Fall 2021 Course Descriptions

100-Level English Courses

200-Level English Courses

300-Level English Courses

400-Level English Courses

Graduate English Courses

100-Level English Courses

ENG 100 Intro to College Writing

CRN: 40044 Days/times: MTWRF 0800-0850 Instructor: Michael Bell

English 100 is an introduction to college-level written communication, which involves skills in reading, critical thinking, research, writing, and study itself. This course is an opportunity for you to further develop your ability to read for understanding, generate ideas in response to your reading, and communicate those ideas clearly, fairly, and accurately.

To be successful in any field of study, be it biology, business, or art, you will need to communicate your unique perspectives, so my goal is to help you become a more creative, curious, and engaged thinker and writer, with more confidence in your power to generate and fulfill ideas. You will be exploring a variety of texts, questioning these texts and our own responses to them through discussions and activities, and writing with fluency and control using the conventions of standard written English.

You will be writing in several contexts, but the emphasis will be on work that develops ideas through analysis of your reading. You will emerge from this course a stronger writer and reader with enhanced perspectives on a variety of issues both personal and public, and hopefully you’ll enjoy reading and writing more than ever, with a renewed curiosity about the world and how you can write about it.

ASSIGNMENTS: We will read intensively rather than extensively, with less than 50 pages total of reading for the course. Readings will be drawn from contemporary topics. You will write up to 7 short informal papers of about 3 pages, and one longer essay of about 7 pages.

CRN: 40324 Days/times: MWF 1130-1250 Instructor: Andrew Lucchesi

This course provides an intensive workshop in college-level writing skills. We will use writing as a tool for understanding complex ideas, for making new knowledge, and generally for getting stuff done at college.

We will focus our attention on the interconnections between writing and emotion. As one aspect of our intelligence, our emotions provide important insights for any writing task. We will examine this, but also where emotional concepts and beliefs can interrupt the writing process. In the second half of the course, we will conduct digital research projects describing novel connections between emotion and writing.

ENG 101 Writing Your Way Through WWU

Prerequisites Notes: May not be taken concurrently with ENG 100. GUR: ACOM.

A writing course designed to prepare students for college-level creative, critical, and reflective writing. Because writing looks and works differently in different contexts, this course teaches the rhetorical competencies that students need to write across multiple disciplines. The course introduces students both to the processes of building and analyzing ideas, and to ways of communicating those ideas in context-specific genres for targeted audiences. This course has the immediate goal of preparing students to succeed in their writing at Western, but it will also serve them personally and professionally. Students needing to satisfy Block A of the communications section of the General University Requirements, which ENG 101 does, are required to do so prior to completion of 45 credits. Students with a 4 or 5 AP score are encouraged to take this class so they can learn to adapt their test-taking skills to college coursework.

OVERRIDES / CAPACITY OVERRIDES ARE NEVER GRANTED FOR ENGLISH 101.

200-Level English Courses

ENG 201 Writing in Humanities

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. CCOM.

CRN: 40840 Days/times: TR 1000-1150 Instructor: Catherine McDonald

English 201 is a composition course that offers advanced instruction and practice in writing using ideas, texts, and questions from a specified topic in the humanities. This section of 201 will examine the social significance, cultural power, and personal influence of children’s books and young adult literature as the underlying topic of our research and writing class in our course of study in the humanities. In particular, we’ll look at how disability is portrayed to children.

No matter how high your level in college or how diverse your major, chances are there was a book in your childhood that you still remember reading (and perhaps wouldn’t mind reading again). Which children’s book would you say is the absolute best? Which one influenced you in some memorable way? How many kids’ books have been made into movies that you’ve seen? What do you think of Frozen? Wonder? Finding Nemo?

Although we usually fail to notice it (a problem itself that deserves interrogation), children’s stories abound with characters with a physical, intellectual, or emotional limitation—someone other than “the norm” of standard beauty or body function. If you Google “disability in young adult literature” you will find hundreds of links to books you may have read but never noticed the subtext of negative representation of people with disabilities.

Children’s literature does more than provide childish entertainment, although that is a valid purpose and property of such texts; it educates, informs, shapes, and inspires. Not for children alone, children’s literature presents a rich field to research and write about in our course of study in the humanities.

ENG 202 Writing About Literature

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. BCOM.

CRN: 40326 MWF 1130-1250 Allison Giffen

In this class we will focus on how to perform effective literary analysis as we read some fascinating examples of U.S. literature written from the late 18th and 19th century. In our reading, we will explore issues of race, class, and gender as we look to the ways in which U.S. writers engage in the process of constructing, challenging, and revising notions of national identity. We will do a lot of writing, formal and informal, as we investigate a variety of literary genres, reading them in their historical and cultural context. We will work to develop the analytic skills necessary to perform effective literary analysis. We will focus on learning how to craft questions that lead to productive and interesting lines of inquiry; how to develop persuasive arguments, and how to integrate textual evidence into those arguments.

CRN: 40475 MW 1300-1420+ Arrange Kaitlyn Teer

Dear students, in this research and writing course, we will practice close reading and critical analysis of epistolary (from the Latin "epistula" for "letter") works of literature and write personal, creative, and academic responses to these texts.

We will read a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction—all written as letters. We'll trace the literary history of the poem-as-letter and read contemporary poets, including those who exchange poems as correspondence. Likewise, we'll examine the circulation of historical and contemporary nonfiction epistles, including sub-genres such as the open letter and the advice letter as well as letters that figure prominently in literary activism. We'll also read novels written in letter form.

Though I expect you will bring your own research interests and perspectives to these texts, I anticipate that some of the questions we will explore together will have to do with audiences and publics and the circulation of texts; how we conceptualize public and private, personal and political forms of communication; the effects of second person, direct address; and the intimacy afforded by the epistolary form.

Through reading, discussing, writing, and revising, you will build analytical skills and develop a critical essay rooted in your own responses to our questions about these texts. Won't you join me? Sincerely, Kaitlyn Teer

CRN: 41692 TR 1000-1150 Simon McGuire

This section of Eng 202 uses Making Arguments About Literature: A Compact Guide and Anthology as central reference and text. To give the course an emphasis for discussion and writing, we will explore the early work of James Joyce: Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. All 3 texts are required, and other required readings and texts will be made available in class and on Canvas.

CRN: 42091 Arrange Arrange Nancy Pagh

"Writing about Literature" introduces students to ways of reading and writing that are specific to the discipline of literary study. It is also useful for general readers hungry to move beyond automatic, general, or superficial responses to literary texts, and for creative writers eager to better understand the tools and effects of their craft. In 202 we explore the differences between reading and close reading; distinctions between opinion and analysis; patterns and contrasts within and between genres (such as poetry and fiction) and the conventions that attend them (such as lineation, scansion, plot, and character development). Students will practice a sequence of reading and writing tasks designed to build critical skills and enable them to begin to imagine themselves as participants in the ongoing conversation that is literary analysis.

Evaluation will be based on consistent preparation and active participation in exercises; satisfactory completion of assigned reading and written work (including research); and assessment of revised and polished writing that demonstrates the student’s ability to construct a focused and arguable claim, informed by thoughtful critical reading and evidence, in an intentionally structured and edited essay that offers an original idea about the way a literary text functions in the world.

Please check Canvas a full week before the quarter begins to make sure you’re prepared to begin the class; order your textbook in time for our first-week activities.

Required textbook: Janet E. Gardner et al., Literature: A Portable Anthology 4th Edition (ISBN-13: 978-1319035341).

CRN: 42500 TR 1400-1550 Simon McGuire

This section of Eng 202 uses Making Arguments About Literature: A Compact Guide and Anthology as central reference and text. To give the course an emphasis for discussion and writing, we will explore the early work of James Joyce: Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. All 3 texts are required, and other required readings and texts will be made available in class and on Canvas.

CRN: 43690 MWF 10:00-11:20 Michael Bell

This section of English 202 involves critical inquiry into the literary effect of “speculative fiction,” which for our purposes we can define as the literatures of the imagination: fantasy, science-fiction, horror, alternative history. Such fiction has become arguably the dominant mode of contemporary narrative production, so there is rich opportunity to explore the power these literatures have had on history and culture. The specific forms we will study will of course include the written word, but because so much of our contemporary culture is expressed and reflected in the visual realm, we will go beyond the page to include film, TV, comics, and game narratives in our inquiries.

All of our study will assume that whatever form it takes, fictional narrative has the power to construct and inform our worldly experience, even our reality. To sometimes great extent, we model our identities on literary stories, and build our perspectives 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. Through intensive reading, discussion, activity, and writing we will further develop our ability to make meaning from the texts we study, 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.

TEXTS: Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, Douglas Adams, The Earthsea Trilogy, Ursula Le Guin, Beggars in Spain, Nancy Kress, All Systems Red, Martha Wells, So Long Been Dreaming, Nalo Hopkinson

ASSIGNMENTS: In addition to reading assignments and participation in class activities, requirements will comprise one formal analytical paper, several informal writing assignments, and a final project.

