Dr. Gerri Brightwell, Associate Professor of English, has just had her short story "The Billet" accepted by Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction.
Ryan Bateman, MFA graduate student, just had a piece of flash fiction published in the online journal Monkeybicycle.
The following people have been awarded grants from the College of Liberal Arts Collaborative Arts Council:
Sean Hill, Assistant Professor of English, and Nathan Hokenson, Academic Advisor for UAF Student Support Services for their proposal "UAF Broadsided".
Sarah Stanley, Assistant Professor of English, for her proposal "Digital Storytelling for Science Education".
Eric Parker and Heather Warren, MFA graduate students, for their proposal "Geologic Processes".
Dr. Chris Coffman, Associate Professor of English, recently published an article entitled "The Unpredictable Future of Fantasy's Travesal" in Angelaki: A Journal of the Theoretical Humanities. Another article by Dr. Coffman, "The Migrating Look: Visual Economies of Queer Desire in The Book of Salt," is forthcoming in the Summer 2014 issue of Texas Studies in Literature and Language.
Fall 2014 Course Descriptions
Upcoming English Dept. Courses
Fall 2014 Course offerings are now available. Be sure to visit the "Course Offerings" page to see more information about themed courses available for the Fall 2014 semester through the English department. Courses include (but certainly are not limited to):
Course descriptions for Fall 2014 English classes
ESLG 121-FE1: Intermediate Academic Listening & Speaking.
Dr. Johnston will help English language learners develop listening, note-taking, discussion, and presentation skills for the American university context. The course is designed for learners with high beginning to low advanced proficiency in English speaking and/or listening.
Instructor: Dr. Duff Johnston
Time and Location: MW 5:20p-7:20p/Brooks Building 104B
ENGL 211X - Academic Writing about Literature:
Words and Images
In this course, we will examine the ways in which words and images interact to make meaning. In the course we will study and respond to works such as graphic novels and memoirs, film, web-sites, art, photography and advertising. Writing in this class will take several forms, including response papers, in-class exercises, critical reviews and analysis and MLA style research papers. The class will focus on various stages of the writing process including invention, production and revision.
Dr. Daryl Farmer
Time and Location: T/R 9:45a-11:15a/Gruening 304
English 211: Academic Writing about Literature:
The Horror of it all!
It’s the ghost that goes bump in the night, the nameless ghoul scratching at the underside of your bed, the footsteps on the stairs when no one else is at home—it’s horror, and for sixteen weeks it’s what we’ll explore in Writing about Literary Horror. Students will plunge into short stories selected from various anthologies as well as novels, novellas, poems, and horror films, all in the hopes of arriving at a new understanding of and appreciation for art which explores the darker aspects of human experience. Specific works covered may include those by classic writers such as Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft, as well as contemporary writers—Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, and Joyce Carol Oates. Writing assignments will consist of weekly reading responses and major papers in which you conduct research and apply critical lenses to the works covered in class. Particular questions addressed will include: What makes a piece of writing horrifying? What does horror writing reveal about the greater concerns of the writer, culture, and the human soul? What motifs and patterns reappear in various works of horror?
Instructor: Daniel Dyer
Time and Location:
ENGL 211X: Writing about Literature –
Bestsellers and Popular Fiction: New Takes on Notable Ideas
Ever wonder how the authors of today’s most popular books get their inspiration? Classical Mythology plays a big part Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series. How is it adapted, and why? How is it that a poem written in the 14th century was the most popular selling poem of 2013, and what does it reveal about the bestselling novel that shares its name: Inferno? The real life writings in Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl make real the horrors of Nazi Germany. How does this work influence and compare with the popular novel and film production of The Book Thief as a study of that time and place? Readings from excerpts of these books will look to examine these trends in popular literature and prompt compositions as we analyze the similarities, the differences, and the common threads in the writing of the contemporary works, their classic forerunners, and other similar compositions. We will explore questions of relevance, interpretation and context as we examine these trends and discuss methods of adaptation and reinvention.
Instructor: Ann Lewis
Time and Location: To Be Announced
ENGL 211X-F07 Academic Writing about Literature:
Writing In and Against Genre
Course goals will explore how literary arts and other mediums have borrowed from famous archetypes (the detective novel, the folktale, the journal entry, etc.) to fulfill specific intents. Reading curriculum will explore 2-3 works of accessible, written genre as they compare to works that upset the archetype. We will also discuss instances of genre appropriation in other mediums such as television and the arts/ Discussion will orbit around the central question of what is lost and gained by genre-bending.
