ENGL 2123: Creative Writing
This course is designed for the very beginning creative writer, but it is a writing intensive class. The reading of poetry, the reading of fiction, the writing of poetry and the writing of fiction will be emphasized in this class, along with the beginning journey of a professional creative writing career. Because students will read and discuss work by published (living or dead) creative writers, and those writers are human beings with real lives, very real human issues such as race, gender, sexuality, politics, etc. may arise during class discussions.
ENGL 2123: Introduction to Creative Writing
Prerequisite is completion of 1213 and departmental permission. Introduction to literary creative writing, especially creative nonfiction and poetry, and to the structural foundations of literary writing. Major emphasis on student writing.
ENGL 2133.001 Autobiographical Writing
Dr. Sandra Tarabochia
This course is designed to help you tell the stories you wish to tell about your life. If you work hard in this class, you will develop your skills as a writer, increase your control over the process of writing, and hone your awareness of how a sense of audience, persona, tone, and other elements of style can influence how readers make sense of and respond to your writing. English 2133 is designed around the “workshop” method—which means you will regularly work in groups to share your own writing and respond thoughtfully to that of others. Although the focus of the class will be developing your writing and reading/discussing your classmates’ writing, we will also read and analyze pieces by American essayists. Required texts will likely include: David Sedaris: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Sarah Vowell: Take the Cannoli, Smith & Sidonie: Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives, and a packet of readings from King’s Copy.
ENG 2283, Critical Methods
Professor Ronald Schleifer
This course will examine various critical methods of studying English literary and cultural texts by focusing on speech-act theory, the theory that examines the power as well as the knowledge conveyed by language. Speech-Act Theory, which focuses on the "performativity" of interpersonal and social articulations of language, allows us to understand the social bonding and forcefulness of language. As such, it is particularly useful for students pursuing careers in law, medicine, and even business as well as those who are interested in the literary and other arts.
ENGL 2443: Film Narrative
Amit R. Baishya
Screening Time: T 3.00-5.00
This course is an introduction to film analysis and film narrative. We will cover issues such as film form, techniques, styles and genre. The goal of this course is to equip you with the basic analytical tools that are required for a sustained critical engagement with cinema. We will begin with a section that covers basic film terminology and history. We will then transition to our second section on genre (we will cover film noir, the western, documentary and the monster movie). We will end by devoting time to a specific genre from a specific time period:70s horror. Movies we will watch may include Citizen Kane, Singin’ in the Rain, Rear Window, Chinatown, Do the Right Thing, Modern Times, Sunset Boulevard, Shane, Grizzly Man, Godzilla, Halloween, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead and Jaws. You will be graded on attendance and participation, a short formal analysis paper, a longer research paper, a group presentation and four quizzes.
- James Monaco—How to Read a Film: Movies, Media and Beyond (Oxford University Press, 4th Edition).
- Jeffrey Geiger and R.L. Rutsky—Film Analysis: a Norton Reader (W.W. Norton and Co.)
- Jason Zinoman— Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror (Penguin).
ENGL 2733: American Indian Literature: Early and Traditional
For untold tens of thousands of years, story, in American Indian culture, has manifested itself in many different ways. Story is in ceremony, in daily life, and in written works, in petroglyphs, passed from group to group, individual to individual, ancient generations to future generations, bequeathed to us, helping us to understand a least a bit of their world and to see how it connects with ours. From ancient codices to oral traditions told in a graphic collection to a sermon preached at an execution to the world’s only Indian Cowgirl novel, this class surveys just a few of the many literary contributions from North America’s Native people from precontact through 1945. Writers will include William Apess, Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa), Mourning Dove, Samson Occom, John Joseph Matthews, and Darcy McNickle among others. Students will take a midterm and a final in addition to weekly assignments.
