Fall Course Descriptions

English Courses

Detailed Course Descriptions for Selected Courses

Adolescence Education

Literature

Professional Writing

300 Level Courses

200 Level Courses

200 Level Courses

500/600 Level Courses

300 Level Courses

300 Level Courses

400 Level Courses

400 Level Courses

500/600 Level Courses

  

Adolescence Education (English) Courses


AED 308: Grammar and the Writing Process

(LASR)

McKenzie

MWF 12:40 - 1:30

Grammar instruction has a bad reputation. The words “grammar lesson” elicit feelings of fear and boredom, and the ubiquitous practice of “correcting” student papers with gashes of red ink sends the message that some people speak and write in “proper” ways while others are deficient in the English language. But grammar instruction does not have to be painful, and it is possible to teach grammar in ways that honor adolescents’ literacy practices! In this course, students will deepen their knowledge of English grammar and develop strategies for grammar instruction, but they will also explore linguistic and historical perspectives on grammar, perspectives that will help the class grapple with the relationship between grammar instruction and patterns of power and oppression. In addition to completing and discussing course readings, students will create and teach grammar lessons, hone their knowledge of grammar through experimental writing assignments, and complete 30 hours of field work.

AED 341: Introduction to English Language Arts

Bender

TR 1:15-2:30

How can middle and high school students be effectively engaged in their English and English Language Arts courses? How can meaningful bridges be built between school curriculum and students’ lives? How can the range of needs and abilities that kids bring to the classroom daily be addressed through dynamic instruction? In this course, we’ll develop instructional units designed to satisfy these and other, related questions. A variety of theoretical and methodological approaches will be explored as the class builds multi-dimensional units incorporating a range of literary genres, works of nonfiction, visual material, and material from cyberspace in order to stimulate kids’ thinking and whet their appetites for more. Comprehensive methods of assessment will also be discussed, with the aim of using assessment to promote rather than stunt student achievement.

AED 541: Teaching Literature and Critical Literacy

Bender

R 4:20-6:50

This course will explore a series of approaches to unit design—and the theoretical perspectives that drive those approaches—in order build comprehensive instructional units. Design questions will include, but are not limited to, the following: How can fiction be used as a basis for nonfiction research? How can popular culture become an avenue to the deeper apprehension of canonical literature? How can students develop a greater sense of ownership over the assessment process? What are the pros and cons of backward planning? How can visual material complement, rather than just supplement, meaningful engagement with texts? What are the best instructional uses of film? In a workshop setting, the class will develop instructional modules that address kids’ greatest interests and needs while stimulating the teacher’s own intrinsic interests in a particular field of knowledge or a set of essential questions.

AED 663: Research in the Teaching of English

Davies

W 4:20-6:50

AED 663 is a graduate-level seminar course built around the premise that teachers are researchers who know how to investigate how best to teach their students. In this course, students will study the history of the teaching of English in the United States, and read and discuss a variety of empirical research studies in English Education. Students will develop a semester-long research inquiry into a particular problem or issue in the teaching of English.

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Literature Courses


ENG 200 (Section 001): Introduction to Literature

(GE 7, LASR)

Pittsley

MWF 11:30-12:40

In this course, you will go on a journey with me in which we explore a plethora of short stories, poems, and plays written by authors from a variety of time periods and cultures, a few of whom include Bierce, Chopin, Jackson, Troy-Castro, Dickinson, Atwood, Bukowski, Ni Dhomhhaill, Frost, Hughes, Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Glaspell, in an attempt to help you fall in love with reading and develop a flair for writing about literature through close analysis.

ENG 208 (Section 002): Intro to Film Analysis

(GE 7)

Leffel

TR 11:30-12:45

Film or Movie?? Students will learn the basics of film analysis by viewing, discussing, and writing critically about a diverse range of films (and film clips), ranging from “high art” to “pop-culture” examples, while also questioning such distinctions. Required readings will cover a range of topics, including cinematography, mise-en-scène, set-design, editing, directing, casting, and so on.