ENG 203 Wrtg for Public Prof Audiences

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

CRN: 44200 TR 1000-1150 Michael Bell

English 203 is designed to provide you with instruction and practice in the creation of highly effective documents custom-tailored to specific professional and public audiences and their functional contexts. Writing in this field is focused on the uses that readers put to texts, readers who are reading to make decisions, choose actions, or accomplish tasks. Audience-centered writers are therefore experts in rendering complex information in clear terms that their readers can understand. A skilled professional writer is able to accurately determine the specific requirements of a target audience, making careful selection and presentation of information for specific effect. Such writers present complex information with impeccable organization and clarity across many different kinds of documents: letters, reviews, reports, proposals, and presentations among them.

Successful audience-centered writers must be excellent researchers and fast-learners. Increasingly, such writers must also be excellent visual designers, with a solid grasp of the effects of graphics and layout on reader response. In the 21st century, the production of text for professional and public audiences lies within the realm of design: writers for these audiences are document designers.

Assignments will comprise both solo and group projects, for a variety of audiences/contexts.

ENG 215 British Literature

Notes & Prerequisites: HUM.

CRN: 44202 TR 1000-1150 Christopher Loar

British Literatures of Immigration: In the USA, immigration is often thought of as an American phenomenon. But Europe and the United Kingdom are also home to a large number of immigrants from less wealthy nations in the Global South. Britain, in particular, is home to millions of immigrants and descendants of immigrants. In this course we will examine a selection of writings about immigration (and usually by immigrants) to the British Isles from the eighteenth century to the present day, considering many aspects of the immigrant experience, as well as looking at how immigration challenges and changes ideas British ideas about citizenship and nationality.

Authors to be studied may include Olaudah Equiano, Mary Seacole, Sam Selvon, V. S. Naipaul, Caryl Phillips, Monica Ali, Kamila Shamsie, Moshin Hamid, Beryl Gilroy, Andrea Levy, or John Lanchester.

ENG 227 Queer Literature

Notes & Prerequisites: BCGM.

CRN: 41338 (FIG CRN: 44384) TR 1400-1550 +Arrange Kelly Magee

What distinguishes queer literature from other kinds of literature? Why does it matter? English 227 is, broadly, a study of sexuality in literature—in particular, short works of narrative poetry and prose. Students will examine the ways LGBTQ+ writers use language to represent, redefine, and revolutionize the kinds of ideas, identities, and bodies that are included in the term queer, especially as they intersect across genders, races, disabilities, citizenships, classes, and economics. The class will study how elements of creative writing such as characterization, setting, form, plot, image, and tension function across different genres to express queer content. As part of a FIG focused on queer thriving, this class will also examine how literature—and storytelling, in particular—can model for its readers how to use language to combat oppressive systems and obstacles to health, define and redefine the self in positive ways, give voice to untold histories, and imagine new possibilities for the future. Students will be graded on written analyses of texts, creative responses to prompts, group presentations, and written and verbal participation in class discussions.

ENG 235 Native/Indigenous Literatures

Notes & Prerequisites: BCGM.

CRN: 42092 (FIG CRNs: 44218,44220)TR 1200-1350 Theresa Warburton

Using a place-based method, this course will provide students with the historical, theoretical, and artistic contexts through which to engage with Native and Indigenous Literatures. Recognizing that Native land is the literal foundation of the United States and Canada, we will focus on literature and visual art from around Turtle Island (North America) and the Pacific in order to ask how the study of American literature might look different if we take Native and Indigenous literatures as foundational rather than ancillary. Rather than providing a survey of an extremely diverse and wide-ranging set of literatures, this course will provide students with the skills they need to engage texts written by Native and Indigenous authors on the terms set by Native and Indigenous authors, scholars, and activists themselves.

At the end of this course, student can expect to: have familiarity with the history of Native and Indigenous literatures; have read texts from contemporary Native and Indigenous authors; be comfortable discussing the diverse approaches to the study of texts by Native and Indigenous authors that have developed through the field for Native literary studies; be able to analyze such texts on their own using theoretical approaches from the course; and communicate effectively in both written and verbal forms about Native and Indigenous literatures.

ENG 238 Society/Lit: (FYE)

Notes & Prerequisites: HUM. FYE. FR only.

CRN: 41343 MW 1300-1420 Tony Prichard

Can humans think of intelligent life in non-anthropomorphic ways?  In this course we will examine three of the other intelligences that literature has presented over the past century, specifically animal, artificial, and alien.  We will explore the ways that these literary encounters with the “non-human” both shape and reshape the human and the concept of humankind itself.

  • Anders, Charlie Jane. Victories Greater Than Death
  • Morton, Timothy. Humankind: Solidarity with Non-Human People.
  • Okorafor, Nnedi. Lagoon.
  • VanderMeer, Jeff. Borne.
  • Wells, Martha. All Systems Red
  • Wyndam, John. Chocky

ENG 282 Global Literatures

Notes & Prerequisites: HUM.

CRN: 42769 MWF 11:30-12:50 Christopher Wise

In this course, we will read classic texts from the Greco-Roman world in translation that will provide students with a foundation for further literary and cultural studies, including Homer, Plato, Sophocles, Euripides, and others. This is an introductory course. No previous knowledge of this material will be assumed on the part of the student.

  • Plato, Timaeus
  • Plato, Phaedrus
  • Homer, The Iliad
  • Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis
  • Sophocles, Oedipus Rex
  • Freud, Totem and Taboo
  • Euripides, The Bacchae
  • Apuleius, The Golden Ass
  • Augustine, Confessions

300-Level English Courses

ENG 301 Wrtg& Public

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101; junior status; or instructor permission. WP3.

CRN: 40109 TR 1400-1550 Catherine McDonald

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. 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 and in our lives. So we are going to investigate the social and personal forces at work in stories about self. We’ll ask:

  • Does autobiography create identity, not merely reveal what was already there?
  • What do writers get out of publicizing their experiences—is there a cultural need for exhibitionism that social media has taught us to desire?
  • Is memoir therapy, a figuring out of self, family, change, mental health, pain, injustice?
  • Is memoir art, a creative expression of the soul?
  • Why do we want every memoir to have a story of redemption or be an inspiration? Must everyone live happily ever after for audience satisfaction?

ENG 302 Technical Writing

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101; junior status. WP3.

CRN: 40110 Arrange Arrange Rachel Sarkar

Students engage with the rhetorical and technical practices for creating user-friendly content. Topics include document design, information architecture, and sentence-level efficacy. The course covers a variety of technical genres and focuses on the ethical and social implications of a technical writer's choices.

CRN: 40372 TR 0800-0950 Geri Forsberg

English 302 is the English department’s introductory 300-level workshop 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 nonacademic writing situations. Students learn to identify their audience, develop objectives, organize the content of their documents and revise documents for readability. Students write and design a resume, letters, memos, a proposal, a formal report, an infographic, and a visual presentation. Students also learn to work in small breakout groups, collaborate on writing, and give peer feedback. The final project in this course is a professional portfolio which provides examples of your strongest work. When you have completed this course, you should be ready to write in the professional world.

CRN: 40442 R 1000-1150 + Arrange Nicole Brown

This interdisciplinary course puts knowledge into action by researching, inventing, interpreting, translating, designing, composing, and distributing technical knowledge for audiences to understand and apply effectively.

In addition to rhetorical analysis, design thinking, and writing strategies, we explore the influence of technology, globalization, and localization on disciplines and information and related behaviors in cultural, social, economic, and ecological contexts. We reflect upon how we view authorship and writing, the social construction of knowledge, and how we imagine readers as information users and discourse as social action.

A primary goal for the course is to construct a portfolio of rhetorically savvy documents for use with public audiences outside the class: resumes, cover letters, memos, interpretive materials, instructional documents, usability testing reports, proposals, and other verbs-visual representations of information.

Similar to most technical writing contexts, these projects require you to work individually (as well as collaboratively) to conduct out of class observations and research and to practice/learn new knowledge concepts and computer applications. Throughout the quarter, you will participate in the ongoing process of digital writing that includes: planning, researching, drafting, collaborating, critiquing, revising, and presenting.

CRN: 40463 TR 1200-1350 Geri Forsberg

English 302 is the English department’s introductory 300-level workshop 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 nonacademic writing situations. Students learn to identify their audience, develop objectives, organize the content of their documents and revise documents for readability. Students write and design a resume, letters, memos, a proposal, a formal report, an infographic, and a visual presentation. Students also learn to work in small breakout groups, collaborate on writing, and give peer feedback. The final project in this course is a professional portfolio which provides examples of your strongest work. When you have completed this course, you should be ready to write in the professional world.

CRN: 40556 R 1400-1550 + Arrange Nicole Brown

This interdisciplinary course puts knowledge into action by researching, inventing, interpreting, translating, designing, composing, and distributing technical knowledge for audiences to understand and apply effectively.

