Undergraduate Courses - Spring 2023
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 2, 3, and 4 (English Composition)
Our Built Environment
This course 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 humanmade environments, both physical and conceptual. Your academic disciplines hold the potential to address these problems. 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 5, 6, and 7 (English Composition)
Gender, Race, and Health
Generally, the course will investigate the intersection between gender, race, and health. Specifically, the course will investigate the special health problems associated with African American women. African American women have the highest rates of obesity in the United States. This course will consider why this is so and will discuss the psychosocial and historical factors that increase health risks.
ENGL 2000 - Section 8 (English Composition)
ENGL 2000 - Sections 11 and 12 (English Composition)
Writing for Community Action and Advocacy
Includes a Service-Learning Component. This is a special emphasis course with a focus on the use of language, especially written language, as a tool for empowerment within the community. Students will be challenged to think about their role in the community and the use of writing to inspire and affect change. This course includes a service-learning component providing the opportunity to learn first-hand about significant issues important to the community. Students will be asked to do field research and maintain a journal for reflection on their experiences; analyze materials, research and document sources responsibly; present professional written, verbal, and visual reports; and work collaboratively.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 56, 57, 58, and 59 (English Composition)
In Search of Community
"In Search of Community" is designed to help you meet the challenges of living in a world in which, increasingly, you will be asked to interact with people who may not be like you in fundamental ways. Its overarching goals are to help you become more sensitive to the beliefs, rituals, symbols, problems, and patterns of behavior that distinguish one community from other communities, and to provide you with the knowledge and skills that will help you interact successfully with people both in your own community and in communities other than your own.
ENGL 2000 - Section 75 (English Composition)
ENGL 2000 - Sections 76, 77, and 78 (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 issues we observe in the community. 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 87, 88, 89 (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 - Section 104 (English Composition)
Becoming a Better Citizen of the Internet
The internet has made sharing ideas faster and easier than ever before, but with this convenience comes certain responsibilities. This course asks you to consider, engage with, and create different kinds of writing and rhetoric that can be found online. Developing our ability to conduct research, fact check information, and spot faulty logic, as well as to compose writing suited for different circumstances, we will consider the uses and abuses of various arguments and stances--individually and socially. We want to learn here together how to move a conversation forward, thoughtfully and respectfully. We will work together to grow as thinkers, writers, and communicators who will make the internet (and the world) a better place to be.
ENGL 2000 - Section 137 (English Composition)
Composition and Genre in Film
In this course, we will watch films that fit into different genres, such as Science Fiction, Romance, and Crime. By analyzing the compositions of these films, we will discover strategies that can be used in a variety of media and help us become better writers, as well as prepare for many other compositions that will be useful throughout our lives. Developing our ability to conduct research and sound reasoning, we will consider the uses of various arguments and stances. We will work together to grow as thinkers, writers, and communicators who will go out into different roles in the world.
ENGL 2000 - Sections 146, 147, and 148 (English Composition)
Writing Cultural Criticism
Students in this course will study what constitutes successful arts and cultural criticism through a rhetorical focus on argument. Students will consider the past, present, and future of cultural criticism, and they will research the social, political, and historical contexts in which the arts and criticism emerge. Our reading, writing, and discussion will focus on subjects related to art, architecture, dance, film, literature, music, and television, and how we engage with their role in our lives.
ENGL 2000 - Section 166 (English Composition)
Environmental Writing/Writing the Environment
This course will explore writings about nature and critique the impact of humans on the environment. In so doing, students will develop their writing skills in ways that promote and enhance environmental concerns, awareness, and sensitivities. The questions we will engage include: What role does writing about nature play in the present environmental crisis? How is the environment connected to contemporary political, ecological, social, and economic concerns? In what ways do questions of agency and advocacy manifest in environment writings? How can we right the environment through writing?
