Spring 2015 English Department Undergraduate Course Descriptions

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature (online)
CRN 25683
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.

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature
CRN 25684

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature
CRN 25685

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature (Westside)
CRN 25686
Lael Ewy

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 25687

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 25690

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature: Coming to America
CRN 25693
Mary Sherman

America has long been regarded as “the promised land” by many diverse groups of immigrants as they fled the countries of their birth because of poverty, tyranny, and  persecution, hoping to build a better life. For others, America was a land to which they were brought unwillingly, or a place which they claimed as their own before the first Europeans arrived. The one common characteristic shared by all of these groups is that they wished to live in peace, harmony, and prosperity but were often denied this opportunity because of discrimination by other dominant racial and ethnic groups. In this class, we will read memoirs, novels, and short stories written by authors from marginalized groups who faced special challenges to their survival in America. As we read, we will develop an appreciation for the courage, ingenuity, and determination displayed by these people and others like them as they have coped with these challenges.
Readings will include Reading Lolita in Tehran, The Color of Water, When the Emperor Was Divine, Bread Givers, and other works.

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 25695
ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 25698

ENGL 276 – The Literature of Sports: A Course for Anyone with a Playful Spirit
Chris Brooks
The Literature of Sport will engage the students who enroll with a variety of questions and observations. Why, for instance, are certain sport “American” and some “European”? Why do you have your own side of a tennis court but share the court in Racquetball? Why do war terms (“bomb”; “blitz”) describe football, and why is it played in fall and winter, while baseball, played on a circular field, occupies spring and summer? What myths underscore the great sports? What about the conquest of territory, getting “home” safely, moving between hazards, or out-strategizing your opponent just by looking? Why, indeed, do we play, and why is a game also a business and a belief system? And finally, why is motion so crucial to sport, and how many motions do you associate with particular sports? These and other topics will comprise the subject matter of The Literature of Sport.

ENGL 285 – Introduction to Creative Writing
CRN 25701
Margaret Dawe

Students write poetry and short stories which aim for a literary audience, also learning about the craft of creative writing and reading the work of professional writers.  Studying poetry, students learn about images, sound devices, and figurative language.  Studying fiction writing, students learn about point of view, characterization, setting, and plot.  Students write seven poems and revise five for the final portfolio and write two short stories and revise both for the final portfolio. 

Required Book:
Creative Writing:  An Introduction to Poetry and Fiction by David Starkey.

Prerequisite:  English 101 and 102.

ENGL 285 – Introduction to Creative Writing
CRN 25703
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 midterm project.  During the second half of the semester, students will write five poetry exercises and revise four of those poems for the final project.

ENGL 303 – Poetry Writing
CRN 25706
Albert Goldbarth

ENGL 307 – Narrative in Literature in Film
CRN 25709
Mary Sherman

In this course, we will study film adaptations of classic and contemporary novels, short stories, and plays in an attempt to understand the complexities of the adaptation process and to compare relative strengths and weaknesses of fiction and film as modes of storytelling. Literature/film combinations to be studied will include Of Mice and Men, Shoeless Joe/ Field of Dreams, and other works.

ENGL 310 – Nature of Poetry
CRN 25710
T.J. Boynton

Poetry is perhaps the most caricatured and misunderstood of literary forms.  Pop-cultural depictions of poetry portray it as a spontaneous gushing of flowery or sentimental language devoted to wooing a love interest, rhapsodizing over one’s passions, or brooding over one’s sufferings.  Anyone can write poetry who has these universal motivations and experiences; he/she need only purchase a fountain pen and a moleskin notebook and find a secluded forest glade or a quiet corner of the local coffee shop.  As this course will show, the popular perception of poetry is as wrong as it is cliché.  Poetry is not only a serious literary form marked by extreme technical discipline and imaginative creativity; it is, per square inch of text, perhaps the most difficult one to engage with both from a compositional and a reading standpoint.  This course will train you in the concepts and skills required to appreciate and interpret this extremely challenging literary form.  We will examine a wide variety of poetic genres by a historically and nationally diverse range of poets, and in the process we shall see that, in sharp contrast to its popular image, poetry is both one of the most demanding and one of the most rewarding of human creative pursuits.