In addition to rhetorical analysis, design thinking, and writing strategies, we explore the influence of technology, globalization, and localization on disciplines and information and related behaviors in cultural, social, economic, and ecological contexts. We reflect upon how we view authorship and writing, the social construction of knowledge, and how we imagine readers as information users and discourse as social action.

A primary goal for the course is to construct a portfolio of rhetorically savvy documents for use with public audiences outside the class: resumes, cover letters, memos, interpretive materials, instructional documents, usability testing reports, proposals, and other verbs-visual representations of information.

Similar to most technical writing contexts, these projects require you to work individually (as well as collaboratively) to conduct out of class observations and research and to practice/learn new knowledge concepts and computer applications. Throughout the quarter, you will participate in the ongoing process of digital writing that includes: planning, researching, drafting, collaborating, critiquing, revising, and presenting.

CRN: 40616 T 1400-1550 + Arrange Justin Lewis

In ENG 302, we will be learning about and practicing technical communication through the study of rhetorical principles, audience analysis and user experience design (UXD). We will be learning about rhetorical problem-solving principles and applying them to diverse professional writing tasks and situations. In other words, in this class, you will be learning about the conventions for writing, speaking and designing appropriate workplace documents and communications. We will be studying and writing a variety of different genres that are common in professional settings and you will be learning about and testing out new digital platforms and programs for technical & professional communication.

Assignments/Evaluation:

  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Professionalization Documents
  • Website Design

ENG 307 Seminar: Medieval

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

Knights! Dragons! Churches! Really good gravy! The literature of the Middle Ages is diverse and fascinating, ranging from the silly to the sublime, the enlightening to the enigmatic, the humorous to the holy. Far from being stiff and boring, medieval literature is filled with adventure, excitement, and the ongoing quest to understand the human condition. The songs, stories, and tales of this period of history continue to exert their influence today, in works like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and even Game of Thrones - and it all begins with English 307.

Text: The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Literature.

ENG 308 Seminar: Early Modern

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 41635 MWF 0830-0950 Jennifer Forsythe

Writing the American Hemisphere

By some accounts, the early modern period begins in the fifteenth century with the European invasion of Africa and the Americas, and it ends in the eighteenth century with the age of revolution. But invasions do not start and stop during any one time period, and revolutionary movements against colonialism and domination also have long and ongoing histories.

This course is called “Writing the American Hemisphere” because we will examine many forms of communication and technologies of memory that shape what we know about the history of the Americas today. These may include codices, chronicles, letters, textiles, maps, songs, poems, music, stories, ceramics, archival documents, and artistic recreations. We will also explore forms of communication and technologies of memory that shape our current-day collective experiences of American history. For example, we may study public monuments, K-12 curriculum, film, performance, podcasts, and museums as sites of ongoing processes of invasion and revolution. Most course material will be available on the course website.

Students will be responsible for producing discussion posts and short written reflections throughout the quarter. As a final project, they will devise an original research question and build a literature review around that question. In addition to participating in class discussions on assigned readings, students will take part in regularly scheduled lab days to explore connections between historical and contemporary sources. Students will also spend class time working on a group project in the form of a collectively-authored annotated bibliography.

CW: This course engages histories of sexual, gendered, religious, and racialized violence along with histories of resistance and rebellion against such violence. Please be prepared to work together to create a classroom space where we prioritize caring for each other and for the language we read and produce during our time together.

ENG 309 Seminar: The Long 18th Century

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 41636 TR 0800-0950 Christopher Loar

Sex and Love After Shakespeare and Before Austen: A lot changed in Great Britain between the 1660s and the 1790s, but perhaps nothing changed more than ideas about love, romance, and sexual desire. The literatures of the early part of this period—the Restoration—were famous for their free attitudes towards sexuality and their play with gender roles. By the end of the 1790s, a new “normal” sex and gender system had developed—one organized around marriage and heterosexuality—though oppositional voices persisted, making the case for more open attitudes towards sex and gender.

In this course we will examine some of the writing from this transitional period; we will also read recent critical work that challenges traditional thinking about sexuality and gender in this era.

ENG 310 Seminar: The Long 19th Century

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 41637 TR 1600-1750 Ning Yu

This course surveys works by writers of Chinese descent in North America from the beginning to the twentieth century to the beginning of the twenty-first. We will read, analyze and discuss texts by Sui Sin Far, Okihiro, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston,  Gish Jen, David Wong Louie, Shawn Wong and Jamie Ford in the context of both American and Chinese cultures, especially the history of Chinese immigration.  Our objective is to achieve a better understanding of the rich diversity within Chinese American communities and the high literary merit of their work.

Texts:

Sui Sin Far, Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings; Gary Okihiro, Margins and Mainstreams, Frank Chin, Chickencoop Chinaman; Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men;  Gish Jen, Typical American; David Wong Louie, The Barbarians Are Coming, Shawn Wong,  American Knees: A Novel, Jamie Ford, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter Sweet.

Requirements:

  1. A lot of fun reading. Students must read all the assigned texts carefully and be well prepared to discuss them in depth. Active participation (20%) in class discussion is a must for a successful student in this class.
  2. One presentation (25%)
  3. Five thought-provoking questions at five different turns throughout the whole quarter. For each question you also write a full page of response with which you lead discussion in class.You post the questions the night before discussion by 7 pm, but you don’t post your response to your own question.
  4. A final paper of 7-10 pages (double space) in length. Students are encouraged to incorporate their presentation/ research into their final paper.
  5. Last but not 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.

Evaluation:

Class participation = 20% of total grade; presentation/discussion leading project 1 = 25%, questions and answers=25% (5% each);  final paper = 30%.

ENG 311 Seminar: The 20-21st Century

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 41638 MWF 1300-1420 Lysa Rivera

Visionary Fictions: Black and Brown Elsewheres

Welcome to English 311, a course on multiethnic U.S. literature after 1945.

In her powerful introduction to Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, Walidah Imarisha defines “visionary fiction” as a subversive form of speculative fiction that weds the power of the imagination with the grit of social justice. In doing so, it testifies to the power of the imagination to decolonize the mind, a necessary first step in building new worlds, organizing powerful communities, and cultivating joy. This 300-level seminar course will explore the other worlds and alternative spaces made possible by visionary fiction, and it will do so by centering the voices and experiences of Latinx and black U.S. writers. This class will work across a range of genres, including novels, short fiction, and poetry. To supplement and enhance our reading experiences, we will also work with non-print-based texts including audio and visual spaces. Students will maintain weekly electronic reading journals, collaborate in the production of a course Zine, and complete a final research paper on a topic and text that interests them most.

ENG 313 Critical Theories: Prac I

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 40111 MWF 1130-1250 Jennifer Forsythe

Critical Theories and Practices from Sappho to Phyllis Wheatley

What is theory? What does it mean to practice theory? Can we distinguish between critical theories and critical practices? Literature does not look or act the same from one time and place to the next, and theory also changes forms depending on the communities who practice it.

This course weaves together works by theorists enshrined in academic anthologies and by those who might be less familiar to us as theorists today. We will analyze texts and other records produced by writers and practitioners from Greco-Roman antiquity to 18th-century British North America. These may include anonymous translators, Aristotle, Dante Alighieri, Bartolomé de las Casas, Anne Dacier, John Dryden, Desiderius Erasmus, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Samson Occom, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Plato, Ibn Rushd, Eleanor Rykener, Sappho, Phyllis Wheatley, or others. By studying a relatively broad range of works produced over a relatively vast time period, we will gain a working knowledge of the evolution of critical theories and practices across many centuries, deepen our understanding of what counts as critical theory and practice, and build skills to create our own forms of critical and theoretical engagement with literary texts and other cultural objects. Most course material will be available on the course website.

Students will be responsible for producing discussion posts and short written reflections throughout the quarter. As a final project, they will create a piece of experimental writing that showcases multiple approaches to literary and cultural interpretation. In addition to participating in class discussions on assigned readings, students will take part in regularly scheduled lab days to explore connections between historical forms of criticism, theory, and practice and contemporary modes. Students will also spend class time working on group projects in the form of collectively-authored study guides and a collectively-authored annotated bibliography.

CW: This course engages histories of sexual, gendered, religious, and racialized violence along with histories of resistance and rebellion against such violence. Please be prepared to work together to create a classroom space where we prioritize caring for each other and for the language we read and produce during our time together.

