Skip to main content
Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Current and Upcoming Courses

Students in Library

The courses in the M.A. are designed for various purposes. Gateway courses are meant to introduce or re-introduce you to literary criticism, graduate research, and literary history. Seminars are advanced courses in literature, writing, and special topics. Practica give selected students valuable experience in teaching and editing. Other enriching electives are offered in the History of the English Language and Studies Abroad.

Spring 2017 Courses:

English 6420: Composition Theories. Dr. Jason Lovvorn. Mondays 6-8:30 p.m.

When we write, what happens?  In other words, what forces are in play, and how do these forces shape writers, texts, and audiences? Moreover, why do we study these dynamics, and what have we learned so far? Such questions frame our course, which examines the relatively young, highly interdisciplinary field of composition studies. 

Over the semester, we will trace key theories, movements, and debates that address how writing works as well as how we might best teach the writing craft. Topics will include disciplinary narratives, rhetorical directions, discourse theories, social constructions, identity politics, literacy connections, pedagogical practices, and new media effects.

The class, its readings, and its weekly conversations will benefit a wide range of students—including those who want to understand their own writing practices, those who pursue further graduate work in English, and those who teach English at the college level.

English 6200:Creative Writing Seminar: Fiction - Short Stories and Novel Chapters. Dr. Susan Finch. Tuesdays 6-8:30 p.m.

For Creative Writing Seminar: Fiction, we will be examining and writing in two forms: the short story and the first chapter. The beginning of the semester will be dedicated to reading, dissecting, and writing short stories, and the second half will be dedicated to writing novel chapters, focusing primarily on the opening chapters of novels. This course strives to accomplish three primary goals: to expose writers to a variety of styles, story shapes, and authors, to encourage the critical examination of both published work and workshop material, and finally, to inspire writers to create a variety of original pieces, working in different points of view and structures, some of which may exceed the boundaries of the writer’s comfort zone. In order to accomplish these goals, you, as the writer, must be willing to try different techniques and exercises, and you must be open to criticism from peers as well as your instructor. The more you are willing to challenge yourself as a writer (and risk failure), the more you will gain from this class. As Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

English 5820: Readings in British Literature II. Dr. Jayme Yeo. Thursdays 6-8:30 p.m.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Britain experienced a number of radical political and social upheavals, including a civil war, an early experimental republic, libertinism, colonialism, and the rise of modern scientific inquiry. This course will explore the literature of Britain within this cultural context, from the Elizabethan period through the 18th century. This is a reading-intensive course; we will read broadly and deeply to understand how authors responded to cultural, historical, and social movements through innovative developments in lyric and epic poetry, prose fiction, and drama. Ultimately, the aim of this course is to increase your analytical competency and familiarity with the development of pre-modern British literature, but I also hope it will help you simply to understand and enjoy the literature of the past. This course is also available online.


Fall 2016 Courses:

ENG 5800. Readings in World Literature I. Dr. John Paine. Wednesday 6-8:30.

In this course we will discuss major works of World Literature from earliest times through 1650. European Literature will be our primary frame of reference, but we will spend significant effort on works from other world traditions.  Much importance will be placed on careful reading and discussion of these texts.  We will seek to uncover not only their literary value, but also their contribution to the cultures from which they arose, and to their importance for our own.

ENG 6100. Genre: Writing in the Digital Age. Dr. Joel Overall. Mondays 6-8:30.

This course will investigate the implications of digital media on a variety of perspectives in English studies such as creative writing, writing pedagogy, and the digital humanities at large. An aim of this course will be to prepare students to contribute research to the field through a professional conference proposal and presentation. In addition to reading theoretical texts within the field of image and new media studies, students will also compose texts in a variety of multimedia genres such as digital stories, web texts, and/or podcasts. As a result, the course will involve developing basic skills within industry-standard publication and design software such as iMovie, Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.), and HTML/CSS coding. Students do not need prior experience with the technology to enroll in the course.

ENG 6000. Single/Double Author: Virginia Woolf. Dr. Andrea Stover. Tuesdays 6-8:30.

Virginia Woolf is a central figure in the development of the modernist novel, as well as an important feminist, essayist, and critic. In this seminar we will read novels (Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, and more), essays (A Room of One’s Own, “How Should One Read a Book,” “Craftsmanship,” and more), memoir (Moments of Being, focusing on “A Sketch of the Past”), and diaries (I would like to teach all 5 volumes, but we will content ourselves with the condensed A Moment’s Being). We will see how each genre informs the others, giving us a full picture of this complex and innovative writer.

ENG 5000. Practical Literary Criticism. Dr. Jayme Yeo. Thursdays 6-8:30.

This course will awaken you to the different interpretive strategies that critics have used to read literary and filmic texts over the past century. In doing so, it will help you understand the aesthetic, linguistic, and political implications of writing. Ultimately, through gaining familiarity with the questions and controversies that drive how we understand literature, you will become more incisive readers, writers, and thinkers.
We will cover one school of criticism each week, with sample readings from the philosophers, historians, political writers, and authors who have contributed to our understanding of literature. In addition, we will read 2-3 longer literary works (novels, plays), as well as poems, short stories, and short-form films that will serve as the basis for our analysis throughout the term. Assignments will include weekly reading responses, two short essays, and one conference-style paper and presentation at the end of the term.

"I consider my masters work at Belmont the most rewarding part of my graduate studies in English Literature. As a member of graduate faculty myself now, I try my best to emulate the exceptional instructional and mentoring practices of my professors at Belmont.”

 -Masood Raja, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, Kent State University