Department of English Graduate Courses

updated 5.21.18



FALL 2018

ENG 501 – Literary Theories & Practices
40003 TR 10:00-11:50 CHRISTOPHER LOAR
This foundational course will introduce MA and MFA students to literary theories and criticism, as well as to foundational skills and knowledges necessary for literary research, such as database searches, working with archival material, and the composition of specialized academic genres such as the prospectus and annotated bibliography. We will examine a range of critical approaches (from the classical period to the present). Course work will include reading a wide range of theoretical essays; participating in class discussions and presentations; contributing actively to small group work; and writing in several distinct academic genres.

ENG 513 – Seminar in Tchg College Comp
Prerequisites & Notes: appointment as a teaching assistant or instructor permission. Offered once a year in the fall.
40165 TR 2:00-3:50 ANDREW LUCCHESI
Many folks in the field of Rhetoric & Composition have called this an impossible course. That might seem strange because this is simply a practicum for graduate students in the teaching of college composition. Why dub it impossible? For lots of reasons, I suppose. I can’t list them all here, but a good way to start thinking about this impossibility is simply to try and define “composition” for yourself. What does it mean in a 21st century classroom? What’s the process underlying composing? What does a composition look like? In other words, how does one learn to teach relatively new college students a diverse activity that is also a kind of nebulous noun. It’s hard to say exactly how one does such a thing. Still, much of this class is to recognize that impossibility and proclaim “challenge accepted!” We’ll look to historical definitions of composition and we’ll put those up against more contemporary questions and concerns as we work to better understand what you are doing in your own composition classrooms. What that means is that, together, we’ll try on some of the assignments that our students do, we’ll ask questions and write responses concerning how and why we might create better assignments, and we’ll reflect on the place of our college composition course in the field of Rhetoric & Composition and in our own university. What’s more, we’ll spend a good deal of time together working through the relationship between rhetorical theory and composition pedagogy. The goal here is to ground both your thinking about composition and your developing pedagogical style in the imaginative and productive questions that, I think, grow out of a sincere engagement with rhetoric (both ancient and contemporary takes). Clearly, it’s a busy class. And while teaching composition may very well be impossible, we’ll still build a few practical paths through the strange project of being a teacher and a graduate student. 

ENG 520 – Studies in Poetry
44038 TR 8:00-9:50 BRUCE BEASLEY
Stephanie Strickland wrote that “Poems are words that take you through three kinds of doors: closed doors, secret doors, and doors you don’t know are there.” In this seminar we bang on all three doors and see who opens. We will explore the oblique and mysterious logics and unlogics of lyric poetry in the context of the parable, the paradox, the koan, and other forms and rhetorical structures that resist the linear and the rational in favor of the unsayable, undecideable, interdeterminable, overdetermined, and multiple. Reading individual poems from throughout the history of poetry and into recent avant-garde experimentation, we will read widely (and improvisationally) in poetry and poetics, experiencing how, as Seamus Heaney puts it, “Poetry is born out of the superfluity of language’s own resources and energy.  It’s a kind of overdoing it.  Enough is not enough when it comes to poetry.” This seminar is itself a kind of paradox or oxymoron, as we’ll be reading poems critically and criticizing poems poetically.  During each seminar we will intensively examine a wide range of poets and poems, trying out various ways of responding through theory, criticism, and poetry to what engages us in the poems, and in the classes that follow we will respond to some of those poems (and issues in poetics raised by our seminar discussions) through various radical reactions to those poems.  Those reactions may take the form of critical essays, of poems that talk back to the poems we’re investigating, of hybrid forms of poetry and critical writing, and various not-yet-invented forms and structures of dialogue with the poems. 

ENG 525 – Studies in Fiction
Who's In Charge Around Here?: On Communal, Authorial & Narratorial Custody: For most artists, the work we create stems from personal, familial, genealogical, place-based, political, technological, communal and/or other (hi)stories. How do we honor and where do we re-imagine those (hi)stories in our own work? If we are custodians of the (hi)stories out of which we write, what can we share and what remains hidden? We'll start the course by learning about the Hawaiian literary practice of kaona and use it as we weave in other ideas of authorial control and custody. Questions we'll ask of our writing and ourselves will include: Am I maker or merely listener? Do I call on the muse, or does the muse command me? And how are these fun "writer woo-woo" questions tied to techniques of production and craft? We'll beg an answer via a study of narratorial control, free indirect discourse, narrative custody, and profluence, just to name a few, even as we ask how and why these craft notions garner more critical attention than others. We'll read amazing work from multiple genres including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and visual art. We'll intertwine theory, craft, and our own creative production as a means for considering how we produce and why and for whom. We'll be scholar-writers, and the class will be structured to welcome MAs and MFAs, poets and prosers, those interested in Indigenous and Euro-American craft theory of the 20th and 21st centuries, artists of all kinds. I’m still tinkering with the reading list so if there are questions of craft or artistry arising for you right now, come chat. We can build those into the course.

ENG 560: BRIT LITS: Empire/Globalization
Empire and Globalization in British Literature: In the nineteenth century, Britain was the dominant superpower, claiming the “sun never set” on her vast empire because it stretched around the globe. This course investigates empire and global migration as manifested in British literature and culture from the nineteenth century up to the present, focusing on geographical locations that were touched by the British Empire and remain affected by Western imperialism and/or neo-imperialism in our contemporary postcolonial age: the West Indies, India and Pakistan, the Pacific, and Africa. We will consider depictions of the Empire ranging from the “uncharted” colonial territories and settler farms of South Africa to the urban spaces of London and Lahore. Along the way, we’ll incorporate attention to empire’s entanglements with race, class, gender and sexuality, and other forms of personal identity for both the colonized and the colonizers. Some of the questions we will consider include: How did social positioning (such as class, race, or gender identity), affect experiences of empire and migration in the nineteenth century versus today? What is the relationship of narrative to empire and expansion? How does form or genre affect a depiction of empire, or relatedly, of migration or diaspora? How did imperialism shape these various colonies, and in return, how did empire seep into the domestic space and consequently reshape Britain? What are the contemporary scholarly conversations about empire, globalization, neo-imperialism, and neo-liberalism, and what might we have to add? This course is designed to do two things: to give you an in-depth understanding of the literature, issues, and developments of the nineteenth-century British Empire and its relevance to contemporary issues of postcolonialism and globalization, and to equip you with the professional skills you will need going forward. Part of your professional skill set includes reflexivity; it behooves you to be aware of developments in your specific field and in your greater discipline, and to be able to situate your own scholarship and methodologies in relation to those developments. A related aspect of your professional skill set requires reflexivity in relation to pedagogy: how and why do you teach the way you do? We’ll address both aspects of professionalism in this course. Assignments will consist of participation, a teaching presentation and syllabus, an op-ed piece, and an article-length final paper. Texts may include: Brontë, Jane Eyre; Coetzee, Disgrace; Haggard, She; Lessing, The Grass is Singing; Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Schreiner, The Story of an African Farm; Seacole, The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands; Shamsie, Burnt Shadows; Smith, White Teeth; Stevenson, The Ebb-Tide.


These courses are available F, W and S each year:

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. EX. Bellingham Review. Repeatable for up to 5 credits.

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. 

With the permission of the Graduate Advisor, a student may take up to 10 credits of SOME combination of 400-level courses and ENG 500, ENG 509, and ENG 594. NOT all 400-level course are repeatable. Always check the current Course Catalog. No more than 5 credits of ENG 500 may 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.
ALL COURSES ARE text + 1 hr/wk arr PLUS a $1.85 FEE unless otherwise noted.

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