ENGL 2004 - Section 1 (Introduction to Writing Nonfiction)
Introduction to Writing Nonfiction
Communication-Intensive Learning. From memoir to music criticism, from travel writing to reportage, this class lets you creatively explore the obsessions and passions that make up your life story. Learn to write stories your way.
ENGL 2025 - Section 1 (Fiction)
Communication-Intensive Learning. English 2025 examines a 60-year span of fiction writers who were students, editors, and faculty at Louisiana State University starting with 3-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Robert Penn Warren. We will read these writers’ fiction in its various forms: short stories, novels, and novellas. You will learn to think critically about the fiction you read and write one original essay of literary analysis.
ENGL 2025 - Section 9 (Fiction)
Biblical Themes in Literature (A Survey from Ancient to Contemporary)
As a historical cornerstone of western civilization and literature, the Biblical narratives of Creation, Cain and Abel, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael; the Ten Commandments, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, the Day of Pentecost, and the Great Tribulation (among others) are such a central motif within literature that this class will examine how fiction authors engage with Biblical ideas (i.e., histories or stories?). After this class, students will better recognize and engage with other Biblical references, motifs, and metaphors in works not read during the semester.
ENGL 2123 - Section 1 (Literary Tradition 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)
Autobiography in a Changing World
This class will explore the genre of autobiography. We will consider how it has changed over time and across mediums. Our inquiry will focus on the central questions of how autobiography can be mobilized to create communities of shared experience, how autobiography can be used towards generating social change, and how truth functions in such a subjective genre. Texts will include works by Frederick Douglass, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickenson, Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, Greta Thunberg, Martin Luther King, and others.
ENGL 2123 - Section 5 (Literary Traditions and Themes)
Literature and the Visual Arts
This course explores the long and rich tradition of the literary representations of representational art. Together we will read literature from different historical periods and cultures—from Homer’s description of Achilles’s shield in Iliad to W. H. Auden’s “The Shield of Achilles”—along with artworks (paintings, sculptures, and more) that inspired each work. Readings include two novels (Emma by Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray) as well as poetry by John Keats, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Bishop, and W. H. Auden.
ENGL 2231 - Section 2 (Reading Film)
Global Crime Cinema
This course introduces students to the language of film analysis and gives them tools to write critically about formal choices and themes represented on screen. The crime genre offers a unique window into society’s attitudes vis-à-vis social, political, and economic realities, particularly wrestling with notions of justice. Throughout the semester, students will watch around a dozen crime films from around the globe that span nearly a century.
ENGL 2593 - Section 2 (Gender & Literature)
Women We (Dis)Like: Images from Global Fiction
How do women get marked as likable, unlikable, and dislikable? How do gender discourses shape perceptions of women’s desires, feelings, and actions, and how do these discourses vary across different cultural contexts? How do women resist and/or cater to gendered notions of likability? How do women’s attitudes toward likability affect their self-image and solidarity with other women? This course will explore these questions through contemporary global fiction that features compelling women characters, making readers reflect on the premises of women’s likability in literature and beyond. Authors may include Ottessa Moshfegh, Avni Doshi, Njabulo Ndebele, Jeanette Winterson, and Akwaeke Emezi.
ENGL 3550 - Section 1 (Diverse Perspectives)
Disability and Literature
This course will introduce you to Disability Studies and to the study of disability in literature. We will consider varied representations of disability, including physical, cognitive, and sensory impairments. Often viewed merely as moral symbols or instances of sentimentality and pathos, we will explore how figures of disability challenge and interrogate such familiar concepts as normal or human. What do these terms mean? Who decides? We will pay special attention to how disability intersects with gender and race, and we will also examine related concepts, such as monstrosity and posthumanism. We will cover literature from a wide variety of periods and traditions.
ENGL 4000 - Section 1 (Special Projects in Creative Writing)
This course explores the ins and outs of literary print journal production, including hands-on training with Delta Undergraduate Journal, LSU’s undergraduate literary magazine. Projects will include reading and editing submissions, proofreading, copy editing, layout, production, and marketing--skills that will make students more knowledgeable and marketable in the publishing industry.
