Fall 2014 Undergraduate Course Listings

Fall 2014 Undergraduate Course Listings

Fall 2014 Undergraduate Course Listings


ENGL 2100: Film Interpretation ENGL 3840: Adolescent Literature
ENGL 2110: Folklore and Mythology ENGL 4060: Style, Identity, and Persona
ENGL 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States ENGL 4060: Writing for Social Media
ENGL 2230: African-American Literature ENGL 4100: Women in Literature
ENGL 2520: Shakespeare ENGL 4150: Literary Theory and Criticism
ENGL 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing ENGL 4420: Studies in Drama
ENGL 3060: Rhetorc, Writing, and Culture ENGL 4440: Studies in the Novel
ENGL 3080: Quest for Self ENGL 4520: Shakespeare Seminar
ENGL 3120: Western World Literature ENGL 4790: Writing in the Secondary School
ENGL 3160: Storytellers ENGL 4800: Teaching Literature in Secondary Schools
ENGL 3200: American Literature I ENGL 4970: Writing in the Sciences
ENGL 3210: American Literature II ENGL 5300: Medieval Literature
ENGL 3300: British Literature I ENGL 5320: English Renaissance Literature
ENGL 3310: British Literature II ENGL 5340: Restoration and 18th-Century Literature
ENGL 3670: Advanced Poetry Writing ENGL 5380: Modern Literature
ENGL 3680: Playwriting ENGL 5660: Creative Writing Workshop--Fiction
ENGL 3700: Writing Creative Non-Fiction ENGL 5670: Creative Writing Workshop--Poetry
ENGL 3710: Structures of Modern English ENGL 5680: Creative Writing Workshop--Playwriting
ENGL 3720: Development of Modern English ENGL 5700: Creative Writing Workshop--Creative Non-Fiction
ENGL 3770: Language in the Multilingual Classroom ENGL 5740: Grammar in Teaching Writing
ENGL 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader  


English 2100: Film Interpretation

CRN: 42115
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00—2:50
CRN: 41018
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00—12:20
CRN: 41017
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00—12:20
Dr. Casey McKittrick

Film Interpretation is a course designed to acclimate students to thinking critically about the medium of cinema. In watching films of various genres, time periods, and nationalities, and learning critical vocabularies for assessing the cinematic experience, students will learn to discuss how narrative, sound, mise-en-scene, cinematography, and editing work together to produce meaning for the film spectator. Students will confront aesthetic, social, and ideological questions surrounding the production and reception of movies. Films may include, but are not limited to: Citizen Kane, Election, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Boogie Nights, Grand Illusion, Nosferatu, The Hours, Mildred Pierce, Rear Window, Vertigo, Higher Learning, and Rebel Without a Cause.


English 2110: Folklore and Mythology

CRN: 42442
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00—5:40
Dr. Mustafa Mirzeler

In this course students will explore the folklore and mythology of people who live in disparate parts of the world. In the world, past and present, what assuage the pain and suffering of people are the stories, the myths, and the imaginary worlds of the ancient storytellers. In reading the accounts of these storytellers, the students will enter into their magical worlds and experience the magical truth of storytelling as well as the magic of the words. In every age, human societies have produced their master storytellers who have moved tradition into new dispensations through the magic of words. They have exerted their influence on the present, giving it a mythic image in a traditional context.

The genius of these ancient storytellers can be traced in the traditional genres of the popular ballad and in the art forms of contemporary master storytellers and poets. In the work of these storytellers new myths arise from and intertwine with the old to create unique and inventive new worlds. Drawing from the contemporary folklore and mythology, this course historicizes and conceptualizes cultural and social contexts that produce folklore and myths around the world.


English 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States

CRN: 41020
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00—11:40
Dr. Nicolas Witschi

Through study of literary works (and, when possible, other artistic achievements or cultural artifacts) by members of the varied cultures which comprise the United States of America, this course considers the perspectives and sustaining values of these cultural groups and considers the challenges, problems, and opportunities of a pluralistic American society. The focus of this particular section will be on the ways in which specific regional expressions of cultural identity reflect upon and contribute to ideas about the U.S. as a set of communities. This course satisfies one (1) General Education requirement in Area III: The United States: Cultures And Issues.


