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2021 Fall Course Offerings

ENGL597: Advanced Topics in English:
Persistence and Survival in Science Fiction
Professor Jean Graham
Monday 5:00—7:30

Dystopian and postapocalyptic visions of the future, including cli fi (climate fiction, portraying climate catastrophe), seem bleak. What lessons do they offer about persisting and surviving in challenging situations, and possibly introducing changes for a better future? Texts may include Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, Christina Dalcher’s Vox, Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker, N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Okorafor’s Who Fears DeathSeason, and Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death.


ENGL 510: Structure of English
The Politics of Standard English
Professor Felicia Steele
Tuesday 5:00—7:30

This course examines the ways in which Standard English usage has become a site for ideological conflict in American and British culture; in addition, students will explore current linguistic and pedagogical approaches to English and its dialects. By the end of the course, students will understand and have a vocabulary to describe the grammatical features of English and the ideological and cultural foundations of current discussions of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Students will also learn to formulate actionable research related to language, linguistics, and composition instruction.


ENGL670-01: Studies in English Literature
The Witches of Salem 1692
Wednesday  9:00—11:30 a.m. (Blended: 5 in-person class meetings)
Professor Michele Tarter

This research-intensive seminar will focus on the most notorious witch hunt of America: Salem 1692. Looking at a plethora of archival and literary sources—ranging from pamphlets of “Wonders” and “Strange Occurrences,” sermons and court trial records, accusations and confessions, and many perplexing, fascinating manuscript diaries and letters—we will explore the multiple meanings of witchcraft in this early American village. Our class will delve into the primary texts preserved from this cultural phenomenon, and then study the ever-growing interdisciplinary scholarship that theorizes and illuminates this colonial community’s hysteria, rooted in its own beliefs about gender, sexuality, race and class.


ENGL670-02: Studies in English Literature
Literature of Crisis and Catastrophe
Thursday 5:00—7:30
Professor Samira Abdur-Rahman

This course will define crisis and catastrophe by centering Black and Native writers and artists within the Americas.  We will explore the intersections of slavery, settler colonialism, and environmental degradation as they are engaged in literary, visual, and sonic texts. Centering childhood and using the theoretical lens of racial ecologies, we will use our texts to engage the past, present, and future of Black and Native environmental struggle. Writers include  Zitkala Sa, W.E.B Du Bois, Edwidge Danticat, Dionne Brand, Tommy Orange, Jesmyn Ward, Major Jackson, and Natalie Diaz.