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.
The Writing Program offers a variety of communication-intensive courses, including Academic Inquiry Seminars for first-year students (see: https://case.edu/artsci/writing/academics/general-education-writing/academic-inquiry-seminars). The Writing & Communication Resource Center also provides individual consultations to CWRU students at any stage of their writing processes, and for every writing occasion (from personal statements to science fiction; from research papers to podcasts). For more information, please visit: https://case.edu/artsci/writing/.
Writing Across Disciplines
MW 12:45 to 2:00 Demeter
In this course, students will develop their genre knowledge and metacognitive skills to prepare for the advanced writing, reading, and research tasks required in upper-level writing and disciplinary courses across the university. Through individual and group inquiry, students will analyze and discuss the conventions of academic genres to understand the textual and linguistic features and disciplinary expectations of each form of writing. Then, students will apply these generic conventions through the production and revision of writing within each genre. Throughout the semester, students will engage in workshops and discussions that foster skills in the areas of seminar participation, collaboration, rhetorical awareness, and critical thinking. This course is specifically designed for non-native speakers of English, but native speakers may take the course with the approval of the instructor. This course counts toward the Communication-Intensive (CI) Seminar portion of the Written, Oral, and Multimodal Communication GER.
Writing Tutorial (1 credit)
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.
Introduction to Creative Writing
TTh 11:30 to 12:45 Schaer
A course exploring basic issues and techniques of writing narrative prose and verse through exercises, analysis, and experiment. For students who wish to try their abilities across a spectrum of genres.
Introduction to Creative Writing
TTh 10:00 to 11:15 Schaer
A course exploring basic issues and techniques of writing narrative prose and verse through exercises, analysis, and experiment. For students who wish to try their abilities across a spectrum of genres.
Introduction to Journalism
TTh 10:00 to 11:15 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.
Introduction to Fiction Writing
M 3:20 to 5:50 Umrigar
You will be introduced to the basic elements of craft that go into writing a successful short story–character development, plot development, establishing a sense of place, dialogue writing etc. You will be assigned weekly readings from an anthology of contemporary short fiction, which will help you learn to develop a critical vocabulary to discuss the readings. The class will be conducted as a writing workshop, which means you will read and critique stories submitted by your classmates. Apart from writing two, full-length short stories, you will write shorter pieces each week and post these to Canvas.
NOTE: Regular attendance and the ability to meet deadlines is mandatory, given that this is a writing workshop.
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 Daniel
An introduction to professional communication in theory and practice. Special attention paid to audience analysis, persuasive techniques in written and oral communication, document design strategies, and ethical communication practices. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
Writing for the Health Professionals
MW 12:45 to 2:00 Steck
This course offers practice and training in the professional and technical writing skills common to health professions (e.g., medicine, nursing, dentistry). Attention will be paid to the writing processes of drafting, revising, and editing. Typical assignments include: letters, resumes, personal essays, professional communication genres (e.g., email, reports, patient charts, and histories), and scholarly genres (e.g., abstracts, articles, and reviews). Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
MW 12:45 to 2:00 Ericson
In this section of 257A, we will examine the novel as a distinct form of literary production that often focuses around the domestic sphere. We will think about the novel’s development over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. In doing so, we will ask how the novel, as a particular mode of thinking, relates itself to the domestic, the intimate, and the personal. One of the goals of the course will be to establish, amongst ourselves, what constitutes the ‘novel’ in particular – is it length? Is it structure? Is it voice? We will ask what constitutes the ‘home’ as well – is it within the self? The loved one? The nation? Through examining writing by Shirley Jackson, Virginia Woolf, Kazuo Ishiguro, and others, we will re-examine our understanding of the novel as our exposure to it increases.
Each semester, more detailed course descriptions will be available on the English department website (https://english.case.edu/undergraduate/courses/).
