Upcoming Courses

Fall 2019 Courses

Look below for extended course descriptions of upcoming English, Theater, and Interdisciplinary Studies courses written by the instructors who will teach them. Visit the archive of past ETLS courses.

English Courses

ENGL 200 Introduction to English Studies--Barnes crn 25971

Pre-req. ENGL 102. For BOTH English majors, this is 1 of the 5 required 200-level survey courses. For minors, this is an option for one of your 201+ courses. Also counts as a liberal arts general ed. elective for students of any major!

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.” —Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar  (1963)

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”  —Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

 What does it mean to be an English major or an English minor? What can you do with this program of study? My favorite writers—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller—might hear Transcendentalist echoes reverberating in these questions and in the answers academics tend to pose nowadays. These Concordians would probably level serious critiques at our evermore sub-specializing field, but they would probably also be intrigued with our current desires for disciplinary “cohesion,” to invoke Walt Whitman, and interdisciplinary scholarship. For Emerson, “The American Scholar” is a person of action in the world. In this spirit, we’ll start by re-framing those first two provocations: not just what it might mean to be a major/minor or what you can do (modally inflected make-a-living verb) with a B.A. in English, but also what we do (philosophically, practically) as liberally educated people in the process. Thoreau might chime in, querying how this degree and this experience make us “live deliberately.” In this course, we will—to riff on the trees/ woods/living deliberately conceit that runs amuck across this course, and to paraphrase Sylvia Plath’s Esther Greenwood—talk about how to pick good figs for ourselves.

English 200 is designed as an overview of English Studies. This course is geared toward majors and minors as an introduction to the program, to those considering pursuing a degree in English, as well as to anyone interested in reading, writing, research, argumentation, and education in the humanities. Together we will explore the history, present state of affairs, and potential futures of the discipline with an emphasis on the distinctive fields, practices, approaches, and terminology employed in the discipline. As we investigate sub-fields of English Studies, we will also hone your skills in the disciplinary fundamentals of critical thinking and reading, interpretation, research, and writing in various forms. Finally, we will discuss the diverse array of employment opportunities in the field.

ENGL 211 Editing and Publishing Practicum: The Pen--Malphrus crn 25974

Pre-req. ENGL 102 and 200-level English course (may be co-req.) or permission of the instructor. 1 credit hour; students may repeat this course up to 6 times. [When taken 3 times, the credits count toward humanities program requirement; otherwise, credits are applied as electives.]

The Pen, the  two-time national award winning publication of the Society of Creative Writers, features fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, short plays, and artwork created by USCB students. In this one hour credit course, students will solicit calls for creative writing, evaluate submissions, compose style guides, design page and journal layouts, copyedit pieces accepted for publication, and organize strategies to publicize and promote the journal on campus and in the community. Beyond offering you firsthand experience for future internships and positions in editing and publishing, the culmination of the course each semester will be completion and publication of the journal itself. Come, join us!  Previous or Concurrent Experience in a Creative Writing Workshop Preferred. 

ENGL 222 Creative Writing Across the Curriculum--Malphrus crn 25976

Pre-req. ENGL 102 or instructor consent. Counts as humanities program requirement, toward the Creative Writing Minor, or as a liberal arts general ed. elective for students of any major!

English 222 is an introductory level creative writing workshop designed to give students of all majors the platform to experiment with their imagination and curiosity using words. We’ll dabble with fiction, poetry, playwriting, and creative nonfiction (true stories told well)—and we’ll read examples of each.  Your critical thinking skills and expertise as writer, reader, analyzer, and articulator will be polished.  Ours will be an intimate classroom setting where students and professor alike give and receive feedback on creative works in progress.  All you need are English 101 and a desire to mess around with words.

ENGL 270 World Literature--McCoy crn 25977

Pre-req. ENGL 102. For BOTH English majors, this is 1 of the 5 required 200-level survey courses. For minors, this is an option for one of your 201+ courses. Also counts as a liberal arts general ed. elective for students of any major!

