Advising Appointments

Schedule an appointment
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Advising and Course Information

The College of Arts and Sciences dual advising system of general/professional advisors and department advisors helps students achieve academic success.

English students may meet with any of the advisors listed below for major and minor advising. All advising appointments are being conducted with Zoom video conferencing to maintain the health of our campus community. Log in to UMKC Connect to schedule an appointment.

Advisor Contact Information

Dr. Hadara Bar-Nadav
barnadavh@umkc.edu
Tues. 3-5PM; Thurs. 10AM-Noon

Dr. Jenni Frangos
frangosj@umkc.edu
Tues. 6-8PM; Fri. 1-3PM

Dr. Jane Greer
greerj@umkc.edu
Mon. and Wed. 2-4PM

CAS Student Services

General UMKC advising and pre-professional program advising is handled by CAS Student Services. Current students should schedule appointments through Connect.

Course Information

Our current class schedule is available in Pathway, the university’s online registration system, and our complete list of course offerings are available in the catalog. Review our course description listing to find reading lists, major assignments, and other details to help you select your classes for the upcoming semester:

Classics Courses

CLASSICS 119-0001: Myth and Literature with Ben Jasnow
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Online Asynchronous Instr

A study of classical myth including readings from Homer to Ovid, analysis of selected myths in later literature, art, and music, and a study of contemporary definitions and approaches to myth.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

CLASSICS 210-0001: Foundations Of Ancient World Literature I with Cynthia Jones

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course studies ancient world literature such as The Descent of Inanna, Egyptian love poetry, Hebrew Scriptures, the epics of Homer and Virgil, the Analects of Confucius, and the wisdom of Laozi. The course also considers ancient creation epics such as the cosmic battle between Marduk and Tiamat, the Metamorphosis of Ovid, and the great Indian epic The Ramayana.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

CLASSICS 300CY-0001: Ancient World in Cinema with Jeff Rydberg-Cox and Mitch Brian

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course will explore the tradition of depicting the ancient Mediterranean world in film from the early silent era to the present. Topics to be covered include the ways that filmmakers respond to literary and historical sources from the ancient world, interact with the artistic tradition of films about the ancient world, the relation of these films to other works by the same creative personnel (directors, actors, writers, producers, etc.), and the political and cultural contexts in which the films were released.

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills the Reception requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

CLASSICS 391WI-0001: Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine with Cynthia Jones

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course explores the practice of medicine in the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds from 800 BCE until 300 CE.  Students will read primary sources in English and will also be introduced to Greek and Latin grammar and medical vocabulary so that they can understand and study essential terms from the history of medicine in their original language.

  • Fulfills an Elective requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

English Courses

ENGLISH 207: World Literature in English with Stephen Dilks

Online Asynchronous Instr (First 8-week Session)

This course is designed to introduce you to a diverse range of accessible literary texts written by non Euro-American writers. The texts are either written in English or translated into English from other languages. Our goal is to situate each text in context and to open conversations about issues important to the people and places represented in these texts. I will provide video presentations with contextualizing materials of various kinds (geographical, historical, literary, musical, political, etc.). This material is intended to help us relate to the characters and stories, the emotions and thoughts, the actions and situations in any given text.

From the beginning, I encourage you to follow your own interests, to ask questions about these interests by sending me direct e-mails at dilkss@umkc.edu, and to explore these interests in Canvas posts. If you participate fully in the course, you’ll become familiar with a number of important texts from across the globe and will be able to read them in their historical and cultural contexts. In addition to learning about a range of literary texts and contexts, you will learn to write effective reviews (four short reviews; no required posts) that help other readers understand why specific texts might be worth reading.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s):
Abani, Chris.  Graceland. New York: FSG, 2004.
Guevera, Ernesto “Che.” The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey. New York: Ocean Press, 2004.
Hamid, Mohsin. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. New York: Mariner Books, 2008.
Kirino, Natsuo. Out. New York: Vintage/Random House, 2005.
Yu, Hua. Chronicle of a Blood Merchant. New York: Anchor, 2003.