ENGL 2773-001 American Literature: Eventful Histories of Early America
This survey examines significant writings of the Americas from 1492 to the U.S. Civil War. To confront such a lengthy, long-ago history, our strategy will be to identify how our readings contend with the novelty and tumult that surround two events: the European colonization of the Americas and the emergence of the United States as a constitutional republic. We will appreciate with particular acuity that to name these two remarkable events without reference to genocide and slavery would diminish the complexity of what happened and elide a stunning human toll. While we will investigate key historical events of the period in as much detail as possible, as students of literature we will be most attentive to how textual form shapes historical understanding. Readings will include John Smith’s original tale of “Pocahontas”; Shakespeare’s The Tempest; Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative; court records of the Salem Witch Trials; Equiano’s autobiography; Royal Tyler’s play The Contrast; “Rip Van Winkle”; the Cherokee Memorials; essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Margaret Fuller; stories by Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. Students will prepare two essays of four to six pages, a group presentation about one of the witches executed in Salem in 1692, and a final examination.
ENGL 2773: American Literature before the Civil War
This course will survey early American literature before the Civil War with an emphasis on the influence of the classical tradition of republicanism during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Among the authors we will read are John Winthrop, Royall Tyler, Hannah Webster Forster, Thomas Paine, John and Abigail Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, and Rebecca Harding Davis.
ENGL 3103: Advanced Composition: Chicana and Chicanx Rhetorics
Chicana scholar Kendall Leon has articulated "Chicana" as a rhetorical term: "Chicana/o/[x] people created 'Chicano' identity to speak to the experiences of living in the United States with a connection to a Latino/a/[x] background, and for most, recognizing an indigenous connection as well (which terms like Hispanic and Latin American erase)." In other words, while identities like Hispanic and Latino were created for census data, identities like Chicana are intentional and were created from within the community to account for the breadth of Chicana lived experience.
Chicana rhetorics, then, are the rhetorical strategies and concepts that communities who identify as Chicana use to create community identity as well social and political change. This course will trace the rhetorics put to use by Chicanas in various mediums, genres, and contexts: writing, activism, art/music, and more recently brujería (witchcraft) feminism in order to better understand how Chicanas have contributed to larger social and political movements, and also to gain a better sense of how Chicanas contribute to rhetorical study. Due to the ways in which Chicanx identities have emerged in relation to Chicana feminisms and rhetorics, we will also look at how LGBTQIA Chicanxs have created the Chicanx identity to account for their experiences in ways that often emerge from folks who also identify as Chicana (i.e. Gloria Anzaldúa).
ENGL 3113: Nature Writing: Remapping, Remembering, and Reimagining Norman, OK
In this course we will approach Nature & Environmental writing from the perspective of maps and Indigenous cartography (mapping). In Another America: Native American Maps and the History of Our Land, Mark Warhus explains that maps created by Indigenous communities “wove together geography, history, and mythology.” As such, the final project for the course will be a group project in which we will contribute to an ongoing oral history-based map of Norman, OK that will also bring together geography and mythology. Our theme for this semester will be migration, and we will consider how our map can be useful for Norman's immigrant community. We will begin by reading about community-based methodologies in order to ethically ground our collecting of oral histories. Next, we will look closely at Indigenous perspectives on place and space, eventually focusing on cartographic histories from Mexican Codices. *Students will be required to attend and/or volunteer for at least 3 local events related to Norman's American Indian community and/or Norman's immigrant community.
