Registration for Spring 2018 will open on November 13, 2017 

This page contains the listing for both English and WRTG. 

We thought that you might like to see descriptions of a few of the courses we are offering.  Please make return visits to this site as changes are often made to course details.  If one or more of these descriptions catch your eye and you would like to register for them, please go to to see if they fit into your schedule.


ENGL 200X/F01  World Literature: Animals

Komodo dragons, Tasmanian devils, polar bears, giant squid, blue whales, emperor penguins, domestic dogs, and gastric brooding frogs.  As this list indicates, the world is inhabited by an array of fascinating--and sometimes dangerous--animals.  If scientists have studied these animals, attempting to discover what they thin, what they feel, how they behave, and how the perceive the world, then so have authors of literature.  This semester, we'll explore representations of animals in an array of literary works from a variety of mediums.  We'll begin in the Middle East with One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of folk tales.  And we'll conclude in the Arctic with Never Alone, a video game.  Along the way, we'll visit Chile, Canada (by way of Trinidad), New Zealand, and Australia, examining Pablo Neruda's poems, Andre Alexis's novel Fifteen Dogs, Niki Caro's film Whale Rider, and Evie Wyld's graphic memoir, Everything is Teeth.  Instructor: Jennifer Schell  MWF  9:15a-10:15a  GRUE 206


ENGL F200X/F02  World Literature 

This course explores various cultures and historical periods through the in-depth study of fiction, drama, and poetry.  Throughout the semester, we will be literary space-and time-travelers, leaping from 19th century Europe and Asia back to ancient Mesopotamia, and then forward to the 20th centuries in Africa, India, and Latin America.  We will be examining different literary movements and exploring how one artistic epoch leads into another, keeping an eye toward the cyclicality of art and literature.    Instructor:   Kyle Mellen   Tues/Thurs   2p-3:30p     GRUE 413


 ENGL 200X/FH1  World Literature  

We will read a selection of Nobel Prize in Literature winners from the past 50 years, as a cross-section of what has been widely valued in world literature over that span.  We will reach backwards from Kazio Ishiguro and Bob Dylan to Lessing, Gordimer, Heaney, Morrison, Marquez, Neruda, and Beckett, trying to understand both the range of their cultural materials and the ethical concerns that they share.  Instructor: Eric Heyne  MWF  11:45a-12:45p  GRUE 301 


ENGL 270/F01  Introduction to Creative Writing 

You may have once received that old writing advice to "write what you know," but, to quote Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, "I'm here to to you, no one wants to read that, 'cause you don't know anything."  Writing creatively is a process of continual exploration, discovery, risk, and invention.  In this course, we will explore and develop out personal, intellectual, and artistic interests alongside our creative writing practice, which will include creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.  We will push ourselves to write work that matters to us, and to engage our curiosities and obsessions.  To this en, we will read a wide variety of works by contemporary authors, critique the writing of our peers in workshops, and learn the primary techniques--image, metaphor, character, plot, and more--that writers use to create literary art.  Instructor:  Sara Johnson   Tues/Thurs.   3:40p-5:10p   GRUE 306


ENGL 307/F01  Survey of American Literature: Civil War to the Present: Environmental Imagination

Rachel Carson might have launched the modern environmental movement in 1962 with the publication of Silent Spring.  She was neither the first nor the last American author to tackle such issues, however.  This semester we will study the development of the American environmental imagination between 1865 and 2017, a period which witnessed dramatic changes to many, if not most, American ecosystems.  As we will see, authors from diverse backgrounds felt compelled to respond to these changes.  As they did so, they adopted myriad styles, perspectives, and approaches to their material.  Thus, among other things, our readings will include John Muir's nonfiction, Mary Tall Mountain's poetry, Octavia Butler's science fiction, and a little be of everything in between.  Instructor: Jennfer Schell   MWF  2:15p-3:15p   DUCK 354