ENGL 317 – History of the English Language
CRN 25712
Fran Connor

Hweat! Nu ic secgan wylle giedd spræc Angelcynne.   þæt is cynelic þing!  We reden olde stories of the worthiest and grettest of degree, that we shal see þe ystorie of þe faire Englisse tonge. To this end, we shall together alight upon a course of study, with eyes dazzling upon the light of reason, and, though delights are oft with labour purchased, our purchase will surely delight our labour.  The class’s assignments will include several short papers, a presentation, and midterm and final exams.  
RT contact the prof #ENG317 @SportingKyd

ENGL 320 – Nature of Drama
CRN 25713
Chris Brooks

The Nature of Drama will examine plays/dramatic literature from the ancient Greeks to the 20th century. The class will focus on how drama evolves, how it reflects life, and how--especially in the modern age--it offers new and sometimes unconventional insights into its own generic history.

ENGL 323 – World Literature I and ENGL 323H (Honors)- Epic Narratives, East and West
CRN 25714 and 26173
Bill Woods
In this course we will read several ancient and medieval epic narratives, and a fewer number of romances and beast epics for the sake of contrast and definition.  Our objectives will be to determine as best we can how each work embodies the culture within which it was written, and to follow the changes in long-form narrative as it surfaces as written texts in the ancient middle East, then Greece, Rome, and finally western Europe.

Apuleius.  The Golden Ass, trans. Kenney.  Penguin
Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, Vol. I, trans. Reynolds.  Penguin
Chretien de Troyes.  Arthurian Romances, trans. Kibler.  Penguin
Dante.  Inferno, trans. Mandelbaum.  Bantam
Foster, Benjamin R., trans.  The Epic of Gilgamesh (Norton Critical Edition) 
Homer.  Odyssey, trans. Fitzgerald.  Farrar, Straus, Giroux
The Poem of the Cid, trans. Rita Hamilton and Janet Perry.  Penguin
Renard the Fox, trans. Terry.  California UP
The Song of Roland, trans. Terry.  MacMillan

ENGL 330 – Nature of Fiction
CRN 25717
Darren DeFrain

This course is meant to familiarize you with the major elements of fiction (plot, character, narration, formal devices, setting, and theme) and to help you to develop the critical reading skills needed to analyze these elements and how they work together.  In addition to short fiction and the novel, this course will also expose you to texts that constitute other innovations in prose fiction: the short story collection and the graphic novel.  Prerequisites: English 102 and, for students seeking general education credit, 230 or 232.

ENGL 360 – Major British Writers I
CRN 25720
Chris Brooks

The Survey of British Literature, Part I, will examine works from Beowulf to the middle eighteenth century. The emphasis will fall on understanding literature in context: how does a literary work interact with the time period that generated it? Students will read multiple genres across 10 centuries and may write papers over any single or any combination of works.

ENGL 361 – Major British Writers II
CRN 25721
T.J. Boynton

The period of British literature to which this course will introduce you begins around the turn of the nineteenth century and ends in the late twentieth.  We will move in rough chronological order through a broad-ranging series of essays, short stories, novels, plays and poems that demarcate the key socio-historical concerns—economics, technology, politics, race, class, gender, crime, religion/morality, violence, imperialism/colonialism, nationalism, science (to name a few)—preoccupying “British” authors during this fraught era.  The overarching goal of the course is to give you a general overview of the major historical concerns on which the literature of the period rests and to probe intensively the diverse and evolving ways in which its major authors responded to these concerns.  All literature constitutes a veiled commentary on historical circumstances: this core premise will guide our investigation of the strange and fascinating world of British literature from the early nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries, and it will also guide us toward another of the central goals of the course, namely to help you become better informed, more astute interpreters not only of British literature but of literature in general.

ENGL 362 – Major American Writers I: Early American Literature and Its Archive
CRN 25722
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.

ENGL 363 – Major American Writers II
CRN 25724
Kerry Jones

This course covers important works of American authors from the end of the 19th century to the present. In addition to the anthology for this course, we will also read three novels: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey; Mrs. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell; and The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

ENGL 365 – African-American Literature
CRN 25725
Jean Griffith

This course will survey African American literature from the colonial period to the present, from slavery through Emancipation, segregation, the civil rights movement, and beyond. We will be reading multiple genres—poems, drama, fiction, nonfiction—and, while our primary focus will be on the texts themselves, we will pay some attention to the historical forces and events that helped to shape and were shaped by the literature. We will also explore African American literature alongside other arts, especially music. In addition to giving you a background in African American literature and, more generally, some understanding of how people of African descent have influenced American culture, this class will teach you how to: 1) critically engage with a variety of texts; 2) analyze and discuss formal, structural, thematic, and contextual aspects of those texts with others; and 3) draft and revise essays that include specific claims supported by the works you analyze.