In addition to weekly exercises, responses, and class participation, the course will require completion of two major assignments: 1) an analytic paper identifying a piece of contemporary media (literary, television, comic performance) as bending the rules of the genre it chameleons, and 2) a creative piece adopting or subverting a genre of the student’s choice with supporting academic justification.
Instructor: Eric Parker
Time and Location: MWF 1:00p-2:00p
ENGL 211x-F01 Academic Writing about Literature:
The Evolution of Fairy Tales.
From long-haired heroines locked away in towers to fast-talking wolves masquerading as grandmothers, fairy tale literature has produced a long line of familiar faces and situations. These stories have become embedded in our collective imagination, but they haven’t always taken such familiar forms. Far from being static stories, fairy tales have changed drastically over time and across cultures. This course will be an exploration of the fairy tale genre’s evolution, cultural construction, and modern significance. Throughout the semester, fairy tales will be used to examine societal values and expectations, as well as the collective nature of storytelling itself. As a class, we’ll discuss topics ranging from hidden story morals to gender roles. The reading list will feature a range of fairy tales from multiple cultures, bloody offerings from Grimm and Andersen, contemporary retellings from writers such as Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter.
Instructor: Maeve Kirk
Time and Location: MWF 10:30a-11:30a
ENGL 211X-F05: Academic Writing about Literature:
What are you laughing about? - The Value of Literary Humor
It may be argued that academic writing and literature are no laughing matters. In this course, however, we will look at just that phenomenon—that reading and writing can be quite funny things. We will take theoretical approaches to works that employ humor of a wide range: satirical, parodic, situational, absurd, farcical, dry, esoteric, lighthearted belly-laugh fests and dark tragicomedies, even slapstick and the profane. We will look at literary humorists from Jonathan Swift to Grace Paley, David Sedaris, George Saunders, Ron Carlson, and more, but also stand-up comics and works from the realm of film, television, and popular culture. Laughter can be unifying, but since its causes are often culturally and individually specific, it can also be divisive. We will look at the social and cultural implications of the joke and how it can be used to perpetuate negative views of historically persecuted groups in society. The opposite effect also occurs, though, so we will spend a good amount of time analyzing humor's ability to act as a subversive force toward change—when can humor be used to communicate a very serious point?
Because this is a course on academic writing, we will look especially at how comedy can make an argument. Think George Carlin. Think Stephen Colbert. Think Andy Kaufman, and just think. While many of the class's writing assignments will focus on an analysis of humor (what constitutes literary humor?), there will also be opportunities to write and form arguments in a comedic fashion. A capstone research project will focus on a specific theory of humor or a specific author or comedian's work. So go ahead. Laugh it up. But remember: this is serious.
Instructor: Craig Sanders
Time and Location: MWF 11:45a-12:45p
ENGL 213X-F02: Academic Writing about Literature:
Misinformation in the Media
In this class we will be examining stories, tragedies, and information as it is spread throughout media; I hope to engage in the ways we share and discuss current and past events. We will examine re-contextualizing information in different media formats and discuss how the rhetorical situation changes within each medium, focusing on why certain pieces of information are shared on certain platforms (a catchy tagline on twitter, or a controversial headline on a news site), and the audiences those websites are trying to reach. By examining these relatively new, consumed-by-the-masses mediums, the class can explore information sharing, and develop tools for critically analyzing these new texts we engage with in our everyday lives. The class will watch examples of misinformation in the media in documentaries, listen to podcasts and a few TED Talk’s, read outside articles (including one which explores the misinformation effect), and read You are Still Being Lied to: The Remixed Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths.
Instructor: Jonnell Liebl
Time and Locations: 11:30a-1:00p
ENGL 213X-F01: Academic Writing About Social and Natural Science
Microhistories: Social and Cultural Histories About Just One Think
Microhistories give us a broad view of the world through a narrow lens. They put our culture and society under a microscope, scrutinizing us through the point of view of something unlikely, like the closeted introvert or the world’s most precious plants. In this course, we will examine different popular microhistories, analyzing the conventions of the genre and discussing the ethical and historical issues these books address. We will think about audience and learn to evaluate these readings as sources of information. Who is reading these microhistories and why? Is the writer presenting information in an effective way? The semester will culminate in our writing our own microhistories about a subject of the student’s choice.
Instructor: Natalie Taylor
Time and Location: MWF 9:15a-10:15a
ENGL 213X-F03 Academic Writing About Social and Natural Science: Love, Sex, and Marriage
This course will use the lens of the natural sciences and social sciences to explore the issues of sexuality, gender, conceptions of love, and the institution of marriage. We will delve deeply into the implications of the rhetoric surrounding these things by addressing issues of identity and the interplay between the personal and political. We will examine the assumptions we have about what is “natural” and “what is “constructed” and the implications of these ideas. We will take a multidisciplinary view of the subject matter by taking history, psychology, neuroscience, and other disciplines into account and will engage in public discourse spawned from these readings by writing to a myriad of audiences.
