New and Special Course Offering

New and Special Course Offerings – Fall 2018

ENG 207-01: Forms in Creative Writing - The Novel-in-Stories
Dr. Christopher Torockio

Though the short story did not gain a wide audience in the U.S. until the modernists enjoyed a sort of renaissance of the form in the early 20th century the idea of connected stories working together to form a larger whole has been a part of literature since at least the 14th century with the appearance of Boccaccio’s The Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Both of these works contain a fundamental unifying context among each individual story (or “tale”) that makes each story a contributor to a larger whole that exists in the work.

Since Boccaccio’s and Chaucer’s time fiction writers have continued to experiment with this idea of employing a traditional storytelling format within the context of a larger work; and this idea, over the years, has been expanded to the point where many incorporate not only the element of a fundamental unifying context—such as unity of time, place, character, or theme—to the stories, but also such aspects as establishing a framework question that is introduced early in the work and echoes throughout each successive story before it is answered by the end; and by providing provisional closure as well as forward progression from one story to the next before rendering—after working through a beginning, middle, and an end—final closure at the conclusion of the sequence of stories…much like a novel is supposed to do.

But why bother to write a novel in this fashion? In a way, it seems more trouble than its worth. If you want to write a collection of interrelated short stories, fine. And if your intention is to write a novel, why not just write a novel? And, after all, aren’t all novels, technically, novels in “stories”? Why make a distinction? Is such a structure more realistic? Is this the way we really live our lives—in stories, or “moments,” the culmination of which adds up to the whole of our lives? In this course we will entertain these questions as we examine the various aspects of interrelated short story sequences and draw some conclusions regarding which works of fiction most accurately and completely achieve the structure of “novel in stories”—and why it matters. Oh…and we’ll also take a stab at writing our own sequence of interconnected stories.

It fulfills the Writing minor requirement as well as fulfills new English major requirement: Writing in Forms and Genres requirement of the Creative Writing concentration.

Date/Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays: 11:00-12:15 p.m.

ENG 207-02: Forms in Creative Writing:
Writing in Video Games
Dr. Jordan Youngblood

The idea of being a “video game writer” is a common one, but the expectations of the job are often misunderstood. As games are meant to be played, not just watched or read, the video game writer must do something distinctive with their material. What happens if I write an amazing storyline that leaves very little room for player freedom? Or what if I give the player a lot of freedom, and they end up skipping over all of the material I wrote? How do I balance between control and play, or ensuring I give the right amount of information to the player? And how do I do all this within different genres?

ENG 207: Writing for Video Games is meant to introduce you to what might be considered the basics of the medium, starting with things like item descriptions and tutorial text (yup, someone has to write them) and moving into more elevated structures like quest design and main narrative arcs. Assignments will be mixed between single-outcome linear stories and branching, variable situations. Since games are often collaborative efforts, you will have to also think about what it might mean to only be able to write a chunk of the story, or one character within it. How would you make your portion fit within a larger structure designed in part by others?

Additionally, you will think about what a story for a first-person shooter might do in comparison to a 2D platformer, or how you might keep the attention of a player juggling enemies while also trying to think about your narrative design. Along the way we will be examining the way a number of games tell stories, and the choices they are forced to make in order to best execute them. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at what it means to be behind the digital curtain—or you’re simply up for a new challenge involving writing, choice, and design—you might find a welcome home here in 207.

It fulfills the Writing minor requirement as well as fulfills new English major requirement: Writing in Forms and Genres requirement of the Creative Writing Concentration. It also fulfills the English Concentration in the New Media Studies major.

Date/time: Mondays and Wednesdays: 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Spring 2018

ENG 373-01: Chicanx & Latinx Rhetorics
Dr. Christine Garcia

Guiding Questions
How are language, land, body, and memory crucial to Chicanx and
Latinx Rhetoric?
How is oratory (the act of speaking eloquently) a critical element of Chicanx and Latinx Rhetoric?
What are Chicanx and Latinx visions for decolonization and how are these visions being communicated?
How has the internet changed Chicanx and Latinx Rhetoric?

Chicanx / Latinx,
/chi-ˈkä:nɛks/ or “chee-con-ex”
/laˈtiːnɛks/ or “lah-teen-ex”
People in the United States of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Guatemalan, El Salvadoran, Honduran, Indigenous, Afro-, & Mixed descent

The classical art of speaking & writing persuasively;
The study of how people use language and other symbols to realize human goals;
A practical study offering people great control over their symbolic activity

We will spend our semester exploring the language and culture that creates the Chicana & Latinx experience in the United States.

Rhetoric/Composition, Cultural Studies, & Women’s Studies concentrations

Date/Time: Thursdays: 4:00-6:45 p.m.

