Graduate Catalog 2010

Graduate Studies in English

Curriculum | Courses

Bryce Sullivan ,
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Annette M. Sisson, Director, Graduate Studies in English

Danielle Alexander, Sarah Bowles, Cynthia Cox, David Curtis, Jeremy Ecke, Amy Hodges-Hamilton, Sandra Smith Hutchins, Caresse John, Margaret P. Monteverde, Douglas Murray, John H.E. Paine, Robbie Pinter, Annette Sisson, Bonnie Kathryn Smith, Andrea Stover

The Master of Arts in English Degree

Vision:

Reading and writing are acts of love and survival-pursued for the intense pleasures of creativity and imagination and for the human need to communicate. The Master of Arts in English at Belmont University calls students to explore the written word: the means by which we know our past, understand our present, and envision our future. Our faculty members- through teaching, mentoring, and collaboration-seek to expand students' knowledge and understanding of literature and writing by aiding their developing abilities in critical reading, in practical literary analysis, in scholarly research, and in effective written and oral communication.

Purpose:

In the M.A. in English at Belmont, courses are designed to build on strengths and knowledge from students' undergraduate and professional experiences and to broaden their awareness of literary studies and writing. The graduate faculty is committed to fostering the skills of critical and historical reading as well as creative and analytical writing, and to increasing student expertise in scholarly research. The program engages students in reading literature from American, British and World traditions, introduces them to theories of writing and literature, and invites them to write in a variety of genres and styles including fiction or poetry, literary criticism, creative non-fiction (including memoir and the essay), and ethnography. The program encourages students to develop professionally through preparing presentations, compiling reflective portfolios, and researching and writing scholarly and creative theses on topics of their choice. The M.A. in English at Belmont prepares students for Ph.D. programs in literature, composition, or creative writing; graduates have also pursued careers in teaching, publishing, business, law, and entertainment.

Goals:

The Master of Arts Program in English:

1. promotes effective, creative, and reflective reading, writing, and critical thinking;
2. presents literature and language within historical and cultural contexts;
3. introduces students to diverse strategies for interpreting literature;
4. explores with students the structures, complexities, and development of language;
5. assists students interested in developing as creative writers;
6. integrates local and global learning experiences into the curriculum;
7. requires students to develop research skills by employing current professional standards and emerging technologies-and to think critically about these resources and tools
8. engages students in independent research and long-term writing projects
9. encourages professional and poised oral presentations

M.Ed. with Specialization in English

The Master of Education may be earned with a specialization in English. For information about this program, please see the description in the Graduate Studies in Education section of this bulletin. Application for this program is through the Department of Education. The English courses and the faculty for this program are listed in this section.


Academic Policies

A. Requirements for Admission - Master of Arts in English

Applications for admission to the M.A. program are available from the Graduate Office in the Department of Literature and Language and on our web site ( www.belmont.edu). In addition to the completed application form, the prospective student must submit the following application portfolio:

  1. Official copies of all college and university transcripts.
  2. A writing sample from a recent academic or professional setting.
  3. A writing sample prepared especially for the admissions portfolio.
  4. Graduate Record Examination scores (general test only).
  5. Two letters of recommendation.
  6. A $50.00 non-refundable application fee.

The admissions form provides complete instructions for submitting each of the above items. In addition to the portfolio, the prospective student must have an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Each application portfolio will be reviewed to assess the overall abilities of the applicant and the potential for success in this program. Students lacking sufficient undergraduate preparation in English may be required to take additional undergraduate courses prior to admission to candidacy. Applicants are accepted on a rolling admissions pattern; thus, each applicant will be notified of the admissions committee's decision shortly after the admissions portfolio is completed.

B. Financial Aid

A limited number of scholarship grants are available both to entering and continuing students. Applications are available through the Graduate Office in the Department of English.

C. Limitation on Completion of Requirements

A student must complete all degree requirements within six years of entrance into the program. Petitions for extension must be addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies in English and are granted only in exceptional circumstances.

D. Study Abroad

Study in Britain and other countries is possible through Belmont programs. Please see Kathy Skinner in the Office of International Education or the coordinator for study in English speaking countries (CCSA), Dr. Margaret Monteverde, in the English Department for further information.

E. Examinations and Thesis

The student's program culminates with written examinations and a thesis. The student will work with a mentor to prepare for the examination areas and to research and write the thesis. Each thesis will be bound and placed in the Bunch Library.

F. Language Requirement

All students must demonstrate competency (reading ability equivalent to second-semester intermediate level undergraduate course) in a second language prior to graduation from the M.A. program. This competency can be demonstrated in several ways, including credit on undergraduate transcript, departmentally-administered reading examination, study at a reputable language institute, or completing coursework while enrolled in the M.A. program. Please see the Director of Graduate Studies in English for details.