CRN: 40181 TR 1400-1550 Ning Yu

This course surveys a variety of literary and cultural theories, beginning with Plato and Aristotle, and then reviews with three schools of our contemporary thinking: formalism, reader-response, and psycho-analysis. 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 end our study with a final paper of 10-12 pages, applying two of the critical approaches we learn through this quarter to Heart of Darkness, a novella by Joseph Conrad (35%). Students will take five turns write discussion questions, in the order listed in the schedule below. These questions are based on the criticism we read in class, and they should be thought-provoking so as to stimulate discussions in class. You should write a two-page response to your own question and you’re expected to lead discussion with the help of the written response (25%, 5% per question and response).You are required to post your question on Canvas the night before discussion (by 8 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. Rather than having mid-term and final examinations, each student will write a one-page summary for ten of the twenty-odd essays we read (20%, 2% for each summary; You will write your summaries as you read the essays, and post them at the end of the quarter for me to check and grade. They are the things you can walk out of the classroom with at and they are yours to use for the rest of your college career and beyond. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Each student is responsible for five 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 on this particular subject.
  4. Every student should actively participate in class discussion as 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. 5. 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. I will accommodate in a moderate way different religious holidays. Thank you.

Evaluation: Class participation = 20% of total grade; final essay = 35%; written questions and responses = 25% (5% per question and response); summaries = 20%.

ENG 314 Critical Theories Prac II

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 43283 TR 1400-1550 Jean Lee

This course is an introduction to literary theory from the 19th to 21st centuries. We will read texts that speak to underlying principles of language, knowledge, culture, and literature and track how debates from linguistics, political economics, social sciences, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies provide interpretive frameworks and foster self-reflection. This course is designed to strengthen your reading and writing skills about theory. All course readings will be provided on Canvas.

ENG 317 Survey: Medieval

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

CRN: 43284 MWF 1430-1550 Amy Amendt-Raduege

Knights! Dragons! Churches! Really good gravy! The literature of the Middle Ages is diverse and fascinating, ranging from the silly to the sublime, the enlightening to the enigmatic, the humorous to the holy. Far from being stiff and boring, medieval literature is filled with adventure, excitement, and the ongoing quest to understand the human condition. The songs, stories, and tales of this period of history continue to exert their influence today, in works like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and even Game of Thrones - and it all begins with English 317.

Text: The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Literature.

ENG 321 Survey: The 20-21st Centuries

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

CRN: 41658 TR 1200-1350 Jean Lee

London Calling, Caribbean Voices: 20th Century Caribbean Literature in London

The title of this course refers to two important post-war Caribbean texts produced in London: Una Marson’s satirical feminist play, London Calling, and the BBC radio program featuring Caribbean poetry and short stories which Marson produced. Combined, this course’s title refers the historic migration of Caribbeans to the UK catalyzed by World War II, better known as the Windrush Generation (1948-1971). It also introduces the context in which Caribbean writers used London as a setting to stage anti- and post-colonial critiques of British imperialism. This course will explore how post-war Anglophone Caribbean writers in England were central to establishing the Caribbean literary canon and exploring political, (trans)national, and cultural identities shaped around themes such as home/away, insider/outsider, citizen/economic migrant. We will be engaging with Windrush writers, such as Una Marson, Louise Bennet, Sam Selvon, Derek Walcott, and Edgar Mittelholzer, and George Lamming, as well as contemporary writers revisiting the Windrush era, such as Andrea Leavy and Zadie Smith.

ENG 331 Studies in Gender Theory

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 or WGSS 211.

CRN: 44207 MW 1300-1420 Elizabeth Colen

This course will closely read and analyze contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and film to examine gender theory, with varying emphases, including but not limited to feminist, queer, trans, intersectional and critical race theory.

ENG 334 Txts/N.Am&Eur

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101 or equivalent.

CRN: 42095 MWF 1000-1120 Julie Dugger

In a world where people regularly cross geographic and national boundaries, what determines who you are? The place you currently inhabit? The place you came from? Your language, race, religion, ethnicity, family, or class? This course will examine how diasporic identity is represented in literature. Students will study the works of writers who have moved between cultures (voluntarily or involuntarily) for economic, cultural, or political reasons, as well as critical arguments about those works. Authors will include Adichie, Equiano, McCann, Ní Dhomhnaill/Muldoon, and Walcott.

ENG 336 Scriptural Lit:

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. ACGM.

CRN: 43285 MWF 2:30-3:50 Christopher Wise

This course will explore handwritten manuscripts from the ancient world, including Egyptian, Greek, Middle Eastern, and Northwest African writings, including discussion of key differences between orality and literacy and the impact of alphabetic literacy upon the ancient world.  We will also explore differences in orientations to literacy and orality within the Abrahamic traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as medieval manuscripts from the libraries of Timbuktu in Northern Mali (by Songhay and Tuareg authors, i.e. black African and Berber peoples).  This is an introductory course. No previous knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. will be assumed on the part of the student.

 

  • Egyptian Book of the Dead
  • Sissoko, La genèse [“Genesis”]
  • The Book of Genesis
  • Peters, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vol. 1
  • Freud, Moses and Monotheism
  • Mernissi, The Veil and the Male Elite
  • Kati, Tarikh al fattash

ENG 338 Women's Lit N Am and Europe

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

CRN: 40444 MW 0830-0950 Carol Guess

This class will focus on contemporary queer and BIPOC writers whose work challenges and expands the definition of "woman." Students will read multiple literary texts, including texts with experimental and controversial content, and write several short position papers in response to readings and class discussions.

ENG 339 Mythology and Literature

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

CRN: 44208 TR 1200-1350 Mark Lester

What does it mean for us today to have a future? What did it mean in the past? For whom is there a future; or, put differently, to whom does the future belong? In this class, we will explore how representations of seers (augurs, oracles, prophetesses, sibyls...) in classical mythology frame our conception of the future, as well as how a variety of more contemporary writers engage the mythological framework in such a manner as to expose and challenge the (privileged) paradigm(s).

ENG 347 Studies in Young Adult Lit

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 or instructor permission.

CRN: 40627 MW 0830-0950, Hybrid M/W: F2F, Some Fridays: Remote synchronous. Donna Qualley

Check back in August for information on books.

Our course will focus on contemporary literature written and published for young adults between the ages of 12-20+. In these books, we’ll meet a diverse group of young people who are wrestling with the underlying questions of identity, agency, and community: Who am I? Where do I fit in? Who can I trust? Why does the world sometimes suck? What can I do about it? How can my voice and my actions make a difference? Because young adults themselves question, experiment, and push boundaries, it should come as no surprise that the literature written for and about young adults also pushes conventional boundaries.

Since a primary goal of this course is to expose you to a range of contemporary young adult literature, the course is reading-intensive, but I hope you will agree—also intensely interesting! In our time together, we’ll read 7-9 books plus some supplementary material that I will make available on Canvas. You’ll engage in short response projects (both analytical and creative and individual and collaborative) that include writing, speaking, and responding using visual and non-print media.

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

  • How might young adult literature serve as a vehicle for critical and self-reflexive examination of the social, cultural, and political landscapes in which we are and have been emmeshed? How might these books offer their readers new ways to imagine and create more just, equitable, and hopeful futures for themselves and others?  
  • What are some of the critical conversations that continue to galvanize the field of young adult literature?  
  • How might YA literature re-ignite an interest in reading? How might YA literature stimulate young people’s (and your) own expressive and creative work?
  • What qualities make YA literature engaging and deserving of respect by adults (and schools) as well as  young people? What kinds of discussions, assignments, and projects can open up and extend students’ understanding and enjoyment of this literature?

ENG 350 Intro to Creative Writing

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

CRN: 40182 WF 1130-1250 Jeanne Yeasting

This introductory creative writing course combines a creative component and the study of literature from a writer’s perspective.  This course will introduce you to the process of creative writing – the reading, brainstorming, drafting, use of craft elements, analysis, revising, re-imagining and discipline that are essential for writers.  You’ll be introduced to, and asked to experiment with, various forms of poetry and creative nonfiction. Students will read and study the craft of range of poets and nonfiction writers, and use their texts as catalysts for generating and revising their own work.  We’ll study the work of some earlier practitioners, as well as contemporary authors. Class will be a mixture of discussion of assigned writing models, writing exercises, and workshops

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments include considerable reading of writing model poems and creative nonfiction; weekly writing and revising of original poetry and creative nonfiction; giving detailed peer feedback, including written feedback letters; and completing a Final project.  Students may be required to work on a collaborative project.

EVALUATION: Based primarily on active, attentive class participation and fulfillment of assignments, including a Final Project.

REQUIRED TEXTS: all e-book versions welcome!

  • The Poet’s Companion, edited by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux. W.W. Norton (paperback: ISBN: 978-0393316544;e-text: Kindle; Apple Books)
  • In Short, edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones. W.W. Norton. (paperback: ISBN: 978-0393314922)
  • Various poems and other texts on Canvas
CRN: 40908 MW 1300-1420 Ely Shipley

Examines the fundamentals of at least two genres, such as fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, or poetry. The course will include both lectures, focused on model texts, and workshop-style discussions, focused on student work.