Recommended preparation: Academic Inquiry Seminar or SAGES First Seminar. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
TTh 11:30 to 12:45 Kidd
Introductory readings in poetry. May be organized chronologically or thematically. Attention to the formal qualities of poetry in relation to meaning, expressivity, etc. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
TTh 11:30 to 12: 45 Clune
Science fiction and fantasy are art forms dedicated to creating imaginary worlds, and to exploring the possibilities of human transformation and deformation. Critical questions will include the relation between real and imagined worlds, the transformations of faith and belief, the image of the alien, the relation of fantasy fiction to gaming culture, and the status of science fiction as the contemporary literature of prophecy. Authors include H.G. Wells, H.P Lovecraft, Mervyn Peake, Phillip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, and Cixin Liu. Written work includes two short papers and informal response papers. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
The Politics of Beauty and Literature
MWF 11:40 to 12:30 Jewell
Does a tattoo hurt your chances of getting a job? Does wearing lipstick make you look less intelligent? Why is it so important to have a good hair day? These are some questions taken up by the authors we are reading in this course. And, perhaps surprisingly, the answers to these questions require a complex consideration of one’s social position in terms of gender, race, social class, sexual identity, and ability. In this communication-intensive course, we will examine how literary authors engage with the politics of beauty and appearance in their works to call attention to important issues of equality and access to opportunity. We will read the works of poets, short story writers, and novelists, alongside those of cultural critics, philosophers, and filmmakers who call attention to the specifically-political nature of body size, hair, skin tone, and modes of dress, among other issues. Students will complete sequenced writing assignments, a 6-8 page researched essay, a presentation, and a final short reflection paper to be included in the Experience Portfolio. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
Literature, Gender, and Sexuality
MWF 9:30 to 10:20 Jewell
This course focuses on how writers engage with the complex subjects of gender and sexuality in their works. We will read works by novelists, short story writers, playwrights, and poets, focusing on gender’s multiple intersections with sexual identity, race, social class, and abilities. Throughout the course, we will keep in mind the following questions: What techniques do writers use to engage with the issues of gender identity and sexuality in their works? How do writers protest against — or participate in — the reproduction of gender ideologies? How might literary works provide unique spaces of resistance for reimagining gender roles and identities? How is literary authorship itself gendered and how might authors employ innovative strategies to write beyond binary roles? Students will complete five critical responses, write a midterm essay, and complete multimedia final projects accompanied by a critical essay, and a final short reflection paper to be included in the Experience Portfolio. Recommended preparation: Passing grade in an Academic Inquiry Seminar or a SAGES First Seminar.
Offered as ENGL 286 and WGST 286. Fulfills UGER Communication-Intensive Course Requirement.
English Literature to 1800
TTh 1:00 to 2:15 Parkin
A survey of major British authors before 1800. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.
Introduction to American Literature
TTh 2:30 to 3:45 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.
Histories and Tragedies
MW 12:45 to 2:00 Vinter
In this course we’ll read a selection of Shakespeare’s histories and tragedies from Richard III to Othello. These texts span the entirety of Shakespeare’s career, and in part we’ll be tracking the development of his drama and his shifting place within the Renaissance theater and the wider social sphere. What made Shakespeare so successful in his own time? How do the plays respond to changing artistic fashions and performance conventions, as well as to different social, political and economic conditions? In particular, how is Shakespeare reflecting, commenting on or contesting common Renaissance understandings of drama and language, gender roles and gender identities, and politics and nationhood?
But we’ll also be thinking about what it means to be reading and watching Shakespeare today, in part by looking at more recent receptions and adaptations of some of his plays. What explains the continued attraction of Shakespeare? Can we treat him as our contemporary? What is gained and what is lost when we think of him as modern?
Requirements include regular participation in the classroom and on blackboard, two 5-7 page papers and a final project. Fulfills pre-1800 distribution requirement for the English major. Students registering for ENGL 324C—the Capstone version of this class—will be required to develop and complete a Capstone research project in the wider field of study covered by the course. This Capstone project will have an approximate length of 25pp. and will also include a public presentation of the project. This Capstone research project will fulfill the formal writing requirements for 324. All other reading, class participation, and final exam requirements will be identical for 324 and 324C. Completion of the major’s pre-1800 requirement is a prerequisite for 324C.
