Extended Descriptions-Graduate

Spring 2021

ENGL 520R: Poetic Meter and Poetic Form in the British Imagination (John Talbot)

An investigation into poetic meter and form, with an aesthetic and textual emphasis: meter and verbal form among the hiding-places of poetry’s power. Secondary attention to various contextual questions, both perennial and current (e.g., how notions of meter have changed through history; the relation of Greek and Roman to English verse forms; how poetic meter has been thought to relate to notions of nationhood, aesthetics, theology, class, gender, and tradition). Primary readings from Beowulf to the present. Secondary readings: some attention to theorists from sixteenth through nineteenth centuries; two contemporary monographs and some articles. Oral presentation of a project, to be workshopped into a formal conference-length paper.

Fall 2021

ENGL 600: Introduction to Graduate Studies (Mary Eyring)

ENGL 610: Composition Pedagogy (University Writing Directors)

ENGL 612R: History of Rhetoric (Nancy Christiansen)

ENGL 620R: Seminar in British Literature before 1660: Renaissance Women (Kimberly Johnson)

This course explores texts written by women during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with particular focus on the intersection of theology and gender.  We will examine poetry, prose, political and religious tracts, and drama of the period with an eye toward understanding the cultural position of women in Renaissance England.  Our discussions will range through the literary and generic strategies of women’s writing, considering it aesthetically and for the evidence it gives of the political, religious, social, and generic developments of the period.

We’ll also, perforce, consider the question of authority in literary writing and in society, and interrogate the means by which authority is conferred by cultural institutions in order to understand how women in this period conceived of, and negotiated, sanctions of and resistances to self-representation.

ENGL 621R: Seminar in British Literature, 1660-1830: British Romanticism, Then and Now (Nicholas Mason)

For what is, by far, the shortest traditional period in British literary history, the Romantic age continues to have outsized influence upon contemporary literature and culture. This seminar will examine this phenomenon by pairing Romantic-era writers and texts with major works from later periods that grapple with Romanticism’s lasting legacies. We will explore the enduring cult of the Romantic poet through the satirical pilgrimages at the heart of Henry James’s novella The Aspern Papers (1888) and Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip films (2010s); probe the distinctively Byronic strain of toxic masculinity depicted in J. M. Coetzee’s Booker-Prize-winning postcolonial novel, Disgrace (1999); study the life and works of the “peasant poet” John Clare alongside Adam Foulds’s Booker-shortlisted reimagining of Clare’s years in an asylum, The Quickening Maze (2009); and consider how Blakean resistance to secular rationalism is applied to modern Poland in 2018 Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (2009). Toggling between the early nineteenth century and the present day, this course should have clear relevance both for students focusing on the Romantic age and those studying all subsequent periods of British and American literary history.

ENGL 622R: Seminar in British Literature, 1830-Present: Woolf and Motherhood (Jarica Watts)

How is it that Virginia Woolf is able to write so compellingly about the experiences of maternity when Woolf herself was never a mother? This course will begin by examining the female relationships in Woolf’s life—the very early death of her mother, Julia Stephen, in 1895 when Woolf was only 13; the powerful sisterhood between Woolf and Vanessa Bell; the intense and passionate connection between Woolf and British author Vita Sackville-West—in an attempt to contextualize the variety of mothers and motherly experiences we encounter in Woolf’s fiction. Students will read seven of Virginia Woolf’s ten novels, including Jacob’s Room, Mrs Dalloway, Night and Day, Orlando, To the Lighthouse, The Voyage Out, and The Waves, as we work our way through the complicated dynamics of feminism, modernism, and the maternal muse.

Trigger warning: This class will discuss (and return often) to Woolf’s experience of childhood sexual abuse.

ENGL 628R: Memory, Nostalgia, and Trauma in Contemporary American Literature (Trent Hickman)

In recent years and in the wake of postmodernist inquiry, critical attention has turned anew not only to the study of how we represent the past but of memory itself–how it is formed, how it is transformed, and how it is deformed by nostalgia and trauma. Even as scholars refocus this discussion in newer terms to speak of the past, they still frequently find themselves concerned in many cases with the representations of the past and memory in its various forms, be they individual, familial, collective, national, environmental, or biological. Our course will familiarize you with some of the seminal theoretical texts on this return to studies of memory in its various forms, introduce you into some of the debates surrounding them, and finally ask you to identify how contemporary American literature incorporates representational strategies which speak to these concerns.

