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DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2015

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature
CRN 15974
Staff

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 15976
Monique Richardson

Wailing Women and Angry Men; Madness in American Literature

This course will focus on madness in American literature and examine how the ever-changing cultural understanding of mental illness has affected literary representations of the same. We will explore this topic through the reading of American fiction, poetry, and theatre and discuss how the lines historically drawn between sanity and insanity reflect the way Americans have viewed issues such as conformity, isolation and PTSD. Our survey will take us from 1892 to 1948 and will include authors such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams.

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature
CRN 15977
Staff

ENGL 230 - Exploring Literature (Westside)
CRN 15979
Lael Ewy

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 15985
Staff

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 15987
Staff

ENGL 232 – Themes in American Literature
CRN 15988
Staff

ENGL 232L –Asian American Fiction
CRN 16563
Mary Sherman

Asian Americans represent a large and diverse group of people who, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, have emigrated to the United States in search of political freedom and economic security. These immigrants have contributed a rich body of literature, greatly varied in both style and content, to the American cultural canon as they have struggled with issues of identity formation, assimilation and interacial/intercultural relationships, and cross-generational, gender, and class conflicts. As we read both novels and memoirs that offer compelling views of the challenges faced by these immigrants, we will attempt to develop a better understanding of the historical and social contexts in which these accounts were written and of the continually changing nature of Asian American identity. We will also explore the artistic characteristics of the works we read as a reflection of both the cultural and individual identities of their authors.

ENGL 232P Images of Women in Literature
CRN 15984
Kerry Jones

This course will focus on the portrayal of women in American Literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, and will include works by Kate Chopin, D.H. Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood, and others. What can we say about how women are portrayed? What has changed, and what has stayed the same? Does a work about the “female experience” (whatever that may be) differ from the male experience?

ENGL 273 – Science Fiction
CRN 15990
J. Jones

A survey of important and representative works of science fiction (or speculative fiction); analyzing and appreciating important themes, ideas, and tropes of the genre. Online.

ENGL 285 – Introduction to Creative Writing
CRN 15993
Margaret Dawe

An introductory course; the techniques and practice of imaginative writing in its varied forms, primarily literary poetry and fiction. Prerequisite: ENGL 101, 102.

ENGL 285 – Introduction to Creative Writing
CRN 15994
Margaret Dawe

ENGL 301 – Fiction Writing
CRN 15995
Staff

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

ENGL 303 – Poetry Writing
CRN 15996
Albert Goldbarth

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.

ENGL 310 – Nature of Poetry
CRN 16043
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 who has these universal motivations and experiences can write poetry; 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 315 – Intro English Linguistics
CRN 16044
Tina Bennett

Introduction to linguistic principles, including phonological and grammatical concepts.

ENGL 315 – Intro English Linguistics
CRN 16046
Tina Bennett

Introduction to linguistic principles, including phonological and grammatical concepts.

ENGL 322 – Origins of Western Lit
CRN 16049
Cynthia Maxwell

This course will use Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Face to examine ancient and medieval epics, like the Ramayana and Sundiata, ancient and Renaissance drama, like Oedipus and The Tempest, and texts that look toward the emergence of the novel, like The Arabian Nights and The Tale of the Gengi. Class assignments will include two short papers, two presentations, journal entries and a midterm exam.

ENGL 330 – Nature of Fiction
CRN 16050
Chris Brooks

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 330 – Nature of Fiction
CRN 16051
Kerry Jones

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 16053
Christopher Brooks

Covers the primary writers in British literature from the beginnings through the 18th century. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 and, for students seeking general education credit, ENGL 230 or 232.

ENGL 361 – Major British Writers II
CRN 16054
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 around 1960. 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 16055
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 16056
Jean Griffith

Covers important works of American writers from the end of the 19th century to the present.

ENGL 401 – Fiction Workshop
CRN 16564
Staff

Advanced course. Manuscripts are critiqued to develop skill in writing, rewriting, and polishing literary fiction. Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 403 – Poetry Workshop
CRN 16057
Albert Goldbarth

Advanced course. Manuscripts are critiqued to develop skill in writing, rewriting, and polishing literary poetry. Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 515 – Shakespeare™, © 1593-1709
CRN
Fran Connor

William Shakespeare was a flesh-and-blood human being born in Stratford in 1564 who made a living as a shareholder in a London theatrical company for which he occasionally wrote and acted in plays.  He is most famous as a published author; his poems and plays appeared in print and circulated in manuscript throughout his lifetime. But Shakespeare was also a successful businessman who did not appear to be above allowing his authorial reputation to be used as a brand name to sell his (and his company's) poetic and theatrical ventures. After his death, the Shakespeare brand accrued other meanings–some consistent with Shakespeare's work, others not–as his plays and poems continued to circulate in an increasingly complex literary marketplace.