English 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States

CRN: 41021
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00—1:40
Dr. Daneen Wardrop

In this course, we will discuss experiences and challenges of those from various cultural groups in the United States, as well as strategies for articulating and preserving cultural values within the larger society. Studying literatures and cultures of the United States through fiction and poetry, we’ll read works by authors such as Toni Morrison, Juno Diaz, Marilyn Chin, Louise Erdrich, Langston Hughes, Sandra Cisneros, and Sherman Alexie. Requirements for the class: papers, presentation, examination, and rigorous class participation.


English 2230: African-American Literature

CRN: 42447
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00—3:40
Dr. Scott Slawinski

In English 2230, we will take a chronological approach to African-American literature, beginning with the earliest texts available in the eighteenth century. We will trace the African-American experience from the slave trade through abolition, segregation, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and the contemporary era. We will touch on music and art from time to time, and ground our readings in historical context. The primary text for this class will be The Norton Anthology of African-American Literature (2nd edition); some readings outside the anthology will also be assigned. Students can tentatively plan to write at least two essays, complete at least one but possibly two exams, and take frequent reading quizzes.


English 2230: African-American Literature

CRN: 41022
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00—5:40
Dr. Casey McKittrick

This section of African American Literature examines predominantly 20th century African-American literary and cultural production. Students will become conversant with some of the social, political, and aesthetic questions bound up in Black authorship and readership. The focus for this course is on the novel, with a foray into essays and short stories. Authors may include, but are not limited to, W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Ntozake Shange.


English 2520: Shakespeare

CRN: 41023
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00—5:40
Dr. Margaret Dupuis

See course catalog or contact instructor.


English 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing

CRN: 41200
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00—1:40
CRN: 42448
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00—5:40
Dr. Charlotte Thralls

English 3050 is a course designed to develop your confidence and competency in written communication. Whatever your future career plans or your current, favorite media for communicating (print, digital, twitter, Facebook or other social media), you are likely to need strong writing skills. Numerous studies, for example, show that in many professions, communication skills are ranked at the top (first or second place) of the most valued qualities for success. Many of you might be surprised at how central writing is in the day-to-day life of most professionals. To help prepare you for the challenges ahead, this class will expand your writing repertoires beyond the academic essay or research paper. Through various class projects, you will

  • Become familiar with the formats and rhetorical challenges of various practical genres and document formats (memos, reports, manuals, web text, visual displays and designs, etc.)
  • Develop skill for anticipating (and addressing) the needs and reactions of audiences to communications in different contexts
  • Learn the fundamentals of reader-centered communication, including the fundamentals of document design and readability used to create well-crafted documents
  • Learn about some documents and communication habits typical for professionals in your discipline

The course is held in a computer lab with plenty of opportunity for personalized help with course projects.


English 3060: Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture

CRN: 45074
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00—1:15
CRN: 44312
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30—4:45
Dr. Thomas Kent

It is not uncommon to hear rhetoric used as a derogatory term, as if rhetoric is synonymous with deceitful and flashy language, standing in stark opposition to nonrhetoric, which is clear and honest. While rhetoric can certainly be used to manipulate, the term encompasses a much broader meaning and a rich history going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Simply put, rhetoric is the study of the various signs and symbols that make human communication possible.

A central focus of the course will be how rhetoric functions in contemporary cultural life, giving significance, meaning, and value to day-to-day practices in consumer, corporate, organizational, and popular culture. The overarching course goal is to help you gain knowledge about human communication and how it works, so that you have greater insight into your own communication practices and can better assess the effects and consequences of the communications around you.

Through class readings and course projects, you’ll have the opportunity to study rhetoric in written, oral, and visual forms representing a range of genres and media. Possibilities include literature, business and professional documents, advertising, television, film and video, music, blogs, websites, social media, and more. We will study some of these rhetorical forms together, but for major course papers, you’ll have the chance to choose rhetorical forms of particular interest to you.

Students can expect to

  • read a range of articles and essays that define rhetoric and rhetorical concepts, explain rhetorical theories, and model effective rhetorical analyses
  • conduct research about rhetorical artifacts
  • synthesize and evaluate your research in writing: two short (3-4 pages) papers and one longer (10-12 pages) paper.