ENGL 629R: Poe and the World (Emron Esplin)

To claim that no other U.S. writer has had as much influence on world literature as Edgar Allan Poe is not to practice hyperbole. Variously proclaimed as a master of the macabre, the inventor of detective fiction, a precursor to science fiction, the inventor of the modern short story, and a dark poet-prophet, Poe’s figure casts multiple shadows on the world. In this course, we will study Poe’s influence on and affinities with writers from across the globe, and we will also analyze how the world has shaped the Poe that we know in the United States today. Our course readings will include a few of Poe’s poems and essays, a large portion of his short fiction, and various poetic and prose responses to Poe from France, England, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Our course material will focus on Poe the writer, but we will also approach the figure of Poe as a pop culture icon. Our discussions of the other writers in the course will examine their literary relationships with Poe, but we will also explore why each of these authors should be studied in their own right.

ENGL 630R: Theoretical Discourse: Environmental Humanities (Brian Roberts)

As a master’s-level theory course, this section of ENGL 630R requires no prior knowledge of the environmental humanities. Rather, it offers a set of readings, discussions, and assignments designed to permit graduate students to enter into conversation with some of the field’s most important theoretical and conceptual currents, developments, and conversations. As readings, discussions, and assignments unfold and build on each other over the course of the semester, we will approach various topics: the Anthropocene, environmental justice, postcolonial ecologies, multispecies studies, ecologies associated with new materialist thought, and archipelagic and oceanic ecologies.

ENGL 667: Creative Nonfiction (Pat Madden)

ENGL 668R: Fiction Workshop (Steve Tuttle)

The goal of this workshop is to exhaust ourselves. During the first half of the semester, we will read a number of book-length works of fiction (novels and story collections) to help increase the range of approaches we might consider as we approach the blank page. Simultaneously, students will bring new work to class each week to discuss in small groups. During the second half of the semester, students will revise some of their earlier writing for more intensive workshops.

ENGL 669: Poetry Workshop (Lance Larsen)

In this workshop you’ll be writing at least nine poems, nine “small or large machine[s] made out of words” (WC Williams) whose purpose is to take off the top of the reader’s head and leave her so cold no fire will ever warm her (Dickinson). Whether we achieve this collectively remains to be seen,  but we’ll certainly put in the sweat equity. If the seminar is small, each person will workshop six or seven times; if it’s bursting at the seams, four times. In addition, we’ll systematically study half a dozen contemporary poetry collections, complete in-class prompts, and you’ll do a presentation, memorize a sonnet, send out new poems, and talk about your work using a portfolio.

Winter 2022

ENGL 611R: Teaching Advanced Composition (University Writing Directors)

ENGL 613R: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (Jon Balzotti)

ENGL 616R: Research Methods in Composition (Amy Williams)

ENGL 617R: Creative Writing Theory (Pat Madden)

ENGL 620R: Seminar in British Literature before 1660: How to Read Medieval (Juliana Chapman)

What do we assume about who read and how they read in medieval England? Many of our assumptions are based on false narratives about literacy, gender, aesthetics, and technology. As a result, we often look at features of the modern literary landscape, including the intermediality of 21st-century forms and genres, from graphic novels to hypertext poems, and think they’re remarkably new and innovative. As this course will demonstrate, what’s new is often really quite old—platforms and technologies evolve, but people have been doing interesting things with media (and reading) for a very long time. What does it do to our sense of literary history and modern genre when we attend to the intermedial nature of medieval British literature? Throughout this period, authors routinely blurred the lines between artistic fields and expected their readers and audiences to keep up. We’ll read a range of medieval British texts (prose, poetry, drama) with an eye to the non-lit in the lit—considering how fields like art, music, science, and architecture in their own right, not just metaphorically, are incorporated into medieval literature. How does reading, for instance, a heavily illustrated manuscript impact readerly practice and interpretation? What is a reader supposed to make of a song embedded in the middle of an epic poem? What good is a world map that doesn’t tell you how to find your way from London to Paris but instead tells the biblical story of creation across a contemporary landscape? These questions and others will help us explore what it means, and looks like, to read and interpret like a Medieval. This process will inevitably help us be more sophisticated readers now.

