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Department of English

English Department Course Descriptions
Spring 2006

ENGL 030             Writing Laboratory

Section A: By appointment--D. Murray and staff

Enroll during drop/add only in ECS 122D. Laboratory practice of the writing process. Regular sections are for students enrolled in Expository Writing 1 or 2. (Walk-in sections are for undergraduate students who wish to improve their writing skills.) Hours are not applicable toward degree requirements. Prerequisite: consent of student's Expository Writing instructor and Writing Laboratory staff.

ENGL 125                 Honors English II- Love, Sex, and History: The Greeks, the Victorians, and Us

Section A: MWF 8:30; Section B: MWF 9:30--L. Behlman      

This course will help you to develop your critical writing and thinking skills for other courses at this university and for life beyond college. The special focus of this class will be the history of love and sexuality. Our focus will be on three very different cultures: Ancient Greece, Victorian Britain, and modern-day America.  As we read significant fiction and non-fiction texts from each of these three cultures, we will consider how ancient and Victorian ideas about sexuality both differed from and contribute to our own.  Two key issues we'll address will be the rhetoric of romantic love and current controversies over gay marriage.  We will read such diverse authors as Sappho, Plato, Ovid, Swinburne, Christina Rossetti, Emily Bronte, Freud, the novelists Jeffrey Eugenides and Jeanette Winterson, and two current Supreme Court justices. We'll also watch two great screwball comedy films and listen to some very silly love songs.  Assignments will include four mid-length papers, two required paper revisions, short workshop evaluations, and some quizzes.  Books for the class will be available only at the Dusty Bookshelf in Aggieville.

ENGL 125            Honors English II - The Holocaust

Section C: MWF 10:30--R. Friedmann

Students enrolled in this section of Honors II will study some important literary fiction written in response to one of the 20th century’s most abominable crimes, the Holocaust.  As part of their study of these works, students will write four essays responding to the implications of the works they’ve read.  These essays may deal with some of the following issues: how literature can help readers imagine the inner lives of others; how the Holocaust challenges many received beliefs; how “otherness” leads to marginalization of minorities; how the Holocaust has changed our perception and understanding of anti-Semitism; how the Holocaust continues to demand from even those generations who did not witness it a response.

Each essay will require three drafts, whose revisions will be based on responses in peer-review workshops and weekly conferences with the instructor. In addition, students will be required to keep a journal with weekly entries throughout the semester.

The reading for the course will include the following works: Shosha by Isaac Bashevis Singer; Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer; “The House on Kronenstrasse” by Shira Nayman; The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski; The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick; Adam Resurrected by Yoram Kaniuk; The Victim by Saul Bellow; “In Memory of Chanveasna Chan, Who Is Still Alive” by Ellen Miller. Supplementary reading will also be provided as the instructor sees fit. (Important note: This course examines a sampling of Holocaust literature that is substantially different from the readings presented in English 395: Holocaust Literature.)

ENGL 220            Fiction Into Film

Section A: MWF 1:30; Section B: MWF 2:30--L. Baker

We’ll read at 6 or 7 successful film adaptations of notable novels and short stories in the light of these literary originals. Our purpose will be to appreciate more deeply the different ways in which narrative prose fiction and film work as media for articulating imaginative possibilities.  Under consideration (but not yet decided upon) for Fall 2004 are: Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi classic Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (1968; the basis for Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner); Laura Esquivel’s “magic-realist” novel Like Water for Chocolate; Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s absurdist satire Slaughterhouse Five; Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; Ernest Hemmingway’s “Soldier’s Home”; and Katherine Anne Porter’s “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall”; Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Brian Moore’s Black Robe; Peter Matthiessen’s At Play in the Fields of the Lord; and Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain.  There will be a short quiz over each piece of fiction.  Attendance at showings of the films will be required (or must be demonstrated, by special quiz, to have been made up).  Students will write a short essay on each pair of works we take up, and on an additional fiction/film pair of their choice.

ENGL 231            Medieval & Renaissance Humanities

Section A: MWF 9:30; Section B: MWF 10:30--M. Donnelly

An introductory survey of some significant developments in the literature, history, philosophy, art, and music of Western Europe, with emphasis on Italy, France, and Germany, from the end of the Ancient World to the beginning of the seventeenth century: the course will examine selected landmarks of art and culture in an attempt to understand the character and contributions of the European mind and spirit in the Medieval period and the Renaissance. Requirements: one or two hour exams; identification and comment on slides and musical selections, and a final examination.

ENGL 234            Modern Humanities

Section A: TU 9:30-10:45--Staff

Modern Humanities finishes the four-course sequence of the humanities series by asking both what it is to be "modern" and what constitute "the humanities." Course readings are an interdisciplinary mix of literature, philosophy, history, and examples of the fine arts from the time of the French Revolution up until the present. English 234 is a General Education course.

ENGL 251            Introduction to Literature

Section A: MWF 8:30--Staff; Section B: MWF 10:30--Staff;

The study of fiction, drama, poetry, and (possibly) nonfiction. Students may write papers, take exams, participate in listserve discussions, or prepare group oral reports while gaining experience in reading, writing, and critical thinking.

