing service work and detailed records of that work.

English 6778: Introduction to Graduate Studies in Film 
Instructor: Jesse Schotter 
This course provides students with an introduction to the questions, methods and approaches to film studies from the beginnings of film up to the contemporary era. We will examine films from different eras, cultures, and cinematic traditions and look at them through various critical and theoretical lenses. We will survey formalist, historicist, auteurist, genre-based, Marxist and feminist approaches. We will explore issues ranging from the rise of the New Wave to contemporary trends in world cinema and Slow Cinema, from the universalism of silent film to the current transition to digital cinema, from questions of race and representation to debates about film spectatorship. In so doing we will also touch on the histories of avant-garde and documentary films. 
Potential text(s): Daughters of the Dust, Bush Mama, Imitation of Life, Within Our Gates, The Last Laugh, Man with a Movie Camera, M, The Conversation, Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Vertigo, Killer of Sheep, Jeanne Dielmann, Chronicle of a Summer, Close-Up, Children of Men, Holy Motors, In the Mood for Love.
Potential assignments: Two presentations and a final seminar paper.

English 6779.02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Rhetoric—Renaissance to Contemporary 
Instructor: James Fredal 
Every student of rhetoric should have a basic grasp of rhetorical history, a nuanced understanding of modern and contemporary developments in rhetorical theory, a finely attuned critical eye and skill at close reading and rhetorical analysis, and the ability to locate interesting rhetorical texts and to unpack them in discussion and in writing. I want to honor the design of the course and review some important historical developments in rhetoric from the Renaissance forward, but the bulk of our time will be split between digging into modern and contemporary rhetorical theory and in practicing theoretically informed methods of rhetorical analysis and criticism. Class periods will alternate between discussing rhetorical theory, discussing methods of rhetorical analysis and performing critical readings of (primary) rhetorical texts. Students will take turns presenting one set of readings on an important theoretical term, concept or system and then teaching us how to perform one kind of rhetorical analysis (these two are not necessarily linked). Each presentation should be accompanied by a short outline/summary and annotated bibliography for that topic. 
Potential text(s): Articles like Charland's "Constitutive Rhetoric: The Case of the Peuple Québécois"; books like Burke's Rhetoric of Motives and Austin's How to Do Things with Words; additional primary texts.
Potential assignments: A presentation with an outline and annotated bibliography; short papers (including reading notes, rhetorical analyses and reviews of rhetoric journals); and one longer paper relevant to the student's interests (annotated bibliography, conference paper, traditional research paper, etc.).


English 7350.01: Folklore Theory—Tradition 
Instructor: Amy Shuman 
No concept is more central, or more fraught, in folklore studies than the concept of tradition. Long ago, folklorists rejected static concepts of tradition and instead understand traditionalizing as a process of recreating and inventing the past in the present. That said, some forms, stories, ways of making things endure, inviting the study of transmission of knowledge and cultural practices across generations and across cultures. Tradition is a weighty term, invoking questions of who controls the transmission of culture, what counts as transmittable and how is tradition from one context borrowed, appropriated and/or remade in another? To address these questions, we will explore tradition as part of the circulation of culture, centering not only on the appearance of stability in objects and practices but also on the complexity of performers, audiences, apprentices and masters and on the dynamic processes of transmission, including learning, memory, invention, imagination, transformation, creolization, appropriation, censorship and adaptation. 
Guiding question(s): How is the concept of tradition used to claim attachment (or distance) from the past? 
Potential text(s): Reading packet on Carmen 
Cross-listed in CompStd 

English 7858: Seminar in U.S. Ethnic Literature and Culture—U.S. Empire, Race and Sexuality
Instructor: Martin Joseph Ponce
This course brings to bear the frameworks of U.S. empire, race and sexuality to the comparative study of 20th- and 21st-century U.S. ethnic literatures. In what ways can the analytic of U.S. empire facilitate meaningful connections across different racial formations resulting from settler colonialism, chattel slavery, overseas war and colonization, immigration and refugee policies, economic and cultural neocolonialism, and neoliberal bio/necropolitics? What kinds of literary forms and techniques have African American, American Indian, Arab American, Asian American and Latinx authors used to address histories of colonial, racial and sexual domination and violence? What possibilities for communal survival, hope and solidarity do their works articulate? Situated in a moment of both resurgent racisms and racial reckonings, this course provides space for students to reflect critically on the sorts of knowledges, dialogues and institutional mechanisms that would be needed to instigate national-imperial accountability and justice for racially oppressed peoples.
Guiding question(s): What are the possibilities and limitations of using U.S. empire as a framework for analyzing and comparing Indigenous and U.S. ethnic literatures? What kinds of reading and research practices do these literatures call for that would be accountable to their historical and cultural specificities, political urgencies and formal techniques?
Potential text(s): Gina Apostol, Randa Jarrar, Layli Long Soldier, Philip Metres, Deborah Miranda, Shani Mootoo, Toni Morrison, Ixta Maya Murray, Tommy Orange, Claudia Rankine.
Potential assignments: Active participation, scholarly writing exercises, in-class presentation, midterm paper, research proposal and final project.

