Department of English Graduate Courses

updated 1.20.17

GRADUATE COURSE OFFERINGS 2016-2017

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

FALL 2016

501 LITERARY THEORIES AND PRACTICES
Dietrich TR 2-4 + 1 hr/wk arr.

This foundational course will introduce you to literary theories and criticism and will prepare you to engage in literary analysis and scholarship at the graduate level. The curriculum will provide an overview of structuralist and post-structuralist literary and cultural theory, beginning with Saussure’s insights about language as a sign system and concluding with N. Katherine Hayles’ media-specific analysis of digital culture and Ian Bogost’s “alien pheonomenology.” We will be examining contemporary theories in their historical contexts to observe how they contributed to and/or shaped critical methodologies. We will not be studying post-Marxist, feminist, psychoanalytic, postcolonial, and queer strategies, in order to create academic boundaries between theories, but will be looking at the intersectionality of culture and politics through these various lenses. Our aim will be to challenge and empower our own approaches to literature and media, by reading from a wide range of theorists, and to be able to shape textual arguments through informed theoretical perspectives. For the writing assignments, you will have the opportunity to work with popular texts and visual media, in addition to literary texts.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Course work will include reading a wide range of theoretical essays; participating in class discussions and presentations; and contributing actively to small group work. In addition to learning literary and cultural theory in this seminar, you will be mentored in the research process, including how to do complex searches in databases, how to work with archival material, and how to prepare a prospectus and annotated bibliography. The course will also cover citation practices in English and will prepare you to write a conference paper or a publishable essay. Creative writers will find the preparation useful for their literature courses, the research they do for their creative writing projects, and as a way to deepen their understanding of language and culture. For all MA/MFA students, the study of literary theory is one of the foundational pillars of a professional degree in this discipline. I hope you will see the relevance of the course to the specific work you do!

TEXTS:

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Leitch et al.

A Critical and Cultural Theory Reader (2nd edition), Antony Easthope and Kate McGowan

A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory, Jeremy Hawthorne

Writing Machines, N. Katherine Hayles

505: WRITING NONFICTION: Igniting and Sustaining Creative Process
Miller TR 12-2 + 1 hr/wk arr.
"Work freely and rollickingly, as though talking to a friend who loves you. Mentally (at least three or four times a day) thumb your nose at all know-it-alls, jeerers, critics, doubters." 
— If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit, Brenda Ueland
In this generative creative nonfiction workshop, we will experiment with ways to both ignite and sustain creative process in the midst of everyday life. Students will create personalized contracts, setting specific goals for both writing and reading, and you will be responsible for leading a discussion on a creative nonfiction writer you consider an influence. Our classroom will become a studio in which work is created, shared, and critiqued at an accelerated pace. We will also discuss the submission process and study contemporary creative nonfiction journals as possible venues for your work.
Texts:
Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction
Creative Nonfiction texts chosen by students
Selected Creative Nonfiction journals

509 INTERNSHIP IN WRITING, EDITING, AND PRODUCTION (1-5 Cr)
Under advisement, students may receive credit while working as interns in both on-campus and off-campus assignments appropriate to their career plans. Repeatable for up to five credits.

513 SEMINAR IN TEACHING COLLEGE COMPOSITION
Cushman TR 8-10 + 1 hr/wk arr.

Prerequisite: appointment as a teaching assistant or instructor permission. Offered once a year in the fall.

Your Practicum In Teaching College Composition serves you in three differing yet deeply overlapping ways. The first is as a support structure for your 1st quarter as an ENG 101 instructor here at Western. Together we'll slowly move through the 101 course that you're teaching, practicing and reflecting on the myriad ways to engage your students in the curriculum. That means we'll model class activities and do plenty of the assignment prompts we give to students. Second, we'll spend a good amount of time reading and talking through rhetoric and composition scholarship. The idea here is to introduce you to a set of theoretical apparatuses underlying the teaching of writing, and to explore contemporary questions regarding rhetoric, writing, and teaching. Finally, and importantly, the course serves as a reflective space for the challenging work of teaching in a new program as a new graduate student. Each week, we'll trouble shoot curricular and class management issues, we'll reframe our assignments in response to what's happening in your classrooms, we'll worry through and then practice evaluation methods, and we'll listen to one another. In the end, the course is designed to ground as well as intensify your experiences as a practicing teacher and scholar.


