Fall 2014 English Department Undergraduate Course Descriptions

ENG 230 - Exploring Literature (online)
CRN 16822
Kerry Jones
Instruction in the perceptive reading of literature in its major traditional periods or genres (especially drama, fiction and poetry). May not be counted for credit in the English major or minor. Pre- or corequisite: ENGL 102.

ENG 230 - Exploring Literature
CRN 16823
Instruction in the perceptive reading of literature in its major traditional periods or genres (especially drama, fiction and poetry). May not be counted for credit in the English major or minor. Pre- or corequisite: ENGL 102.

ENG 230 - Exploring Literature
CRN 16824
Mary Sherman
This course is an introduction to the study of the main genres of literature: fiction, poetry, and drama. It is intended to be a broad overview rather than a specialized study of selected works of American and British literature. Goals of the course include:

• To provide a working knowledge of the characteristics of each literary genre;
• To develop analytical skills and critical thinking through reading, discussion, and written
• assignments;
• To enlarge students’ intercultural reading experience;
• To deepen students’ awareness of the universal human concerns that are the basis for all
• great literature;
• To stimulate a greater appreciation of language as an artistic medium and of the aesthetic
• principles that shape literary works;
• To understand literature as an expression of human values within a particular historical
• and social context.

ENG 230 - Exploring Literature (West Campus)
CRN 16825
Lael Ewy
Instruction in the perceptive reading of literature in its major traditional periods or genres (especially drama, fiction and poetry). May not be counted for credit in the English major or minor. Pre- or corequisite: ENGL 102.

ENG 232 - Themes in American Literature
The American Dream
CRN 16826
Mary Sherman
Definitions of the “American Dream” abound, but, in common usage, the term suggests that hard work, determination, a positive outlook, and perhaps a bit of good luck can enable those of us who identify ourselves as American to improve our lot in life and to achieve a reasonable degree of prosperity, security, and contentment. That said, all of us know that this idea is an oversimplification—one that can lead to frustration, dis-couragement, and even tragedy instead of happiness.

Our goal in this course will be to analyze and reflect upon the complexities of the American Dream as we explore how authors of diverse eras and backgrounds have approached this concept. Readings will include fiction, drama, and memoir and have been chosen to provide historical context for our discussions and to permit us to examine how gender, race, and ethnicity have influenced how writers have defined the American Dream. We will read from a mix of classical and contemporary authors, some familiar and others less so, all of whom have written works of literary and historical significance. The course will help us to understand better the struggles of many different groups of Americans who have longed to be good citizens and to enjoy the best of what life in America has to offer.

ENG 232 - Themes in American Literature
CRN 16827
Instruction in perceptive reading and writing about representative works of American fiction, poetry, drama and the essay. Emphasizes understanding and appreciation of central themes and dominant ideas. May not be counted for credit in the English major or minor. Pre- or corequisite: ENGL 102

ENG 232M - Themes in American Literature
Nature Writing
CRN 16828
Melinda DeFrain
English 232 will introduce students to American nature writers from the Romantic period to the contemporary who have shaped and expanded the genre. American attitudes towards nature will be explored and also personal relationships with the natural world and its influences on humanity. The course will be cross-genre and explore non-fiction, fiction, poetry and film.

ENG 232OH - Themes in American Literature (Honors)
Coming of Age
CRN 16829
Kimberly Engber
As soon as Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn “lights out” for the territory in the late 19th century, growing up in America is linked to breaking away.  How do American writers of the 20th century respond to this American coming-of-age tradition?  Themes in American Literature: Coming of Age will begin from the perspective of those already dwelling in the territory with Luther Standing Bear’s Indian Boyhood.  We will travel back and forth across the continent with Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and Toni Morrison’s Sula then leap beyond the geographical boundary to include Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John, a story of coming of age on the Caribbean island of Antigua, and beyond the novel tradition to Rita Dove’s sonnet sequence Mother Love.  We will conclude with the young adult novel that recently won the Newberry Award, Moon Over Manifest, by local author Claire Vanderpool.  The course grade will be based on three essays, an oral presentation, and a final exam. Honors students will complete an oral history project in addition to the reading and assignments.