ENG 210: Intro to Fantasy/Science Fiction

(LASR, GE 7)

Leffel

TR 1:15-2:30

Imagining New Worlds, Exploring our Own: An introduction to fantasy and science fiction. Students will learn about these popular genres by studying influential examples from such authors as Mary Shelley, J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, Angela Carter, Kurt Vonnegut, and others.

ENG 252: Intro. to Modern American Multicultural Literature

(GE 4, GE 11, LASR, PRES)

Radus

MWF 9:10-10:00 or MWF 10:20-11:10

How do our identities shape the stories we tell? In this course, we will consider this question in relation to contemporary multicultural literature from the United States. We will explore fiction, drama, and poetry written by authors from a diverse range of ethnic, racial, gendered, sexual, and cultural backgrounds, focusing particularly on how—or on whether—these identities shape the content, form, and purpose of the texts we read. We will discuss what it means to be ethnically,racially, sexually, and culturally “other,” and how our answers to that question challenge traditional perceptions of what it means to be “American.” Our active in-class discussions will be supplemented by regular contributions to a course blog, short papers, and exams.

ENG 280 Introduction to Mythology and the Bible

(GE 7, LASR, WI)

Masselink

MWF 9:10-10:00

Whether it’s the tale of Hercules, the clash of the Titans, or the story of Troy; whether depicting Noah, the Prince of Egypt, or Jesus of Nazareth--western culture and, more recently, Hollywood has had a long and interesting history of reviving and re-telling the Greek and Roman myths and Bible stories. In ENG 280, we will read about the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome, select Greek heroes, heroes of the Old Testament, and various activities and teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles of the New Testament. We will also explore, in depth, the Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian world views as reflected in primary texts of literature. In this writing intensive course, students will write responses to the assigned texts and/or answer study questions once or twice a week to guide their reading. A midterm and non-cumulative final are given.

ENG 302: Writing about Literature

(LASR)

Bradway

TR 10:05-11:20, 11:40-12:55

How can you psychoanalyze a work of literature? Why would teachers want to “queer” a text? Where did these methods of reading come from, and what relevance do they have today? This course will introduce you to the history and foundational methods of literary theory, and it will give you opportunities to connect theory to literature, popular culture, and the contemporary social world, particularly education and politics.

ENG 307: New Media Literacies and ELA

(LASR)

McKenzie

MW 3:00-4:15

Our lives are enmeshed in new media. From Snapchat to search engines, Pinterest to PowerPoint, digital media shapes the way we communicate, learn, build communities, and cultivate identities. ENG 307 will consider the role of new media in adolescents’ lives and in the English classroom, focusing in particular on the pedagogical, developmental, political, and ethical issues raised when teachers integrate digital technologies into their curriculum. In addition to completing and discussing course readings, students will research youth digital literacy practices, experiment with digital media, and develop lesson plans that incorporate new media.

ENG 325: American Literature Before 1900

(LASR)

Radus

MWF 12:40-1:30

What does it mean to describe a work of literature as “American”? What does that term signify? Who decides, and who has been excluded? How has that term—and the literature it defines—changed in response to the cultural, social, and political forces that have shaped our nation? In this course, we will consider these questions by examining literature produced in “America,” beginning with the literature of pre-Columbian indigenous societies and finishing on the eve of the 20th century. We will devote particular attention to how writers from different ethnic, racial, and gendered backgrounds address issues that influenced the development of the United States. Lectures on assigned readings and their broader contexts will be supplemented by active in-class discussion, informal writing exercises and presentations, short papers, and exams.

ENG 355 Major Figures in British Literature to 1780

(LASR)

Masselink

MWF 8:00-8:50

If you like a challenge and want to be able to say that you have read some of the greatest writers ever to put pen to paper (or in most cases, quill to vellum), then ENG 355 is the course for you. In ENG 355, you will tackle classics like Beowulf, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Because many of the works are challenging, students will be provided with study questions to guide their reading, and grades are determined on the basis of efforts put into answering those study questions (and/or responses to the assigned readings), participation in class discussions, and three tests.

