Current Course Descriptions





Prereq: Placement into English 101 through the Admissions Office (The university grants an exemption to students with appropriate scores on AP/IB tests, but these students may find the course beneficial for expanding their range of writing and rhetorical competencies. Students who desire or who may benefit from additional preparation and practice before taking English 101 are invited to enroll in English 100). English 101 must be completed with a "C-" grade; a grade of at least “C” usually required for transfer.

10384 MWF 1:00-2:20 pm ANDREW LUCCHESI

English 101 or Writing and Critical Inquiry is a ten week, computer-assisted, writing course, usually required during students’ first year of university. We call English 101 Writing & Critical Inquiry because academic and scholarly writing at its best expects us to do more than simply communicate information — we must transform information by our own thinking. “Critical” means asking questions about our own and other people’s assumptions and perspectives, questions that lead to taking a second and third look at a subject in order to tease out implications that might not be obvious on the surface. This is part of the analytical process that asks us to seek out the complex reasons behind how and why things work the way they do, and what the implications are for ourselves and the community or communities of which we are a part. But because writing also asks us to predict what happens in the minds of others when they encounter our words, this course also focuses on developing rhetorical awareness—the ability to perceive the most appropriate way to communicate in a given situation, both here at  Western and beyond.

REQUIREMENTS:  Reading of scholarly, visual, and non-fiction texts. Frequent critical and reflective practice writing assignments and longer essays (5-7 pages) that require an extensive idea-generating, drafting, revising, and editing process; mandatory attendance and regularly scheduled conferences with instructor. Various Instructors & Times. May not be taken concurrently with Eng 100.


12080 MW 1:00-1:50pm KAITLYN TEER

In this computer-mediated writing course, students respond to the Western Reads text by constructing and designing different kinds of print, visual, and oral texts. This course is recommended for freshmen.


Prereq: Eng 101 or 4/5 AP English Language Exam

11022 T/TR 10:00-11:50 am +1hr/wk arr SHANNON KELLY

This course explores the ways writing and environments, particularly what we might call "green spaces," interact and even create one another. We’ll explore, trace, and question environmental concerns, and how our writing constructs the very environments we occupy. So it might be more accurate to call the course Writing Environments, which might sound kind of strange. But here’s what I mean: environments can occupy a seemingly mundane position in our lives, yet the ways we approach and describe them shapes and creates those same environments. For example, a conservationist and an environmentalist differently approach and describe the same forest, and it becomes a different forest, even though, again, it’s the same physical location. In other words, their work to describe the forest composes new knowledge – rather than merely report what seems readily apparent. So, for you, this means that rather than reporting on "the environment," plan on spending time outside in order to write and, so, create your own environmental concerns. 


Prereq: Eng 101

10066 MWF 10:00-11:30 am BRUCE GOEBEL

In this course, you will engage in analytical reading of postmodern literature, video, music and other art forms and write personal, creative, and academic responses to those texts.  We will pay particular attention to the authors’/artists’ choices in terms of form and style, exploring how form and style contribute to the viewpoint or argument of the text.  For the formal writing assignments, you will produce a number of drafts, participate in peer writing workshops, and attend instructor-student conferences.

TEXTS: The White Boy Shuffle; The Complete Maus; VAS: An Opera in Flatland; handouts.

11023 T/TR 10:00-12:00 am MARGARET FOX

In this section of English 202, we’ll focus on the themes of obedience to authority and resistance in literature. Beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale, we’ll explore both serious and satirical texts, including novels, essays, and poetry. We’ll consider the insights literature offers us and examine the ways formal critical practices help deepen understanding and appreciation of texts. 

Coursework will include reading assignments, informal writing, group presentations, short papers, one formal analytical paper (with multiple drafts), and a final project. During class, we’ll have discussions and small group activities.

11024 T/TR 12:00 - 1:50 pm +1hr/wk arr MICHAEL BELL

This section of English 202 involves critical inquiry into the literary “effect”: the power of narrative to construct and inform our worldly experience, even our reality. To sometimes great extent, we model our identities on stories, and form our expectations, assumptions, and judgments from them. By making connection to our experiences and histories, stories illuminate the world, permitting us to see more texture and variety and possibility in our lives. The stories we read in this course will range from biography to graphic novels to contemporary fantasy. Through intensive reading, discussion, activity, and writing we will further develop our ability to make meaning from literary texts, focusing our analyses through formal critical practices as well as rigorous play and experimentation. You will emerge from the course a stronger analytic writer and reader with greater appreciation of the power of literature to bring you to deeper self-knowledge and increased awareness of a wider, richer, more complex world.

REQUIRED TEXTS: Annihilation, Jeff Vandermeer; Fallen Angel, Kate Zambreno; The Door, Magda Szabo; Distant Star, Roberto Bolano; Roughneck, Jeff Lemire

ASSIGNMENTS: In addition to reading assignments and participation in class activities, requirements will comprise one formal analytical paper (including multiple drafts), a variety informal writing assignments, participation in online forums, and a final project.

10249 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm BRIAN TWENTER

In this course, we will be reading and writing about a variety of literary forms written by Indigenous authors of Native North America including fiction, poetry, short story, memoir, and film. As we engage these literary forms, we will also explore the myriad ways that both authors and critics write about literature by reading literary analysis, and academic scholarship that engages literature in order to formulate a broader argument. In doing so, we will come to a better understanding of the diversity of experiences among Native communities in North America, and we will learn how to write in ways that ably demonstrate and engage that diversity. Through a variety of activities and assignments including close readings, broad analysis, reading responses, and critical essays, we will develop the reading and writing skills necessary to critically engage literature and the various worlds from which it emerges.

A primary goal of ENG 202 is to help students develop their writing skills. Thus, this course will focus on strategies of critical thinking/reading and argumentation, grammar and composition, scholarly research, and successful MLA documentation. Students can expect to gain the skills necessary to develop a focused thesis, to write clear analyses of literature, and to describe the social and political significance of writers and their work. By the end of this course, students will be able to both read accurately and critically in a variety of genres across a range of cultural and historical locations and to write effectively in a variety of genres using appropriate conventions. Students can also expect to gain a working knowledge of some of the core questions and themes that characterize contemporary literature by Indigenous authors of North America.

10745 MWF 8:30-10:00 am PAM HARDMAN

CONTENT: In this section of 202 we will read texts that explore how identities and cultural stories are constructed and overlap. We’ll look at a wide range of texts, from fairy tales to news articles, but will focus on several books, published in the last 30 years, from a variety of genres and social contexts. We’ll learn about and use several theoretical notions to help us navigate the texts. The course aims to help you become a more critical and engaged reader of written and visual texts, as well as a more confident and informed writer. I hope you leave the class with increased abilities to analyze, write about, and enjoy a range of texts.

TEXTS: Jeffrey Nealon and Susan Searls Giroux, The Theory Toolbox; Sherman Alexie, The Business of Fancydancing; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Sonny Liew, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye; Sabrina Vourvoulias, Ink; Canvas readings.

ASSIGNMENTS: Several short papers; several in-class writes; one set of discussion questions; final project.

11025 T/TR 8:00-10:00 am +1hr/wk arr ELY SHIPLEY

A writing course designed to help students develop the skills of close reading and careful analysis of literary texts, with particular attention to how language, style, and form contribute to a text’s social or political claims. Introduces students to the challenge of situating themselves in relation to a literary text and the critical conversation about that text, and crafting multi-draft critical essays with a focused, arguable thesis supported by thoughtful sequence of claims and carefully selected textual evidence.

ENGLISH 214 – SHAKESPEARE (5) HUM $1.85 fee

10978 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm +1hr/week arr CHRISTOPHER PATTON

To study Shakespeare is to study ourselves. Our language is full of his turns of phrase. His drama informs our drama, our cinema, and our TV shows, from South Park to Game of Thrones to Westworld. We’re going to explore just how current Shakespeare is by putting his plays into action—sometimes from the page (in ear and mind), sometimes on the stage (for eye and ear). Which brings us to the fine print. And it’s important enough to start with some big print. PLEASE TAKE NOTE. This is not your usual GUR. There will be no lectures. There will be no midterm exam. There will be no final exam. There will be a whole lot of discussion; regular journal writing; a memorization and recitation assignment; blocking projects; and a group performance project worth a big fat chunk of your grade. You’ll be asked to memorize a part and to perform, in character, in front of your peers, although acting ability is not a prerequisite. Do not sign up for this course if you’re not ready to attend every class and to participate actively in all aspects of our work together. If you are so ready, we should have a lot of fun. Our plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Othello, The Tempest.


13781 MWF 2:30-3:50 pm JEANNE YEASTING

With a focus on the British nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this course will involve analysis, interpretation, and discussion of one of the staples of British literature – the mystery – by diverse writers.

TEXTS: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: The Major Stories with Contemporary Critical Essays, edited by Charles Hodgson. Bedford/St. Martin’s; Wilkie Collins, “A Plot in Private Life” (1859 version; details TBA); Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries), William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins); Media Tie In edition 2017; P.D. James, Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, No. 1). Touchstone (Simon & Schuster Publishers)

ENGLISH 238 – The Society through its Literature: How Did THAT Book Win? (5) BCGM $1.85 fee

13338 T/TR 12:00-1:50 pm +1hr/wk arr NANCY JOHNSON

The experience of reading can be very personal, idiosyncratic, and also subjective. When we find texts that speak to us -- our experiences, our interests, even our identities -- we often respond with claims that a book is "good" (or "great" or even the "best book in the world"). But, what happens when our personal taste doesn't match other readers' responses? How do we honor personal response/taste and develop an aesthetic that allows us to deepen our experience and understanding of a text? And, to add another layer, how do we (re)read to expand our appreciation of a book's merits by paying attention to criteria established by award committees? In this course we will explore the question, "How did THAT book win?" by examining awards for children's and young adult literature (Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, Sibert, etc.) and becoming familiar with the process and criteria for award selection. Students taking this class are required to attend the WWU-sponsored Children's Literature Conference on Saturday, February 24th as the 5th hour arranged.