ENGL 621R: Author Studies: Wrestling with Milton: Reading and Being Read by Paradise Lost  (John S. Tanner)

It is sometimes said that Paradise Lost reads its readers, meaning that their responses reveal as much about them as about Milton.  It is an argumentative, pugnacious poem.  It prompts one to wrestle and argue with it as well as admire it.  This course will invite you to wrestle with Milton’s Paradise Lost.  We will read the poem twice—once quickly and then more slowly. The second time we will read it in the context of Milton’s other works and other readers, including ourselves.

ENGL 622R: Seminar in British Literature, 1830-Present: Victorian Strata: Geological, Social, Ethical (Leslee Thorne-Murphy)

This course will dig deep into questions about stratification—physical and social, spatial and temporal, visual and textual. During an age when geological discoveries re-shaped concepts of cosmic origins, the very definition of humanity was under scrutiny. We will study literature by authors such as Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Yonge, and Edward Bulwer-Lytton, examining the ways they engaged with and re-envisioned theories of scientific, social, and theological classification. As part of the class, students will have the opportunity to participate in the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies conference held in Salt Lake City, March 24-27, 2022, where they will hear from and interact with many of the scholars whose work we will read during the semester.

ENGL 626R: Witchcraft (Mary Eyring)

The early American witchcraft phenomenon has been studied as a manifestation of anxiety surrounding gender and sexuality in the Americas. Certainly it was. But in a much larger sense, witchcraft registered early Americans’ concerns about their relationship to the continent, the Atlantic world, and the globe. In small and often isolated settlements, European colonists in the Americas were in a perpetual posture of defense against anticipated attacks—on their bodies, homes, souls, children, institutions, customs—with no clear sense of the origins or implications of the threat. In this climate, everything in the world, visible and invisible, was suspect. During the most famous episodes in the history of early modern witchcraft, accusers blurred the lines between sinner and saint, stranger and friend, on terms that echoed their constantly shifting status on a globe in flux. Were they Europeans (transmitting centuries of repression and violence) or Americans (entangled with the native inhabitants of their continents and islands)? Witchcraft periodically threw the ongoing tensions of colonial expansion and governance into sharp relief. At stake in these trials was not only the fate of individuals, but also the role that science, spirituality, law, literature, cross-cultural cooperation, and individualism were to play on the dramatic theaters of the New World. In this course, we will trace the concerns of witchcraft in a variety of texts. Our seminar will begin with a study of the European bases upon which the early American witchcraft phenomenon rests, and we will study the animating anxieties as they were manifested, repressed, analyzed, and dramatized in other global contexts. Our sources will include the familiar and conventionally literary—histories, drama, short stories, a novel—as well as journals, letters, newspapers, and a film.

ENGL 629R: Contemporary African American Literature (Kristin Matthews)

Engl 629R will be an antiracist course in content and methods as we examine “home” in contemporary African American literature and culture. We will read a range of texts, genres, and media as we unpack this concept, and our methods will be interdisciplinary, drawing on visual sources, music, sociology, philosophy, and historical materials. While “home” invites ideas of inclusion, community, safety, and belongingness, America’s “home of the brave” has often come at the cost of the exclusion of racialized “others” from particular spaces, places, and orders. Understood in these ways, “home” becomes a concept that is at once philosophical, psychological, and political. Given the recent events that have sparked new ways of talking about this centuries-old “race problem,” we will read literature written in the last ten years to examine how contemporary thinkers are addressing what W. E. B. DuBois called “the problem of the color line.” These texts pose key questions about “home” and its relationship to geography, ancestry, language, history, displacement, class, and gender. Ultimately, the texts selected for this course examine what it means and what it takes to feel “at home” in one’s community, one’s nation, and one’s own skin.