ENG 207-01: Forms in Creative Writing: Poetry
Dr. Daniel Donaghy

In this course, students will have the opportunity to learn how they can use various forms to write stronger, more urgent poems that engage the minds and the hearts of readers. Each class, they will study and experiment with a wide range of poetic forms and thereby be exposed to various ways of entering and working through a poem. They will become familiar with fundamental elements of poetry such as the line, the image, rhythm and prosody, word choices, voice, and, of course, some of the forms and shapes that poems can take.

We will study poets such as Patricia Smith, Sherman Alexie, Carmen Giménez Smith, Terrance Hayes, Jose B. Gonzalez, William Shakespeare, Agha Shalid Ali, Emily Dickinson, Kim Addonizio, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Frost, and Dylan Thomas.

Fulfills the Writing in Forms and Genres requirement of the Creative Writing Concentration

Date/time: Tuesdays and Thursday: 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Fall 2017

ENG 330-01: The Literature and Media of Science Fiction
Dr. Jordan Youngblood

Tyrell: Would you... like to be upgraded?
Batty: I had in mind something a little more radical.

At a cultural moment where the limits of the body are habitually reimagined, the sort of ideas once tossed around as “science fiction” now increasingly seem like inevitabilities. Yet as Ursula Le Guin argues, the purpose of science fiction has never been so much to predict the future as much as comment on the present: to utilize an imagined world to turn an eye upon the very real conditions of modern existence. These adventures ask many of the same questions we face on a regular basis. What separates the human from the inhuman? What does “humanity” constitute at all? How would changing our bodies change our relationship to those questions—or encountering new, unexpected bodies? Would we shift the way we talk about sex, race, gender, nationality, or even the very idea of being alive?

For the coming semester, we’re going to dive into a wealth of science fiction texts over the last hundred years to see how they grapple with those questions, with a particular interest in material generated after 1960. By the time this class ends, you’ll have watched, read, critiqued, and written a wealth of science fiction with its attention in part upon the body, and decided to complete either an extensive research paper or a detailed creative project that engages with course themes. Texts include films such as Blade Runner, Ex Machina, Children of Men, Ghost in the Shell, Wall-E, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and authors like Phillip K. Dick, Octavia Butler, Robert Heinlein, Samuel Delany, Joanna Russ, and William Gibson.

The class fulfills the Analysis, Form, and Theory category of the Literary Studies concentration, and the Literature category of the Creative Writing concentration. It also serves as a Late Period class in the old major.

Date/Time: Mondays and Fridays: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

ENG 365-01:
The Rhyming Couplet in the Eighteenth-Century and After
Dr. Benjamin Pauley

Perhaps no other period in the history of English poetry is as strongly associated with a particular verse form as the period between the late seventeenth- and mid-eighteenth centuries, which witnessed an overwhelming vogue for the rhyming couplet: metrical verse in which each pair of lines rhymes. Though the period certainly produced poetry in other verse forms, the couplet was the most frequent choice of poets from across the social spectrum (from laboring class to elite, women as well as men) writing on a huge range of topics (from agricultural labor to tea drinking; from political corruption to religious meditation; from the bedroom to the bathroom). This course will survey a range of mostly eighteenth-century verse written in couplets in an effort to understand something of the range of poetic uses to which this seemingly confined form could be turned. We will read works both by luminaries of the London-based literary world such as Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and by more marginalized voices from the period like Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, and Phillis Wheatley. We will also turn attention to critical and literary-historical thinking in the period that shaped the ascendance—and eventual decline—of the couplet as a dominant form for English verse. Additionally, we will explore something of the afterlife of this quintessentially eighteenth-century form by examining some ways that later poets have revisited what had come to seem, to many observers, a dead form, and brought it to new life for new occasions.

Fulfills the Literary History requirement of the Literary Studies concentration and the Literature category of the Creative Writing concentration.

Date/Time: Tuesdays: 7:00 - 9:45 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Spring 2017

ENG/WST 365-01X: Funny Women
Drs. Meredith James and Rita Malenczyk

Over the last fifty years, cultural critics have begun to question why women have historically had such a hard time breaking into the comedy business. Certain critics have pointed to the subversive nature of women’s humor, asserting that many female comedians seek to upend established patriarchal norms, hetero-normative sexuality, and mainstream ideals of race.

So join us for a romp through the women’s comedic tradition! This course will begin by examining the Western archetype of “the unruly woman” and how that played out in standup comedy and film from the 1930s through the 1990s, with a focus on such comedians as Roseanne Barr and Whoopi Goldberg. It will then move to current theoretical frameworks investigating issues of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary comedy, with a focus on comedians such as Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sarah Silverman. (NOTE: due to the nature of the subject matter, expect to hear a lot of profanity/references to sex/other stuff some folks might find objectionable; again, that’s the nature of the comedic beast, and we won’t censor it.)

