Graduate Course Descriptions | Spring 2022


* (in orange) indicates courses that count towards the Pre-1700 literature requirement.
** (in blue) indicates courses that count towards the 1700-1900 literature requirement.

Creative Writing

ENCW 5310-001 - Advanced Poetry Writing II

R 02:00PM-04:30PM (Online Synchronous)
Restricted to Instructor Permission
Nystrom, Debra

This workshop is for students with prior experience in writing and revising poetry, and it welcomes students working in the poetry/prose hybrid space as well.   It is open to advanced undergraduate students, MFA fiction students, and graduate English students.  The class will involve discussion of student poems and of assigned reading, with particular attention to issues of craft.  Students will be expected to write and revise six to eight poems, to participate in class discussion and offer detailed notes in response to other students’ work, to keep a poetry journal, to attend several poetry readings, to turn in close-reading responses to three assigned readings, and to participate in a group presentation. 

INSTRUCTOR PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FOR ENROLLMENT.  Please request instructor permission through SIS and apply through email.  APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: writing sample of 4-5 poems IN A SINGLE WORD DOCUMENT with a cover sheet including name, year, email address, major, prior workshop experience, and other workshops to which you are submitting. Submit application to Prof. Nystrom at . Applications will be considered on a rolling basis as soon as registration opens. For full consideration, email your application as soon as possible. The final deadline will be December 15th. Classes do sometimes fill before the final submission deadline, but an effort will be made to hold a few seats open until after the deadline.

ENCW 7310 - MFA Poetry Workshop

M 02:00PM-04:30PM Bryan 233
Dove, Rita

ENCW 7610 - MFA Fiction Workshop

M 02:00PM-04:30PM New Cabell 115
Alameddine, Rabih

English Literature

* ENGL 5101-001 - Beowulf

TR 11:00AM-12:15PM Bryan 203
Baker, Peter

A reading of the classic poem in Old English. Students must have taken ENGL 5100, Old English, or its equivalent at another university.

* ENGL 5559-002 - Renaissance Poetry and Poetics

TR 12:35PM-01:50PM Bryan 233
Rush, Rebecca

What is poetry? What sets it apart from other modes of writing, thinking, imagining, feeling? What are the distinctive tools at the poet’s disposal? How do these tools work, and how can we describe their workings? Should poetry be plain or intricate, delightful or didactic, passionate or rational, heavenly or human? In this course, we will explore the many Renaissance responses to these questions by reading sixteenth- and seventeenth-century verse alongside early modern poetic manuals. We will inspect a range of poetic styles and genres, beginning with a deep dive into Shakespeare’s sonnets. Other readings will include sonnets by Petrarch, Philip Sidney, and Mary Wroth; epyllia by William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe; country house poems by Aemilia Lanyer, Ben Jonson, and Andrew Marvell; odes by Ben Jonson, John Milton, Abraham Cowley, and Andrew Marvell; and poems about ecstatic love by John Donne and Katherine Philips. This course is open to undergraduate and graduate students.

ENGL 5559-003 - What is Postcolonial Critique?

TR 12:30PM-01:45PM Shannon 109
Olla, Nasrin

What is postcolonial critique? Is it a way of reading a text? Does it refer to the processes of historical decolonization in places like Africa, India, and the Caribbean? Or is it a practice of critical thought that can be used to think across multiple spaces and times? In this course, we will approach these questions by reading a wide range of writers including Gayatri Spivak, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Édouard Glissant, Achille Mbembe, Susan Buck-Morss, and C. L. R. James. The final project invites students to reflect upon the themes of revolutionary thinking, the global and universal, and questions of ethics.

ENGL 5559-004 - Plants and Empire

MW 12:35PM-01:50PM Bryan 233
Kuhn, Mary

This course examines how botanical projects and their cultural representations shaped the material and political landscapes of empire. In particular, it focuses on the English, French, and American imperial states in global context. Combining literary analysis with environmental history and the history of science, we'll explore the intertwined social and ecological impacts of imperialism. A wide range of sources, from poems and novels to seed catalogues, herbariums, and UVa’s gardens, will help us to see how the workings of empire in the 18th and 19th centuries shaped today's ideas about the environment.

