512C—Studies in Fiction (26184)
This course will examine the nature of supernatural literature and how it differs from the fictional works described as horror or fantasy literatures. The course will open with early American supernatural works, those not informed by Europe’s Dark Ages or history of religious conflicts. Readings will then move to modern and contemporary works including ghost literature to see where the boundaries between genres have settled. Class will proceed as discussion and lecture.
Meets requirement for a Genre class
520—Epic and Romance (26175)
In this seminar we will read some of the classic early western European narratives, beginning with The Song of Roland (ca. 1100) and Beowulf (ca. 750), and finishing with Malory’s Arthurian tales and Ariosto’s Orland Furioso from the 15th and early 16th centuries. We will examine the literary conventions as well as the cultural assumptions that typify these works. Necessarily, we will pay particular attention to the historical shift in interest from epic to romance, which reflects broad changes, not only in literary form and content, but also in social customs and world view.
Dante, Inferno, trans. Mandelbaum (Bantam)
Beowulf, trans. Donaldson (Norton)
The Song of Roland, trans. Terry (Bobbs-Merrill)
The Poem of the Cid, trans. W.S. Merwin
Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, trans. Kibler (Penguin)
Renard the Fox, trans. Terry (California UP)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. Borroff (Norton)
Malory, King Arthur and His Knights, ed. Vinaver (Oxford)
Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (Part I), trans. Reynolds (Penguin)
536—Writing by Women (26176)
Explores various themes in critical approaches to literature composed by women writers, especially those whose works have been underrepresented in the literary canon. Genres and time periods covered, critical theories explored, and specific authors studied vary in different semesters.
546—Studies in Ethnic Literature (26177)
Native American Storytelling
In The Truth about Stories, Thomas King writes that “stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous.” Our course in Native American storytelling will use King’s work of non-fiction as a lens through which to explore fiction as well as various other genres, such as poetry, autobiography, and the vast oral literature that predates and continues to inform Native American writing. In doing so, we will take up such questions as: why do we tell stories, and how are the stories we tell informed by who we are? What opportunities do written stories--an art form foreign to traditional tribal cultures--hold for Native Americans? How can a “foreign” form of expression articulate Indian sovereignty and self-preservation? How can stories be “dangerous?” Our exploration of such questions will consider the relationships between written and spoken texts, between history and literature, and between tradition and change. In addition to King’s book, we will read works by writers such as Momaday, Erdrich, Ortiz, Silko, and Alexie as well as earlier writers and storytellers.
581—Composition Practicum (26178)
Restricted to GTAs teaching English Basic Skills courses
581—Composition Practicum (26181)
Restricted to GTAs teaching English 101
581—Composition Practicum (26182)
Restricted to GTAs teaching English 102
590—Senior Seminar (26186)
Early Modern Drama
In 1599, Thomas Platter, a Swiss physician vising London, wrote in his diary a vivid account of the English Renaissance theater:
‘And so every day at two o'clock in the afternoon in the city of London sometimes two, sometimes three plays are given in different places, which compete with each other and those which perform best have the largest number of listeners. . . .How much time they can happily spend each day at the play, everyone knows who has seen them act or perform.’
Platter’s account demonstrates the extensive popularity of English drama in London and beyond, and hints at the aggressive competition that pushed authors and theatre companies to produce increasingly ambitious (and, some would say, salacious) plays. Our course will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at eleven in the morning in the city of Wichita to study some representative works from this period, paying particular attention to their cultural, historical, and bibliographical contexts, to trace the development (and, thanks to those humorless Puritan thugs, decline) of this remarkable period of English literature. As the capstone course for the English major, the course will refine your research and academic writing skills as we discuss recent scholarship in field, drawing from a variety of critical perspectives. How much time you can happily spend reading Renaissance drama, everyone knows who has read Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Middleton, Webster, Fletcher, and Ford!
680—Theory and Practice in Composition (26187)
This course introduces students to theories of rhetoric, research in composition, the approaches of secondary and college writing programs, and best practices for all levels. The theories we’ll explore begin in antiquity, and we’ll trace several important and lasting “discussions” of teaching and rhetoric from Classical times to contemporary theorists. Students investigate the process of writing, analyze varieties and samples of secondary-level writing, and develop their own philosophy of teaching. Designed especially for prospective and practicing teachers, and may not be taken for credit by students with credit in ENGL 780.
703—Seminar in American Literature 1 (26188)
"Scribbling Women: Sentimental Fiction in Nineteenth-Century American Culture"
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to his publisher of the unfortunate popularity of sentimental novels in the United States. “America,” he complained, “is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash—and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed.” This course examines these “trashy” novels in order to better understand the role of women and their novels’ increase in popularity in the United States during the antebellum period. By investigating the material archive supporting sentimental culture, alongside secondary sources that mark the domestic novel’s rise in academia, we will explore sentimentality as a cultural phenomenon that influenced not only questions of gender and sexuality, but also questions of race and class. In addition to supplementary readings, the class will work with the writings of Lydia Maria Child, Susan Warner, Maria Cummins, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Caroline Hentz.
722-Seminar in Renaissance Literature (26189)
English Drama, 1587-1642
A distraught father finds his son hanging from a bower and swears revenge. An adulterous wife hires killers to 'take care' of her ambitious husband. 'What's done cannot be undone.' Petruchio remarries after Kate dies; irony results. An old misanthrope who hates noise marries an extraordinarily meek wife (so he thinks.) A cross-dressing pickpocket helps unite a young couple in love, against their families' wishes. 'Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle. She died young.' A virtuous young newlywed is 'seduced' by a powerful Duke while her mother plays a game of chess. A grotesque servant murders a women's betrothed at her request, then blackmails her. A brother and sister fall in love, because why not?