550 AMERICAN LITS: AM Auto/Bio
Laffrado TR 8-10 + 1 hr/wk arr.

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 Frederic-Douglass

James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Ella Higginson, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature

560 BRIT LITS: Medieval English Lit
Vulic TR 12-2 Text + 1 hr/wk arr.

Manuscript Culture: Literary Production in Late Medieval England
This class focuses on the experience reading medieval texts in their manuscript context (in facsimile and in original medieval documents) and seeks to explore medieval understandings about how to compose, physically construct, and read texts. This class will focus on the literary works within a small number of the most significant surviving manuscripts from the late Middle English period (dating roughly 1300 CE to 1500 CE); our readings will consist of texts from manuscripts facsimiles as well as from modern edited/published versions of the same texts. We will be interrogating individual texts in their manuscript contexts not only to learn more about how a text’s original material form might affect a reader’s understanding of its content, but also to understand the individual works better as texts in their own right. This class will explore medieval textual production, high and low literary tastes, and the different means through which an individual might have experienced a literary work (through the eyes, or if the person was illiterate, through the ears). Though the items on the reading list have mainly been chosen according to the significance of the manuscript(s) in which they survive, the readings nevertheless represent a wide range of medieval genres and literary tastes.
A secondary focus of this class will be the study of manuscripts as historical artifacts; students will receive general instruction in medieval paleography (the study of medieval handwriting) and codicology (the study of manuscript construction) and will learn some of the basic principles of manuscript creation and preservation. These experiences will help students to imagine better the medieval experiences of reading, composing, and physically constructing texts. Students will also have an opportunity to edit actual medieval manuscript fragments currently on loan in our library. To accomplish these secondary goals, our class will meet frequently in the Special Collections library (6th Floor of Wilson Library).
This class is intended for graduate students of all backgrounds, and will serve as an introduction to some of the earliest recorded reflections on the social, political, material, and aesthetic stakes of writing. Students will develop a working understanding of Middle English language over the course of the quarter. Though our reading will focus primarily on medieval literary texts, our class discussion and assignments will also address matters of research methodology (including how to conduct research involving manuscripts) and critical writing.
By the end of the quarter, students will understand many of the material, historical, social, political, and other factors whose influences are evident in our texts literature, as well as how to recognize the main genres and distinguishing features of medieval English literature. Students will understand the medieval process of producing a manuscript, from composing the work to writing it down, to binding, circulating, and preserving the final product. Students will know how to supplement class readings through effective and appropriate research. Finally, students will know how to craft, in writing, an effective argument about historical literatures, drawing upon archival and/or critical and/or theoretical sources.
Technology requirements: I will assume you have daily, unrestricted access to the internet. I will be using Canvas liberally to keep in touch, and you will be doing assignments on Canvas and on the internet. If this is a challenge for you, please let me know immediately so I can work with you on this.
Class texts (a tentative list; please confirm with instructor before buying):
Clemens and Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Cornell UP, 2007)
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (Broadview, 2nd ed., 2012)
The Pearl Poet, trans. Casey Finch (UC Press, 1993)
Piers Plowman, ed. Robertson and Shepherd (Norton 2006)
Selected Middle English romances from the TEAMS Middle English Text Series Online,
http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/tmsmenu.htm

594 PRACTICUM IN TEACHING (2-5 Cr) Prerequisite: Eng 501
By Arrangement. Permission/contract with instructor and approval of Grad Director. Override granted by Grad Coordinator. Repeatable with different topics. Each topic repeatable to a maximum of 5 credits.

690 THESIS WRITING (1-10 Cr) Prerequisite: Plan of Study and Thesis Topic forms. 
By Arrangement. Override granted by both Grad Coordinator and Grad School. Credits are given after thesis defense in last quarter of study. Repeatable up to a maximum of 10 credits. Credits apply towards degree. ​

WINTER 2017

506 MULTIGENRE: Recycled Writing
Magee TR 12-2 + 1 hr/wk arr.
This multigenre workshop will examine two ways of using existing material to generate new writing: recycled form and recycled content. Recycled forms include things like scaffoldings and imitations, cross-genre work like prose poetry, updates, and erasures, to name a few. Recycled content might include conspicuous appropriation, creative editing, found poetry, retellings, and collage writing. The class will consist of weekly writing experiments across genres, discussion of the challenges and pleasures of recycled writing, and progress toward the production of a final collection or long work.  

