Registration for Fall 2018 will open on April 2, 2018

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.

Course Descriptions

ENGL / FLPA F217 - Introduction to the Study of Film
Instructor: James Ruppert
Time: M - 3:30-6:00pm
          W - 3:30-5:00pm
Enhance your appreciation and understanding of cinematic technique and history.  We will watch and discuss silent films, foreign films, experimental films as well as some remarkable American films. Explore how cinematic artists create the powerful and moving experience that only the movies can give.
ENGL F270x F01 - Introduction to Creative Writing
Instructor: Kyle Mellen
Time: 2:00-3:30pm
This course is an introduction to the craft of creative writing in three genres: fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. By examining and discussing works from a variety of masters of the forms, we will learn how a story, poem, or essay is structured, and how the many pieces blend together to create a unified whole. From generating ideas to creating complex characters; from establishing concrete images to focusing on meter and rhythm; from developing tension to structuring a narrative, students will learn how to craft their own unique and original stories, poems, and essays. The writing “workshop” will be an important part of the class, and students will be responding to their peers’ works, verbally and in writing, in both small group and full class discussions.
ENGL F306 - Survey of American Literature: Beginnings to the Civil War: The Changing Environment
Instructor: James Ruppert
Time: M W F -10:30-11:30am
This class will introduce you to the founding texts of our intellectual and literary history.  They describe a developing nation seeking a place in the destiny of nations, they reveal wonder and confusion, they establish the tensions and traditions that survive today and moreover, are essential to understanding our national experience.
ENGL / ANS F349 - Narrative Art of Alaska Native Peoples
Instructor: James Ruppert
Time: M W F 1:00-2:00pm
Stories and the art of storytelling come alive in this course. Meet the woman who married a bear, travel with Kayak, the magical man, encounter mermaids, ride a magic sled and converse with Ravens everywhere.
ENGL F375 F01 - Intermediate Creative Writing: Fiction
Instructor: Kyle Mellen
Time: T R 9:45-11:15am
This course is designed for students who have studied the basic foundations of fiction writing and are interested in developing their skills. We will study the building blocks of fiction: creating strong characters, structuring a narrative, using language to make your stories come to life, developing tension to pull your reader in, and revising toward completed, final drafts. By examining and discussing works from a variety of masters of the short story form, with a special focus on contemporary American and international writers, we will learn how a story is put together and how the many pieces blend together to create a unified whole. Students will write both in and out of the classroom, from short fiction exercises to complete drafts of stories. The writing “workshop” will be an important part of the class, and students will be responding to their peers’ works in both small group and full class discussions.
ENGL F376 FE1 - Intermediate Creative Writing: Poetry
Instructor: Sara Johnson
Time: R 6:00-9:00pm
This intermediate-level course is a group writing workshop focused on writing poetry. We will read a wide variety of contemporary poets thatattempt to process and understand the world in its beauty, terror, andcomplexity. In the process of reading, experimenting, and writing over these weeks, you will learn how to write in a diversity of forms, howyour work connects to/with the work of other poets writing today, and how to critique the work of other writers. Throughout the course, we will also review and deepen our understanding of basic poetic techniques, such as figurative language, voice, sound, form, and the line.
ENGL F415 - Studies in 17th- and 18th-Century British Literature—
                        The Rollicking Restoration and Its Aftermath in Poetry, Drama, Prose
Instructor: Rich Carr,
Time M W F - 1:00-2:00pm                                                                          

Aphra Behn, William Congreve, Richard Sheridan—Do these names ring bells?  How about John Dryden, William Blake, or Robert Burns?  Maybe….  Or Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, or Maria Edgeworth?  The Restoration marks the return of the English monarchy under Charles II after eleven dreary years under the Puritan Cromwells (Oliver and Richard).  And it was time to celebrate and make merry.  English 415 will take up some of the poets, playwrights, and prose writers published in the last part of the 17th-century and the 18th— a century variously named the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment, the Age of Sensibility.  Laugh aloud with The Way of the World and School for Scandal.  Enjoy the heartfelt songs and verse of Robert ‘Bobbie’ Burns or the puzzling poetry of William Blake.  Experience full-on satire with Gulliver’s Travels or relish the unabashed confessions of one Moll Flanders.  We will have a rollicking good time.