Other Background material will be shared in the course’s Canvas page

ENGLISH 214-0001: Introduction To Fiction with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous: TR 2:30pm-3:45pm

This section of English 214 will follow the development of the literary short story from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, covering a range of authors including Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, James Baldwin, Sherman Alexie, and Jhumpa Lahiri. By studying the basic elements of fiction—plot, character, setting, point of view, style, theme, etc.—we will come to understand how stories work, how the effects of narrative are created and constructed. By the end of the course we will not only have read a wide selection of the most significant works in the history of the short story, we will also have honed our ability to understand, analyze, discuss, and write about literature—to respond to works of art in both critical and creative ways. Coursework will include responses to our readings, and two papers.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 9th Edition, 2016 MLA Update, Bedford/St. Martin’s Press. ISBN# 9781319125189

ENGLISH 215-0001: Introduction To Poetry with Laurie Ellinghausen

Online Asynchronous Instr (First 8-week Session)

Have you ever wanted to know more about poetry – how to read it, how to interpret it, and how to apply it to your life? This course will help students become active, analytical readers of poetry from a variety of traditions. We will consider the following questions: how do we define poetry? What distinguishes it from other forms of writing and art? What influences have shaped your own definition of poetry? How do your own beliefs, experiences, and personal values play into your interpretation of a poem? What can poetry bring to your own life?

In this introductory course, you will learn strategies for reading poetry, study the technical elements of a poem (i.e. poetic devices, forms, etc.), and read a range of poetry from different historical traditions, all over the world. Requirements will include daily online discussion in the Blackboard format, blog responses to audio readings and interviews, and a final paper. Students must have regular internet access and familiarity with the Blackboard environment.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s):
The Norton Introduction to Poetry. Ed. Alison Booth, J. Paul Hunter, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th ed. NY: Norton, 2006.
Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Ed. Stephen Booth. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000.
Tempest, Kate. Brand New Ancients: A Poem. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2015.

ENGLISH 242: Women Writing/Women Reading with Crystal Doss

Online Asynchronous Instr (Second 8-week Session)

This course investigates women as producers and consumers of literature. Students will become acquainted with diverse women writers, explore women’s reading practices, and interrogate the cultural, historical, and social contexts that influence women’s writing and reading.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 301WI: Writing And The Academy with Sheila Honig

Online Asynchronous Instr

This class provides you with the opportunity to become a better and more confident reader, writer, and researcher through a close examination of two autobiographies—Lives on the Boundary and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. You will examine issues such as social class, race, and other cultural factors relating to these two nonfiction books, along with your personal connections to these autobiographies. Essay assignments require you to conduct both primary and secondary research.

This is an online section of English 301 requiring a fairly high level of attention and discipline. IF you are a relatively independent self-starter type of student, the online component can greatly enhance the experience.

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 311: American Literature I with John Barton

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course surveys U.S. literatures from the colonial period to just before the Civil War.  It begins with Cabeza de Vaca’s Relación, a narrative of Spanish contact with the “New World,” and concludes with the poetry of Whitman and Dickinson, major precursors of the modernist movement.  The course will cover a wide range of important literary works from many different genres and examine them in relation to the cultural and historical contexts within which they were produced.  In our exploration of American literature before the Civil War we will give special attention to questions about race and gender.

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Heath Anthology of American Literature, Eighth Edition
The Account: Álvar Núňez Cabeza de Vaca’s Relación (Arte Publico Press)

ENGLISH 312: Creative Writing I Fiction with Michael Pritchett

Online Asynchronous Instr (Second 8-Week Session)

As storytellers, it’s important that we never allow the facts to stand in the way of a good story. We’re always making up at least part of our story. If you stick with the facts, you might have a good story. But if you change them, you could wind up with a great story.

Fiction is especially good at showing how we suffer unfairness in life, so think about what suffering your character is doing, what unfairness they are facing, and how to dramatize the suffering that is being caused by the unfairness.