Yael Kohen, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy
Linda Mizejewski, Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics
Kathleen Rowe, The Unruly Woman: Gender and the Genres of Laughter

Counts for Cultural Studies concentration in new English major, as English elective, cross-listed with WST 365-01X, and Women Writers requirement in old English major

Date/Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 11:00-11:50 a.m.

The Culture of Childhood: A Co-requisite English Course Cluster (students must register for both)

ENG 292-01: Aesop to Apps:
Critical Approaches to Kiddie Lit and Culture
Dr. Lisa Rowe Fraustino

Antebellum Topsy - Turvy Doll

Antebellum Topsy - Turvy Doll

Children’s literature with its diminutive nickname “kiddie lit” extends beyond books into a wide range of adaptations and merchandising “texts” that infuse the young reader’s everyday life with cultural learning about gender, race, class, and other
ideological ideas. Through close readings of children’s literature and related texts such as films, toys, clothing, and the like, this course will introduce students to a range of critical approaches used in literary and cultural studies of childhood.

Counts in Cultural Studies concentration; Lit Analysis/Form/Theory category of Literary Studies concentration; Historical Survey category of old English major

Substitutes for ENG 328 in ECE/ELE concentration and the ENG concentration of the Liberal Studies major

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 2:00-3:15 p.m.


ENG 293-01: Children and Childhood in the Nineteenth Century
Dr. Kenneth McNeil

A Child's World, 1886  John Everett Millais

A Child's World, 1886
John Everett Millais

An exploration of representations of children and childhood in British and American culture of the nineteenth century, a time when such representations became increasingly popular and powerful. In this course we will be asking: How do adult writers use the image of the child and childhood to advance their own literary, political, and social ideas? How do adult writers recall and imagine the state of their own childhoods? How did the image of the child advance certain social and political causes in the nineteenth century?

Counts in Cultural Studies concentration; Lit History/Traditions category of Literary Studies; Reading Culture category of ECE/ELE; Middle Period category of old major

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12:30-1:45 p.m.

ENG 242-01: Literature and Cultural Studies
Dr. Meredith James

• Students will develop fluency in Cultural Studies terminology.
• Students will become familiar with the vocabulary of the field of Cultural Studies, including its basic terminology: for instance, power and agency, identity and subjectivity, Marxism and ideology, modernity and post-modernity, hegemony and resistance, theory and praxis, colonialism and post-colonialism, myth/symbol and semiotics.
• Students will situate their learning within explorations of the disciplinary and historical context of the field.
• Students will learn to use interdisciplinary critical perspectives to examine the diverse and sometimes contested meanings of cultural objects and processes, establishing a basic knowledge of the theoretical paradigms of Cultural Studies (concepts, traditions, revisions, and perspectives) and applying media-specific approaches for contextualization and analysis.
• Students will learn strategies for connecting cultural knowledge to everyday life and practices, gaining a preliminary understanding of the relationship of methodology (paradigms for study) to inquiry in Cultural Studies.
• Students will learn about a cultural product’s historical developments and current critical debates.
• Students will position a cultural product within its wider context and current relevance and formulate discourse and context.

Counts toward the new major in the Cultural Studies and English Education Tracks and as an English elective.

Date/Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 10:00-10:50 a.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Fall 2016

ENG 399: The Lord of the Rings
Dr. Kenneth McNeil

An in-depth discussion of The Lord of the Rings and its impact on culture in the 20th century and beyond. The course will look at the 3-volume text; additional materials by Tolkien, such as The Hobbit and other writings; adapted versions of the work, especially the latest film versions directed by Peter Jackson; and literary and cultural criticism.

This course will provide a close look at The Lord of the Rings and its impact on culture in the 20th century and today. Though the course will touch on the work's medieval influences (Tolkien himself was a Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford), we will focus on contextualizing Middle-earth in Tolkien's time and ours.

Though non-majors are welcome, this is an upper-division English course and will include a major research project in addition to other writing requirements.

The course fulfills the requirements of “Literature in Cultural Context” in the Literary Studies concentration of the English major and can be used as an English elective.

Date/Time: Tuesdays: 4:00-6:45 p.m.

