Undergraduate Course Listings - Spring 2013

Undergraduate Course Listings - Spring 2013

Undergraduate Course Listings - Spring 2013

ENGL 2100: Film Interpretation 3770: Language and Learning in Multilingual Classrooms
ENGL 2110: Folklore and Mythology ENGL 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader
ENGL 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States ENGL 3840: Adolescent Literature
ENGL 2230: African-American Literature ENGL 4060: Topics in Textual Production
ENGL 2420: Shakespeare ENGL 4150: Literary Theory and Criticism
ENGL 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing ENGL 4160: Women in Literature
ENGL 3060: Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture ENGL 4400: Studies in Verse
ENGL 3140: African Literature ENGL 4420: Studies in Drama
ENGL 3200: American Literature I ENGL 4440: Studies in the Novel
ENGL 3210: American Literature II ENGL 4720: Language Variation in American English
ENGL 3300: British Literature I ENGL 4800: Teaching Literature in the Secondary Schools
ENGL 3310: British Literature II ENGL 5220: Literary Linguistics
ENGL 3690: Writing in the Elementary School ENGL 5320: English Renaissance Literature
ENGL 3710: Structures of Modern English ENGL 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Fiction
ENGL 3720: Development of Modern English ENGL 5670: Creative Writing Workshop, Poetry

 

 

English 2100: Film Interpretation

Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 - 12:20; Brown 2028
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 12:20; Brown 1028
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 2:50; Knaus 3512
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

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Knaus 2452
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

Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Brown 3035
Dr. John Saillant

Ethnicity and cultural variety in American literature from the colonial period to the present, beginning with written accounts of conflict between natives and Europeans, continuing through white literary exercise of hegemony, and treating a variety of racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Our readings treat not only "ethnic experience" but also reflect on the essential question, What is ethnicity?


English 2230: African-American Literature

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:40; Brown 3037
Dr. John Saillant

This course surveys African-American literature from the era of the slave trade to the present. Written work includes three essays.


English 2230: African-American Literature

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 - 5:40; Brown 4025
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 2420: Shakespeare

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:40; Brown 3048
Dr. Grace Tiffany

This class is an introduction to the college-level study of Shakespeare and is classified as a general education class. In it we will discuss and see portions, on video, of six of Shakespeare’s best-known plays. While we will treat these plays as works designed for performance, careful reading of their dialogue will be necessary in order for them to be understood, and so we will go slowly. Some historical background of the age of Shakespeare will be provided throughout to enhance understanding of the plays. In addition to the reading, assignments include six in class short-essay tests (worth 10% each of final grade), a final exam (worth 20% of final grade), and class participation in the form of attendance, attentive listening, and discussion (20%).

The final exam is optional and, if taken, guaranteed either to raise or, at worst, not to hurt your grade. (If it threatens to lower your grade the final exam grade will be dropped.) If students want their grades to be averaged from their class participation and six earlier test grades and to skip the final, that is permissible.

Extra credit (one project) is possible in exchange for a presentation, a memorized speech from Shakespeare, a written review of a Renaissance drama performance, or a dramatic performance done for the class. Students are responsible for designing and proposing such extra-credit projects.

Plays to be read: Love’s Labor’s Lost; The Merchant of Venice; Henry the Eighth; Hamlet; Antony and Cleopatra; The Tempest.

Editions: The Folger and (for The Tempest) Cengage editions are recommended, but any modern editions that contain line numbers and do not contain paraphrases of the original language in contemporary English are acceptable.


English 2420: Shakespeare

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:40; Brown 4010
Dr. Margaret Dupuis

See catalog description or contact instructor.


English 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:40; Brown 1045
Dr. Thomas Kent

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 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing

Mondays, 5:30 - 8:50; Brown 1045
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

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 - 1:45; Brown 1045
Dr. Brian Gogan

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 3060: Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 - 12:15; Brown 1045
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 3140: African Literature

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Brown 4037
Dr. Mustafa Mirzeler

In this course, I invite students to enter the imaginary world of the African storytellers to understand their magic, a magic that enables these storytellers to confront pain and suffering. In the desiccated world of these storytellers, what saves society is the myth introduced into everyday lives. To read these stories and novels is to understand our common humanity and deep affinity with people who live in completely different places and speak different languages. In this course we will explore the source of our affinity with the people who live in the disparate parts of Africa. In reading the accounts of their magical worlds and what happens in them, students will experience the magical truth of storytelling as well as the magic of the words. The great storytellers, writers and poets in Africa make good use of the magic that permeates words to contribute to the modern novel by adapting their narrative techniques in a new language. In every age Africa has produced its 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. These storytellers use the magic world and the word to inform and enrich our humanity.