CRN: 43287 WF 1430-1550 Jeanne Yeasting

This introductory creative writing course combines a creative component and the study of literature from a writer’s perspective.  This course will introduce you to the process of creative writing – the reading, brainstorming, drafting, use of craft elements, analysis, revising, re-imagining and discipline that are essential for writers.  You’ll be introduced to, and asked to experiment with, various forms of poetry and creative nonfiction. Students will read and study the craft of range of poets and nonfiction writers, and use their texts as catalysts for generating and revising their own work.  We’ll study the work of some earlier practitioners, as well as contemporary authors. Class will be a mixture of discussion of assigned writing models, writing exercises, and workshops

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments include considerable reading of writing model poems and creative nonfiction; weekly writing and revising of original poetry and creative nonfiction; giving detailed peer feedback, including written feedback letters; and completing a Final project.  Students may be required to work on a collaborative project.

EVALUATION: Based primarily on active, attentive class participation and fulfillment of assignments, including a Final Project.

REQUIRED TEXTS: all e-book versions welcome!

  • The Poet’s Companion, edited by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux. W.W. Norton (paperback: ISBN: 978-0393316544;e-text: Kindle; Apple Books)
  • In Short, edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones. W.W. Norton. (paperback: ISBN: 978-0393314922)
  • Various poems and other texts on Canvas
CRN: 43288 TR 1000-1150 Kathryn Trueblood

What [my students] are seeking is exactly what I wanted: the refuge of stories, which remain the most reliable paths to meaning ever devised by our species.

—Steve Almond

Welcome! This is a class about the creative process and will address the concerns of first-time writers as well as future educators. We will focus on the phases of the creative process beginning with the inner cinema of the mind and concluding with the rigors of revision. Students will have the opportunity to try their hands at several genres—personal essays, short stories, and poetry. Extensive exercises will focus on how writers find material and shape it (the Muse can be courted). Our task, as always, is engagement with the inner life. We are writing to explore what Faulkner called, “the human heart in conflict with itself.” By trying your hand at multiple genres, you should come away from this class understanding that form is an expression of content. This is a course for developing "the educated imagination," as Northrop Frye called it.

Expectations: Open-minded participation is what makes a workshop course successful, so attendance is paramount. Bring with you a willingness to try new things and a non-competitive attitude. Writers need models so be prepared to do some reading. Students will be asked to keep their exercises in a working journal. The class will be working draft to draft in small groups and doing some in-class reading aloud. In order to celebrate our work, we will finish the term with dramatic readings of 5-10 minutes.

Texts: Write Moves: A Creative Writing Guide & Anthology by Nancy Pagh

CRN: 43692 Arrange Arrange Nancy Pagh

Students in this asynchronous section of Introduction to Creative Writing will work through weekly modules to examine and practice the fundamentals of craft:  imagery and figurative language; sound; character and setting; voice and perspective; form and structure. We will focus on “close reading” of model poetry and prose; brainstorm creative expression and response; draft poems, stories, and creative nonfiction personal essays; share some of these projects with peers; and revise selected works--learning how to communicate about and make practical use of feedback on drafts. Evaluation will be based on completion of a sequence of activities in each course module/week.

Required Textbook: Write Moves: A Creative Writing Guide & Anthology

ENG 351 Intro to Fiction Writing

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 350.

CRN: 40577 MWF 1130-1250 Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi

As a participant in this course, we will ask you to develop fictional worlds, characters and predicaments. We will have conversations about the fundamental elements of fiction (e.g. tense, pov, dialog, voice, conflict), as we examine both a diverse body of published work and the early drafts by your peers.

Expect this to be an exciting and challenging course. We hope you will develop new ways of thinking, working, writing and communicating. We hope you will take risks. You do not have to write magnificent fiction to do well in this course. You will have to be brave, respectful and a hard worker.

Participation in a 5-credit course is equivalent to 150 hours of work over the quarter. This will include 4 hours of classroom time weekly (lecture, discussions, workshop) and approximately 10 hours of outside preparation (reading, writing, investigating, reflecting, projects). You are also encouraged to visit me in office hours, attend literary events, and connect with your peers.

Required readings include Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer, The Big Book of Modern Fantasy edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, and If the Body Allows It by Megan Cummins. I am also asking that you find access to a portable electronic device that will allow you to listen to a podcast and move simultaneously (e.g. walk or dance).

CRN: 40670 TR 1000-1150 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.

CRN: 42528 TR 1400-1550 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.

ENG 353 Introduction to Poetry Writing

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 353.

CRN: 40112 MWF 1000-1120 Bruce Beasley

This course will be an intensive introduction to poetry and all aspects of poetry writing, including metaphor; rhythm; imagery; sonic devices such as assonance, consonance, alliteration, and rhyme; formal structures (villanelle, sestina, pantoum, sonnet, couplets, quatrains); and revision. We will read a few poems intensively each class and do a variety of in-class writings and exercises in response to the model poems. Students will develop three portfolios of finished poems derived from exercises and in-class writings, a portfolio of revisions, and will perform a poem of their choice.

ENG 354 Intro to Creative Nonfict Writ

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 350.

CRN: 40113 TR 1200-1350 Suzanne Paola

Over the past few decades creative nonfiction has exploded in popularity, form, and subject. It grapples with social justice questions, truth questions, witness. This course will present a thorough introduction to the writing of creative nonfiction. We will combine mini-lecture, discussion, in-class writing and workshop with extensive reading to thoroughly explore this genre, examining areas like form and reportage while considering the larger questions suggested by the genre. Midterm and final revised portfolio of writing due as well as other forms of participation.

ENG 364 Introduction to Film Studies

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

CRN: 40365 MW 1130-1250 Eren Odabasi

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the key components of film expression such as cinematography, sound, editing, and production design. We will closely analyze several canonical films from around the world, utilizing the fundamental concepts and definitions covered in the course units. Furthermore, we will explore cinema’s relationship to other arts and various media forms.

More specific course objectives:

  • Enrich your ability to look and listen closely to motion pictures.
  • Understand and apply a range of critical and cultural theories to the study of cinema.
  • Explore a range of film genres, national cinemas, historical periods, and auteurs, with an emphasis on expanding the frame from Hollywood to a more diverse world cinema.
  • Engage with local film cultures and other communities rooted in cinephilia.

Textbook:

  • David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Jeff Smith. Film Art: An Introduction, 12th edition. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Education, 2019.

You are welcome to use an older edition, a used copy, or the e-book version.

CRN: 42778 TR 0840-0950 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. Viewings for the course will examine a variety of films throughout the history of cinema in order to practice employing the terms and concepts.

ENG 365 FilmHist:Animation1960-Present

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 364 or ENG 202.

CRN: 41665 TR 1040-1150 Tony Prichard

This course will examine the history of animation from its role in the medium of television to the present day. We will examine the way in which animation played a role in the development of special effects to the present day where it is difficult to find a popular film that isn’t in some way “animated”.

400-Level English Courses

ENG 401 Sr Writing Studies/Rhet Sem

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 301 or ENG 302 or ENG 370 or ENG 371, or instructor permission; senior status.

44211 MWF 1430-1550 Andrew Lucchesi

Disability Rhetoric

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 examine the growing movement of rhetorical study focused on disability, moving from classical rhetorical traditions to contemporary rhetorics of autism, mental disability, and the disabled body. 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.

ENG 406 Topics:Critical/Culturl Theory

Notes & Prerequisites:ENG 313 or ENG 314; two courses from: ENG 307-347, ENG 364 or ENG 371.

CRN: 44212 TR 0800-0950, F2F Instruction, Mark Lester

When asked to identify the insight inspiring Anti-Oedipus, the book he had written together with Félix Guattari that was published in 1972, Gilles Deleuze responded that they wished to overturn the idea that the unconscious can be thought of (as it is by Freud) as a kind of theater in which desire is expressed or represented. Rather, he said, they wanted to think of the unconscious as “a mechanism of desire.” In this course, we will examine Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of “desiring-machines”—the machinic functioning of the “whole system of the unconscious”—and its importance with respect to more recent discussions concerning identity, politics, art, and writing.

Texts:

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Anti-Oedipus; A Thousand Plateaus. Félix Guattari: Molecular Revolution; Chaosmosis; Chaosophy. Maurizio Lazzarato: Signs and Machines.

ENG 415 Natl. Lits: Canada

Notes & Prerequisites:ENG 202 plus three from: ENG 304-347, ENG 364, ENG 370, ENG 371, possible additional prerequisites relevant to topic.

CRN: 42780 MWF 1130-1250 Lee Gulyas

What does the idea of a National Literature mean in a settler-colonial nation? Where do First Nations voices exist in this conversation? What qualifies as literature? We will read across genres—not just fiction and poetry, but also critical analysis and essays. We will examine song, dance, and visual art. Student work will focus on building analytical skills, including the practice of close reading and literary criticism, as well as some creative writing experiments.

ENG 418 Sr Sem:

Notes & Prerequisites: Senior status; ENG 313 or ENG 314; and one course from: ENG 307, ENG 308, ENG 309, ENG 310 or ENG 311.

