Clemson Department of English Spring 2023 Course Descriptions


The Practice of Criticism


3100 Critical Writing about Lit: David Coombs (TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm)

This class will familiarize you with fundamental concepts and methods in literary criticism. It will do so by addressing some basic questions in literary studies: what is poetic rhythm? What is lyric poetry? What is narrative? What are fictional characters? What is realism? What is literary genre? As you seek to answer these questions by reading literary and critical texts, you will gain practice in close reading—the practice of making texts meaningful through careful analysis of their verbal structures—as well as with how to apply what you’ve learned in rhetorically effective writing.


3100 Critical Writing about Lit: Matt Hooley (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

Literature allows people to make sense of themselves in the world. Novels, poetry, polemic, drama, and popular culture offer us a chance to understand the cultural and political histories that shape our lives and to imagine other ways of living. This introduction to methods of criticism will mobilize significant critical approaches to the relationship between power and literature to demonstrate that literary criticism is far from the arcane or specialist tradition it’s sometimes made out to be. Rather, criticism is an indispensable way that we engage with and make sense of the narratives that constitute our experience and our worlds.


Literature Survey


3960 British Literature Survey I: Kendra Slayton (MW 4:00-5:15 pm)

This course will explore conceptions of “the past” in British history—be that the literal or imagined historical past; religious and theological pasts, particularly relating to the evolving status of Christianity before and after the Reformation; and literary pasts. Why does gazing upon Roman ruins cause a narrator’s existential crisis in an Old English poem? Why does the 14th-century Sir Gawain and the Green Knight begin with the fall of Troy? How does Marlow adapt the genre of a medieval morality play to explore philosophical, theological, and humanistic issues of the early modern period? How does Aemelia Lanyer critique and repurpose biblical exegesis to create space for women’s voices? Who is given authority and who is silenced in the official and unofficial histories of pre- and early-modern Britain? As these questions indicate, the past can be wielded as a powerful rhetorical tool, one with both generative and harmful powers, and shades between. In this survey course, we’ll explore the rhetorical role of the past in the story of British literary history. This exploration will likewise intersect with analyzing conceptions of the future in British literature. Students can expect to gain a good foundation in the history and literature of Britain covering the early to late medieval period (including Old English; Anglo-Norman; and Middle English periods); the Renaissance; and the Restoration. We will study various genres and forms, including heroic epic, romance, tragedy, drama, poetry, and prose. Assignments may include short reading annotations and responses, analytical papers, and quizzes/exams.


3970 British Literature Survey II: Kimberly Manganelli (TR 8:00-9:15 am)

This survey of British literature will explore texts that reflect the variety of cultural experiences in Great Britain from the Romantic Period to the 21st century. Through the study of such texts as the poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Wordsworth, the autobiography of Mary Prince, the short stories of Jean Rhys, along with the novels of Jane Austen and Emily Bronte, we will examine how these works represent class and race relations, the construction of social, gender, and racial identities, and the rise of British imperialism. Our careful reading and discussion of these texts will be supplemented by thought-provoking explorations of contemporary works created by Black British artists, actors, and authors, such as Bridgerton, the poems of Warsan Shire, and the fiction of Helen Oyeyemi.


3980 American Literature Survey I: Susanna Ashton (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

In this class, we shall wander through a few centuries of time and place, crossing all sorts of hazy borders. We shall ask questions about what constitutes American literature. Where did America begin, and where did Mexico end? What can pronouns tell us about European explorers? If someone wasn’t recognized as a full citizen, can we call their work “American?” Would Phillis Wheatley Peters have cared about such a national identity? If the speeches by Tecumseh are possibly fake, is it worth reading them? Is a phrasebook written by an aggrieved missionary in New England a kind of literature (perhaps not!)? Who was most obnoxious – Franklin, Poe, or Thoreau? If narratives told or written by formerly enslaved people were created to persuade and manipulate readers, is that different from any other text designed to change minds? What were the stakes in their writing? Does any of this belong in a public-school K-12 curriculum? We’ll consider these questions together over the semester. You’ll be expected to complete collective annotations and readings in PERUSALL, write a few papers, and share your projects in class presentations. No exams. Thinking that is both kindly and lively will be expected. 🙂