ENG 232 - Themes in American Literature
CRN 16830
Josh Barkan
This course surveys famous contemporary American short stories, primarily from 1960 to the present.  As we read the stories we will study some of the recurring themes found in recent American fiction:  the difficulty of growing up and sexual awakening, infidelity, fractured love, family dysfunction, the experience of war, societal breakdown—following the Vietnam War and September 11—etc.  We will also study the experience of immigrating to the United States and the diversity of American voices, studying major Jewish American, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American authors.  We will see the increasing role of female writers and the attempt to gain equality.  Finally, we’ll study the recurring strength of regional authors, representing the South, West, and rural areas of the United States.  Along with these themes and major trends in American contemporary fiction, we’ll study the elements of how fiction is written with respect to plot, voice, setting, style, point of view, use of metaphors, and so on.  We will look not only at what stories are telling us, but how they are crafted.  The course will end with a brief exploration of postmodern fiction and recent experimentation in the form of writing stories.  When you finish this course, you will be familiar with many of the important writers of contemporary American fiction and with the basic elements of how stories are crafted.

ENG 232 - Themes in American Literature
Portrait of a Lady: The 20th Century Woman
CRN 16831
Kerry Jones
This course will focus on how women were portrayed in American Literature (predominantly) throughout the 20th century, by both female and male author. What can we say about the different images of women? How have they been portrayed, and why? What has changed and what has stayed the same. These are just a few of the questions we’ll tackle during the semester. How women have been portrayed has changed over time, but there’s also a timeless quality in their portrayals: the kind of people they are, their experiences, their struggles, and their triumphs. Our reading list may include work by authors such as Kate Chopin, D.H. Lawrence, Zora Neale Hurston, Sylvia Plath, Betty Friedan, Ira Levin, Evan S. Connell, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Cisnernos, Amy Tan, Alice Walker, and Octavia Butler.

ENG 254 - Modern British Literature
The Detective Story
CRN 16833
T.J. Boynton
The detective story is not only one of the most popular genres in modern literature; it is one of the most important.  Over the last century and a half, the detective story—traditionally, a mystery tale in which an elite member of the profession studies evidence of a crime and apprehends its author—has become one of the primary means through which human beings develop an understanding of the nations in which they live and their own legal and moral identities as citizens.  From the mid-nineteenth century fiction of Edgar Allen Poe to the current heyday of the television police procedural, the genre has flourished as a source of entertainment because of its unique ability to arouse and satisfy these underlying human interests and urges.  This course will explore these characteristics by tracing the history of the British detective story from the late Victorian period to the present.  It will spotlight: early incarnations of the genre such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie (the best-selling fiction author of all time); specimens of the dramatic twin of detective fiction, the “whodunit” play; “postmodern” texts that dismantle the genre and reconstruct it in strange, fascinating ways; poetic responses to the genre, including a detective novel in verse; film adaptations of famous works and original films featuring famous characters; and a graphic novel account of Britain’s most famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper.  Along the way we will delve deeply into both the traditional features of the genre and the larger social and historical concerns it focalizes.

ENG 285 - Introduction to Creative Writing
CRN 16834
Josh Barkan
This course introduces students to fiction and poetry writing by having students write in a focused way, regularly, every week.  Students will learn the workshop process by having their work discussed by fellow students and their teacher.  Students read and comment on fiction and poems written by their peers and will revise their work based on critiques by fellow students and their teacher.  We will also read stories and poems by published writers, discussing their form and content, learning craft terms, and learning what good literary writing is.  The goal is to help students move toward serious, literary writing.  By the end of the semester, through hard work, students will find their reading skills improved, they will be more aware of their physical and social environment and setting, they will be able to convey psychological elements in their writing more powerfully, and their writing will be more specific and emotionally compelling.  Students will write five fiction exercises; they will revise four of those exercises for the mid-term project.  During the second half of the semester, students will write five poetry exercises and revise four of those poems for the final project.

ENG 301 - Fiction Writing
CRN 16835
Josh Barkan
This is an intermediate level class in the craft of writing short fiction for students who have already taken an introductory class in creative writing (285) and who are ready to write more seriously.  The class revolves around writing exercises, group critiques of new student work, and the regular practice of freewriting.  Craft elements to be worked on include point of view, characterization, visual description, forceful dialogue, dramatization of action, character motivation and interior psychology, use of time, transitions within and between scenes, plot, setting, style, voice, the need for empathy for the protagonist, use of metaphors, etc.  Such craft elements cannot be taught and learned solely by workshopping student writing, so we will also read and examine at least one good published short story each week.

This course assumes fiction writing requires more than some kind of mystical inspiration (although that, too, may be necessary) and seeks to provide writers with concrete examples of the techniques of fiction writing.  Along with completing writing exercises, students are expected to put up their work for review in group critiques and to revise their work, after incorporating criticism from their fellow students and teacher.  Each student writes two new short stories—approximately ten pages each—and revises them during the term.

ENG 303 - Poetry Writing
CRN 16836
Sam Taylor
Primary emphasis on student writing of literary poetry. Students study form and technique by reading published works and apply those studies to the poetry they write. Course may be repeated once for a total of 6 hours credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 285 with a grade of B or better.