CRN: 40510 MWF 1300-1420 Julie Dugger

Senior Seminar: Genre Fiction

The distinction between literary fiction and genre fiction is a slippery and shifting one, with genre fiction maybe best defined as everything that gets a separate name and shelf in the bookstore (mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, Western, horror). Literary fiction is often described as more culturally significant and less formulaic than genre fiction, but this distinction doesn’t always hold up under examination. Literary fiction can be formulaic, genre fiction maintains a massive cultural presence, works considered insignificant in one period may be defined as canonical in another, and literary and genre writers regularly borrow from one another’s material. So why the separate bookshelves and different assessments of quality? This class will examine how we establish a body of literature, a readership, or a set of cultural expectations by considering genre fiction: what it is, what it does, and how it compares to literary fiction. We’ll take a close look as a class at the genres of romance and fantasy, including fictional, critical, and contextual readings, and use these as a starting point for discussions about other genres. Each student will also write an independent research paper on a self-selected work of either genre fiction or literary-crossover fiction with genre elements. (Q: Does this mean I can write my paper on my favorite sci-fi novel or mystery series? A: Yes.)

CRN: 40511 TR 1000-1150 Laura Laffrado

Senior Seminar: Hawthorne’s Major Works

“There is the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne. He says No! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie.” Herman Melville, 1851

CONTENT: This course looks at the completed novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne, cultural icon and major US writer. We will read the texts in the order he wrote them, pay attention to their interactions with the larger culture, ask why Hawthorne often altered historical accounts, and watch him create characters who underread and suffer the consequences. We will consider issues of gender, history, symbology, and identity, among others. Our reading culminates with Hawthorne’s most complex, wonderful novel, The Marble Faun.

ASSIGNMENTS: This will be a small class devoted to reading and writing. The reading load, while full of interesting texts, will be heavy. There will be class presentations and a fifteen-page seminar paper, due at the end of the term. As part of the seminar paper process, expect draft days and in-class writing.

EVALUATION: Evaluation will be based on the criteria above.

TEXTS: Fanshawe, The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, The Marble Faun. We will also probably a look at a few early and later film revisions of the novels and other materials on how we read Hawthorne and why it matters.

ENG 423 Maj Auth:

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 plus three from: ENG 304-347, ENG 364, ENG 370, ENG 371; possible additional prerequisites relevant to topic.

CRN: 40512 T 1200-1350 Dawn Dietrich

Maj Auth: Emil Ferris & Mariko Tamaki

This course will introduce you to the radical creativity of the indie comix scene with the work of Emil Ferris & Mariko Tamaki. Focusing on the contemporary indie presses of these two writers/artists (Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly), we will explore the intersectional young adult themes of identity, community, and agency. Through our four texts, we will try to articulate and understand the strange, the beautiful, the complex, and the interesting . . . in these graphic narratives. The selected texts feature marginalized and under-represented characters and themes, including topics such as love and friendship (relationship building), depression, sexuality, resiliency, loneliness/isolation, and mental and physical abuse. We will celebrate comix as a potentially queer space where openness, fluidity, and non-conformity represent textual strategies as well as characters’ identities. The themes in these writers’ work intersect and overlap with politics and rebellion while issues of diversity and inclusion are brought to the fore in a contemporary context. We will also study comix form, technique and theory, and you will have the opportunity to write about comix as well as create your own comix in the course. No artistic experience or illustrating talent is required for this assignment or this class! I also invite you to share your favorite comix or web comix throughout the quarter.

*Please note: this class content contains adult language and themes.

Assignments and Evaluation

You will have the opportunity to write multi-modal blogs about Ferris’ and Tamaki’s work. You will also have the chance to engage in comix workshops, where you will create your own artwork. Students will receive full credit for doing the exercises, which are totally fun! No artistic experience or illustrating talent is required. And the capstone project will involve creating your own short comix!

Required Texts

  • Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
  • Skim, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
  • Making Comics, Lynda Barry
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters (vol. 1), Emil Ferris
  • Free Comic Book Day’s (FCBD) Our Favorite Thing is My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Emil Ferris

Note: My Favorite Thing is Monsters (vol. 2), Emil Ferris (available September 2021)!

CRN: 42781 TR 1400-1550 Stefania Heim

Major Auth: Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was a poet of the people. The first Black American writer to earn a living solely through his literary output, Hughes has a huge reputation—“Let us in / on how / you ’came a saint // LANGSTON,” writes Kevin Young in a tribute poem. At the same time Hughes was, as a former assistant quipped, “critically, the most abused poet in America,” ignored for many years by white critics and criticized by some Black readers for what they saw as simplistic depictions of Black life. Other than acknowledging him as a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance and recognizing some of his most resounding lines (“What happens to a dream deferred?” or “America never was America to me”) most contemporary readers don’t know much about Hughes’s incredibly various, prolific, and international life in literature. In this course we’ll read across his work in all genres—jazz poems and modernist montages; political reportage from Harlem and the bombed streets of Madrid during the Spanish Civil War; short stories, memoirs, and books for children; his translations of Afro-Cuban protest poet, Nicolás Guillén; and his introductions to the work of some great 20th century poets he nurtured and supported including Gwendolyn Brooks and Lucille Clifton. Throughout, we’ll ask urgently relevant questions about what it means to be a “Social Poet.”

ENG 441 Language and the Sec Classroom

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 301, ENG 302 or ENG 371; ENG 347; ENG 350, ENG 351, ENG 353 or ENG 354; two from: ENG 307, ENG 308, ENG 309, ENG 310, ENG 311, ENG 317, ENG 318, ENG 319, ENG 320 and ENG 321. Co-requisite: ENG 443. Major restrictions never lift.

CRN: 43293 MWF 1000-1120 Pam Hardman

his course will explore language structure and use in the Secondary Language Arts classroom, including cultural and equity issues, dialect and discourse style bias, ESL learners, and the challenges of standard grammar and conventions.  We’ll spend some time addressing linguistic fundamentals as a means of understanding language diversity. This methods course requires the same kind of individual initiative, dedication, and professionalism that you will apply to your future work as a teacher.

This course must be taken concurrently with English 443 unless the instructor approves otherwise.

TEXTS: Required: Crovitz and Devereaux, Grammar to Get Things Done; Devereaux and Palmer, Teaching Language Variation in the Classroom; George Yule, Study of Language. Optional: Crovitz and Devereaux, More Grammar to Get Things Done.

ASSIGNMENTS: Teaching Plans; Dialect analysis; Research Project

ENG 442 Studies in Literacy

Notes & Prerequisites: One course from ENG 301, ENG 302, ENG 370, ENG 371 or instructor approval.

CRN: 41342 MWF 1130-1250, Hybrid M/W: F2F, Some Fridays: Remote synchronous. Donna Qualley

In this PWLR course (professional writing, literacies, & rhetoric), our goal will be to explode some common (mis)understandings of what literacy is and what literacy does—for whom and to whom.

For starters, literacy is not just about reading and writing.  Some folks believe it is useful to talk about literacy in its plural form –as literacies. Literacies are particular ways of thinking and saying and doing that are always situated in specific rhetorical, social, cultural, or institutional contexts. It is our abilities to invent and control those ways of saying and doing that make us literate in these Discourses or communities.

Given the largeness and complexity of the material and digital worlds in which we interact today, most people will need to continue to develop multiple, diverse literacy practices throughout their lives.  According to literacy researcher, Deborah Brandt, we can define literacy as the “capacity to navigate and amalgamate new reading and writing practices [or new ways of saying and doing], in response to rapid cultural, social, and technological change.”

In our short time together, we’ll examine the social, cultural, technological, economic, political, and perhaps pedagogical forces that propel, regulate, or restrict different literacy practices. We’ll consider how almost every social, cultural, educational, or political crises can be connected to people’s fears about changing (or declining) literacy practices.  We’ll draw on both theory and story to examine moments of critical juncture—where and when different literacy tracks intersect, blend, and diverge. 

Throughout the course, you’ll read, write, and design, working in different print, visual, and digital media. Projects include short creative and critical responses, and a culminating multimodal project that makes “short work” of the long story of literacy.

  • Possible required texts:  Jason Reynolds: Long Way Down (May change. Check back in late August)
  • All other readings will be available on Canvas

ENG 443 Tch Eng Lang Arts in Sec Sch I

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 301, ENG 302 or ENG 371; ENG 347; ENG 350; and two courses from: ENG 307, ENG 308, ENG 309, ENG 310, ENG 311, ENG 317, ENG 318, ENG 319, ENG 320 and ENG 321.Co-requisite: ENG 441. Major restrictions never lift.

CRN: 40785 MWF 1130-1250 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.

This course must be taken concurrently with English 441 unless the instructor approves otherwise.

TEXTS: Kelly Gallagher, Write Like This and Teaching Adolescent Writers

ASSIGNMENTS: Writing Activities; Mini-lesson; Writing Assignment Plan

ENG 444 Tch Eng Lang Art in Sec Sch II

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 443.