ENGL 3123 Fiction Writing
An intensive reading and writing course designed to increase the writer’s knowledge and skill in the craft of the short story. Through reading a wide range of short fiction, texts on craft, and fellow writers’ work, students will deepen their understanding of literary short fiction and elements of craft. Coursework includes creating new short stories, written responses to assigned readings, and written and oral analysis of fellow writers’ work. Prerequisite: ENGL 2123
ENGL 3143.001 Rhetoric, Literacy and Sexuality
Dr. Sandra Tarabochia
This course examines rhetoric and sexuality as vital dimensions of critical literacy—ways of reading, writing, thinking, and knowing required for active citizenship in a democratic society. Students will explore intersections of rhetoric, literacy, and sexuality as they “function socially, culturally, politically, and personally.” We will learn “to work knowledgeably, engagingly, and critically” with the discourses of sexuality that shape our individual and collective lives (Alexander, Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy). Course projects will invite students to analyze the rhetoric of sexuality, craft sexual literacy narratives, and develop extended public arguments about issues that spark their passions. Student writing is the heart of this course, and class time is devoted to composing, revising, sharing, and experimenting with writing.
ENGL 3223: Oklahoma Writers
Prerequisite is completion of 1213. Introduction to regional writing about Oklahoma, especially works by Oklahoma writers whose voices have been shaped by place, as well as a few works by non-Oklahomans whose writing has contributed to constructions of the state in various historical moments. Through an examination of fiction, poetry, essays, music, photography and film, this course traces a history of words and images that tell stories about Oklahoma—an Oklahoma diverse in its cultural productions.
ENGL 3253 Special Topics in American Indian Literature: Indians, Oil, and Water
Indians, Oil, and Water traces the complex relationship between tribal nations and people and non-Indians involving natural resources, in particular, oil and water, and how that relationship has been depicted in American Indian and Indigenous oral traditions, fiction, and film and Alaskan Native poetry. Some attention will also be paid to the legal structures that guide natural resource extraction on Indian land and to activism regarding natural resource extraction, particularly in regard to the recent intertribal, international movement Idle No More, along with site-specific activism in the past two decades including the 2016-17 occupation at Standing Rock. The goal of this course is to gain exposure to various American Indian ethics and beliefs about natural resources and natural resource development as expressed in literature, film, and other media and be able to discuss and write about these in an informed, intelligent, and cordial manner. Some of the books and films we will study in class include Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms and Mean Spirit, Joseph Erb’s The Beginning They Told and We Prayed in Water, and Sacred Water: Standing Rock Part I—RISE. We will do both in class and out of class short, informal writing assignments in multiple genres, create a multigenre research paper, and take a final exam.
ENGL 3403 The Graphic Novel
The books for this class have a lot pictures, but reading them won’t be easy. This course-- Graphic Narratives, Comic History -- develops and tests theories for interpreting narratives that are suited for works of sequential visual & verbal art. Our attention to the history of graphic novels and comic books will concentrate on the recent emergence of a “canon” of works of literary esteem, but we’ll also investigate the vigilante commercial icon Batman. The comic artists covered may include Jason, Alison Bechdel, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Frank Miller, Marjane Satrapi, Art Spiegelman, Craig Thompson, Chris Ware, Richard McGuire, Ben Katchor, Emil Ferris, or others. We’ll supplement our study of their texts with choice scholarly articles in narrative theory, moral philosophy, gender politics, and historiography. These readings will help us address the ethical and political stakes of representing history in graphic narratives. All of the required readings will instruct and reward our understanding of the popular culture of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Assignments will include three essays ranging from three to seven pages, a timed-writing midterm, and a comprehensive final examination.
ENGL 3643 (Original) Black Lives Matter: Early African, Transatlantic, and African American Resistance Literature
Today, when news outlets report on the Black Lives Matter movement, they draw parallels only to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s of the 20th century. Yet the origins of Black Lives Matter go back well over several hundred years to West African societies. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries there were people of African descent in this country and abroad who resisted American and European slavery and who maintained their African identities through various written, rhetorical strategies.
This class will explore the shaping and maintaining of early African identity through early resistance literature of Africa, the Atlantic, and America. The various notions of what defines “resistance” will be explored, and we will focus on the improvisational written activities that fall under this category, including intellectual, religious, political, and actual physical/armed resistance strategies, enacted to maintain unique cultural identities. Emphasis will be on early African Diasporic texts that helped to form resistant notions of African identity, self, humanity, and power in African, Transatlantic, and American locations. Primary texts by figures such as Phillis Wheatley, The Petitions of New England Black Men, Belinda Royall, Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, as well as contemporary critical essays on the literature will be highlighted.