English 3080: Quest for Self

CRN: 45823
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30—10:45
Dr. Philip Egan

This section of Quest for Self will examine principally two kinds of works. Early in the semester we will read a number of “initiation” stories and some short plays, which treat young people who are either confronting a new situation or are passing from one developmental stage to another. In the middle and later portions of the course, we will consider a number of longer works focused primarily upon adolescents and young adults. We will also study some theories of psychological development to see how they enrich (or even dispute) development as it is portrayed in the literature.


English 3120: Western World Literature

CRN: 41233
Wednesdays, 4:00—6:30
Professor Judith Rypma

This course examines literature by writers from non-English speaking countries in the Western World: French, German, Scandinavian, Czech, Romanian, etc. There will be a slight emphasis on Russian writers, including the works of Gogol, Chekhov, Pushkin, and various poets. Assigned works will include short stories and poems from throughout Western and Eastern Europe and South America, as well as Ibsen's play, "The Dollhouse," and Bulgakov's novel, "The Master and Margarita." Students will have an opportunity to develop a portfolio that showcases the writing of one writer and his/her works (choices will include, for example, Goethe, Flaubert, Milosz, Solzenitsyn, Marquez, Havel, Kafka, de Maupassant, Camus). A midterm and final will test your critical reading skills.


English 3160: Storytellers

CRN: 45821
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00—12:15
Dr. Mustafa Mirzeler

This course introduces students to the richness and variety of oral and literary traditions in various regions of the non-Western world, in Africa, Central Asia, Ancient Mesopotamia, and broader Middle East. In this course students will explore the art of the great storytellers. In every age, the non-Western world has produced its master storytellers who have moved tradition into new dispensations through their narratives. They have exerted their influence on the present, giving it a mythic image in a traditional context. These storytellers use the magic world and the word to inform, enrich our humanity.


English 3200: American Literature I

CRN: 42615
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30—4:45
Dr. John Saillant

Survey of American literature from the planting of the colonies to the Civil War. Writings studied include poetry, autobiography, sermons, fiction, essays, and political documents. Student assignments include three essays.


English 3200: American Literature I

CRN: 41236
Tuesdays, 4:00—6:30
Dr. Daneen Wardrop

In English 3200, we will encounter a variety of American literatures of different genres. Our readings will include works such as the Native American tale, Puritan poem, slave narrative, gothic tale, Transcendentalist essay, frontier humor, nurse narrative, and many others. Some of the authors whose works we investigate will be the following: Cabeza de Vaca, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Harriet Jacobs, and Emily Dickinson. Our objective will be to read American literature from beginnings up to the Civil War, aiming for both coverage and acute comprehension. Because the course is a survey course our readings will be fast and furious but not, it is to be hoped, without depth. Requirements include spirited class participation, group presentation, responsible reading, essay writing, mid-term and final examinations.


English 3210: American Literature II

CRN: 41239
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00—3:15
Dr. Nicolas Witschi

This is the second course in a two-course sequence that surveys the history of American Literature from its beginnings to the present. By examining a variety of texts (short stories, essays, autobiographies, poems, plays, and two novels), we will develop our understanding of these texts as literary forms and learn about the historical and cultural contexts in which they exist, which includes both when they were first published and now. We will pay particular attention to the issues and questions raised by the formal and thematic intersections of Realism, Local Color, and Regionalism; to how the techniques developed here are employed in genres such as autobiography; and to how American Modernism reacts to and adapts them. In short, we’re going to have fun reading around in a diverse but representative selection of American literature from the late-19th- and 20th- centuries.


English 3300: British Literature I

CRN: 44202
Thursdays, 4:00—6:30
Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn

This course surveys British literature from its beginnings to the eighteenth century. You will learn about the changing cultural conditions under which early British literature was composed and read; the significant ideas, worldviews, and conflicts that inform medieval and early modern literature; and the origins and development of traditional literary forms. Course requirements will include midterm and final examinations, regular reading quizzes, recitation of a short poem, and at least one interpretive essay.


English 3310: British Literature II

CRN: 41250
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30—10:45
Dr. Cynthia Klekar

See course catalog or contact instructor.


English 3670: Advanced Poetry Writing

CRN: 41268
Tuesdays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Nancy Eimers

This is a poetry writing workshop and reading course. We'll read poems from anthologies and poetry collections, attend poetry readings, talk and write about contemporary poetics, and look closely at the work of class members. We'll explore from various angles that moment when, as poet Russell Edson, says, "the mysterious other life begins to send its message."


