Freedom and Constraint

Dr. Laura Zebuhr, Summer 2020

Intro to Creative Writing & Publishing

Dr. Heather Bouwman, Fall 2020

Otherness and Appropriation

Dr. Christopher Santiago, Fall 2020

Transnational Romanticisms

Dr. Young-ok An, Fall 2020

Literature and Celebrity Culture

Dr. Alexis Easley, Fall 2020

Summer 2020 Courses

In this course, we will ask 19th-century literary and philosophical texts to help us think through the relationship between freedom and constraint with special attention to power and embodied identity. We will read texts that seek to make universalizing claims about the nature of freedom and constraint, as well as texts that speak to how categories like race, gender, sexuality, and class are produced and mobilized during this period to define and restrict freedom. The lesson plan, a writing sample, etc. This course satisfies the multicultural literature requirement.

Online ZOOM Meetings: July 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30 and August 4, 6.
Supervised Independent Research: August 11, 13, 18, 20.

GENG 558-01 Freedom and Constraint Hybrid on campus/online Dr. Laura Zebuhr JRC 414

Fall 2020 Courses

This course provides an introduction to the expectations and conventions of graduate study, including research and writing methodology. In addition, it will introduce students to the field of English studies: its areas of specialization, key issues, and genres of writing. This course must be taken as one of the first three courses in the MA in English program.

GENG 513-01 Intro to Graduate Studies in English Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Laura Zebuhr JRC 481


Introduction to Creative Writing and Publishing provides a primer to the expectations and conventions of graduate study in the field of creative writing, including creative writing pedagogy and practice, the running of a literary reading series, innovative forms of creative writing such as podcasting and interactive writing, as well as the study of the publishing world from the point of view of a writer, reader, and editor. Additionally, it will introduce students to the academic field of creative writing: its area of specialization, key issues, and forms of writing. How do writers orient themselves and their work in 21st century workshops? What are the tools that govern print design, interactive prose, or literary podcasts? What is the history of the publishing industry and how does that inform our present moment? This course is required for the Master of Arts in Creative Writing & Publishing and is an elective for the Master of Arts in English.


GENG 501-01 Intro to Creative Writing & Publishing Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Heather Bouwman JRC 222


How do we write about—or from—perspectives that differ greatly from our own? Is doing so an “act of ethical urgency” (Hari Kunzru), or is it cultural appropriation? In this hybrid creative writing/literature course, we will write from places of discomfort and unfamiliarity. We will write from positionalities of gender, (dis)ability, sexuality, age, religion, class, and race that differ from our own. Before doing so, we will read broadly and discuss theories of otherness, normativity, craft, research, and writing; we will also read recent examples of both ethical and problematic fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and the discourses that surround them. The course will be approximately fifty percent creative writing & fifty percent craft/critical theory, with an eye toward balancing Kunzru’s call for “humility in the face of otherness” with Toni Morrison’s injunction to “[t]hink of somebody you don’t know.” Students are encouraged to write creative work in any of the major genres, including genre hybrids.

This course satisfies a writing workshop for MA Creative Writing & Publishing students as well as the multicultural literature requirement.

GENG 558-01 Otherness & Appropriation: Writing Outself the Self Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Chris Santiago JRC 481


Globalism, transnationalism, and mobility across borders are the signs of our times, until we are suddenly confronted with the obverse situation: closed borders due to a pandemic, caused by a precisely borderless viral agent. In that regard, the possibilities and challenges we face in our times parallel with (or extend from) those of the Romantics when they saw an increase in global travels and migrations, ecological disruptions and threats of diseases, in the times of colonial and commercial expansion, revolutions, and wars. Inspired by the burgeoning field of “literary mobility studies”—which include studies of travel writing, narratives of migration, and the impact of wars and power hierarchies on a global scale — we will read works that fascinated the readers of their day, exploring the “outside” world across national borders. We will also reflect upon the implications of globalism such as pandemics or the removal of art works from their native territories by occupying forces. These issues are as relevant today as two centuries ago. We will focus on Byron (Don Juan and other poems) and Mary Shelley (The Last Man and short stories), while contextualizing their work by reading Percy Shelley, John Keats, and Felicia Hemans, along with theoretical and critical texts that involve sciences, arts, ecology, travel writing, diseases, and feminism.

This course satisfies the early literature requirement and the global, transnational, and transatlantic requirement.

GENG 629-01 Transnational Romanticisms Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Young-ok An JRC 481


In the twenty-first century, celebrities are a ubiquitous feature of everyday life—in part due to the rise of new media, which allow for the viral transmission and re-circulation of news across culture. The expansion of new media has also allowed writers to fashion their own identities and to reach new audiences for their work. The postmodern idea of the literary celebrity as someone whose identity is constructed via new media got its start during the nineteenth century with the development of new communication technologies: film, photography, illustrated advertising, and mass-market newspapers. In this course, we will explore case studies from the nineteenth century—e.g., Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde—and then jump forward to the present moment, where writers such as Danez Smith and Mary Oliver use new media in ways that build upon and transform the strategies pioneered by their predecessors. We will also examine the fan groups and literary tourism industries that sprang up in response to writers’ celebrated book publications, both past and present. In the process, we will study literary works, new media texts, and recent theory and criticism on literary celebrity. We will meet in class for 9 weeks, then have four weeks of independent study, followed by a final day in class sharing our research.


GENG 672-01 Literature & Celebrity Culture Hybrid on campus/independent research, Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Dr. Alexis Easley JRC 222