ENGL 385: Advanced Composition/ENGL 385H Honors
CRN 25726/25731
Danielle Koupf

In this course we will explore the essay as a flexible genre that supports critical, creative inquiry. We will read thought-provoking and lyrical essays on subjects such as art, sports, culture, technology, literacy, travel, food, and science. Analyzing, imitating, and responding to these pieces will strengthen students’ understanding of style, structure, voice, and persuasion. Essay assignments will prompt students to pursue difficult questions and grapple with uncertainty. In addition to essays, students will complete frequent sentence and paragraph exercises to practice using punctuation and grammar for rhetorical purposes. Students can expect to draft and revise several essays, reflect on their own writing, participate in workshops of their classmates’ writing, and contribute to class discussions of assigned readings.

ENGL 401 – Fiction Workshop
CRN 25734
Josh Barkan

This is an intensive workshop in the craft of writing short fiction for students who have already taken intermediate level fiction workshops and who write at an advanced level.  The class revolves around group critiques of new student work.  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 one good 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.  Students will be expected to revise their work after incorporating criticism from their fellow students and teacher.  Each student writes two new short stories—approximately fifteen pages each—and revises them during the term.

ENGL 403 – Poetry Workshop
CRN 25736
Albert Goldbarth

ENGL 503 – American Literature I
CRN 25737
Rebeccah Bechtold

In his 1850 review of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville proclaims, “Let America…prize and cherish her writers, yea, let her glorify them” for “men not very much inferior to Shakespeare, are this day being born on the banks of Ohio.” Nearly one hundred years later, F.O. Matthiessen’s American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman would argue for a similar (re)birth, locating in the writing of mid-nineteenth century authors Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville, and Walt Whitman a mature and distinctly American literary aesthetic. What followed Matthiessen’s work was the development of an early American canon commonly taught under the rubric of “American Romanticism.” Yet this canon—the authors, texts, and historical moments it privileges—neither represents the “Renaissance” of American literature nor fully embodies the “America” of the antebellum period.  Using Matthiessen’s monolithic and mythic “American Renaissance” as a framework, this course charts the narratives and counter-narratives that reinforce and challenge this supposed birth of an American art. In addition to reading the authors Matthiessen privileges, we will be attending to the prose and poetry of the authors he doesn’t: Edgar Allan Poe, Sara Payson Willis Parton, Harriet Jacobs, Louisa May Alcott, and Emily Dickinson.
ENGL 536 – Writing by Women
CRN 26174
C. Okafor

This class explores various themes in critical approaches to literature composed by women writers, especially those whose works have been underrepresented in the literary canon.

ENGL 580Z – Old English
CRN 25780
Bill Woods

ENGL 590 – Senior Seminar: The Calamitous 14th Century
CRN 25764
Bill Woods

The fourteenth century in England was an ironic reflection of modern times:  a time of war, plague, rebellion and the assassination of King Richard II, yet also a century of rapid economic development, advances in scientific theory, and the strengthening of the central authority of the English king.  This conflicted era produced the high art of the English Middle Ages, including Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the works of William Langland and the (anonymous) Gawain-poet, where individual sensibility emerges powerfully for the first time, asserting itself against a background of social diversity, changing gender roles, and the rise of the middle class.  We will pursue these and other developments by examining a few literary and historical works in depth, leaving time for thorough reading and discussion of each work.

Cantor, Norman.  In the Wake of the Plague (Perennial)
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales, ed. Biedler (Bantam)
Borroff, Marie, trans.  Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, and Pearl (Norton)
Cawley, ed.  Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays.  Everyman.
Froissart, Jean. Chronicles, trans. Brereton (Penguin)
Gies, Joseph and Frances. Life in a Medieval City (Harper and Row)
Huizinga, Johan. The Waning of the Middle Ages (Dover)
Langland, William. Piers Plowman, trans. Donaldson (Norton)                    
Power, Eileen. Medieval People (Barnes and Noble)

ENGL 680 – Theory and Practice in Composition
CRN 25772
Danielle Koupf

This course introduces students to theories of rhetoric and writing, major research questions in the field of composition studies, and best practices for teaching writing in schools and colleges. We will investigate writing processes, analyze varieties and examples of school writing, and hone our own writing skills by drafting, revising, and evaluating our own and others’ work. As we read significant publications in the field, we will continually consider the relationship between theory and classroom practice. Assignments will give students experience reading challenging pedagogical and theoretical texts; posing complex and worthwhile questions about the teaching of writing; performing research; drafting course materials for current or future writing classes; reading instructional texts critically; and responding effectively to student writing.