ENG 313-01: The Native American Novel
Dr. Meredith James

This course will examine how Native authors have adapted the Western genre of the novel and how they have, over the last three centuries, developed strategies to combine traditional storytelling with Native issues, contemporary of their historical eras. Because Native American novels are the most widely read and most studied genre of American Indian literatures, this course will also focus on how the literary scholarship regarding Native literature has changed throughout time. We will look closely at the development of Native American novels, beginning with a discussion of current Native American literary theory. There will also be lectures which focus on Native American literature as a whole and on early novelists such as John Rollin Ridge (Cherokee) and Sophia Alice Callahan (Muskoke Creek). We will largely focus on the evolution of the novel form in twentieth and twenty-first century Native American literary discourse.

The majority of the texts for this course are contemporary Native literature, but you will also be introduced to various historical events and how they shaped Native peoples’ views of themselves. This class will also examine the ways in which Native American authors respond to mainstream American popular culture.

For this NEW major, this course counts for the Cultural Studies Concentration, English for Elementary Concentration, and Literary Studies Concentration.

For the OLD major, this course counts for Race, Culture, and Power category

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Spring 2016

ENG 220-01: Introduction to Literacy Studies in Composition
Dr. Lauren Rosenberg

Literacy is a term that most of us take for granted. But what is literacy? And what does it mean to be a literate individual? This course will start with such questions that will aid us in defining literacy; however, our definitions will keep changing as we investigate what literacy means and how it is used in the US, both within and outside of school.

Literacy Studies is one branch of Rhetoric and Composition (Writing Studies) that considers reading and writing as a social practice, one that is shaped not only by school, but also by other forces such as home, institutions including church and military, workplaces, and political power. By looking into the definitions and uses of literacy, we begin to study the issues that surround literate acts—such as a person’s class, race, location, ability—sometimes referred to as “subject position.” We also look at how the culture of schooling determines what it means to succeed as a knowledgeable citizen—which kinds of knowing have cultural value and which become dismissed.

This is a course in reading and writing critically. You will be challenged to engage with texts in new ways. To do so, you will be reading a range of cultural and theoretical texts. Part of your responsibility in this course will be learning to read and interpret theoretical essays and to write in response to them. The writing you will be doing and the discussions we will have in class will revolve around ideas of what literacy means, what it does, and your own experiences as a literate individual.

ENG 220 gives students credit toward the Rhetoric & Composition concentration and the Cultural Studies concentration in the new English major. It gives elective credit in the current major.

Date/Time: Wednesdays: 4:00-6:45 p.m.

ENG 204-01: Introduction to Writing Studies
Dr. Rita Malenczyk

Scholars in Writing Studies, also called Rhetoric and Composition, explore concepts foundational to writing, rhetoric, and literacy. By the end of the course, you will:

• Understand how social, institutional, and rhetorical contexts shape writers and their writing, and how writers shape those contexts in turn

• Understand processes that writers use to generate and communicate ideas and reflect critically on your own engagement with those processes

• Critically analyze various kinds of texts through close reading and attention to key rhetorical concepts

• Understand and practice the conventions of writing within the field of Writing Studies

This course fulfills the Stage 2 University Writing Competency requirement for the new English major and counts toward the Rhetoric and Composition concentration of the major.

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9:30-10:45 a.m.

ENG 238-01: Literary Magazine Editing
Dr. Daniel Donaghy

An introduction to the field of literary magazine editing and publishing. Students will gain hands-on experience using the latest desktop and online submission managing, editing, and publishing software. In addition, students will engage, in discussions and practices, topics such as the history, purposes and audiences of literary magazines (print and digital); the art of literary editing; how to create a unique mission for a new literary journal; how to evaluate a manuscript; literary magazine layout and design; the roles of technology in contemporary literary magazine publishing; the editor/ writer relationship, from the slush pile through publication distributing the finished product; and the fundamental skills required for copy editing and proofreading.

*Counts toward the Writing Minor
*Fulfills NEW English major requirement: Professional Experiences requirement of the Creative Writing Concentration

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 2:00-3:15 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings
Summer 2015

ENG 252-E25: The Harlem Renaissance (Online Course)
Dr. Daniel Donaghy

This course will provide students with an overview of The Harlem Renaissance, a cultural explosion between 1917 and 1935 that changed the course of African American literature, music, art, and intellectual thought. In this course, we will study key works of literature, music, films, and art of the period as we explore problems of representation, audience, and artistic freedom as well as the effects of discrimination based on race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. We will pay particular attention to the contributions that women made to the Harlem Renaissance.

ENG 252-E25 fulfills English Major Late Period requirement and LAC Tier II Cultural Perspectives.

Online Course - May 16 to May 25

New and Special Course Offerings – Fall 2015

ENG 206-01: Multimodal Writing Workshop
Dr. Steve Ferruci

This course is an introduction to writing multimodal texts. Multimodal texts incorporate different modalities – print, visual, aural – and are usually published on the Web. Multimodal writing is essentially a Web 2.0 mash-up.

