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Current and Upcoming Courses

Summer 2014

ENGL-553—Modern English Grammar

An intensive study of the syntax of present day English. The course also includes a review of traditional grammar, focusing primarily on the parts of speech. Special attention is given to linguistic theory, particularly regarding the acquisition of language.

Fall 2014

ENGL 502: Shakespeare. Tues. 7-9:45.  Professor Pilhuj. Meets at The Citadel.  (Fulfills requirement for pre-1800 British literature.)

This course will take as its focus the multiple perspectives of political matters that an examination of Shakespeare’s plays affords.  Issues considered will include the nature of effective leadership, definitions of kingship (and queenship), the consequences of dynastic politics, military leadership, gender concerns, the relationship between subject and ruler, the formation of various ideas of nation and kingdom, empire-building, perspectives of history (both our own and Shakespeare’s), and related questions about performance and adaptation.

ENGL 509: Romantic Literature. Mon. 4:00-6:45. Profesor Beres Rogers. Meets at CofC. (Fulfills requirement for post-1800 British literature.)

Until recently, the Romantic era has been studied as the era of the imagination, a backlash to the rationality and scientism that (ostensibly) characterized the Enlightenment.  This course will examine recent scholarship that calls this characterization into question, delving Romantic authors’ relationships to various sciences.  We will read Richard Holmes’s The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, as well as a number of recent articles, to historicize writing by Charlotte Smith (botany), William Wordsworth (geology), Jane Austen (brain science), Samuel Taylor Coleridge and John Keats (medicine and chemistry), and Mary Shelley (biology).  These specific disciplines, then grouped as Natural Philosophy, informed and structured the Romantic understandings of imagination and self.

ENGL 512: Southern Literature. Wed. 4:00-6:45. Professor Eichelberger. Meets at CofC. (Fulfills requirement for American literature.)

A study of selected texts, both canonical and lesser-known, by and about residents of the U. S. South. Authors will include William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tennessee Wiilliams, and a variety of others, as well as folklore, music, and film. Course requirements will include a class presentation, short writing assignments, a longer paper, a midterm, and a final exam. The course will emphasize works produced since 1900 and will explore some of the recurring themes often associated with the U. S. South: race, class, family, and place; land, labor, and the pastoral ideal; nostalgia and history; regionalism, nationalism, and the global South. In addition to doing textual analysis, students will do research on the historical and cultural circumstances in which texts were produced. Course assignments will invite students to either challenge or confirm prevailing beliefs about the region.

ENGL 517: Lyric Theory, Lyric Practice. Mon. 7:00-9:45. Professor Rosko. Meets at CofC. (Fulfills elective credit.)  

This class combines a broad historical survey of poetry and poetics poetics (writing and thinking about poetry) from Aristotle to the present with both critical and creative engagements with those materials.  We will begin by exploring the roots of lyric as a form or mode, and attend to the specific generic elements of lyric poetry as they have developed historically, moving from a selection of ancient Greek and Latin translations through the English Renaissance and up to contemporary poetry. In our reading of poems, we will be especially concerned with identifying the tropes, themes, and formal building blocks of specific lyric forms and how they evolve over time. Canonical theoretical/poetics essays and more recent critical essays on poetry will supplement our reading of poems. Course requirements include: the composition of poems that emulate (or experiment with) prosody and form or otherwise enact theoretical ideas relevant to the course; a close reading, analytical workshop in which one of your poems will be discussed; a presentation on a poetics essay; and a final paper that traces a specific poetic form or idea of the lyric through three poems from different historical periods.

ENGL 700: Caribbean Literature. Revising the Canon: The Empire Writes Back. Thurs. 4:00-6:45. Professor Maxwell. Meets at The Citadel. (Fulfills seminar requirement as well as requirement for post-1800 British literature.)

This course focuses on Caribbean literature that responds to canonical British works. Throughout the semester, we will investigate how and why Caribbean authors revise a wide selection of literary works considered to be part of the English literary canon. We will contemplate what the canon is, how it can be read in relation to Caribbean literature, and why it inspires the Empire to write back to its colonial center.