Curriculum

 M.A. in English

M.A. in English
(Common Core plus an Emphasis)

Hours 30
Common Core 21
ENG 5000, Practical Literary Criticism   3  
At least three "Readings" courses from the following:   9  
     ENG 5800, Readings in World Literature I    
     ENG 5810, Readings in British Literature I    
     ENG 5820, Readings in British Literature II    
     ENG 5830, Readings in American Literature I    
     ENG 5840, Readings in World Literature II    
     ENG 5850, Readings in British Literature III    
     ENG 5800, Readings in World Literature I    
     ENG 5860, Readings in American Literature II    
Electives *  
ENG 6700, Thesis Preparation 3  
ENG 6800, Thesis Writing  
 
English - No Special Emphasis
9
ENG 6000, Single / Double Author   3  
ENG 6100, Genre   3  
Additional Elective   3  
 
Creative Writing Emphasis
9
ENG 6000, Single / Double Author   3  
ENG 6200, Creative Writing Seminar   6  
 
Postsecondary Pedagogy Emphasis
9
ENG 6000, Single / Double Author OR ENG 6100, Genre   3  
ENG 5720, Practicum in Pedagogy OR ENG 5730, Peer Tutoring   3  
ENG 5040, History of the English Language OR ENG 6420, Composition Theories   3  
Total Program 30 hours **

  * Any course may be taken as an elective, but no course may be repeated during the program except for ENG 6000, ENG 6100, ENG 6200, ENG 6300, and ENG 6400.

   ** The standard preferred way to complete the program is through the completion of a thesis, written and researched during enrollment in ENG 6700 and ENG 6800. Students may petition the Director of Graduate English (who will confer with the Graduate Advisory Council) to take two academic courses (6 hours), one of which must be a “Readings” course + ENG 6600 Portfolio & Exam, thus making the program a 31-hour program instead of a 30-hour program. This option is by permission and written approval of the Director only. 

  English Courses (ENG)

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The following courses are offered on a three-year rotation. At least two courses are offered each semester and in the summer sessions.

ENG 5000. Practical Literary Criticism (3). This course offers the opportunity to research and study selected works of literature from a variety of contemporary theoretical approaches. It aims to increase students' ability to evaluate and apply these approaches. Required for M.A. students. Recommended for M.Ed. students.

ENG 5040. History of the English Language (3). (offered concurrently with ENG 3500).The origins and development of the English Language are studied in the context of linguistics and socio-political influences. Attention is also paid to the on-going processes affecting modern English.

ENG 5700. Practicum in Scholarly Editing (1-3). Participation is by invitation only. Course is repeatable, but maximum credit earned in ENG 5700 is 3 credit hours. Under supervision of faculty who are active editors of a scholarly journal or are engaged in a scholarly-editing project, students will participate in all phases of the selecting and editing process. The supervising faculty member and student should develop a contract about editorial work to be completed by the student and the study/reading component to be undertaken together, taking into account the number of credit hours; students earning 3 credit hours in this Practicum should also write a substantial essay about the editorial process, their learning process, etc.

ENG 5720. Practicum in Pedagogy (1-3). Course is repeatable (two times total), but maximum credit earned in ENG 5720 is 3 credit hours.Under the supervision of faculty who are teaching an undergraduate course, students will assist and participate in all phases of the teaching process: preparation, classroom instruction, evaluation, etc. The supervising faculty member and student should develop a contract about work to be completed by the student and the study / reading component to be undertaken together, taking into account the number of credit hours; students taking 3 credit hours in the Practicum, making it the equivalent of a full course, should also write a substantial essay about teaching, their own teaching experiences and learning processes, etc.

ENG 5730. Pedagogical Studies (3). This course introduces students to pedagogies used in teaching literature, language and / or writing. In addition to reading and discussing the various pedagogical approaches, students will appy them by assisting a professor in teaching, tutoring, and / or conferencing with students on their papers. Other related assignments will include writing learning goals, designing assignments, developing rubrics and other assessments tools, etc.

ENG 5800. Readings in World Literature I (3).This course presents important works of literature of the world from beginnings to Enlightenment. This course establishes a historical perspective while seeking to encourage both comparative perspective and common ground among works from European tradition and several non-Western cultures.

ENG 5810. Readings in British Literature I (3).Readings emphasizing the historical development of British literature from a broad spectrum of representative works from Old English up to the Elizabethan period.

ENG 5820. Readings in British Literature II (3). Readings emphasizing the historical development of British literature from a broad spectrum of representative works from the Elizabethan period through the eighteenth century.

ENG 5830. Readings in American Literature I (3). Readings emphasizing the historical development of American literature from a broad spectrum of representative works, from beginnings through the Civil War.

