50:192:101:01 – Introduction to Communication
Introductory survey course focused on the basic elements of human communication. This includes interpersonal, small group, public speaking, and organizational communication. Assessment may include exams and quizzes, short papers, writing–for example, short reflection and response papers–and group activities.
50:192:200:01 – Public Speaking
Introductory class focused on the verbal and nonverbal aspects of public speaking. This course focuses on researching, writing, and delivering various forms of speeches in different contexts. Assessment may include quizzes, short papers–for example, outlines and evaluations–and speeches.
50:192:307:90 – Public Relations
This online course will focus on gathering and writing effective public relations content, particularly news releases, media advisories, feature stories, social media posts, photo captions, web content, newsletters, emails, and other forms of writing used in public and media relations. Coursework will include analysis of PR campaigns as well as discussions of careers in public relations, social media, and ethics. Students will develop a project and finish the semester with a portfolio of public relations writing samples.
50:350:106:01 – Literature Appreciation
This course is designed for non-majors and is not writing intensive. It is intended to give students a college-level understanding of the major literary genres and historical periods. Students will also gain a working knowledge of the basic tools of literary study, such as understanding point of view, tone, image, metaphoric language, etc. In addition to reading, students will take quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.
50:350:201:01 – Introduction to English Studies
See associated one-credit lab for course, 350:105, below. At one point in time, being an English major almost exclusively meant literary analysis. However, areas like film analysis, cultural inquiry, and digital study have helped to complicate as well as reenergize that pursuit. This course is an introduction to the wide range of skills, vocabularies, and orientations that make up English studies. Successful students will leave the course with a strong sense of the kind of writing, thinking, and professional paths that are possible via the study of English. Several short writing assignments, quizzes, and an electronic portfolio are required. Fulfills the AAI General Education category. Required for English majors.
50:350:105:L1 – LAB: Success in Research and Writing
A one-credit skills lab attached to “Introduction to English Studies,” where students will meet to improve their writing and research skills in a guided setting. This support is not required, but enrolling should make it much more likely you will succeed in the course as well as in your university career.
50:350:214:01 – Literature of Travel
This course introduces students to a variety of fiction and nonfiction travel writing. The readings will begin in the eighteenth century with works like Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Mary Wortley Montague’s Embassy Letters. We will examine how the English subject’s appetite for travel literature was increased by social conditions such as imperialism and consumerism. As the semester progresses, we will take an increasingly global approach as we encounter nineteenth- through twentieth-century works by Rudyard Kipling, Bruce Chatwin, and V.S. Naipaul. Through these texts, we will examine what kind of cultural work travel writing does in an increasingly connected world. Students will complete several quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.
50:350:224:01 – Special Topics: Computational Thinking
How do we use computation to solve problems? What kinds of problems are solvable with computation and what kinds aren’t? This course offers students both practical and theoretical experience with computer programming. No previous programming experience is required. Assignments: Coding projects. Possibility of short, informal quizzes.
50:350:238:01 – World Literature I
Readings in the great works of Western literature from ancient times through the medieval era and into the European Renaissance. Emphasis on the roots of Western civilization in ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Roman cultures; on the rise of vernacular literatures in England, France, and Italy; and on the relevance of ancient works in our own times. Genesis, Homer, Aeschylus, The Song of Roland, Dante, among others. Three exams including a final, plus brief quizzes. Fulfills the HAC General Education category.
50:350:238:90 – World Literature I
In the course, you will read, discuss, and write about some of the literary masterpieces of the western world. Beginning with the Hebrew scribes that produced the Old Testament texts and concluding with the highest achievement of the Middle Ages, you will discover from primary sources (in translation) just where this heritage comes from and gain new insight into how it affects you today. The stanchions of our present culture come from these writings and cultures that have bequeathed to us the best of the elements we still consider “western”: monotheism, logic, honor, valor, governance by law, democracy, rationality, and art–both didactic and aesthetic. By the time the semester is over, you will have read these writings for yourself, thought about them and their contributions to what you already know, and assimilated them into the new and improved you. You will be asked to do a short research paper, 3-5 pages on a topic to be assigned. As part of your online experience, you will also need to address two forum responses per week, one original response to the reading and one directed at a response from one of your classmates. Just to be clear, you need to post TWO responses per week. Fulfills the HAC General Education category.