ENGL 630R: Theoretical Discourse: Cultures of Nationalism (Frank Christianson)

How do nations induce loyalty in their citizens? What role does literature play in defining membership–affinity and difference–for a community? This course will focus on theories of nationalism and literature’s place in the development and maintenance of nationalist cultures. Readings and research will explore how the concept of nationhood functions as an identity category, and examine related notions of regionalism, ethnicity, and cosmopolitanism. While case studies come from a period of high nationalism in nineteenth-century Britain and America, students can adapt the critical framework, questions, and lexicon to inform readings within their preferred subfields. Primary literary genres will be novels and autobiographies.

ENGL 645R: Special Topics in English Education: Composition Theory and Its Implications in Practice (Debbie Dean)

When we teach writing, we enact theories and ideologies—even if we are unaware of them. This course will delve into the key intellectual paradigms that have influenced writing instruction, exploring the history of these theories and the characteristics associated with the major theoretical approaches. We will connect ideologies with classroom practices with the purpose of promoting intentional choices in writing instruction for the most effective outcomes.

ENGL 667: The Personal Essay Large and Small (Joey Franklin)

How do you write an essay? or a book of essays? Or a six-volume mega-memoir? The same way you eat an elephant. One small bite at a time.  In this course we will study short-form nonfiction as both a stand-alone art, and as a building block for longer works. We will read collected flash-nonfiction and book-length projects that are built of smaller pieces. We will dissect the short form, use what we learn to create our own flash nonfiction, and combine what we create into larger cohesive manuscripts. We will review the contemporary flash nonfiction scene and see if we can come to our own theories of flash-nonfiction. We will workshop our manuscripts, revise like crazy, and submit our work to journals around the country.

ENGL 668: Fiction Workshop (Spencer Hyde)

ENGL 669: Poetry Workshop (Michael Lavers)

ENGL 670R: Young Adult Novel (Chris Crowe)

ENGL  670R is a workshop designed for graduate students who are working on a young adult novel. Students in this course should have read widely in YA literature (ENGL 420 is wonderful preparation).  The seminar will run on a workshop format, so it is essential that every student is prepared to work on a YA novel.  In late fall semester of 2021, every student enrolled in the course must submit a writing sample for me to review. We’ll then meet to discuss the sample and to discuss the individualized required reading to be completed prior to the start of the class in winter 2022.

Spring 2022

ENGL 520R: Fairy Tales and Other Speculative Fictions: Socialization and the Search for Just Worlds (Jill Rudy)

Speculative fiction, including genres like myth, legend, and folk tale, highlights non-mimetic worlds, possible impossibilities, and metaphoric alternatives–past, present, and future. The concept of justice appears often in speculative fiction and relates with some crucial contemporary social changes—those that seek fairness and reparations for marginalized people and damaged environments and those that propel rampant injustices of oppression, privilege, waste, and greed. This seminar starts with “Snow White and Rose Red” as collected and published by the Grimm brothers along with the adaptation Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan. This novel is a rough, but not graphic, story searching for justice while dealing with incest, gang rape, and other injustices. Critical readings include selections from Marek Oziewicz’s Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction and Ursula K. LeGuin’s Steering the Craft. We also will read, work, and play with novels Bird Summons, by Leila Aboulela; The Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler, and The Marrow Thieves, by Cheri Dimaline considering that if people become attached to story characters in ways remarkably similar to real people, if literature involves worldbuilding that people actually wish to live in, then stories and literature affect how we understand our place in the world and may be powerful socializing agents for children, youth, adults, and justice.


Summer 2022

ENGL 646R: Central Utah Writing Project (Debbie Dean)

This course involves participation in the CUWP’s summer institute (SI). The course dates are unique, and graduate students should contact Debbie Dean before March 1 with their intention to participate as the course begins with an evening session in March, a full day in May, and then three weeks in June of daily, all-day, attendance. The program encourages teachers to be writers and focuses on improving writing instruction in a highly collaborative environment with teachers of multiple grade levels and content areas.


