Department of English

John D Fry


Postdoctoral FellowPh.D. English Literature; M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry), University of Texas at Austin; Texas State University

Postdoctoral Lecturer

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Courses


E 314L • Banned Books/Novel Ideas-Wb

35525 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas-WB

 

Instructor:  Fry, J

Unique #:  35525

Semester:  Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  none

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  At a time when violence, sexuality, and injustice saturate our sociocultural surround—in film, music, art, and videogames, not to mention the nightly news—books continue to be banned in classrooms and communities for being obscene and/or offensive, to name but two examples.  Books have been banned because of their depictions of the past (of war or slavery, for example); books have also been banned for the ways they portray desire in all its licit and illicit formulations.  In this course, we will interrogate how and why literary representations of historically documented violence, sexuality, and injustice have been considered “dangerous” enough to be banned through close reading our selected texts and attending to their respective contexts.

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will constitute a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative Texts: Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima; Baldwin, Another Country; Müller, The Hunger Angel; Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

 

Requirements & Grading:  Major assignments: there will be a series of 3 essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade, respectively).  Minor assignments might include: short quizzes, weekly reading journal, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

E 376 • Chaucer-Wb

36255 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM
Internet; Synchronous
GCWr

E 376  l  Chaucer-WB

 

Instructor:  Fry, J

Unique #:  36255

Semester:  Spring 2021

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  Nine hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

 

Description:  Known as the Father of English Poetry, Chaucer marks the beginning of the literary tradition in the English language even though he wrote in an earlier iteration of it.  But the installation of Chaucer in this position within literary history is a Renaissance invention, one done at a moment when England began to conceive of itself not only as a nation but also as the empire it eventually became.  Though Chaucer’s changing reception in succeeding centuries will periodically demand our attention, our primary focus will be sustained and careful study of The Canterbury Tales for which Chaucer is primarily known today, a poem that performs a riot of genres that range from the high style of epic and courtly romance to devotional literature and, of course, the bawdy comedy that continues to make us laugh.  The incompleteness and instability of his texts—as “texts”—will also preoccupy us because Chaucer numbers among the few English writers still read whose texts predate the invention of the printing press, a fact that has serious consequences for literary interpretation.  Chaucer’s fourteenth century may seem like one so distant from our own that drawing parallels is impossible.  As we shall see over the course of the semester, however, Chaucer’s poetry thinks broadly and deeply about issues of profound concern to our contemporary moment.  These include (but are not limited to) the thrills and dangers of desire; loss and mourning; truth and lies; faith and doubt; and the possibilities and perils of community.

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will constitute a major part of the final grade.

 

Required Texts:  Norton Chaucer Canterbury Tales, The Canterbury Tales Handbook.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Major assignments: there will be a series of 3 essays: a short paper, which will be revised and resubmitted; a slightly longer comparative essay; and a research paper.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade, respectively).  Minor assignments: weekly reading journal, translation exercises, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

CRW 330 • Literature For Writers-Wb

34145 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous

CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers

34145 

Instructor:  Heinzelman, K

Unique #: 34145

Semester:  Fall 2020

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

 

Description:  The official name of this course is “Literature for Writers,” but I would prefer to call it “Reading Like a Writer,” which is also the title of a wonderful book by an author with the wholly appropriate name of Francine Prose.  Her book is subtitled: “A Guide for People Who Love Books And For Those Who Want to Write Them.”  I recommend this text highly to all prospective students.

 

The texts that we will be “reading as writers” will be composed in both prose and verse, for the simple reason that prose writers can learn much about rhythm, figurative language, and structure from reading lyrics, just as poets can learn much about narrative, character, and timing from reading fiction.

 

Some of the literary works will focus on poetic or narrative forms; others will be thematic—e.g., writing about place or about art (the technical term for the latter is ekphrasis); and still others will introduce comparative analyses—e.g., of why one translation is “better” than another.

 

Requirements & Grading:  In the first half of the course we will discuss what “reading like a writer” means, and there will be periodic weekly written reports.  The rest of the semester will be about texts generated by students who will identify and report on, in both oral and written forms, stories and poems that demonstrate what they think can be learned about craft by reading closely those texts.  Let me emphasize that this is a reading/writing course, not a creative-writing workshop.

 

Two absences permitted without penalty.  Grading Scale:  Final essay and oral report = 60%; Class participation and weekly reports = 40%.

CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

34735 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 310

CRW 330 l Literature for Writers

 

Instructor:  Fry, J

Unique #:  34735

Semester: Spring 2020

Cross-lists: n/a

 

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

 

Description:  This iteration of ‘Literature for Writers’ will explore texts that trouble the boundaries of genre and gender.  Both in literary criticism and the publishing market writers must navigate, genre functions as a concept used to classify texts into recognizable types—fiction, say, but also subcategories like fantasy or romance.  Gender, similarly, serves to identify persons in their respective cultural contexts.  While the relationship between these concepts reaches back to the Middle Ages, contemporary writers have increasingly put pressure on gender and genre as cultural constructs in the wake of feminist, queer, and postcolonial modes of critique (to name but a few).  The texts we will read in this class will reveal that notions of genre as well as gender prove far more complex than any binary opposition.  We will encounter a variety of literary forms that skew the boundaries between prose and poetry, blur where facts end and fiction begins, and question whether language itself can be reimagined to articulate queer truths.  Just as we will read as creative writers ourselves, we will also regularly experiment with various hybrid forms.