Rhetoric of Science and Medicine
W 7:00 to 9:30 Emmons
This course explores the roles language, rhetoric, and discourse play in constructing, communicating, and understanding science and medicine. Some questions we investigate will include the following: What is rhetoric? How might we understand science and medicine as rhetorical? What function do argument and debate serve in the creation of scientific and medical facts? How is scientific and medical practice shaped by rhetoric and communication?
Reading landmark essays from rhetoric, cultural studies, and science & technology studies, we will explore how science and medicine are deeply embedded in and shaped by complex linguistic, historical, and cultural forces. Through an analysis of scientific and medical texts, students will investigate the verbal and visual elements that shape our understanding of scientific concepts and controversies.
Global Anglophone Poetry
MWF 10:35 to 11:25 Hunter
The course will focus on modern poetry—its major writers, texts, performances, and movements— from the Anglophone world, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, South Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Students will learn to recognize forms, traditions, and literary devices of poetry written in English; to analyze the political and economic impacts of imperialism, colonization, and globalization on culture and creativity; to examine the invention, renewal, and circulation of poetic genres of self-expression and community engagement; and to understand how poetry illuminates global histories of race, indigeneity, gender and sexuality.
Post Colonial Literature and Theory
The Indian Novel in English
MWF 11:40 to 12:30 Koenigsberger
This course introduces students to the Indian novel in English as it evolved over the course of the last hundred years. The “Indo-Anglian” novel rapidly developed following Indian independence from Britain in 1947 and now constitutes an important and widely-read body of work, both in South Asia and globally. In this class we will read a series of well-known novels from the Subcontinent by authors who are at the center of most accounts of an Indo-Anglian tradition. As we explore the development of this tradition, we will also pay close attention to the important social and cultural movements, events, and people in India during the century, to theoretical elaborations around notions of the postcolonial, and to the diversity of contemporary writing in English from the Subcontinent. Among the authors we will likely read are Rabindranath Tagore, Kamala Markandaya, R. K. Narayan, Raja Rao, Anita Desai, Salman Rushdie, among others.
Introduction to Film
TTh 1:00 to 2:15 Spadoni
An introduction to the art of film. Each week we’ll take an aspect of film form (editing, cinematography, sound, and so on) and ask how filmmakers work with it to produce effects. Most weeks, students will watch a film on their own that we’ll 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 films.
Undergrads (ENGL 367) take a scheduled quiz, 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 assignments.
Engl 367 has no prerequisites and welcomes first-year students.
Topics in Film
TTh 10:00 to 11:15 Spadoni
Cinema has unique qualities that give it special power to elicit horrific and other unhinging sensations. How do the films do this? What means do filmmakers have at their disposal to engender fear that sets horror films apart from scary works in other media? And when a movie scares us, what fears is it tapping into? We’ll ask these and other questions as we discuss classic and contemporary works of the genre, from silent masterpieces to more recent films. The emphasis will be on close analysis as we explore how film style and narrative—and most basically, the medium of cinema itself—contribute to the power of these films to shock, unbalance, and haunt us.
Undergrads registered for ENGL 368 write two essays (5-6 and 8-10 pages), take part in a group presentation, hand in reading study guides, and write occasional in-class exercises/quizzes (lowest study guide/writing exercise/quiz is dropped). Capstone (Engl 368C) and Grad students (ENGL 467) satisfy the same requirements as ENGL 368 students, but their final essay is an extended research project, in connection with which they submit a partial draft and other related documents.
Engl 368 has no prerequisites and welcomes first year students. Grad and capstone students are advised to contact the instructor before registering.