English 3680: Playwriting

CRN: 41278
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30—4:45
Dr. Steve Feffer

See course catalog or contact instructor.


English 3700: Writing Creative Non-Fiction

CRN: 42249
Tuesdays, 4:00—6:30
Professor Richard Katrovas

See course catalog or contact instructor.


English 3710: Structures of Modern English

CRN: 41292
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00—3:40
Dr. Paul Johnston

The course introduces students to the idea of English (and language in general) as a multi-leveled, patterned, structured system, a vehicle for speakers to produce utterances and to communicate in a social context. Participants learn the terms and concepts needed to study each level of this structure: phonetics/phonology (sounds), the morphology (meaningful word parts), lexical studies and semantics (words and meanings), syntax (sentences), and pragmatics (texts and whole utterances). Students will also study how writers of literature use these levels of language to create effects and patterns that guide readers toward certain interpretations of their texts.


English 3720: Development of Modern English

CRN: 41293
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00—12:40
Dr. Lisa Minnick

From the catalog: English 3720 traces the development of modern English from its beginnings to the present, examining historic and linguistic influences on change in spoken and written English. It explores theories of language development, with emphasis on their practical implications.

Students who complete the course successfully will acquire the following:

  • Language description skills, including proficiency in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Working knowledge of terminology used in the discipline of linguistics.
  • Understanding of the external (social, political, intellectual) influences on language change.
  • Understanding of the internal (linguistic) mechanisms of language change.
  • Awareness of how standard varieties are authorized and institutionalized.
  • Understanding of English as a global lingua franca and the implications of its influence.


English 3770: Language in the Multilingual Classroom

CRN: 41294
Wednesdays, 6:00—8:30
Dr. Karen Vocke

Second language acquisition theory and pedagogy form the foundation for ENGL 3770, Language in the Multilingual Classroom. Educators today face increasing numbers of students for whom English is a second language. This course provides a foundation in second language acquisition theory, sociocultural approaches to language diversity, teaching strategies for linguistically diverse students, and current issues in the field. For additional information, contact Dr. Karen Vocke, karen.vocke@wmich.edu.


English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader

CRN: 41295
Tuesdays, 6:30—9:50
CRN: 42967
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00—1:40
Professor Judith Rypma

English 3830 focuses on criticism of works for children in grades 4 through 8, with a focus on critical thinking and close literary analysis. Works read include a variety of novels, epics, myths, poems, biographies, etc. This a lecture and discussion class, and serves as a content course for both education and non-education majors. It also fits Distribution Area 2.

Texts will include The Ravenmaster's Secret, Percy Jackson's Lightning Thief, Spinelli's Eggs, Nikki Grimes' Bronx MasqueradeThe Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Devil's ArithmeticThe Giver, and Tuck Everlasting. A variety of handouts of myths, hero tales, and poems will also be provided.


English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader

CRN: 44451
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00—11:40
Dr. Gwen Tarbox

English 3830, Literature for the Intermediate Reader, is a survey course that will focus on these questions: 1) What are the distinguishing features of contemporary texts written for children, aged 9-12? 2) How has the representation of childhood altered over the last two hundred years in texts written for children and what do these changes in representation tell us about adults’ anxieties regarding children and their behavior? 3) What forms of critical analysis have been brought to bear upon children's literature and how can they enrich our understanding of the genre? You can learn more about the course at www.gatarbox.wix.com/home

Here is a copy of the tentative text list. Students are expected to rent or to buy all of their texts and to bring them to class:

Blume, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963
DiCamillo and Campbell, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Gaiman, Coraline
Hintz and Tribunella, Reading Children’s Literature: A Critical Introduction
Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Vol I.
L’Engle and Larson. A Wrinkle in Time (the graphic novel version)
Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sloan, Counting by 7s

Assignments for ENGL 3830 will include quizzes, a mid-term and a final exam, homework assignments, and a poster presentation.


English 3840: Adolescent Literature

CRN: 42769
Mondays, 4:00—6:30
Dr. Gwen Tarbox

English 3840, Adolescent Literature, focuses on an analysis of literature for adolescents from a variety of critical and culturally diverse perspectives. It emphasizes the adolescent experience as reflected in literature, the history of adolescent literature and media, and the distinguishing features of classical and contemporary texts.

