Undergraduate Courses - Fall 2022
This list includes courses with a special emphasis. Go to the online LSU catalog for general course descriptions not listed here. Refer to the online Schedule Booklet for course times, classrooms, and updates.
ENGL 2000– Sections 1, 2, and 3 (English Composition)
Our Built Environment
The special emphasis Our Built Environment takes as fundamental that today’s college students are essential to building environments that are just, accessible, functional, and beautiful, and that societal problems are the result of human made environments, both physical and conceptual. Your academic disciplines hold the potential to address these problems. In this course you will consider how societal problems such as racism, gender inequality, environmental pollution, health risks, and others exist in your field. From there you will choose an area of research that interests you and explore it.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 4 and 5 (English Composition)
Writing for Community Action and Advocacy
Includes a Service-Learning component. In this special emphasis course with a focus on "Writing for Community Action and Advocacy," we will discuss the use of language, especially written language, as a tool for affecting change within the community. You will be challenged to think about your role in the community and the use of writing to persuade, inspire and affect change.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 10, 11, and 12 (English Composition)
Includes a Service-Learning component. What does “home” mean to you? Is it a physical space? A feeling of belonging? In this course, we will consider the concept of “home” from multiple perspectives as we connect research and writing related to students’ major fields to community issues. We will investigate the social, political, geographic, and economic factors, among others, that contribute to having a home or that lead to homelessness. We will serve the community through projects with St. Vincent de Paul, Habitat for Humanity, or the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. This course counts toward the LSU Engaged Citizen Program.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 20, 21, and 22 (English Composition)
The Language of Horror
Do you like scary movies? We will explore America's longest standing love affair: the horror genre. Students will study an array of both classic and contemporary horror texts, identifying and analyzing their use of rhetorical strategies and appeals. Through studying arguments found within horror advertisements, literature, film, and critical theory, students will develop a critical lens they can apply to their own analytical discussions and arguments. While students can expect to learn a great deal about the horror genre, this course is primarily concerned with the study of rhetoric, which is essentially the study of how we argue and what makes an argument effective. Students will gain effective reading, writing, research, and analysis strategies for the college environment. Students will practice various kinds of analytical and persuasive writing, from poster analysis and television reviews, to a final argumentative essay about a horror film.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 23, 24, and 25 (English Composition)
Writing Cultural Criticism
Students in this course will study what constitutes successful arts and cultural criticism, focusing on topics related to art, architecture, dance, film, literature, music, and television. We will consider the past, present, and future of cultural criticism and research the social, political, and historical contexts in which the arts and criticism emerge. Students will compose in multiple modes to improve their writing skills while gaining a more complex understanding of audience, form, and the contexts that inform effective argument.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 26 and 27 (English Composition)
Includes a Service-Learning component. This section of English 2000 will ask you to think globally. You will research and compose arguments about issues with a global impact and will consider how understanding cultural context can help us solve them in a manner that respects the multiple national interests involved. To help you do this effectively, you will participate in a service-learning partnership that asks you to engage one-on-one with an international student. Through one-hour meetings each week, you will help your partner improve his/her spoken English and you will sharpen your ability to engage with and understand cultural perspectives beyond your own.
ENGL 2009 - Section 2 (Writing Screenplays)
Story tellers! Come and learn the ins and outs of creating a feature film script by writing a series of short scripts and the first act of a feature (with the rest of the script outlined). You’ll watch films and TV shows of your choice to study, culminating in a short critical paper. Other forms of writing, such as collaborating with writing partners, writing for web-series and television, may be discussed and/or practiced. Plus, you will workshop each other’s work. MOST OF ALL, IT WILL BE FUN!
ENGL 2025 - Section 2 (Fiction)
Ghosts, Monsters, Haunted Houses, Curses, and Damsels in Distress. This class will look at the history of gothic fiction, focusing on its treatment of issues such as revolution, evil and haunting.
ENGL 2025 - Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 (Fiction)
American Protest Literature
This course lets you get inspired by 200 years of home-grown American texts fighting for the Abolition of Slavery, Black Rights, Civil Rights, Workers’ Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, and even Communist Revolution. How do these texts speak truth to power and give us solutions for a “more perfect union”? And how do they help us respond to the problems facing America today? Which side are you on?
ENGL 2123 - Section 1 (Literary Traditions and Themes)
Ghosts, Ghouls, and Grits
Be wary of dark minds and dark places! Through fiction, poetry, film, and drama, we will examine the tradition of ghostly storytelling and how such stories have evolved over human history and geography. From ancient Babylon, through Gothic Europe, to West Africa and the Caribbean, the haunted houses of Latin America and East Asia, all the way to our present-day U.S. and our own peculiar Baton Rouge, we will encounter strange beings and circumstances. Authors may include: Cisneros, Jackson, James, Morrison, Nguyen, and more.