In this class, we’ll learn how to write, design, and produce a number of multimodal texts, for example a visual essay, an animated “short,” a series of podcasts, a vlog, and the like. We’ll learn how to use video and sound recording technologies, how to edit such recordings, and how to incorporate them into a text (or use them as the text itself). We’ll also play with various presentation applications (Prezi, Storify, or PechaKucha) and learn how to create animated stories which incorporate print, sound, and visual components.

No prior experience required, and the only requirement is a willingness to teach and learn as we go.

ENG 206 is the Stage 2 Writing Intensive course for the New Media Studies major; it also counts as an elective for the English major and minor.

Date/Time: Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays: 10:00-11:10 a.m.

ENG 223-01: Survey of American Literature
Dr. Allison Speicher

This course will chart the development of American literature from its colonial roots to today, paying special attention to major movements like sentimentalism, regionalism, modernism, and postmodernism. Throughout its history, American literature has been shaped significantly by the stories the nation likes to tell about itself. As such, studying American literature will mean questioning what each of these terms means. Who counts as an American? What counts as literature? Throughout our inquiry, we’ll pay particular attention to the way location, race, gender, and class shape American literature. This course will prepare you for future American literature classes as well as for teaching American literature in a classroom of your own.

This class fulfills the historical survey requirement of the English major and is required for students completing the English concentration of the Liberal Studies major. This course is also recommended for students pursuing teacher certification in secondary English.

Date/Time: Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays: 1:00-1:50 p.m.

ENG 321-01: The Nineteenth-Century American Short Story
Dr. Allison Speicher

When we think about nineteenth-century literature, we often picture novels so heavy they could double as weapons. But nineteenth-century America also gave rise to the short story. Just what is the short story? A story that is short? How short? How does it differ from its ancestor, the sketch, and its siblings, the novella and the novel? According to Edgar Allan Poe, the short story’s first theorist, the short story is the highest form of prose primarily because of its length: since the short story can be read in one sitting, it places the “soul of the reader” in the writer’s complete control without fear of “external or extrinsic influences,” “weariness or interruption.”

In this class, we’ll think about literary concerns, like those Poe raises, alongside historical ones, tracing the cultural conditions that help to explain the birth of the short story and its extensive popularity. We’ll read the work of acknowledged masters of the form, like Poe himself, alongside short fiction by authors we don’t typically associated with short stories, like Walt Whitman, and fiction by long-forgotten authors who found their voices on the pages of magazines. Prepare yourself for thrills and chills, for heaving bosoms and endless tears, for urban escapades and down-home fun, for satire and sentimentality. If you are ready to offer up your soul to the likes to Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott, this course is for you.

This course fulfills the Middle Period requirement.

Date/Time: Thursdays, 4:00-6:45 p.m.

ENG 365-01: Classics in Comedy
Dr. Miriam Chirico

Dear Student of Comedy:

Hello! Join your fellow students in this semester’s reading of comedies, featuring such literary “stars” as the Roman playwright Plautus, the political manipulator Machiavelli, and the playfully romantic Shakespeare. We will read various texts closely for tricks and turns, to see how wily servants outsmart their masters, how men and women plot for their own advantage, and how fools proffer a philosophy of life.

As we delve into the roots of comedy, we will consider the present context as well –

  • What sit-coms and romantic comedies do we find funny today? 
  • What tricks do we play on others and what masks do we wear? 
  • What is the modern-day equivalent of the fool or the zany?
  • Does comedy reinforce stereotypes or challenge the status quo?

Finally, your instructor is interested in a particular pattern within comedy — the “trope of lost identity.” Thus, we will look for moments where a central character worries about losing his or her identity and wonders aloud “who am I?” In other words, the instructor is doing research for a book and will depend upon you for your creativity, hard work, and ideas.

This course fulfills the Early Period Requirement.

Date/Time: Mondays: 4:00-6:45 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Spring 2015

ENG 130-01: Literary Analysis
Dr. Lisa Fraustino

Are you planning to become a teacher of young children in grades K-6 or an English teacher for older children in grades 7-12? If so, this is the course for you! It was designed especially to introduce the analytical skills you will need to teach literature. ENG 130 will also provide a strong foundation in literary analysis for students hoping to pursue a graduate degree in literature.

Course Description
An introduction to the study of literature in a variety of forms and from different periods and traditions. Emphasis on close reading, interpretation, and analysis of literary works with attention to literary terms, genre distinctions, and formal elements. Recommended for students in the Pre-Secondary English Certification program.