Students will write a short essay, take a mid-term and a final exam, and engage in discussion of texts, both in class and online. Students will watch documentaries and films, and they will read a number of primary texts. You can learn more at www.gatarbox.wix.com/home

Here is a copy of the tentative text list. Students are expected to rent or to buy all of their texts and to bring them to class:

Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Anderson, Feed
Blume, Forever
Collins, The Hunger Games
Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Hicks, Friends with Boys
Levithan, Every Day
Rowell, Eleanor and Park
Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


English 4060: Style, Identity, and Persona

CRN: 44203
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30—4:45
Dr. Brian Gogan

Impact—the rhetorical effectiveness of a given text—depends upon decisions both large and small. This course considers the decisions that accompany the production of texts in terms of the rhetorical concepts of style, identification, and persona. We will develop our own understandings of these three rhetorical concepts by reading across rhetorical studies scholarship, trade handbooks, and corporate manuals. We will also conduct empirical research on style, identification, and persona in professional settings. Finally, we will address a situated need (either your own need or a community partner’s need) by composing a persona profile, an identity package, and a style guide. During this course you will:

  • Apply theories of rhetoric, writing, and design to professional communication
  • Compose a professional persona profile, identity package, and style guide to meet a situated need
  • Assess the effectiveness of your compositions through user research


English 4060: Writing for Social Media

CRN: 45645
Tuesdays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Maria Gigante

Students will participate in different online social networks and critically examine them to explore the available means of persuasion in digital forums. Issues that are central to this course include how identity and ethos are negotiated in social media networks, and how knowledge is made, accepted, and distributed. Through completing multimodal course projects, students will learn about the continuously evolving tools required for participation in online communities, society, and public discourse. Readings, research, class discussion, and lab work will assist students in creating their multimodal projects for this course.


English 4100: Women in Literature

CRN: 45646
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00—3:40
Dr. Jil Larson

See course catalog or contact instructor.


English 4150: Literary Theory and Criticism

CRN: 41203
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00—5:40
Dr. Christopher Nagle

This course will introduce students to the most important and influential areas of contemporary literary theory and criticism. Since the question of what is literary is often at the heart of this work, for our purposes literary will be construed broadly enough to encompass a range of cultural practices--practices which involve reading not merely books and other conventional textual artifacts, but also those texts and practices of everyday life (the psychic, the social, the artistic, the economic, etc.) for which criticism and theory provide important interpretive tools as well.

Although our focus will be on 20th-century trends, we will engage with the most foundational modern influences (e.g., Freud, Marx, Nietzsche) on contemporary critical inquiry--both literary and cultural--and we will seek a balance between more difficult theoretical texts and more user-friendly literary criticism, adding some key works of literature to the mix as well. The range of critical approaches will be wide, reflecting the diversity of critical thinking in a globalized, multicultural world.

A word of caution: the readings for this class will often be dense, abstract, and difficult--to some, it might seem more like a course in philosophy than one in literature. While one of our considerations will be how such distinctions are made, these two traditions are intimately and unavoidably related, and students should be prepared for the kinds of challenges that deeply speculative--and often provocative--texts afford.

To this end, students will need to bring to this class a mind open to challenging and sometimes troubling questions of politics and aesthetics--in short, of *valuation*, of what we value and why we do so--and must be willing to work hard to come to conclusions of their own. The expectation, in short, is that you will consider work not merely as the labor involved in completing your course assignments, but rather in Michel Foucault's sense, in which "to work is to undertake to think something other than what one has thought before." This will be our criteria for success in the course.


English 4420: Studies in Drama

CRN: 41211
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00—11:40
Dr. Grace Tiffany

In this class we will read and discuss eight plays beginning with Aeschylus’ Oresteia and ending with Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. We will also watch, and do some spoken staged-readings of, scenes from these plays. Our focus will be on foundational dramatic traditions which underlie all modern drama in the Western world. This will entail explorations of theater history in the fourth century B.C. in Ancient Greece, and in the late-medieval period and early seventeenth century in England.

Aeschylus, The Oresteia
Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle
Euripides, Medea
Anon., Everyman
Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Shakespeare, Macbeth
Shakespeare, Hamlet
Webster, The Duchess of Malfi

Assignments: three one-page papers, one 8-10-page research paper, final exam

This is a baccalaureate-level writing class and fulfills that requirement for English majors.