ENGL F435 - “Authors: William Faulkner”
Instructor: Jen Schell
Time: M W F 9:15-10:15am
 Visit Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, the fictional setting of many of William Faulkner’s novels and short stories. View the world through the eyes of Quentin Compson, Emily Grierson, Thomas Sutpen, and Addie Bundren. Explore the complexities of Faulkner’s fiction, the various styles, themes, and genres of his writing. Learn about the particularities of literary modernism, Southern Gothic, and film noir. Texts include The Sound and the Fury, “A Rose for Emily,” Absalom, Absalom!, As I Lay Dying, and The Big Sleep (Faulkner wrote the screenplay for the film). We will also consider a series of academic articles by scholars, whose work addresses Faulkner’s diverse corpus, and compose a research paper.
ENGL F470 – Topics in Creative Writing: Travel Writing
Instructor: Daryl Farmer
Time: T -  6:00-9:00pm

ENGL 470 Fall 2018 Travel writing may be about any place: from exotic safaris in Namibia, to a road trip through Oregon, to a small town fair, to a single moment standing in line at a coffee shop in your own hometown. This course will focus on  offering students the opportunity to write at length, read selections from professional travel writers, and respond to the work of peers. Students will learn the essentials of quality writing, not only in terms of craft and technical skill, but also in determining what separates a piece of writing that is merely competent from one that is a work of art. By semester’s end, students should have a sense of how to record their experiences while living them, and then how to shape them into complete drafts when they get home.

ENGL F482 - “Topics in Language and Literature: Ecohorror”
Instructor: Jen Schell
Time: M W F 11:45am-12:45pm

Vengeful animals, predatory plants, and murderous people. Mass extinctions, natural disasters, and climate change. Chemical pollutants, nuclear radiation, and genetic mutations. Welcome to the world of ecohorror! This semester we will be examining a series of primary texts in which “the horror” is located in or generated by the “natural” environment and its various human and nonhuman denizens. The list includes Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex, Deliverance, and The Day After Tomorrow, among others. We will also be considering a series of secondary texts by ecocritics and writing a research paper.  