CRN: 40366 W 1430-1550 Pam Hardman

CONTENT: This course focuses on the teaching of skills related to reading, interpretation, and critical analysis of literature and other media in secondary school classrooms. The course will also address the specifics of lesson and unit planning.

ASSIGNMENTS: Assigned reading; lesson plans; discussion plan and performance; reading module

TEXTS (may include): Gallagher and Kittle, 180 Days; Gallagher, Deeper Reading; Quintero, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces.

ENG 451 Creative Wrtng Seminar:Fiction

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 351.

CRN: 40447 MWF 1130-1250 Elizabeth Colen

In this advanced workshop in fiction writing, students will closely read and analyze books of short stories written in the last year, engage in weekly writing exercises and imitations, and hone their storytelling skills through the production of at least one fully revised story. The final project will be a portfolio that includes a story of 10-15 pages of fully revised, well-crafted work.

CRN: 40676 TR 1200-1350 Kami Westhoff

An advanced course in the writing of fiction. Repeatable with different instructors to a maximum of 10 cr.

ENG 453 Creative Wrtng Seminar: Poetry

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 353.

CRN: 40403 MWF 1000-1120 Ely Shipley

This seminar focuses on the practice of reading and writing poetry. We will spend the quarter reading, writing, and discussing poems and poetics essays through focusing on elements such as metaphor, image, rhythm, sound, line, and dramatic tension. You will share original work and offer thoughtful observations to each work discussed. The texts for this course explore poetic traditions and contemporary developments. Likewise, they span diverse embodiments of sexual, racial, national, class-based, and familial experiences. Examining the artistic attributes of these texts, we will seek to understand form’s relationship to content and how poems work to generate experience. Through deep analysis of varied and excellent models, we will amass resources and practice techniques to make our own poems and poetics statements. We become better writers through reading, thinking and feeling intensely, learning from our own work, the work of others, and above all, by practicing.

ENG 454 Creative Wrtg Sem: Nonfiction

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 454.

CRN: 40448 TR 1400-1550 Nancy Pagh

Students in this advanced creative writing seminar and workshop explore the expressive power of memoir. We begin the quarter by reviewing and sharing the expertise we bring—from the foundational 354 “introduction to creative nonfiction” course and from our own experiences as readers and writers of memoir—into the space of this workshop. We move then toward discovering and writing four forms of personal essay: the epistolary essay, ekphrastic essay, object essay, and community memoir.  

Required Texts:
•    Karl Ove Knausgaard, Autumn (978-0399563300)
•    Mary-Louise Parker, Dear Mr. You (978-1501107832)
•    Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (978-1555976903)
•    Lawrence Sutin, A Postcard Memoir (978-1555973049)
•    Recommended:  Miller & Paola, Tell It Slant (3rd edition)

Class will be conducted asynchronously, with the exception of infrequent selected dates for zoom writing workshop.  Please hold 2-4 T/R in your schedule for now; exact zoom meeting dates will be posted on the course syllabus, available on Canvas by the week before classes begin.

ENG 457 Special Topics Poetry Writing

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 353.

CRN: 44214 MWF 1300-1420 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.

ENG 458 Nonfiction Wrtg:

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 354.

CRN: 40469 TR 1100-1150 Brenda Miller

Autobiography and photography are naturally allied; both a claim a stance in the “real world” while using figurative techniques to represent that reality. In this course, we will inquire into the nature of that alliance, examining how time, memory, the use of the frame, narrative perspective, and unexpected details function in both genres. We will study and practice the conversation between text and image, and we will also inquire into the nature of “looking” itself.

Texts:

  • Half in Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate, by Judith Kitchen
  • A Postcard Memoir, by Lawrence Sutin
  • Assorted Readings online and on Canvas

ENG 459 Editing and Publishing

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 351, ENG 353 or ENG 354.

CRN: 40671 MWF 0830-0950 Lee Gulyas

This is a capstone course that offers an overview of publishing in the United States. Our explorations include the history of publishing; the wide variety of publishing houses and presses; literary careers and the business of publishing; and the literary Northwest.

COURSE GOALS

As upper-level writing students, you will:

  • explore the world of publishing and its place in our culture.
  • be introduced to skills including research, sources, copyediting, and proofreading, and be aware of the current literary conversation, discourses, and cultures of editing and publishing.
  • consider writing from the perspective of writer, editor, and publisher within the context of the industry, and be familiar with the roles of each.
  • understand how a book is made—from inception, to production, distribution, and promotion.
  • be familiar with some of the ethical issues and current trends in publishing, the politics of book buying, and how to engage and flourish as a member of a larger literary community.
  • actively work to increase your knowledge and skills and aim for professional standards.

Texts:

  • Eckstut, Arielle, and David Sterry.The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, How To Write It, Sell It, and Market It—Successfully! New York: Workman Publishing, 2015.
  • Saller, Carol Fisher. The Subversive Copy Editor. Second Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

ENG 460 Multi-Genre Wrtng

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 351, ENG 353 or ENG 354.

CRN: 40562 MWF 1430-1550 Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi

As a participant in this course, we will explore the ways in which the concept of genre offers a shape and an organization for your ideas. We will define the genre boundaries for ourselves, and we will examine a diverse body of published work that challenges our assumptions of genre boundaries. You will be asked to compose in a multiplicity of forms, and we will do an intensive examination of the work produced in our workshop. We will also have conversations about the ecosystem of creative writing (e.g. lyricism, voice, style, predicament, transformative potential).

Expect this to be an exciting and challenging course. We hope you will develop new ways of thinking, working, writing and communicating. Participation in a 5-credit course is equivalent to 150 hours of work over the quarter. This will include 4 hours of classroom time weekly (lecture, discussions, workshop) and approximately 10 hours of outside preparation (reading, writing, investigating, reflecting, projects). You are also encouraged to visit me in office hours, attend literary events, and connect with your peers.

Required readings include Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer, FAQ by Ben Doller, Memory Sickness and other stories by Phong Nguyen, and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I am also asking that you find access to a portable electronic device that will allow you to listen to a podcast and move simultaneously (e.g. walk or dance).

CRN: 42524 MW 1130-1250 Kaitlyn Teer

In this section of English 460, we will focus on hybrid forms of creative writing, including prose poems, lyric essays, flash fiction and nonfiction, and epistolary writing, as well as motion poems, video essays, and graphic memoir. Designed to be generative and workshop-based, this course asks you to analyze and imitate exemplary hybrid works, read and discuss craft essays about hybridity, generate your own hybrid experimentations, theorize about the impulses for and implications of producing hybrid work, and polish a revised portfolio—all this creative work will be supported by the writing community we form together. Our work will be paradoxical, at once playful and rigorous, generative and critical, imaginative and scholarly.

ENG 462 Prof Wrtg:

Notes & Prerequisites: One course from ENG 301, ENG 302, ENG 371; or equivalent experience and instructor approval.

CRN: 41676 T 1200-1350 Justin Lewis

Rhetoric as User Experience Design:

Students enrolled in this iteration of ENG 462 will employ rhetoric as a critical and productive analytic for understanding the emerging practices of user experience design (UXD). As an interdisciplinary effort, UXD aims to create more robust user-driven digital experiences. In this course students will employ classical rhetorical principles to teardown and rebuild an existing technology through the UXD lifecycle. Special emphases will be placed on empathy-building, user research, elementary prototyping, user journeys, information architecture and user testing. UXD/software development experience not required; however, an open disposition to experimenting with new technologies is highly recommended.

Assignments/Evaluations:

  • Technology as Rhetorical Genre Analysis
  • UXD Teardown of Mobile App
  • Design Recommendations Report of Mobile App
  • Texts: All course texts will be provided by the instructor.

ENG 464 Film Stds:

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 364 or instructor permission.

CRN: 40563 MWF 1430-1550 Eren Odabasi

Swedish director Ingmar Bergman is widely considered to be a canonical figure in global film history. With a career spanning seven decades and more than forty theatrical features, Bergman was a very prolific, innovative, and influential filmmaker. He reshaped “arthouse” cinema in Europe with his visually inventive dramas and established himself as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.

In this course, we will study Bergman’s oeuvre through the lens of auteur theory. What are the elements that made Bergman the “auteur par excellence” of European cinema from the 1950s to the 1980s? To answer this question, we will identify the key recurring themes in Bergman’s films (such as crises of faith, alienation in the modern world, and painful family ties), analyze various periods in his career, explore the relationship between his cinema and other arts (chiefly theater), and associate his distinctive cinematic style with European modernism. We will watch and discuss several major films directed by Bergman, survey many essential texts written about Bergman’s cinema, and read Bergman’s own analyses of his works.

Throughout the course units, we will investigate Bergman’s influences, create a list of his notable collaborators, and explore his legacy on contemporary film culture. The requirements for this course include two short film analysis papers and a substantial final essay that comparatively examines two or more works by Ingmar Bergman.