English 7860.01: Seminar in 20th-Century British/American Literature—Climate Culture 
Instructor: Thomas Davis 
Anthropogenic climate change has already altered the Earth system, giving us record-breaking weather events, inaugurating another mass extinction, and exacerbating existing inequalities across the globe. And yet we also know that both the responsibilities and vulnerabilities of climate change are unevenly distributed; historically, the capitalist class in the Global North have contributed the largest amount of carbon emissions since the 19th century while the poorest in the Global South bear the lion's share of the risk. What is the role of cultural production in the face of widespread ecological breakdown? How do we refashion knowledge systems built around the segregation of historical time and geologic time, human and nonhuman nature, and social relations and environment? 
This class will explore these questions through the vast and ever-growing field of literature, visual art, video games and other media that constitute "climate culture." We will undertake two large tasks: first, we will consider the ways the environmental humanities are reshaping modern and contemporary literary studies; second, we will explore the unique ways climate cultural production internalizes, configures, discloses and conceals the realities of life on an altered planet. We will take up a range of genres, forms and aesthetic practices as we try to develop alternative literary and cultural histories and employ reading practices that take seriously the epistemological, aesthetic and political challenges of climate change. 
Potential text(s): H.G. Wells, The Time Machine; Sam Selvon, A Brighter Sun; Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower; Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones; and poetry by Juliana Spahr, Craig Santos Perez, Ross Gay and Camille Dungy. We will ready widely in the environmental humanities and ecocriticism, including works by Stephanie LeMenager, Kyle Powys White, Heather Houser, Alexis Shotwell, Rob Nixon, Sonya Posmentier, Francois Verges, Anna Tsing and Nick Estes, among others. We may also explore recent video games and multimodal projects that address the Anthropocene. 
Potential assignments: Students will be expected to help run discussion, produced an annotated bibliography, offer a "report from the field" that addresses some form of climate culture and draft a conference paper. 

English 7871: Forms of Literature—Tackling the Same Beast Twice: Fiction and Nonfiction
Instructor: Michelle Herman
One forms seminar is required for all MFA students, but many take multiples iterations of "Forms," since the subject matter varies greatly. This autumn I will be looking at both fiction and nonfiction in my forms seminar–and specifically focusing on writers who write both...and even more specifically, writers who have taken on the same subject matter in their novels and memoirs, or in short stories and essays (or in some combination of the above). Potential texts include James Baldwin's, Sue William Silverman's, Jeanette Winterson's, our own Claire Vaye Watkins and Shirley Jackson's (not an exclusive list of possibilities!). We will read such paired work, and then we will write our own pairs: an essay and a story that tackles similar material of our own...and/or we will write a hybrid piece that includes both fiction and nonfiction. Explorations and experiments encouraged!

English 7879.01/02: Seminar in Rhetoric—Anti-Racist Rhetorics, Methods and Pedagogy 
Instructor: Wendy Hesford 
This seminar will highlight the important role that rhetoric, communication and writing studies can play in addressing racial inequalities and anti-black violence, and provide a context for graduate students to understand and critically engage with the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement in their teaching and scholarship. We will focus on the rhetorical dynamics of political protest, resistance and coalition building and work toward the development of anti-racist rhetorics, methods and pedagogies. 
The Black Lives Matter Movement provides a robust model for thinking about structural inequities, the complexities of intersectional identities and the paradoxes of diversity and inclusion initiatives within academic contexts. Black Lives Matter rallies and teach-ins at colleges and universities across the United States inspire us to consider issues of access and structural racism in the organization of disciplines, curriculum, pedagogy and the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students of color. Recently, the National Council of Teachers of English released a statement affirming #Black Lives Matter and called upon English educators and researchers "to commit time to studying and disrupting narratives of racism rendered complexly in the substance of our profession.” 
Guiding question(s): How can commitments to racial justice and social equity shape our scholarly, creative and pedagogical practices? 
Potential assignments: Students will be expected to submit weekly reading responses, team-teach one class-session and complete a final project. Options for final projects include, but are not limited to, a seminar paper, suite of pedagogical materials, or series of podcasts or video productions. 

English 7883: Community Literacies/Literacies in Communities
Instructor: Beverly Moss
Whether it is a focus on the work of literacy practitioners working in community literacy centers, community organizers using literacy for social justice or members of a social club engaging in literacy practices that advance the mission of the club, documenting the rich and complex literacy practices that occur beyond traditional academic settings has become an important part of the work of composition and literacy scholars. With the “social turn” in composition and literacy studies, writing and literacy scholars have begun to question the “what,” “how” and “why” certain literacy practices function and circulate in local community spaces—social clubs, community organizations, political organizations, community centers, churches and other community sites. Who are the literacy sponsors in these community spaces, and what are the constraints and affordances of these sponsorships? What is the relationship between a community site’s dominant literacy practices and that site’s identity? What leads to the success of some university-community literacy partnerships and the failure of others? What is the relationship between the literacy identities of communities and how these communities are positioned economically, politically, socially and rhetorically? What constitutes “community”? These are just some of the questions that we will pursue as we read scholarship in community literacy, examine community literacy programs, explore the strengths and weaknesses of university-community literacy partnerships and engage in designing and carrying out community-based literacy research.
Potential text(s): Cushman, The Struggle and the Tools, SUNY Press, 1998; Flower, Community Literacy and a Rhetoric of Public Engagement, (Project Muse) SIUP, 2008; Goldblatt and Jolliffe, Literacy as Conversation, UPittsburgh, 2020; Grabill, Community Literacy Programs and the Politics of Change, SUNY Press, 2001; Jolliffe, et al, The Arkansas Delta Oral History Project, (Project Muse) Syracuse University Press, 2015; Kinloch, Harlem on Our Minds, Teachers College Press, 2010; Long, Elenore, Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Local Publics, (Project Muse) West Lafayette, IN Parlor Press, 2008; Rosenberg, The Desire for Literacy: Writing in the Lives of Adult Learners, 2014 (an e-book is available); Rousculp, Tiffany, Rhetoric of Respect: Recognizing Change at a Community Writing Center, (Project Muse) NCTE, 2014.
Potential assignments: Lead one discussion and complete a final project.


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 5191: Internship in English Studies—Promotional Media Internship 
Scott DeWitt 
This internship opportunity will offer students experience in creating timely, relevant and compelling short-form promotional media (primarily video and audio) for the Department of English. Students will work closely with their supervisor as well as with key communications personnel to develop projects and set priorities and deadlines. English 5191, Promotional Media Internship, will be intensely hands-on and focus almost exclusively on digital media production and related work-management skills in professional settings. This internship site requires students to work both independently and collaboratively. This internship opportunity is especially applicable to English majors who would like to develop their digital media skills in a workplace setting and for those who have digital media skills with nowhere to apply them.  