50:350:261:01 – Texts and Film
For over a hundred years, works of literature have been inspiring film and video adaptations. We consider both as art forms in their own right rather than ask what makes one “better” than the other. We use critical tools for interpreting these media and tracing their development over time. We use different critical approaches–aesthetic, sociological, historical, and psychoanalytic–to understand how these works entertain us and inform us about pressing issues. Short papers, a midterm, and a final exam. Fulfills the AAI General Education category and counts toward interdisciplinary film minor.
50:350:271:01 – Images of the Hero
This course will attempt to understand the complicated concept of the hero by extending past common archetypal constructions in order to seek the ideological purposes of the idea of heroism. Politics, gender, and sexuality will be frequent topics in our inquiry, and we will constantly endeavor to discover how heroism exists not only as a normalizing discourse but as a locus of rebellious, nonconforming, and even perverse ideas about social identity. Heroes are not just figures to be emulated–they often engage the possibility of the transgression of normative categories of body and desire. Fulfills the HAC General Education category.
50:350:300:01 – Foundations of Literature: The First Thousand Years
On your marks, get set for a seven-hundred-year footrace through the green and pleasant land of English literature, stretching from “Caedmon’s Hymn” to Paradise Lost. Along the way, we will sample the works of big hitters such as Beowulf, Chaucer, Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Marvell, and Milton, all placed within their appropriate contexts–historical, political, and intellectual. Graded assignments will include weekly quizzes and a final examination. Go! Fulfills the HAC General Education category. Satisfies the Literary History Pre-1800 requirement for English majors. Required for English majors.
50:350:322:01 – Romantic Period
The course explores how competing brands of Romanticism straddled lines of gender, ethnicity, periodicity, and aesthetic form. We cover both British Romantic poetry (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley) and prose (Austen, Mary Shelley) before heading to America (Whitman, Poe, Melville, and Douglass), then into the 20th Century, glancing at Romantic Moderns and post-moderns (Pynchon and Gaiman). The required textbook cost per student will be less than forty dollars. Two short papers (one a comparison of a novel and a film adaptation), an exam, and occasional quizzes. Satisfies the Literary History Pre-1800 requirement for English majors.
50:350:360:90 – Literature of Childhood
Books read by children and teens shape their readers’ lives and perceptions, whether they present enchanted gardens and charming princes or the very real pain of orphans and adolescents. This course will examine a variety of “classic,” realist, fantasy, and picture books in order to think critically about the worlds they present. Students will learn to analyze and evaluate texts based on notions of childhood, representations of class, gender and ethnicity, and the role of the marketplace. Course requirements: online discussions, quizzes, essays or blogs, papers, and a presentation. Fulfills the AAI General Education category.
50:350:388:01 – Women in Literature
This course will examine key texts by British and American women writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through our readings, we will focus on how women’s individual, social, and economic possibilities are shaped by the intersecting boundaries of lived history and literary production. Fulfills the AAI General Education category. Fulfills the DIV General Education category.
50:352:231:90 – Seuss and Sendak
In this course, students will undertake intensive study of the art of two of the most important and popular children’s authors of the last century, Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak. We will map the evolution of their art in intersection with American cultural politics and examine the influences on them as well as their own influence of contemporary children’s literature. Course requirements include: weekly quizzes, weekly responses/discussion posts, midterm essay (4-5 pages), final essay (8-10 pages), and a final exam.
50:352:252:01 – African American Poetry
This course is designed to address General Education requirements by exploring theoretical, philosophical, social, and political questions animating the scholarly field of African American poetry. In this course, we will consider the foundations of poetry in the English language and its evolution in the American literary tradition. We will explore the ways African American poets continue to shape and respond to the evolving American cultural and political landscape. Course requirements: two term papers (5 pages each) and a final research presentation (10 minutes).
50:352:264:01 – American Short Fiction
Welcome to great American short fiction from the 19th century to the present. We start with the pleasures of reading stories and the story as art form–with its single effect and element of surprise or even shock. We next examine literary elements and explore tales in their historical contexts as they reflect diverse social realities, beliefs, and customs. Finally, we view stories as a route to self-knowledge and even as a guide for life. This course is a “W” course with shorter and longer writing assignments that include steps in the writing process–proposals, peer review, drafts, and revisions. It’s also a “Div” course that explores differences of race, ethnicity, region, class, sexuality, and gender. Fulfills the AAI General Education category. Fulfills the DIV General Education category. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:352:348:01 – Literature of Adolescence
Hardly a biological phenomenon, adolescence is socio-cultural. If you are a Jamaican immigrant (Brown Girl, Brownstone), if you live on “the rez” (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), or if you translate American culture for your Chinatown family (Bone), you have an adolescence shaped by race, class, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration. We will read a range of novels and view adolescent films. Requirements include a presentation, participation, a take-home exam analyzing characters, and a final project which may be electronic in the form of a WordPress paper, podcast, film, or social media project.