Students will read primary texts and write four essays—two very short, one medium length, and one longer—on aspects of these texts. In the fourth and final essay, students will incorporate research to discuss and analyze several primary texts read throughout the semester.
ENGL 4003 (Special Topics): Postcolonial Science Fiction
Amit R. Baishya
The genre of science fiction has traditionally been viewed skeptically by authors from formerly colonized regions. Consider, for instance, the classic science fiction trope of the space/ship landing in an alien locale. While the first contact may seem like the promise of a new world and beginnings for people on the ship, it may resemble an “alien invasion” for the indigenous inhabitants. Indeed, if we consider the viewpoint of the colonized “other,” “science fiction” does not seem like a fantasy, but rather a brutal, lived reality. Of late though, a number of postcolonial writers have overturned some of the classic tropes and narrative strategies of science fiction. Science fiction, in their hands, becomes a mode not of speaking for the other, but of letting the other speak. This course will consider such examples of postcolonial science fiction very carefully. Texts we will read will possibly include: H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, China Mieville’s Embassytown, Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring, Amitav Ghosh’s The Calcutta Chromosome, Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl, Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti and short stories by Greg van Eekhout, Vandana Singh, Bushra Elfadil and Amir Tag Alsir. Required readings will be supplemented with theoretical pieces by Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, John Riede, Jessica Langer, Ranajit Guha, Gayatri Spivak, Tamara Ho, Nalo Hopkinson, Bhakti Shringarpure and Uppinder Mehan.
ENGL 4283 "HIP HOP AS POETRY, LITERATURE AND CULTURAL EXPRESSION"
This class is an introduction to the poetry and cultural expression associated with Hip Hop as an an emerging genre of music. We will focus on Hip Hop's cultural origins in the political landscape of New York in the 1960's and 70's, and then explore the social and cultural conditions shaping the music's emergence. We will also do serious literary analyses of the themes in the music as well as the meter, rhyme and rhythm of the poetry of various artists. We will study music from a variety of albums, read historical, economic and sociological essays, do written analysis of gendered dynamics, albums as a whole, and documentaries about the culture. Finally we will end the course with a nod towards performance.
Required texts include:
- We Gon' Be Alright - Jeff Chang
- Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation - Jeff Chang
- No Disrespect - Sista Souljah
- Rap and Hip Hop Culture - Fernando Orejuela
ENGL 4323.001: The Harlem Renaissance
TR 12:00-1:15 p.m.
This course surveys and evaluates the literature and political agenda of the Harlem Renaissance. During the period between the 1920s and 1940s artists, writers, and musicians employed culture to work for goals of civil rights and social equality. Harlem, a diverse community of African Americans, became home to civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, the National Urban League, and Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. Besides studying the major figures of the Harlem Renaissance, we will situate this movement within a larger transnational context of the African Diaspora. We will enrich our studies with film and music, alongside our readings of poetry, fiction, plays and essays. Grades are based on class participation, student presentations, reading responses, and a research paper.
ENGL 4523 Shakespeare’s Comedies
Nowadays the word “comedy” is usually taken to mean simply “funny.” Now, William Shakespeare is as funny as any writer who has ever lived, but in this class we will discover that “comedy” means much more. On the one hand it means a kind of narrative, where a young couple overcomes obstacles on the way to the altar. At the same time, it means a kind of worldview that, while not ignoring suffering and death, focuses on themes of renewal, birth and growth.
