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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Current and Upcoming Courses

Online Classes

We offer all of our classes simultaneously in person and online through video conferencing. Video conferencing gives students the option to take online classes without sacrificing the real-time interactions of the classroom. For more information, please contact the director of graduate studies.

Spring 2018

ENG 5850. Readings in British Literature III. Dr. Annette Sisson. Tuesdays, 6-8:30pm.

This is a Readings course, so we will read broadly and fairly deeply in the Romantic, Victorian, Modern, and Postmodern/Postcolonial periods—i.e. 19th century to the present. Our specific texts will be as follows:

  • Stephen Greenblatt et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2. 9th edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2012.

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein—or The Modern Prometheus. Ed. Marilyn Butler. New York: Oxford World’s Classics, 2008 (1818).

  • Charles Dickens, Hard Times. Ed. Paul Schlicke. New York: Oxford World’s Classics, 2008 (1854).

  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse. Foreword by Eudora Welty. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1981 (1927).

  • Ian McEwan, Atonement. New York: Anchor Books, 2001.

  • John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman. New York: Back Bay Books, 1998 (1969).

    As in all Readings courses, 50% of the grade is determined by the Final Exam. In this class, 30% of that will be an out-of-class essay, and 20% will be an in-class exam. Other assignments will include weekly Journal Responses and one short paper, called a “Launch Essay,” presented to the class.

    You are strongly encouraged to read Frankenstein, and possibly also Hard Times, before the spring semester begins.


ENG 6000. Single/Double Author Seminar: Jane Austin. Dr. Douglas Murray. Thursdays, 6-8:30pm.

Who is Jane Austen?  The spinster swooning over Darcy?  The mother of chick-lit? The stylistic innovator?  The inventor of the psychological novel?  The conservative enforcer of heteronormativity?   The simple homebody and aunt?  The engaged commentator on current events?  The wickedly savvy and sharp-eyed satirist who revealed "frankly and with such sobriety/ The economic basis of society" (W. H. Auden)?  We will ask these questions as we read Austen's teenage fiction,  the six novels, and selected works by Austen's contemporaries and predecessors (Shakespeare, Sheridan, Burney).  Seminar format, with reports on selected critics and on fiction and drama from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Final project:  a conference-ready presentation with accompanying essay.

ENG 6200. Creative Writing Seminar, Fiction: The Young Adult Novel. Dr. Susan Finch. Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm.

In A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle writes “Life with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: you’re given the form but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”  In Fiction Writing in the spring of 2018, we will be exploring the form of the young adult novel. The beginning of the semester will be dedicated to reading, dissecting, and examining novels, and our texts will range from fantastic worlds like L’Engle’s to more traditional high school locales to novels that may challenge our traditional expectations of “young adult” content. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to brainstorming plots and writing novel chapters, primarily the introductory chapters of a manuscript.

This course strives to expose writers to a variety of styles, structures, and authors, to encourage the critical examination of both published work and workshop material, and finally, to inspire writers to create a variety of polished original pieces. 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.” Please note: although this class focuses on the form of the young adult novel, the techniques and skills that students gain concerning elements like point of view, narrative distance, or believable dialogue, can be translated to virtually any genre of creative writing. The form might be dictated, but the creations will be your own!

ENG 5000. Practical Literary Criticism. Dr. Jayme Yeo. Mondays, 6-8:30pm.

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 Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, 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.

Fall 2017

ENG 5810 Readings in British Literature I - Dr. Jayme Yeo - Thursday, 6-8:30

This course will examine the early development of English literature, from Anglo-Saxon poetry to Shakespeare. We will explore Arthurian legends, dream visions, travel narratives, life writing, drama, and poetry. The course will help students understand the development of these texts within their historical, social, cultural, and literary contexts. Students will also be able to use this knowledge to analyze and interpret the literature. Ultimately, this course will enable students to get at the heart of some of the era’s most pressing questions: how do we imagine our local and global communities? How do we formulate individual agency within the limits of the social order? And most importantly, does Guy Ritchie’s upcoming film do justice to the original Arthurian legends? The course is reading-intensive and relies heavily on student participation.

ENG 6100 Genre Seminar: Twentieth-Century Poetry, Pleasure and Pain - Dr. Caresse John - Wednesday, 6-8:30

English 6100 offers both a micro and macro analysis of the content and aesthetics of twentieth-century American and British poetry. Thus, students can expect close, careful reading of individual poems as well as exploration of the broader historical and cultural contexts to which and in which poets were responding and participating. The twentieth-century brought much pain, in the form of two world wars, technological advances, battles over civil and human rights - the list can go on and on. And yet, we find some of the most achingly beautiful poetry humanity has ever created in this century - how did these authors craft such pleasure from such pain? That will be a driving question of our literary exploration. We will be studying in-depth movements such as Modernism, Postmodernism, the Harlem Renaissance, Imagism, Confessionalism, and recent trends in the later part of the century. This will be a reading-intensive course based heavily upon class discussion and students' oral and written participation, with the course objectives being twofold: first, to familiarize students with twentieth-century poetry; and second, to give students the tools with which to read anypoem more closely and with greater pleasure.

ENG 5730: Pedagogical Studies - Dr. Sarah Blomeley - Tuesday, 6-8:30

The aim of this course is to prepare students to teach writing and literature at the post-secondary level. Students in this class will learn about the major conversations and issues in college English teaching as we read a diverse body of pedagogical theory, practice responding to student writing, teach in large group settings, tutor in face-to-face settings, and develop assignments. Course requirements include a literacy narrative; a conference-length research paper and presentation; a teaching portfolio; and weekly reading responses.