*** Please wait to purchase books until you come to class. ***

TEXTS (required): All-American Boys (J. Reynolds & B. Kiely); Esperanza Rising (P. Muñoz Ryan); The One and Only Ivan (K. Applegate); Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear (L. Mattick, illus. S. Blackall)

EXPECTATIONS: Willingness to read and discuss with an openness to examine texts based on personal response as well as evaluative award criteria. This course expects you to develop an appreciation for books written for children and teens, recognized as award worthy, and become knowledgeable about the process and criteria for significant awards. You'll read (and re-read) both required and choice texts, participate in discussions that mimic award committee work, and work in a partnership to research, design, and create a mini-documentary about an existing book award.


11108 T/TR 10:00-11:50 am +1hr/wk arr CATHY McDONALD

Language and Society

“Four American Dialects: In Your Face”

“English 270 is a Humanities GUR that offers a thematic approach to the study of language use in society.”

You: “What are the Humanities?” “What is language use?” “What does language use have to do with society?” “Why should I ever care?” “Is this GUR less boring and less work than others? “ “When’s lunch?”

While I cannot speak to lunchtime, I can tell you that this course will probably not be like other GUR courses you’ve taken. This is no lecture course. I’ll give you propositions and you will go study them. We will apply theories we learn (AKA applied linguistics—a field we will talk about) to actual instances of language as it has been already spoken/written. We are going to get down and dirty with the study of four variations of English that you likely know nothing about.

What do you know any of the dialects of African American English? Did you know it is a whole language domain with dialects of its own?  Another domain of dialects is Southern American English. Can you say: “Rat now”? instead of “Right now”? I’ll teach you how, and what is more, why that’s important. I am a native speaker of the dialect that is misunderstood as “Pittsburghese.” It’s not even a dialect, but those of us who are natives believe it is, and I’ve got the tee shirts to prove it (are you nebby about that statement?). Ever been to Hawai’i? And what’s that apostrophe doing between the last letters, anyway? (Do you know what a glottal stop is?) How can a user of “proper English” acknowledge a pidgeon dialect that is, well, to be painfully honest, just embarrassingly poor grammar—not “proper English”? How humiliating is that?

Be prepared to be surprised. Be prepared to read and read. A lot. Be prepared to speak often in small groups about what you have read and written about. Be prepared to have a lot of fun and learn a lot about stuff you never knew.

ENGLISH 301 – WRITING STUDIES (5) $1.85 fee


Prereq: Eng 101; junior standing

10477 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm +1hr/wk arr CATHY McDONALD

As “human wordlings” (a delicious term that writing studies scholar Richard Coe coined), people everywhere seem to have a need to tell their stories and to listen to the narratives of others. Why do people write memoirs, autobiographies, diaries, or posts about what they just ate for lunch? What is the power of telling who we are? And what do readers get out of experiencing other people’s stories? Why do we need to hear stories beyond ourselves?

This section of English 301: Writing Studies looks at writing about self. Wait, what is writing studies? The field of Writing Studies is new to many students, who are used to English classes being focused on either literature or creative writing. The lit course might include readings of, say, slave narratives of American women, as expressive literature. The creative writing course might emphasize how one produces or creates such a narrative. But a writing studies course asks different questions. Writing studies is a discipline that looks at how writing works in the world.

So we are going to investigate how writing about self-works, or the social and personal forces at work in such texts. How do they create identity, not merely reveal what was already there? How do writers get out of writing their stories and experiences—are they working out their major life issues about things like mental illness, death, trauma, family, change, identity, religion, etc.? Does having outsiders read their narratives help them process? Or turn the question around and ask what readers get out of reading someone else’s life. What’s the difference between the autobiographies of celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Trevor Noah versus the “No-Body Memoir” about the tragic story of a cancer victim? And what about the blogs/personal journals that you and I might write for no apparent reason? Let’s enjoy ourselves contemplating such questions. And of course, reading and writing, a lot.



Prereq: Eng 101; junior standing

11640 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm +1hr/wk arr MARGARET FOX

Prerequisites: English 101 & Junior Status

In English 302, we’ll explore the main elements of technical and professional writing, or writing in action. We’ll consider a wide range of rhetorical situations, focusing on the needs and interests of readers, and the purposes and contexts for documents. Course topics will include the importance of document design and strategies for sentence clarity and brevity. The class will also cover the elusive subjects of imagination and empathy in professional writing.

During this writing intensive course, we’ll create résumés and cover letters, information sheets, and proposals. We’ll work collaboratively on an advocacy project. Final portfolios of revised projects will showcase the quarter’s work.

Texts: reserved material and online sources.

10450 T/TR 8:00-10:00 am +1hr/wk arr SIMON McGUIRE

This writing intensive course invites you to explore what is technical about technical writing. Course projects ask you to analyze and create technical documents that relate to your academic, professional and social interests. Projects emphasize rhetorical analysis, document design, user testing, and the practical and cultural implications of your choices as a writer. Throughout the course, you’ll learn to re-imagine the page, to edit and revise documents for visual impact, and to view your readers as information users with specific needs. We will also examine and utilize fundamental concepts in technical writing such as readability/usability, page layout and visual rhetoric, and the importance of analyzing your audience before you write.

10762 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arr SIMON McGUIRE

This writing intensive course invites you to explore what is technical about technical writing. Course projects ask you to analyze and create technical documents that relate to your academic, professional and social interests. Projects emphasize rhetorical analysis, document design, user testing, and the practical and cultural implications of your choices as a writer. Throughout the course, you’ll learn to re-imagine the page, to edit and revise documents for visual impact, and to view your readers as information users with specific needs. We will also examine and utilize fundamental concepts in technical writing such as readability/usability, page layout and visual rhetoric, and the importance of analyzing your audience before you write.

10529 T/TR 10:00am-12:00 pm +1hr/wk arr GERI FORSBERG

English 302 is the English department’s introductory 300-level course in technical writing. It is for juniors and seniors. It is a 5-credit writing proficiency course. English 302 emphasizes the writer-reader relationship in a variety of non-academic writing situations. Students learn to identify their audience, develop objectives for their written documents, organize the content of their documents and revise documents for readability. Students write and design a resume, letters, memos, a proposal, instructions, and a magazine article.  Students also learn to work in small groups, collaborate on writing, and make effective oral presentations. The final project in this course is a professional portfolio which provides examples of your strongest work.

10675 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arr GERI FORSBERG

English 302 is the English department’s introductory 300-level course in technical writing. It is for juniors and seniors. It is a 5-credit writing proficiency course. English 302 emphasizes the writer-reader relationship in a variety of non-academic writing situations. Students learn to identify their audience, develop objectives for their written documents, organize the content of their documents and revise documents for readability. Students write and design a resume, letters, memos, a proposal, instructions, and a magazine article.  Students also learn to work in small groups, collaborate on writing, and make effective oral presentations. The final project in this course is a professional portfolio which provides examples of your strongest work.

13485 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm +1hr/wk arr GERI FORSBERG

English 302 is the English department’s introductory 300-level course in technical writing. It is for juniors and seniors. It is a 5-credit writing proficiency course. English 302 emphasizes the writer-reader relationship in a variety of non-academic writing situations. Students learn to identify their audience, develop objectives for their written documents, organize the content of their documents and revise documents for readability. Students write and design a resume, letters, memos, a proposal, instructions, and a magazine article.  Students also learn to work in small groups, collaborate on writing, and make effective oral presentations. The final project in this course is a professional portfolio which provides examples of your strongest work.

10596 T/TR 10:00am-12:00 pm +1hr/wk arr MICHAEL BELL

In this section of English 302 you’ll develop your skill in generating reader-centered documents that work: documents that do things as well as say things, performing specific functions for specific kinds of readers. Given that so much of our culture now communicates and conducts its business in the visual realm, your work in the course will be focused as much on document design as written language. Through this work you will gain an understanding of how all the elements of a document work together to communicate within specific contexts, for specific audiences.

English 302 is not simply a skills-acquisition course however. It’s also a course about ideas. We will use technical communication as a field in which to conduct analytic inquiry appropriate to study in the humanities. The course is organized around a sequence of projects. Each of them focus on an aspect of professional communication, but all of them will work within a guiding framework. This spring the analytic component of the course will take us into a study of games and the culture surrounding them: from board games, to collectible card games, to table-top role-playing games, to social-media games, to video games. As a student of the course, you will be teaming with other students on a series of documents, presentations, and prototypes leading to the development of an original tabletop game. The design of your game will be based in part on contemporary game studies and critiques. Every stage of this inquiry will generate documents in accord with the guidelines of effective technical and professional communication. (And yes, we will be playing games in class!)

You will emerge from the course with the ability to respond effectively to the requirements of technical communication.  You will also have a complex understanding of what is becoming a vital aspect of our contemporary culture.


Prereq: Eng 202

13317 T/TR 10:00am-12:00pm +1hr/wk arr NICHOLAS MARGARITIS

Important works by three of the greatest medieval authors: Dante's Purgatorio; selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as well as his early dream-vision poems; and the late 14th century allegorical masterpiece Pearl by Chaucer's anonymous English contemporary. Necessary attention to historical context and theological background; but the emphasis will be on the artistry of individual genius. Three short research papers.