3990 American Literature Survey II: Dominic Mastroianni (TR 2:00 -3:15 pm)

This course is an introduction to American literature from the Civil War to the present. Over the course of the semester we will read and think together about some of the most vital, beautiful, thoughtprovoking works of later American fiction and poetry. By participating actively in our course you’ll learn more about American literature, becoming better positioned to think clearly about everyday life in the United States. You’ll also develop the skills needed to closely read and interpret texts, and to craft and defend arguments about them. Anticipated reading: James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Countee Cullen, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Toni Morrison, Mary Oliver, Anne Sexton, Edith Wharton.


Literature I


4080 Chaucer: Kendra Slayton (TR 2:00-3:15 pm)

“Who peyntede the leon [lion], tel me who? / By God, if wommen hadde written stories, / As clerkes han [have] withinne hire [their] oratories [studies], / They wolde han written of men moore wikkednesse / Than al the mark of Adam may redress” (III.692–696). With these lines in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue, Chaucer paints one of the most compelling statements about gender, power, and representation in medieval literature. And yet, while Chaucer has been lauded by some as speaking almost as a protofeminist in these lines, other have rightly pointed out his often-problematic approach to portraying women, particularly along class lines. Taking the theme “Chaucer and Gender,” this course will explore these and related issues of gender, performativity, masculinity, and sexuality, situated within the sociocultural context of the late fourteenth century. The class will also provide a deep-dive into learning Middle English—we will begin with intensive in-class practice and with interlinear editions, before transitioning into glossed Middle English editions for most of the semester. Primary texts will focus on selections from the Canterbury Tales and selections of Chaucer’s other shorter works. Additional readings may be drawn from Chaucer scholarship and literary theory. Projects will be designed to help students build skills in close reading and critical analysis, secondary-source research, and written and verbal communication, and may include reading annotations and short responses, researched literary analysis papers, and presentations.


4200 American Literature to 1799: Jonathan Beecher Field (TR 3:30-4:45 pm)

This class will offer a sustained engagement with narratives of the European settlement of North America. Focused in particular on the settlement of the Northeast by English men and women, this class will work to tease out ideologies of racial difference in the context of Settler/Native encounters. Seminar papers for this class will take the form of a case study, where students will bring the apparatus we have developed to consider a specific colonial settlement. In addition to primary texts, theoretical readings will include Lisa Brooks, Achille Mbembe, Jean O’Brien and Ana Schwartz. We will spend significant amount of time considering American literature as it reflects and shapes understandings of issues relating to race, class, and gender.

Literature II


4160 The Romantic Period: Brian McGrath (MWF 2:30-3:20 pm)

A quick glance at the table of contents of any collection of romantic poems will show the degree to which the natural scene was a poetic subject in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Because of the prominence of landscape in the period, “romantic poetry” has almost become synonymous with “nature poetry.” If romantic poems often describe an encounter with nature as other, how read these poems now that nature (or what we call nature) no longer exists apart from humanity but is, instead, a product of human activity? Situating romantic poetry in the context of ongoing climate change, we will read poems by William Wordsworth, Charlotte Smith, John Clare, and others. We will pay particular attention to common tropes that complicate the difference between person and nature (apostrophe, prosopopoeia, personification, anthropomorphism).


4170 The Victorian Period: David Coombs (TR 12:30-1:45 pm)

“We live in a moment of accelerating crisis that is characterized by the shortage of long-term thinking.” This course will take this claim (from ‘The History Manifesto’) as the starting point for a survey of the historical novel. Recasting history in the mode of narrative fiction, the historical novel remains a key literary genre for narrating the historical transitions through which the present emerges out of the past. In the historical novel, those transitions take the form of historical crises that structure the plot. Culminating in riots, rebellions, and revolutions, the historical novel is the literary genre of crisis. Reading historical novels from the nineteenth century as well as the twenty-first, we will explore changing philosophies of history and theories of crisis up to our own moment and reflect on the relationship between literature and history. Possible readings include novels by Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Gustave Flaubert, and Hilary Mantel.