Learning Goals

  • Identify and interpret figurative language and other elements fundamental to literary analysis.

  • Understand how patterns, structures, and characteristics of literary forms and genres may influence the meaning and effect of a work.

  • Situate authors and texts studied within historical, cultural, and critical contexts to aid in interpretation.

  • Engage with others’ perspectives to deepen their understandings of human values and thought.

**Date/Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 1:00 - 1:50 p.m.

ENG 365-01: The Golden Age of the American Tomboy
Dr. Allison Speicher

According to a recent article in Psychology Today, almost half of American women report having been tomboys as children. Despite the prevalence of tomboys in both fiction and reality, however, there is surprisingly little consensus on what the term actually means. Is the tomboy born or made? Is she a girl who just wants to have fun or a girl who wants to be a boy? Is a tomboy still a tomboy without her fair and feminine foil and her “sissy” best friend? And will she ever grow out of it?

This course will explore the “Golden Age” of the American tomboy, from the Civil War into the early twentieth century, in order to understand the historical roots of this figure. Why did this era give rise to gender-bending heroines? Why do their stories enjoy continuing popularity? We will consider foundational tomboys, like Little Women’s Jo March, alongside heroines from the end of the Golden Age, like Little House on the Prairie’s Laura Ingalls and Mark Twain’s “Hellfire” Hotchkiss. Studying the tomboy in her various literary contexts—sensation novels, children’s literature, and regionalist fiction—will help us to understand the figure’s roots not only in shifting conceptions of gender, but also in postbellum views of race, class, and sexuality. As the course draws to a close, we will consider the state of the tomboy in the twenty-first century: with the popularity of fierce teen heroines today, are we currently experiencing a second Golden Age of the American tomboy?

This course fulfills the Middle Period requirement.

**Date/Time: Wednesdays 4:00 - 6:45 p.m.

ENG 365-02: Digital Game Studies
Dr. Jordan Youngblood

Far from a niche medium only played by kids, video games have taken a prominent place in our national media: according to a 2014 study by the Entertainment Software Association, 59% of Americans engage in playing video games; more than half of American households own a dedicated gaming console, and the average player is around 31. Nor are games just Mario eating mushrooms or soldiers blowing up other soldiers. Games continue to adapt as technologies change. Handheld devices, multiplayer environments, games as protest pieces or performance art, and the growing scope of digital storytelling are proving that the more people are playing games, the more we’re having to reconsider what a “game” actually is.

This class is intended to introduce you to the critical study of video games as a steadily emerging scholarly field, one that bridges traditional forms of textual and cultural analysis with an examination of how games actually work as digital objects. (And yes, English majors can totally study video games. We even get jobs doing it!) We’ll both read essays about games and actually play games in the course, with each game serving as a chance to use our growing critical understanding of the medium in different ways. Some days we’ll talk about the way race and economics influence the Grand Theft Auto series; others, we’ll play a round of Super Meat Boy and discuss the pain and pleasure of video game failure. However, this is not a class exclusively for people experienced with games. If you've never played even a single round of Candy Crush, that's no problem at all. In fact, you may find that you’re far more aware of and adaptive to the logic of games than you think. As long as you're willing to explore and examine a form of play that now contains over 1.2 billion users worldwide, this is the place for you.

Date/Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 1:00 - 1:50 p.m.

ENG 373-01: Rhetoric of the Graphic Novel
Dr. Lauren Rosenberg

Is the graphic novel literature? Is it art? What is a graphic novel anyway? How does it relate to fiction? To memoir? How does it overlap with popular comics? Is there more to comics than action? Why have graphic novels had such rapid growth in the last decade, and why is there so much controversy over their inclusion in school curricula?

“Rhetoric of the Graphic Novel” will begin with such questions as we investigate the increasingly popular medium of graphic narratives. Our objective will be to explore the graphic novel as a rhetorical form that crosses the boundaries of traditional novels, memoirs, and narrative art to create a hybrid genre. We will consider Scott McCloud’s theories of how we read text and what assumptions we make about writing and pictures when we look at, and assign meaning to, a page. Primary sources will include some of the most celebrated and controversial graphic novels currently available, such as Persepolis, Blankets, American Born Chinese, Fun Home, The Photographer, and Asterios Polyp.

In addition to discussing the rhetoric of graphic novels, we will also read critical essays that explore these texts and how graphic novels are relevant to teaching in secondary and college classrooms. Students will be challenged to examine graphic novels as cultural and teachable texts in a series of critical papers. As the final project in this class, we will have a creating comics workshop (you don’t have to know how to draw). This course on graphic novels challenges notions of what constitutes literary and popular texts and calls into question what it means to read and create meaning.