Prereq: Eng 202

This course is not repeatable.  Do not repeat historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Long 18th C, Long 19th C, 20/21st C). If you take 308, do not take 318. If you take 318, do not take 308.

12074 MWF 10:00-11:30 am MARY METZGER

Shakespeare and Philosophy: In this course, we will read a range of Shakespeare’s tragedies in light of philosophical questions they raise and attempt to answer, with a particular emphasis on human knowledge (epistemology) and right action (ethics). The course assumes no philosophical background but we will spend time establishing a working vocabulary and basic historical understanding of philosophical and literary forms and focus on a few major ethical theories. Throughout the course, we will explore the connection between philosophical inquiry, human complexity, and literary and, more specifically, tragic poetic & dramatic form and meaning. We will use occasional excerpts from philosophers to develop our understanding as we read and discuss Shakespeare’s work. Much writing, close reading, and critical thinking is required.

Text: The Norton Shakespeare: Tragedies (No substitute).


Prereq: Eng 202

This course is not repeatable.  Do not repeat historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Long 18th C, Long 19th C, 20/21st C). If you take 309, do not take 319. If you take 319, do not take 309.

12075 T/TR 8:00-9:50 am+1hr/wk arr LAURA LAFFRADO

This courses focuses on the time period that scholars have recently named the long eighteenth century—that is, the era that extends from the late seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century. These are such dynamic years in the literature of what becomes the United States. We will read literary works by women and by men of various races, ethnicities, religions, and economic positions that explore vital issues of the day such as liberty, literacy, revolution, and science. We will examine the various ways in which a dominant rich male whiteness is challenged as America and American identities are formed and defined.

ASSIGNMENTS: In this course you will write both extensively and intensively, producing multiple drafts of papers, revisions, and finished essays. We will devote class time for instruction and practice in disciplinary research methods and writing strategies. Students will write short responses to the reading, shorter essays, and one twelve-page critical research paper that engages with current scholarship on an eighteenth-century text or texts assigned for class. Much reading, writing, and thinking will be asked of you, along with steady attendance, a participation grade, group work, and various out-of-class assignments

EVALUATION: 75% of your final grade in this course will be based on revised versions of writing assignments. The remaining 25% will be based on class participation and attendance.

TEXTS: Lauter, Paul (ed.), The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume A, 7th edition.


Prereq: Eng 202

This course is not repeatable. Do not repeat historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Long 18th C, Long 19th C, 20/21st C). If you take 310, do not take 320. If you take 320, do not take 310.

12076 MWF 11:30am-12:50 pm JEANNE YEASTING

Bracketed by two political upheavals -- the French Revolution and World War I – the long 19th century (1794-1914) was a period of revolution and radical reform aesthetically, politically, sexually, and culturally. This was also a time of great anxiety, catalyzed in part by the rise of the British Empire, and the onslaught of new technologies and scientific advancements – from the telegraph to the telephone, to vaccines and blood transfusions. With these changes came fears about the potential monstrosity of unfettered sexuality, science, colonization, and technology. Fears that were often expressed in literature through a mixture of Orientalism, the Gothic and the Romantic sublime – what could be called the monstrous sublime. 

In this small, discussion-oriented, writing intensive seminar, students will explore some of the many works of British fiction published during this time which embody, and interrogate, this anxiety-ridden juxtaposition of the monstrous and the sublime. To deepen our understanding, we will explore our texts’ varied and complex relationships to historical contexts and cultural constructs of domesticity, globalization, science, gender, and labor.

ASSIGNMENTS: Requirements include heavy reading; leading class discussion; and a longer, final paper which you will work on writing in stages – revising, rethinking, and researching your ideas.

EVALUATION: Based primarily on active and attentive class participation and fulfillment of assignments.

TEXTS: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles; Bram Stoker, Dracula; selected texts on Canvas.


Prereq: Eng 202

This course is not repeatable. Do not repeat historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Long 18th C, Long 19th C, 20/21st C). If you take 311, do not take 321. If you take 321, do not take 311.

12077 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arr CHRISTOPHER WISE

This course will survey canonical works by major American writers of the 20th century. Course themes will include World War I, the “Lost Generation” and the American expatriate experience; Modernism, Cubism, Imagism, and the relation of various arts to 20th century American literature, including painting, music, film, and ballet; the rise of Soviet Marxism, Fascism, and the Spanish Civil War; World War II.

Course Texts: Ezra Pound, Selected Poems; T.S. Eliot, Selected Poems & “Tradition and Individual Talent;” William Carlos Williams, Selected Poems; Gertrude Stein, The Gertrude Stein Reader; Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast; Zelda Fitzgerald, Save Me The Waltz; Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls; Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House Five.


Prereq: Eng 202

10509 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm+1hr/wk arr KATHLEEN LUNDEEN

History of Critical and Cultural Theory: In this course, we’ll examine the history of literary evaluation from Plato to the present and see how the private activity of reading has always existed within a public domain. In our encounters with contemporary theorists we’ll explore the wide range of interpretive approaches to literary analysis. 

Evaluation: Several critical essays; a final exam; vibrant class participation

Required texts: Richter, The Critical Tradition (shorter edition); Abrams, Glossary of Literary Terms (eleventh edition); MLA Handbook (eighth edition)

10251 T/TR 10:00-11:50 am +1hr/wk arr DAWN DIETRICH

This class will provide an overview of post-structuralist literary and critical theory, beginning with Saussure’s insights about language as a sign system and concluding with N. Katherine Hayles’ analysis of digital culture. We will engage readings in post-Marxism, new materialism/object-oriented ontology, feminism, gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism, new historicism, and deconstruction theory as a way to think about the embodied perspectives we assume in the material world and how these perspectives shape our reading and writing practices. The digital context in which we find ourselves necessitates our thinking about our relationship to “things” and “machines” as well as peoples and cultures. By the time you’ve completed this course, you will be able to identify the ideological perspectives and inherent biases that are embedded within texts, whether written, spoken, or visual. We will also challenge the notion that literature and the “high” arts claim a special privilege, by observing how the opposition between the canon and popular culture reveals as much about prevailing social, economic, technological, and political conditions as it does about artistic quality and value. In this course, we will challenge value hierarchies by placing more of an emphasis on relating cultural products or events than on rating them.  We will have a chance to consider popular media and visual texts in addition to literary texts belonging to “high culture.”

Assignments: Course work will include the assigned reading, participation in class discussions and small group work, and a series of three analytical papers (5-6 pages). I will create an online forum for our class on Canvas to facilitate class discussion as well as provide a space for student questions and observations, course documents, and class announcements.

Evaluation: Course evaluation will be determined by three essays (90%) and peer evaluations (10%).

Required Texts: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism; A Critical and Cultural Theory Reader (2nd edition), Antony Easthope and Kate McGowan; Writing Machines, N. Katherine Hayles.

Recommended Texts: A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory, Jeremy Hawthorn.

10096 MWF 2:30-4:00 pm NING YU

History of Literary and Cultural Theories: This course surveys a variety of literary and cultural theories, with a brief review of the ancient thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle, and then reviews with some depth five schools of our contemporary thinking: formalism, reader-response, psycho-analysis, structuralism/deconstruction and feminism. We will cope with our “theoretical anxiety” with the help of practical criticism, focusing on one creative work, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, working out outlines for papers approaching the same novella from different theoretical perspectives listed above. We will write two short essays, one at mid-term (5 pages) and the other as the final paper (7 pages). The first one (20%) requires you to use the formalist approach to Heart of Darkness, while the second one would ask you compare and/or contrast what two different literary approaches can do to the same novella (22%). Rather than mid-term and final examinations, each student will write a summary for each of the essays we read when s/he is not writing questions for that day’s discussion (20%; you’re required to post your summaries the night before the class meeting during which the essays you summarize will be discussed. Your summaries will be regularly and strictly checked, but not graded. By the end of the quarter, you will have 20 summaries or outlines, with 1% for each summary). They are the things you can walk out of the classroom with at the end of the quarter, and they are yours to use for the rest of your college career and beyond. Each student is also responsible for eight thought-provoking questions and be prepared to lead discussion with the question (18%, 3% for each question).  When it is your turn to lead class discussion, you will post your question, on blackboard or canvas the night before (by 8:00 pm). The rest of the class will read it and think about it before they come to class. Thus prepared, we can best use our class “contact hours” working on difficult issues under discussion.  Your general participation will be 20% of your total grade.

Requirements: 1. Careful reading. Students must read all the assigned texts carefully and be well prepared to discuss them in depth. Active participation in class discussion is a must for a successful student. Because literary theories sometimes can sound abstract, it is important for you to make a summary for each essay so that you can retain the information you get from these essays. 2. Each student is responsible for six thought-provoking, well-written questions about the assigned texts.  You will post them by 8 pm the evening before discussion so that the instructor can organize his lecture and discussion in response to your questions and thus offer you a class centered on questions and issues that you find important. When we are responding to your question in class, you, with the help of your written response, will lead the discussion because you are the expert in this particular subject. 3. The class will work together towards outlining several critical essays from the perspective of each approach. Every student should actively participate in the outlining process. This is actually a preparation for your final paper: we try to figure out what different things a certain theoretical approach can do to the same creative text---Heart of Darkness, and how sometimes the text simply resists and challenges critical theories. 4. Last but not the least, regular attendance is required. The student will lose 3% of their total grade for each unexcused absence. No student with more than three unexcused absences will get a grade higher than C+ no matter how well s/he does in the class otherwise.