4210 American Literature from 1800 to 1899: Clare Mullaney (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

This course examines literature composed during what has been named as one of America’s most transformative periods: the nineteenth century. Although the class is centered on a historical time period, space will be our main focus. In his account of what he terms the “long nineteenth century,” Historian Eric Hobsbawm marks 1789 as the beginning of the consolidation of national life, but a number  of texts published during this period explore how U.S. borders were being undermined through travel, trade, and violence. To that end, we will consider how the nineteenth-century U.S. is framed in different spatial configurations: the nation, the globe, the north versus south, and the region, all which give rise to distinct, literary genres. The Civil War’s national divisions resulted in sentimentalism and the reform novel. And late nineteenth and early twentieth-century writers focused on the rural region as a means of consolidating national identity post war. More broadly, the course will consider the importance of historicism as a key methodology for understanding how poems and prose influenced U.S. culture. The class encourages students to read literary texts alongside historical documents—including maps, treaties, abolitionist periodicals, and advertisements.

Literature III 


4340 Environmental Literature: Matt Hooley (M 4:00-6:45 pm)

The environment is what we call the parts of the world that are beyond us, that are other than human. And yet, the tools we have to think about the environment are themselves deeply human: our curiosity, memory, relations, imaginations, care, and critique. This course explores texts that wrestles with this paradox, particularly in the context of histories of resource extraction, political violence, and ecological catastrophe and will introduce students to questions and frameworks central to the environmental humanities broadly.


4650 Topics in Literature from 1900: Maziyar Faridi (MW 2:00-3:45 pm)

This seminar explores the interaction between modern literature and various media forms, including photography and cinema, over the past century. The invention of photography and moving-image technologies introduced new modes of representation to artists around the world. These new representational modes influenced and were themselves influenced by literature. We will begin our course by reflecting on the nature of representation in the twentieth century and the relationship between verbal and visual signs. Our seminar then interrogates the politics of representation across media, focusing on the problems of memory and identity over the past century. We will study a wide range of literary and artistic works from across the world, including works by Franz Kafka, W. H. Auden, Jorge Luis Borges, Maya Deren, Michelangelo Antonioni, Mona Hatoum, Forugh Farrokhzad, Patrick Modiano, Roland Barthes, and Layli Long Soldier, among others.


4830 African American Lit from 1920 to the Present: Maya Hislop (TR 2:00-3:15 pm)

Beyond Harlem. The Harlem Riots of 1935 are often cited as the events that marked the end of the Harlem Renaissance. In keeping with other responses to Black artistic greatness in the United States, it is not surprising that something as alive and spectacular as the Harlem Renaissance ended with violence. But the so-called riots shouldn’t have the last word on one of the greatest eras of Black art that has left its mark on generations of artists. This semester we will examine works that showcase the brilliance of the Harlem Renaissance as well as the works that bear and/or defy its legacy well into the 21st century. It is stunning that the Harlem Renaissance was almost exactly 100 years ago yet 1922 and 2022 share a great deal in common. Just before the Harlem Renaissance was the 1918 Pandemic (aka “Spanish flu”) that killed approximately 50 million people and we continue to suffer through the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The 1920s and 30s were some of the most racially violent decades in American history as lynchings and white-led race riots occurred nation-wide. Currently, anti-Black violence and racist rhetoric are at an all-time high as evinced by the Black uprisings in the summer of 2020. In this class, we will be paying special attention to the historical context in which our writers created their most culturally significant works. We will read from 20th and 21st century luminaries Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison as well as view the films of groundbreaking Black directors Charles Burnett, Barry Jenkins, and Cheryl Dunye. Here are some of the questions that I hope will animate our curiosity this semester: What is Harlem? How does Harlem and/or the “black urban” space get represented in literature? What do we make of this neighborhood as a political and/or cultural space? What is the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance and/or the Harlem “Riots”? What is protest? What is “protest literature”? How do black artists also portray (or fail to portray) class struggles, gender struggles, struggles for queer and trans liberation? This course requires a short analysis, an optional 4-5 page essay, and a final project, regular discussion posts. No exams.