50:354:201:40 – Art of Film
This course is concerned with the fundamental aspects of film form. We will cover the various elements of cinematic style including narrative, cinematography, editing, sound, and mise-en-scéne, and consider everything within the context of form. The course features an extensive screening component. Course requirements: in-class midterm and final plus weekly one-page reaction papers for each film assignment. Fulfills the AAI General Education category. Counts toward the interdisciplinary film minor.
50:354:396:90 – Film Genre: Crime
In this course, we will analyze the theme of crime in a variety of American film genres, including the classic gangster film, film noir, the victim film, and the heist picture. Through close viewings of representative films and companion readings, we will analyze how cinematic crime has served the public imagination throughout the 20th century in response to cultural and historical changes including Prohibition, the Second World War, Counterculture of the 1960s, Watergate, and the 1980s. Course requirements: four online discussions, four short tests, and two papers. Counts toward the interdisciplinary film minor.
50:570:201:01 – Inside Reporting
This ground-level journalism course will introduce students to the fundamental skills involved in reporting and writing for the news media. Students will learn how to identify and develop news stories, research and gather information, find sources, conduct interviews, and write on a variety of subjects. They will also dive into today’s complex media environment, becoming savvy consumers of what is being reported globally. The course places a strong emphasis on news communication and writing with exercises and assignments on getting sources to open up, organizing materials in a clear and compelling manner; and mastering various journalism writing styles, all of which will serve not only those interested in journalism or media careers but in any pursuit that involves communication. Fulfills the AAI General Education category.
50:570:304:01 – Political Reporting
Politics has come to largely define who we are, as individuals and a nation, and with the upcoming midterm elections, many predict we are in for yet another sea-change this November, with the news media playing a critical role. Using the upcoming political season as our canvas, this course will provide students with a fuller understanding of how reporters covering government and politics operate, how election cycles play out, and how the media helps shape our political discourse. Through written assignments, field reporting, and in-class debates, the class will analyze the interrelationship between mass media and American politics, how one institution affects the other, and how both influence the public.
50:570:335:40 – Freelance Writing
Freelance writing provides aspiring journalists and writers with many opportunities, offering a broad spectrum of places to get published on a wide variety of topics. And, if you’re lucky, get paid for it! This course will explore what it takes to be a freelancer, whether it’s working as a stringer for a mainstream media outlet, creating a compelling blog, website, or voice on social media; producing written materials for businesses and organizations, or writing full-length feature articles for magazines or the web. We will investigate opportunities available to freelancers, practice effective techniques for pitching editors, and produce writing geared toward target audiences and publications. The course will be conducted in a workshop setting, with students sharing their work with classmates and providing mutual feedback that will prove beneficial, especially in fine-tuning the longer, magazine style piece students will produce by the end of the semester. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:615:341:40 – Language, Power and Politics
This course will discuss a range of political issues concerning language. We will focus, in particular, on how dominant language ideologies in the United States have been used to define and oppress less privileged groups in society. Topics to be covered include: language attitudes (discrimination, the notions of “authority” and “correctness” in language), dialects/standard language ideology and subordination, the language of politicians, language in the media/advertising, language policy in the U.S., politically correct language, language and gender, ecolinguistics (the relations between linguistic/biocultural diversity, knowledge and the environment). The main goal of the course is for students to gain an appreciation for the powerful effect of language on the structure of society and in social change. Course requirements: midterm, final exam, and two short papers. Fulfills the EAV General Education category. Fulfills the DIV General Education category.
50:615:380:01 – History of the English Language
This course will address the growth and structure of the English language from its origins to the present, with attention to methods of linguistic description. In addition to more traditional historical linguistics (i.e. the effect of language change on the phonology, morphology, semantics, and syntax of the language), we will devote considerable attention to socio-historical influences on the development of English, addressing, in particular, questions relating to authority in language: standard vs. non-standard dialects of English, the rise of dictionary making, spelling reform movements, English as a world language, etc. Although basic knowledge of grammar will be very helpful, there is no prerequisite to this course. Course requirements: two midterms, final exam and (optional) final paper. Fulfills the HAC General Education category.