Fall 2022

ENGL 600R: Intro to Graduate Studies (Mary Eyring)

ENGL 610R: Composition Pedagogy (University Writing Directors)

ENGL 612R: History of Rhetoric (Nancy Christiansen)

ENGL 620R: Seminar in British Literature before 1660: Where’s the Drama? Performance in England When the Theatres Shut Down, c. 1625–1660 (Sharon Harris)

During Shakespeare’s lifetime, over twenty theaters were constructed in London where hundreds of plays were performed. Not thirty years later, Parliament closed all theatres. An entire industry was kicked to the curb or, as we will see, run underground. What did the actors, musicians, and playwrights do? How did they translate their work and skills while theatres were illegal? What role did music and print culture play in satisfying the public’s nostalgia for performance? That is to say, where’s the drama? But there’s no shortage of drama of other kinds: This is when the court threw its biggest parties with glitzy costumes, people watching, and dancing. It’s when Puritans outlawed Christmas carols and roast goose. And it’s when the king lost his head. We’ll explore how theaters and performance were transposed to new sites and media and still acted as coping mechanisms for the unscripted drama of the period.

ENGL 627R: American Literature, 1865-1914, Reconstructing American Identity: Issues of Belonging (Mike Taylor)

Typified by the sharply contrasting moments of Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 mass hanging of 38 Dakota men and his 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, late nineteenth-century America may be defined as an era of simultaneously limiting and expanding the popular notion and embodied realities of belonging in a still-expanding United States. Throughout this course, we will explore a range of literary genres and communities of writers to engage the diverse—often competing—narratives of national belonging in postbellum America.

ENGL 628R: Seminar in American Literature 1914-Present: The Culture of Climate Change (Jamin Rowan)

As we settle into life in the Anthropocene, a wide variety of writers and culture makers have responded to the emerging conditions of this new climactic period. Through course readings and independent research, we will have the opportunity to identify and analyze the narrative and formal patterns through which writers and other artists are making sense of the Anthropocene. We will also address the challenges that climate change poses to our conventional understandings of literary history and our traditional analytical approaches to literary study.

ENGL 629R: The BangClash of Planetary Modernisms (Aaron Eastley)

This course will explore planetary/global modernisms from an applied literary angle. In traditional literary history, Modernism/Modernity are powerful ideas typically linked either narrowly to Europe and America in the first half of the 20th century or more broadly to Europe and its cultural diaspora from roughly 1500 on. More recently scholars such as Susan Stanford Friedman have argued that modernism is best understood as “a planetary phenomenon across the millennia.” “We need to begin by abandoning the notion of modernity as a period,” Friedman insists, “instead considering modernity as a loosely configured set of conditions that share a core meaning of accelerated change but articulate differently on the global map of human history.” Friedman specifically highlights four major ways in which traditional modernism may be productively re-articulated, terming these: Re-vision, Recovery, Circulation, and Collage. This course will employ these four approaches in reading a constellation of literary texts—largely 20th Century British but not primarily so—seeking to test through interpretive application the merits of the planetary modernist ideas put forward in recent years by Friedman and other important theorists such as Franco Moretti, Emily Apter, Mary Lou Emery, Simon Gikandi, Fredric Jameson, Sarah Lincoln, Jahan Ramazani, and Gayatri Spivak. Though highly informed by theory and criticism, our central focus will be on literary texts, including Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse; Seepersad Naipaul’s Gurudeva and other stories; James Joyce’s “Araby,” A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses; Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; Derek Walcott’s The Odyssey: A Stage Version and Omeros; and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane.

ENGL 630R: Theoretical Discourse (Ed Cutler)

ENGL 640R: Religious and Regional Folklore: Latter-day Saints and The Intermountain West (Eric Eliason)

This graduate course will introduce students (or expand their knowledge about) the discipline of folklore and explore historical and contemporary scholarship on Latter-day Saint folklore and the folklore of the Intermountain West and the inter-relations between the two.  Students will select and investigate their own topic in this area using scholarly, archival, and/or ethnographic methods.

In-class instruction and discussion, as well as out-of-class activities, are designed to guide students through the process of doing research and getting a paper ready for a scholarly presentation and publication.

ENGL 667R: Creative Nonfiction Workshop (Pat Madden)

ENGL 668R: Fiction Workshop (Steve Tuttle)

ENGL 669R: Poetry Workshop (John Talbot)


Winter 2023

ENGL 613R: Rhetorical Theory and Criticism (Jon Balzotti)

ENGL 616R: Research Methods in Composition (Dave Stock)

ENGL 617: Creative Writing Theory (Steve Tuttle)

ENGL 621R: Romanticism and Textual Editing (Paul Westover)

British Romantic literature as we know it has been shaped by all sorts of actors, both inside and outside of schools. Among the most influential, yet least recognized, agents have been editors: custodians and transmitters of literary texts. Who are these people? How do they learn and exercise their craft? Why has their work mattered in the past, and why might it matter in the future? With such queries in mind, this seminar will introduce students to the theory and practice of textual scholarship.