Instructor: Jaclyn Bergamino
Time and Location: 2:00p-3:30p
Engl 213X-F04 Academic Writing About Social and Natural Science:
Why does it matter?
This is a course about reading, writing, and why they matter in the social and natural sciences. Do they matter? How much? What’s the relationship between reading and research, between writing and exchanging ideas? What kinds of reading and writing skills do we need to be successful in political science, anthropology, and physics? How do scientists communicate with words?
Over the course of this semester, this class will explore these questions by focusing on ideas of “Communities and their Citizens.” Each of us is a citizen of multiple communities – from our national to our local allegiances, from our neighborhoods to our families, from our jobs to our academic associations. What does this citizenship imply, in terms of rights and responsibilities, and how does one qualify as a citizen of any particular community? Is the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization exam a fair qualifier? What communities can a UAF diploma open up for you? And once you’ve achieved citizen status, what must you do? What responsibilities and opportunities do you have? This class will attempt to respond to these questions, and as we do, we will consider the role of writing. Is writing a part of citizenship? What can writing do?
Instructor: Kendell Newman Sadiik
Time and Location: MWF 10:30a-11:30a
ENGL 217-f01 Introduction to the Study of Film
An appreciation course designed to introduce the student to the various forms of cinematic art with special emphasis on humanistic and artistic aspects.
Instructor: Dr. James Ruppert
Time and Location: M 3:30p-6:00p/Media Classroom Rasmuson Library
W 3:30p-5:00p/Gruening 205
ENGL 272-F01: Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry
Apprenticeship: Inspiration through Imitation.
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the art and craft of poetry and to develop a level of sophistication when engaging poetry. In this course students will analyze published poems for specific strategies and discuss the ways the poet uses these various techniques to establish motivation and emotional depth, and create linguistic music. Following thorough discussions in class, students will write poems that are modeled after of inspired by the poets we have discussed.
Instructor: Dr. Sean Hill
Time and Location: T/R 3:40p-5:10p
ENGL 306-F01: Survey of American Literature:
Beginnings to the Civil War "What is an American?"
This semester, we will study the origins and growth of what we now call American literature. The readings for this course span approximately three and a half centuries and encompass: the Colonial Period (1492-1775), the Revolutionary Era (1775-1820), and the Antebellum Period (1820-1861). One of the special features of this course is that our texts will challenge our understanding of what constitutes “literature.” Our reading list contains a variety of stylistically and generically different texts – historical and philosophical essays, letters, journals, speeches, sermons, travel narratives, autobiographies, stories, and poems. If the readings, themselves, are diverse, so are the men and women who wrote them. Early American literature contains the voices of indigenous peoples, religious dissenters, aristocrats, indentured servants, government officials, African Americans (both enslaved and free), European immigrants, frontiersmen, sailor, merchants, farmers, artisans, debtors, and many, many other individuals. Studying these authors and their writings gives us the chance to learn what makes American literature specifically “American” (or not) and to understand something about what it means to be an American (even today).
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Schell
Time and Location: MWF 1:00p-2:00p
ENGL 317-F01: Traditional English Grammar.
To understand more about how your language works is to understand more about your own mind. This course is about the how English words are constructed and how they are put together into phrases and sentences. It devotes little time to traditional grammatical “errors,” for reasons that will be discussed in the course. Instead, we will explore how to recognize and describe a variety of grammatical structures; this will occupy the greatest amount of our time. We will also spend some time on applications of grammatical knowledge in writing, including experimenting with different structures for sentences and longer sequences, and editing for cohesion and coherence. However, this is not primarily a writing course and the emphasis is on analysis more than production. Note on course selection: English 318 Modern English Grammar (offered in the spring), is comparable to this course in subject matter, but differs in that it expects a little more background knowledge, goes into more detail on defining structures, involves diagramming, and pays more attention to linguistic theory and less to writing/editing applications.
Instructor: Dr. Burns Cooper
Time and Location: T/R 11:30a-1:00p. /TBA
ENGL/WGS 333-F01: Women's Literature:
“Weird, Weirder, Weirdest”
Genetically-modified vampires? Women who produce silk from their bodies? Tasting emotions through food? Many successful and high-profile twenty-first century women writers draw on science fiction and the fantastic to create serious (and seriously provoking) literature. We’re going to read the like of Karen Russell, Octavia Butler and Aimee Bender so sit back, buckle up, and enjoy our ride into the weird!