English 4440: Studies in the Novel

CRN: 41225
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00—1:40
Dr. Todd Kuchta

The novel is today’s most widely read literary form. It's also the youngest, having emerged in the eighteenth century from a mixed bag of genres: histories, travel journals, autobiographies, memoirs, and letters. As such, the novel grew up with something of an identity crisis—not only because of its hybrid origins, but also because it mixed fiction with fact. Accused of lacking both the creativity of poetry and the reality of prose, the early novel quickly became the black sheep of the literary family. As one critic wrote in 1779, “If it is true, that the present age is more corrupt than the preceding, the great multiplication of Novels probably contributes to its degeneracy.”

Over time, however, the novel learned to make a virtue out of its diverse ancestry and dubious reputation. This course will examine how the novel adapted itself to different social needs, becoming, as many critics now argue, the art form best suited to understanding particular individuals and their social environment. In surveying the novel from the eighteenth century to today, we will draw primarily from the British and American canons. We'll start with early forms like satire and the gothic, then move to examples of nineteenth century realism, twentieth century modernism, and contemporary postmodern and postcolonial fiction. We’ll also likely examine some different critical methods of interpreting the novel.

As a course on the novel that is also designated as a Baccalaureate writing course, this class will require a great deal of reading and writing. Expect to read between 50 and 150 pages for each class. You will write three 5-6 page papers (one of which you will revise), participate in a 15-20 minute class presentation, and write regular responses.


English 4520: Shakespeare Seminar

CRN: 42092
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00—1:40
Dr. Grace Tiffany

We’ll read and discuss seven of Shakespeare’s plays and experiment with scene readings. We’ll also watch play-scenes on video.

Assignments: three very short (2-page) papers (10% each of grade), one 8-to-10-pg. researched paper (25%), final exam (25%), class participation (20%). For written work, students should familiarize themselves with the policies and procedures in the undergraduate catalogue that pertain to academic honesty. “Class participation” means reading carefully, showing up, coming to class prepared to share comments and questions, and listening with respectful attention to others’ comments and questions.

This is a discussion- and writing-intensive course which may fulfill the baccalaureate-level writing requirement of the student’s curriculum.

Plays and works: As You Like It;some sonnets,The Merchant of Venice; Henry IV, part 1; Henry V; King Lear; Othello; The Winter’s Tale. Texts: Folger and Evans editions.


English 4790: Writing in the Secondary School

CRN: 41678
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00—11:40
Dr. Jonathan Bush

Built around concepts of 'best practice,' this course includes intensive study and practice of all aspects of teaching writing at middle and secondary schools and will focus on concepts of audience, purpose, and genre as they apply to the processes of writing. We will practice all the skills that make an effective writing teacher - planning, development, response, grading, and classroom activities that support students’ writing processes. We will also touch on grammar, technology, and the effect of Common Core Standards on classroom practices. The course typically concludes with a practical demonstration of teaching, either at WMU or in local high school or middle school classrooms. Students will leave the course with a firm background in teaching writing.


English 4800: Teaching Literature in Secondary Schools

CRN: 41679
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00—1:40
Dr. Allen Webb

This section of English 4800 will ground students in traditional approaches to literature pedagogy while simultaneously focusing on reform movements in literature instruction including reader response, cultural studies, and the digital literacy. After the first part of the course led by the instructor, students will take significant responsibility for course leadership as we explore approaches to teaching literature.

For over a generation the reader response movement has generated reform in secondary English teaching. Yet, in confronting a wide range of students, content questions, and social and cultural issues, reader response approaches fall short. Potential answers and new directions for English teaching have emerged under the umbrella of "cultural studies." This course contends that the starting point for curriculum and teaching methodology for teaching literature is addressing what literary works are about, what literary works mean, as well as how they mean, in historical, cultural, political and social contexts including those of the student and the world we live in today.

By focusing on difficult and potentially controversial cultural studies curricular themes during the student-led portion of the course, future teachers will gain understanding of issues involved in teaching literature at the secondary level, see Course Goals. You may also want to review the WMU teacher education Program Goals, which are the basis for the evaluation of intern teaching.

Changes in information technology are offering to extend and reshape the teaching of literature. The inherited cultural archive is now available in digital format on-line and with complementary resources that far exceed what is available in textbooks. A wide range of digital tools and resources for reading, writing, and thinking about literature are now available.