ENGL 4055 - Section 1 (Studies in the Novel/Narrative)
Gender, Age, and 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)
Evil in Fiction: Contemporary Postcolonial Novels, 2000-2023
What is evil? Who is evil? Is evil a universal absolute, or is evil a cultural determination? Can only humans be evil? Are events and occurrences, such as war and disease, intrinsically evil, or do human actors make them evil? Why is it important to read and talk about how different nations, religions, and communities define evil? How might that help us center cultural understanding rather than moral relativism?
This course will examine literary depictions of some of the greatest “evils” of the twenty-first century, such as climate change, war, terrorism, disease, the legacies of colonialism, and political authoritarianism. Focusing primarily on contemporary postcolonial fiction, we will read novels such as Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire (Pakistan, UK), NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory (Zimbabwe), Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (India), Jo Hamya’s Three Rooms (Black Britain), Hafa Zayyan’s We Are All Birds of Uganda (Uganda, Asian Britain), and Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Afterlives (Zanzibar) amongst others.
ENGL 4120- Section 1 (Studies of Major Authors)
Alan Moore, Swamp Thing, and the Origins of Comics as Literature
This course will undertake an in-depth exploration of a series by acclaimed comics writer Alan Moore: the groundbreaking, genre-bending Swamp Thing. Along with artists including Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, and John Totleben, Swamp Thing combined horror and romance, delivered a barbed critique of superhero comics, and engaged thoughtfully with ecological and posthuman themes, and it did so as a monthly comic in the era before the “graphic novel” came to prominence. We’ll examine how Moore and Co.’s Swamp Thing helps us to understand how comics became “literature,” and we’ll consider how the framing of comics as literature expands and/or diminishes our ability to understand and articulate the complexities of comics as a visual and narrative medium. No prior knowledge of comics or Swamp Thing is necessary!
ENGL 4122 - Section 1 (Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies)
How will we write and communicate at the end of days? Will we text our loved ones goodbye? Will we write signs of warning? This class will work through some basic future-oriented perspectives and examine how we will write in the future within apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic scenarios. We want to imagine what genres we will use to compose with in the future. Working through frameworks familiar to us in a post 9/11, post-Katrina, post-Hurricane Sandy world, we will examine how people have written during catastrophic events as a model for what is to come. Survivalist thinking has come to preoccupy our culture. The obsession with going off the grid offers an avenue for thinking creatively and practically about how we will communicate when certain systems go down. Reading examples from real life events as well as prophetically oriented science fiction narratives, we too will write as though our lives depended on it. And perhaps, one day they will…
We will write future-oriented essays based upon our theme. By researching how possible apocalyptic scenarios may occur, we will write—like prophets—and warn our audiences about potential cultural catastrophes. Recognizing that most if not all arguments, from science, politics, and religion, look, in some way, toward a possible future, we too will engage in thinking and composing with this framework in mind. Researching both real news stories, and science fiction as imagined arguments about the future, we will make seven arguments in paired projects of writing and another media about our own futures. We will first work within various areas including caution, archiving, survival, telegraphy, revelation, and adieus. What kinds of writing would we need to archive in these scenarios? What tools might we consider writing with if computers are unavailable? How would we transfer writing across space and time? How do computers help us move toward particular futures in writing? Finally, our work will culminate in a FINAL research project in which we will argue for the inevitability of different catastrophic events, using fact-based evidence and comparing it to other events, both actual and fictional, we will warn others about what could happen and offer an alternate future.
ENGL 4148 - Section 1 (Studies in Shakespeare)
Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare
How do we read the representations of bodies that populate Shakespeare's plays? How might Shakespeare's language accommodate or construct differences of race, gender, sexuality, class, and dis/ability? Using an intersectional approach that will guide our engagement with eight plays, we will put the early modern past into conversation with our contemporary moment.