50:989:200:01 – Introduction to Professional Writing
This course serves as a foundational course for the Department of English’s track in Professional Writing and Communication and prepares students for the further study of writing in professional settings. Approaching writing as a social and material practice, we will examine how writing (among other literate activities) is conceived, produced, circulated, and stored; how genres of writing structure human activity; how the functions of writing evolve in line with developments in technology; and how the digital age is transforming writing practices today. We will examine writing in business, scientific, and other professional contexts, and we’ll practice several major forms of workplace documents, such as memos, reports, and resumes, and experiment with common writing tools, such as PowerPoint and Google docs. Requirements: writing projects including a resumé and cover letter, formal proposal, memos, and presentations. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:300:01 – Writing Public Arguments
The fundamental techniques of argument, demonstration, and persuasion; analysis of sample readings and extensive writing practice. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:301:90 – Art of Revision
Practice in the art of constructing clear, concise prose, with emphasis on developing a personal style. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:303:01 – Business Writing
This course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of professional and business writing. Students will gain proficiency in analyzing and producing such documents as resumés, applications, proposals, reports, and business plans. Students will also engage in collaborative projects and presentations (both individual and group). Business Writing is a writing-intensive (“W”) course, so students should expect to produce at least 20 pages of finished writing through extensive drafting and revision processes as well as complete a research project. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:305:01 and 50:989:305:90 – Introduction to Creative Writing
:01 – MWF 10:20am-11:15am
:90 – (Online)
Introduction to the writer’s craft that surveys available genres of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
50:989:306:40 – Poetry Writing Workshop
This course is an introduction to writing, reading, thinking, and talking about contemporary poetry. Together, with the aid of many published poets’ work, we will explore the process of discovery that allows a poem to develop, examine and practice using musical, narrative, and other influences; and learn to describe precisely our experiences as readers of poetry. Requirements include: weekly reading and writing assignments, workshop letters, attendance for at least two poetry readings, and a final portfolio. Fulfills the AAI General Education category. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:307:01 – Fiction Writing Workshop
Study and practice of specific stylistic techniques used by professional writers in fiction and nonfiction. For students with a serious interest in writing. Fulfills the AAI General Education category. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:309:01 – Nonfiction Workshop
In this workshop, students will consider their own lives and research interests to create compelling personal essays. Students will be responsible for submitting 7-12 page essays over the course of the semester as well as reading and critiquing their fellow students’ work. Students will also read and respond to published nonfiction. Fulfills the AAI General Education category.
50:989:315:01 – Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing
This course is tied to the campus’s Writing and Design Lab and serves as the training course for WDL consultants. While working in the Lab, students will learn about major theories of writing as well as concepts in document and web design. This is a 4-credit course open to students who have completed English 101 and 102 with a grade of B or better. SPECIAL PERMISSION ONLY. Requirements: Presentations, media projects including audio recording and web design, and a research project. Fulfills the XPL General Education category. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
50:989:390:40 – Special Topics: Issues in Public History
This seminar-style course focuses on the communication of history with and among diverse audiences, especially in settings such as museums, historic sites, and archives. Students will have the opportunity to learn about public history work first-hand by meeting with a public history professional and will contribute to the Public History Year in Review website (WordPress; training will be provided). A second paper will examine visitor experience at a historic site of each student’s choosing. This is a combined undergraduate-graduate course with assignments adjusted to appropriate levels. Students who wish to see a syllabus from the previous offering of the course are welcome to write to the professor, Dr. Charlene Mires, at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
50:989:390:41 – Special Topics: Freelance Article Writing
Freelance writing provides aspiring journalists and writers with many opportunities, offering a broad spectrum of places to get published on a wide variety of topics. And, if you’re lucky, get paid for it! This course will explore what it takes to be a freelancer, whether it’s working as a stringer for a mainstream media outlet, creating a compelling blog, website, or voice on social media; producing written materials for businesses and organizations, or writing full-length feature articles for magazines or the web. We will investigate opportunities available to freelancers, practice effective techniques for pitching editors, and produce writing geared toward target audiences and publications. The course will be conducted in a workshop setting, with students sharing their work with classmates and providing mutual feedback that will prove beneficial, especially in fine-tuning the longer, magazine-style piece students will produce by the end of the semester. Fulfills the WRI General Education category.
