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ENG 600: Research Methods
Dr. Brooks Hefner
Wednesday, 5:00-8:00 PM
Keezell Hall 0307
Required for incoming students. Research Methods has several objectives, each of which is designed to introduce you to and help you begin to master the professional building blocks of the multifarious discipline known as English. Over the semester, you will move toward:
  • A greater understanding of the discipline as a whole, including its history and critical debates, its formal conventions and subdisciplinary components
  • A more sophisticated approach to literary critical research, including advanced digital and library-based research skills
  • A broad sense of major theoretical and methodological approaches to literature, including their histories and interrelationships, as well as a survey of influential literary critical arguments from a variety of perspectives
  • A clearer sense of the qualitative difference between undergraduate and graduate/professional level research and writing
  • A developing idea of what it means to be a (literary) critic in our current moment, in which the discipline of English and the humanities in general are (as usual) under threat
We will read a few novels and a great deal of theory and criticism, with an emphasis on recent and current trends in the discipline. Students will complete regular research and writing assignments as they work toward a more comprehensive understanding of the discipline and their place within it.

ENG 612: Animal, Object, Atmosphere: Affect Theories

Dr. Sofia Samatar
Monday, 5:00-8:00 PM
Keezell Hall 0307
Affect is feeling. It’s embodied knowledge, sensation, virtual reality, promise, and threat. It’s the vibe in a room: volatile, contagious, and collective. In this course, we will focus on questions of affect in relation to the nonhuman, exploring creative and philosophical engagements with animals, objects, and atmospheres.   

ENG 612: Contemporary Children’s Literature: Theories and Method 
Dr. Danielle Price
Thursday, 5:00-8:00 PM
Keezell Hall 0307
This course examines contemporary children’s literature through a variety of perspectives: disability studies, African American literary theory, and ecocriticism. Students will read widely in contemporary children’s fiction with an eye to considerations of genre and narrative and specialize in one of the perspectives given. We will engage in close readings of theory, critical articles, and a variety of novels including such texts as Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet, Ann Clare LeZotte’s Show Me A Sign, Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer, and David A. Robertson’s The Barren Grounds. Students will produce essays in the style of the periodical article. 

ENG 668: Studies in African Lit
Dr. Matthew Rebhorn
Tuesday, 5:00-8:00 PM
Keezell Hall 0307
This seminar begins with a set of questions.  Why is it that some of the most provocative, powerful, and award-winning forms of contemporary art return to the historical experiences of nineteenth-century slavery?  What is at stake for us as readers, audiences, and spectators when contemporary artistic expression remembers and reimagines the lived experiences of the distant past?  To answer these questions, this course explores both nineteenth-century artistic forms—slave narratives, minstrel shows, racial melodrama, ethnographic photographs, and more—and contemporary reframings of these forms in the novel, in theater, and in visual art.  By examining representations of the nineteenth-century institution of chattel slavery, and discovering their resonances and dissonances with works by Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Kara Walker, to name a few, we will learn to map out the way the long history of nineteenth century slavery forms, deforms, and reforms artistic expression today.  In doing so, this course will attempt to answer one final question: how does this comparative formal exploration help us understand not only the nineteenth century more fully, but also the twenty-first century in which we all live? 

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