ENGL 2123 - Section 2 (Literary Traditions and Themes)
Heroes in Classic and Modern Media
A survey of “the hero” throughout the history of literature and media—from Gilgamesh to Superman to HALO’s Master Chief. Topics include classic and modern definitions of the hero in relation to current-day, real-world concepts of heroism; the heroic journey; common themes across stories and genres; antiheroes and villains; and the psychological, social, and moral context surrounding our depictions of heroes…and how we respond to those depictions! Note: Credit will not be given for both this course and ENGL 2823.
ENGL 2123 - Section 3 (Literary Traditions and Themes)
This Haunted South: Southern Gothic Over Time
The Southern Gothic is a subgenre of the American Gothic tradition that has historically used the Grotesque as a form of satirical commentary on a region beset by dissonance and contradiction - the veneer of hospitality, gentility, and chivalry over the hideously brutal exploitation of enslaved people needed to keep the plantation system functioning. As the South has changed, however, so has its dark literary mirror. Vampires, zombies, and other supernatural creatures have made their home alongside the human monsters the genre has hosted from the beginning, allowing readers and authors to examine relationships between the region and its people in new ways, and even leading to a renewed interest in the aesthetic on microblogging apps like Tumblr and Tiktok. Students will have the opportunity to engage with authors from Flannery O’Connor to Jesmyn Ward, films through the ages, and other social media adaptations to better understand how a genre so unique to American literary tapestry is still shifting and evolving today.
ENGL 2231 - Section 2 (Reading Film)
The Global Action Film
This class introduces students to film analysis through a sustained look at a single genre, the action film. This genre is uniquely structured around the aesthetics of the medium, and so provides a great way to explore cinema’s formal properties. Action films are additionally singular in their international appeal, and so will provide the opportunity for thinking about filmmaking in a global context. Screening materials will include films from a range of regions, including Hong Kong, France, Thailand, and the U.S.
ENGL 2593 - Section 2 (Gender & Literature)
Images of Motherhood
This course examines how motherhood often functions as a source of religious, sexual, and social power, and this power is used in both productive and destructive ways. By reading a range of representations of motherhood in literature together alongside feminist scholars, students will consider how definitions of motherhood intersect with pregnancy, childbirth, fertility, adoption, reproductive technologies, child-rearing, and writing; how these experiences shape identity; and, how non-essentialist/non-biological understandings of motherhood broaden both the definition of motherhood and the scope of its power. Possible authors include: Margery Kempe, Jane Austen, Kate Chopin, Buchi Emecheta, Delores Phillips, Arundhati Roy, and Imani Perry.
ENGL 2823 - Section 1 (Honors: Literary Traditions and Themes)
Empathy Across Differences: Global Perspectives
In our increasingly interconnected, yet divided world, the concept of empathy requires careful attention. What are the limits of our ability to understand others’ thoughts and feelings? How are these limits determined by differences of race, cultural identity, gender, and class? Is it necessary to empathize with others to treat them ethically? How does empathy manifest itself in the digital world we inhabit today? How does literature negotiate these concerns in its portrayal of empathic interactions, and how does narrative empathy shape the reading of literature? In this course, we will explore these questions through contemporary global literatures that examine the possibilities and challenges of empathy. Authors may include Bernadine Evaristo, Caryl Phillips, J.M. Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, Leila Aboulela, and Tahmima Anam.
ENGL 3080 - Section 1 (Post-Colonial Literature)
How do histories and narratives of colonization shape the world today? How do postcolonial writers challenge colonial narratives to offer fresh ways of understanding the world? Focusing on the aftermath of the British Empire, in this course we will explore texts by writers from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean to investigate how postcolonial literature complicates our understanding of key concepts such as identity, difference, representation, freedom, nationalism, diaspora, language, modernity, race, and gender. Authors may include Chinua Achebe, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Jean Rhys, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Salman Rushdie, and Arundhati Roy. We will also read excerpts from foundational postcolonial theorists such as Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Homi Bhabha, among others.
ENGL 3304 - Section 1 (Special Topics in Writing & Research)
Writing and Researching About Southern Fiction
The aim of this course is to introduce (or reintroduce) students to a range of tools, methods, and critical perspectives useful for writing and conducting research in advanced English classes. Our focus this semester will be on fiction from and about the U.S. South, with an emphasis on novels and short stories from the post-World War II period up to our contemporary era. How do such literary works help us to understand the multiple and contradictory ways that the idea of “the South” works in the region, the nation, and in the world? How does “southernness” intersect with experiences of race, class, gender, and so on? How have our ideas of what defines “southern literature” changed over time? Authors we may consider include Jesmyn Ward, Karen Russell, Percival Everett, Randall Kenan, Michael Farris Smith, Kiese Laymon, Monique Truong, Elizabeth Spencer, and Cynthia Shearer, among others.
