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Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses


• Master of Arts


The Master of Arts in English is designed to provide both theoretical and practical foundations for teaching English in community colleges or high schools. It is a 33-credit-hour program whose courses are offered in the evening and on weekends. Two required core courses will give a solid base for graduate English studies, while two 600-level advanced seminars will offer rigorous opportunities to explore various disciplinary topics in depth. The flexibly conceived Masters Project will provide an opportunity for students to further explore their topic of interest in literary works or in teaching composition.


The Master of Arts in English is open to any applicant who has successfully completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education. In addition to the admission requirements as explained in the “Graduate Admissions” section of the graduate catalog, all applicants should submit two letters of recommendation and a substantial writing sample that demonstrates adequate preparation and potential for graduate work in English. After reviewing the completed application package, the Graduate Coordinator will schedule a personal interview.


To complete the master’s degree, students must complete 33 credits of approved coursework

from the following requirements:

Two Required Core Courses

  • ENG 501 Foundations of Graduate English Studies (3 hours)
  • ENG 514 Literary Criticism (3 hours)

Two Required Advanced Seminar Courses

  • Two 3 credit hour Advanced Seminar courses (600 level courses)

Masters Project

  • ENG 660 Directed Reading (3 hours)
  • ENG 665 Masters Project (3 hours) 


15 credits; any mix chosen from 1-4 credit elective courses, seminars, or one independent study course (no more than 3 credit hours)

ENG 551: Shakespeare: Text and Theory

This course introduces the graduate student to Shakespeare's dramatic and poetic works by approaching the canon with attention to Shakespeare's language, to historical context, to pedagogical issues, and to major approaches from literary criticism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: None

ENG 561 Shakespeare on Film

This course will examine texts and contemporary film interpretations of such works as Hamlet (Branagh, Zeffirelli, Almereyda), Romeo and Juliet (Zeffirelli and Luhrmann), Branagh’s versions of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labours’ Lost, and Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night.

  • Hours: 3

ENG 565 Writing Creative Nonfiction

This course will explore how to write alternative forms of nonfiction beyond the traditional academic essay. Using readings, discussions, and class workshops, students will use elements from fiction and poetry to write creative nonfiction such as memoirs, personal essays, nature essays, and personal cultural criticism.

  • Hours: 3

ENG 570 Women’s Literature: Experimental Literature by Women

This course considers some established traditions in writing by women, while paying close attention to how these traditions are both revisited and revised by subsequent writers. We will consider how the texts are in dialogue with one another as well as whose voices and experiences remain silenced in various texts.  Using the historical context of the various waves of the women's movement, along with the framework of feminist theory, the course seeks to highlight both the establishment of and resistance to traditions in literature by women.

  • Hours: 3

ENG 601 Advanced Seminar: American Modernist Poetry

This course attempts to discover the primary characteristics of modernist poetry as reflected in the works of a group of American poets who came to prominence in the first two decades of the twentieth century, including Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Williams, Moore, and Hughes. The course considers the nature of “modernisms,” how their works define the nature of truth, what the works say about the individual’s relationship to the social world, what it means to be an artist in the context of modernism, and what historical, aesthetic, critical and cultural contexts gave rise to modernist poetry.

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514

ENG 603 Postcolonial Re-imaginations: “The Empire Writes Back”

This course is designed as an introduction to a wide variety of both literary and theoretical works that cover the period of British colonial expansion and its postcolonial aftermath. It is conceived as a comparative literature/culture course—for instance, to put the First World literature in dialogue with that of the Third World or to re-read a 18th-century literature with a 20th-century perspective. For such comparative course, literatures from Africa, India, and the Caribbean as well as from England will be selected. Through these works, we will study what the globalization of modern culture has brought about in such areas as race, gender, language, and nationalism. 

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514

ENG 604 Advanced Seminar: Studies in the Harlem Renaissance

This course offers a detailed examination of selected works by major and minor literary voices of the Harlem Renaissance. Specifically, it analyzes these emerging writers in the context of varied cultural, social, and historical influences, which impacted their works. This course also discusses the contemporary scholarship of leading critics, literary and culture theory, and takes a virtual tour of Harlem, to prepare for final research projects and presentations. 

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514.

ENG 605: Studies in Medieval Literature: Women Writers of the Middle Ages

This course is an advanced introduction to female authors of the twelfth through fifteenth centuries in England and Western Europe. Our primary texts include poems, treatises, letters, romance, autobiography, mystical and devotional writing.  Major authors represented are Marie de France, Christine de Pizan, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, and the Paston women.

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514

ENG 606: Experimental Literature by Women

Many artists believe that the way to accomplish art which creates social change in the world is to resist the traditional by utilizing new forms, styles, and approaches. Challenging any kind of established literary tradition, however, often results in marginalization; therefore, for an already historically marginalized group like women writers to experiment raises the risk of being silenced, discredited, and attacked. This course considers how various women writers across the twentieth century have experimented with literary form and explores the implications of this experimentation on the authors, on notions of gender, on the world.

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: None

ENG 610, Advanced Seminar: 19th Century American Authors

In this seminar, we examine important points of contention between nineteenth century American writers, including Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Douglass, Melville, Stowe, Dickinson, Whitman, and Twain.  Subjects covered might include war and territorial conquest; race and ethnicity, slavery and freedom; the influence of religious beliefs over behavior; gender roles and sexuality; the relationship between the individual and the community; the relationship between human beings and the environment; accumulation and consumption, wealth and materialism; and the growth of technology.

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514

ENG 620 Novel and Nation

This course will examine literary works that attempt to re-figure the nation in the age of globalization. Some of the questions we will ask are: How is the nation represented in literature? What textual strategies do novels employ in order to disseminate the feeling of national consciousness toward readers? Conversely, what formal narrative elements do novels employ to disrupt or displace the official, hegemonic notion of the nation? What kinds of alternative notions of community and belonging are imagined? What are the political implications of postcolonial fiction that resists the novelistic techniques that rely on linear notions of historical progression and economic development? How do the forces of globalization put a pressure on the fictions of national culture? How have novels gone beyond national borders for paradigms of home(land)?  In the end, students will enhance their appreciation of both the limitations and possibilities of a branch of novel theory that takes the nation-form as its primary object of inquiry. 

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514

ENG 665, Master's Project

The master’s project is a requirement for the completion of the master of arts in English degree. Working with a project advisor, students are expected to complete a project that demonstrates original thought and substantial research, and that may take a number of forms: it may be a critical study of literary works and authors; a theoretical exploration of issues related to literature or writing; or an empirical study of composition and/or pedagogy (for example, a case study, composing process analysis, classroom ethnography, or other fieldwork). It is expected that before writing the thesis, students will have completed the majority of their program requirements.

  • Hours: 3
  • Prerequisite: ENG 501, ENG 514, and two advanced seminars.

ENG 691 Independent Study

Variable hours

The Independent Study gives students the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of particular authors, periods, genres, or issues. No more than 6 credit hours of Independent Studies may be taken.

  • Hours: 1-3
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Graduate Coordinator

Audrey Becker, Ph.D.
Madame Cadillac Building, Room 286
Direct: (313) 927-1272
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Department Chair

Darcy L. Brandel, Ph.D.
Madame Cadillac Building, Room 262
Direct: (313) 927-1447
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.