509 INTERNSHIP IN WRITING, EDITING, AND PRODUCTION (1-5 Cr)
Under advisement, students may receive credit while working as interns in both on-campus and off-campus assignments appropriate to their career plans. Repeatable for up to five credits.

510 RHETORIC: 
 

Rhetorics of Remembering

This course explores the ways writing can be used to explore, understand, and share important memories. We often think about memory as a private commodity. But when we write creative non-fiction, memoir, teaching narratives, and other kinds of life writing, we are using the tools of writing (Composition) to turn our memories into a sharable form (Rhetoric). Memories are not just sharable commodities; they are shared commodities. In the second half of the course, we will look at texts that archive and build on important shared cultural memories. Our primary examples will be a set of texts documenting and responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States in the late 20th and early 21st century. Ranging in genre and medium from comics to essays to documentary film, these texts all attest to the ways individual memory can collectively represent a cultural experience.

Students will be expected to produce a great deal of writing for this course. Students should also know that the topics of this course are emotionally challenging, and we will be dealing with difficult issues during both class discussion and writing projects. These include issues of sexuality, race, gender, domestic abuse, and physical violence. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to request any unique accommodations to the course, email Andrew.Lucchesi.wwu.edu as soon as possible.

Part 1- Composing Personal Memory

Guides:

Peter Elbow, Writing Without Teachers

Sondra Perl and Mimi Schwartz, Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction

Louise Desalvo, Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives

Selected Models:

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006)

Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home the Musical (2013)

Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals (1980)

Nancy Mairs, Waist High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled (1996)

Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor/ AIDS and is Metaphors

G. Thomas Couser, Signifying Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing (2009)

Part 2 - Rhetorics of Cultural Re/Collection

Guides: based on individual advisement

Selected Models:

Ana Devere Smith, Twighlight: 1992 (1994 documentary play)

Paris is Burning (1991 documentary film)

bell hooks "Is Paris Burning? (1992 Essay)

How to Survive a Plague (2012 documentary film)

Leo Bersani, "Is the Rectum a Grave?" (1987 Essay)

William Finn, Falsettoland (1990 Broadway Cast Recording)

Eve K Sedgwick "White Glasses" (1994 essay)

Dagmar Schultz (Dir),  Audre Lorde--The Berlin Years, 1984 - 1992 (2012 documentary film)

515 CRIT THRY: Postcolonial Theory
Wise TR 12-2 + 1 hr/wk arr.
This graduate seminar will focus on Postcolonial Theory with special reference to the African and the Middle Eastern setting after 9/11.   Theorists covered will include Césaire, Senghor, Fanon, Cabral, Sankara, Ouologuem, Zongo, Ngugi, Achebe, Spivak, Said, Shohat, Derrida, Mernissi, Butler, Chomsky, Achcar, and others.

520 POETRY: Poetry and Unknowing
Beasley TR 10-12 + 1 hr/wk arr. 
 

What is the relationship between the kinds of knowing that lyric poems pursue and other forms of knowledge?  In this seminar we'll explore the paradox, associative logics, obliquities, word- and soundplay, of lyric poems as forms of unknowing, or knowing differently, through associative and imagistic ways of making and unmaking sense.  The seminar will also serve as a crash course in recent American poetry and poetics.  We'll read several influential and acclaimed recent collections to take stock of what is happening, and how, and why, in American poetry.  This seminar is designed equally for M.F.A. and M.A. students, with possibilities for creative, critical, and hybrid creative-critical projects and investigations in relation to fundamental questions of lyric forms and procedures we'll be considering.
 