ENGL 595: Methods and Materials for English Language Arts

This course exposes students to theories and practices of teaching English (to include reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and thinking) in grades 9-12, including preparation for reflective practice and classroom-based teacher research. In-class instruction is augmented by field experiences that expose students to the professionalism of practicing ELA teachers and the realities of working with a diverse population of students. This course is intended to prepare candidates for a teaching internship. Prerequisites: EDUC- 501 and EDUC-592.

Note: For students in the M.A.T. in English program only.

Spring 2015

ENGL 504. Early Modern Metamorphoses - Professor Russell. Meets at The College of Charleston. Fulfills requirement for pre-1800 British literature.  Wednesday, 7-9:45 pm

“Ovidius Naso was the man.” So wrote Shakespeare, and spoke for an age. In the early modern period no classical poet was more influential than Ovid, whose Metamorphoses reads like a Rosetta Stone to the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. For a complex set of reasons, however, the early moderns were less comfortable owning his influence than that of Vergil, author of the Aeneid. Irreverent where Vergil is pious, bawdy where he is austere, playful where he is purposeful, Ovid was banished from Rome for his indiscretions while Vergil was crowned poet laureate. Yet if Vergil spoke powerfully to the longing of the early moderns to revive a classical ideal, Ovid spoke just as powerfully to the futility of that longing. In theMetamorphoses, he transmutes mythology and poetry, including that of Vergil, into an epic statement on the instability of form and the irresistibility of change. This semester, as we read translations and imitations of the works of Ovid by Golding, Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, and others, and experience for ourselves the attraction and alienation wrapped up in the encounter of past artworks, we will examine change as a fundamental principle of literary creativity and literary reception in the early modern period, as in our own.

ENGL 517. Introduction to Composition and Literary Studies. Professor Warnick. Elective for MA students. Meets at the College of Charleston. Wednesday, 4-6:45 pm.

What does it mean to be considered “literate” today and how do contemporary definitions of literacy compare to those thirty years ago? Fifty years ago? A hundred years ago? What’s behind the repeated cries about young people’s supposedly declining literacy skills—whether it’s Newsweek magazine asking in 1975 “Why Johnny Can’t Write” or current concerns about millenials and texting? What exactly are students’ (and other groups’) literacy practices and how can we research them in a systematic and informed way?

These are among the questions we will pursue in this class, which will introduce you to foundational and innovative research in composition studies, an area of English Studies that focuses on questions concerning the acquisition, distribution, and teaching of literacy. As part of this introduction to the field, students will have the opportunity to complete an original research project on literacy that connects with their intellectual or professional interests—whether these interests are in teaching, professional writing, or literature.

ENGL 535. African American Literature. Professor Hendriks. Meets at The Citadel. Fufills the American literature requirement for MA students and is a requirement for MAT students. Tuesday, 4-6:45PM

Appropriate both for students very familiar with the subject matter and those who have never studied it at all, this survey course endeavors to situate the African-American literary tradition in a developing cultural context, and address the ways in which the genre both participates in and engages in conversation with the larger category of American Literature. Among other concerns, we'll consider how text becomes designated "ethnic," how to think about and articulate opinions about racially sensitive issues, how the presumption of a preoccupation with race is complicated by class, gender, and sexuality issues, how to read and respond to the narratives composed by black writers, and how to negotiate the art vs. propaganda debate which has raged unceasingly since the first American of African descent set pen to paper and claimed some literary merit for the result. Simultaneously, we'll follow the trajectory of African-American literary criticism and formulate some assessments of and responses to theories of textual interpretation. Course requirements are designed with professional development in mind, encompassing writing for academic conferences and journal publication, delivering papers and moderating conference panels, and generating topics for class discussion. The final examination will be comprehensive. Authors covered will include Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Chesnutt, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy West, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, and August Wilson.