The course will focus on four works that appeared in several versions, editions, and/or adaptations during the period encompassing Shakespeare's first attributed published work (Venus and Adonis in 1593) and Nicholas Rowe's first modern collected edition of Shakespeare's plays in 1709: the plays Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, and The Tempest, and the narrative poem Lucrece (with a handful of shorter works as well). Comparing Shakespeare's versions of these works with subsequent rewritings and publications will both contribute to our understanding of Shakespeare and the literary gatekeepers (publishers, booksellers, critics, individual readers, etc) who used his work and fame to lend credibility to particular cultural and political interests. This will appeal to students interested in Shakespeare, book history, publishing, seventeenth-century English history, or the intersection of literature and commerce.

English 540—Introduction to Critical Theory
CRN 16059
Chris Brooks

Introduces students to critical literary theory. Topics may include readings in gender theory, historicism, psychoanalytical theory, cultural criticism, Marxism, reader-response theory and deconstruction. May also offer a survey of classical and early-modern critical methodologies from Plato to the formalist schools of the early 20th century. Where appropriate and with program coordinator approval, this class may be used as a special topics course.

ENGL 546 – English 546: Studies in Ethnic Literature: Native American Storytelling
CRN 16060
Jean Griffith

In The Truth about Stories, Thomas King writes that “stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous.” Our course in Native American storytelling will use King’s work of non-fiction as a lens through which to explore fiction as well as various other genres, such as poetry, autobiography, and the vast oral literature that predates and continues to inform Native American writing. In doing so, we will take up such questions as: why do we tell stories, and how are the stories we tell informed by who we are? What opportunities do written stories--an art form foreign to traditional tribal cultures--hold for Native Americans? How can a “foreign” form of expression articulate Indian sovereignty and self-preservation? How can stories be “dangerous?” Our exploration of such questions will consider the relationships between written and spoken texts, between history and literature, and between tradition and change. In addition to King’s book, we will read works by writers such as Momaday, Erdrich, Ortiz, Silko, and Alexie as well as earlier writers and storytellers.

Where appropriate and with program coordinator approval, this class may be used as a special topics course.

ENGL 580AA: Writing and Research for Engineers
CRN 16504
Danielle Koupf

This course will help strengthen advanced engineering students’ writing skills to prepare them for future research projects, such as publications, proposals, theses, and dissertations. Students will practice writing in their areas of interest with improved clarity, precision, grammatical correctness, and awareness of textual and generic conventions. This section of the course is designed for non-native speakers of English. It will devote increased attention to helping students recognize and correct their patterns of error, integrate outside sources into their writing, and understand principles of writing for publication.

ENGL 590 – Senior Seminar: Race, Empire, and Identity in British and Anglophone Literature
CRN 16070
TJ Boynton

During the late Victorian period, prevailing British ideas about race and empire came together to produce an evolutionary map of the world that defined the British as “civilized” and their imperial subjects as “primitive.”  This racial hierarchy left its imprint on the literatures of both the British and its subjects, and it can, to this day, still be detected in any text written within the reaches of the former Empire that concerns itself with matters of race. This course will track the gradual transformation of Victorian conceptions of race in these literatures, following them from the “scientific” texts that codified them through popular fictions of the “fin-de-siecle,” the innovative works of British modernism, the anti-imperial texts of early twentieth century Ireland, “postcolonial” texts of mid to late twentieth-century Africa, India, and the Caribbean, and the multicultural literature of present-day Britain. Our objective will be to trace the ways in which Victorian race theories have both shaped the identities of the British, their subjects, and former subjects, and also impacted the forms of British and postcolonial, “Anglophone” literatures. We shall, in short, seek to observe, in the changing forms of this literary history and its increasing estrangement from the imperialist worldview of Victorian society, the “devolution” of the British Empire into the postcolonial world of the present.

ENGL 680 – Theory and Practice in Composition
CRN 16071
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.