A whole new world! A new fantastic point of view! - Famous Quote

World Literature satisfies the Non-Western Gen Ed, required for English, English Ed, and Education majors - sustains a broad reach over texts from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. We learn about magic in the Dominican Republic, travel from war-torn Somalia to South Africa, explore the multiple farces of colonized Vietnam, and check out Iran in the midst of a revolution! Designed to delight, dazzle, and dare, World Literature also includes music and art from around the world, and a curation of the course's final projects can be found in the display case in the library - sign up today!

ENGL/THEA 301 Theater History I--Pate crn 25981 (THEA); crn 25979 (ENGL)

Pre-req. ENGL 102. Counts toward the theater minor and either English major and all English minors as a PRE-1800 course or upper-division elective.

A study of the development of Western theatrical texts and practices including playwriting, acting, and design from ancient Greece to 1800.

ENGL 412 Victorian Literature--Hoffer crn 25983

Pre-req. 200-level literature course. Counts toward either English major and all English minors as a POST-1800 course or upper-division elective.

“I at least have so much to do in unraveling certain human lots, and seeing how they were woven and interwoven, that all the light I can command must be concentrated on this particular web, and not dispersed over that tempting range of relevancies called the universe” --George Eliot, Middlemarch

The Social Network:  Literary Macrocosms & Microcosms in Victorian Literature. In an era where realism ruled, authors such as George Eliot and Charles Dickens created panoramic fictional worlds featuring comprehensive networks or “webs” of characters and the complex “human lots”— plots!—that traced the intersections of these fictional lives. Novels such as Bleak House  (1852) and Middlemarch (1871) offer representations of Victorian culture in macrocosm, seeming to portray every nook and cranny of the social schema and emphasizing interconnectivity and causality within it. While these writers do focus their “light” on certain corners of these constructed “universes,” it is in many ways the situating of these specific narratives within the greater “range of relevancies” that produces meaning—both for Victorian readers and for us. In the midst of these sweeping multi-plot texts, other novelists focused on more remote, more tightly “woven and interwoven” renderings of their world in miniature. The provincial microcosms of Wuthering Heights (1847) and Cranford (1853) offer their readers a different view, carving out a sampling from the larger cosmos to examine lives and times in isolation. By forgoing any sustained treatment of the larger landscape in which their autonomous, tide pool-like communities exist, writers such as Emily Brontë and Elizabeth Gaskell implicitly address the macrocosm through microcosm, essentially mimicking the way we actually experience the world around us.

Immersing themselves in these sprawling macrocosms and intimate, detached microcosms, Victorian readers could explore their world mirrored back to them in the hopes of grasping the intricate workings of an increasingly complex social, economic, technological, and political landscape. Realist novels, in this sense, functioned in much the same way that digital social media culture does today. From the “News Feed” and YouTube channels to the vast, chirping Twitter universe, we enact the same cultural curiosity and investment in social networks. In this course, we will focus on literary representations of social networks, exploring what it means to be an individual in and out of society, how social institutions shape our identities and everyday lives, and how social networks can connect or isolate us. Required texts: Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, as well as selected scholarship from both the Victorian period and our own.

English 425A The American Novel to 1914--Barnes crn 25986

Pre-req. 200-level literature course. Counts toward either English major and all English minors as a POST-1800 course or upper-division elective.

In this course, we’ll study the novel as a form, as it unfolds across the long nineteenth century. I’m still percolating our course through-lines, but we’ll no doubt address one elephant in the room: what does “The Great American Novel” mean? how have people applied this term to texts that could be included in our course? what do we mean “Great”? by “America”? how do those words shape our interpretations of what a or “The” “Novel” is? what reading practices we bring to it? why is/isn’t this label useful for us? how do our texts resist or reveal such expectations? I’ll also want us to think seriously about the conflation people often make between the “novel” and the “book,” especially since our studies will often direct us to the relationship between our texts and the periodical print cultures that circulated and popularized them. One idea I’m teasing out along these lines—that’ll help us think about social class in terms of our texts’ characters and most immediate readers—has to do with “rags-to-riches” (or the other way around) novels. Another has to do with form: novels whose narrative qualities seem to divide them into separate parts or storylines. I’m still finalizing our list (it’ll be about five novels), but here’s what I’m playing with, pie-in-the-sky style: 

Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple (1791); Hannah Webster Foster’s The Coquette; or, the History of Eliza Wharton (1797); Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Clarence; or, A Tale of Our Times (1830/1849); William Wells Brown’s Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter; Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868–1869); William Dean Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885) or The Hazard of New Fortunes  (1889); María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don (1885); Henry James’s The Bostonians (1886) or The Wings of the Dove (1902); Pauline Hopkins’s Contending Forces (1900) or one of The Magazine Novels (1901–1903); Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (1900); Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth (1905); Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance (1912); James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912). USCB ETIS literati: please let me know if you are keen to read some of these in particular—and/or other novels from this period. We’ll also dip our toes into histories and theories of the novel beyond our studies of the novels and their specific critical materials.  

ENGL 432 Literature for Young Adults--TBA crn 25991

Pre-req. 200-level literature course. *REQUIRED FOR THE SECONDARY ED. DEGREE.* Also counts toward the core English major and all English minors as an upper-division elective

Literature written for and about adolescents. More to come!

English 453 Development of the English Language--Swofford crn 25992

Pre-req. ENGL 102. *REQUIRED FOR THE SECONDARY ED. DEGREE.*  Counts as an upper-division elective or toward the Language Program Requirement for the core B.A. in English and toward the Professional Writing Concentration or minor.

We hear many complaints that “texting is ruining the English language.” Such complaints are not new. In 1387, Ranulph Higden fretted about the influence of the Danes and Normans on English and the ways their “chattering” brought bad habits into the language. It’s clear that English has always been changing, and has, in fact, changed dramatically enough that we as Modern English speakers can barely understand those who first began to call their language “English” and created written records of poems such as Beowulf. In this course, we will do a broad sweep of the English language’s history, focusing on the changes in the structure of the language, but also the stories of the cultures and speakers who make it such a rich and fascinating subject. The course will balance attention to the technicalities of historical linguistic developments and serious engagement with theories of language diversity and change—including how “standard language” and “grammar instruction” developed in the history of English and how language ideologies shape the history we tell. Languages are inextricably connected to the people who speak them, so we’ll be discussing attitudes about dialects (especially local dialects/languages like Southern English, African-American English, and Gullah), and we’ll work through tricky questions about how all of this knowledge should affect the ways that we teach and learn English and English/Language Arts.

Along the way, we will also address a variety of intriguing linguistic questions such as: Where did the pronoun she come from? (And why is it the Word of the Millennium?) When did double negation become non-standard, and who first said (erroneously) that two negatives make a positive? Why is colonel spelled the way it is and yet pronounced “kernel”? How did English spelling become, according to linguist Mario Pei, the “world’s most awesome mess”? Why and how do “living” languages change? Bring a genuine curiosity about the details of language and how language changes, and a willingness to dig into the messy business of understanding how the English language came to be. 

ENGL 461 Writing in the Health Professions--Leaphart crn 25993

Pre-req. ENGL 102. Counts toward the core B.A. in English as upper-division elective or toward the Professional Writing Concentration or minor

Preparation for and practice in types of writing important to those working within the health care and health promotion industry, from brief letters to formal articles and reports.

 ENGL 464 Poetry Workshop--Malphrus crn 25994

Pre-req. 200-level course, preferably ENGL 222, or instructor's consent. Counts toward the core B.A. in English as upper-division elective or toward the Creative Writing Concentration or minor. With permission from the instructor, 464 can be taken twice for credit.