ENGL 5830-001 - World Religions, World Literatures: The Bible

W 10:00AM-12:30PM Dawson's Row 105
Cushman, Stephen

The stories, rhythms, and rhetoric of the Bible have been imprinting readers and writers of English since the seventh century. Moving through selections from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, from Genesis to Revelation, this course focuses on deepening biblical literacy and sharpening awareness of biblical connections to whatever members of the class are reading in other contexts. Along the way we will discuss English translations of the Bible; the process of canonization; textual history; and the long trail of interpretive approaches, ancient to contemporary. Our text will be the New Oxford Annotated Bible, 5th ed. All are welcome. No previous knowledge of the Bible needed or assumed.

ENGL 5830-002 - World Religions & Literatures

TR 09:30AM-10:45AM Astronomy 265
Hart, Kevin

Cross-listed with RELG 4810 and ENGL 4590.

This seminar focuses on the writings of two important modern poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Geoffrey Hill. The one is Catholic, and the other questions religion at every level while also remaining open to the possibility of faith. Each poet raises major theological issues: belief, doubt, ecstasy, martyrdom, revelation, transcendence, and theodicy, among them. We will read, as closely as possible, some poems and prose writings by each poet, consider their theological contexts, and examine the ways in which theological issues are folded in their poems. Students will write two essays, one on each poet.

ENGL 5831-001 - Proseminar in World Religions, World Literatures

F 02:00PM-03:00PM (Online Synchronous)
Fowler, Elizabeth

This one-credit, pass/fail seminar meets online most Fridays at 2 for an hour and brings together students from many departments and disciplines who are interested in the intersections between religion and literature in their work. All are welcome, MAs and PhDs; our syllabus is student-driven and often invites guests from around the university, offers a place to bring in objects of study (following our rule of fewer than 10 pages of reading per session), and is ongoing from semester to semester, giving a home to scholars who prize comparatism, lack of boundaries, and warm collegiality. Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, French, Spanish, Arabic, English, more--it’s all in our purview.  Meets together with RELG 5821, its Religious Studies counterpart. This is home base for the master’s program in World Religions, World Literatures as well as for other graduate students whose work makes it a touchstone. Write Elizabeth Fowler for more information:

* ENGL 8270-001 - Renaissance Drama

MW 03:30PM-04:45PM New Cabell 594
Maus, Katharine

ENGL 8500-001 - Intro to Digital Humanities

T 02:00PM-04:30PM Bryan 328
Booth, Alison

Cross-listed as DH 8991.

This course is a graduate-level introduction to the history, theory, and methods of the digital humanities.  All students enrolled full-time in any graduate program at UVA are eligible, and no prior training is expected. In it, we will cover a range of historical, disciplinary, technical and contemporary issues in digital humanities.  It is focused on digital humanities in the context of literature and language, but it also considers more general cultural, epistemological, and methodological issues. Examples include how maps and other spatial and temporal perspectives are enabled by the digital; the conditions of print and archival materials in the age of digital reproduction; emergent/cy concerns about textual analysis, machine learning/AI, privacy, security, surveillance.  This course is also designed to introduce students to areas of digital humanities activity at this university.  Students should come away from the course with a solid understanding of the origin of digital humanities, the kinds of work done under that label, the opportunities to participate in DH research at UV, the research insights offered by digital humanities methods, and the applicability of those methods to the student’s own research interests. The course is offered each spring semester.  It is REQUIRED for all students enrolled in the graduate certificate in digital humanities

ENGL 8500-002 - Black Women’s Rhetorics

R 02:00PM-04:30PM Bryan 233
Carey, Tamika

This seminar explores Black women’s rhetorical practices as a critical tradition. Through an interdisciplinary lens grounded in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy Studies scholarship and informed by work in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and literary criticism, we will work to identify the techne, the praxis, and the implications of Black women’s choice to use written, visual, and aural strategies to shape and reshape themselves and their worlds. By necessity, we will consider questions such as: how do Black women define and name conditions of their subjectivity and the constraints to their public participation and livelihood? What is the connection between Black feminist thought and Black women’s literacies? Which genres, arguments, and strategies do they rely upon to address personal or sociopolitical concerns? And what might Black feminist/womanist rhetorical criticism or pedagogy involve? Ideally, this work will enable us to outline how Black women’s rhetorics operate as interpretive, interventionist, and instructional resources. Our readings will involve a combination of primary texts and critical writings. The scholars and public intellectuals we are likely to engage include: Jacqueline Jones Royster, Marcyliena Morgan, Elaine Richardson, Gwendolyn Pough, Carmen Kynard, Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Beverly Guy Sheftall, Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper, and Moya Bailey. Assignments may include: a discussion leading and course presentation activity, short weekly writing assignments, a brief annotated bibliography, and a seminar-length essay.

