Tentative Course Descriptions (subject to additions, deletions and revisions at a later date.)
* Check Registrar’s listing for course times
For courses listed as “300/400,” undergraduates should list only the “300” number on their registration forms; graduate students should list only the “400” number.

ENGL 180
Writing Tutorial (1 credit)
TBD      Schaffer
English 180 is a one-credit writing tutorial class designed to develop students’ expository writing skills through weekly scheduled conferences with a Writing Resource Center Instructor. Goals are to produce clear, well-organized, and mechanically acceptable prose, and to demonstrate learned writing skills throughout the term. Course content is highly individualized based on both the instructor’s initial assessment of the student’s writing and the student’s particular concerns. All students must produce a minimum of 12 pages of finished writing for each credit for which they are enrolled, and complete other assignments as designed by the instructor to assist in meeting course goals.

ENGL 200
Literature in English
MW 3:20 to 4:35      Kidd
This course introduces students to the reading of literature in the English language. Through close attention to the practice of reading, students are invited to consider some of the characteristic forms and functions imaginative literature has taken, together with some of the changes that have taken place in what and how readers read.

In our course, we will consider how literary critics engage with texts and practice the skills necessary for that task. We will move beyond assessing texts based on their likeability or relatability in order to evaluate their place in literary tradition, understand their formal elements, and pose self-directed questions about the literature we read.

ENGL 203–100
Introduction to Creative Writing
MW 12:45 to 2:00      Staff
This course acquaints students with opportunities for creative expression across genres. The course primarily focuses on poetry and short fiction – though playwriting, screenwriting, and genres of creative nonfiction will also be explored. We will attend to those elements that make for vivid, effective writing, including relevant detail, lyrical language, and memorable images; inventive metaphor and simile; and authentic voice, setting, and characterization. Taking this course will help to further develop an understanding and practice of creativity in the medium of language and to distinguish among the creative opportunities and constraints of different literary genres.

ENGL 203–101
Introduction to Creative Writing
TTh 11:30 to 12:45      Schaer
This course acquaints students with opportunities for creative expression across genres. The course primarily focuses on poetry and short fiction – though playwriting, screenwriting, and genres of creative nonfiction will also be explored. We will attend to those elements that make for vivid, effective writing, including relevant detail, lyrical language, and memorable images; inventive metaphor and simile; and authentic voice, setting, and characterization. Taking this course will help to further develop an understanding and practice of creativity in the medium of language and to distinguish among the creative opportunities and constraints of different literary genres.

ENGL 204
Introduction to Journalism
TTh 7:00 to 8:15      Staff
Students will learn the basics of reporting and writing news stories, but also the traditions behind the craft and the evolving role of journalism in society. Instruction will include interviewing skills, fact-checking, word choice and story structure–all framed by guidance on making ethically sound decisions. Assignments could include stories from a variety of beats (business, entertainment, government, science), along with deadline stories and breaking news Web updates, profiles and obituaries.

ENGL 213
Introduction to Fiction Writing
MWF 9:30 to 10:20                                                                           Schaer
A beginning workshop in fiction writing, introducing such concepts as voice, point of view, plot, characterization, dialogue, description, and the like. May include discussion of literary examples, both classic and contemporary, along with student work.

ENGL 214
Introduction to Poetry Writing
TTh 2:30 to 3:45                                                                                Turner
This introductory poetry workshop will take us back to the fundamentals of poetry writing: the image, the line, the heart, and the world. We’ll discuss student poems, make time for generative writing, and work through several collections of contemporary poetry from a diverse range of authors. Requirements include active workshop participation and community-mindedness, engaged reading, a final portfolio, and a sense of openness and sensitivity to the world at hand.

Business and Professional Writing
TTh 5:30 to 6:45      Robisch
An introduction to professional communication practices and theory. Focus on presentation styles and techniques, preparing for writing at work, design strategies for documents, and ethical communication.  Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.

Introduction to the Novel
TTh 4:00 to 5:15      Staff
Introductory readings in the novel. May be organized chronologically or thematically. Some attention to the novel as a historically situated genre.

ENGL 270
Introduction to Gender Studies
MW 12:45 to 2:00      Jewell
This course introduces students to major concepts of and current issues in Gender Studies. Course objectives are to not only demonstrate an understanding of the academic study of gender, but also to critically interpret the complex, often contradictory, and high-stakes ways in which it operates in culture. We will read historical and contemporary texts from a variety of disciplinary perspectives to explore a range of topics, including gender activism in the United States, representations of identity in popular culture; health and reproductive justice; the division of labor in the home and workplace; and sexuality, among others. Students will write short critical responses, take a midterm and a final exam, and participate in a group project. *Note: This is cross-listed as WGST, 201, SOCI 201, HSTY 270, PHIL 270, and RLGN 270.