All of this and even better, as we survey the English drama--in all of its comic, tragic, and tragicomic glory--from the rise of the public theater until its close at the dawn of the English civil war. While the primary aim of the course is to introduce you to some of the key dramatic works of the age, we will discuss recent studies in the material theater, book history, textual theory, and authorship studies, fields which have reopened questions about the status of the dramatic writer and the influence of dramatic collaboration on playtexts. You'll contribute a short bibliographical project, a final article-length project, and an oral presentation.
801—Creative Writing: Fiction (26190)
This is an intensive workshop in the craft of writing fiction. The class revolves around group critiques of new student work. Craft elements to be worked on include point of view, characterization, visual description, forceful dialogue, dramatization of action, character motivation and interior psychology, use of time, transitions within and between scenes, plot, setting, style, voice, the need for empathy for the protagonist, use of metaphors, etc. Such craft elements cannot be taught and learned solely by workshopping student writing, so we will also read and examine one good short story each week.
This course assumes fiction writing requires more than some kind of mystical inspiration (although that, too, may be necessary) and seeks to provide writers with concrete examples of the techniques of fiction writing. Students will be expected to revise their work after incorporating criticism from their fellow students and teacher. Each student writes two new short stories—approximately fifteen to twenty pages each—and revises them during the term.
803—Creative Writing: Nonfiction (26191)
Literary journalism is the course topic. This means telling a story which is all fact but using the techniques of a fiction writer: action, language, character, setting, and theme. Students will be asked to read intensely in this genre to learn what’s been done before and to write several pieces of literary journalism, first by gathering facts and then weaving these, using fiction techniques, into a story. To gather facts, literary journalists research, interview, and they also hang out—spend large amounts of time with a subject—which is more officially called saturation reporting. During this time they are observing the subject in action through different circumstances and recording details to show rather than tell the subject’s story. The showing not telling is where literary journalism is different from the journalism in large circulation magazines and newspapers. The use of theme and metaphor also distinguishes this genre from other journalism.
On Writing Well by William Zinsser
The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism ed. Kevin Kerrane and Ben Yagoda
Hiroshima by John Hersey
Prerequisite: consent of creative writing program director
805—Creative Writing: Poetry (26195)
860AA—Graduate Studies in a Special Topic (26247)
Digital Humanities Theory and Practice
The term “Digital Humanities” describes an amalgamation of interdisciplinary approaches and practices for preserving, studying, and enjoying thousands of years of intellectual and artistic human achievement. The newest in humanities fields, Digital Humanities attracts much research funding, brings traditional scholarly disciplines into dialog, and appears in many humanities job ads. This seminar will survey some of the major debates, questions, and practices in literary studies. Assignments will include essays engaging in theoretical debates about digital scholarship, evaluation of existing scholarly materials, hands on experience with XML encoding and Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) guidelines, and transcribing and encoding existing literary texts for digital archive publication. No prior technical background needed.
Meets the English MA program special topic requirement.
860—Graduate Studies in a Special Topic (26197)
Craft of Poetry: Lines of Uncertainty
This course presents essential issues of poetic craft to creative writers pursuing their own writing and to graduate students of English Literature who wish to study the anatomy of craft from a practitioner’s perspective. Poems in the modern and post-modern era can be viewed as “structures of uncertainty”—as orders not only composed against a backdrop of chaos, but actually composed of a continual relationship with uncertainty, articulated in tentative assertion, surprise, variation, imagistic supremacy, ambiguity, and fragment. The poetic line, historically always important, has become the primary unit by which a narrative of uncertainty is amassed.
In this course we will study many of the different uses (and theories) of the poetic line that have emerged in the modern era, and we will examine many elements of the line, including line length and variation; silence, breaks, and hesitations; rhythms and sonic effects within a line; rhythm and sonic patterns between lines; caesura and enjambment; pacing, momentum, and tension; surprise, cadence; repetition; points of emphasis; deployment and development of image; and counterpoint between the meaning of the line unit and the meaning of the larger syntactical structure. Within our primary focus on the poetic line, we will also focus on the nearly inseparable craft elements of image and sound. Students will be expected both to produce creative “studies” of different effects and to write critical essays that analyze the anatomy of a poem’s structure.
Longenback, The Art of the Poetic Line.
Carson, Anne. The Beauty of the Husband and Glass, Irony, and God.
Graham, Jorie. Erosion.
Merwin, W.S. The Second Four Books of Poems.
Oppen, George. Of Being Numerous.
Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass.
Williams, William Carlos. Spring and All.
Williams, C.K., Tar.
Wright, James. The Collected Poems.
Wright, Charles. Black Zodiac.
Wright, C.D. Deepstep Come Shining.
Selections from Emily Dickinson, Bob Perleman, Gertrude Stein, Brenda Shaugnessey, Robert Hass, Allen Ginsberg, W.B. Yeats, Sharon Olds, John Keats, Alexander Pope, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Larry Levis, Paul Celan, Robert Creeley, Dean Young.
881—Writer’s Tutorial: Poetry (26200)
Tutorial work in creative writing in literary poetry with visiting poet, Ed Skoog. Mr. Skoog will be in residence March 31- April 25. Prerequisite: consent of creative writing director. S/U grading