ENG 356: Major Figures in British Literature 1780-Present

(LASR)

Gonzalez

TR 8:30-9:45

This course should really be titled “British and Irish Literary History 1780-Present.” We will cover most of the important authors during this time period, examining along the way lines of influence in subject matter, technique, and literary forms. Who influenced whom? What writers do we include in literary history and how do we determine their inclusion? What principles of selection are involved? It’s an exciting sprint through the best work of many authors, culminating in a full week dedicated to Ireland’s women poets, whose contemporary work is an internationally acknowledged series of masterpieces. I consider their beautiful and unabashed poetry to be of extraordinary quality, so much so that they long ago became the center of my intellectual life. I am enthusiastic about teaching this course and look forward to a very lively semester.

ENG 374: Literature for Adolescence

(LASR, PRES)

Bender

TR 10:05-11:20

What makes adolescents want to read? How are adolescents portrayed in literature that’s geared for them? How can literary texts best be brought to life for young readers by creative instruction? What counts as “literature” in the secondary classroom? This course seeks to answer these and related questions through a critical study, examination, and evaluation of literature written specifically for and about adolescents. Texts are selected to represent a variety of cultural perspectives and are written by authors who cast the world in diverse ways. In addition to reading, students will learn a range of methods to teach adolescent readers effectively and will design units for middle and high school classrooms that organize teaching ideas into well-orchestrated plans of action that include written, oral, a performance-based responses to texts. The class will also evaluate a range of approaches to assessing student achievement in order to bring out the best that students can do.

ENG 402: Grammar

(LASR)

Masselink

MW 3:00-4:15

Have you ever wondered why no words native to the English language end in “v” or “j”? Or why “thorough” “thought,” “bough” “rough,” “cough” and “through” share the same four-letter combination, but do not rhyme? Do you wish you had a better grasp on spelling, the parts of speech, or various comma rules? Are you intrigued with words and word formation in general? If you said “yes” to any of the above, ENG 402 is the course for you.

In this rigorous course, you will study phonology (the study of sound patterns)--particularly in relationship to reading and spelling, morphology (the study of word formation), and syntax (the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences). Former students who’ve completed the course say it should be required of all education majors, but whether you plan to teach or you just want to learn more about grammar, you will leave this class feeling far more confident in your ability to explain how our language works. While the reading load for this course is fairly light, in addition to a midterm and a final, students will complete written exercises, honing their ability to explain every letter, every word, every phrase in any sentence.

ENG 433: Shakespeare

(LASR, WI)

Harbin

TR 11:40-12:55

Did you know that Shakespeare died 400 years ago? (401 in April 2017)? Yet, he is still the most performed playwright, has influenced innumerable modern authors, has been translated into at least 80 languages, and has brought us movies such as He’s the Man, West Side Story, and 10 Things I Hate about You. You probably often quote him without knowing it. So, many people talk about Shakespeare as universal. We will not. In this course, we will be considering Shakespeare as a production of his own time. To this end, we will examine some of Shakespeare’s plays within their historical context. The plays will include: Much Ado about Nothing, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and The Taming of the Shrew. We will consider questions such as: What were some of the major social concerns of Elizabethan England? And, how do these plays engage with these concerns? We will be looking at not only the plays themselves, but also other contemporary documents. Because drama should be seen, we will be reading and watching productions of the plays and will do a bit of performance as well. Perhaps, just for fun, we’ll consider why we might go to hear Shakespeare today.

ENG 441: The Age of Sensibility

(LASR)

Leffel

TR 4:25-5:40

Sex, Science, and Sensibility: “Sensibility” was a literary and a social movement grounded in new understandings of the human mind and body that swept across England and Europe during the latter part of the 18th century. "Sensibility" was defined as the faculty of feeling; the capacity for extremely refined emotion and a quickness to display compassion for suffering; and an innate sensitiveness or susceptibility revealing itself in a variety of spontaneous activities such as crying, swooning, and fainting. In 1797, the Encyclopedia Britannica defined it as "a nice and delicate perception of pleasure or pain, beauty or deformity" which depended upon "the organization of the nervous system." In this class, we will explore this fascinating (and often bizarre) movement by reading samples of 18th-century philosophy and modern literary criticism and theory alongside a selection of 18th- and early 19th-century literary texts. Potential authors include Laurence Sterne, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and others.