MW 3:20 to 4:35 Vinter
What makes Hamlet recognizable as Hamlet. Is it a story about a man who needs to revenge his father? Is it “To be or not to be?” Is it Laurence Olivier wearing black and holding a skull? Or is it Simba confronting Scar? This department seminar explores the afterlife of some of Shakespeare’s plays. We’ll compare Shakespeare’s texts to faithful and unfaithful adaptations from a variety of traditions and in multiple different media in order to think about what adaptation is and what it does. We will learn about the cultural, social, and political contexts that shape how adaptations are produced and received. We will also think critically about the elements that constitute a particular work of art in a particular medium, and about the processes through which new works of literature are made from old ones. We’ll use this subject matter to develop and refine students’ understanding of key methodologies and disciplinary writing conventions of literary studies. Requirements for the class include multiple short writing assignments and a presentation leading to a 15-20 page research paper.
Special Topics in Literature
The Literature of 9/11
MW 12:45 to 2:00 Umrigar
This multi-genre course will examine how different genres depict the terrorist attacks on 9/11. We will study how contemporary artists used film, novels, graphic novels, journalism and poetry to grapple with this tragedy, and how each medium contributed to the national conversation. Our discussions will center on the political event itself and the aesthetic response to it. Requirements include class participation, regular postings of responses on Canvas, a short paper, and a longer final research paper. Some of the texts to be considered include Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Art Speilgman’s In the Shadow of No Towers.
Professional Communication for Engineers
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.
Rhetoric and Teaching of Writing
T 4:00 to 6:30 Schaffer
This course provides training in theories and pedagogies of rhetoric and writing at the college level. Designed for CWRU graduate students interested in teaching writing at the college level, this course will focus on major themes and approaches drawn from rhetorical theory and writing studies scholarship, and second language writing research. Students in the course will be introduced to theoretical and practical approaches, so that they might develop a set of coherent, historicized pedagogical practices.
Together we will examine the following questions:
- What role does writing play in college students’ overall academic achievement?
- What can historical theories and contemporary research tell us about the teaching of writing?
- What classroom practices best engage students with the writing process while also encouraging them to attend to the product-driven aspects of composing?
- What kinds of feedback and evaluation produce the best results for both native and non-native speakers of English?
- What types of writing and reading assignments best prepare students to become sophisticated academic writers?
- How do the politics of inclusion, identity, diversity, and access shape writing instruction?
- What are the major professional concerns of composition faculty?
Throughout the semester, we will devote significant class time to putting theory and research into practice by developing and articulating our own individual teaching philosophies and research on composition instruction.
Twentieth Century Literature
Edwardian Literature and Periodical Studies
W 4:30 to 7:00 Koenigsberger
The seminar attends to the relation of literary production, especially of fiction, to questions of format. In particular, we will explore periodical publication in the Edwardian era – roughly 1900-1914, with some wiggle room on either side. Rather than pursue a particular thesis about this relation, students are encouraged to explore both the study of the Edwardian period as an age of “literature in transition” (eponym of a former prominent journal of the period) and the early twenty-first century return to questions about the appearance of print. As a range of periodical publication has come to be folded into major digital initiatives – the Modernist Journals Project (Brown U. and U of Tulsa), Pulp Magazines Project (U of West Florida), and Blue Mountain Project (Princeton U.) – literary study of the high modernist era increasingly complicates a canon that comprises only monumental publications in the form of the book. We’ll start with some classic formulations of Edwardian literature (from Richard Ellmann to Samuel Hynes) and recent contributions to periodical studies (Pat Collier, James Mussell, Robert Scholes, Laurel Brake, and others), before attending closely to the movement of literary texts across formats and media.
Topics in Poetry
Th 4:00 to 6:30 Turner
This graduate seminar is a survey of the lyric poem in English, from Caedmon’s hymn and other Old English lyrics (read in English) to contemporary poets who continue to expand–or explode–the conventions of verse. Reading at least one poet per week, we’ll take account of the major schools, forms, modes, and transformations in poetry, we’ll consider the relationship between poets and the lyric tradition as it is established over time, and we’ll think together about the relationship between lyric poetry and society, culture, ecology, and politics. Requirements include an interest in poetry and poetics, a willingness to read both at length and in depth, a short paper, a memorization and recitation exercise, and a mid-length research paper.