ENGL 300
English Literature to 1800
MWF 10:35 to 11:25      Olbricht
This course introduces students to a broad spectrum of British literature from the Middle Ages into the eighteenth-century. We will read selections from canonical writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, as well as non-canonical writers such as Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, and Olaudah Equiano. We’ll consider the texts we read for their positions on race and ethnicity, gender, and class. We will consider historical difference in terms of literacy, authorship, and print culture while we take into account our own contemporary position as readers of this literature. Requirements for the course include regular attendance, participation in discussion, short close-reading papers that serve as the basis for two five-page papers, and a final exam.

ENGL 304/304C
Intermediate Writing Workshop
TTh 4:00 to 5:15      Staff
Continues developing the concepts and practice of the introductory courses, with emphasis on experiment and revision as well as consideration of poetic genres through examples from established poets. Maximum 6 credits. Offered as ENGL 304 and ENGL 304C. Prereq: ENGL 203 or ENGL 214.

ENGL 308
Introduction to American Literature
TTh 10:00 to 11:15       Clune
In this survey of important works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, we will investigate how literature transmits and transforms some central American obsessions. These include: the love of money; visibility and invisibility; memory and forgetfulness; and ways of replacing society. Authors include Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton, and Claude Brown. Written work includes two short papers and informal response papers.

ENGL 310
History of the English Language
TTh 8:30 to 9:45      Emmons
This course will explore the linguistic, cultural, and political forces that have made the English language what it is today and that will continue to shape it in the centuries to come. While we might assume that the “rules” of Standard Edited English (e.g., never split an infinitive, hopefully cannot modify a sentence) are neutral facts, when they are considered in their historical contexts, they have far more complicated stories to tell us. This course will investigate such stories as it traces the general sound, word, and grammatical changes the language has undergone in its transitions from Old to Middle to Early Modern to Modern English. No prior experience in linguistics or with Old/Middle English texts is expected.

The course goals are:

  • To understand language as systematic and constantly changing at every level: from sounds (phonology) to the structure of words (morphology), from sentence patterns (syntax) to meanings (semantics);
  • To observe and appreciate the social, cultural, and political influences on language development (and on speakers);
  • To examine dialects as systematic, though often socially unequal, forms of language;
  • To enjoy the English language – past, present, and future!

ENGL 324/424
Histories and Tragedies
TTh 5:30 to 6:45      Orlock
The course – a combination of lecture and class discussion – will explore selected tragedies and histories of William Shakespeare. Through close reading and critical analysis – supported by viewing video productions of the plays – we’ll consider these complex works both as literary texts and as scripts intended for performance on the stage, and see how the characters indulge not only in language and poetry, but also in love, murder, laughter, marriage, betrayal, lust, wit, and grief.

In addition to the play texts, supplementary reading – along with individual student research projects presented in a seminar environment – will help establish a multi-dimensional perspective of the Elizabethan Age, and provide insight re the degree to which Shakespeare embedded in these plays the political intrigue, social issues, sexual politics, and ethical dilemmas of the world around him. A key component of the semester’s discussion will reflect upon the relevance of these 16th century texts to 21st century life and culture.

ENGL 367/467
Introduction to Film
TTh 2:30 to 3:45      Spadoni
An introduction to the art of film. Each week we’ll take an element of film form (editing, cinematography, sound, and so on) and ask how filmmakers work with this element to produce effects. Most weeks, students will watch a film on their own that the class will discuss in light of the week’s focus. Films will include masterworks of the silent era, foreign films, Hollywood studio-era classics, and more recent cinema.

Undergrads (ENGL 367) take a scheduled quiz, possible occasional unscheduled ones, and a midterm and final exam, and they write two essays (5-6 and 8-10 pages). Grad students (ENGL 467) satisfy the same requirements, but their final essay is an extended research project, in connection with which they submit a partial draft and other related documents.

Engl 367 has no prerequisites and welcomes first-year students.

ENGL 368
Topics in Film
Classic American Fiction on Film
TTh 2:30 to 3:45      Marling
We will read novels and some short fiction by Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Scott Fitzgerald, Nathaniel West, Kurt Vonnegut, Alice Walker, James M. Cain, Toni Morrison, and Raymond Carver. Then we’ll watch the celebrated films made from their works, some of them more famous than the texts. This is a chance to read some classic authors (Steinbeck) not often taught in our surveys. And also a chance to see films not included in our conventional film classes. Paper books. Two short papers and one longer one, faithful attendance, and a vibrant presence in our Canvas discussions desired.