Theory and Cultural Studies


3530 Literatures of Race, Ethnicity and Migration: Santee Frazier (TR 8:00-9:15 am)

This course will cover contemporary Indigenous and Native American poets writing from diverse cultural experiences. By extension, we will consider how these poets dismantle colonial structures through innovative approaches to poetry and poetics. As a collective, we will read, discuss, investigate, and compare ten poetry collections published since 2015. Our discussions on literary craft will focus on how these poets create intelligent linkages with their cultures via the poetic line, form, research, indigenous languages, and worldview. This course is built on an Indigenous Pedagogical Framework to facilitate a generative and inclusive classroom culture. This framework allows students to determine how they will engage and write for this course. Students will consider and decide their engagement through contributions to our collective reading of the assigned texts and individual engagement by choosing critical or creative writing projects. As a collective, we share the responsibility of creating a dynamic intellectual space.


3540 Literature of the Middle East and North Africa: Angela Naimou (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

This course introduces students to a range of contemporary literature from across the Middle East and North Africa. Our focus will be on the work of major and emerging writers since 1945 who have provided some of the boldest and most imaginative explorations of human rights as idea, as question, and as practice. Focal themes include gender and sexuality, border systems, freedom struggles, and contemporary aesthetic practices in poetry, fiction, and essay. Texts are written in English or in English translation.


3800 Women Writers: Maya Hislop (TR 3:30-4:45 pm)

Black Women Write Abolition. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Black people make up 13.6% of the United States population, but are 34% of the United States prison population. Black men are incarcerated at 4 times the rate of white men and, in 2020, Black women were 1.7 times more likely to be incarcerated than white women. Certainly these statistics offer a grim portrait of Black life in America, but how do we understand the modern prison system outside of these cold numbers? What is the history of incarceration in the U.S.? How do the voices of Black women– activists, artists, and current or former incarcerated folks–speak not only to the generations of systemic violence, but also to the collective resistance against this violence? In this class we will be examining “abolition” from the time of enslavement to our own contemporary anti-prison movement. We may consider slave narratives, the history of convict labor at Clemson University, fiction, poetry, film, photography, and music to see how we might think through and with Black women to understand the system of incarceration through the lenses of history, race, gender, class, and sexuality. There are two required assignments, regular discussion posts. No exams.


4400 Literary Theory: Lee Morrissey (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

This course takes a chronological approach to literary theory, imagining it as a conversation. Readings likely to include Aristotle, Chu, deMan, Derrida, Foucault, hooks, Jameson, Lacan, Maldonado-Torres, Marx, Moten, Mulvey, Plato, and more. discussions. Additional readings for graduate students.


4560 Literature and Arts of the Holocaust: Cynthia Haynes (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

This course addresses the Holocaust through literature, art, architecture, film, and music. The course explores autobiographical accounts of the Holocaust, as well as poetry, fiction, film, and music created as responses or memorials. Equally important responses within the visual arts include paintings, sculpture, memorial monuments, and museums. Students will complete several short essays, a creative project & presentation, and a final research paper.



4110 Shakespeare: Elizabeth Rivlin (TR 9:30-10:45 am) and (TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm)

In this course, we’ll read a number of Shakespeare’s plays—Much Ado about Nothing, 1 Henry IV, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale—to investigate how they represented human identities, problems, and relationships in Shakespeare’s time—the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries—and how they raise questions about gender, sexuality, race, class, power, politics, nationalism, and religion that speak to us today. We’ll also discuss how Shakespeare reshaped genres and created new possibilities for literature and drama. And we’ll study performances so that we can understand how performing—not just reading— the plays gives rise to a range of interpretations. Shakespeare’s plays are living things, and throughout the semester, we will pay attention to the ways in which their meanings are always changing. For that reason, we will read Keith Hamilton Cobb’s recent play, American Moor, which dramatizes a Black American actor’s experience playing Othello and opens new perspectives on Shakespeare’s play. Requirements include three papers, one of which can be a creative intervention in the Shakespearean canon, and a take-home final exam, as well as active class participation and possibly student performances.