 

Tentative Texts:  Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller; C.D. Wright, Deepstep Come Shining; Kazim Ali, Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities; Jos Charles, feeld; Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red.

 

*Supplemental readings will be made available through Canvas and may include texts by writers like Gloria Anzaldúa, Matsuo Bashō, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Natalie Diaz, Joy Harjo, Layli Long Soldier, Agnes Martin, Carole Maso, Claudia Rankine, Ely Shipley, Carmen Giménez Smith, and Virginia Woolf.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Students will keep a regular reading journal of creative and/or critical responses to each week’s reading (30%); draft occasional pieces in response to specific prompts or exercises (20%); and create a final creative project incorporating or combining more than one genre (60%).

E 314L • The Pulitzer Prize

34418 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 105
Wr

E 314L  l  8-The Pulitzer Prize

 

Instructor: Fry, J

Unique #:  34418

Semester: Fall 2019

Cross-lists:  n/a

 

Prerequisites: One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description: First awarded in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize is arguably the most prestigious American award a novel, play, or collection of poems can receive.  It is a gamechanger and a career-maker.  For the student of literature, the Pulitzer also serves as an index of the literary establishment’s values and priorities over the century the prize has been given.  In this course, we will take questions currently shaping the study of literature and culture in America and apply them to the Pulitzer’s history and the prize-winning texts we will be studying.  These questions include (but are not limited to):  Who has the canon of prize-winners included, and who has it most often excluded? How has the history of the Pulitzer in/accurately reflected the racial demographics of the United States?

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative Texts: Tracy K. Smith, Life on Mars; Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches; Alice Walker, The Color Purple; N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn.

 

Requirements & Grading: Major assignments: there will be a series of 4 major writing assignments, one of which will be revised and resubmitted (70% of the final grade, respectively).  Minor assignments might include: short quizzes, creative writing exercises, and a reading journal (30% of the final grade).

E 314L • Banned Books And Novel Ideas

34315 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM MEZ 1.216
Wr

E 314L  l  3-Banned Books and Novel Ideas

 

Instructor:  Fry, J

Unique #:  34315

Semester:  Spring 2018

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  At a time when violence, sexuality, and injustice saturate our sociocultural surround—in film, music, art, and videogames, not to mention the nightly news—books continue to be banned in classrooms and communities for being obscene and/or offensive, to name but two examples.  Books have been banned because of their depictions of the past (of war or slavery, for example); books have also been banned for the ways they portray desire in all its licit and illicit formulations.  In this course, we will interrogate how and why literary representations of historically documented violence, sexuality, and injustice have been considered “dangerous” enough to be banned through close reading our selected texts and attending to their respective contexts.

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative Texts: Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room; Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina; Morrison, Beloved; Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse- Five.

 

Requirements & Grading:  Major assignments: there will be a series of 3 essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade, respectively).  Minor assignments might include: short quizzes, weekly reading journal, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

E 314V • Mexican American Lit And Cul

34995 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 308
CDWr (also listed as MAS 314)

E 314V  l  3-Mexican American Literature and Culture

 

Instructor:  Fry, J

Unique #:  34995

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  MAS 314

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

 

Prerequisites:  One of the following: E 303C (or 603A), RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 303C (or 603A).

 

Description:  Gloria Anzaldúa famously called the border between México and the United States a “1,950 mile-long open wound,” “una herida abierta,” where “a third country—a border culture” has arisen on either side of the Rio Grande/Río Bravo and beyond.  In this course, we will traverse the borders of language(s), geography, history, and identity negotiated by Mexican-American artists from Texas in a variety of literary genres, visual art, and film.  Our methods will be intersectional—attending to class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., in addition to race—as we explore these (re)definitions of what it means to be, in Cherríe Moraga’s words, American “con acento.”

 

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

 

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

 

Tentative Texts:  Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (nonfiction, memoir, theory); Alonzo, Jotos del Barrio (play); Silva, Flesh to Bone (short stories).

 

Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of 3 formal writing assignments, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted (70% of the final grade in total).  Excluding the final project (critical or creative), the second assignment may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor.  Students will also have the opportunity to practice writing in a variety of other genres, including reading journals (or the occasional quiz), creative writing exercises, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

E 314L • Reading Poetry

33880 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM MEZ 2.122
Wr

E 314L  l  5-Reading Poetry

Instructor:  Fry, J

Unique #:  33880

Semester:  Spring 2016

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: One of the following: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: Poetry has been described as “the very lining of the inner life,” “what cannot be fashioned into prose,” “a widely distributed nonradioactive element,” and “an egg with a horse inside it.”  Often considered the most intimidating of genres, poetry—the oldest of them all—remains relevant to our cinematic and novel-driven age because poetry keeps language alive.  Though the historical frame of our course will be modern and contemporary American poetry, we will periodically step out of that chronology as we explore poetry’s ability to index a number of issues urgent to our present moment, including race, nationality, gender, and sexuality.

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts: Rankine, Citizen; Kwasny, Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950; Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction; Anthology of poems uploaded to Canvas.

Requirements & Grading: There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted.  Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (70% of the final grade).  There may also be reading quizzes, short reaction papers, poetic exercises, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

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