Course Offerings - Graduate Programs | LSU English

Course Offerings

Graduate Courses - Fall 2024

ENGL 7001      Creative Nonfiction

J. Wheeler

T 3:00-5:50PM

Lexicographer Samuel Johnson once defined the essay as a loose sally of the mind. While the expanse of creative nonfiction is vast (memoir, profile, criticism, technical writing, investigative journalism, travel writing, nature writing, etc.), all of these kinds of writing have in common the imperative to communicate a process of thought about a particular subject. Nowhere in literature is the process of human thought laid bare quite like it is in the tradition of the essay. In this workshop we’ll begin by reading examples of recently published essays and collections that evidence the breadth of the genre. Then, we’ll write our own loose sallies. You’ll be expected to compose about 30 pages of high-quality creative nonfiction, as well as engage in weekly workshops of your peers’ work.

ENGL 7007      Poetics of Exile

Tiana Nobile

W 12:30-3:20PM

In this course, we will consider what it means to write from the margins, the politics of the “other,” and how history and identity give rise to an exile poetics. Potential works to be discussed include poems by Aime Cesaire, Philip Metres, Federico Garcia Lorca, Solmaz Sharif, and more. The class will be a blend of discussion, generative writing, and workshop. Students will be expected to complete the reading in advance and come to class ready to discuss and offer feedback on each other’s work.

ENGL 7008 / THTR 7008 Drama Writing

F. Euba

M 3:30-6:20PM

An organic exploration of the creative process through engagement of established plays and a text on playwriting in order to motivate the student to develop two written one-act plays, to be read and critiqued in class.

ENGL 7020      English Proseminar: Styles of Literary Criticism

B. Kahan 

T 3:00-5:50PM

This course will introduce graduate students to the major theoretical schools and methodical approaches to the study of literature organized through the prism of “styles of literary criticism.” Rather than opposing style to substance (understanding it as a veneer easily removed), we will attend to the substance of critical styles. In particular, we will train our attention on essays which have striking or unusual styles of argument, considering how they demarcate and use evidence, set their arguments in motion, cull examples, respond to critics, manage adjacent fields, deploy footnotes, and execute a range of other mechanical and stylistic practices. In addition to these readings, we will discuss a number of topics under the broad heading of professionalization: writing conference papers, applying to fellowships, using course work effectively to prepare for the dissertation, utilizing electronic resources and databases, thinking about how to engage in critical dialogue in a crowded field, thinking about how to engage in critical dialogue in an emerging field, and a variety of other topics. 

ENGL 7030      Medieval Romance

R. Godden

Th 3:00-5:50 

Medieval romance often follows the adventures of a hero who faces several challenges in an outlandish or threatening landscape only to be later re-integrated into the social order. Many romances take love as its chief subject, while others focus on war, the crusades, the revelation of the Divine, or the bonds of community. Despite disparate themes and geographical environments, these romances share a preoccupation with celebrating the practices and ideals of chivalry, while simultaneously revealing its excesses and limitations. Arthur and his knights Lancelot, Gawain, and Galahad serve as chief protagonists of the genre, but other writers in the Middle Ages (including Chaucer) have used the form to explore the production and maintenance of the chivalric subject. We will consider the historical underpinnings of chivalry and the social and cultural contexts which produced chivalric literature, and we will also explore how medieval romance provides an intriguing opportunity to interrogate diverse theoretical and critical questions such as the construction of the subject, the relation to the nonhuman world, embodied difference, gender and power, the relationship between violence and order, and much, much more. Most readings will be in translation.

ENGL 7221      Recent Black Cultural Theory

C. Patterson

W 3:30-6:20PM

Recent Black Cultural Theory: This course will read a selection of 21st century Black cultural theorists (such as Saidiya Hartman, C. Riley Snorton, Darby English, and David Scott) alongside relevant cultural objects. Special emphasis will be placed on the works of Christina Sharpe and Dionne Brand, in preparation for their short residency with the new HSS Humanities Center at LSU. During this residency, Sharpe and Brand will join one of our seminars. This course is cross-listed with CPLT 7120.