The course will tackle such questions as the following:
• How are scholarly editions produced?
• What are the primary materials for textual scholarship?
• What practical and ethical questions must editors grapple with in studying Romantic-era writers (or any other writers)?
• What roles have editors played historically in the reception and understanding of the Romantics?
• How have modern editors recuperated neglected writers of the Romantic Period, and how has the field of Romantic Studies changed as a result?
• How have digital technologies transformed the field? What is the likely future of textual scholarship?

Aspiring Romanticists and other British Lit. folks should certainly take this seminar, but students from other emphases—especially those with a passion for books and manuscripts as material objects and an eye for juicy details—will find much to enjoy while developing practical, portable skills. Likely assignments will include plenty of reading; writing in practical genres such as headnotes and annotations; archival work in Special Collections; oral presentations; and hands-on editing projects, both group and individual.

ENGL 622R: Literature and Victorian Design (Jamie Horrocks)

The shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy radically transformed Britain, requiring Victorians to re-think the made world, its processes and its artifacts. This semester, we’ll use a cultural studies approach to Victorian literature to study how Victorian writers thought about design and the design reform movement. What was good design, in nineteenth-century Britain? Were the design principles that writers believed could elevate the machine arts applicable to the urban environment? To green spaces? Could the wallpaper you select or the fabric you wear affect the moral discernment of the children you raise or the nations being raised up in colonial markets throughout the world? How should commodities be produced (should commodities be produced?), and what are the personal and political implications of certain materials, decorations, or forms? Is it possible to create a perfect machine, a perfect public space, or a perfect world? If so, what would it look like, who would it benefit, how much would it cost, and—importantly—would it offer a range of furniture options for the discriminating consumer? No Victorian writer is better at discussing disease, environmental pollution, housing, candlesticks, and carpets than Charles Dickens, so we’ll read some of his work, along with writing by John Ruskin, Henry Mayhew, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Morris, and more. We’ll supplement our Victorian readings with classic essays in design studies and design history, and students will be encouraged to apply the theory and criticism that we read to literature in their own fields of study for their final paper.

ENGL 626R: American Literature, European Beginnings to 1860: Early American Narratives and Created History (Keith Lawrence)

This seminar will first overview the variety of colonial European narrative forms comprising traditional early American literature—captivity narratives and other narratives of divine providence, criminal narratives and other narratives of divine judgment, other moral narratives (including those focused on scientific, historical, religious, or social subjects), narratives for children, and narratives of nation—to underscore the early American print narrative as a basis for a created history focused on western European Americans. We will look past the unfolding political, cultural, and religious tensions within these texts—tensions revealing commonly-held and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century white perspectives eventually ingrained as the core elements of the [white] “American character”—to consider contrasting tensions in the comparatively few print narratives from indigenous peoples and Blacks and to posit what the true, more inclusive “American character” might be.

ENGL 628R: American Literature, 1914 to Present (Instructor TBA)

ENGL 629R: Transnational Literature: Arthurian Women, Medieval to Modern (Juliana Chapman)

The Arthurian legend (or, as the Medievals called it: the Matter of Britain), is one of the best-known narrative traditions from British literature. But from their sixth-century beginnings till today, Arthurian tales of knights, quests, named weapons, and monstrous beasts have relegated women to the margins. Despite the seeming equality of the Round Table, there are no seats for women, and when women do appear in the stories, they often do so in disturbing or problematic ways. This course aims to recover Arthurian women—women as characters in, as well as authors and readers of, the Matter of Britain. Our study will begin with the roles of women in the legend’s creation and expansion during the medieval period, both in England and across Europe, then turn to women’s roles in perpetuating the legend’s global literary afterlife. From Marie de France’s twelfth-century Arthurian poems, to the medievalism of the Romantic and Victorian periods, up through recent modern adaptations into literature, music, visual art, and film, women around the world have repeatedly made spaces for themselves at the Arthurian table.