Writing and Publication Studies


4410 Literary Editing: Clare Mullaney (MW 4:00-5:15 pm)

This course considers the history and practice of editing literary texts. We will begin by discussing why texts undergo editing—whether for the purpose of legibility, accessibility, or revision. Readings will oscillate between foundational scholarship in book history, which outlines the importance of reliable source texts and accurate methods of collation, as well as primary texts that will ask us to put this theoretical work into practice. Throughout the semester, we will embark on a series of hands-on lab exercises, which encourage experimentation with textual production and reception, asking us to imagine how to present a range of textual artifacts in visual, auditory, and tactile formats. We will also explore and contribute to newer scholarship, which questions the ideological, social, and political effects of editorial practices. At the end of the term, each student will be responsible for editing a short text of their choosing. A mix of critical and creative approaches are encouraged.


4870 Topics in Book History: Tharon Howard (TR 4-5:15 pm)

The Rise of Social Media. Is “Google making us stupid,” and did writing steal our memories as Socrates famously claimed? Every time book publishing changes, our culture changes, and indeed, as research in neuroplasticity has shown, our brains change in response to new forms of book publishing (Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains). The printing press and the Internet are only two of the more famous examples of the ways that changes in publishing technologies have had an impact on us. From cave paintings to illustrated medieval manuscripts to VR on Instagram, this class will explore the impact that publishing technologies have had on how information gets valued, circulated, and understood. Beyond the ways that social media is changing our brains, we will also address questions like the following:

–How do publishing methods constrain the very subject matter that a particular work can contain?

–How are social media publications legislated or guarded based on the ways they are produced?

–How has copyright legislation had to change in the face of social media publishing?

–How might social media algorithms contribute to today’s “culture wars?”

From cuneiform and papyrus to wikis and podcasts—at every turn, we will look at the material genesis for a given publishing technology, so that it becomes clear how production methods influence questions involving our politics, culture, and cognition. Please note that this course is “hands-on,” and we will be working with different publishing technologies.


4940 Writing about Science: Cameron Bushnell (MW 3:35-4:50 pm)

Writing About Science is designed to provide opportunities to read and analyze exemplary essays on scientific topics and to practice writing in ways that experiment with scientific processes, such as writing field notes from close observations of natural settings and interpreting data and presenting it in visual or digital forms. We will read prize-winning science essays from Elizabeth Kolbert, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Ed Yong, among others, as well as authors chosen for the Best of Science & Nature series. We will read across genres, including not only essays, but also poetry, such Ada Limòn’s The Hurting Kind, and short stories, such as Alison Turner’s Defensible Spaces, and literary non-fiction, such as Dava Soebel’s The Glass Universe. We will explore writing about science in the forms used by science professionals and policymakers, but we will be largely concerned with science writing as a form of written communication that elucidates issues of ecological concern to the communities to which we belong.

Writing and Publication Studies (Creative Writing)


3450 Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction: Nic Brown (TR 3:30-4:45 pm)

This is an introductory workshop in the writing of fiction. Students will examine examples of the contemporary short story, write short creative exercises exploring style and voice, and workshop stories of their own.


3450 Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction: Stevie Edwards (TR 2:00-3:15 pm)

This course is designed to help students learn about how their writing engages with the broader conversation of contemporary fiction. We will focus primarily on short stories in this class, though many of the skills necessary for writing short stories are also relevant to writing novels. Students will frequently receive feedback from peers on their creative work. Much of our class time will be spent in a traditional writing workshop; students will all write and receive workshop feedback on at least two short stories of 10-15 pages. As a final project, students will revise the two short stories they brought to workshop and will write a book review of a contemporary novel or short story collection; for the book reviews, students can select any of the Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winners or finalists in  fiction from the last five years.