ENGL 370/370C/470
Comics & the Graphic Novel
TTh 4:00 to 5:15                                                                                Staff
In this class we will explore the unique medium of comics. We will read works by several prominent authors and artists across a wide array of genres: superhero comics, YA, fantasy, science-fiction, noir, fantasy, nonfiction, and standalone graphic novels. Our goals are to understand what comics are and some of the various theories of reading them. Because this is an English class, we will focus on close readings of text and images that may be magnified by theory or historical context to best understand what the work is about. We will interrogate these works through prodigious reading, class discussion, and several papers including a final research project, to best understand these very provocative works done in a truly unique medium.

ENGL 376/476
Studies in Genre
Dark Comedy
T 4:55 to 6:55      Clune
The surrealist Andre Breton invented the term “black comedy” to describe a form of laughter that acts as a corrosive fluid, demolishing the most basic assumptions and values of social life. This course explores masterpieces of American dark humor, along with key works of international dark humor. We will read fiction by writers including Hawthorne, Wharton, Celine, Schuyler, and Acker. Through close attention to these works, we will investigate the value of laughing at life, the religious dimension of dark humor, and the new forms of thought and experience negativity makes possible.

ENGL 380
Department Seminar
Writing Black Britain
MWF 9:30 to 10:20       Koenigsberger
This Departmental Seminar explores writing by and about “Black Britain,” a contested phrase that defines British subjects of African, Caribbean and – in its broadest compass – South Asian descent. In the post-War period, the diverse cultures of Black Britain have redefined what it means to be British, and what can be understood to characterize British literature. Over the course of the semester, we will read a series of narratives by writers such as David Dabydeen, Sam Selvon, Jackie Kay, Monica Ali, Meera Syal, Andrea Levy, and Caryl Phillips, along with selections of recent poetry, nonfiction, and linguistic performance from other key writers and lyricists (Warsan Shire, Santan Dave, Stormzy, e.g.).

Students can expect to work on a number of research and writing requirements, including the development of a substantial research paper.

ENGL 387/WLIT 387/ENGL 487/WLIT 487
Literary and Critical Theory
MWF 11:40-12:30      Koenigsberger
What makes literature “literary”?  Just what do literary critics and theorists do, and why?  Certainly critics are concerned with what texts mean, but from where does that meaning emerge—from the author’s intentions, the linguistic design of the work itself, the historical period in which the text was produced, or readers and critics? This course will explore such questions and introduce various forms of literary and critical theory from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, enabling students to situate the critical texts they read and write. Regular exchange in the seminar and via Canvas will be essential to the semester’s work. Students enrolling in 487 should expect additional readings, meetings, and presentations.

ENGL 398
Professional Communication for Engineers
TBD      Staff
English 398 introduces principles and strategies for effective communication in both academic and workplace engineering settings. Through analysis of case studies and of academic and professional genres, this course develops the oral and written communication skills that characterize successful engineers. Students will prepare professional documents that focus specifically on communicating academic and technical knowledge to diverse audiences. Because such documents are always situated within professional, social, and rhetorical contexts, this course also requires students to explain and justify their communicative choices in order to become adept in navigating the rhetorical environments they will encounter as professional engineers. As a SAGES Departmental Seminar, English 398 also prepares students for the writing they will do in Capstone projects.

Note:  ENGL 398 complements ENGR 398, a 1-credit co-requisite lecture course, which introduces major practical, theoretical, and ethical issues that shape the environment for communication among professional engineers. For details of the ENGR 398 objectives, work commitments, grade breakdown, and assignments, please see the separate syllabus for that course.

ENGL 524
Criticism and Other Special Topics
English & the Humanities in Higher Education
Th 7:00 to 9:30       Emmons
Stealing the title of William Riley Parker’s 1967 College English article, this seminar first asks: Where do English departments come from? And then: Where are English departments going? We will consider the realities of the university as a workplace, paying attention to the structures that govern departments of English and that shape the lives of their students, faculty, and staff. To do this, we will consider higher education in the United States – its varieties, locations, and configurations – and examine the role of the humanities in general and English departments in particular within it. We will investigate questions that construct academic careers, for example: What is the value of a liberal education (and for whom)? What is the potential for English study to dismantle or sustain unjust social structures? What is academic freedom (and who has it)? What is the future of tenure (and who cares)?

By the end of this seminar, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the missions, opportunities, and challenges of teaching English at a variety of higher education institutions
  • Describe the historical role(s) and potential future(s) of English studies within U.S. higher education
  • Assess their own interest and readiness for careers in and outside of academic institutions
  • Contribute meaningfully to debates about the future of English and/or the humanities