English 3200: American Literature I

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 - 12:15; Brown 3003
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Brown 4045
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

Fridays, 2:00 - 4:30; Brown 1048
Professor Christina Triezenberg

Through exploration of a wide range of literary works that have been written by American writers from 1865 to the present—beginning with the text that many consider to be our “great American novel” and ending with one that is reflective of the immigrant experiences of the vast majority of those who now call the United States home—this course willseek to trace the development of our national literature over the course of the last century and a half as well as to chart the themes and characteristics that make that literature distinctly American. By analyzing numerous texts that explore the experiences of those who have frequently been marginalized within American culture, we will also seek to interpret the literature that we read as not only art but also as social critique and protest and will make frequent connections to our nation’s rich but often-troubled history in order to better understand the contexts from which much of our literature springs.

Graded assignments include: two literary analysis essays, a family history paper, numerous in-class reading responses, and a comprehensive final exam.

Required texts: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2, Shorter Seventh Edition (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008); JhumpaLahiri’sThe Namesake (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2005).


English 3210: American Literature II

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:45; Brown 4010
Dr. Philip Egan

This course will examine a substantial number of important American writers after 1880 in class and still more writers in oral presentations by students. The purpose is to understand important works by these writers, to understand the diversity of the circumstances and traditions from which they arose, to see connections between different authors’ works, and in general to get a better feel for what American literature is. This section, then, seeks to achieve a broad exposure to American literature and to reinforce the students’ sense of how literature reflects both the diversity of the U.S. populations and the trends of U.S. intellectual history. Because this is an English course, it also seeks to make students into better readers and writers generally.


English 3300: British Literature I

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Brown 4048
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 3300: British Literature I

Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:00 - 6:15; Brown 3003
Dr. Eve Salisbury

This course offers a wide variety of texts written in English over a number of centuries during which time England experienced profound ideological and linguistic change. Beginning with Caedmon's Hymn and Old English poetry, continuing through the Middle English period of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales into the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries of pre-modern English, our study of this literary corpus allows us to see the dynamics of linguistic transformation and to understand how a distinctively British literary tradition is made.


English 3310: British Literature II

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Brown 3030
Dr. Jil Larson

This course offers you a survey of British literature in the Romantic Period (late 18th and early 19th century), the Victorian Era (1837-1903), and the Modern Period (20th century to the present). This is quite a bit to cover in one semester, but we will read selectively, hitting many of the highlights and exploring both continuities and discontinuities as we make comparison among literary texts published throughout this rich period of literary history. Written work will include two essay exams, one researched essay, and a number of short assignments.


English 3310: British Literature II

Tuesdays, 5:30 - 8:00; Brown 2048
Dr. Christopher Nagle

This course provides an intensive introductory survey of British literature from the past two centuries. This era can be divided into three distinct periods: Romantic, Victorian, and Modern. Writers of the Romantic period (roughly 1780 to 1830) were inspired by dramatic social change in the American and French revolutions and initially sought to revolutionize literature by adopting what poet William Wordsworth called the "language really used by men."

The Victorian era, named for the Queen who ruled Britain from 1837 to 1901, was also revolutionary, even though it has become associated with tradition and repression. Advances in science, industry, and trade made Victorian Britain the most powerful nation on earth, but writers and artists also lamented its staggering poverty, gender inequality, declining morals, and increasing sense of uncertainty. This uncertainty came to a head in the twentieth century with a host of changes—the rise of cities, shifts in gender dynamics, the psychological devastation of world war, and the steady decline of Britain‘s empire. Major writers from each of these eras will be covered and the contexts of their writing explored, so that students emerge from this course with a strong sense of the most important literary and cultural influences in the British tradition during these centuries.


English 3690: Writing in the Elementary School

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:40; Brown 3037
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:40; Brown 3037
Wednesdays, 5:30 - 8:50; Brown 3037
Dr. Toby Khan-Loftus

This course focuses on writing development of pre-school through middle school children, and on ways one can encourage and respond to student writing, assess writing growth, and use writing as a means of learning. It fosters a theoretical understanding of the writing process in part by writing in varied genres and forms and emphasizes writing as an integral component of the entire curriculum and demonstrates the use of powerful mentor texts for teaching craft, grammar, and vocabulary. Required texts detail specific connections to the genres and expectations embedded in the new “Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History / Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.”


English 3710: Structures of Modern English

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:45; Brown 3045
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

Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Brown 4025
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 and Learning in Multilingual Classrooms

Tuesdays, 6:00 - 8:30; Brown 3045
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. Emphasis is place on the needs of English Language Learners in grades K through 8.


English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:40; Brown 4017
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:40; Brown 4025
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 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Spinelli's Eggs, Nikki Grimes' Bronx Masquerade, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Devil's Arithmetic, The 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

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Brown 3048
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:40; Brown 4025
Wednesdays, 6:30 - 9:50; Brown 2037
Dr. Jeanne LaHaie

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?