ENG 307 - Narrative in Literature and Film
CRN 16837
William Woods
This class explores the relationship between literature and film, addresses theoretical and practical issues involved in adaptation, and offers case studies of adaptations of novels, short stories, plays and nonfiction works. Provides comprehensive analysis of the narrative, historical and stylistic contexts in which the adaptation of texts to screen takes place. Prerequisites: ENGL 102, one college-level literature or film course.

ENG 310 - Nature of Poetry
CRN 16838
Sam Taylor
This course acquaints the student with the variety of poetic forms and techniques. Notes contributions of culture, history and poetic theory as background to the works under study, but primarily emphasizes the characteristics of poetry as a literary communication. Prerequisite: ENGL 102.

ENG 315 - Introduction to Linguistics
CRN 16839
Tina Bennett
Linguistics 315 provides a basic understanding of linguistic concepts, terminology, and methodology in order to allow students to answer for themselves questions about English and even other languages now or five, ten, or 30 years hence. Students will learn problem solving approaches through individual and group exercises as well as gain knowledge of how specifically English subsystems pertaining to sounds, words, sentences, meanings, and contextual use are structured, how they function, and how they make language an infinitely creative capacity. The course also provides a systematic examination of different varieties of English, including the differences among regional dialects and between standard and nonstandard dialects. Students are expected to have a good grasp of standard English, high proficiency in reading, willingness to learn the application of concepts to real-world language data, and motivation to be intellectually challenged.
Textbook:  Anne Curzan and Michael Adams. How English Works. A Linguistic Introduction. Pearson Longman.

ENG 317 - History of the English Language
CRN 16841
Tina Bennett
This course investigates the development of the English language from its Proto-Indo-European origins to its present use around the world in various dialectal forms. It includes both an examination of the historical and socio-cultural influences on the language, and a description of linguistic developments affecting phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and the lexicon of English. Format: lecture, with some weekly exercises, a review quiz, two examinations, and a final paper or project. Prerequisite: English/Linguistics 315: Introduction to English Linguistics; Linguistics 151: Nature of Language; Anthropology 352: Anthropological Linguistics; or equivalent course in introductory linguistics.

Textbook: John Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language.  Wadsworth

ENG 322 - Origins of Western Literature
CRN 16842
William Woods
Classical literature is fundamental to the English literary tradition because, until quite recently, the education of English authors and their readers was founded upon the language, literature and culture of Greece and Rome. In addition, the characters, story lines and ideas that are recurrent in Greek and Roman literature have entered our culture—everyone knows what an “odyssey” is—so that reading these works means discovering the roots of our own literature. The readings for this course will be drawn from Greek literature, and will include epic, drama, mythology, lyric poetry and satire. Particular emphasis will be placed on the epics of Homer because of their considerable influence on the languages and cultures of later times.

ENG 330 - Nature of Fiction
CRN 16843
Rebeccah Bechtold
“A great obstacle to good education is the inordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed,” or so stated Thomas Jefferson in a letter dated 1818. This course actively ignores Jefferson’s implicit advice and instead pursues the pleasure of fiction through four American novels: Robert Montgomery Bird’s Sheppard Lee (1836), Elizabeth Stoddard’s The Morgesons (1862), Jean Toomer’s Cane (1923), and Ernest Hemingway’s posthumous Garden of Eden (written 1946-1961). Used as touchstones for understanding the nature of fiction, each novel is framed by representative short stories, extra-literary texts, and literary scholarship that demonstrate how fiction emerges in response to other prose writing as well as larger socio-political concerns. From body jumping (Sheppard Lee!) to androgyny (Garden of Eden!), this course promises a semester of passionate reading in the hopes that we too can develop, as Jefferson alleged, “bloated imagination[s], sickly judgment, and disgust towards all the real businesses of life” from the reading of fiction.

ENG 340 - Major Plays of Shakespeare
CRN 16844
Fran Connor
Shakespeare’s plays and poems frequently contemplate tensions between the imagination—particularly the fictional space of the theatre, or the rhetorical, stylized, semi-personal practices of poetry—with the lived world, the behaviors of persons high and low once they leave the theater, and their expectations of those governing them.  This course will approach Shakespeare through works that engage this tension, by exploring works that question the fundamental purpose of art and theatre (Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeares Sonnets), address relationships between ideal and practical governance (Henry V, Coriolanus), and attempt to negotiate art and politics (The Tempest, Lucrece.) We will also pay attention to Shakespeare’s own imaginative process by comparing one of his most famous works, Hamlet, with one of the plays that inspired it, Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy.  No Shakespeare experience required; expect two formal papers, a research assignment, a final exam, and various and sundry short critical responses.