Writing is a way to reach out to others. The first step in this journey is to read what other people write about the human condition and the world and the suffering and unfairness in the world. The next step is to decide what you want to say about being a human from your perspective and then to say it. That’s what this course is about.

Possible titles include A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John LeCarre, A Midnight Clear by William Wharton, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Briefing for a Descent into Hell by Doris Lessing, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison, Little Big Man by Thomas Berger, Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Progress of Love by Alice Munro, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Bullet Park by John Cheever, The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas and The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor, among others.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 316WI: Literary Nonfiction with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 4pm-5:15pm

There has been a long and impressive history of socially engaged nonfiction in American letters. Henry David Thoreau went to jail to protest the Mexican American war and slavery and his essay, “On Civil Disobedience,” was read by Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote his own famed “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Washington Post reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, became cultural heroes for their exposure of President Nixon’s crimes. Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, sparked a movement to ban the use of DDT and helped start the environmental movement in America.

This course is designed to introduce students to the study and crafting of creative nonfiction, with a focus on writing that addresses significant social or political issues. As we’ll discover through our reading, writers have used many different forms of nonfiction to voice their social concerns. Social critique can come in the guise of the personal essay (Ralph Ellison’s “The Little Man at Chehaw Station”), the researched magazine piece (John McPhee’s “Encounters with the Archdruid”), the first-person expose (Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed) or autobiography (Edmund White’s City Boy). Together we will explore – and practice – the many different varieties of this diverse tradition.  What constitutes “socially engaged” writing? What strategies have writers used to raise awareness of issues that they consider to be important? How have they managed to balance artistic concerns with their desire to “make a point”? Some authors approach their issues through polemic (Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?) while others have written pieces that aren’t overtly political and yet, nevertheless, make important social and historical assertions (Joan Didion’s Where I Was From).

We’ll spend the first six weeks studying the various forms of literary nonfiction. Then the rest of the class will be devoted to working on your own writing. Students will prepare two 8-12 page essays on subjects of their own choosing. We’ll discuss each essay in class and I’ll provide line edits and individual conferences to each writer.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major

Required Text(s):
Fields of Reading: Motives for Writing, 10th Edition, edited by Nancy R. Conley, David Hamilton, et al.

ENGLISH 317: British Literature I with Jennifer Frangos

Online Asynchronous Instr

This online course will serve as an introduction to literature in English from the Medieval Period to the end of the eighteenth century, with an emphasis on reading these texts in their social and cultural contexts. We will look at major and minor texts and writers, a wide variety of literary genres, and a range of supplementary materials (political treatises, scientific writing, art and music, fashion, maps, popular entertainments, and so forth). As we read and discuss, we will consider questions such as these: How is a text created by a culture and how does it in turn help to create that culture? What problems, tensions, and issues does the literature seem to be working out for the culture? What issues seem important to literary texts, what issues seem unimportant, and why? Who has power in the culture, who is resisting or perpetuating that power structure, and how does literature (or a given literary text) reveal, perpetuate, resist, or re-imagine the culture’s power structure?

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required work will include frequent posts to Canvas discussion sites, 4 formal short essays, 3 exams, and recitation of at least 14 lines of poetry.

Required Text(s):
On order with the UMKC Bookstore: Our primary text will be Joseph Black et al., eds., The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, Volume A, 3rd edition (2016). Please buy this exact edition and have it on the first day of class.

ENGLISH 318: Bible As Literature with Cynthia Jones

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 1pm-2:15pm

A critical study of the major portions of the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, with special attention to the development of literature from oral tradition, the literary genres, themes and archetypes represented in the collection, and the diction and style which have influenced later literature. The class explores the relationship between Biblical literature to the historical, religious and cultural milieu of the ancient Near East. We will investigate the importance of the Bible to the development of Western culture and literature; and the depth and complexity of religious, psychological, and cultural themes in the Bible.