3460 Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry: Su Cho (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

In this course, we will learn how to read poetry as writers and experiment with different poetic forms. We will focus on American poetic traditions from the 1960s to the present and write poems in those modes. This will be a highly collaborative class focusing on discovering your unique poetic voice.


3480 Introduction to Creative Writing: Screenplay: Melissa Dugan (TR 3:30-4:45 pm)

We will work through every step of the screenwriting process from idea, to outline, to revision, to finished script. The class will involve weekly reading, viewing, and writing assignments, as well as regular opportunities for students to read, critique, and discuss each other’s work. The final project of the course is at least ten pages and an outline of a complete screenplay.


4220 Topics in Writing Poetry: Desiree Bailey (T 4:00-6:45)

Land, Sea, Lyric. Long before the popularization of the term ecopoetics, poets have pondered humans’ often fraught relationship with the land, sea (and air). In the course “Land, Sea, Lyric,” we’ll read the work of poets who write about the natural world while engaging with the consequences of colonization, slavery, occupation and other oppressive processes. We will read as poets, with an eye and ear for how we can craft our own poems of the ecological. Poets, theorists and artists that we’ll spend time with may include Etel Adnan, Kamau Braithwaite, Dionne Brand, Aimé Césaire, Andrea Chung, Mahmoud Darwish, Camille Dungy, Nikky Finney, Tiffany Lethabo King, Rajiv Mohabir, Craig Santos Perez, Yi Sang and Layli Long Soldier.


4450 Fiction Workshop: Keith Morris (MW 2:30-3:45 pm)

Workshop in the creative writing of prose fiction. May be repeated once for credit.


4460 Poetry Workshop: Su Cho (W 4:00-6:45 pm)

For this workshop, we will focus on writing and revising sustained poetry projects. By the end of the semester, we will have written and revised an entire chapbook of poems. Everyone will have the opportunity to create artistic chapbooks utilizing Clemson’s Makerspace. Ultimately, we will translate our poetic visions into a tangible art object.


4480 Screenplay Workshop: Nic Brown (TR 2:00-3:15 pm)

Students write and workshop their own original screenplays.


4890 Special Topics (South Carolina Review): Keith Morris (MW 1:00-2:15 pm)

Experience putting together the literary magazine South Carolina Review. Requires permission of the instructor to register.

Senior Seminars


4960 Senior Seminar: Rhondda Thomas (M 4:00-6:45 pm)

What happens when Black women writers reimagine history by writing neo-slave narratives from the point of view of Black women? What happens when we center the subjectivity of Black women in texts about enslavement? What happens when Black women writers challenge traditional narratives about slavery? The senior seminar will explore answers to these questions and more through an engagement with neo-slave narratives published from the 19th century to the present, including Our Nig by Harriet Wilson, Dessa Rose by Shirley Anne Williams, Kindred by Octavia Butler, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and Wake: the Hidden History of Women-led Slave Revolts, a graphic novel by Rebecca Hall. Students will write response papers, make a class presentation, and develop a seminar paper/project.


4960 Senior Seminar: Dominic Mastroianni (TR 12:30-1:45 pm)

Thinking about Love. In this course we will aspire to think carefully and adventurously about the complexities of love, as they have been described and imagined in particular moments over the past two and a half millennia. The word love is sometimes felt to be “worn out and debased,” as Emmanuel Levinas once noted. According to a certain viewpoint, there is nothing new to say about love. Yet we often hear that love is just the thing that words never adequately describe. What makes it so easy, and so hard, to talk about love? What kinds of love can exist between persons? What does it mean to love something other than a person—to love to think, for instance, or to love nature? We will approach questions like these by closely reading a series of literary and philosophical accounts of love, comparing them with each other and testing them against our own ideas and experience. Our historical range will be broad, running from seventh-century BCE Greek poetry to a late twentieth-century American novel. Through intensive class discussions and writing assignments, students will advance in their development of skills needed to read well, think clearly, and craft compelling arguments. Anticipated reading: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anton Chekhov, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Toni Morrison, Pablo Neruda, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, Paul of Tarsus, Sappho, William Shakespeare, Henry David Thoreau.


