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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.

Summer 2018

ENG 5820. Readings in British Literature II. Beverly Schneller. Thursday 6-9:30pm.

The theme of British Literature II is shaping the taste of the early modern reader- stories, styles, and writers.  The main text for the course is The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Vol. 3, 2nd edition, The Restoration and Eighteenth Century. Published in 2012, this second edition is available widely used and is also an ebook. In addition to the Anthology, we will also study Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale and Coriolanus; novels by Burney,  Evelina, Godwin, Caleb Williams, and Mc Kenzie, A Man of Feeling; and prose letters and treatises by Collier, The art of ingeniously tormenting; Montagu, The Turkish Embassy Letters, The Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, African, and Helena Maria Williams’ Letters written in France. All of these are available in used editions as well.

The texts we study have been chosen to reflect the literary traditions they embody,  as well as their influence on 19th century writers.  The period of study for this course, which encompasses essentially two centuries, documents the rise of the professional author, literary entrepreneurship, the solidification of copyrights for creative works, the birth of the modern political treatise, the rise of modern novel, the formation of national voices in literary writing, and initial forays by male and female writers into literary theory and the strategic deployment of  book publishing to shape consumers’ taste in new literatures published between 1603 and 1804.  

ENG 6400: Special topics in literature: Psychoanalysis on Stage (20-21st century). David Curtis. Hybrid Course that will meet primarily on Blackboard.

This course will constitute a survey of U.S. Drama since 1916 viewed through the lens of psychoanalytic literary criticism. Through readings, discussions, writing assignments, and other experiences, we’ll develop a good working knowledge of both psychoanalytic criticism and drama as literature and in performance. Authors will likely include Susan Glaspell, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Leroi Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Marsha Norman, Tony Kushner, Paula Vogel, David Auburn, and Suzan-Lori Parks.

Fall 2018

ENG 5000. Practical Literary Criticism. Jayme Yeo. Tuesday. 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.

ENG 5040. History of the English Language. Maggie Monteverde. Mon/Wed 4-5:15pm.

Recognizing that any description of this course is destined to be off-putting, let me begin by stating that ideally this course should make your own language come alive for you as a living entity whose current form is the result of all its childhood experiences and whose future shape though predictable to some extent is also yet to be determined.  We will study the growth of our language from its origin as a descendant of the Indo-European language family in distant prehistory to its current position as the 2nd most widely known language in the modern world. Topics covered will include the relationship between English and other languages, the evolution of modern English grammar, and the causes of the mess we call the English spelling system (if it can be called that).  Tests will be augmented with a variety of assignments, such as a personal language history, designed to help you appreciate the on-going and individual process of change that can be experienced in the study of English. An optional service learning unit can also be taken as part of the course.  This course is required for all students pursuing secondary education licensure in English and students pursing an English Language Learners certificate.  It is also beneficial for anyone (a group which should include all people studying English literature and/or writing) who want to develop a deeper awareness and understanding of our language.

ENG 6300. Prose Style: The Music of Writing. Andrea Stover. Monday. 6-8:30pm.

Virginia Woolf once claimed that “style is a very simple matter; it is all rhythm. Once you get that, you can't use the wrong words.” She goes on to say, “Now this is very profound, what rhythm is, and goes far deeper than any words. A sight, an emotion, creates this wave in the mind, long before it makes words to fit it.” This course will investigate Woolf’s claim by examining rhythmic structures of sentences that create distinctive prose styles. We will focus our study not only on what sentences say, but also on how they work, and on how the rhythm and music of a sentence goes straight to the heart of meaning.  As writers, we will analyze the rhythmic structures of some of our most poetic prose stylists, but mostly we will practice using rhythmic structures in our own poetic prose pieces. Using Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, Ellen Voigt’s The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song, and Francis Christensen’s “A Generative Rhetoric of the Sentence,” we will analyze and experiment with syntax and rhythm in flash nonfiction, essays, children’s books, and selections from novels, memoirs, and the Bible. We will also practice reading aloud, engaging in prose reading performances that allow us to hear the rhythm of prose. Rather than one extended paper, students will be expected to write every week, both in and outside of class. All the writing will be revised and collected in a portfolio with an introductory essay in which students discuss their own progress in developing a prose style as well as their process of revision throughout the course of the semester.

ENG 6400. Special Topics in Literature: Fictions of Empire. Charmion Gustke. Thursday. 6-8:30pm.

One of the past century’s most profound transformation was decolonization: the end of direct European rule over vast areas of the planet. Novelists, cultural theorists, and social analysts have contributed and responded to this shift, producing a dynamic body of texts we term postcolonial, with the aim of combatting the continued domination of imperialism. Focusing on the intersection of transnational theory and literature, this course seeks to interrogate important issues related to the construction of nation and national literature, alongside the disenfranchised formation of colonial and diasporic identities. One of our key objectives will be to examine the problematic rhetoric of postcolonial terms such as discursivity, hegemony, subalternity, mimicry, hybridity, and global imperialism as they function to both limit and expand the history and geography of the literary paradigms of postcolonial studies. As graduate students in this course, you will be asked to critically investigate the theoretical issues, cultural specificities, and epistemological conditions of the imperialist system shaping the works we read. By the end of the course you will have an understanding of the complexities of the postcolonial situation and will be able to apply postcolonial theory to a broad range of discursive practices as they exist in the texts we read and the lives we lead.