ENG 360 - Major British Writers I
CRN 16845
Chris Brooks
This course covers the primary writers in British literature from the beginnings through the 18th century.

ENG 361 - Major British Writers II
CRN 16846
T.J. Boynton
This course covers the primary writers in British literature from the 19th century to the present.

ENG 362 - Major American Writers I
Early American Literature and its Archive
CRN 16847
Rebeccah Bechtold
“Major American Writers I” emphasizes the various social, political, and economic upheavals that mark early American lives. A survey of American literature and culture from the early conquest and colonization periods through the Civil War, the course will introduce you to representative works of fiction and non-fiction that frame our understanding of early American culture. We therefore will be examining a wide range of texts—poetry, fiction, sermons, personal narratives, essay, and pamphlets—as well as an early American archive of scientific treatises, paintings, music, and the like in order to challenge the traditional sense of narrative (what literature is and does). In this way, the class seeks a broader understanding of the place of literature and writing within the period we explore and within the field of American Studies as well.

ENG 363 - Major American Writers II
Jean Griffith
This course covers important works of American writers from the end of the 19th century to the present.

ENG 375 - Popular Literature
The Graphic Novel
CRN 16849
Darren DeFrain
This course is an in-depth study of the history, approaches to, and nature and content of graphic novels. The course will begin with an emphasis on visual analysis and rhetoric and explore additional critical apparatus germane to this exciting literary genre.  Through discussion, participants will examine each author's approach to narrative, character development, and the intersection of text and images. The reading list will represent the various genres of graphic novel (memoir, fantasy, fiction, social criticism, and history) and a variety of authors such as Will Eisner, Alan Moore, Marjorie Satrapi and Isabel Greenberg.

ENG 401 - Fiction Workshop
CRN 16850
Margaret Dawe
Advanced course. Manuscripts are critiqued to develop skill in writing, rewriting, and polishing literary fiction. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 301.

ENG 403 - Poetry Workshop
CRN 16851
Sam Taylor
Primary emphasis on student writing of literary poetry. Students study form and technique by reading published works and apply those studies to the poetry they write. Course may be repeated once for a total of 6 hours credit. Prerequisite: ENGL 303.

ENG 514 - Studies in Drama
CRN 16852
Chris Brooks
Subjects announced each semester. Repeatable once for credit. Prerequisites: junior standing and one college literature course.

ENG 517 - Playwriting I
CRN 16856
J. Russell
The writing of scripts for performance. Emphasizes both verbal and visual aspects of playwriting. If possible, the scripts are performed.

ENG 527 - Victorian Literature
The Victorian Gothic and the Bourgeois Subject
CRN 17162
Mary Waters
This course will examine literary constructions of Victorian identity and social consciousness through the lens of Gothic and gothic-influenced fiction by several significant novelists.  We will read work by the Brontës, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Bram Stoker, and others.  Assignments will include a short paper, essay exams, a research bibliography, and a research term paper.

ENG 590 - Senior Seminar
“‘Am I not a Man and a Brother?’: Race Relations in Early America”
CRN 17176
Rebeccah Bechtold
This capstone course examines the discourses on race that shaped early American (1770s-1865) attitudes toward slavery and impacted not only the United States’ perception of racial difference but also its stance on gender and economic inequalities. The course situates proslavery and antislavery literature within a more expansive interdisciplinary framework dictated by the classification of slavery as a social, religious, political, biological and economic phenomenon. By pairing Edward Clay’s Life in Philadelphia print series with Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” or William Wells Brown’s Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter with the 1850s Senate Debates, the course ultimately fosters a broader understanding of slavery as a “peculiar institution” – as a practice not only institutionalized in the everyday lives of Americans but also one that “peculiarly” blurs the binaries (public and private; North against South; black versus white) that emerged during this earlier period and are prevalent in the United States even today.

ENG 680 - Theory and Practice in Composition
CRN 17178
This course introduces theories of rhetoric, research in composition and writing programs, and practices in schools and colleges. Students investigate the process of writing, analyze varieties and samples of school writing, and develop their own writing skills by writing, revising and evaluating their own and others/ work. Designed especially for prospective and practicing teachers; may not be taken for credit by students with credit in ENGL 780.

ENG 681 - Editing American English
CRN 17182
Chris Brooks
Students master the rules and conventions of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, usage and mechanics, and learn how to apply them while they are revising and editing a written text. Students work as tutors in the writing center to learn and understand the practical application of editing rules. Includes instruction in the conventions of Editing Standard English (also known as Edited American English) and in methods of effective tutoring, Prerequisites: ENGL 101, 102.