Class will be held in a new, wireless, laptop classroom in Brown Hall specifically designed for English education courses. This room will allow us to integrate technology into literature teaching in a "classroom of the future." Our class will be organized by our on-line syllabus that also serves as an electronic, hyperlinked, textbook.

All students will develop and publish their own teaching website, both a portfolio of work and a real-world working site for future teaching.

A significant portion of the class will be student-led, as we explore the development of response-based, cultural studies literature teaching within the context of NCTE and the State of Michigan standards, content expectations, and model curriculums.

As the capstone experience for English Education majors, this course entails an exciting variety of professional activities and responsibilities. Students are expected to attend a professional English teacher's conference, for example the MCTE sponsored "Bright Ideas Conference" in Lansing on Saturday April 10 or the Michigan Reading Association Conference, in Detroit March 20-22. You should also join NCTE, MCTE, and/or MRA and read regularly the English Journal or Voices from the Middle. The English Companion Ning is a remarkable resource with over 17,000 members.

For further information consult allenwebb.net.


English 4970: Writing in the Sciences

CRN: 45649
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30—4:45
Dr. Maria Gigante

This is a writing-intensive course designed specifically for science majors who want to learn how scientists construct arguments for their peers and for non-expert publics. Students will learn to critically analyze scholarship in their fields and to create their own projects through various media.


English 5300: Medieval Literature

CRN: 44898
Wednesdays, 4:00—6:20
Dr. Jana Schulman

In this survey of medieval literature in translation, we will examine the significance of transvestitism or cross-dressing. Beginning with Statius's unfinished work, the Achilleid, which describes Achilles dressed as a girl and learning what it means to be a girl or act like a girl (so as not to be discovered), we will read several Old English saints' lives where the saint dresses as a man to practice Christian behavior and live a Christian life; we will read Viglundar saga, where the heroine dresses up as a man to thwart the men who wish to rape her; and we will read the Roman de Silence, where Silence, born female, is raised male. In addition to these primary texts, we will read various scholarly works on cross-dressing, sexuality, and transvestitism. Students will write two papers, one a close reading and the other a research-driven one. NB: This is a preliminary list of texts.


English 5320: English Renaissance Literature

CRN: 45648
Fridays, 2:00—4:30
Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn

This course surveys English Renaissance literature from Utopia to Paradise Lost, with an emphasis on poetics. Sidney’s Defence of Poesy will serve as a touchstone text. Other readings will include parts of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, lyric poetry by Wyatt, Donne, Herbert, Herrick and Marvell, drama by Ben Jonson and possibly others, and critical or theoretical essays. I will assume that students have previously studied at least one or two Shakespeare plays. Coursework includes a long, researched seminar paper, taught with an emphasis on the writing process. We will read the primary texts in a modern spelling edition, but students should plan to spend at least 6 hours per week reading and preparing for class. The reading load will be lighter while the class is working on the seminar papers.


English 5340: Restoration and 18th-Century Literature

“Gender Play/Gender Panic”* in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture
CRN: 45663
Mondays, 4:00—6:20
Dr. Cynthia Klekar

This course will examine eighteenth-century British literature and culture in the context of the “sex/gender” system that emerged during the period. Eighteenth-century England played a crucial role in shaping our modern conceptions of gender. Marked in its early decades by a climate of “gender play”—the celebration of and experimentation with notions of femininity and masculinity—the period experienced a dramatic shift in the last two decades to one of “gender panic”—an anxiety that challenged gender transgressions and forced are definition of gender as fixed and limited. Examining this revision of gender will relocate the origins of our modern notions of gender difference from the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the eighteenth century.

Masqueraders, Amazons, female soldiers, pirates, fops, and cross dressers will all appear in our pages as we trace the shifting notions of self and identity that characterize the literature. We will begin with late seventeenth-century sex comedies and the imaginative spaces of sex and gender play. We will then read drama, novels, and poetry from early and mid eighteenth-century writers who explore and exploit cross dressing—through the theatrical practice of the “breeches parts,” narrative technique, and poetic persona. Near the end of the semester we will focus on the last two decades of the period. Paying close attention to the wide-ranging social, cultural, and political tensions of the time, we will discuss how the limits of identity were redefined. At the same time, we will encounter the conditions that established gender as the rigid category that would take cultural root in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

In addition to the important literary texts of the period, we will read work in literary theory and social history. Students will give an in-class presentation (multimedia presentations are welcome) and write a number of short assignments that will contribute to a final seminar paper. The final paper will require independent research. The paper may take a multidisciplinary approach and may make connections between eighteenth-century literature and modern literature and/or theories of sex and gender.