Students with digital media skills are encouraged to enroll.  However, media skills are NOT a prerequisite; students will learn all media skills necessary for the class. (This internship does not fulfill the digital media requirement for the Writing, Rhetoric and Literacy concentration in the English Major.)

English 5194: Group Studies—Death 
 Hannibal Hamlin 

Humanity’s death rate remains steady at 100%. We all die. How we come to terms with death, or resist it, or deny it, varies among peoples and cultures. No surprise then that death has been so popular a topic throughout the history of the arts. Adam and Eve bring death into the world by eating the forbidden fruit. Gilgamesh mourns his beloved friend Enkidu. Priam and Troy mourn the death of Hector. David laments Saul and Jonathan. The pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the terra cotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the Treasury at Petra, and Ohio’s Serpent Mound are all tombs.

This course explores plays, poems, stories, novels and films about death. Aided by readings in sociology, philosophy and medical ethics, we will ask what death is, why and how we die, how we grieve, why we treat the dead as we do and why we imagine the dead returning to the living. Readings will include excerpts from Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Thomas Lynch’s The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade and Mary Roach’s Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Literary works will include excerpts from the Bible and Gilgamesh, Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others, David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, stories by M.R. James and Raymond Carver and poems by John Donne, Thomas Gray, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Tony Harrison.

English 5612: History of the Book in Modernity 

Instructor: David Brewer 

This course will explore books from the past two centuries as physical objects and consider what difference that makes for our understanding of the texts they bear and the uses to which they've been put. We will range widely in terms of genre, language and price point, drawing extensively on the holdings of The Ohio State University's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (in ways that are safe for the age of COVID). By the end of the course you'll understand not only why judging books by their covers is impossible to avoid, but also why it's actually a good thing: how it can help us make sense of the many ways in which books work in (and on) the world. And you'll be able to share your newfound knowledge with the world by collectively acting as the curators for an online exhibition in which you select, research, arrange and showcase objects from our collections. 

Potential assignments: A weekly object journal; a few short, informal presentations of objects from Ohio State's collections; a midterm scavenger hunt; active participation in discussions; and substantial contribution to a collectively curated online exhibit.

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 5664: Studies in Graphic Narrative—Comics Before the Comic Book, 1660-1930 

Instructor: Jared Gardner 

As a field, comics studies in the U.S. has devoted much of its energy to studying a relatively small body of work, most of it produced in the last 30 years with relatively little devoted to the long history of comics and cartooning before the rise of the comic book form in the late 1930s. One result of this is that the field has cut itself off from the insights that might be gained from this rich and understudied history before formats like the comic book and graphic novel were devised as solutions to historically specific challenges. This class will study the history of what was originally termed "caricature" until the middle of the 19th century when the newer terms "cartooning" and "comics" entered common usage. While the class will focus primarily on Anglophone texts, comics in the West was from the start an international form, involving much exchange and "borrowing." We will begin with the development of popular caricature in Bologna in the late 17th century, before following the migration of the new art to England where it will shape the graphic narrative work of William Hogarth and other 18th-century artists, culminating in the rise in the 1830s and 40s of the first periodicals devoted to comics and cartooning. This new medium—the illustrated periodical of the 19th century—will ultimately give way to the rise of the newspaper comics supplement at century's end, which will provide our final unit of focus. Along the way we will study changes in print history, including the tools and techniques of making and reproducing graphic images, as well as methods for engaging with both traditional and online archives dedicated to recovering and preserving this history. 

English 5710.01/.02: Introduction to Old English Language and Literature — The Language of Beowulf 
Christopher Jones 
This course introduces students to Old English language—the form of early English in which Beowulf and many other works were composed. While learning to read actual Old English texts, we will also examine aspects of the cultural history of early medieval England. There will be a series of short quizzes and translations assignments, as well as a final project devised by the student in consultation with the instructor. No prior study of linguistics or the Middle Ages is required to enroll. 

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 5721.01/.02: Graduate Studies in Renaissance Drama—The Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher: Kings, Courts, Suspense and Pretty Tricks 
Alan Farmer
Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher were two of the most popular and innovative playwrights in Renaissance England. Their plays were regularly performed at court, were best-sellers in print and were eventually monumentalized in a 1647 folio collection. The plays they wrote by themselves, collaboratively with each other and collaboratively with other playwrights permanently changed the genres and forms of English drama. Beaumont's wildly allusive The Knight of the Burning Pestle challenged audiences to follow its ironical, metatheatrical plots, while their collaboratively written tragicomedies Philaster, A King and No King and The Island Princess astonished and confused audiences with their complex plots and surprise endings.  In this course, we will read several well-known and lesser-known plays by Beaumont and Fletcher, as we consider how these plays engage with such important early modern topics as courts and kings, gender and sexuality, London and colonialism, revenge and tragedy. 

English 5722.01/02: Graduate Studies in Renaissance Poetry—John Milton's Paradise Lost 

Instructor: Hannibal Hamlin 

John Milton’s epic prequel to the Bible, Paradise Lost, is one of the greatest works of literature in English. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, if a person had three books on their shelf, one would be the King James Bible, and another Paradise Lost. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Milton invented Satan, at least as he’s been understood for the past several centuries. Romantic writers all wrote under Milton’s shadow, and his influence is obvious in Blake’s "Milton," Wordsworth’s "The Prelude," Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Keats’ "Hyperion" and Byron’s "Don Juan." Percy Shelley wrote that “nothing can exceed the energy and magnificence of the character of Satan in Paradise Lost.” Malcolm X read Paradise Lost in prison, like Shelley sympathizing deeply with the rebel Satan. Charles Darwin took the poem with him on The Beagle. Paradise Lost is at the heart of Melville’s Moby Dick, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials and Toni Morrison’s A Mercy. It was the basis for Haydn’s oratorio The Creation, and has influenced songs by Nick Cave, Eminem, David Gilmour, Marilyn Manson and Mumford and Sons. Film pioneer Sergei Eisenstein called Paradise Lost a “first rate school in which to study montage and audio-visual relationships.” Twelve-year-old Helen Keller read Paradise Lost on a train ride, and she named the John Milton Society for the Blind after the poet, who was blind before he wrote his greatest poems. Popular versions of Paradise Lost shaped the liturgies of early Mormonism, and marathon readings of the poem have become a ritual at colleges and universities across the United States. 