Shakespeare wrote many comedies, but he never repeats himself. Rather, he fills a familiar structure with endless freshness and intellectual complexity. Sometimes he gives us “festive” comedies that exuberantly celebrate the coming together of young lovers, ending on a note of joyful harmony. Sometimes he gives us “problem plays” that are structured like traditional comedies but that leave us with lingering questions and doubts about the action we’ve experienced. Finally, several of his late plays have been classified as “romances”—comedies that tend to be more serious in tone (even flirting at times with tragedy) while involving elements of the supernatural.
Over the semester we will read and talk about plays such as Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, The Tempest and others. The course will be a mix of lecture and discussion.
ENGL 4713.001: Hawthorne, Poe, and Melville
Throughout the 19th century, writers experienced disenchantment with the direction America as a society was taking. Among the factors contributing to this disenchantment were the rapid development of technology, industrialization, and a consumer society; the high rate of geographical mobility and especially migration to the city; the exclusion of the middle-class home from a productive role in the economy; the loosening of ties between family generations; and the replacement of traditional hierarchical social relationships with modern peer relations. In this course, we will read a variety of novels, stories, and poems by Hawthorne, Poe, and Melville in the context of these social and historical developments. We will consider how both the acceptance of and resistance to the forces of modernity are given literary expression.
ENGL 4853.001 Capstone: Caribbean Literature and Culture
TR 10:30-11:45 a.m.
In this course, we will study texts by writers from and about the Caribbean. We study how European colonization of the islands and the African slave trade have impacted their peoples and cultures. Through a variety of writings styles, such as travelogue, historical essay, fiction and poetry, that cover such topics as emancipation, independence struggles, the role of cultural expression for self-determination and others, we will reflect on the postcolonial / neocolonial / decolonial human condition and revisit some of the canonical authors of English and American literature from a postcolonial perspective. We will enrich our reading experiences through film and music. We will read essays and fiction by V.S. Naipaul, Earl Lovelace, C.L.R. James, George Lamming, Michelle Cliff, Jamaica Kincaid; poetry by Christian Campbell; listen music by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Lady Saw, Mutabaruka, The Mighty Sparrow, and others. Grades are based on class participation, student presentations, reading responses, and a research paper.
ENGL 4943/5943 Advanced Creative Nonfiction
An intensive reading and writing course designed to introduce writers to the myriad forms of creative nonfiction, including memoir, lyric essay, personal essay, environmental writing, and more. Students enhance their analytical abilities and knowledge of craft as they develop their own works of creative nonfiction. Coursework includes written responses to assigned readings and written and oral analysis of fellow writers’ work. Prerequisite: ENGL 2123 or ENGL 2133; six hours of 2000-3000-level writing courses.
ENGL 5113: Teaching College Composition
Writing instruction arrived in the modern university long after the classical system of education had passed away, taking with it the study and practice of such arts of citizenship as rhetoric. When the 1960s arrived and students began to protest against required writing courses they considered irrelevant to their needs and experience, English faculty were largely unprepared to respond to them. Rhetoric and composition studies arose around 1971 to answer questions about how to teach writing in a modern university in a way that mattered to students. Since then, composition pedagogy has evolved to meet new challenges posed by social contexts within/beyond the university. Through a broad overview of theories and practices in the teaching of writing, this course will prepare you to join a community of scholar-teachers who are reinventing writing for the needs of twenty-first century students. In particular, we will consider how writing prepares students to be citizens.
This class is will also emphasize the core values of the OU FYC curriculum. This means that along with following the trajectory of the field from past to present, we will spend time exploring the significance of some key elements of rhetorical education that are highlighted in the curriculum you are teaching, including primary research, public speaking, globalizing the local, deliberation, citizenship, and rhetorical analysis. Our goal is to fully prepare you to teach OU’s curriculum while we also preparing you to think about composition in a broader context.