ENG 458: Modern Irish Poetry

(LASR)

Gonzalez

TR 10:05-11:20

This course will cover several of Ireland’s most well-respected male poets, including W.B. Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, and Seamus Heaney. The semester’s second half will be dedicated to Ireland’s women poets, whose contemporary work is an internationally acknowledged series of masterpieces. The poets to be studied include Eavan Boland, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Sinead O’Connor, and Medbh McGuckian; I consider their beautiful and unabashed poetry to be of extraordinary quality, so much so that they long ago became the center of my intellectual life. Prospective students should be aware that some of the poetry in the course is very frank and open-minded regarding human sexuality; students should please bear this in mind when considering whether to take the course. I am enthusiastic about teaching this course and look forward to a very lively semester.

ENG 504: Seminar in the Composing Process: Rhetoric and Analysis

Davies

T 3:00-5:30

Join us for a graduate-level seminar in writing theory and writing pedagogy. This course is built on the premise that teachers of writing should be writers themselves. In this course, students will learn more about themselves as writers and develop practical strategies for teaching writing, focusing specifically on teaching 7-12 secondary students.

Students in ENG 504 will design writing activities, assignments and assessments, plan and deliver lessons that address different stages in the writing process, and practice responding to and evaluating student writing. Students will also complete a semester-long writing project that incorporates rhetorical techniques from a variety of commonly assigned genres in secondary English language arts. The course readings will include selections from modern rhetorical and composition theories and research in writing and the teaching of writing. Students will explore the intersections between reading and writing and the implications of literacy, culture, and language policies on the teaching of writing in secondary schools.

The course carries a fieldwork requirement, which gives students the opportunity to see first-hand how writing is taught in secondary classrooms. For the first time this semester, this course will be taught as a partnership with the teachers at Homer Junior High School. All students will tutor Homer Junior High School students in an afterschool writer’s workshop, and the seminar will be held directly after this workshop at Homer Junior High School.

ENG 529: LGBTQ Literatures in Contemporary America

Bradway

W 4:20-6:50

This course will survey major works of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature, and it will introduce you to key debates in queer literary studies, particularly as they pertain the problem of reading, writing, and representing LGBTQ lives and cultures in contemporary America. Genres may include LGBTQ memoir, queer science fiction, AIDS poetry and drama, lesbian romance, the lesbian and gay social novel, and queer experimental literature. The seminar will be open to graduate students across the disciplines and advanced undergraduates in English.

ENG 530: Chaucer

Harbin

T 4:20-6:50

Serious and comic, religious and dirty, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales does it all. This last of Chaucer’s works is what he’s best known for, and it is certainly worth knowing – the most accessible and entertaining of his works. Yet it is also ambiguous, many-voiced, and still leaves scholars arguing about what Chaucer was about. Is this work a criticism of medieval society? Does it express subversive views of women, the Church, the nobility? Or, does it in the end reinforce the dominant ideologies of the age?

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Professional Writing


PWR 210: Writing in the Digital Age

(GE 12)

Rutherford

MW 4:25-5:40, W 6:00-7:40

In this course, we will be reading in/about and creating digital media artifacts to broaden our thinking about research and writing. We’ll develop a more informed perspective and better critical understanding of some of the big questions surrounding digital environments and how they uniquely mediate scientific, technical, technological, social, and cultural information.

Some guiding questions for the course include: How do digital media influence content creation? How do they change the way we access/interpret information, arrive at judgments, and navigate context? How do our creative approaches change in a digital environment? How do new technologies afford and constrain different methods and methodologies for investigating and presenting data?