Potential texts: Paradise Lost in any standard edition, as well as some shorter works by Milton and others, and a selection of critical essays available on Carmen 

Potential assignments: A close reading, a seminar presentation, and a substantial critical essay 

English 6716.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Studies in the Middle Ages 

Instructor: Karen Winstead 

In this course you will sample the rich corpus of Middle English literature in light of current critical issues and approaches. We will consider how legends of dragon-slayers, virgin martyrs and holy transvestites variously enforced and repudiated norms of gender and sexuality. We will consider the representation of races, religions and ethnicities in medieval romance. We will examine the eccentric “autobiography” of Norfolk wife and visionary Margery Kempe. We will consider experiments in narrative form and voice in Malory’s Morte d'Arthur and the eruption of social tensions into Salvation History in the Mystery Plays. We will reflect on how the Middle Ages, reincarnated in poetry, novels, movies, TV series and video games, continues to capture our imagination and shape the ways we think about our present. 

Potential assignments: Requirements include short response papers and a final project you will develop in consultation with Dr. Winstead. The final project may well take the form of a seminar paper, but alternatives options are available depending on students' interests and expertise. 

English 6410: Introduction to Graduate Study in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences 
James Phelan 
This course, which functions both as an elective in the PhD program and as the core course for the Interdisciplinary MA in Medical Humanities and Social Sciences addresses the question of how our understanding of medicine alters when we shift from conceiving it primarily as a science to conceiving it as a cultural practice. That shift entails recognizing medicine as having political, ethical, ideological and even aesthetic dimensions. We will divide our inquiry into the following units: historical foundations, cultural perspectives on medicine, disability studies and narrative medicine. 

English 6662: Literary Publishing 
Marcus Jackson 
Theory and practice of editing and publishing literature for MFA students in creative writing. 

Disabilities Studies 6700: Introduction to Disability Studies for Graduate Students
Margaret Price
This course offers a multi-disciplinary introduction to Disability Studies (DS) as a field and theoretical frame. We will examine its emergence from the disability rights movement, focusing particularly on ways that DS’s history intersects with movements in civil rights and human rights, as well as efforts toward reform in schools, prisons and asylums. Our survey of the history of DS will include attention to the discipline’s intersection with other academic areas such as education, psychiatry and the arts. We’ll explore conventional models of disability, including the social model and medical model; we will also discuss ways these models have been challenged and have changed in the past 20 years through approaches including Black Disability Studies, feminist theory, queer studies, disability justice, inclusive/universal design and posthumanism.
GIS Elective: Disability Studies

English 6700.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in English 
Amanpal Garcha 
To introduce you to graduate study in English, this course will help you understand some answers to a number of large questions: What are some of the main theoretical assumptions that underlie the field’s practices?  What counts as research in English studies? What counts as knowledge?  What are some of its concrete, lived realities– in terms of its system of graduate education, the job prospects of its scholars and its mechanisms of publication and advancement?
We will approach these questions in a variety of ways– through close readings of literary texts, discussions of essays in literary theory, reviews of recent and past examples of criticism in English studies and analysis of research by OSU faculty members.  To ground our discussions throughout the semester, we will often focus on a few particular problems in literary and cultural studies including the following: the history of nationalism and its relationship to language and literature; how to understand what language refers to and how it gains meaning; the history and theory of prose narrative, one of the contemporary age’s most ubiquitous, distinctive literary forms; the concept of social power and that concept’s relationship to language; and the ideas of individuality, social collectivity and social action as it is conceived by some scholars in our field.  To ground our discussions even further, we will take Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway as our object text, which will help us understand something about literary history, cultural studies, popular culture, rhetorical analysis, theoretical controversies and how research is and has been done.
The tasks of understanding and contextualizing these challenging issues will take up a large amount of class time and discussion; yet in the course, you will also receive periodic instruction in some of the conventions of academic writing as well as receive guidance on how to navigate the specific demands of OSU’s graduate program.

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 6747.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in British Literature of the Victorian Period 

Instructor: Clare Simmons 

By the time that John Ruskin wrote The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century in the 1880s, Victorians were well aware that their industrial “progress” had affected the landscape, the air quality, and the lives of the community as a whole. In this course we will read a wide selection of Victorian texts that represent in different ways the relationship between nineteenth-century Britons and their environment. We will also read some recent examples of related ecocriticism. Although the environment is the organizing focus, we will also bear in mind other concerns, such as the representation of race, gender, and sexuality, and particularly Britain’s relationship with its colonies. No prior coursework in Victorian literature is necessary. 

Guiding questions: How did the Victorians respond to a changing world and new ideas about the relationship between humans and nature? 

Potential texts: Texts will include the novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Bleak House by Charles Dickens, After London by Richard Jefferies, The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and News from Nowhere by William Morris. We will also read poetry by Tennyson, Arnold, the Brownings, the Rossettis and others, as well as prose by Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Mary Seacole and Charles Darwin. 

Potential assignments: Course requirements for those taking a letter grade include active participation, including posting to an online discussion board; a short evaluation of a relevant critical essay; a presentation; and a final project in the form of a term paper or equivalent. Course requirements for those taking P/NP are negotiable. 

English 6750.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Literacy 
Beverly Moss 
Introduction to advanced study of the development of reading, writing and the study of literacy; attention to historical, theoretical, ideological and technological issues and change. 