ENGL 7915      Teaching College Composition

Andy Trevathan

T/Th 10:30-11:50AM

Course is designed for graduate teaching assistants in the First-Year Writing program. Theoretical and pedagogical issues in the teaching of college writing. *Students must be graduate teaching assistants teaching ENGL 1001 in the English Department or have permission of instructor.  

ENGL 7321     The Queer American Canon              

Michael Bibler

M 12:30-3:20PM

Is there a queer American literary canon? Can anything queer be canonical? What expectations about difference, dissidence, and assimilation do such questions raise for a discussion of literature? And where do we locate the queerness of a text: in the text itself, in its representations of recognizable (to us) sexual minorities, or in the identity of the author? How do the historicities of both the text and our own critical moment shape the kinds of questions we ask and the works we choose to study? How do historical constructions of race and gender intersect with representations of sexual desires, behaviors, and identities? And how do fictions and ideologies of the nation and “American” culture influence both the queer dynamics of the texts themselves and the circulation of queer texts among readers? To approach these questions, we will read a combination of canonical and (arguably) marginal queer texts from the United States published mostly during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as readings in queer studies, queer-of-color critique, and queer theory. And we will have a section in which you will do archival research at Hill Memorial Library. Although we will read some well-known and “important” queer American texts, this is neither a survey of the queer American canon nor an attempt to reinforce that canon. This course is also not an introduction to the exciting LGBTQ2S+ writers of today. Rather, we will combine the familiar, the rare, the historical, and the new as we explore these questions about sexuality, literature, and American culture.  

ENGL 7921      Topics in Genres: Autobiography

J. Kronick

Th 12:00-2:50PM

As a narrative genre of uncertain classification, autobiography entered the canon of literary genres rather late. It had long been considered, in the words of James Olney, “a kind of step-child of literature and history.”  On the other hand, in an influential essay, Paul de Man wrote, “any book with a readable title page is . . . autobiographical.” Debates continue over its definition and what texts to admit into the genre. We will examine the status of autobiography as a genre that promises the union of historical referentiality with aesthetic form. If St. Augustine inaugurated the genre, Rousseau is the pivotal figure who set the terms for modern practitioners. We will, therefore, begin with their Confessions and turn to modern autobiographies by Henry Adams, W. B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Vladimir Nabokov, and J. M. Coetzee.

ENGL 7962      The Victorian Novel in Migration

Jessica Valdez

F 2:30-5:20PM

The Victorian novel took shape in an age of mass migration. The period witnessed the emergence of an interconnected world, one based in expanding print culture and communications technology, global trade, and (often involuntary, or even forced) migration. This seminar will examine the interplay between novelistic form(s), dislocations, and an increasingly global sense of scale. How and why did people move around the world, and what did they write about these experiences? How did the global movement of people, goods, and print culture affect the development of novelistic form? How do novels change shape when they move between formats or even across continents? Students will draw upon recent scholarship that seeks to unsettle and reconceptualize our understanding of the “Victorian” in thinking about what we mean by “the Victorian novel.”

ENGL 7930      Dissertation Workshop

J. Osborne

M 12:30-3:20PM

The journey from beginning the dissertation to completing and defending the dissertation is a long and winding trip. Though you may have a topic and methodology in mind, turning those preliminary ideas into a cohesive dissertation requires a deep understanding of how to write this type of text and the expectations of a dissertation. To achieve these goals, this dissertation workshop presents a systematic approach to writing the dissertation with an emphasis on understanding genre and style. Within the workshop format of this course, students will critique both their writing and their classmates’ writing to develop their knowledge and skills on how to structure their writing and how to present their ideas in a scholarly manner. Students enrolled in this course should expect to write and revise extensively, with the goal of producing at least one complete chapter for their dissertation by the end of the semester. *This class is for PhD students writing their prospectus/ dissertation only.