ENGL 4030- Section 1 (Studies in the Middle Ages)
Love, betrayal, war, giants, fairy queens, Christmas games, the search for the magical and for the divine. These are only some of the elements that make up the rich and varied tapestry of Arthur, his queen Guinevere, the sorcerer Merlin, and knights like Lancelot, Gawain, Galahad, and Percival. Arguably the most popular story in the Middle Ages (and beyond), the exploits of Arthur not only entertained and captivated many, but also served as a narrative canvas for exploring the relationship to the past, the problems of the present, and the hopes for the future. We will explore the Celtic roots of the Arthur myth, and we will read widely in both the French and English traditions. We will also take some brief detours into other cultural imaginings of Arthur, and at the end of the semester we will consider a more modern work that reinterprets the rich tapestry of Arthuriana. Most works will be in English translation; no previous experience in medieval lit required, and like the knights on the Grail Quest, you will always have help!
ENGL 4055 - Section 1 (Studies in the Novel and the Idea of Narrative)
Gender, Age, and the Novel of Development
The novel of development is arguably the most common narrative form we use to weave fictions about identity. In showing how character develops, these novels also trace the shift from innocence to experience as characters figure out the meanings of life, love, and work. We're going to look at the differences sex and age make during different life stages, not only in the stories we choose to tell ourselves, but perhaps also in those we tell others. Reading may include novels such as Barrie's Peter Pan, Alcott's Little Women, Morrison's Song of Solomon, Greer's Less, and Strout's Olive, Again!
ENGL 4104 - Section 1 (Capstone-Literature)
Reading Toni Morrison
This course will be an in-depth study of Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison. Most recognized as a novelist, Morrison also wrote short stories, poetry, essays, and children’s books. Writing across genres, while working as an editor and professor, she covers a range of considerations for “English majors” and makes for a powerful capstone experience. We will not only analyze matters of narrative construction and reception, generic conventions, voice, and perspective, but also consider Morrison’s use of various literary and rhetorical strategies. Ultimately, we will query textual analysis, the work of the English major, as a key site for trenchant aesthetic, social, cultural and political action, and critique.
ENGL 4148 - Section 1 (Studies in Shakespeare)
A survey of Shakespeare’s most renowned comedies and tragedies.
ENGL 4222 - Section 1 (Studies in Popular Fiction)
Drawn True: History and Memory in Comics and Graphic Novels
In this course, we’ll read a selection of comics and graphic novels in genres such as biography, memoir, reportage, and historical fiction. We'll focus on how comics’ creators use the unique properties of the comics medium to explore how we make, revise, and contest the ways in which we understand history and the relationship between individual stories and larger historical narratives. Possible texts include Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Joe Sacco’s Palestine, Garth Ennis' Battlefields, Eleanor Davis’ You & a Bike & a Road, Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend, Derf Backderf’s Kent State, Joe Sacco’s Palestine, Tillie Walden’s Spinning, and Kyle Baker and Robet Morales’ Truth: Red, White, and Black, among others.
ENGL 4300 - Section 1 (Studies in Rhetorical Theory)
Political Rhetoric in Theory & Practice
Students in this course will study political rhetoric in its ancient and modern forms, learning about the history and theory of the art of persuasion in political spaces. Focusing on politics within the United States, we will read and listen to a wide range of texts and speeches from political actors – politicians, community organizers, concerning citizens, etc. We will inquire about differences in the use of rhetoric by rhetors from different political parties, how identity (race, gender, etc.) informs rhetoric, and the impact of modern influences on political rhetoric, such as social media and the Trump presidency.
ENGL 4680 - Section 1 (Studies in Post-Colonial Literature & Culture)
Books with Buzz: Famous and Infamous Fiction of the Year, 2021-2022
How do some books become instantly famous and others instantly infamous? What is the connection between fame, infamy, and "literary quality"? Are certain books, particularly those by non-white non-Western writers, famous or infamous because they pander to a Western audience that still holds the most power in the publishing world? Are literary popularity and notoriety related to the circulation of stereotypes—extreme suffering, perpetual crisis, exotic lands filled with bright flora and fauna, "Eastern" mysticism and mystery (etc.)—in fiction about the postcolonial world? We will approach these questions by sampling the most famous and infamous postcolonial novels published in the last year. Our reading will include (amongst others) Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun (United Kingdom), Imbolo Mbue's How Beautiful We Were (Nigeria), Avni Doshi's Burnt Sugar (India), Nawaaz Ahmed's Radiant Fugitive (United States), and Damon Galgut's The Promise (South Africa).