ENGL 309/F01  Survey of British Literature: Romantic Period to the Present

ENGL 309 offers a sweeping survey of major developments in British poetry, fiction, and drama from the Romantic Period to the Victorian and Modernist Eras.  Our readings will allow us to track significant developments in Great Britain from 1785-1945, such as revolutions, industrialization, wars, the slave trade, imperialism, and changing understandings of gender.  Authors will include William Blake, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Robinson, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, Thomas de Quincey, and John Keats; Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, Dante Grabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, and Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper); and William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Samuel Beckett.  We will also look at some artworks that complement our readings.  Instructor: Chris Coffman   W   6p-9p  GRUE 401


ENGL 310/F01  Literary Criticism

 Have you ever asked yourself what it means to be a literary critic?  Or what relationship literary criticism has to your writing?  Join us this semester as we try to answer these questions and many more.  Throughout the course, we'll explore the development of literary criticism over time, discussing different ways of reading and understanding texts.  We'll also talk about some of the more current schools of thought developed by scholars interested in cultural and environmental studies.  And we'll discuss strategies for working with literary criticism in your own research-based writing.  Instructor: Jennifer Schell   MWF   10:30a-11:30a  DUCK 354.


ENGL 375/F01  Intrmed Creative Writing: Fiction

 So you're tried your hand at some creative writing and want more?  This course is designed to help you develop your fiction-writing skills through workshops, examining published stories, exercises, and discussion of literary techniques.  We will cover everything from generating ideas to editing your work.  You'll learn what scenes are, and why you need them.  You'll learn some of the finer points of writing characters, description, and plot.  You'll think about what different sorts of fiction require of you and what readers expect from them.

This should be a course you throw your heart into--your writing will only come alive if you dedicate yourself to it, and are prepared to word hard and weather disappointments.  After all, learning to write means putting words on the page and discovering that they are not what we expected or hoped; it's about hammering away at a piece of writing until it shines the way we'd imagined when it existed only in our heads.  It's very much about learning to pay close attention to the effects words produce. In short, it's hard work, and not an easy way to earn a grade--but hopefully a course that will reward that had work.  Instructor: Gerri Brightwell  Tues./Thurs.  9:45a-11:15a   DUCK 406


ENGL 377/FE1   Intermediate Creative Nonfiction

 This course is a workshop in creative nonfiction, with an emphasis on innovative nonfiction that uses visual and digital elements such as photography, film, web content, or the video game.  Our emphasis will be on short memoir, though we will also look at texts that span the boundaries between the personal narrative essay and journalism, poetry, the graphic novel, and/or visual art.  In addition to learning how to mine our own memories and interests for stories and ideas, and how to transform those personal stories and ideas into literary art, we will consider how adding visual, audiovisual, or social elements to our writing can open it up to new, unexpected audiences, as well as enrich and energize our creative process.   Instructor:  Sara Johnson   Tuesdays   6p-9p   GRUE 206


ENGL 420/F01  St. Medieval & 16th Century British Literature: Monstrosity and Otherness in Medieval Literature

This course examines the depictions and constructions of monstrosity and otherness in the Middle Ages.  Using primarily medieval English texts, select works from the continent, and ancient and biblical sources, the course will explore the literary presentations of monsters, foreign and marginalized peoples, and legendary races and beings and how these presentations develop and are portrayed in different time periods and contexts.  Topics explored include medieval perceptions of religion, masculinity and femininity, race, war, and social expectations.  In addition to examining a selection of influential texts across a range of literary genres, students consider the way historical and cultural occurrences and concerns are reflected in these primary texts.  Major genres will include travel literature, Saints' Lives, catalogs of women, and Crusade literature.  Instructor: Eileen Harney.  Tues/Thurs 2:00-3:30  DUCK 352 


ENGL/FLPA 427/F01 Topics in Film Studies: Film Noir

This course will explore the dynamics of one of America's most popular and influential film phenomenon.  We will look at the question of genre versus style and the relationship to the social milieu and popular culture.  We will discuss the theory of genre as well as the employment of technical and psychological conventions as we watch and analyze American cinema from 1940 to 1959.  Instructor: James Ruppert  M 3:30-6:00p  and  W 3:30-5:00p  Schble Aud.