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills the Ancient Literature requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 321: American Literature II with Jane Greer

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 2:30pm-3:45pm (Second 8-Week Session)

This course introduces students to some of the significant works by United States writers from 1865 to the present, as well as to the major literary movements these works helped to shape.  Given the vastness and diversity of the literature produced during this period, no survey will cover everything.  However, by the end of the semester, students will have encountered many important literary figures (e.g., Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Adrienne Rich, Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri) and discussed some of the central issues that have defined literature and culture in the United States over the last 150 years or so.

Survey courses of American literature, like English 321, first came into being on college campuses in the early decades of the twentieth century as professors, administrators, and cultural tastemakers sought to transform an increasingly diverse population into “Americans” and to stave off chaos by requiring a sort of homage to a sequence of supposedly heroic (and mostly white male) authors who reflected the values of the nation.  In the twenty-first century, survey classes, like English 321, are still expected to accomplish important cultural work as evidenced by the fact that such courses are often included in general education requirements.  With this in mind, we will pay special attention throughout the semester to how various writers saw themselves and their texts contributing to the creation of a democratic society.

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Michael Levin, et al., eds.  The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 9th Edition, Vols. C, D, and E
Toni Morrison, Beloved.  Plume Fiction.

ENGLISH 323: Shakespeare with Laurie Ellinghausen

Online Asynchronous Instr

Why do the poetry and plays of William Shakespeare remain so popular and influential nearly 400 years after his death? Because these writings contain nearly limitless potential for interpretation, debate, and creative revision, as scholars and artists from Shakespeare’s lifetime to our own readily attest. This course introduces undergraduates to Shakespeare’s works, their historical and literary contexts, and their impact on modern culture. We will examine Shakespeare from a variety of angles, including language use, historical context, and performance, while covering plays from each of the four genres (comedy, history, tragedy, and romance) as well as lyric poetry (sonnets).

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s):
TEXTBOOK (please buy this exact edition and have it by the first day of class)
Bevington, David, ed., The Necessary Shakespeare, 5th ed. (available in e-book format from the UMKC Bookstore at www.umkcbookstore.com, although you may use a print edition if you prefer)

FILMS (available for rental on Amazon, but may also be available on other streaming services)
The Taming of the Shrew, dir. Franco Zeffirelli, 1967
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dir. Max Reinhardt, 1936
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dir. Michael Hoffman, 1999
Twelfth Night, dir. Trevor Nunn, 1996
Richard III, dir. Laurence Olivier, 1955
Looking for Richard, dir. Al Pacino, 1996
Hamlet, dir. Laurence Olivier, 1948
Hamlet, dir. Kenneth Branagh, 1996
Othello, dir. Oliver Parker, 1995
O, dir. Tim Blake Nelson, 2001
Macbeth, dir. Rupert Goold, 2011

ENGLISH 327: British Literature II with Jennifer Phegley

Online Asynchronous Instr

English 327 will introduce you to some significant works by British writers from the late 18thcentury to the early 20thcentury, a period that covers the major literary and intellectual movements of Romanticism, Victorianism, and Modernism. Given the wide range of diverse literature produced during this time of rapid social, technological, and economic change, our survey of the field will necessarily be limited. However, we will encounter many important literary figures, including Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Wilkie Collins, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce. We will also explore some of the central issues that have defined British literature and culture, such as the abolition of slavery, the advent of industrialism, the introduction of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the subsequent crisis in faith, the expansion of the British empire, and the cataclysmic impact of the First World War.

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, Broadview Press. ISBN# 978-1-55111-644-0.
David Damrosch, et al., eds., The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 2a, 2b, and 2c, 5thEdition. ISBN# 9780134015699

ENGLISH 333: African American Literature II with Anthony Shiu

Online Asynchronous Instr

African American Literature II is a survey course open to all majors. We’ll examine literature, film, and music by African Americans from the 1940s until the present, and we’ll cover a wide range of styles, authors, and movements. We’ll use The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (2nd edition) as our central text and examine realism, the Black Arts Movement, and contemporary (as well as experimental) African American literature. We will also study a film and read a novel. Our focus will also be interdisciplinary, with an eye toward understanding how the growth of African American literary and cultural traditions contributes to and directly questions American traditions, politics, social structures, and current events.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major with American Literary and Cultural Studies emphasis