540 GLOBAL LITS: Enviro Lit & Eco-Crit
Yu  TR 8-10 + 1 hr/wk arr.
Literature’s primary purpose, according to William Shakespeare, is to “hold a mirror to nature.”  But for literary critics the word “nature” has been confined to a narrower sense of human nature as it is developed, twisted or alienated in a human subject’s struggle in society.  In the past three decades or so, literary scholars have been constantly redrawing the boundaries of their field to “remap” its rapidly changing contours.  Race, class, gender, sexual orientation, all sorts of power relation and cultural constructs, especially language, are hot topics in contemporary criticism.  If you attempt to understand the “nature” of our world through the numerous “mirrors” of critical schools, you would never suspect that our physical environment, the planet earth, the only life-giving and life-supporting system to our knowledge in the whole universe, is under a lot of stress.
However, more and more scholars feel frustrated by our literature curriculum that doesn’t prepare us to participate effectively in the conversation or action about such pressing issues in the larger world as oil spill, acid rain, greenhouse gas, toxic waste contamination, global warming, nuclear waste dumps, deforestation and loss of topsoil although our literary geniuses have been writing about similar concerns since decades even centuries ago.  “Literature,” in Kurt Vonnegut’s strong words, “should not disappear in its own ass-hole.”
In this seminar, we will read and discuss key texts in the burgeoning field of ecocriticism, in the context of a couple of key texts of environmental literature, of our own experience of the nonhuman environment and in comparison with other literary theories that you’re already familiar with.  An oral presentation (16% of grade), one final paper (36% of grade). Careful reading of the assigned texts and active participation in discussion (20% of grade) are essential to the success of the seminar. Write a question and a full page of response to each of your own questions either on Tuesday or Thursday (We take turns; 30% of grade with 3% for each question/response).  In addition, for the “arranged hour,” students will choose a “nature” place in striking distance from campus or where you live, visit it and write about the visits on a weekly basis, combining what we read in class and what you experience at that place in a way that explores and critiques the inter-connection between texts and place or the lack thereof.  It is my hope that your final paper will “grow” out of these weekly pieces.

560 BRIT LITS: Sexualities: Victorian/Edwardian/Modern
Mahoney TR 4-6 + 1 hr/wk arr.

The course will interrogate the connection between sexual politics and the politics of modernity more generally considered, focusing in particular on turn-of-the-century ideologies of race and empire, World War I, and the rise of socialism. What role did writers and artists with investments in same-sex affiliation play in the contestation of imperialism, capitalism, and jingoism? How did the theorizing of same-sex friendship and love allow these figures to thoughtfully reconsider their relationship to nation, wealth, and violence? We will focus primarily on the representation of sexuality and gender identity in the works of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British authors, but we will also be thinking about these works as part of a transnational conversation concerning sexual and gender dissidence at the turn of the century. We will consider, for example, how Whitman influenced the British writer Edward Carpenter’s vision of eroticized democratic brotherhood and discuss what Wilde meant to the Harlem Renaissance writer Richard Bruce Nugent.
Readings may include works by Oscar Wilde, Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper), Henry James, Edward Carpenter, E.M. Forster, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Radclyffe Hall, Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, and Richard Bruce Nugent.

580 FILM: Third Cinema
Gray TR 6-8  + 1 hr/wk arr. + Film Viewing W 5-8
 

This course will introduce students to the films and theoretical works that defined Third Cinema, a tri-continental movement that accompanied anti-colonial and post-colonial struggles in the Global South. Filmmakers conceived of third cinema as a cinema that broke with both Hollywood and European art cinemas, not only in content, but in form, and that aimed to decolonize the apparatus and aesthetics of film. We will look at films by filmmakers like Ousmene Sembene, Fernando Solanas, Sara Gómez, and Kidlat Tahimik, among many others. We will also consider the legacy of Third Cinema, and students will be welcome to pursue research projects on films that allow them to interrogate and examine that legacy.

594 PRACTICUM IN TEACHING (2-5 Cr) Prerequisite: Eng 501
By Arrangement. Permission/contract with instructor and approval of Grad Director. Override granted by Grad Coordinator. Repeatable with different topics. Each topic repeatable to a maximum of 5 credits.

690 THESIS WRITING (1-10 Cr) Prerequisite: Plan of Study and Thesis Topic forms. 
By Arrangement. Override granted by both Grad Coordinator and Grad School. Credits are given after thesis defense in last quarter of study. Repeatable up to a maximum of 10 credits. Credits apply towards degree. ​

SPRING 2017

504 SEMINAR: Writing of Poetry
Beasley  TR 2-4  + 1 hr/wk arr.
This seminar will be an intensive examination of the poetry of the seminar participants and of the implicit and explicit poetics behind the generation and revision of those poems.  We’ll examine the role of poetry in contemporary culture and ask questions about what kind of poem we want to produce, and why; what kinds of poetic traditions we want to embrace, what kinds of traditions we want to reject, and why.  We’ll explore larger questions of the purpose of poetry and the ambitions of the seminar poets in the context of intensive seminar discussions of at least five poems per student.  We’ll work with multiple revisions of each poem and explore the revision process intensively.  There will also be extensive readings in poetry and poetic theory to accompany and give context for the discussions of poems by each seminar participant.  