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 6756.01/02: American Literature, 1840-1914 

Instructor: Elizabeth Renker 

This class serves three essential purposes for graduate students.  First, it will be a methods class that will introduce you to the current scholarly discussions about traditional “movements” and “periods” in American literary history. We will discuss their practical utility; their limitations; how recent scholars have challenged them; and meaningful pedagogies for addressing these theoretical, methodological, and practical issues in your own future writing, reading, scholarship, and teaching.  Second, it will develop your expertise in U.S. literature from 1840-1914 through a necessarily brief but tactical survey of poems, fiction, and nonfiction, including work by canonical writers as well as by little-known, recently rediscovered, and even anonymous writers, all of whom were engaged in discursive exchange in the public sphere.  We will interrogate the major conventional frameworks for organizing materials written during these tumultuous decades (including the rise of the short story, Transcendentalism, the Civil War, Realism, Naturalism, and The Gilded Age), thickening them with recent scholarly challenges, approaches, and arenas of inquiry (such as periodical culture; transatlanticism; gender; slavery; Reconstruction, civil rights, and Jim Crow; regionalism; archival silences, and so on).  Our goal will be to ground our work in traditional scholarly narratives about this period more broadly as well as to understand how and why those designations have changed.  Third, 6756 will explore practical ways to integrate current approaches to this complex era in U.S. literary history into your own writing and teaching. I have thus designed class requirements to function at two levels: to serve students’ graduate-level training in this period and in your studies more generally and to serve as methods you can employ with your own student populations. For example, while I do not typically include quizzes in my graduate-level classes, I do include very brief, short-answer quizzes in my undergraduate classes; our class will employ this practical tool to explore its utility and how we might make it serve the learning goals of our various teaching situations.  Across the semester, we will discuss scholarly strategies for positioning and presenting our work in the academic profession as well as pedagogical strategies for effective teaching of our course content.   The class includes a unit that will train you in the basics of archival research. 

Course Materials: I have ordered a bundle at the OSU Bookstore with special discount pricing. It contains Vols. B and C of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, ed. Robert S. Levine, 9th edition and the Norton Critical Edition of Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition.  Additional readings will be provided through Carmen.  

Course Requirements: On a daily basis: attendance, participation, very brief short-answer quiz, and short oral summary for the class of one critical article of your choice related to the day's reading.  Writing assignments:  annotated bibliography about your archival primary sources (10 pages) and final project (12-15 pages). 

English 6757.02/22: African American Literature, 1900-Present 

Instructor: Adeleke Adeeko 

This course will introduce you to the dominant engagements in African American literature—mainly fiction and poetry—and criticism. Determinants of just representations and strategies of asserting life affirming ethics will recur constantly in seminar discussions.

Guiding questions: Ethics of identity in literary writing

Potential texts: Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects; Douglass’s The Heroic Slave; Harper’s Iola Leroy; Washington’s Up From Slavery; Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God; Wright’s Native Son; Morrison’s Beloved; Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo; Beaty’s Sellout; a course anthology of poetry; and a course anthology of theory and and criticism. This list is tentative and not exhaustive. We may also discuss two films: Jordan Peele's Get Out and Denzel Washington's Great Debaters.

Potential assignments: Lead an assigned class session and write two analytical papers: (a) mid-semester essay of no more than 2,000 words and (b) end of term paper of about 5,500 words.

Cross-listed in African American and African Studies 

English 6760.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Postcolonial Literature and Theory 
Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́ 
Introduction to graduate-level study of representative examples of the literary, cultural and theoretical texts that inform postcolonial studies.

English 6761.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Narrative and Narrative Theory 
Amy Shuman 
An introduction to the foundations of narrative study. The course provides the tools necessary to do narrative analysis for a thesis or dissertation on any sort of narrative text, including both narratives collected in interviews or on the web or in published fiction. We will discuss a wide variety of narratives including folk tales, everyday conversational narratives, stories about illness and disability, refugee stories and stories about the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of everyday life. We will analyze narratives from a variety of sources, including published fiction and non-fiction, internet blogs and other media, and stories recorded in everyday life.

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

English 6764: Workshop in Screenwriting 

Instructor: Angus Fletcher 

In this course, we’ll leverage the skills you’ve developed in your graduate fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction classes to learn how to write for TV or film, any genres, any audience, from Fleabag to Little Women to that obscure French flick you saw while backpacking though Canada to your favorite guilty pleasure on Hulu.
Instead of imposing a universal screenwriting structure, we’ll work together to analyze your creative influences (in any medium, from music to visual arts to lyric poetry to serial narrative) to tailor a story structure to your own personal creative, cultural, social, and aesthetic commitments. We'll also explore how screenwriting can help you sharpen storytelling and visual communication skills that you can translate back into any other mode of writing, from novels to chapbooks to personal essays.
So, whether your dream is to write a story that uplifts the billions of souls on this planet who are too lazy to read, or to put what you love about your favorite films and tv series into your prose or your poetry, we'll tailor this class to the secret screenwriter in you.

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

English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Fiction 

Instructor: Lee Martin 

This is a graduate-level fiction workshop for students in our MFA program. The workshop will ask us to consider narrative in the service of literary fiction. We’ll consider stories that are more character-driven than plot-driven. Literary fiction shows us something about the complexity of human existence by concentrating on characters and their conflicting wants, needs, fears, hopes, etc. I don’t mean to suggest that these types of stories are without plots. Plenty happens, but what happens externally is less important than what happens internally to the characters involved and what it means for the rest of their lives. In other words, events occur because of the types of people characters are, and the plots that unfold always reveal something new about the inner lives of those characters. We might put it this way: characters create plots, and plots reveal characters. We’ll think about the technical choices writers make and the effects these choices have on the process of storytelling. Reading and analyzing from a writer’s perspective gives us a chance to think about how stories are made and also an opportunity to build our own technical repertoire when it comes to constructing narratives. 

English 6765.01: Graduate Workshop in Poetry 
Kathy Fagan Grandinetti 
A graduate-level workshop in the writing of poetry.  