Required Text(s):
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Vol. 2. 3rd ed. (ISBN: 9780393923704)
Whitehead, Colson. The Intuitionist.. (ISBN: 9780385493000)

ENGLISH 337: Introduction to American Literary and Cultural Studies with Anthony Shiu

Online Asynchronous Instr

In this course, we’ll examine a wide range of literary and cultural texts from an interdisciplinary perspective: from video games to popular fiction to public performances. We will explore historic and contemporary approaches to understanding U.S. culture by focusing on gender, race, sexuality, labor, and transnationalism. In doing so, we’ll develop a deep understanding of social and cultural practices while attending to a wide breadth (and diversity) of primary source materials. If you’re interested in other interdisciplinary fields like Ethnic Studies or Women and Gender Studies, English 337 is a perfect complement that will help develop your interdisciplinary skills in analysis and research.

English majors may obtain a B.A. in English with an emphasis in American Studies (currently known as “American Literary and Cultural Studies”). English 337 serves as the introductory course for this emphasis area and is meant to introduce students to a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to literary and cultural texts in a U.S. context. Graduate students may take this course for graduate credit.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major
  • Fulfills the Introductory requirement for the English major with American Literary and Cultural Studies emphasis

Required Text(s):
American Studies: An Anthology (ISBN: 9781405113526)

ENGLISH 342WI: Women And Rhetoric with Jane Greer

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 8:30am-9:45am

Diaries, scrapbooks, letters, speeches, tracts, testimonials, essays, posters, videos, blogs–all intriguing textual genres that women (cis, trans, fluid) have composed as they have pursued both public and private goals at different historical moments over the past two hundred years in the U.S.. This course offers students the opportunity to study the rhetorical practices of women and their position(s) within the traditions of western rhetoric.  More simply put, we’ll be studying how women have used language to get things done in the world.

As a writing-intensive course, English 342WI also aims to help students expand their own rhetorical repertoires as both writers and composers of digital media.  Over the course of the semester, each student will draft and revise a rhetorical biography of a woman whom they feel should be included in the history of rhetoric.  In the past, students have chosen to study figures as diverse as Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue; Pat Summitt, legendary women’s basketball coach; Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State; Hallie Quinn Brown, educator and elocutionist at Wilberforce College; Victoria Woodhull,19th-century advocate for Free Love; and Rachel Carson, environmental activist.

  • Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s):
Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald, eds.  Available Means:  An Anthology of Women’s Rhetorics U of Pittsburgh P, 2001
Shari J. Stenberg and Charlotte Hogg, eds.  Persuasive Acts:  Women’s Rhetorics in the 21st Century.  U of Pittsburgh P, 2020.

ENGLISH 380: Composing in the Digital Age with Antonio Byrd

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course will explore how to effectively communicate in a digital age by incorporating multiple modes of writing strategies. We focus on the study and creation of digital and physical multimodal texts, such as podcasts and board games. The course will consider the rhetorical possibilities and constraints of various modalities rather than privileging one mode of communication over another. Specialized knowledge of multimedia equipment and software is neither expected nor required.

  • Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 404: Old English with Virginia Blanton

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 4pm-5:15pm

Have you read Maria Dahvana Headley’s new translation of Beowulf? It’s a feminist reading that very much illustrates the “bro” culture of early England. Here’s the opening:

Bro! Tell me we still know how to speak of kings! In the old

            days,

everyone knew what men were: brave, bold, glory-bound. Only

stories now, but I’ll sound the Spear-Danes’ song, hoarded for

            hungry times.

Their first father was a foundling: Scyld Scefing.

He spent his youth fists up, browbeating every bartsool-brother,

bonfiring his enemies. That man began in the waves, a baby in

            a basket,

but he bootstrapped his way into a kingdom, trading loneliness

for luxury. Whether they thought kneeling necessary or no,

everyone from head to tail of the whale-road bent down:

There’s a king, there’s his crown!