ENGL 5443: 20th Century Rhetoric-Topic: Multimodal Composing and Technology in CRL
This course will introduce you to the breadth of ways technology has been studied in the field of composition, rhetoric, and literacy. From the philosophy of technology, to multimodal composing, to the rhetoric of science and technology, to technical writing, to the digital humanities—we will focus on the complex dynamics between CRL and rapidly advancing communication technologies by looking at the cultural and social impacts of the digitization of the world. Though we will have a special focus on rhetoric and multimodal composition, course themes will also include digital rhetoric and democracy, visual rhetoric and argument, media ecology, and theories of cyberculture as they relate to CRL. Students will have a chance to learn to interact with and learn how to teach using three digital writing mediums: web design, video production, and Photoshop image manipulation.
English 5513 Chaucer
This seminar will focus on the production of a Variorum edition of a part of The Canterbury Tales, The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale. Students will 1) acquire (or improve) knowledge of Middle English; 2) learn the purpose and structure of the Variorum Chaucer fascicles; 3) practice features of bibliographical description; 4) survey and summarize all of the scholarship and criticism published on The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale since 1995; and 5) vet portions of a draft of a Variorum edition of The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale. Credit for work on the volume will appear in the General Editor’s Preface to the volume. Item 3) will entail close examination of printed texts, from the first in 1476 to the latest ‘standard’ edition of Chaucer’s works (1987). Students will track usage of punctuation, capitalization, and paragraphing to see how these evolve over time. Item 4) will focus on how to characterize work published on The Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale: to describe the broad theme(s) of an article, and to anatomize its particulars; that is, to identify the heading(s) under which the work should appear in the Variorum ‘Critical Commentary’, and to isolate what should go into particular notes, critical and textual. Students will come away with a fuller understanding of the ‘material’ life of a text, how a text comes to be; and a fuller appreciation of the scholarly and critical enterprise.
ENGL 5613 Lacanian Theory and Nineteenth-Century British Literature
Something happens as we approach the nineteenth century—literary characters develop an interiority far more frequently and with greater emphasis than ever before in literary history. If in the eighteenth century, novels could appear about the history of a coin or a needle, by the nineteenth century, literary texts tend more frequently to offer characters with the kind of deep psychic interiority that has come to seem natural to us. This course will examine nineteenth-century Romantic and Victorian literature through a Lacanian lens by focusing on literature that began to think explicitly about the human psyche, its irrationality, its perverseness, and its resistance to happiness.
Romantic and Victorian literatures deal with strange obsessions, erotic fixations, depressions, melancholia, and psychotic states. Through both form and content, such literature reveals a human complexity that questions the presumed assurances of Enlightenment thought about rationality and the predominance of the pleasure principle. Lacan wrote that British Romantics were some of the first writers to write about the ideas and experiences which preoccupy psychoanalytic theory. To follow his lead, we will study some familiar writers such as Keats, the Shelleys, the Brontës, Rossetti, and Dickens, as well as less familiar Gothic writers. We will engage with psychoanalytic concepts such as the death drive, jouissance, and the Real in order to think about the literary and cultural concerns of nineteenth-century writers. Some of the topics of the day that we will consider are the status of women, sexuality, industrialization and empire.
ENGL 5803: Introduction to Caribbean Literature and Theory
This course is an introduction to the primary concerns in Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean literature. Theoretically speaking we will encounter some of the literary discourses that have historically shaped the region. These Caribbean modernisms include Creolization, Negritude, Afro-Indigenization, Rastafari and Ethiopianism. We will examine the thematic and theoretical concerns in the novels, short stories, poetry, essays, music and films of the region. Some of the primary themes include: voice, cultural self-determination, love, anger, gossip, rumor, violence, collective identity and most importantly, resilience in the face of trauma. Some of the writers and theorists addressed include: Jean Rhys (Dominica), Simone Schwarz-Bart (Guadeloupe), Lorna Goodison (Jamaica), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), Sylvia Wynter, Bob Marley (Jamaica), Edouard Glissant, and Aime Cesaire (Martinique), Jamaica Kincaid and Maria Elena John (Antigua), Merle Hodge and Earl Lovelace (Trinidad).