509 INTERNSHIP IN WRITING, EDITING, AND PRODUCTION (1-5 Cr)
Under advisement, students may receive credit while working as interns in both on-campus and off-campus assignments appropriate to their career plans. Repeatable for up to five credits.

525 FICTION:
Kahakauwila  TR 8-10 + 1 hr/wk arr

Narratorial Choice & the First Person Plural

Why "we" and not "me"? This question drives our study of the first person plural, a point of view not often sustained in fiction (much less novel-length fiction) prior to 1993. The last decade, however, has seen new attention to and manipulations of the first person plural, all of which make this course's exploration prime for inspiring fresh fiction and cutting-edge critical analyses. 

Some of the ideas under study include the ways in which a community defines itself, the relationships between insider and outsider (and if those designations need actually exist), the forms the Greek chorus takes as it is contemporized and refigured, and the tensions between an individual and a larger whole. Readings will draw from multiple literary traditions, and discussion will raise questions regarding plotting, sequencing, characterization, the reliability of narrative voice, the political potency of fiction, and the power of language. Finally, we will remain ever concerned with the idea of community and how first person plural narratives underline (or undermine) group experience, cultural norms, gendered spaces, and national and ethnic identities. 

This course expects intensive reading of the assigned texts as well as avid contribution to the community of the classroom via class discussion, online reader responses, and editorial feedback to peers. An in-class teaching demonstration/ conference talk is required, as is a final revised portfolio of work. 

A final note: the study of the first person plural is a pathway for larger discussion and analysis of narrative control, perspective, point of view, style, voice and other craft considerations, which we will tackle and you will be welcome to channel for your own writing. (In other words, no need to write in the “we” to enjoy the course!)

Required Texts:

Eugenides, Jeffrey. The Virgin Suicides. New York: Grand Central, 1994.

Ferris, Joshua. Then We Came to the End. New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2007.

Figiel, Sia. Where We Once Belonged. Los Angeles: Kaya Press, 1999.

Otsuka, Julie. The Buddha in the Attic. New York: Anchor, 2012.

Torres, Justin. We the Animals. New York: Mariner, 2012.

Individual Stories and Essays are posted under the “Pages” tab of our Canvas course site.

Optional Texts:

Richardson, Brian. Unnatural Voices: Extreme Narration in Modern and Contemporary Fiction. Columbus, OH: Ohio State UP, 2006.

Millhauser, Steven. We Others: New & Selected Stories. New York: Vintage, 2012.

550 AMERICAN LITS: 
Rivera TR 8-10   + 1 hr/wk arr

Studies in Afrofuturism

Since at least the late nineteenth century, images of and references to space, science, and technology have permeated much of African-American cultural production. From post-Reconstruction literary figures such as Sutton Griggs, E.A. Johnson, Pauline Hopkins and W.E.B. Du Bois, to more recent speculative luminaries like Octavia Butler, Walter Mosley, Nalo Hopkinson, and Samuel Delany, black cultural workers in the United States (and beyond) have energized and transformed science fiction—traditionally a pulp genre directed to and consumed by white, male adolescents—into a politicized space for the examination of fictions of science, many of which have historically played an integral part in policing, violating, defining, even dehumanizing black bodies. 

Working predominantly with contemporary texts and artists, this graduate seminar attempts to unpack the concept of Afrofuturism, currently a very popular black aesthetic that defiantly appropriates images of science and technology to interrogate and disrupt these nefarious fictions of science. We will trace the ways in which Afrofuturism, as a mode of artistic and cultural expression, foregrounds and explores the relationship of African Americans to discourses of modernity, humanism, and (post)humanism. Along the way, we will examine how it both dramatizes how being black is like inhabiting a sci-fi nightmare and constructs provocative alternatives to that nightmare. Working with different forms of media – including literature, music, visual, and performance art – we will work together to theorize not only the aesthetic, but also the deeply political stakes of Afrofuturism, especially as it has materialized in the early years of the twenty-first century.