ENGL F607 - 19th Century British Literature:  CULTURE AND ANARCHY
Instructor: Rich Carr
Time: M 2:15-5:15pm 
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.  Hard Times.
Gaskell, Elizabeth.  Mary Barton.
Kipling, Rudyard.  The Portable Kipling.
Meredith. George.  The Egoist.
Rossetti, Christina.  Goblin Market.
Schreiner, Olive.  Story of an African Farm.
Thackeray, William Makepeace.  Vanity Fair.
Wilde, Oscar.  The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere’s Fan.
ENGL F611 - Studies in American Literature 1865-1918:  City Lit
Instructor: Eric Heyne
Time: W 2:15-5:15pm
Between the Civil War and WW I the number of Americans living in cities went from below 20% to over 50%.  As we became an urban nation, storytellers wrestled with the meaning of the city. Who are all these people, what do they want, and why do they come here to find it?  Is the Big City what America was meant to be all along, or is it where the American Dream goes to die?  We’ll start out with a poem by Whitman and a story by Melville, then read urban fiction by writers including Sui Sin Far, William Dean Howells, Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, and others.  Term projects for the course may undertake a variety of approaches to the role of the city in the American imagination.
ENGL F671 FE1– Writer’s Workshop: Nonfiction Prose
Instructor: Daryl Farmer
Time: W 6:00-9:00pm
This course will extend students’ understanding of the basic conventions of nonfiction writing including description, developing persona, and balancing personal reflection with memory and events. The course is intended to push students to seek greater depth and meaning in the essays and nonfiction narratives they write. Emphasis will be on revision, and on developing style, voice and structure. We will also work on shaping our writing by giving it more fluency and clarity. Students will be expected to write at length, to read selections from professional writers, and to respond to peers.  A primary goal of this class is to encourage writing that is urgent and essential, to discover the stories that need to be told and that seek to connect readers to the world around them.
ENGL F671 FE2 - Cross-Genre Graduate Workshop
Instructor: Sara Johnson
Time: W 6:00-9:00pm
This is a multi-genre graduate workshop designed with cross-pollination and experimentation in mind. What can we learn from other genres than our primary one, and from each other? How might engaging with other genres than our primary one push us to be more innovative in our thinking and our work? In addition to workshopping pieces in our primary genres, we will read a variety of hybrid works that straddle the boundaries between poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, demonstrating all the ways in which literary genres are fluid, and how the lines we draw between them are often arbitrary.
WRTG F213x F01: Writing and the Sciences
Instructor: Heather Aruffo 
Time: T R 9:45-11:15am
Are you a science major who wants to learn how to write for your major? Look no further! This class will cover the  basics of writing in the sciences, including literature reviews, research proposals, and scientific writing for a public audience. The class will also cover the basics of scientific literature research and developing a feasible research plan.  Learn to hone the craft of your writing while also exploring careers in scientific communication and the importance of effective communication in the sciences.
WRTG FF214X F01 - Arguing Across Contexts: From Page to Screen and Especially In-Between: A Critical Examination of Text-to-Film Adaptations
Instructor: Adrianne Blackwood
Time: M W F 10:30-11:30am
Marilyn Monroe once said, “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” This class will explore the souls of various short stories, focusing on the themes they contain and the messages they convey. We will then take a critical look at their movie adaptations—What is sacrificed during their transition to film? What is gained? Among others, we will be reading (and watching!) “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber, "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang, "Memento Mori" by Jonathan Nolan, and “Brokeback Mountain” by Annie Proulx. Assignments will include writing a 500-word critical review for each film, researching a short story or novel of your choosing, writing a proposal about adapting your chosen text into a film, “pitching” your movie adaptation idea, and adapting a scene into script format. Popcorn not included, but welcome.
WRTG F214X F03 - Arguing Across Contexts: Talkin' Trash: Diving into the World of Disposables
Instructor: Brandi Jo Petronio Nyberg
Time:  T R 2:00-3:30pm
Do you ever wonder what happens to your trash? Or have you considered what the life of a plastic bottle is like, once the beverage is consumed? Do you know anything about nuclear waste? In this class, we will dive into the world of disposables and think critically about the waste we produce - whether it be recyclables, things that could be reused, food scraps, or just plain junk. Throughout the course of the semester we will engage in many texts on the topic, including essays like Lars Eigner's "On Dumpster Diving," Macklemore's song "Thrift Shop," and documentaries such as Wasteland. Your writing will take on many forms, but ultimately you will be researching and arguing for the trash topics of your choice. This class will ask you to consider the bigger picture of humans and the trash we create as you argue and write within the context of a disposable dazed society.
WRTG F214X F06 - Arguing Across Contexts: Whale Tales: Sail Through Pop Culture with Moby-Dick
Instructor: Zoe Wise
Time: M W F 1:00-2:00pm 
Ahoy! Have you ever wanted the excuse to read Moby-Dick for the first, second, or maybe the gazillionth time? Look no further! This class will use Moby-Dick and its presence in pop culture as a platform for examining the foundations of writing. Readings in this class will be limited to the novel and its adaptations, such as TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, artwork, music, and even board games. To help deepen our understanding of the text and how to be successful writers, students will be producing weekly writing assignments that will focus on research, critical thinking, and creative expression. In addition to gaining valuable experience in leading a class discussion, students can expect to produce two larger pieces of writing in this class: a critical paper that deals with the novel, and a reflection upon a project in which they will create their own pop-culture representation.
WRTG F214X F07 - Arguing Across Contexts: Life on Mars: Inventing Our Future through Science-Fiction Film
Instructor: Andrew Luft
Time: T R 11:30am-1:00pm
Do you believe the only way for humans to avoid extinction is for us to become a space-faring race? Do you ever wonder why science fiction has become such a popular film genre? As Dr. Etienne Augé believes, science fiction has the ability to both prevent and invent the future. In this class, we will examine and follow science fiction films as they lead humanity to Mars and beyond. Featured viewings will include Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the 2005 film adaptation of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the 2016 television series West World, and many more. Your writing will take many forms, but ultimately you will be critically evaluating these gems of popular culture to aid you in your argument for humanity’s future. This class will ask you to consider the bigger picture of human existence as you argue and write within contexts that are both familiar and strange.





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