4960 Senior Seminar: Kim Manganelli (TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm)

With the series finale of True Blood in 2014, it seemed that our culture’s obsession with vampires had finally been put to rest. However, almost 10 years later, vampires are emerging from their pop culture graves with the premieres of such TV series as First Kill, Interview with the Vampire, and Let the Right One In, not to mention the publication of such novels as Alexis Henderson’s House of Hunger and Claire Khoda’s Woman Eating. This semester you’ll join me in exploring how the vampire has evolved since Bram Stoker’s Dracula and his literary descendants Lestat, Edward Cullen, Bill Compton, and the Salvatore Brothers captured the imaginations of readers and viewers. We will also consider why this figure remains a cultural phenomenon. In addition to reading the classics of the genre, such as Joseph Sheridan LeFanu’s Carmilla, Stoker’s Dracula, and Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, we will also explore some lesser-known texts such as Robert Sand’s The Black Vampyre: A Legend of St. Domingo and Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, along with such contemporary narratives as the webseries based on Carmilla, V.E. Schwab’s short story and Netflix series, First Kill, and Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, which is set in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and which has been described as Steel Magnolias meets Dracula. Through reading, talking, and writing about the evolution of the vampire in contemporary literature and culture, we will explore how the various texts represent the construction of social, racial, sexual, and national identities, as well as how the vampires themselves come to embody both the fears and desires of their respective cultures.



3570 Film: John Smith (MW 1:25-2:15 pm)

This course examines film as art, cultural product, and political instrument. We will learn the basic elements of formal film analysis as well as the formal devices filmmakers use to create meaning. Most (but not all) of the films we screen in this course will be narrative films from Hollywood. One purpose in such a selection is to develop new ways of understanding cultural products familiar to many of us. Another purpose is to become familiar with ways in which Hollywood’s influence has led to important discussions in film studies, including those that touch on authorship, gender, race, ideology, genre, and national cinemas. This course will equip you with the tools necessary for upper-level film classes, where you would explore more deeply the sorts of questions we’ll raise in the coming weeks. If this is your last stop in film studies, this course offers the same tools to help strengthen your critical awareness as a moviegoer.


3570 Film: Eddy Troy (MW 2:30-3:20 pm)

This course examines foundational approaches to film studies. Students will learn to identify and analyze cinematic uses of sound, editing, mise-en-scène, cinematography, and color. The course will also cover the role of distribution, industry norms, and reception in shaping cinematic forms. Students will practice strategies for writing critically about film by crafting arguments that address technique and form. Films will be selected from both Hollywood and a range of national cinemas spanning movements across film history.


3570 Film: Amy Monaghan (MW 12:20 pm-01:10 pm)

Examination of the film medium as an art form; its history, how films are made, why certain types of film (western, horror movies, etc.) have become popular, and how critical theories provide standards for judging film.


4510 Film Theory and Criticism: Aga Skrodzka (TR 12:30-1:20 pm)

This course is a survey of the main developments in film theory. During the course of the semester we will explore the primary texts of film theory and film criticism in conjunction with examples of Hollywood and World Cinemas. In addition to analyzing the aesthetics of cinema, we will study the social and cultural influences on cinema and its theoretical discourses. Discussion topics will include race, ethnicity, gender, genre, narrative & expressive techniques in cinema, spectatorship, and the work of representation. Our study of film theory will be guided by an understanding that cinema is always already situated within structures of power among individuals, communities, nations and the global forces of culture, economy and politics.