This course fulfills the English Major Language requirement and gives you credit towards the Writing minor.

Meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Fall 2014

ENG 206-01: Multimodal Writing Workshop
Dr. Steve Ferruci

This course is an introduction to writing multimodal texts. Multimodal texts incorporate different modalities – print, visual, aural – and are usually published on the Web. Multimodal writing is essentially a Web 2.0 mash-up.

In this class, we’ll learn how to design and produce a number of multimodal texts, for example a visual essay, an animated “short,” a series of podcasts, and the like. We’ll learn how to use video and sound recording technologies, how to edit such recordings, and how to incorporate them into a text (or use them as the text itself). We’ll also play with various presentation applications (Prezi, Storify, or PechaKucha) and learn how to create animated stories which incorporate print, sound, and visual components.

No prior experience in any of these technologies or genres required; we’ll learn them as we go.

*This course counts as an elective for the English major and the Writing Minor.

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00 - 5:50 p.m.

ENG/WST 365-02: Queer Theory and Digital Media
Professor Jordan Youngblood


As we enter an era where the prospect of what and how we love becomes increasingly fused with new media, and more and more erotic negotiation takes place over digital interfaces rather than the bar countertop, the relationship between sex, gender, and technology has become decidedly complex in contemporary discourse. How does an increased reliance on and mediated relationships alter the idea of what it means to be human, if at all? What can it show us about the already-artificial nature behind the most “natural” of acts? What unexpected desirable avenues for a variety of individuals are now available due to the use of digital media, and what prospects have remained the same (or perhaps regressed)? In what ways can the digital be used as a place of sexual and gendered protest, activism, or archiving? How will we navigate this landscape, and in doing so, how will it continue to change us?

Our course grapples with these questions by examining the field of queer theory: a discipline that, from its origins, has focused upon complicating and de-familiarizing traditional concepts of sexuality and gender. We will read a collection of criticism from the field built around seven conceptual units: the “queer,” bodies, performance, public/private, race, history, and family. Each of these is meant to bring crucial foundational texts in contact with recent writings that take a queer angle on digital media. As we move further into the material, you will grow more acquainted with the language and concepts of queer theory while also witnessing how new technologies force these concepts to develop and adjust. By the end of the course every student will construct a project utilizing digital media in order to explore some aspect of gender and sexuality, based on the dialogues we develop in class. In essence, we will both witness and engage in a conversation taking place between theory and media, and how each side has been impacted by the other.

No prior experience in either gender studies or digital media is required. All that’s needed is a willingness to tackle these ideas with maturity and respect. While some readings will be decidedly complex, don’t be intimidated. We will address each text and the concepts within them in a manner that allows people from a variety of fields to gain something.

Day/Time: Mondays and Fridays 2:00 p.m.— 3:15 p.m.

ENG 338-01: Linguistic Analysis
Dr. Elena Tapia

You need it.
You want it.

  • Fulfills the English major’s Language Studies category

  • Will be required for Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education majors

Explore how languages Work!
This is a small class with lots of hands-on practice with various elements of language.
We’ll work with English but also with other languages from around the world.
Doesn’t seem possible? It is. Trust me.

Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

New and Special Course Offerings – Spring 2014

ENG 237-01: Encoding Electronic Texts - Dr. Benjamin Pauley

This course explores questions at stake in the digitization of texts that first appeared in print or manuscript form.

Students will get a practical introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) guidelines, a technical specification of XML that makes it possible to describe a text in ways that enable new kinds of digital presentation and analysis. TEI is widely used in digital humanities research in many disciplines
(not just English, but History, Linguistics, Classics, and so on). It has also been adopted by many libraries and museums as they digitize materials in their collections.

At the same time that we explore the nuts and bolts of TEI, we’ll also be taking on some very fundamental questions about reading and interpretation. What is “a book”? An abstract intellectual or artistic creation? A material object you can hold in your hand? How do we recognize the various codes by which we human readers make meaning from books? How can we best describe those codes in ways a computer can understand?

This is a four-credit course that meets four hours per week: three hours of discussion plus an hour of workshop/lab. No prior experience with XML is expected. You don’t need to be any kind of computer wizard to do the work of this class, but you do need to be willing to experiment and try new things.

Date/Time: MWF 1:00-1:50 p.m.; F 2:00-2:50 p.m.

ENG 365-01: Women Writers of the Long Eighteenth Century - Dr. Benjamin Pauley

This course will examine poetry, fiction, and drama written by British women authors during the “long” eighteenth century (from approximately 1660 to 1800).