56:350:509:01 or 56:350:509:02 – Professional Seminar in English Studies
Blackford for :01, Gimbalfor :02
This class introduces you to a variety of professions and fields under the auspices of English and Media Studies. We will learn about methods and histories of librarianship, teaching, editing, radio/print journalism, podcasting, producing editions, jobs in writing, public relations, marketing, nonprofit work, academic administration, curriculum development, government fields, digital studies, digital humanities, digital design, and social media. Course requirements include participation, a presentation on the history of a chosen field, the development of a direction for your capstone and website portfolio, and a final research project, which may be multimodal, on a career of your choice.
56:350:545:01 – Shakespeare
We will read ten or so of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, studied both in their own complexity, and as windows onto key elements of early modern English society such as town and country, romance, family structure, political dogmas, and religious controversy. Special attention will be paid to stagecraft, and to the cutting-edge political challenge of these dramas in their original context. Cross-listed with 56:606:608:01
56:350:581:01 – Romantic Childhood
Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, children were often thought of as “defective adults”; but the 18th century and the rise of Romanticism changed all that. The course explores Romanticism’s idealization of the child and its influence on the emergence of Children’s Literature as an distinct literary genre in the 19th century and its explosive growth through the Victorian and Modern eras. Beginning with Blake’s poetic advocacy of the child and Wordsworth’s celebration of childhood, the course looks at selections from Grimm’s’ Tales and Hans Christian Andersen, longer works by Alcott, Stevenson and Twain, and 20th century classics such as The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, and Anne of Green Gables, concluding with work by Babbitt, Rowling and Pullman. Complementing the readings will be screenings of film adaptations of many (if not most) of the assigned texts. Two short papers, one a text-to-cinema comparison. Cross-listed with 56:606:609:01
56:350:595:01 – Special Topics: Posthumanism to the Nonhuman in Theory and Literature
Moving from theories of technological and biological hybridity to nonhuman rhetorics, this seminar studies the ways that contemporary theorists and creative writers think beyond the human. From monsters to machines to mushrooms, we will be reading and thinking with criticism and theory as well as creative work like literature and music that revise traditional notions of being and being-in-relation. Readings will include critical and creative work, and students will be encouraged to tailor the class assignments to their capstone projects or areas of study. Cross-listed with 56:606:610:01
56:842:569:01 – Practicum in the Teaching of Writing
This seminar on composition theory and practice serves as the primary support for graduate teaching assistants in our first year writing program. Grounded in approaches to effective instruction and classroom management, the course introduces current and prospective teachers to the major topics and concerns of composition pedagogy today. These include issues of writing development and cognition, the particular features of academic writing, the changing nature of composing in a digital age, and the demands posed by the diverse backgrounds and cultures of students in the contemporary college classroom. Students in the practicum have opportunities to hone their teaching skills along the way to becoming reflective practitioners. Course texts include The Saint Martin’s Guide to Teaching Writing, 7th Ed. (Bedford/St.
Martins) and A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, 2nd Ed. (Oxford). This course is required for all first year teaching assistants in English and open by permission to other graduate students seeking preparation for teaching writing at the post-secondary level. This course counts toward the Writing Studies Track.
The following courses are open to students registered in the MFA Program. Some space may be available to English MA students by permission of Patrick Rosal.
56:200:517:01 – Fiction Workshop
Students will submit stories or novel excerpts for critique by their classmates and the professor. The workshop will be complemented by analysis of published fiction.
56:200:519:01 – Poetry Workshop
In this class you will submit four (4) new poems, complete in-class assignments and exercises, and contribute to peer critique of student poems. We will look at craft essays and models of published poetry that demonstrate a variety of craft perspectives as guides for composition and revision.
56:200:528:01 – Creative Nonfiction
What does it mean to tell the truth, and more to the point, how do we tell it well? In this workshop, we’ll explore the realms of essay and memoir to tap into the human condition—including the way life has surprised us, perplexed us, held us captive, set us free, broken our spirits, and made us laugh. Towards these ends, we’ll read, write, revise, and critique, then read, write, revise, and critique some more.
56:200:568:01 – Craft: Point of View
This craft class will look at the surprisingly complex questions about how fiction uses narrative point of view. We’ll discuss the differences between omniscient and third person limited viewpoints, first person, the notion of reliability in narration, and many other issues, including the voices of children and talking chimps.