** ENGL 8540-001 - Victorian Literature: Faith, Doubt, Knowledge

TR 03:30PM-04:45PM Shannon 111
Tucker, Herbert

Poetry and nonfiction prose from the greatest age of print culture, with a couple of novellas on the side.  Our eclectic syllabus will center on the literary nexus where religion and science approached – and skirted – each other in reciprocally definitive imagination of what it was, two centuries ago, to be a modern soul.  Major players will include Tennyson, the Brownings, Hopkins, the Pre-Raphaelites, Mill, Darwin, Trollope, with cameo appearances by a dozen others, from the Queen’s girlhood to the year of her death.  Registrants will submit three papers running 25-30 pages all told and make one or two presentations on outside reading.

** ENGL 8540-002 - Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century

TR 03:30PM-04:45PM Maury 113
Cantor, Paul

This course will study the impact of science on nineteenth-century literature and in particular the development of science fiction as a genre, with emphasis on the epoch-making works of H. G. Wells. We will examine the ways in which science posed a challenge to literature and called into question the very notion of artistic truth. But we will also consider the ways in which science served as a new form of inspiration for fiction writers, beginning with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. One of the main subjects of the course will be the impact of Darwin and Darwinism. We will discuss the relation of science to the Victorian crisis of faith and also explore the interrelation of science and the British Empire. Writers studied will include Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edwin Abbott, and Arthur Conan Doyle. One class presentation, one long paper, and class participation.

ENGL 8560-001 - Caribbean SF and Fantasy

M 03:30PM-06:00PM New Cabell 066
Hamilton, Njelle

Seminar focused on novels, stories, film and art at the cutting edge of SF/F that center Caribbean settings, peoples, and culture, even as they expand the definition of genre. Authors and auteurs from the English-, Spanish- and French-speaking Caribbean might include: Nalo Hopkinson, Tobias Buckell, Karen Lord, Patrick Chamoiseau, Junot Díaz, Rita Indiana, Marcia Douglas, Leone Ross, Ernest Pepin, René Depestre, Agustín de Rojas and Yoss.

ENGL 8570-001 - Introduction to Southern Studies

M 03:30PM-06:00PM Bryan 334
Greeson, Jennifer

Surveys current cross-disciplinary approaches to studies of the U.S. South, with a particular focus on comparative and transnational frames.

ENGL 8570-002 - Latinx C19: Race and Genre across the Americas

R 03:30PM-06:00PM Astronomy 265
Lamas, Carmen

In this course we will read works from the Latina/o nineteenth-century, including novels, poems, short stories, travel diaries, biographies, political tracts, and essays. We will contextualize these works in their historical moments and in their relation to other literary manifestations of the era across the Americas. We will read recent theoretical texts that engage African enslavement, indigeneity, and gender as well as survey current debates regarding genre, particularly as it relates to race, from a trans-American and hemispheric perspective. All readings, discussion, and coursework will be in English.

ENGL 8570-003 - Approaches to American Culture

T 03:30PM-06:00PM New Cabell 066
Shukla, Sandhya

This course explores the theory and practice of American cultural studies, a set of intellectual formations that contemplates the contours of interdisciplinarity.  It conceives of culture in the broadest way, capturing a more anthropological understanding of the quotidian (rituals, customs, conversations, worldviews), as well as more aesthetic projects of the creative imagination (literature, film, music).  Culture’s deep stratification by class, race, gender and sexuality is a special focus as we consider seemingly coherent expressions of the United States. 

            Any number of materials could be considered under the expansive rubric of American cultural studies, but this particular inquiry begins in the twentieth century to develop a conversation about how the nation has been imagined as bounded within but also overlapping with global modernity.  Here we necessarily cast “America” as provisional, contingent, and potentially opening of continental and hemispheric horizons.  We will pay attention to how academic fields (Americanist and other) have formed in relation to questions about spatiality, politics, language, canons, social movements, and more.  Above all this class seeks to inspire an interpretive practice that can be mobilized for a range of inter/disciplinary projects across the humanities and social sciences.  If we consider the meaning of a text to be derived from relationships among production, consumption and circulation, we must closely read historical, social, aesthetic and formalistic aspects together.  In so doing, we hope to develop new ways to organize knowledge and get closer to how people live in and express the world. 