TEXTS:

  • Required: Images: My Life in Film by Ingmar Bergman, Arcade Books, 2017.
  • Additional readings will be available online on Canvas.

ENG 497D Disability and Literature

Notes & Prerequisites:

CRN: 44239 MWF 1430-1550 Allison Giffen

This course will introduce you to the foundational scholarship in Critical Disability Studies in order to offer you the analytic tools to investigate the cultural work of disability. To this end we will explore representations of people with disability in literature, social perceptions of disability, and the perspective of writers with disabilities. One of the central goals of this course is to explore disability as a social construction and then investigate its fascinating intersections with other identity categories, including race, class, gender and age. We will be focusing our attention on nineteenth-century US literature, when identities like disability, childhood, and blackness and whiteness were becoming codified by way of enlightenment rationality, empirical science and the nineteenth-century’s drive to classify.

Along with introducing you to Critical Disability Studies in the context of nineteenth-century US literature, my goals are to provide you with the opportunity to develop the necessary research and writing skills to produce a 10-12-page research essay that relies on the academic conventions of literary studies. In addition, our class conference at the end of the quarter will provide you the skills to express your ideas orally with clarity and coherence.

Graduate English Courses

ENG 501 Literary Theories Practices

CRN: 40007 TR 0800-0950 Katherine Anderson

This course is designed to prepare you for graduate-level study. It should do two things.

First, give you a (very) selective overview of key movements in critical theory and literary schools of criticism.

We can’t cover the enormous range of topics addressed by literary and cultural theory in ten weeks, but my goal is to provide you with a broad sketch of a few important evolutions and relatedly, to help you begin to develop your own scholarly methodology and professional persona in relation to them. I’ve chosen to foreground more recent theoretical fields/developments as much as possible. I do so with the hope and expectation that the introduction to current intellectual preoccupations will help you craft an informed and marketable professional persona as you chart your own methodological path. Course texts will be made available as pdfs.

Second, and relatedly, equip you with the professional skills you will need going forward.

Graduate school is above all a process of professionalization. I take my responsibility in introducing you to that and helping you to navigate it seriously. Therefore, assignments in this course will be geared toward the practical skills and habits of academia that you will need to demonstrate as a professional scholar. Our primary focus in our formal writing assignments will be on two genres that get your writing out into the world quickly: the academic book review and public-facing review essay (which are related, but distinct from one another in style and tone). Throughout the course, I will attempt to demystify some of the hidden expectations for professionals in academia, and give you the tools to help you play the game.

ENG 506 Multigenre

Initially restricted to MFA candidates. The graduate program coordinator will contact graduate students with information regarding the when MA candidates can register.

CRN: 42793 TR 1200-1350 Kathryn Trueblood

Welcome! In this class, we will reflect upon some oddly permeable literary forms: the memoir, the autobiographical novel, and the fictional memoir. How do writers choose what genre they are writing in? Do they base their decision on ethics, authorial intention, family reaction, or an agent’s advice? We will consider odd questions, such as whether the presence of ancestral ghosts transforms a memoir into fiction. Maxine Hong Kingston subtitled her book, The Woman Warrior, Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, which sparked a great deal of controversy. The book was reviewed as both a novel and as a memoir. How much can writers employ the techniques of fiction before they must declare that they are writing a novel? Yet some first novels are so autobiographical, they invite comparison to the author’s life and achieve cult hood—for example The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, or On the Road by Jack Kerouac. We will discuss these thorny issues while writing narratives that take risks, all kinds of risks. You will be encouraged to cross genre lines and capture extreme states of mind.

Texts:

  • Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
  • Tim, O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  • Marguerite Duras, The Lover

ENG 513 Seminar in Tchg College Comp

CRN: 40132 TR 1000-1150 Jeremy Cushman

ENG 513 is what some folks in my field have called the impossible: a practicum for grad students in the teaching of college composition. Why does is it get dubbed 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 in 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!”

So 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 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 an authentic engagement with rhetoric and composition (both ancient and contemporary approaches).

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 teaching as a graduate student.

ENG 520 Studies in Poetry

CRN: 44234 1400-1550 Jane Wong

“May the poems be

the little snail’s trail.

Everywhere I go,

every inch: quiet record

of the foot’s silver prayer.

I lived once.

Thank you.

It was here.”

- Aracelis Girmay, “Ars Poetica”

As a generative and workshop-based class, we will closely read and pursue poetry and hybrid/interdisciplinary forms—through the lens of a radical ecopoetics. We will delve deeply into the complex layers of an ecopoetics entangled with the intersections of race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, and class in the face of drastic environmental change and disaster. Some questions we will consider: what is “nature poetry” and how can we decolonize and decapitalize what this looks like? What is our relationship to nature, to landscape, to place, to ecological history, to environmental justice, to speculative ecofutures? And, how does one's own lineage and experience of the environment echo one’s formal enactments on (and beyond) the page? Along with additional poems and excerpts, texts we will read include: Camille T. Dungy’s Trophic Cascade, Joan Naviyuk Kane’s Milk Black Carbon, Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem, Craig Santos Perez’s Habitat Threshold, and Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude. As poets and artists, we will experiment with language to engage our memories, questions, concerns, research, etc. on the environment—paying close attention to what hums in the mycelium underneath. As we write and read, we will reflect on our creative processes and consider the intertwined relationship between experiential form and content. Along with creative exercises and community-based workshops, you will be creating a final project – in a medium (or mediums) of your choosing – featuring new and revised work. We will also welcome guest poets into our community.

ENG 525 Studies in Fiction

CRN: 44233 TR 1600-1750 Dawn Dietrich

This course will introduce you to the radical creativity of the indie comix scene that largely originated in Seattle. Focusing on handmade comics and contemporary indie presses, we will explore the intersectional themes of identity, community, and agency. Through our diverse range of texts, we will try to articulate and understand the strange, the beautiful, the complex, and the interesting . . . in these graphic narratives. The selected texts feature marginalized and under-represented characters and themes, including topics such as love and friendship (relationship building), depression, sexuality, resiliency, loneliness/isolation, and mental and physical abuse. We will celebrate comix as a potentially queer space where openness, fluidity, and non-conformity represent textual strategies as well as characters’ identities. The themes in these writers’ work intersect and overlap with politics and rebellion while issues of diversity and inclusion are brought to the fore in a contemporary context. We will also study comix form, technique and theory, and you will have the opportunity to write about comix as well as create your own comix in the course. No artistic experience or illustrating talent is required for this assignment or this class! I also invite you to share your favorite comix or web comix throughout the quarter.

*Please note: this class content contains adult language and themes.

Assignments and Evaluation

You will have the opportunity to write multi-modal blogs and to engage in comix production. You will receive full credit for doing Lynda Barry’s art experiments, which are totally fun! No artistic experience or illustrating talent is required. And the capstone project will involve creating your own short comix! This seminar is geared for both literature and creative writing students.

Required Texts

  • Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud (PDF available)
  • Comix Samples, Eroyn Franklin (online)
  • Skim, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
  • Making Comics, Lynda Barry
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters (vol. 1), Emil Ferris
  • Megahex, Simon Hanselmann
  • The Pervert, Michelle Perez & Remy Boydell
  • Sabrina, Nick Drnaso
  • Free Comic Book Day’s (FCBD) Our Favorite Thing is My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Emil
  • Ferris (PDF available)
  • The System of Comics, Thierry Groensteen (PDF available)

Note: My Favorite Thing is Monsters (vol. 2), Emil Ferris (available September 2021)!

ENG 570 Cultural Stds:

CRN: 43302 TR 1000-1150 Stefania Heim

Muriel Rukeyser’s 1938 long poem “The Book of the Dead” uses language from Congressional hearings, personal interviews, scientific facts, and lyrical passages to tell the story of the Gauley Bridge industrial disaster, in which almost 1,000 mostly Black workers in West Virginia died as a result of prolonged exposure to Silica dust. “Poetry can extend the document,” Rukeyser asserts, urging her readers to reconsider the work of poetry, its “proper” materials, and what it has to do with the broad terrain on which lives are negotiated, organized, remembered, made meaning from. Following Rukeyser into the field of Documentary Poetics, this course asks: How might the tools of poetry be used to engage topics outside of the narrowly construed realm of the “aesthetic”? What relationships does Documentary Poetry assume or animate between the individual and the communal? Between intimate life and public life? Between poetry and history? Between expression and witness? How shall we talk about a poem’s “voice” or voices. What sort of truth are we after, anyway? In this course we will take the poetic use of source materials not as instances of “mere” play (though many works we encounter will be playful), but as urgent interventions in interdisciplinary thought. We will read poems closely to investigate how its techniques and strategies enact knowledge, make things happen. Whether it is a form or a current, a practice or a tradition, we will attend to the history of Documentary Poetry as it has intersected with documentary work in other media and we will revel in contemporary experiments with “extending the document.” There will be opportunities for both creative and scholarly investigations into Documentary Poetics, including a significant research project.