Prereq: Eng 202

This course is not repeatable.  Do not repeat historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Long 18th C, Long 19th C, 20/21st C).If you take 318, do not take 308. If you take 308, do not take 318.

12078 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm +1hr/wk arr MARK LESTER

LOVE, DEATH, AND COMEDY: This course will be a survey of 16th, 17th, and early 18th century English poetry and drama focusing on both the contrast between carnal and spiritual love and the relation of love and death. In the first part of the course, we will focus on the tradition of courtly love inherited by 16th century English writers and on how this was shaped in relation to religious, political, and economic forces. In the latter portion of the course, attention will be given to a group of writers exploring – often by means of humor or satire –– the limits of new scientific and humanistic conceptions of social and sexual relations. Please note that a number of the texts we will examine later in the quarter are sexually explicit. Some readers may find this material to be offensive. TEXTS: Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume B: The Sixteenth Century / The Early Seventeenth Century;  Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost; Libertine Plays of the Restoration.


Prereq: Eng 202

This course is not repeatable. Do not repeat historical periods (Medieval, Early Modern, Long 18th C, Long 19th C, 20/21st C). If you take 319, do not take 309. If you take 309, do not take 319.

12079 MWF 1:00-2:20 pm JULIE DUGGER

It’s common to think of our contemporary digital world as fragmented and fast. News updates by the minute, blogs are inconclusive, and virtual and in real life identities blend and confuse. But what we sometimes forget in our disorientation over these new media discourses is that we’ve been here before. This class will look at the fast, fragmentary, identity-building new media of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with an emphasis on epistolary and periodical form in novels and essays. We’ll examine these forms in the context of their own historical period, but also in the context of ours, considering how, as critic Kathleen Fitzpatrick puts it, “interruption, deferral, and waiting produce the desire that gets readers to return” in both past and present genres, and how the forms in which we read shape our understanding of who we are.

ENGLISH 321 – The Literature of Migration (Survey in Literature and Culture: The 20th and 21st Centuries) (5) $1.85 fee

Prereq: Eng 202

13638 MWF 2:30-4:00 pm JANE WONG

“This is my 14th time pressing roses in fake passports for each year I haven’t climbed marañon trees. I’m sorry I’ve lied about where I was born.”

– Javier Zamora, from “To Abuelita Neli”

Through literature and media, this class asks you to reconsider the static concepts of boundaries and the nation. Drawing upon cultural theorist Stuart Hall’s concept of “roots” and “routes,” we will chart our way through literature deeply invested in home and migration. Unique to their historical and cultural contexts, how do writers articulate their different experiences of migration and its effects upon the self and the larger community? How is the concept of “home” troubled in light of migration? We will read and engage a variety of texts – across multiple genres – interested in migration, including Thi Bui’s graphic novel, The Best We Could Do, Javier Zamora’s poetry collection, Unaccompanied, Jacqueline Woodson’s novella, Another Brooklyn, Salman Rushdie’s essay, Imaginary Homelands, and others. We will consider migration through multiple lenses (immigration, undocumented migration, forced migration, transnationalism, dislocation and displacement, gentrification, etc.) and highlight the struggles for visibility, representation, and civil rights along the way. The primary focus of this course is literature, yet our exploration will be supported with intersections of media, history, and sociology. As writers, readers, and artists, we will add our own unique stories and reflect on our process of responding to a text – honoring both self-awareness and engaged conversation in today’s world.

ENGLISH 334 – Augmented Realities (5) BCGM $1.85 fee

Prereq: Eng 101 or equivalent

1655 MWF 8:30-9:50 am TONY PRICHARD

In the present moment there is much discourse about augmented reality. From children’s toys to applications for mobile devices, notions of information and environment are encountering a shift in which virtual worlds and the mapping of information about the world provides a potential convergence between media and world. We will look at a variety of texts and how the media require us to reexamine the rewriting and remaking reality.

Required Texts: Cronenberg, David. Consumed; Gibson, William. The Peripheral; Flusser, Vilem. On Doubt; Hickman, Jonathan The Nightly News; Morrison, Grant & Frank Quietly. We3: The Deluxe Edition; Preciado, Beatriz. Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era.


Prereq: Eng 101 or equivalent

13331 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arr ELY SHIPLEY

Analysis primarily of texts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Repeatable once as an elective with different topics.


Prereq: Eng 101

10375 T/TR 2:00-3:50 pm +1hr/wk arr NANCY PAGH

Women have written to express their ideas, their beliefs, their bodies, their experiences, their differences, and their places in the world; they have published literary art to make their lives and voices meaningful and acknowledged. This course will introduce students to well-known and emerging voices of women from nineteenth- and twentieth-century periods in the contexts of Europe and North America. 

We will consider texts through a variety of genres (essays, fiction, poetry, drama) and themes (gender and race, writing the body, sexuality, motherhood, fantasy and dream, humor and wit, the natural world, aging, and resistance and change). Students will select much of the material that we read and study together.

In courses such as 338, where students earn five credits for attending four class hours per week, twenty percent of the course-related peer interaction is accomplished through meetings and online contact outside of the classroom. This WWU “contact requirement” will be fulfilled by posting and reading online journals and papers, sharing facilitation-related materials with a collaborative group, and meeting for not less than three hours in person with your group to plan and practice your facilitation.

“Women & Literature” is relevant and open to all students interested in connections between literature and society, identity and creative expression, and politics and aesthetics.  Although “woman” and “literature” are both unstable and evolving terms, students in this class will discover some of the powerful intersections between these fascinating and changing categories.


Prereq: Eng 202

13332 T/TR 2:00-4:00pm +1hr/wk arr, NICHOLAS MARGARITIS

Major works of Greek and Roman mythology: Hesiod's Theogony; selections from the Homeric Hymns; plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; and Ovid's Metamorphoses. Three in-class essays.


Prereq: Eng 202

11334 T/TR 8:00-9:50 am +1hr/wk arr NANCY JOHNSON

CONTENT: In this course we will examine the variety and diversity of literature written for children and middle grade readers, exploring how literature serves as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors for child readers. We will consider how form and format (picture books, graphic texts, chapter books, and poetry) serve to tell a story. And, we will immerse ourselves in significant genres, topics and themes, and works by notable authors and illustrators, becoming familiar with criteria used for significant awards as we explore what makes a children’s book “good.” This course expects that you'll read voraciously, willing and eager to gain an appreciation of the world of literature (as well as the world through literature). Students taking this class are required to attend the WWU-sponsored Children's Literature Conference on Saturday, February 24th as the 5th hour arranged.

*** Please wait to purchase books until you come to class. ***

TEXTS [Required]: CLASSIC TEXT/CLASSIC THEME: Charlotte's Web (E.B. White); PERSISTENCE/RESILIENCE DURING TOUGH TIMES: Refugee (A. Gratz); HOW DID THAT BOOK WIN? Echo (P. Muñoz Ryan) and Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear (L. Mattick)

TEXTS [Required with Choice]: BIG DREAMS, CHALLENGED HOPES: Better Nate than Ever (T. Federle) or El Deafo (C. Bell) or Ghost (Jason Reynolds) or Rain Reign (A. Martin); HISTORICAL FICTION: The War that Saved My Life (K. Bradley) or Inside Out and Back Again (T. Lai) or Bud, Not Buddy (C.P. Curtis) or Revolution (D. Wiles); AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR STUDY—KEVIN HENKES: Junonia or Sun and Spoon or Olive's Ocean or Words of Stone; OH WOW! I DIDN’T KNOW THAT (creative nonfiction): Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans (D. Brown) or The Great American Dust Bowl (D. Brown) or March, Book 1 (J. Lewis); plus selected illustrated/picture books.

EXPECTATIONS/ASSIGNMENTS: Commitment to think, read, and respond with appreciation, creativity and depth to literature written for children (and for the child in all of us). You'll read (and maybe re-read) both assigned and choice texts, develop the ability to write literary reviews highlighting and evaluating genre, text, and illustration, participate in response projects, and create a critical/creative project in lieu of a final exam.


Prereq: Eng 202 or permission of instructor

11026 T/TR 8:00-9:50 am +1hr/wk arr DONNA QUALLEY

Welcome to the always fascinating and sometimes controversial and contentious world of young adult literature. Although there are a number of competing definitions of this genre, our course will mostly center on the literature that is written and published expressly for young adults between the ages of 14-22+.  Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind about young adults is that they question, experiment, and push boundaries. We should not be surprised, then, that the literature written for young adults also pushes boundaries. Young adults might be thought of as adults but without the life experience and considered judgments. For the most part, the characters in YA books think like young adults—not like adults, and not like us. In other words, they make mistakes. Young adult literature spans a range of genres and subjects, but in our short time together we will focus primarily on contemporary fiction and non-fiction. Because a primary goal of the course is to expose you to a range of recent young adult literature, the course is reading-intensive, but I hope you will agree—also intensely interesting! 

This course should help you develop your own answers to questions like these:

  • How might YA literature re-ignite an interest in reading books and aide young people in their search to understand, define, and value themselves and others? How can this literature assist them with answering the questions:  Who am I?  What can I do about it? Where do I fit in? Who can I lean on?
  • How do we learn to negotiate and explore the dialectical relationship between personal taste and literary quality as we read, respond, and discuss what makes a “quality” book for young adult readers?
  • What qualities make YA literature engaging and deserving of respect by adults (and schools) as well as young people?
  • How might YA literature stimulate young people’s own expressive and creative work?
  • What are some of the challenging questions these boundary-pushing and sometimes “dark” books pose as we consider critical and other instructional approaches for using these books in the classroom?  
  • What kinds of discussions, assignments, and projects can open up and extend students’ understanding of this literature?