That was a good king.

Translation is a very wonky practice, one that we have to engage in, if we are to read any of the early English literature that survives between 500 and 1200. I hope you’ll join me next semester as we work through some of the most evocative medieval prose and poetry composed in English. Most people today can only read this literature in translation, as Old English has some significant differences from Modern English. But, I want you to be in the club and be able to read it in the original to understand its nuances and its sentiments. Towards that end, I have framed this course so that you can read this literature in the original and become a proficient translator of the language. As we work, we will discuss not only the grammar of individual passages and the literary and linguistic aspects that emerge, but we will also examine the manuscript presentation of these texts and their survival. Some of the literature we will study are: The Dream of the Rood, The Wife’s Lament, The Battle of Maldon, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and Judith, as well as Beowulf.

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Introduction to Old English, 3rd edition (Blackwell)
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th edition (Clark Hall)

ENGLISH 430WI: Advanced Technical Writing with Antonio Byrd

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course focuses on communicating technical knowledge for diverse audiences. Students will learn current theories and research methods in professional and technical writing. Students will apply knowledge and skills developed in their major to individual and team-based writing projects.

  • Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 448: External Internship

Days & Time: Arranged

Students may complete an external internship involving writing and editing with a publishing company, trade magazine, literary or academic journal, other print or electronic media organization, or with advertising, public relations, or non-profit firms. Internships are granted on a competitive basis. Students will compile a portfolio of their work under the direction of the internship supervisor to be submitted for evaluation to the department’s internship coordinator.

Please review our Q&A about internships for full details: https://cas.umkc.edu/english/student-opportunities/internships/.

Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s): n/a

ENGLISH 449A: Publication Practicum: New Letters Magazine with Christie Hodgen

Online Asynchronous Instr

This publication practicum gives students behind-the-scenes experience at New Letters, one of the oldest and best-regarded literary magazines in the country. Students will read submissions to the magazine and help to make selections for upcoming issues, contribute to editing and proofreading efforts, gain exposure to layout and design decisions and processes, and write book reviews for possible publication in the journal or its digital companion, New Letters Online. Regular (Zoom) meeting times are from 12:00—1:30 on Wednesdays, though the class may also be completed asynchronously, if need be.

  • Fulfills an Elective for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s): All reading (and lots of it) will be provided to students.

ENGLISH 449C-0001: Publication Practicum: Podcasting with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous Instr: W 7pm-9:45pm

This section of the Publication Practicum will teach students how to write, record, and sound edit a podcast. Students will get first-hand experience working on the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast at Literary Hub, an internationally-known podcast that has been downloaded 500,000 times since January of 2019. Professor Whitney Terrell is the co-host of the podcast and he will lead students through every phase of production: booking guests, supervising social media coverage, recording advertisements and credits, writing scripts, editing sound, mounting audio on Megaphone, and communicating with the editor-in-chief of the podcast’s parent publication, Literary Hub. Students will also be assigned to a small group that will have full editorial control over a single episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction. They will choose a topic and guests for that episode, write the script, and edit the sound.

In addition to their work on Fiction/Non/Fiction, students will design, name, write, and record their own podcast on a subject of their choosing. We will study the various genres of podcasts, from scripted to unscripted. We will study the economics of podcasting. And we will talk to a series of guest speakers who will discuss their own real world experiences in podcasting.

No prior experience in podcasting or sound editing is required or expected.