This period was marked, in part, by the emergence of a marketplace for literature. Rather than writing for small coteries of readers or writing to suit the tastes of elite patrons, authors were increasingly able to direct their works to a broader public of book purchasers. To publish, however—to write for publication—could be a fraught choice for women authors, since courting the public eye ran counter to expectations of feminine modesty and decorum.

Among other things, this course will highlight the ways that different women negotiated questions of publicity as they pursued writing, whether as an avocation (that is, a private calling) or as a profession (as many women did).

The semester’s readings will include works by authors such as Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips, Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Susannah Centlivre, Anne Finch, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Charlotte Lennox, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen, as well as the anonymous works of women who may have signed themselves only “A Lady.”

**This course fulfills the Middle Period and the Women Writers requirements for
the English major.

Date/Time: Tuesdays 4:00 - 6:45 p.m.

New and Special Course Offering – Fall 2013

ENG/WST 351-01: Feminist Theories - Dr. Maureen McDonnell

This course is designed as an introduction to feminist theories and practice. Feminist theories draw attention to the ways in which all our lives are shaped and interlinked by a range of social, economic, and political structures. Although gender plays a key component in these structures, we will also pay attention to different forms that sexual, racial, class and colonial hierarchies take.

    • This course is required for all students majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies.

    • Are you a Women's Studies minor? This elective is strongly encouraged.

Date/Time: Wednesdays, 7:00 - 9:45 p.m.

New and Special Course Offering – Spring 2013

ENG 348-01: Language & Society - Dr. Elena Tapia

We'll examine the relationships that exist between language and society.

    • Why does a person's or a group's language vary from situation to situation?

    • What are some attitudes toward languages and dialects that people form about themselves and about others?

    • Why do we form those attitudes?

    • How does language form our identity?

Each class is organized around a question or questions that tie the readings to theoretical issues, and students should come to class prepared to discuss the questions.

** This course fulfills the English Major "Language Studies" Requirement.
Great elective for language lovers!

Date/Time: Mondays & Wednesdays 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.

ENG 365-01: Classical Comedies - Dr. Miriam Chirico

Hello! Join your fellow students in this semester’s reading of comedies, featuring such literary “stars” as the Roman playwright Plautus, the political manipulator Machiavelli, and the playfully romantic Shakespeare. We will read various texts.

closely for tricks and turns, to see how wily servants outsmart their masters, how men and women plot for their own advantage, and how fools proffer a philosophy of life.

As we delve into the roots of comedy, we will consider the present context as well:

    • What sit-coms and romantic comedies do we find funny today?

    • What tricks do we play on others and what masks do we wear?

    • What is the modern-day equivalent of the fool or the zany?

    • Does comedy reinforce stereotypes or challenge the status quo?

Finally, your instructor is interested in a particular pattern within comedy — the “trope of lost identity.” Thus, we will look for moments where a central character worries about losing his or her identity and wonders aloud “who am I?” In other words, the instructor is doing research for a book and will depend upon you for your creativity, hard work, and ideas.

Please join us! On with the Show!

**This course fulfills the English Major "Early Period" Requirement.

Date/Time: Mondays 4:00 - 6:45 p.m.

ENG 373-01: Studies in Rhetoric: The Rhetoric of Film - Dr. Stephen Ferruci

In ENG 373 we will examine films in order to understand how and why we identify with the characters in the films. We will consider, too, the story being told (the narrative structure) as a reflection of a particular set of cultural assumptions. No previous experience with film or rhetoric required, just a willingness to watch and discuss what you see.

“This class will change your life.” - Ebert
“A must take!” – L.A. Times
“If you take just one class next semester, take this one, but then you’ll be under‐enrolled, so take this one and 4 others.” – The Onion

** This course fulfills the Language Studies requirement and counts for the Writing minor.

Date/Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

ENG 358-01: Literary Criticism - Dr. Meredith Clermont-Ferrand

In ENG 358 you will be introduced to many of the critical perspectives and theories that enliven contemporary literary and cultural studies. Included on our lit-crit-hit-parade will be Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Postmodernism, Feminist literary studies, Queer Studies, Ethnic and Race Studies, Postcolonialism, Marxism, Psychoanalytic literary studies, and Culture Studies.

Sound intimidating? Don't worry--we will be testing these theories on short stories, novellas, films, pop culture, and each other. As we examine these different ways of reading, and thinking about reading, we will be asking ourselves: What is “literature”? Why do we study it? In what ways, if any, are literary texts different from other types of cultural productions? What is “theory?” Can literary theories be applied to non-literary texts? How do literature and criticism relate to other aspects of culture such as gender, race, class, and nation? What is at stake in choosing one critical/theoretical methodology over another?

Date/Time: Wednesdays 4:00 - 6:45 p.m.