About course projects: All assignments are designed to deepen your engagement with the literature in different ways. Future teachers will be able to adapt many of these assignments for use with their own students. Assignments include short reading responses or occasional Canvas discussion contributions; imaginative writing, visual, aural, and other multi-modal response projects + a final project.


Prereq: Eng 101

Note: This course does not count toward the Creative Writing major.

10162 MWF 10:00-11:30 am ELIZABETH COLEN

With emphasis on exposure and practice, this course is for students who wish to study, analyze, and experiment with three major genres of creative writing: fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and techniques specific to each of them. Students will be expected to closely read and analyze published writing, generate their own work every week, effectively and responsively workshop their peers’ writing, and gain proficiency in the art of revision.

10549 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arr ELIZABETH COLEN

With emphasis on exposure and practice, this course is for students who wish to study, analyze, and experiment with three major genres of creative writing: fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and techniques specific to each of them. Students will be expected to closely read and analyze published writing, generate their own work every week, effectively and responsively workshop their peers’ writing, and gain proficiency in the art of revision.


Prereq: Eng 101

10693 T/TR 8:00-10:00 am +1hr/wk arr KRISTIANA KAHAKAUWILA

By studying the conventions of fiction -- such as voice, character, point of view, and conflict-- students learn how and why such techniques are used to create compelling narratives. A combination of readings and focused writing exercises allow students to experiment with these techniques. The course uses revision as a key tool to building story and intent as our lens for (re)imagining both drafts and rewrites. At the end of the term, the written exercises are used to create either a single, sustained story or a series of linked short-shorts. Workshop and editorial techniques are also introduced to help students re-envision, revise, and refine their work. 

10004 MWF 2:30-4:00 pm +1hr/wk arr KAMI WESTHOFF

This course is designed to introduce you to the craft and culture of writing fiction as well as the complex world of critique and workshop. We will read established authors from various backgrounds and cultures and study the ways in which they make their writing work through unique use of voice, description, language, dialogue, character development, and experimentation. While reading and studying these authors, you will begin your own journey into fiction writing with the help of various writing exercises and assignments, revision, and most importantly, your imagination and individuality.


Prereq: Eng 101

10097 MWF 11:30-1:00 pm JANE WONG

Language is curious. Language is an archeological dig, a translucent fish. In this class, we will turn over the rock and see what’s underneath. We will discover that language is malleable, evocative, elusive, and ferocious. In addition to language, we will test our curiosity with genre, form, and content. We will read and write poetry. And then we will question the genre of poetry with hybrid pieces. Be prepared to challenge yourself aesthetically, thematically, and formally. We will read and write a lot. Throughout the quarter, we will return to certain questions: how can we use language to convey the unconveyable? How can words on a page move us? How can we play with language and form in an innovative, challenging, and productive way? English 353 is a foundational-level poetry course that introduces writers to the history, craft, and practice of poetry writing. To help us explore the above questions, we will read the work of diverse writers, including the work of your peers. By interrogating and exploring these texts as readers, we will get a better sense of how language and structure work (or don’t work) and how we can begin to cultivate our own styles and literary voices as poets. You will be expected to generate creative pieces for workshop, feedback letters, and a final portfolio of revised work. Additionally, we will invite visiting guest poets to our class this quarter, moving writing from the page and into the real world!


Prereq: Eng 101

10526 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arR KELLY MAGEE

In this introductory course, you will begin mining your own histories, cultures, families, and experiences for essay ideas. Using prompts and published work as guides, we’ll look at how to craft a range of different essay forms and styles, including how to borrow from other genres. We’ll discuss the controversies about truth in nonfiction, as well as what makes this kind of nonfiction creative. We’ll look at techniques such as how to write scenes, maximize tension, create an authentic voice, write the self as a character, choose a form, and cultivate insight. The bulk of the class will be driven by workshops of student work. You’ll write a great deal of practice exercises and polished essays, which will be workshopped extensively in class.

10694 T/TR 10:00am-12:00 pm +1hr/wk arr KRISTIANA KAHAKAUWILA

This course is an introduction to the craft of writing Creative Nonfiction. We will focus on, and build upon, specific craft techniques, including imagery, setting, characterization, perspective, tone, voice, style, revision, and research. Particular attention will be paid to personal narrative and traditions of the lyric essay, as well as formal play and innovation. We will consider how we can bring the larger world into our work—as well as what our work can contribute to the larger world, especially to the act and art of democratic discourse. Close reading of published essays—both classics of the genre as well as excellent contemporary examples—will be paired with in-class prompts, full drafts, peer feedback, and revisionary exercises, with an eye to producing a final portfolio of varied work.


Prereq: Eng 101

10451 TR 12:00-2:00 pm + Film Viewing W 2:00-5:00 pm TONY PRICHARD

The course covers the key concepts in film studies. The basic terms and concepts regarding the production, theorization, and analysis of film will be introduced.

The viewings in the course will provide look variety of films throughout the history of cinema in order to practice employing the terms and concepts.

Required texts: Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing About Film, 6th ed. or higher; Jean Epstein, The Intelligence of a Machine; Jean Louis Schefer, The Ordinary Man of Cinema.

ENGLISH 365 – TOPICS IN FILM HISTORY: Experimental Film and Media Studies (5) $1.85 fee

Prereq: Eng 364 or Eng 202

This course replaces ENG 312.  May be repeated once with a different topic.

12086 T 4:00-7:00 pm Film Viewing + TR 2:00-4:00 pm GREG YOUMANS

The course explores the history and practices of experimental film, video, and new media. Throughout the term, we will engage with the specificities of medium, technique, genre, and artistic movement. For the most part, we will move chronologically through the history of experimental motion pictures, though each week we will also connect our historical investigations forward to contemporary practices, especially as they relate to digital technologies. Course content may include surrealism, visual music, painting on celluloid, found footage, structural film, Super 8, experimental film collectives, analog and digital video, intercultural cinema, haptic cinema, machinima, and soft cinema. Students will be asked both to write critically about experimental media and to create an experimental media work of their own.


Prereq: Eng 101

10376 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm +1hr/wk arr EMILY CURTIS

This is a class about how human language works, in all its facets, from the articulation of individual sounds to unconscious social meanings. We will learn concepts and constructs that apply to all human languages, while focusing on English as a means to discover these concepts (and test your learning).

This is not a class on “proper” English, composition, rhetoric, or literature. It is the science of language which seeks descriptions and explanations as opposed to artistic expression or regulation. We will explore attitudes about “proper” language in objective ways, however, and the knowledge of concepts gained in this class can contribute to artistic and communicative skills and enrich your appreciation for language as well. 

10098 MWF 1:00-2:30 pm ANNE LOBECK

This course is intended to help you develop a broad understanding of human language. It is not intended to teach you how to speak or write better, but the course should help you recognize an uninformed statement about language when you hear one. You will be learning some definitions and symbols to use during the course to help you understand some of the components of the system of language. The purpose of learning these is to help you develop a sharper ear for language, a better understanding of its nature, and a livelier interest in all its manifestations.

More immediately, the objectives of the course are:

  • to lead you to examine your own linguistic beliefs and attitudes;
  • to make you aware of the diversity of language systems and their fundamental similarities;
  • to acquaint you with a few of the subfields of linguistics: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and language history;
  • to equip you with some tools and techniques for linguistic analysis in order to help you discover the organizing principles of English;
  • to acquaint you with the basic concepts necessary to further pursue the study of the English language (and/or other languages) if you wish to.

REQUIRED TEXT: Linguistics for Everyone, by Kristin Denham and Anne Lobeck. Cengage, 2013 Second Edition (green)

GRADING AND EVALUATION: Grades will be based on participation, weekly homework assignments, 2 exams, short essays, both group and individual work.



Prereq: ENG 301 or 302 or 370 or 371, or instructor approval; senior status.

11834 MWF 10:00-11:30 am ANDREW LUCCHESI

Disability means different things depending on your point of view. From a medical perspective, disability has to do with the body. From a legal perspective, disability has to do with civil rights. From a rhetorician’s perspective, disability has to do with a wide range of stories, debates, tropes, biases, and identities. Our task in this course is to examine the different ways disability is and has been understood across different contexts. We will see that in some situations, to be disabled is to be devoid of rhetorical power, to be forbidden from speaking for yourself. We will also see disability claimed as an asset of rhetorical power, a source of authority.

In the first half of the class, you will learn some foundational principles from the interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies, and we will practice using them to analyze different disability rhetorical traditions. We’ll look at the way many narratives peddle in disability stereotypes, which then get reinforced in law. We’ll also look at the ways disability communities use rhetoric to form coalitions, establish cultural identity, and argue for civil rights. In the second half of the class, we will turn our attention to disability within institutions of higher education (including Western). We will draw heavily here from the Disability Rhetoric movement, a network of Writing Studies scholars who have studied issues of student disability, equality, and universal design. Final projects will include a research report examining accessibility and rhetoric at Western.

This course will be taught using a grading contract to determine final grade. If you have any questions about this, or if you want to ask about course accommodations, please email to



Prereq: ENG 302.

10846 T/TR 4:00-6:00 pm +1hr/wk arr JEREMY CUSHMAN

In this course you’ll team up with other students to help solve problems and build differing documentation for a non-profit organizations within the greater Bellingham community. This year, we are working with The Whatcom Humane Society, The American Association of University Women, Growing Veterans, The Bellingham Music Club, and a couple organizations here on campus. You’ll build documents that go to work in these particular worlds. So a large part of this course will consist of practicing how to best discern and respond to the needs your specific clients and the specific situations in which you're working. We'll also obsess about the ethical implications of 21st century knowledge work. In the end, I hope the work we do will help you expand your capacity to think through complicated, professional situations as well as expand your competencies for writing in context, project management, document design, teamwork, research, and making good using technology. I’ve outlined these competencies in more detail below.