“A poet is someone for whom words have the maximum of significance,” said James Dickey.  If words do indeed matter to you in this way, then pack up your muses and join us for a semester of learning the art and craft of poetry writing. English 464 is a workshop formatted course designed to expand awareness of, appreciation for, and ability to create works of poetry.  The class is writing intensive with the goal of improving all writing and critical thinking skills.  In addition, this course offers global perspectives of poetry by focusing on writers from around the world.  Students will receive feedback from both professor and peers as we establish a community of writers in an intimate classroom setting. Further, each student will create a variety of original poetry, including the following forms: cinquain, couplet, quatrain, sonnet, villanelle, sestina, haiku, and blank verse.  


Interdisciplinary Studies Courses

IDST 297 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods [ONLINE, Full Term]

Pre-req. ENGL 102. This course is REQUIRED for the Interdisciplinary Studies major or Interdisciplinary Film Minor.

Looking for a course that allows for maximum exploration of your ideas and your aspirations but takes up a minimal amount of your time? Ready to blog? Thinking of taking a major in one discipline (like Biology) and a minor in another (like English) and wondering how they'll work together? You're invited to take IDST B297: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research Methods! You'll be blogging and thinking, all about what interests you and what you want to do! Come join us!

IDST 397 Readings in Philosophy--McCoy crn 26013

Pre-req. Interdisciplinary Studies major or instructor's consent; junior standing.

What events - philosophy - created the horrors of the Holocaust? Fascists really dug Nietzsche - Hitler notably gave Mussolini Nietzsche's complete works - but would Nietzsche have agreed with the Nazi's interpretation of his ideas? And while it's easy to blame the Nazis for the Holocaust, who else is to blame? We'll read Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Banality of Evil and talk about community culpability, often examining people we thought innocent. Finally, we'll check out the point of view of German children and teenagers who lived in World War II-era Europe - and often were witnesses to the Holocaust in terrible ways. This thoughtful examination of a horrible human experience aims to equip us with new ways to view group behavior, racism, and common morality.

IDST 497 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies Among the Disciplines [ONLINE, Full Term]--McCoy crn 26014

Pre-req. Senior standing in Interdisciplinary Studies major.

Senior thesis course, required for IDST majors. Open to IDST majors ONLY.


 Theater Courses

THEA 170 Fundamentals of Acting--Ricardo crn 25995 (MWF 9am) or crn 25996 (MWF 10am)

Counts toward the theater minor and/or as a fine arts general education credit.

You don't have to want to be a great actor to benefit from an acting class. The skills and techniques we cover—everything from healthy vocal practices to script analysis and greater awareness of physicality and movement—apply to a wide array of disciplines, careers, and other opportunities. This class starts with the basics of Stanislavski-based acting methodology, the standard in American actor training for over a century. Our work builds toward a final project in which students perform for the class small group scenes from major plays. Students are also asked to write a final paper in which they discuss how the skills they learn in the acting classroom apply to their interests and aspirations outside of theater.

THEA 200 Understanding & Appreciation of Theater--TBA crn 25997

Counts toward the theater minor and/or as a fine arts general education credit.

In an increasingly digital and media-saturated world, does theater still matter? This course explores the history and practice of theater and its relationship to broader cultural and social issues to empower students to answer that question (and, of course, to better appreciate theater). We'll look at Western theater's roots as a practice of civic engagement, learn about how theater is made today and the various roles that contribute to its creation, and try to understand what theater's place can be in broader discourse. In studying theater practices as varying as community theater, Broadway musicals, and Southeast Asian dance dramas, students will cultivate the tools needed to assess the role that theater plays in shaping not only our perception of the world but also the world itself.

 THEA/ENGL 201 Introduction to Script Analysis--Pate crn 25998

Counts toward the theater minor and/or as a fine arts general education credit.

 In this course, students will apply research and analysis skills to dramatic texts with an eye toward serving theatrical productions.

THEA/ENGL 301 Theater History I--Pate crn 25981 (THEA); crn 25979 (ENGL)

Pre-req. ENGL 102. Counts toward the theater minor. Also counts toward both English majors, and all English minors as a PRE-1800 course or upper-division elective.

A study of the development of Western theatrical texts and practices including playwriting, acting, and design from ancient Greece to 1800.