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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Current and Upcoming Courses

Online Classes

We offer all of our classes simultaneously in person and online through video conferencing. Video conferencing gives students the option to take online classes without sacrificing the real-time interactions of the classroom. For more information, please contact the director of graduate studies.

Spring 2020

ENG 5040                              History of the English Language                             Monteverde

Recognizing that any description of this course is destined to be off-putting, let me begin by stating that ideally this course should make your own language come alive for you as a living entity whose current form is the result of all its childhood experiences and whose future shape though predictable to some extent is also yet to be determined.  We will study the growth of our language from its origin as a descendant of the Indo-European language family in distant prehistory to its current position as the 2nd most widely known language in the modern world. Topics covered will include the relationship between English and other languages, the evolution of modern English grammar, and the causes of the mess we call the English spelling system (if it can be called that).  Tests will be augmented with a variety of assignments, such as a personal language history, designed to help you appreciate the on-going and individual process of change that can be experienced in the study of English. An optional service learning unit can also be taken as part of the course.  This course is required for all students pursuing secondary education licensure in English and students pursing an English Language Learners certificate.  It is also beneficial for anyone (a group which should include all people studying English literature and/or writing) who want to develop a deeper awareness and understanding of our language.

ENG 5840                              Readings in World Lit II                              H. Finch

"What will happen with all that beauty then?": African Diaspora Literatures and Cultures

This course will explore literatures and cultures of the African Diaspora in the context of The Year of the Return. We will critically engage with topics stemming from the impact the African Diaspora has on various places throughout the world. We will learn about the historical, literary, and cultural contexts of these perspectives not only from the African continent but from places in other areas of the world. We will consider theoretical perspectives to complicate our discussions. The central questions for this course will be: What influence has the African Diaspora had on the world?  What does their literature show us? This will challenge our course community to think critically about what we know about the African Diaspora and the ways we encounter the work created by the diverse people.

ENG 6000                              Double Author Seminar                               Gustke

“Present Everywhere and Visible Nowhere”: Gustave Flaubert and Willa Cather

Among the many writers who influenced the American novelist Willa Cather (1873-1947), the French author Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was the writer she admired most. Dedicated to art above all else, Flaubert, one of the most renowned writers of the 19th century, focused his life’s efforts on crystalizing his craft beyond all other endeavors. Flaubert’s asceticism and passion for writing attracted Cather, as did his method of allowing characters, and their history, to evolve without the intrusion of the author. By her own account, she read his novel Salammbô nine times and considered his short story “A Simple Heart” to be the epitome of short fiction, inspiring her finest book of short stories, Obscure Destinies.

Focusing on themes such as place, class struggle, and gender relations, students in this course will uncover, through critical inquiry and analysis, the unique ways Flaubert and Cather intersect in order to develop a sophisticated understanding of their contribution to the field of literary studies.

ENG 6200                              Creative Writing Seminar: Fiction Writing                        S. Finch

In this class, we will be reading and writing short stories. The short story has a long tradition and continues to be a vibrant form in American literature. It also serves as the perfect genre with which to study all of the fictional techniques you might need for a creative work of any length. This course strives to accomplish three primary goals: to expose writers to a variety of styles, story shapes, and authors, to encourage the critical examination of both published work and workshop material, and finally, to inspire writers to create a variety of original pieces, working in different points of view and structures, some of which may exceed the boundaries of the writer’s comfort zone. In order to accomplish these goals, you, as the writer, must be willing to try different techniques and exercises, and you must be open to criticism from peers as well as your instructor. The more you are willing to challenge yourself as a writer (and risk failure), the more you will gain from this class!