560 BRIT LITS: "British Orients": Fictions of the East, 1600-1789
Loar  TR 10-12   + 1 hr/wk arr
This seminar examines British “fables of the East” –descriptions (fictional and otherwise) of the so-called “Orient.” This fluid geographic term could be used to describe regions ranging from Islamic North Africa to the Indian subcontinent to China, and many places in-between. Unlike British understandings of sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas (often thought to be “savage” and untamed), writers looking to the “Orient” knew that they were approaching a highly-sophisticated and literate culture—though one that they found both alluringly and alarmingly different. This course will examine the treatments of this difference in fiction, drama, and travel narratives. Central to our explorations will be the Arabian Nights Entertainments—translated into English for the first time in the first decade of the eighteenth century. Catering to a rapidly-growing taste for the fantastic and the marvelous, these tales had a profound impact not only on the British and European understandings of Africa and Asia, but also on the development of British literary genres and tastes.

594 PRACTICUM IN TEACHING (2-5 Cr) Prerequisite: Eng 501
By Arrangement. Permission/contract with instructor and approval of Grad Director. Override granted by Grad Coordinator. Repeatable with different topics. Each topic repeatable to a maximum of 5 credits.

598 RES TCH ENG:
Qualley  TR 12-2    + 1hr/wk arr.

Making Theory from the Ground Up

Bell hooks writes that “most of us are not inclined to see discussion of pedagogy as central to our academic work and intellectual growth, or the practice of teaching as work that enhances and enriches scholarship.” This research seminar begins with an opposite hypothesis:  that an understanding of the various disciplines of English Studies may also be found in our perspectives and approaches to teaching and learning, our understanding and characterization of pedagogical expertise, and the relationship of teaching to the development of our scholarly and professional identities.

 

Different professors approach this course by emphasizing one of the two key terms in the title: Either “Research in the Teaching of English” or “Research in the Teaching of English.” This version of 598 will focus on research methodology--Grounded Theory research to be explicit. Grounded Theory is an inductive method of research that moves from data collection and systematic analysis to theory generation. In other words this course is about making theory. So instead of  borrowing other people’s theories and using them to analyze texts and artifacts, we’ll be learning a rigorous process for generating theory based on our examination of the data we have collected

What kinds of theories about teaching and learning can we construct by examining the reading, writing, thinking, and classroom practices in Literature, Theory, Creative Writing, or Rhetoric and Composition Studies courses?  In this seminar, you’ll select one of these fields for close observation and study. Using some combination of fieldwork, interview, survey, and scholarly methods, you’ll investigate your discipline’s teaching culture by examining: its conceptual artifacts (e.g., mental constructions, threshold concepts, key terms); its material artifacts (texts, course documents, assignments, evaluation methods, etc.); its practitioner lore and folk wisdom (e.g., rituals, stories, “teacher talk”); “signature pedagogies” (e.g., pedagogies typically associated with that discipline); and its often under-explicated theories about the nature of learning and the development of expertise. Once you have gathered lots of stuff, you’ll learn methods for coding and triangulating the data in order to detect potential patterns and/or anomalies.  From this work, you’ll generate questions and examine the scholarship in order to build a provisional theory and test it against what you are seeing.

690 THESIS WRITING (1-10 Cr) Prerequisite: Plan of Study and Thesis Topic forms. 
By Arrangement. Override granted by both Grad Coordinator and Grad School. Credits are given after thesis defense in last quarter of study. Repeatable up to a maximum of 10 credits. Credits apply towards degree. 

NOTES:
With the permission of the Graduate Advisor, a student may take up to 10 credits of some combination of 400-level courses, Eng 500, 509, 594. Independent study courses may count toward the Master of Arts degree requirements. No more than 5 credits of ENG 500 courses can be applied toward the degree.

All Studies courses in literary genres (i.e. 520, 525, 530, 535) qualify for credits toward the Creative Writing concentration or the English Studies concentration. Creative Writing students will have the option to workshop and produce a creative project.


All courses are five credits unless noted.

Always check the Department of English website for current course offerings each quarter.