ENG 5840. Readings in World Literature II (3).This course presents important works of literature of the world from the Enlightenment to the present. This course establishes a historical perspective while seeking to encourage both comparative perspective and common ground among works from European tradition and several non-Western cultures.

ENG 5850. Readings in British Literature III (3).Readings emphasizing the historical development of British Literature from a broad spectrum of representative works from the Romantic period through the present.

ENG 5860. Readings in American Literature II (3). Readings emphasizing the historical development of American Literature from a broad spectrum of representative works from the Civil War to the present.

ENG 5950. Study Abroad. (1-6). Various study-abroad opportunities are available through Belmont. Consult the Director of International Studies Abroad for program details.

ENG 6000. Single / Double Author Seminar (3). Each offering of this course will be devoted to the in-depth study of one, or at most two, author(s). These authors range from Chaucer and/or Shakespeare to Jane Austen, E.M. Forster, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Joan Didion, as examples, etc. Deep knowledge of an author's (or two author's) oeuvre, not historical coveraage, is the chief goal of the course. May be repeated once for up to six hours.

ENG 6100. Genre Seminar (3). Each offering of this course will provide a critical introduction to a single genre of writing. Seminar topics may include everything from the novel, short story, poetry, and drama, to nature or travel writing, the graphic novel, ethnography, and memoir, etc. Deep knowledge of the genre, not historical coverage, is the seminar's chief goal. May be repeated once for up to six credits.

ENG 6200. Creative Writing Seminar (3). Each offering of this course will explore the theory and practice of creative writing and an emphasis on revision. Offerings will rotate between Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Writing and the Creative Process, and other possible genres or topics. Deep experience in writing in particular genres is the chief goal of this seminar. May be repeated twice for credit up to nine hours.

ENG 6300. Special Topics in Writing (3).Each offering of this course will adress a differnt topic or theme from disciplines of writing, rhetoric, and / or composition. Topics may include Writing about Place, Writing and Social Issues, Writing and Identity, and others. May be repeated twice for credit up to nine hours

ENG 6340. Gender Studies (3). An exploration of theories of gender; examines constructions and manipulations of gender in a variety of literary texts.

ENG 6400. Special Topics in Literature (3). Each course offering will address a different topic, issue, or theme from the disciplines of literature and/or critical theory. Deep knowledge of a topic, issue, or theme is the chief goal of the seminar. May be repeated twice for credit up to nine hours.

ENG 6420. Composition Theories (3). The course provides a basic overview of composition theories: audience analysis, writing process theory, writing to learn theory, discourse theory, invention in the rhetorical tradition. Other topics include evaluation, electronic discourse, and grammar.

ENG 6500. Special Topics in English Grammar and Linguistics (3).This course, which will vary in focus with individual offerings, builds on basic understanding of English grammar from History of the English Language by focusing on special topics in Advanced English Grammar and Linguistics. Course is repeatable once with different topics.

ENG 6600. Portfolio and Comprehensive Examination (1). This course is available by petition only, and each case will be evaluated individually by the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Advisory Committee. If the petition is granted the student must complete and submit a portfolio of representative course work and a synthesis, reflective essay that is academic in nature; the student must also pass a written comprehensive examination. The student must register for this course in the last semester prior to graduation. This course is Pass / Fail. In the event of failure of this course, the student must re-take the course until he / she passes the Portfolio and Comprehensive Exam, thereby earns a grade of "P" for the course. Should the student's committee award the student a "High Pass" the grade is still recorded as a "P."

ENG 6700. Thesis Prospectus and Research (3). Directed by the faculty mentor, the student undertakes the research and other forms of preparation necessary to write the thesis. This course is graded as a Pass / Fail. Completion and approval of the prospectus by the thesis committee are required for the student to receive a grade of "P" for this course. Successful completion of this course is a pre-requisite to registration in ENG 6800, Thesis Writing.

ENG 6800. Thesis (3). Directed by the faculty mentor, students complete all the requirements for the thesis, including a formal public presentation of their finished work. This course is graded as a Pass / Fail. Completion and approval of the thesis by all members of the thesis committee are required for the student to receive a grade of "P" for the course.

ENG 6801-6804. Thesis Continuation (1 credit hour each).Pre-requisite ENG 6700. P/F grade option only. Any student who has received an IP in ENG 6800 must enroll in this series of courses to allow for completion of that course after the original semester of enrollment. Thesis continuation sections must be taken consecutively and continuously until ENG 6800 is complete, to a maximum of 4 semesters or two years. If a student has not completed the thesis by that time, the only option for completing the M.A. in English program will be to switch at the end of that semester to the non-thesis option and complete nay outstanding requirements for that program. Hours do not count toward degree hours earned for the M.A. degree.


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