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

English 6767.01/02: 20th-Century Literature, 1945-Present 

Instructor: Brian McHale 

What was postmodernism? As the verb’s past tense implies, here at the beginning of the twenty-first century we seem to have emerged at the other end of the postmodern period. Whether or not that is actually the case, we are certainly now in a better position than ever before to reflect on postmodernism as a period. Looking back on the postmodern period, we will read Anglophone texts in several genres – novel, short fiction, lyric poem, long poem, drama, graphic narrative – by writers of diverse identities – women and men, writers of color, LGBTQ writers – ranging in time from the mid-century through the “long sixties” (1954-1975) and the postmodern decades (the seventies through the nineties) down to the new millennium.

Potential Texts: Acker, Kathy. Empire of the Senseless; Ashbery, John. Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror; Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home; Beckett, Samuel. Endgame; Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange; Carter, Angela. The Bloody Chamber; Díaz, Junot. The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man; Gray, Alastair. Lanark; Heaney, Seamus. North; Hejinian, Lyn. My Life; Hughes, Langston. Montage of a Dream Deferred; Jones, Leroi (Amiri Baraka). Dutchman; Kushner, Tony. Angels in America; Long-Soldier, Layli. Whereas; Morrison, Toni. Beloved; Paley, Grace. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute; Pinter, Harold. The Homecoming; Plath, Sylvia. Ariel: The Restored Edition; Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49; Rankine, Claudia Citizen; Rushdie, Salman. Midnight’s Children

Potential Assignments: Lead one class discussion; prepare an annotated bibliography; submit a conference-length paper (10-12 pages); regular participation.

Guiding Questions: In completing this course, you will… familiarize yourself with classic English-language texts of imaginative literature from 1945 through the beginning of the 21st century; practice thinking critically, theoretically and historically about texts in a range of genres, by writers of diverse identities; develop a working definition or model of postmodernism.

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 

This course is devoted to furthering MFA students' development of the craft of creative nonfiction. Through the study of published nonfiction pieces and craft texts, development of new work, peer critiques, and revision, students will continue to refine their individual approaches and further their understanding of how to most effectively use craft elements to shape their work. Open only to MFA students in creative writing.

Assignments: Creative work, revisions, and peer responses

Guiding Questions: What are students' goals for their essays, and how can they best achieve them through craft decisions?

Additional Materials: Internet access for use of Carmen and Zoom

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

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

 English 6769: Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing (Special Topics) 
Kathy Fagan Grandinetti 
A special topics course in the writing of fiction, poetry and/or creative nonfiction.

English 6769: Special Topics in Creative Writing 

Instructor: Michelle Herman 

The goal for this class is to prepare you as much as humanly possible for what lies ahead, careerwise, writing lifewise, publishingwise, and otherwise. We'll cover everything from artist statements, grant applications, research on and querying literary agents, writing book proposals, and giving readings of your work to academic cover letters and CVs, job talks, interviews, and non-academic careers [not an all-inclusive list by any means].

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 6778.01/02: Introduction to Graduate Study in Film and Film Theory 
Sean O'Sullivan  
An advanced survey of the methodologies, contexts and development of film and film theory.

English 6781: Introduction to the Teaching of First-Year English 
Edgar Singleton 
Introduction to the theory and practice of teaching first-year English. Required of new GTAs in English 

English 6788.01: Studies in the Theory and Imaginative Writing 
Nick White 
Instruction in imaginative writing as a method for studying scholarly issues in English, e.g., disability narratives, ethnicity and literature, gender and genre. 

English 6788.01: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Imaginative Writing 

Instructor: Marcus Jackson 

In this course, we will read and discuss selections of contemporary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction that explore race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and politics. Our aim will be gaining a fuller understanding of the stylistic and formal approaches different writers choose when taking on large-scale subjects involving identity and society, so that our findings may inform our own imaginative/creative writing processes.

Assignments: Weekly readings and discussions with a final paper.

English 6788.01: Introduction to Graduate Study in Digital Media 
Scott DeWitt 
Explores how scholars in English studies use computer technologies and multiple media to make meaning, represent and analyze information, teach and conduct research.

English 7350.02/22: Theorizing Folklore II—The Ethnography of Performance 
Dorothy Noyes 
Performance as a heightened mode of communication characteristic of vernacular cultural process, studied in the context of ongoing social interaction. Folklore GIS course. 

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 7818.01/02: Seminar in Later Medieval Literature—Romance and the Birth of the Novel
 Ethan Knapp 
No form looms larger in the cultural and political imagination of the medieval period than that of chivalric romance.  This seminar will investigate both the history and theory of the form.  We will read the foundational medieval texts, including the work of Chrétien de Troyes, the Gawain poet, Thomas Malory and the English versions of the romances of Marie de France.  We will also read a selection of recent critical and theoretical works thinking both about the ways that Romance functions generically, as well as the ways in which it survives both as an element within the development of the novel and as a crucial set of ideas and images in the modern understanding of the medieval world.  This course should thus be very useful both for students of the medieval period, but also any student interested in the history of the novel, or the shapes of contemporary medievalism.

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 7840.01/02: Seminar in English Romantic Literature—Inhabiting the Genres of Modernity: Lyric, Pastoral, Romance 
Instructor: Jacob Risinger  
In this seminar, we'll investigate the momentous transformation of three key genres at the turn of the nineteenth century and explore the repercussions of these transformations on into the twenty-first century.  Taking stock of literary history and critical theory, we'll also think about the competing claims of historicist and presentist perspectives in literary study. 