Instructor: Dr. Gerri Brightwell
Time and Location: T/R 2:00p-3:30p
Traditional and historical tales by Aleut, Eskimo, Athabascan Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian storytellers. Bibliography, Alaska Native genres and viewpoints, and structural and thematic features of tales.
Instructor: Dr. James Ruppert
Time and Location: MWF 2:15p-3:15p
ENGL 371W-F01: Topics in Creative Writing:
Write Your Novel!
Have you got halfway through your novel and ground to a halt? Are you happily bashing out your book but want feedback? Do you have a first chapter and nothing else? In this course we'll be examining published novels, doing exercises, reading about effective writing and - most of all - reading and talking about your novel to help you make it the best you can produce.
Instructor: Prof. Gerri Brightwell
Time and Location: T/R 11:30a-1:00p
ENGL 414 W-F01: Research Writing
What’s the difference between research writing and writing research? In a given discipline, how does information become knowledge? This course will involve hands-on, workshop-based instruction. We will also be engaging in collaborative inquiry into academic espistemologies and their connection to social writing practices. By December 15, our goal will be to each submit a manuscript for publication in such award-winning, undergraduate peer-reviewed journals such as Young Scholars in Writing.
Instructor: Dr. Sarah Stanley
Time and Location: MWF 3:30p-4:30p
Brooks Building 104A
ENGL 435-F01: Authors:
Henry David Thoreau: Poet and Scientist.
Although better known as the nineteenth-century American poet/philosopher who urged his fellow citizens “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” Henry David Thoreau was also an accomplished naturalist, whose botanical observations are now helping scientists chart the course of climate change in New England. Over the course of the semester, we will study the development of Thoreau’s literary career and trace the evolution of his scientific interests. We will read his major works – A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden, The Maine Woods, Cape Cod, - as well as selections from his essays and his journal. We will interrogate his variously shifting attitudes toward the natural world and its wilderness environments; we will discuss his approach to the interconnectedness of literature and science; and we will examine his influence on such twentieth century environmental authors as Annie Dillard and Richard Proenneke. As Thoreau himself one wrote, “How sweet is the perception of a new natural fact!”
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Schell
Time and Location: MWF 10:30a-11:30a
Gruening Building 309
In this course we will read fiction and poetry written in or about the British Isles in the first half of the twentieth century, a period that saw dramatic literary, cultural, and societal upheavals. We will examine the role that writers’ choices of literary form played in registering the transformations of their time, such as two world wars, anti-colonial struggles, transatlantic migrations, and changing gender and sexual identities. Central to our discussions will be the problems of language that modernist writers confronted: in a world in which everything seems uncertain, to what extent can language and literature reflect reality? Literature from this period is often described as “modernist,” but what does that term mean? What different forms did modernism take? And to what extent can critical terms such as “modernism” help us to understand the different approaches that early twentieth-century writers took to the issues of their day?
Readings will include James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway; Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness; Jean Rhys’s Voyage in the Dark; poetry by W.B. Yeats and Claude McKay; T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land; H.D.’s Trilogy; and more. Questions are welcome at email@example.com
Instructor: Dr. Chris Coffman
Time and Location: MWF 3:30p-4:30p
ENGL 482-F01: Topics in Language and Literature:
Comic Books as Political and Social Commentary.
This course will examine primarily the role of comic books and graphic novels as political commentary. Student will consider comic books and other seemingly inconsequential media as means of propaganda and avenues of social change against diverse political backdrops. The subject matter will include a selection of mainstream comics from the dominant comic book publishing companies, D.C. Comics and Marvel, as well as independent and defunct publishers. Students will be responaible for reading journals and formal essays.
Instructor: Dr. Eileen Harney
Time and Location: W 6:00p-9:00p
Studies in British Literature: Old and Middle English
This course will focus on Early Modern English Drama, with a mixture of plays by Shakespeare and other English playwrights.
The Shakespeare part of the course will focus on recent film productions and/or adaptations of Shakespeare plays, including (but not limited to)
Hamlet with David Tennant
Much Ado about Nothing --the Joss Whedon adaptation
Coriolanus with Ralph Fiennes
Richard III with Benedict Cumberbatch (if available)
The Tempest with Helen Mirren
Warm Bodies with Creepy John Malkovich
Selections from Shakespeare Retold
For other possibilities, see
Close readings of the non-Shakespearean plays--either city comedies or revenge tragedies--may include
The Roaring Girl by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton
The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont
The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd
The Revenger's Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur
The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
'Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford
The final selection of plays will be negotiated the first night of class, so if you have a real jones to do a particular play, work up some persuasive rhetoric to sway your fellow seminarians.