Writing in Context: analyze the invention, manufacturing, and distribution of technologies in context and use writing to communicate these attributes in a variety of media and genres; write to the different levels of technical expertise of a range of audiences and stakeholders to foster understanding; understand the ethical implications of working within the nexus of technology and culture.

Project Management: understand, develop and deploy various strategies for planning, researching, drafting, revising, and editing documents both individually and collaboratively; select and use appropriate technologies that effectively and ethically address professional situations and audiences; build professional ethos through documentation and accountability.

Document Design: understanding and adapting to conventions and expectations of a range of audiences including both technical and non-technical audiences; understanding and implementing design principles of format and layout; interpreting and arguing with design; drafting, researching, testing, revising, visual design and information architecture; ensuring the technical accuracy of visual content.

Teamwork: working online and face-to-face with colleagues to determine roles and responsibilities; managing team conflicts constructively; responding constructively to peers' work; soliciting and using peer feedback effectively.

Research (doesn't always mean the library or internet): working ethically with research participants, subject matter experts, and technical experts; locating, evaluating, and using print and online information selectively for particular audiences and purposes; triangulating sources of evidence; selecting appropriate primary research methods such as interviews, observations, focus groups, and surveys to collect data; applying concepts of usability research, such as user-centered design.

Technology: Use and evaluate the writing technologies frequently used in the workplace, such as emailing, instant messaging, image editing, video editing, presentation design and delivery, web browsing, content management, and desktop publishing technologies. 


Prereq: Eng 313 plus 2 courses from: 304-347, 364, 370, 371.

12097 T/TR 2:00-4:00 pm+ 1 hr.wk arr CHRISTOPHER WISE

This course will serve as an introduction to post-Nietzschean “Continental” theory in France and Germany, and its historical reception in the U.S. setting. In addition to exploring key texts by canonical thinkers like Heidegger, Derrida, and Foucault, we will compare structuralist and post-structuralist (“empirical externalist”) and neo-Cartesian/Chomskyian (“romantic rationalist”) orientations to language study. Related course concerns will include the place of language study in the university; “biolinguistics” (or linguistics as quasi-science) and scientific rhetoric in language study; human-animal distinctions and logocentric thought about human language; the political dimensions of continental theory and linguistics in comparative Liberal Democratic, Republican, Fascist, and Marxist ideologies. 

Course Texts: Friedrich Nietzsche, Anti-Education; Jacques Derrida, The Ear of the Other; Martin Heidegger, The Principle of Reason; Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am; Michel Foucault & Noam Chomsky, The Chomsky-Foucault Debate; Noam Chomsky, Cartesian Linguistics; John Caputo, Deconstruction In A Nutshell; Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx.

ENGLISH 410 – LIT. HISTORY: A Cross-Cultural History of Nature Writing (5) $1.85 fee


Prereq: Eng 202 and 3 from: ENG 304-347, 364, 370, or 371

Repeatable once as an elective with different topics.

13333 MWF 1:00-2:30 pm NING YU

This course helps students develop a working history of an important literary genre, nature writing, which evolves into what now people call environmental literature. We start with the Chinese poetry in Tang Dynasty (618-907) and trace its influence to three Japanese Hiku masters (Basho, 1644-1694; Busan, 1716-1783; Issa, 1763-1827). Then we travel over oceans to study the way the English gentleman Gilbert (1720-1793) White observes closely the environment of his hometown Selborne. White’s influence can be clearly seen in the works of Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) who allegedly founded the “Thoreavian tradition” in environmental literature. In the twentieth century, women played an important role in environmental studies and made their voice heard clearly. We will read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Linda Hogan’s Dwellings. At the end of the quarter, we will have formed our own history of nature/environmental literature.


1. Careful reading. Students must read all the assigned texts carefully and be well prepared to discuss them in depth. Active participation in class discussion is a must for a successful student.

2. Each student is responsible for five (5) thought-provoking, well-written questions about the assigned texts and a three-page written response to each of your questions.  You will post them by 8 pm the evening before discussion so that the instructor can organize his lecture and discussion in response to your questions and thus offer you a class centered on questions and issues that you find important. When we are responding to your question in class, you, with the help of your written response, will lead the discussion because you are the expert in this particular subject. These written responses are actually short essays.

3. Write a final essay comparing/contrasting at least two texts and demonstrate the evolution of the genre of nature/environmental writing as demonstrated in these texts. 4. Last but not the least, regular attendance is required. The student will lose 3% of their total grade for each unexcused absence.  No student with more than three unexcused absences will get a grade higher than C+ no matter how well s/he does in the class otherwise. Students should treat their peers with respect.  Accommodation for disabled students should be processed through disability office.  During class, electronics including cell phones and lap-tops should be turned off and put away. Thank you.

Evaluation: Class participation = 20% of total grade; final essay=30%; written questions and responses = 50% (10% per question and response).

Texts: In Response to the Howling Monkeys along the Yangtze; The Essential Haiku; The Natural History of Selborne; Walden, or Life in the ‘Woods; A Sand County Almanac; Silent Spring; Dwellings.

ENGLISH 418 – SENIOR SEMINAR- Graphic Novels and Intermedial Theory (5) $1.85 fee


Prereq: Sr Status (135 cr); Eng 313 and one from: ENG 307, 308, 309, 310, or 311

IMPORTANT NOTE:  ENG 418 is not repeatable and cannot be used as an elective in the literature major.

10600 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm DAWN DIETRICH

Comic books, though historically depicted as corrupters of youth, agents of illiteracy, signs of moral and intellectual degeneration, and evidence for the decline of western civilization, are gaining a hip, new reputation as an impressive and promising literary medium.  This course will study the evolution of English language comics from early turn-of-the-century newspaper comic strips and pulp entertainment to sequential art forms and graphic novels in the twenty-first century.  In particular, we will focus on the emergence of the graphic novel during the 1980s, which extended a tradition of abbreviated comic forms to include longer, more cohesive word/image art recognized for its narrative coherence, formal complexity, and alternative sensibility.  We will approach the study of graphic novels as a sequential art form and investigate its intermedial relationship to both print and electronic media, including web comics. We’ll consider the role comics have played in censorship campaigns and other forms of social regulation, including the Congressional debates, which concerned juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, and the Comics Code Authority, which still governs the content of mainstream comics today. Equally important, we’ll look at comics’ relationship to history and politics in a post WWII context, exploring a diverse range of cultural perspectives.

Assignments and Evaluation: You will have the opportunity to write critically and creatively in this course.  The range of assignments include an ongoing graphic novel blog for critical analysis as well as the creation of your own short comic or graphic novella at the end of the course. The comic strip, comic book, or web comic can utilize hand drawn methods, collage, photography, or digital media.  In other words, I am very open to how you might imagine the project, and you may also collaborate with others.

Required Texts: Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud; The System of Comics, Thierry Groensteen; The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, Maus I and II, Art Spiegelman; Black Hole, Charles Burns; The Filth, Grant Morrison, Chris Weston, and Gary Erskine; City of Glass: The Graphic Novel, Paul Auster, Paul Kurasik, and David Mazzucchelli; City of Glass, Paul Auster (included in The New York Trilogy); Watchmen, Alan Moore; Persepolis 1 and 2, Marjane Satrapi.

Films: Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud; Watchmen, Zack Snyder; The Mindscape of Alan Moore, DeZ Vylenz;

10599 MWF 10:00-11:30 am CHRISTOPHER LOAR

NATURE AND ARTIFICE: An advanced seminar offering an in-depth exploration of specialized topics. Requires students to develop scholarly projects integrating course material with their own literary, historical, and theoretical interests.



Prereq: Eng 202 and three courses from 304-347, 364, 370, 371; possible additional prerequisite relevant to topic.

Repeatable once as an elective with different authors.

10984 T/TR 10:00am-12:00 pm KATHLEEN LUNDEEN

MAJOR AUTHORS: WILLIAM BLAKE: William Blake once wrote of himself, “Born 28 Nov 1757 in London & has died several times since.” In this course, we will study the overlapping lives of Blake as poet, graphic artist, literary critic, art critic, social satirist, theologian, political philosopher, social revolutionary, and prophet.

Evaluation: Scholarly essay; conference-style presentation of essay; vibrant class participation.

Texts: Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake; Jerusalem.

10452 MWF 2:30-4:00 pm LYSA RIVERA

MAJOR AUTHORS: Octavia Butler (1947-2006)

For all but the first 10 years of my life, writing has been my way of journeying from incomprehension, confusion, and emotional upheaval to some sort of order, or at least to an orderly list of questions.

-- Octavia Butler, “The Monophobic Response”

This course examines the work of the late Octavia Butler (1947-2006). Apart from being the first black female writer to receive multiple awards and widespread recognition in the field of science fiction, Butler is the first science fiction writer (male or female, black or white) to receive the MacArthur “genius” award. Known for her unabashed interrogation of the dark side of American culture, Butler was not one to shy away from difficult subject matters.  In over a dozen novels and short stories, she confronted topics ranging from racism, slavery, homophobia and incest, to genocide, religious hypocrisy, and of course total nuclear annihilation. Yet despite these dystopian tendencies, Butler’s work consistently offers what critic Tom Moylan calls a “utopian horizon that shimmers just beyond its pages.” This course aims to understand how Butler’s work reconciles cynicism with hope as it imagines and critiques some of the most politically-charged issues of late twentieth-century American culture.