English 7850.01/02: Seminar in U.S. Literatures before 1900—American Radicalism: The Literature of Protest in the U.S., 1776-1906 
Elizabeth Hewitt 
Although founded in revolution and divided during a violent civil war, the United States has nevertheless historically been associated with an ethos of political moderation and a suspicion of radical social change. This course has two goals. First, to study the enormous archive of American radical literature from Thomas Paine to Emma Goldman. Second, to ask why, despite this rich tradition, the enduring lesson that has been taken is filial piety. We will organize our study around the imaginative, political and economic writing about:  1) labor rights and the socialist tradition in the U.S.; 2) abolitionism and anti-racist movements in the U.S.; 3) women's rights and anti-marriage movements in the U.S.; and 4) the sovereignty rights of Native American tribal nations. Likely authors we will read include: Tom Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, David Walker, William Apess, Robert Owen, Martin Delany, Henry David Thoreau, Orestes Brownson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Fuller, Rebecca Harding Davis, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ida B. Wells, Emma Goldman, Simon Pokagon, Upton Sinclair and Theresa Malkiel. The course will provide graduate students with broad exposure to nineteenth-century U.S. literature and will also emphasize political and economic theory and history. Our theoretical readings will include work by Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, W.E.B. Dubois, C.L.R. James and Hannah Arendt.

English 7861.01/02: Narrative Theory 

Instructor: James Phelan 

This course will examine the relationships among narrative, narrative theory, and social justice as it explores questions such as the following: how can narrative be marshalled to advance the cause of social justice? Are fictional or nonfictional narratives likely to be more efficacious, and how do we decide? How can narrative theory, especially feminist and rhetorical approaches, offer insight into narratives whose purposes include promoting social justice? What do narrative theory and critical race theory have to learn from each other? By the end of the course, we all should have a deeper understanding of the relationships among the three overarching concepts of the course as well as of some remarkable narratives composed over the last seventy-five years.

Texts: The list is still under construction, but I expect to include Ellison, Invisible Man; Morrison, Beloved; Whitehead, The Underground Railroad and Nickel Boys; Moonlight (film, dir. Barry Jenkins); Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends and The Lost Children Archive; one or more graphic narratives.

Assignments: Agenda settings; one or two short analytical papers; abstract of final paper; presentation; and final paper. Writing assignments can be tailored to students' interests.

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

English 7871.01: Forms of Literature 

Instructor: Elissa Washuta 

This craft seminar will focus on form in creative nonfiction: what it is and how to look at it (whether or not it calls attention to itself), with particular attention paid to the lyric essay and other recent developments in approaches to narrative. Students will engage in craft analysis of essays and book-length works, and they will draft essays and discuss form in their own work.

This course is open to all MFA students in creative writing. Other graduate students with experience in creative nonfiction writing may be admitted, subject to instructor approval.

Guiding Questions: What is "form" in creative nonfiction, and what decisions can we make to shape its implementation?

English 7872.01/02: Seminar in English Language 

Instructor: Gabriella Modan 

For students interested in examining discourse as part of a linguistics, literature, humanities, or social science research project, this course will give you the tools to investigate how language structure (not just content) shapes perceptions, values, social interaction, and power struggles. The course provides an overview of the major approaches to analyzing spoken and written discourse used in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, including interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, ethnography of communication, pragmatics, and critical discourse analysis. We will explore how the contexts of various spheres of social interaction both shape and are shaped by discourse that occurs in or in relation to them. The approach that we will take to analyzing texts is a micro-level one, focusing on the details of linguistic structure and how those details connect to more macro spheres of social engagement. Students will collect examples of spoken and written texts, and analyze them in short paper assignments.
The format of this course will be synchronous distance learning. Before each class, students will write and post a reading response. Class discussion will be organized around these responses, either with the class as a whole or in breakout groups, depending on the size of the class. Most classes will also include hands-on analysis of spoken or written discourse, in order to help develop the analytical skills that discourse analysis entails.

Texts: Deborah Cameron, Working with Spoken Discourse articles and book chapters

Assignments: Weekly reading responses, transcription assignment, 3 short papers, one final conference-length paper.

Additional Materials: Students must have the capability to audio record and play back recordings.

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 7878.01/02: Seminar in Film and Media Studies—African American Film, 1960-Present 

Instructor: Ryan Friedman 

This course examines the history of African American film since the 1960s, a transformative period both within the American film industry and society at large. We will trace the recurring themes in African American cinema from that period through our present moment and familiarize ourselves with the diverse approaches to film artistry (narrative form, composition, genre, mise-en-scene) developed by African American filmmakers working both independently and in Hollywood. We will read relevant critical and theoretical texts in order to contextualize the visual materials, paying particular attention to how black film artists interrogate racist conventions of screen representation, negotiate questions of authorship and cultural authority and reflect upon social injustices, like state violence and the systematic devaluation of Black lives. 

Potential texts: Films may include I Am Not Your Negro, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Killer of Sheep, Bush Mama, Daughters of the Dust, Malcolm X, Pariah, Moonlight 

Potential assignments: Essays and presentations.

English 7879.01/02: Seminar in Rhetoric--Special Topic: Precarious Rhetorics: Contagions, Pandemics, and Catastrophe Capitalism
 Wendy Hesford 
This interdisciplinary seminar in rhetoric draws together research in border studies, carceral studies, critical race theory, disability studies, feminist legal studies, and modern and contemporary rhetorical studies through investigations of how the discourse of precarity is projected onto certain bodies—but not others--and how these bodies take on the burden of representation in the context of a global pandemic such as COVID-19. Through a materialist-rhetorical analysis of public policies, news and social media, social protect movements and art activism, and literary works, this course exposes the differential distribution of precariousness along the lines of race, class, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, nation, and citizenship.

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 7880.01/02: Teaching Writing Online 

Instructor: Susan Lang 

In this course, we will explore what it means to teach writing online and to teach online writing. Teaching writing online has a nearly four-decade history of research and scholarship, much of it conducted by first-year writing programs and instructors; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more instructors and students confronting what it means to teach and learn online at all levels. While much of the early exploration of teaching writing online involved the teaching of print-based genres using digital technologies, new platforms and tools have enabled a variety of online writing opportunities that significantly alter or move beyond the print genres of the last century. The course has the following goals: to familiarize students with the key texts and tenets of online writing pedagogy, including the role of writing in relation to other common pedagogical components; to enable students to explore current tools and technologies used in teaching writing online and in doing online writing; and to explore how the sudden shift to online writing instruction because of COVID-19, whether synchronous or asynchronous, has thrust traditionally vulnerable populations of students and instructors, as well as those newly at risk, into unchartered territory, and what this means for the future of writing instruction. 