PWR 212: Writing Fiction

(GE 8, LASR)

Bartlett

MW 3:00-4:15

This writing workshop is an introduction to the craft writing short fiction. You will spend most of your time writing your own short stories and reading stories and craft essays by contemporary writers. Throughout this course, there will be a real emphasis on exploring and discovering personal voice and style. This is a workshop, which is dependent upon a community of conscious and willing writers. A workshop is much more than a simple discussion of your work; it requires a commitment from every writer in the class to give close attention to new and developing work. In fact, a major text for the course is the raw efforts of its writers. By the end of the course, you will generate and revise multiple stories and a reflection on your own craft.

PWR 295: Introduction to Professional Writing

(LASR)

Rutherford

MW 3:00-4:15

This course examines basic principles of professional writing as both an academic field and daily practice. We’ll discuss varied issues across various media – everything from argumentation and research to page design, genres and conventions, and professional style. Students will develop skills in analyzing rhetorical situations and producing context-appropriate texts for particular audiences and purposes.

PWR 315: Creative Nonfiction

(GE 8)

Franke

TR 10:05-11:20

Do you know how to tell a true story? Do you know how to write it up? Do you know how to give feedback on nonfiction stories? Do you know that just because a story is true doesn’t mean people will connect to it? Do you know how a writer brings facts to life? Do you know how to read nonfiction for its art and craft? Do you know what images, sentence styles, vocabulary and style, dialogue, scenes, narrative and voice make your story worth reading and re-reading? If you think you’re ready for these questions, well, welcome to PWR 315. Lots of reading, lots of short drafts, workshop heavy, three major nonfiction pieces. It will help you in all your writing.

PWR 398: Business Writing

(LASR)

Emerson

TR 2:50-4:05

You’ve been studying courses and building skills in your major – but do you know how to present those skills in the marketplace? And how can your presentations bring you results, both in establishing your career and in building success from your endeavors?

This course you how to take the most common forms – resume, cover letter, memo/email, instruction/procedures, reports, proposals, presentations – and not only do them as conventionally expected as a professional, but also do them effectively so that you achieve what you’re setting out to accomplish.

This study includes three main components: (a) knowing and using correct formats, (b) learning to focus paragraphs, sentences, and word choices for effectiveness, and (c) visually formatting documents to aid readability, acceptability, and result-getting impact. This latter aspect will include a study of effective design and using appropriate software to achieve those professional designs.

In short, this course will start you on a journey from accomplished student to polished professional, to someone who communicates well, clearly, and effectively in terms of results. Older students (who had already been in the work force and came back to college) have repeatedly shared “I wish I knew this stuff sooner!”

PWR 399: Rhetoric

(GE 7, LASR)

Franke

TR 11:40-12:55

In ancient Greece, a particularly vicious tyranny had just been squelched. As the tyrant gave up what he seized, citizens had to persuade judges they owned their houses and fields (there were no written records). Most of these people had no training in speaking to powerful and intimidating authorities. Yet they won their cases using rhetoric, which helped them ask powerful questions, to inquire, and also served as a way to get others to take them seriously. So: this course examines the art engaging with others—their goals, the evidence they use, even their style—in order to understand and be understood. We’ll read, argue, & write using such texts as video clips from Monty Python and The Office, ancient Greek dialogues, a scientific article from the guys who discovered DNA, ads, magazines (last year’s assignment was a rhetorical analysis of Runner’s World magazine) and each other. You can anticipate three major papers, focused workshops, lots of short papers, lots of reading.

PWR 429: Reading and Writing the Apocalypse

(Hybrid)

Boynton

R 4:25-5:40

We will be reading and writing fiction in this course. Although we will be talking about the meaning of the term apocalypse and about what some call "end times," we will be occupying a broader territory. We will be speculating about the future in our writing projects and reading examples of what authors have done with the subject.

In your writing, you may be attracted by the project of imagining a utopian or dystopian world, as Cormac McCarty does in The Road. You may want to consider large or small “apocalypses,” the extinction of a single, rare species, as in Colbert’s Wild Things or the destruction of nearly everything, as in Junot Diaz’s Monstro—and anything in between. Or you may use the idea of apocalypse as a metaphor. This course will be flexible in its treatment of apocalypse as you invent possibilities for your writing projects, culminating in a short story you can submit for publication.

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