As a course that meets the University's "WP3" requirement, English 423 also offers instruction in college-level analytical writing. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate learning through one research paper, due at the very end of the term, which focuses on some aspect of Butler's work. These papers will undergo multiple draft and revision stages, which includes peer review and student-professor conferences. Other assignments will include weekly Canvas discussion posts and one group project/presentation.


Prereq: Eng 370 or permission of instructor

10620 MWF 10:00-11:30 am ANNE LOBECK

This course provides you with the basic tools to analyze sentence structure, in order to better understand how structure affects meaning in oral and written language. We take as a starting point our own internalized system of linguistic rules, which allow us to produce and understand language. Through the study of our own linguistic system we will discover the organizing principles of grammar: how words are organized into categories (or “parts of speech”); how words form syntactic units, or phrases; how these phrases function together in larger units or clauses. Along the way, you will acquire a precise and useful vocabulary to talk about sentence structure, as well as a useful set of tools you can use to analyze language in its many forms. 

Who should take this course? Anyone with an interest in learning more about how language works! The course is particularly useful for education majors and practicing teachers, providing them not only with tools of sentence analysis but ways to practically apply this knowledge in the writing classroom.

In addition to learning about sentence structure we will also explore the study of grammar in a larger context.

Topics may include:

  • How should grammar be taught in school (should it?) 
  • How do social attitudes about grammar influence policy decisions?
  • How does grammatical structure influence writing style?
  • Where did the notion of “standard” English come from, and what is it?
  • Where did the notions of “correct” and “incorrect” grammar come from?
  • How has the structure of English changed over time?
  • How does the structure of English vary (in different dialects)?
  • How is knowledge of grammar tested and assessed (in the SAT, AP language and literature assessments, etc.)?
  • Do new technologies affect grammar? If so, how (in texts, tweets and on Facebook)?

REQUIRED TEXT: Navigating English Grammar: a guide to analyzing real language, Anne Lobeck and Kristin Denham. Wiley-Blackwell (available as pdfs on Blackboard);

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: Teaching Grammar Through Inquiry: a teacher’s guide; lesson plans and activities developed with Sehome High School English/Journalism teacher (and WWU graduate) Dana Smith.

EVALUATION: regular homework exercises (graded S/U) 15%, 2 exams 60%, and a project (education option: in class practicum) 25%.



Prereq: Eng 301 or 302; Eng 347; Eng 350; Eng 370; and two from 307, 308, 309, 310, 311.


10103 MWF 10:00-11:30 am PAM HARDMAN

This course is the first of a two quarter sequence that is designed to help you become a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective teacher of English language arts at the secondary level. In this first quarter, we emphasize the teaching of writing, though oral performance, literature, and media will be integrally linked. Through the frames of pedagogical theories, we will connect what we know about the diverse student population that secondary teachers face with what we know about ourselves as language arts learners and teachers in order to create useable teaching materials. This is a writing and reading intensive course. This methods course requires the same kind of individual initiative, dedication, and professionalism that you will apply to your future work as a teacher.

TEXTS: Crovitz and Devereaux, Grammar to Get Things Done; Gallagher, Teaching Adolescent Writers; Smagorinsky, Dynamics of Writing Instruction; course documents on Canvas

ASSIGNMENTS: Writing Responses; Unit Assignments; Lesson Plan and Performance; Sequenced Writing Activities Project


Prereq: Eng 443

10985 MWF 8:30-9:50 am BRUCE GOEBEL

This course is the second of a two-quarter sequence that is designed to help you become a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective teacher of English language arts at the secondary level. While ENG 443 focused primarily on the teaching of composition, this second course focuses on the teaching of skills related to reading, interpretation, and the critical analysis of literature and other media.  In addition, this course will also attend to the specifics of lesson and unit planning for the English language arts classroom. Through the frames of a variety of pedagogical theories, you will connect what you know about the diverse student population that secondary teachers face with what you know about yourselves as language arts learners and teachers in order to discover what methods might work best for you and your future students. 

This methods course requires the same kind of individual initiative, dedication, and professionalism that you will apply to your future work as a teacher, so please show me your best. 

REQUIRED TEXTS: Teaching English Language Arts 2 (pdf on Canvas); Reading in the Dark, J. Golden (pdf on Canvas); The House on Mango Street, S. Cisneros.

ASSIGNMENTS FOR 444 (subject to change; those with * are collaborative projects): Discussion Plan and Performance; Reading Module*; Smarter Balanced Quiz*; Exam; Novel Unit Plan*; Film Studies Unit*; Ekphrastic Poem-Image Comparison; Media Unit*; Semester Long Curriculum Plan.


Prereq: Eng 351.

One from 451, 453, or 454 may be repeated once with a different instructor for the creative writing major.

10847 T/TR 2:00-3:20 pm +1hr/wk arr KELLY MAGEE

This course will focus on genre-bending short stories, such as those that incorporate elements of sci-fi and fantasy into literary fiction, those like flash fiction that blur the line between poetry and prose, and those that emphasize collaboration between writers/artists. As a writer and teacher, I am particularly interested in how fiction can engage with the living world, including through activism and social justice, and to this end one of the questions we’ll be considering in both the published and student-produced texts we read is, What motivates fiction? What motivates you to write? What motivates people to act the ways they do? How can you use motivation to find depth in your characters? How can you use it to create empathy for challenging characters? We’ll start the quarter with a series of experimental exercises designed to get you thinking and writing in new ways, and from there move back-and-forth between workshops of full-length stories and composition of new work. We’ll discuss advanced methods of creating voice and crafting narrative, including writing with urgency and breathlessness, using de-familiarization to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, and using restrictions (word count, sentence style, time limits) to tap into new creative pathways. The course will culminate in a 10-15 page portfolio, modeled on the types of submissions writers often do after graduation.

10163 MWF 2:30-4:00 pm Richard B. Simon

In this advanced craft/workshop seminar in fiction, we will work to develop, write, analyze, critique, and revise short stories. We’ll look at some classics and some innovative takes on the form for inspiration. We’ll work to understand the elements of fiction (characterization, plot, setting, theme, language, figurative language), so that we can employ and deploy them in our work to achieve desired effects. We’ll partake in generative and skill-sharpening exercises that enhance our understanding of each element and how authors address it in story. And we’ll use elemental analysis in critique to develop our understanding of the interplay between characterization and setting, between setting and figurative language, between figurative language and theme, between theme and plot. We should come out with at least one finished short story, and an enhanced sense of how story works.


Prereq: Eng 353

One from 451, 453, or 454 may be repeated once with a different instructor for the creative writing major.

10517 MWF 10:00-11:30 am BRUCE BEASLEY

This course will be an intensive seminar in poetry writing. Students will write and extensively revise at least five poems. We’ll write in reaction to the poetics of a wide variety of poets, both traditional and radically experimental. We’ll examine student poems in full class discussions, small group workshops, written meditations and critiques, and in conference discussions of multiple revisions. Requirements include five drafts, multiple and extensive revisions, active class participation, a series of written meditations on poetics, and a final essay.


Prereq: Eng 354

One from 451, 453, or 454 may be repeated once with a different instructor for the creative writing major.

10485 MWF 8:30-10:00 am KAMI WESTHOFF

An advanced workshop course in the writing of nonfiction, building on skills learned in prior courses.


Prereq: Eng 353

May be repeated once with a different instructor.

10703 MWF 1:00-2:30 pm BRUCE BEASLEY

“The dream thinks like a poet,” wrote dream theorist Bert States.  In this seminar we will examine the history of interpretations of the structure of dreams in relationship to the structures of poetry. Reading in dream theory, we will explore links between poetic structures of metaphor, metonymy, formal and rhythmic patterning, repetition, condensation, displacement, in relation to analogous structures that prevail in the work of dreaming. We will read widely in poetry that moves in nonlinear, associative, surreal ways akin to the meaning-making work of the dream. Each student will keep an annotated dream journal during the quarter, and will write original poems investigating links between the work of poetry and the work of dream. The structures of our dreams will present new possibilities for the structures of our poems.


Prereq: one from Eng 351, 353, or 354

ENG 459 Is Not Repeatable

11027 T/TR 10:00-11:50 am +1hr/wk arr NANCY PAGH

Students in this section of English 459 explore contemporary editing and publishing through the context of the book and book art. We will ground ourselves by investigating the evolution and impact of the printed word, examine the practice of “book art,” then focus on contemporary book-publishing as experienced from the writer’s, editor’s, publisher’s, and book-seller’s perspectives. 

As advanced creative writing workshop graduates, students should be experienced with the principles and standards of good writing and professional presentation. We will build on these skills as we practice development and editing, copyediting and proofreading, layout and design, printing and binding, promotion and distribution. We will make books. Guest speakers and field trips will expand our conversations and explorations of book art and contemporary publishing practices.

The class is shaped for creative writers who want to understand how to edit, publish, and promote literature; for those interested in learning more about careers in publishing; and for students curious about the enduring relationship between text and art

ENGLISH 460 – CREATIVE WRITING - MULTI-GENRE: Contemplative Writing (Poetry and Creative Nonfiction) (5) $1.85 fee

Prereq: Eng 351, 353, or 354

May be repeated once with a different instructor.

12485 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm BRENDA MILLER

“Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm.”  —Saul Bellow

Writing is a practice of attention.”  —Jane Hirshfield

In this experiential course, we will embark on an exploration of what we mean when say the word “contemplation,” and how we can most effectively enact a contemplative stance in creative work.  Contemplative practices can take many forms; we will learn (and practice!) mindfulness and other systems of awareness, and then apply these skills to our reading and writing. We will focus on keen observation, original language, concrete detail, precise metaphor, and the patient development of scene in order for our writing to avoid cliché, sentimentality, or sermonizing. You must be willing to embark on a contemplative practice of your choosing for the duration of the quarter.