Potential assignments: Active class participation; weekly discussion posts; a literature review on some aspect of the course topic; and a completed course syllabus for a course the you will or hope to teach online, along with a short presentation that explains the development of the syllabus 

English 7881.01/02: Teaching Basic Writing 
Evonne Halasek 
A graduate seminar in the history, theory and practice of the teaching of basic writing, English 7881.02 examines the historical, intellectual, social, political, institutional and disciplinary conversations and contexts surrounding the teaching of basic (aka remedial, developmental, non-credit bearing) writing at the university. Students in the course will conduct disciplinary research, observe basic writing classrooms, interview basic writing instructors and administrators and examine the implications of national and state higher education policy on the teaching of basic writing and the students who enroll in basic writing courses. Course readings will come largely from disciplinary and educational scholarly literature (e.g., Journal of Basic Writing, Harvard Educational Review, College Composition and Communication) but will also include public sector writing to examine representations of basic writing and basic writers. Assignments may include reading responses, annotated bibliographies, policy briefs and course syllabi and assignments. 

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 7889.01/02: Digital Media Studies Seminar—The Politics of the Interface Through Critical Access Studies 

Instructor: Margaret Price 

This seminar focuses on critical access in digital space and time. Critical access studies, as defined by Aimi Hamraie (2017), questions “historical perspectives of the user as a white, middle-class, productive citizen [and pushes] toward a more robust account of the politics of knowing-making” (14). Together, we will build a shared vocabulary that includes key concepts such as access, knowing-making, mode (modality), retrofit, participatory design, speculative design and crip spacetime. Our work together will not seek to determine what is or is not accessible in digital media, but rather to explore the emergent effects of interaction in various interfaces, or, as Jos Boys (2014) puts it, the “acts of translation between bodies, events, artefacts, and space.” Students will read, discuss, and write about current conversations in critical access studies and digital media studies, and will also acquire practical skills in captioning, description and design of accessible online spaces/events. Drawing upon the work of scholars including Adam Banks, Janine Butler, Elizabeth Ellcessor, Gerard Goggin and Christopher Newell, Remi Yergeau, and Sean Zdenek, these skills will be approached critically and creatively, as sources of invention and knowledge. 

Potential assignments: Online discussion and reading responses; short multi-modal exercises; and a final seminar paper 


English 7891.01/02: Seminar in Disability Studies Theory—Disability and the Early/Modern: Wheeling Strangers of Here and Everywhere

Instructor: Amrita Dhar 

In this seminar, we shall study disability in the context of a global early modernity, with specific attention to the crossings between race, empire and disability. We shall also study this early modernity’s dialogic relationship to the present, particularly through explorations of some generative afterlives of canonical texts. Here are some of the questions we shall consider: how was disability perceived, represented and negotiated in premodern societies? How was disability theorized in premodern societies—and particularly, for purposes of this class focused on literatures in English, how was disability theorized by premodern English authors on stage and page at the moment of inception of the British empire? What was—is—the relationship between disability and racial formation? And how do these theorizations, representations and negotiations continue to inform current conceptions and representations of disability and its intersections with gender, race, sexuality and nationality/citizenship/immigration/ documentation?

Texts: Manuscript texts: anonymous ballads, and culinary and medicinal recipes. Printed texts: anonymous broadsides and plays, accounts of actual and second-hand travel, Othello (Shakespeare), King Lear (Shakespeare), Paradise Lost (Milton).

Assignments: A class discussion lead, a methods presentation and a final project, alongside consistent class preparation and participation.

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 7895.01/02: Research Methods Seminar 

Instructor: Christa Teston 

This research methods seminar tether theory with practice by devoting half of class time to reading, discussing, and critiquing extant research method/ology scholarship in the field and the other half to designing and executing your own a six-week pilot study. You’ll learn how to navigate the institutional review board, compose a research protocol, draft a methods section or chapter, and outline what could become a publishable manuscript. By the end of the course, you will become adept at describing the current methodological state of our discipline, and be able to articulate your scholarly piece therein; know how to work with IRBs and compose a research protocol; feel confident when writing a methods section or chapter; and, through a six-week pilot study, understand the iterative nature of asking a researchable question, designing a study, collecting data, analyzing data, drawing conclusions and drafting a publishable manuscript. In class, we'll negotiate how these learning objectives will be achieved (i.e., either through collaboratively or individually written reports/disciplinary maps). 

Potential assignments: IRB protocol, methods map, pilot study (research memos; final write-up) and research philosophy 

English 8858.01: Vernacular Ecologies of the Central Appalachian Forests: A Research Practicum

Instructor: Mary Hufford

A vernacular forest emerges through processes of ordinary living; through forms of expression and customary practice that render human and forest communities mutually constitutive.  This seminar, which focusses on communities of Central Appalachia’s mixed mesophytic forest, is designed for graduate students in folklore, anthropology, environmental studies, geography and allied fields.  In scholarly literature over the past three decades indicating a global trend toward legitimizing traditional ecological knowledge and the validity of socio-ecological systems as objects of research and stewardship, Central Appalachia is strikingly invisible.  Yet a small but growing body of archeological, environmental, and ethnographic literature suggests that vernacular ecological knowledge within the region is historically deep, persistent, and vital to the cultivation of food security and livelihoods in a time of climate crisis.  To gain entry into the rich social lives of Central Appalachian forest species and their habitats, you will design a place-based ethnography that engages vernacular ecological knowledge in a Central Appalachian forest community of your choosing.  Using a performance theory framework, we will identify forms of social communication – conversational genres, festive events, customary practices etc. -- that serve as matrices for a vernacular forest community of human and more-than-human inhabitants. We will ask: how might we engage such forms as both means and objects of shared inquiry?  Methods will include a literature survey, archival research, and at least one interview (online or telephone).  Your final project will be a well-wrought proposal which you will submit to an appropriate funding source.  

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