4520 Great Directors: John Smith (MW 2:30-3:20 pm)

This course will address institutional and creative parallels that can be found between the films of Billy Wilder and filmmakers in world cinema that may include Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, David Fincher, William Greaves, Bong Joon Ho, David Lynch. We will discuss selected films within the context of the national cinema(s) in which they work, their thematic preoccupations, and aesthetic signature. Wilder arrived in Hollywood in 1933 from Central Europe, and by the end of his career had worked in three national film industries. He is often described as Classical Hollywood’s most famous hyphenate, a “writer-director” whose films are shaped as much by his role as screenwriter as they are by his role as director. His films provide an excellent starting point for our study of authorship in the context of world cinema. Beginning with Wilder’s experiences as an émigré in Hollywood, we will examine the ways cultures combine—and often clash—in the films we study, giving particular attention in the second half of the semester to class, race, and gender. We will also explore questions such as, how and why did Wilder thrive in the studio system? How does Wilder’s oeuvre point beyond the director as auteur? How does authorship extend to the producer, for example, or the star? What does “studio authorship” mean in the Classical era and now, in 2020 and 2021? Which filmmakers and writers shaped the debates surrounding auteurism, and how do these debates continue in the age of Netflix?


4530 Sexuality and the Cinema: Aga Skrodzka (TR 11:00-11:50 am)

This course examines the work of cinematic mediation of sexual content with a focus on the 1970s sexploitation cinema. We explore social and cultural changes that precipitated the mainstreaming of explicit sexual image at the time and the response of the film industry to such changes. This course will engage explicit and extreme sexual content. Censorship will not be practiced in the selection, exhibition, or discussion of teachable material; however, the awareness of recent shifts in sexual and erotic mores in the USA will guide our analysis. We will begin the semester with the Cuties (Dir. Maïmouna Doucouré) controversy in order to introduce the concept of exploitation and understand its connection to mediation and representation.



3370 Creative Inquiry: Angela Naimou

Every Campus a Refuge at Clemson. This Creative Inquiry project will explore major issues in contemporary migration as well as design and implement campus-community partnerships to provide welcome to refugees as new members of our local community. This faculty-student collaboration involves studying the work of writers, artists, and scholars to learn more about international migration while we gain practical experience on related projects. Projects are part of the new Every Campus a Refuge at Clemson initiative and may involve writing and research, the arts, project management, and volunteering in the community. Students of all majors are invited to contact Angela Naimou at if they are interested in participating. This CI requires instructor approval for students to register, and spots are limited.


3860 Adolescent Lit: Hannah Godwin (MWF 08:00 am-08:50 am)

This course will examine forms of haunting in works of adolescent fiction and visual culture. Considering our chosen texts alongside critical readings from the interdisciplinary field of childhood studies, we will investigate how and why writers and illustrators turn to haunting as a potent phenomenon for engaging adolescent readers. By elucidating the relationship between literary form and historical contexts, our work together will demonstrate how our texts draw upon the energies of haunting to account for how ghosts and specters may demand redress for lingering or suppressed social violence and reshape the way we distinguish boundaries between the past, the present, and the future. You will encounter key literary terms and devices, perform close readings within written and verbal contexts, take responsibility for moderating discussion, complete a midterm exam, compose creative work, design a final project, and demonstrate clear investment in our course objectives. I look forward to learning with you! Texts may include: Ronald Smith’s Hoodoo, Aidan Thomas’ Cemetery Boys, Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe, Tim Tingle’s How I Became a Ghost, Vera Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost, Lisa Brown’s The Phantom Twin, and Mariko Tamaki’s Cold.


4990 Lit Fest: John Pursley (TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm)

Students will engage in a discussion and examination of ideas and issues in contemporary literature and will make selections and begin preparations for the 16th Annual Clemson Literary Festival. Students will gain valuable insight into the culture of contemporary literature by planning the festival at every stage, coordinating multiple events, and working one-on-one with festival authors both before and during their visits to Clemson. Student interaction may extend to conversations and planning with local business owners, city officials, literary booking agents, editors, campus organizations, and various friends of the festival.


HUM 3090 Studies in Humanities: Cynthia Haynes (TR 4:00-5:15 pm)

This course addresses the Holocaust through literature, art, architecture, film, and music. The course explores autobiographical accounts of the Holocaust, as well as poetry, fiction, film, and music created as responses or memorials. Equally important responses within the visual arts include paintings, sculpture, memorial monuments, and museums. Students will complete several short essays, a creative project & presentation, and a final research paper.