ENGL 465/F01 Genre: Contemporary Science Fiction

Who are the best science fiction writers of the 21st century?  What contemporary political or scientific topics are they interested in extrapolating about?  What modes (utopian/dystopian, socially progressive, techno-flashy, borderline-fantasy, alternate history, "hard" science-y) seem to be popular these days and why?  We'll read novels and short stories, and talk about a few movies and television shows, working towards a rigorous critical and pop-cultural understanding of SF in English in 2018.  Instructor: Eric Heyne  Tues/Thurs  2:00-3:30p  EIEL 304


ENGL F470/FE1: Topics in Creative Writing: Novels-in-Stories

 Whether organized by a central protagonist, a setting, or a recurring theme, novels-in-stories build round, multifaceted worlds through stand-alone stories.  Sometimes referred to as "linked stories" or "story cycles," novels-in-stories are an unusual blend of two different-but-related forms, the short story and the novel; they are neither one, nor the other.  So how do they work?  How does a collection of individual stories build and cohere to from, a unified, novelistic whole?  What is the cumulative effect of multiple stories centered around a single idea, character, or place?

We will examine works by authors such as Junot Diaz, Jennifer Egan, and Denis Johnson, while also writing our own connected stories.  The writing workshop will be a central aspect of this course.  Students will create original, linked stories for workshop in small and full-class settings.  By the end of the semester, students will have a good beginning to their own novels-in-stories.  Instructor:  Kyle Mellen   Thursday  6p-9:00p   GRUE 412


ENGL 471/F01  Advanced Creative Writing

 This is our advanced writers' workshop.  You have joined this class because you have already taken some creative writing classes and want to learn more about the craft of writing.  You are already writing independently, and are eager to have other people look at the work you are producing.  You want to know: What works?  What doesn't?  Why?  If you want to be a better writer (and we could all be betters writers), these questions are important to you.  In this class you will discover your strengths and weaknesses as a writer and find ways to effectively revise your work.  But, most importantly, you will learn more about the craft of writing by carefully considering your own work and that of your colleagues.

Your primary work in this course will be to produce creative work--stories, novel chapters, personal essays, poems--and to review the work of your colleagues.  Your work does not need to be "literary": genre writing (sci-fi, fantasy, thriller) is welcome.  However, you do need to be committed to working hard on your writing, and to taking seriously the work of critiquing the work of your peers.  Instructor: Gerri Brightwell  Tues/Thurs 2:00p-3:30p   GRUE 402 


ENGL 482/F01:   Topics in Language and Literature: A Russian Primer: A Literary Journey Through Pre-Soviet Russia

Nikolai Gogol, Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Dostoevski, Leo Tolstoi, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky----any listing of the world's greatest writers would be likely to include these names, all of them Russian writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  And think of the world they wrote about----a country covering a vast area encompassing high civilizations---St. Petersburg----and remote, forbidding territory----Siberia.  As these writers produced their work, the world about them was in the process of great change: a movement away from the feudal past into a modern European world. the abolition of serfdom, the slow but real emergence of an educated middle class.  This world also held on stubbornly to old ways: an absolute monarchy, strong governmental suppression of any organized rebellion, an inferiority complex that led the aristocracy to imitate ways French and English.  You will encounter a wealth of captivating narratives; you will read about a con man who charms a provincial city out of nearly everything (Dead Souls), an aristocratic family who must see their beloved estate falls into the clutched of their coarse overseer (The Cherry Orchard), a young revolutionary whose rebellion is sidetracked first from an infatuation and then by a fatal illness (Fathers and Sons). And whether through laughter or tears or both, you will be moved.