ENGL 552. Young Adult Literature. Professor Thompson. Meets at The Citadel. Open to MAT students. Tuesdays, 5-8:00PM

In this class, LWP Director Tom Thompson will join class members in an exploration of the variety of genres and topics addressed in current young adult fiction and nonfiction. By the end of the class, you should have ideas for using these books to supplement your regular class curriculum, as well as ideas for building a classroom library. Appropriate for teachers in all disciplines, this class should be especially useful for ELA and social studies teachers. Jan 13- Apr 21. Class only $300 each (includes tuition, fees, and books).

ENGL 555. Literary Criticism. Professor Leonard. Meets at The Citadel. Elective for MA students; requirement for MAT students. Thursday, 7-9:45PM.

The 2015 edition of ENGL 555 will consider the following primary questions about our relation to literature:

  •             What is literature?
  •             How does literature affect us?
  •             How can we ascertain the meaning/significance of a work of literature?
  •             What sorts of commentary are appropriate for the reader/critic?

Following a whirlwind tour, during the first class meeting, of the pre-twentieth-century history of literary theory (with attention to such figures as Plato, Aristotle, Sidney, Johnson, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Arnold, and James), we’ll devote the rest of the semester to the dominant critical theories of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—beginning with the massive critical turning point of formalism/new criticism (T. S. Eliot, Cleanth Brooks) and proceeding to the eventual reactions to it: genre criticism (Northrop Frye) and genetic criticism (E. D. Hirsch). At that point (the 1950s and 1960s), we’ll encounter the equally momentous turns away from the strictly internal meaningfulness of the “work,” as literary object or as authorial expression, to reader response’s examination of the work/text as meaningful in relation to the reader (Norman Holland) and structuralism’s/semiotics’ focus on relation to the cultural context (Roland Barthes, Umberto Eco)—leading also to the more psychoanalytically inclined textual examinations of deconstruction (Sigmund Freud, Jacques Derrida). We’ll conclude the historical survey with a look at the cultural criticisms that derive their methodologies from the structuralist and deconstructive turns—including Marxist (Terry Eagleton), feminist (Virginia Woolf, Elaine Showalter), African American (S. D. Kapoor), and postcolonial (Homi K. Bhabha). Having then arrived at what we may categorize as the contemporary, we’ll read some of the major recent/current theorists: Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, Hélène Cixous, Jean-François Lyotard). Readings will be a mixture of critical theory essays and essays that apply critical theory to specific literary works. Exams; at least one oral presentation; and a research project resulting in an essay.

English 563. Teaching with Technology. Professor Maxwell. Meets at The Citadel. Thursday, 4-6:45PM

ENGL 700. Jane Austen: Text and Film. Professor Carens. Meets at College of Charleston. Fulfills the post-1800 British literature requirement. Monday, 4-6:45 pm.

This class will cover all of the author’s published novels and some of their recent adaptations for cinema and television. Part of our work will seek to understand more deeply aspects of the novels that are relatively far removed from modern readers. We will explore the contribution that Austen makes to novelistic style, especially the ironic texture of her prose, and seek to recover the biographical and historical details that illuminate her representation of the world. We will work to see how her novels engage their social sphere by alternately quarreling with and accepting conventional notions about gender roles, the class hierarchy, England’s standing in the world, and other relevant topics. This course also, however, seeks to understand the cultural phenomena of Jane Austen in the modern world. The number of recent film adaptations of her novels provides a clear indication of an ongoing fascination with her work, and this too deserves careful analysis. By considering these films, questioning the ways that they try to recapture the original texts and, perhaps more interesting, the ways that they change them, we will seek to learn something about the preoccupations of our own cultural moment.

Fall 2015

ENGL-560—Film Studies

A study of films from a variety of nations and filmmakers. Attention is given to how techniques of filmmaking such as mise en scène, montage, and lighting communicate a filmmaker's construction of meaning. In some cases, comparisons may also be made between films and their written sources to demonstrate differing approaches to conveying comparable meaning.

Spring 2016

ENGL-550, 551—Special Topics in Composition or Language One – Writing Children's Books

A study of a special author, period, topic, or problem in composition or language which is outside the routine offerings of the department. The subject for each course will be announced.