ENGL 630R: Theoretical Discourse: Evaluative Criticism in a Relativist Age (Nick Mason)

After decades in the wilderness of literary studies, evaluative criticism—the interpretive mode that aims to identify and celebrate the “best” poems, novels, or plays of a particular age or tradition—shows early signs of returning to favor, albeit in a somewhat chastened, less-swashbuckling form than in its mid-20th-century heyday. Suddenly it seems easy to imagine a not-so-distant future when English teachers from the middle-school classroom to the doctoral seminar again unite in a common mission of instilling Arnoldian reverence for “the best that is known and thought in the world” and Wordsworthian disdain for “frantic novels, sickly and stupid [gothic] tragedies, and deluges of idle and extravagant stories.” To prepare for this potential return to old ways, this seminar will function as something of a semester-long training exercise in the safe handling of evaluative criticism. Our focus will be partly historical, as we will examine famous cases of writers’ critical reputations either skyrocketing or plummeting from one generation to the next. Against this backdrop, we will wade into ongoing debates between those who believe cultivating refined tastes should be a crucial component of any literary education and others who feel aesthetic judgment is largely contingent on one’s culture, lived experiences, and historical moment and therefore inherently subjective.

ENGL 645R: Special Topics in English Education: Composition Theory and Its Implications in Practice (Debbie Dean)

When we teach writing, we enact theories and ideologies—even if we are unaware of them. This course will delve into the key intellectual paradigms that have influenced writing instruction, exploring the history of these theories and the characteristics associated with the major theoretical approaches. We will connect ideologies with classroom practices with the purpose of promoting intentional choices in writing instruction for the most effective outcomes.

ENGL 667R: Creative Nonfiction (Joey Franklin)

ENGL 667: Writing “Wilde” Essays: Oscar Wilde claimed that only literature could capture “life in its full and absolute entirety; not merely the beauty that men look at, but the beauty that men listen to also; not merely the momentary grace of form or the transient gladness of colour, but the whole sphere of feeling, the perfect cycle of thought” (“The Critic as Artist”). That is our goal this semester—to capture the perfect cycle of thought—to recreate our minds at work on the page, to explore the world around us and take notes, to teach ourselves and our readers something new, and, ultimately, to discover a few fresh truths about the world and ourselves in the process. And if that’s not a tall enough order, consider this: Wilde also claimed that life and literature were the two highest forms of art.  And if literature really is the highest form of art, is it possible that the essay (the literature of life), in all its quirky, “indigested,” experimental, self-consciousness, is the highest form of literature? Maybe (don’t tell the poets!). In this course, we will read and discuss some great essays. We will write and observe and research and think and exercise our creative muscles. We will become better literary citizens, stronger critical thinkers, and more proficient revisers of our own work. Students can expect three formal essay projects reviewed in workshop, class presentations, several books worth of reading, and other assignments tied to creative writing professionalization.

ENGL 668R: Fiction Workshop (Spencer Hyde)

ENGL 669R: Poetry Workshop (Kimberly Johnson)

A writing workshop represents an opportunity to hear from disinterested persons about the communicative successes and failures of your work.  This course combines traditional workshop discussion of student poems with a larger discussion about the craft and theory of poetry writing.  We will frame that larger conversation by looking at key theoretical texts, exploring issues of craft, and discussing a number of poetry collections, identifying their poetic strategies and assessing the effects of those strategies, and considering the concept of the poetry book qua book—that is, as a coherent document with its own governing arguments.  Each week, we will seek to acknowledge the mutually constitutive labors of thinking, reading, and writing.  We will spend one-third of class discussing a point of poetic theory or craft; one-third discussing a single collection of poetry; and the remaining third workshopping student poems.


Spring 2023


Summer 2023

ENGL 646R: Central Utah Writing Project (Debbie Dean)

This course involves participation in the CUWP’s summer institute (SI). The course dates are unique, and graduate students should contact Debbie Dean before March 1 with their intention to participate as the course begins with an evening session in March, a full day in May, and then three weeks in June of daily, all-day, attendance. The program encourages teachers to be writers and focuses on improving writing instruction in a highly collaborative environment with teachers of multiple grade levels and content areas.