We will read short fiction, poetry, novels, and drama in our tour of Russia before the 1917 Revolution.  As time and interest permit, we will also discuss aspects of the Russia that informs the work and inspired the writers.  Participants will lead a discussion on one of the works and write several response papers, a brief study on one of the authors and his approach, and a larger work investigating one or more of the assigned texts at length.  Come join us....   Instructor: Rich Carr  MWF   1:00p-2:00p   GRUE 307


ENGL 601/F01 Theory, Criticism, and Methods

 One of the most challenging tasks facing advanced students of English is that of making sense of the diverse array of theories and critical vocabularies employed in contemporary literary studies.  This course will provide you with an overview of those theories and practice in using them in your own work.  Our weekly readings of theoretical texts are designed to acquaint you with the origins of the concepts and vocabularies that you will find in scholarship on literature.  Most of our class meetings will be devoted to evaluating these key statements in literary theory closely.  At the end of the semester, you will be asked to do research that will help you to identify good examples of those theories in action in published literary criticism, as well as to evaluate and use that scholarship in your own work.  In this, ENGL 601 will be different from your seminars in literary analysis and deliberately so:  its emphasis on theoretical texts is designed to cultivate a facility with critical concepts and approaches that will deepen the analysis that you perform at greater length in other classes.

We will consider structuralism and post-structuralism; psychoanalytic and cognitive theories; Marxism and post-Marxism; theories of the visual; theories of gender and sexuality; theories of race and ethnicity; theories of ability; and theories of science and nature.  This course will also allow us the opportunity to reflect on some questions underlying the study of English at the graduate level.  What is the purpose of studying and writing about literature?  Of using theory to do so?  How might language, the mind, power, science, and nature bear on texts and our approaches to them?  How do such factors as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and ability affect texts and our methods for analyzing them?  How might scholarly writing about literature benefit our work in other genres of writing?  What can be gained from using the methods of literary study to analyze other kinds of texts, such as film or popular culture?  What diverse answers do people have to these questi9ns and why?   Instructor:  Chris Coffman   Mondays, 6-9PM   GRUE 413


ENGL 612/F01: Studies in American Literature after 1918: The Paranoid Novel

We will read such novels as Invisible Man, Catch-22, The Crying of Lot 49, Expensive People, The Man in the High Castle, Libra, and The Handmaid's Tale as literary explorations of what Richard Hofstadter called "The Paranoid Style in American Politics."  We will examine clinical, literary, and popular notions of paranoia as we discuss how 20th-century North American writers have used that concept to explore race, gender, war, alternate worlds, and other challenges to our sense of a shared stable reality.  Instructor: Eric Heyne  Wed  2:15-5:15p  GRUE 204


ENGL/ACNS 620/FE1:  Images of the North: Circumpolar Cinema

We will explore the cinema of a variety of circumpolar countries.  We will discuss the aesthetic responses to the Arctic as man's confrontation with nature and with self become narrative and visual.  We will look at historical cinematic examples as well as contemporary.  I hope that we can also compile a bibliographic text to document our research and thinking.  Instructor: James Ruppert  Tues.  6:00-9:00p  GRUE 412


WRTG 214X-FO3   Arguing Across Contexts:  Digital Storytelling:  Writing in the 21st Century

 What is storytelling how is it digitalized?  What happens when storytelling is adapted into another medium?  These are questions we will discuss in Digital Storytelling: Writing in the 21st Century.  This student-centered, audience-based Writing 214 course is designed to help students develop rhetorical strategies for active citizenship in and out of the classroom.  In this course we will explore a variety of texts that have adapted stories to a digital form, including the Never Alone video game.  We will examine these stories, as well as our own, focusing on how the writers and creators used different approaches to share knowledge and folklore.  As storytellers, we will write and design new ways of sharing stories from our own communities.  Instructor: M. Udden  Weds 6p-9:00p   GRUE 401









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