In the first of four sections, Introduction to Children’s Literature Studies, we consider how and why we study children’s literature. In the next block, Creating the Modern Child, we will look at the rise of literature created specifically for children, including texts such as Alice in Wonderland and Randolph Caldecott’s Babes in the Wood. From there we move to the Contemporary Child, paying particular attention to issues of diversity and inclusion through picture books, and novels such as Julius Lester’s Day of Tears. We will also consider the Harry Potter books and the current popularity of fantasy. Finally, we will study Postmodernism through poetry, the graphic novel The Arrival, and other postmodern productions created or consumed by adolescents.


English 3840: Adolescent Literature

Tuesdays, 4:00 - 6:30; Brown 3048
Professor Judith Rypma

This course examines literature for 9th- to 12th-grade readers. Thus we will read young adult novels, poems, and one play. Emphasis will be on culturally, socially, and globally diverse literature, with readings including the following: Lovely Bones, True Story of Hansel and Gretel, Forgotten Fire, Macbeth, Crank, Bottled Up, Catherine the Great (Royal Diaries series), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, etc. Much of your grade will be dependent on keeping up with the reading, thinking critically about the texts, and expressing your analytical skills both verbally and on exams. All students will be required to attend at least one outside event.


English 4060: Digital Rhetoric and Writing

Thursdays, 6:30 - 9:00; Brown 1045
Dr. Maria Gigante

This advanced writing course emphasizes the study and production of specialized genres and media, with attention to the impact of technology on composing, designing, and publishing expository texts. The course will feature units on visual rhetoric and design, multimedia composing, and introductory web design. Students can expect to rhetorically analyze multimedia texts and to design their own persuasive texts suited for digital publication.


English 4150: Literary Theory and Criticism

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:40; Brown 4048
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 4160: Women in Literature

Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Brown 4017
Dr. Katherine Joslin

This is a course in literature written by American, British and Canadian women. Over the course of the semester, we will consider the quality and character of female writing. When pressed to explain why women had not produced a writer who was the equal of William Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf pointed out that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” To her mind, women writers were at a disadvantage because they historically had been relegated to a secondary economic status and deprived of a rigorous education. The twentieth century, she hoped, would offer women a serious education as well as more privacy and greater time and money to pursue art. The question at the heart of this course is what women have achieved as writers in the English language over the last two hundred years. We will consider, too, the idea of a female literary tradition. The course will require you to write a researched essay on a female poet and take a midterm and final exam.


English 4400: Studies in Verse

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Brown 4002
Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn

This course is an intensive study of poetry (narrative and lyric) with an emphasis on formalism. Regular attendance and completion of all reading assignments are expected. Students will take online reading quizzes before each class period. Class time will consist mainly of discussion. The class will decide on standards for discussion participation at the beginning of the semester, and participation will be graded accordingly. The main writing project will be a long (20 pp.) analytical paper. Students will work toward this project throughout the semester, with shorter writing exercises contributing to it. We will also prepare as a class for a September visit to Kalamazoo by the U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine. The primary texts will be:

Louise Glück, The Wild Iris
Philip Levine, What Work Is
George Herbert, The Temple
John Milton, Paradise Lost
Ronald Johnson, Radi Os
Derek Walcott, Omeros
Elizabeth Bishop, Geography III
John Ashbery, Selected Poems
Adrienne Rich, The Fact of a Doorframe
Anne Carson, The Autobiography of Red

Some critical and theoretical essays will also be assigned.


English 4420: Studies in Drama

Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:40; Brown 4030
Dr. Margaret Dupuis

See catalog description or contact instructor.


English 4440: Studies in the Novel

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:40; Brown 4002
Dr. Scott Slawinski

Beginning with the late eighteenth century and ending in the early twentieth century, this course will take a chronological approach to the development of the novel as a form. While we will be looking mostly at American writers, their books will serve as representative selections for a number of subgenres that have appeared around the world, including novels written in the epistolary, gothic, sentimental, seduction, Romantic, Realist, Naturalist, and Modernist modes. We will examine the rise of the novel, the early opposition it faced as a form, and its ultimate triumph as a form of art and communication. Issues concerning race, gender, class conflict, sexuality, science, psychology, social conventions, authorship, and publication will also be topics of discussion

Possible authors include Daniel Defoe, Sukey Vickery, Sally Wood, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Susanna Maria Cummins, Mark Twain, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, and Nella Larsen.

This is a baccalaureate writing-intensive course, so participants can tentatively expect to compose multiple response papers, several essays, and final exam. Regular attendance and class participation are expected.