The best text to get for most of these non-Shakespearean plays is Renaissance Drama: An Anthology of Plays and Entertainments, Edited by Arthur F. Kinney and published by Blackwell ISBN 0-631-20803-8. The others are online or available in the library.
All of the Shakespeare plays are available free online or in the library.
There will be one short project, one longer project, and a class presentation. While MFA students may do creative projects, MA and MA/MFA students are encouraged to write critical papers or to do web-based interpretive projects.
For more information, contact Terry Reilly firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by 844 Gruening if the door is open.
ENGLISH 607-F01: 19th Century British Literature:
CULTURE AND ANARCHY
· Matthew Arnold’s seminal Culture and Anarchy first appeared in print in 1869, the mid-point of Victoria’s reign. London had quickly—over the past three decades—become the largest city the world had ever seen. Darwin’s Origin of Species had rocked the world ten years earlier, the railroad and the factory had transformed life in innumerable ways; Britain was now an imperial power (one of Victoria’s titles was ‘Empress of India’); varied powerful forces were pushing for an educational act in Parliament, one which would ensure widespread literacy among the burgeoning population. Yet amid these evident signs of progress in a changing world, “the great mass of the people were in a condition of ignorance, squalor and brutality … almost impossible to imagine” (J. Dover Wilson, Introduction, Culture and Anarchy, Cambridge University Press, 1932, xxiv). Arnold saw in the masses “their possibilities of perfection” and directed this text to all of his compatriots, insisting that through education and self-discipline, his fellow Victorians could achieve “sweetness and light.”
· Using Arnold’s text as foundation, the seminar will focus on a wide range of Victorian texts—prose, poetry, drama—as we follow nineteenth-century movement toward the modern age. These primary texts will, I hope, help us to grasp the society Arnold saw as needing a “revolution,” but a revolution requiring “order” to be effected. The texts themselves are a mix of the comic, the tragic, the melodramatic and are written by the best storytellers ever. Trust me---
· Participants will write a response paper, a paper addressing an aspect of Victorian culture (and deliver an oral presentation on that paper), and a longer essay on a literary interest connected to the course. And what are those primary texts referred to above? See below—
· Arnold, Matthew. Culture and Anarchy.
· Bronte, Anne. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
· Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
· Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol or Hard Times.
· Gaskell, Elizabeth. Mary Barton or North and South.
· Hardy, Thomas. The Mayor of Casterbridge.
· Kipling, Rudyard. The Portable Kipling.
· Meredith. George. The Egoist.
· Rossetti, Christina. Goblin Market.
· Thackeray, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair.
· Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere’s Fan.
· Questions? Ask Rich Carr, seminar instructor
Time and Location: 6:00 – 9:00 M
ENGL 611-F01 American Realism and Modernism:
Money in the American Imagination.
In the Gilded Age, as Mark Twain christened the years of booming fortunes and rampant political corruption following the Civil War, many fiction writers were drawn to the issues of inequality, industrialization, the gold standard, trusts and monopolies, and the romantic figure of the millionaire businessman. Nor has interest waned among novelists in the years since. We will read fiction by Melville, Wharton, Norris, Howells, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, and others, along with selected critical readings, as we explore the role of money in the American literary imagination.
Instructor: Dr. Eric Heyne
Time and Location: W 2:15-3:15p
ENGL 671-FE2 Writers’ Workshop
English 671 is a writing intensive course designed to facilitate the development of new writing through the vital encouragement of faculty and peers in a workshop setting. Students in this course should already exhibit an advanced understanding of craft in at least one of the following areas: fiction, poetry, memoir, personal essay, or dramatic writing, as well as have experienced the writing workshop environment.
Instructor: Dr. Sean Hill
Time and Location: W 6:00p-9:00p
ENGL 681-F01 Forms of Poetry
Whether it is written in a received form or an invented one, all poetry has form. It’s important for poets to have at least a knowledge of traditional verse forms like the sonnet, villanelle, sestina, ghazal, and pantoum, which we will study in this course, but we will also look at more recently created forms, such as the bop and the golden shovel in order to explore the possibilities recognizing forms has to offer. Knowing verse forms and how they can function and be repurposed only adds to the poet[‘s toolbox; knowing those structures give poets and writers of other genres ways to design necessary new structures of their own.
Instructor: Dr. Sean Hill
Time and Location: M 2:15p-5:15p