Our primary readings may include William Wycherley; John Wilmot, earl of Rochester; Aphra Behn; Daniel Defoe; Bernard Mandeville; Eliza Haywood; Jonathan Swift; Alexander Pope; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; John Cleland; Maria Edgeworth; Mary Wollstonecraft; Hannah More; anonymous tracts; journal and diaries; and biographies.

*Wahrman, Dror. The Making of the Modern Self: Identity and Culture in Eighteenth-Century England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.


English 5380: Modern Literature

CRN: 45647
Thursdays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Todd Kuchta

Literature of the early twentieth century is usually dubbed “modern” or "modernist," adjectives that have come to mean brashly experimental, highly self-reflexive, and notoriously complex. This course will examine the range of stylistic innovations heralded by modern writers, considering how their writing both reflects and responds to the dramatic cultural and historical changes of the early twentieth century. While we will focus on writers from the British canon, they represent a broad range of contexts. As critic Terry Eagleton once put it, “the seven most significant writers of twentieth-century English literature have been a Pole, three Americans, two Irishmen and an Englishman.” We will focus on most of these authors—Polish-born Joseph Conrad, American expat T.S. Eliot, Irishmen James Joyce and W.B. Yeats, and Englishman E.M. Forster. We will also consider works by Rebecca West, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett. Students will write regular brief responses, 1-2 essays, take a final exam, and be expected to participate actively and regularly.  


English 5660: Creative Writing Workshop—Fiction

CRN: 41266
Fridays, 2:00—4:30
Professor Thisbe Nissen

This course focuses on students’ original short fiction, and on close reading of published work in the genre. Students train to be close readers, careful writers, and attentive editors. Our goal will be effective creative and critical articulation: thoughtful and artful production and critique. This course involves substantial amounts of reading and writing, both critical and creative.


English 5670: Creative Writing Workshop—Poetry

CRN: 43729
Mondays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Nancy Eimers

Art, says poet Carl Phillips, “is its own signature--irreplicable, strange, never seen before, not seeable again elsewhere in the future.” In this advanced poetry writing workshop, we will spend the semester exploring how, in poetry, this might be true. We’ll examine the “signatures” of contemporary poets by reading three contemporary collections, and each week we will consider the individual signatures of class members by workshopping class poems.


English 5680: Creative Writing Workshop—Playwriting

CRN: 43730
Mondays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Steve Feffer

This is a workshop in the writing, critical reading and presentation of original drama. We will spend most of our time in class on the presenting and workshopping of your work. However, we will also have a few classes where a portion of the session will be devoted to playwriting exercises that will help you develop your existing work, start something new, or to integrate into your own writing process. Additionally, we will have a couple of days of "ice breaking" and additional play development work. Most weeks you will be assigned readings in contemporary drama for consideration of its structure, style, and theatricality, as well as other elements. The emphasis in the class will be the process by which your playwriting ultimately is about writing theatre. To this end: We will work with actors and directors who will assist you with the readings, staged readings or productions of your work--as elaborate or basic as you need--as well as taking part in the discussion of it in order to introduce you to the process by which through performance, drama emerges as theatre.


English 5700: Creative Writing Workshop—Creative Non-Fiction

CRN: 45651
Mondays, 6:30—9:00
Professor Richard Katrovas

See course catalog or contact instructor.


English 5740: Grammar in Teaching Writing

CRN: 45650
Thursdays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Karen Vocke

English teachers have traditionally been thought of as grammar police, ready to fine those who break the grammar "laws."  The truth is that many teachers are actually unsure about  how to teach it.  This course won't provide quick and easy answers, but we will consider how grammar has been taught historically and examine research studies that have influenced the teaching of writing and grammar. We will explore a range of grammar-related classroom strategies and structures that can support and strengthen student writing. For more information, contact Dr. Karen Vocke, karen.vocke@wmich.edu.


Department of English
6th floor Sprau Tower
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331 USA
(269) 387-2572 | (269) 387-2562 Fax