  • Fulfills an Elective for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s): All texts are open source and free. Links will be provided in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 477NS: 19th-Century Studies: Race and Violence in American Literature with John Barton

Online Asynchronous Instr

Race has been a perennial issue in this country long before the founding of the United States, and scholars from different perspectives and cross disciplines have long noted America’s peculiar problem of violence.  This course investigates representations of, and responses to, race and violence over the long nineteenth century in US cultural and literary practices.  It begins with early nineteenth-century gallows literature and classic slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown and then turns to three seminal antebellum literary works concerning race and violence: William Wells Brown’s Clotel (1853); John Rollin Ridge’s (Yellowbird) Joaquín Murieta (1854) and Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno (1856).  The course will then examine several postbellum novels that explore issues related to lynching and mob violence: Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition (1901) Pauline Hopkins’ Winona (1902); Thomas Dixon’s The Leopard’s Spots (1902); and Sutton Griggs’s The Hindered Hand (1905).  The course will likely conclude with a few short stories or plays by African American writers engaged in anti-lynching activism and may William Faulkner’s novel, Light in August (1930). Throughout the course we will read literary works in light of popular print media dealing with race and violence.

Course requirements will likely include: discussion forum posts, weekly blogs on race and violence in literature; reading quizzes; and a major term paper (preceded by a annotated bibliography and working draft).

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 477TS: 20th- and 21st-Century Studies: Modern and Contemporary American Culture and Literature with Stephen Dilks

Online Asynchronous Instr

Beginning with American Modernism (6 weeks devoted to a selection of work by Willa Cather, T S Eliot; Hilda Doolittle; William Faulkner; Ernest Hemingway; Marianne Moore; Ezra Pound; Gertrude Stein; and William Carlos Williams), the course sets up a conversation about Post-World War Two American literature and culture. The second ten weeks of the course will focus on poetry, fictional prose, and creative non-fiction by authors including Jack Kerouac, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Ntozake Shange, Ann Devere Smith, and Frederic Tuten.

  • Fulfills an Elective for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Texts for the first six weeks will be provided on Canvas.
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road
McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian.
Morrison, Toni. Jazz.
Munro, Alice. Selected stories provided on Canvas.
Shange, Ntozake. For Colored Girls who have considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enough.
Smith, Anne Devere. Twilight Los Angeles: 1992.
Tuten, Frank. The Adventures of Mao on the Long March.

ENGLISH 487FI: Creative Writing Fiction Workshop: Bootleggers, Speculators, & Trespassers with Christie Hodgen

Online Synchronous Instr: Tu 7-9:45PM

This creative writing workshop is devoted to the study and crafting of the short story, with an attendant focus on publication, and the short fiction “market.” Our readings will consist of several critically-acclaimed story collections published within the last five years or so, each of which, in one way or another, breaks the standard contract of the literary short story–crossing the boundaries of realism, hearkening back to the story’s roots in the fable. Coursework will include: two short story submissions (15-30 pages each), weekly Canvas responses to our reading, written responses to peer work, and of course rigorous, thoughtful participation in our workshop discussions. Each student will also study the fiction offerings of a literary journal of their choice, compile a report assessing the aesthetics of their chosen journal, and prepare a story to submit for publication.

Readings will include collections by Amelia Gray, Kelly Link, Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado, and Kevin Wilson.

  • Fulfills a 400-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 487PO: Creative Writing Poetry Workshop with Hadara Bar-Nadav

Online Synchronous Instr: Th 7pm-9:45pm

Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry) is designed to help you become active and analytical writers and readers of poetry.  Emphasis will be placed on the study and writing of first books, culminating in mini-chapbooks of your work at the semester’s end.  We will explore ways to develop and structure a first book manuscript and discuss various publication opportunities, from literary journals to first-book contests.  Together we will consider strategies to develop and sustain your poetry projects both within this class and beyond the semester’s end.

As a learning community, we will critically examine poetry by a variety of writers with attention to how poems are made and how our observations can inform our writing.  Rigorous reading and discussion of poetry (which may individual collections of poetry, essays on craft, and literary journals) will help you to develop and strengthen analytic skills necessary for writing and revising your poetry.  We will participate in virtual workshop discussions, take literary risks, develop strategies for revision, and draw connections between our writing and reading lives. Authors studied may include Natalie Diaz, danez smith, Molly McCully Brown, and others.

Course requirements include engaged online participation in the workshop, rigorous reading and discussion of course texts, reading responses, a poetry presentation, and a final portfolio of your poetry.

  • Fulfills a 400-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.