Texts: The Pen and the Bell: Mindful Writing in a Busy World, Miller and Hughes (Skinner House Books, 2012); several handouts on Canvas that must be printed out and brought to class.

10565 MWF 11:30-1:00 pm KATHRYN TRUEBLOOD


Welcome. In this multi-genre workshop, we will examine literature at the intersection of medicine, science, and the arts and find out how writing deepens our understanding of illness, healing, and mortality. We will tackle complex questions about the effect of medical developments on human identity. Over the past two decades there have been major changes in the ways we understand, treat, alter, and care for our bodies. Consider the chemistry of the brain, plastic surgery, obesity, anorexia, pregnancy, prescription drugs, disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, piercings, steroids, and sex re-assignment surgery, to name a few. Stories of how we live in our bodies are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and social ethics.

Written Assignments: a portfolio of original writing, 8-10 pages double-spaced; a personal essay, short story, or series of narrative poems addressing one subject matter— 6-12 pages double-spaced; a collection of peer reviews, roughly 10 pages; legacy interview with an elder: 2-3 pages.

TEXTS: The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, edited by Danielle Ofri


English 502: The Art of Failure

13335 T/TR 12-2 pm +1hr/wk arr Carol Guess

"The art of losing isn’t hard to master."

-- Elizabeth Bishop, One Art

This is a fiction writing workshop on the art of failure. Questions for exploration include: How do books fail readers? How do readers fail books? How does the creative writing workshop invite or ward off failure? How can artists incorporate failure into the creative process? How can art crafted from failure be successful? We’ll examine several texts by contemporary writers that use failure as the starting point for an experimental aesthetic. The final assignment will be a short story project that risks failure in both content and form.

ENGLISH 505 – Writing Creative Nonfiction (5) $1.85 fee

12487 T/TR 2:00-3:50 pm +1hr/wk arr BRENDA MILLER

In this hands-on seminar, we will generate new writing, returning to the basics of creative nonfiction. We will practice essential craft techniques, as well as experiment with form. Students will be responsible for bringing in models for our writing practice and will create at least three new pieces of creative nonfiction by the end of the quarter.

Texts: Tell it Slant, 2nd Edition, Miller and Paola; Dear Mr. Essay Writer Guy, Dinty Moore; several handouts on Canvas and Models brought in by students.


Under advisement, students may receive credit while working as interns in both on-campus and off-campus assignments appropriate to their career plans. EX. Bellingham Review. Repeatable for up to 5 credits.


10402 T/TR 12:00-2:00 pm +1hr/wk arr DONNA QUALLEY

Plato claimed that writing would be the death of thought. Today, it is alphabetic print-based practices that are thought to be imperiled by digital media. Neither is true.

The same conditions that spur a flurry and flowering of invention and production in some quarters can also engender a precipitous fear and anxiety of a literacy in crises in others. When we hear statements like “students can’t write” or “people don’t read any more” or when we see statistics about the percentage of Americans who don’t know X or have never heard of Y, we are hearing echoes of Plato. 

In the first part of this seminar, we’ll read and view an eclectic mix of critical, historical, and personal perspectives about literacy. According to literacy researcher Deborah Brandt, literacy today is measured not by our ability to read and write, but rather by our capacities “to navigate and amalgamate new reading and writing practices,” new ways of saying and doing, in response to rapid cultural, social, and technological change. And yet, are the new ways of saying and doing that digital media invite—indeed, the new ways of being with ourselves and with others—just another kind of literacy? Or are they something else entirely? This is a question we will explore in the last third of the course as we poke around in the technological, institutional, and ideological apparatus called “Electracy.” Could we be in the midst of a tectonic shift that may be as significant as the one from orality to literacy 2000 years ago?

Projects include (1) a quarter-long curation project using Prezi—not as a presentation tool, but an invention platform for connection making. A curator is a “content specialist,” a person who gathers (or “aggregates”), distills, organizes, and interprets and re-presents information on a specific subject, which in our case, is literacy. (2) A short, print-based transition narrative that you will eventually upload and publish on DALN (The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives) that operates out of Ohio State University. (3) A small culminating project final “re-composition” project.


12490 T/TR 4:00-6:00 pm +1hr/wk arr BRIAN TWENTER

In this course we will investigate Indigenous Literary Criticism. We will explore early Indigenous cultural critics including Dakota critic Vine Deloria Jr. and Acoma Pueblo writer Simon Ortiz, who first posed the idea of a “National Indian Literature,” arguing that postcolonial, poststructuralist, and notions of hybridity imposed on Indigenous texts by ameropean scholars continue the colonization and decimation of Indigenous populations. Contrarily, we will examine the critical hybrid paradigm advocated by the late Choctaw/Cherokee/Irish scholar Louis Owens who foregrounded the dialogical school of criticism which thwarts the ameropean effort to capture complex Indigenous Literatures within the simplistic fiction of ethnostalgic “Indian.” Similarly, Anishinaabe writer Gerald Vizenor forefronts a multi-national critical reading of Native texts which confront and unsettle colonizing narratives. Vizenor sees the ultimate goal of a multi-Native discourse as one of “survivance,” a term that combines “survival” and “endurance.” In contrast, Dakota writer and critic Elizabeth Cook-Lynn calls for the revival of Indigenous nationalistic paradigms, a return to a nation-centered critical analysis in the vein of Deloria and at least partially in response to Owens and Vizenor. Cook-Lynn staunchly argues that Indigenous literary representations shape and influence tribes and tribal nationhood. Jace Weaver, Craig Womack, and Robert Warrior, in their 2006 work American Indian Literary Nationalism (AILN), imagine a new conversation, grounded in tribal communities and the cultural ideas of language, heritage, history, and traditions, introduced and formatted within the Native nation. AILN, as a methodology, firmly maintains that nationalism is a legitimate perspective from which to approach Indigenous Literatures and criticism crucial to supporting Native national sovereignty and self-determination. Furthering the argument, Chadwick Allen, in his book Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies, implores scholars to think beyond the national borders of contemporary settler nation-states and to focus instead on Indigenous-to-Indigenous relationships. Joseph Bauerkemper argues in “Indigenous Trans/Nationalism and the Ethics of Theory in Native Literary Studies” for a “convergence” of nation-centered literatures and transnationalism. In addition to the foundational arguments, we will examine the growing catalog of Indigenous literary criticism which includes Native feminism, landscape and activism, engaged resistance, cultural appropriation, queer and two spirit theory, popular culture, television, film, and the criticism of relocation. These critical paradigms, though broad in base, can all be classified as Trans/National, using specific formal patterns and cultural details of each Nation to inform a Tribally-centered reading across Indigenous Populations.


13336 T/TR 10:00-12:00 pm +1hr/wk arr LAURA LAFFRADO

Using a variety of theoretical perspectives, we will examine American autobiographical texts from the seventeenth century through the twentieth century. We will look at various stories of selfhood and think about self-representation, subject formation, and other autobiographical practices. On our way, we will consider early American Puritanism, domestic violence, gender, genre, race, and capitalism, among other issues. While this is not a seminar in pedagogies, the texts and contexts of this seminar will provide solid preparation for those who might go on to teach an American literature survey.

ASSIGNMENTS: Expect fairly heavy reading, oral presentations, and a 15-20 page seminar paper.

EVALUATION: Evaluation will be based on seminar participation, oral presentations, and the seminar paper.

TEXTS: K. Z. Derounian Stodola (ed.), Women's Indian Captivity Narratives; Abigail Abbot Bailey, The Memoir of Abigail Abbott Bailey; Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano; Sojourner Truth, Narrative of Sojourner Truth; Frederick Douglass, Autobiographies: Narrative of the Life; My Bondage and My Freedom; Life and Times of Frederick Douglass; James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Ella Higginson, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.


13337 T/TR 8:00-10:00 am +1hr/wk arr ALLISON GIFFEN

Nineteenth-Century US Women’s Literature: This seminar will explore the work of U.S. women writers of the nineteenth century. Focusing on novels and poetry, we will explore the philosophical roots and cultural context of sentimentalism and investigate the ways that these writers deploy the sentimental as they participate in the public realm of contemporary political debates about race, class, and gender. Our approach will be largely cultural and historical as we examine women writers’ complicated and varied relationship to cultural constructions of womanhood and the notion of separate spheres. We will also attend such issues as the problem of authenticity and sincerity, in part by considering dress and ritual, domesticity and home reform, as they pertain to assertions of middle-class identity.

ENGLISH 580 – FILM: Film and Media Theory (5) $1.85 fee

10716 W 5:00-8:00 pm (HU 304) FILM VIEWING + TR 10:00-12:00 GREG YOUMANS

This foundational seminar centers on canonical (and a few outlier) writings in film and media theory, from the silent era to our digital present. Among the writers whose ideas we will explore are Andre Bazin, Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Maya Deren, Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Manovich, Christian Metz, Laura Mulvey, Trinh Minh-ha, and Linda Williams. A screening session each week will enrich our understanding of the theories. The course is designed to prepare students for film and media scholarship at the graduate level. As such, our first goal is to build everyone’s knowledge and comprehension of the core theories that have defined the field over the past half century. Our second goal is to develop and hone skills in the application of these theories to both film criticism and media production. Students will write an essay in which they apply one or more of the theories we explore in class to an original analysis of a particular film (or other media text) of their choosing. Each student will also design and create a media project that elucidates, complicates, or challenges one of the works of theory we read together.