            Readings for the class will range from primary works by W.E.B. DuBois, James Agee and Walker Evans, Jose Martí, and Randolph Bourne, to critical-theoretical texts by Paul Gilroy, Joseph Roach, Kathleen Stewart, Lisa Lowe, George Lipsitz and others.  Students will be required to workshop and complete a 15-20 page paper. 


T 02:00PM-04:30PM Dawson's Row 105
Teare, Brian

“How can we listen across species,” asks Alexis Pauline Gumbs in Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals, “across extinction, across harm?” And how can the practice of poetry extend the senses, aid us in listening and speaking to, touching, and moving in ethical relation to the imperiled more-than-human world? In books like Wendy Burk’s Tree Talks, Bhanu Kapil’s Humanimal, and Zaina Alsous’ A Theory of Birds, poets intend themselves toward vegetal, mammalian, and avian lives in order to examine not only what is knowable of other species, but also to investigate the effects and affects of western culture’s conflation of women and animals. Much contemporary ecofeminist poetry focuses not just on ethical relation to the more-than-human world, but also to registering the impacts of settler colonialism, enslavement, war, and imperialism on the intrinsic interconnectedness between species, ecosystems, humans, and human systems. This interdisciplinary course will introduce us to ten contemporary ecofeminist poets as well as to the ecocritical discourses that inform the work they’re doing. We’ll explore their poetry and relevant ecocritical thought through five topoi – Black Anthropocenes, Listening, Indigenous Tongues, Touching, and Humanimals. Trees, birds, wolves, and insects will accompany us through the semester as we too attempt to listen across species, “to see what happens,” writes Gumbs, when we “rethink and re-feel” our own “relations, possibilities, and practices” in conversation with more-than-human beings. Assignments will range from the creative to the critical, with an emphasis on process-led research. Poets, artists, and scholars of all disciplines welcome.

ENGL 8598-001 - Form and Theory of Fiction

W 02:00PM-04:30PM Brooks 103
Alison, Jane

ENGL 8900 - Pedagogy Seminar

A seminar focusing on the pedagogical theories and techniques teachers can draw upon to conceptualize and design an undergraduate Writing course.

W 10:00AM-12:30PM Bryan 233
Ceraso, Steph

R 09:30AM-12:00PM Bryan 233
Curley, Anastatia

M 12:00PM-12:50PM Dawson's Row 105
Livingood, Jeb

ENGL 9560-001 - Poetry in a Global Age

MW 03:30PM-04:45PM Maury 113
Ramazani, Jahan

How does poetry articulate and respond to the globalizing processes that accelerate in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? In this seminar, we will consider modern and contemporary poetry in English in relation to transnational, global, world literary, and postcolonial theory and history. Above all our focus will be on the poetry. The writers we will read range from modernists like Eliot, Yeats, Stevens, and McKay to postcolonial poets of Ireland, India, Africa, Britain, and the Caribbean, such as Walcott, Heaney, Goodison, Philip, Kolatkar, Okot p’Bitek, Okigbo, Daljit Nagra, and Kei Miller. Requirements include active participation; co-leading of discussion; and two conference-length papers (8-10 pages). Our texts will be from volumes 1 and 2 of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, third edition, as supplemented by other poems and critical and theoretical texts.

ENGL 9800-001 - Intro to Textual Criticism & Scholarly Editing

F 09:30AM-12:00PM Bryan 233
Vander Meulen, David

This course in textual criticism deals with some of the fundamental problems of literary study and of reading in general: if a work exists in multiple forms, and with different wording, what constitutes "the text"?  How are such judgments made and standards determined?  How are verbal works as intellectual abstractions affected by the physical forms in which they are transmitted?  If one is faced with the prospect of editing a work, how does one go about it? How does one choose an edition for use in the classroom?  What difference does this all make? The course will deal with such concerns and will include: a short survey of analytical bibliography and the solution of practical problems as they apply to literary texts; study of the transmission of texts in different periods; and considerations of theories and techniques of editing literary and non-literary texts of different genres, and of both published and unpublished materials.  The course "Books as Physical Objects", ENGL 5810, provides helpful background but is not a prerequisite.

This course fulfills the Theory requirement.

Graduate Courses