English 4440: Studies in the Novel

Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:40; Brown 4035
Dr. Casey McKittrick

Studies In the Novel is a writing-intensive course that fulfills a baccalaureate writing requirement. This section will focus on the novel as a literary genre, an historically evolving form, and an artistic medium requiring several interpretive lenses. We will examine both longstanding and evolving conventions of the novel, probing narrative structure, point of view, and rhetorical and literary devices; in addition, we will discuss the novel as an embodiment of certain ideologies about identity, including gender, race, class, and sexuality. Assigned works may include, but are not limited to, Ann Radcliffe's The Italian (1797), Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier (1915), F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1925), Ann Petry's The Street (1946), Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar (1967), Toni Morrison's Jazz (1992), and Scott Heim's We Disappear (2008), and supplementary criticism and theory.


English 4720: Language Variation in American English

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:40; Brown 4035
Dr. Paul Johnston

This course illustrates the interplay between language variation and social structures, groupings and speakers' linguistic attitudes and how these influence the formation, maintenance, use, and decline (if any) of dialects of English, with emphasis on those found in North America. Students learn the educational implications of such variation, how writers exploit it as a resource, and the methodology dialectologists and sociolinguists use to study it. They are introduced to how factors like geography, race/ethnicity and gender affect and are reflected in language variation, both within English and in respect to other languages spoken in the United States and Canada, and do projects involving researching dialect variation first-hand.


English 4800: Teaching Literature in the Secondary Schools

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:40; Brown 3045
Dr. Karen Vocke

See course catalog for description.


English 5220: Literary Linguistics (Studies in American Literature)

CRN: 13617
Tuesdays, 4:00 - 6:20; Brown 3037
Dr. Lisa Minnick

It is a truism that literary texts are made of linguistic elements, that they consist of units of language arranged in imaginative ways. Literary writers use linguistic structures that are, at least in the abstract, available to everyone, but literary authors “do things with words” (to paraphrase the linguistic philosopher J. L. Austin) that make literature a particularly interesting form of human expression.

But the linguistic elements that literature is made of are often taken for granted, perhaps because of this very obviousness: Of course literature is made of language. And so not everyone gets around to exploring literary works through attention to the linguistic elements of literature, using the theories, terminology, and methods of the discipline of linguistics. In the Literary Linguistics, we will do just that: look at how language works in literary texts, applying the principles, theories, and methodologies of linguistic analysis to works of literature.

Our goals will be both linguistic and literary: We will explore the ways that literature can add to our knowledge about language and its use among real speakers. Literary language is rich with information of interest to language scientists on topics that include language variation and change, linguistic authority and the process of standardization, pragmatic norms and competence, and language attitudes, especially as they interact with race, gender, sexuality, class, and other independent variables. We will also inquire into the ways that linguistic theory and methods of analysis can open works of literature to new levels of interpretation.

In pursuit of these objectives, we will concentrate primarily on 19th- and 20th-century American literature as our object of investigation. We will begin by exploring the conventions of literary dialect, analyzing its artistic, linguistic, and political functions and effects both within and beyond the text. Additionally, we will explore other approaches and develop original research questions to inquire into various ways that language is deployed in literary works. In doing so, we will experiment with multiple theoretical and methodological approaches, including computational methods, for which instruction and support will be provided.

No knowledge of linguistics or computational analysis is required or presupposed, although curiosity about and interest in linguistics is essential.


English 5320: English Renaissance Literature

CRN: 15158
Fridays, 12:00 - 2:30; Brown 2021
Dr. Grace Tiffany

In this class we will study selections from the prose, poetry, and drama that shaped art and thought during the English Renaissance and for centuries thereafter. Students are expected to have prior experience in literary analysis, to read carefully, and to participate in discussion. Authors to be studied include William Shakespeare, Philip Sidney, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Webster, John Donne, Robert Herrick, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell, and John Milton.


English 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Fiction

CRN: 12748
Mondays, 4:00 - 7:30; Brown 3017
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 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Fiction

CRN: 14696
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:30; Brown 4002
Professor Geronimo Johnson

Catalog description: A workshop and conference course in the writing of fiction, with emphasis on refinement of the individual student’s style and skills.


English 5670: Creative Writing Workshop, Poetry

CRN: 14201
Tuesdays, 6:00-9:30; Brown 4003
Instructor: Traci Brimhall

English5670 is an upper-level poetry workshop. In this course we will further the knowledge and execution of craft through the weekly examination of contemporary poetry and essays on poetics. In addition to discussions of published poetry and craft essays, students will produce an original poem each week. Packets of each student’s work will be workshopped twice in the semester, and their creative work will culminate in a portfolio demonstrating evidence of revision towards the individual student’s style and skills.

Text List:
Brock-Broido, Lucie The Master Letters
Carson, Anne, Autobiography of Red
Diaz, Natalie, When My Brother Was an Aztec
Gay, Ross, Bringing Down the Hammer
Lee, Li-Young, The City in Which I Love You
Scafidi, Steve Sparks From a Nine-Pound Hammer

 

 

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