ENGL 251            Introduction to Literature

Section C: MWF 11:30--C. Franko

This introductory course in literature is designed for students not majoring in English.  The primary goals of the course are 1) to expose you to a variety of literary texts in the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama; 2) to provide you with a vocabulary for analyzing literature; 3) to develop your skill, confidence and enjoyment as a reader of literature. Assignments include quizzes, homework answers, three exams, and one essay.

ENGL 251            Introduction to Literature

Section D: MWF 1:30--L. Chakrabarti

In this course students will learn to appreciate, analyze, discuss, critique and write about short stories, essays, poetry, and drama through the centuries. Requirements: active and dedicated class participation, one student-led discussion per student, one short oral presentation, several homework assignments, daily reading quizzes, an analytical paper, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

ENGL 251            Introduction to Literature

Section E: TU 8:05-9:20; Section F: TU 9:30-10:45--R. Mosher

Primary aims of this course include honing students’ ability to read deeply, analytically, and actively. Course aims are achieved through thinking, talking, and writing about prose, poetry, and drama. Students’ active participation is required in: class discussions, daily out-of class exercises, several short and one long analytical papers, two “exams,” and an oral presentation.

ENGL 251            Introduction to Literature

Section G: TU 1:05-2:20--D. Hall

A course for non-majors to introduce students to the joys and rewards of literature. The main goal is to enhance students’ appreciation of literature by increasing understanding of how literature works. Emphasis on careful reading of texts: we’ll sample poetry, short fiction, at least one novel, drama, movies and television. Main requirements for students will be keeping up with the reading and responding, both orally and in short writing assignments, to precise questions about the literature.

ENGL 262            British Literature: Enlightenment to Modern

Section A: TU 11:30-12:45--Staff

We will read a variety of prose and poetry written in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Will not apply to survey requirements for English majors. English 262 is a General Education course.

ENGL 270            American Literature

Section A: TU 11:30-12:45--L. Tatonetti

This course will provide a sampling of U.S. literature from 1920 to the present.  As the course is aimed at non-majors, no specialized background knowledge is required.  We will work together to build the skills of close reading and textual analysis that are essential to any understanding of literature. Primary texts may include Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston’s Farewell to Manzanar, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Cherríe Moraga’s Loving in the War Years , Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and Sherman Alexie’s The Toughest Indian in the World. Requirements will include weekly reading quizzes, a midterm, final, and a series of short analytical response papers. In addition, engaged participation and dedicated reading will be essential class components. English 270 is a General Education course.

ENGL 287            Great Books

Section A: MWF 10:30; Section B: MWF 11:30--L. Baker

Exploration of several world classics. We will read a variety of books, from ancient Greek epic to 20th-century novel. Participation in message board discussion via KSU-Online will be an important part of the course. English 287 is a General Education course.

ENGL 300            Expository Writing 3

Section A: MWF 1:30; Section B: MWF 2:30--I. Ward

In Expository Writing III, you get to learn about written arguments and how to write them. There are many important public issues currently under debate. These debates will provide us with real-life examples to study and issues about which to write arguments. Three 5-7 page papers, one 2-4 pp. paper, two or three quizzes, written homework, some extra credit.

Textbooks and Supplies: Writing Arguments by John Ramage and John Bean. 6th Ed.; The Brief Penguin Handbook by Lester Faigley; A 3 1/2" Disk or flash drive for saving work in class; Access to a web browser outside of class, for instance Internet Explorer or Netscape (available in Hale Library); A valid and active K-STATE Computing ID; KSU ID card with money stored on the chip to cover printing from EH 228 computers and at the library.

ENGL 310            Introduction to Literary Studies (Majors)

Section A: MWF 11:30; Section B: MWF 12:30--C. Hauck [Permission obtained from English Department, ECS 108]

This is a hands-on course for English majors.  Students will learn strategies for reading and writing about literature in three important genres: prose fiction, drama, and poetry.  Students will also learn strategies for conducting research in literary studies, including ways of responding to and incorporating the ideas of other critics.  This is a fast-paced writing intensive, discussion-based course.  Grades will be based on four or five short essays; numerous short, writing assignments; exercises; and a final.

ENGL 310            Introduction to Literary Studies (Majors)

Section C: TU 9:30-10:45--B. Nelson [Permission obtained from English Department, ECS 108]

An introduction to the tools of literary criticism, this writing intensive course if for English majors and minors only. This section will explore, through literature, the impact of Society's assumptions and expectations on the relationships between men and women. We will read works in a variety of genres--poetry, short story, essay, drama, and the novel--written by both male and female writers and spanning several centuries. In addition to some fascinating reading and discussion, this course will help prepare you for upper-level English courses by honing your critical reading and writing skills.

ENGL 310            Introduction to Literary Studies (Majors)

Section D: TU 1:05-2:20--D. Smit [Permission obtained from English Department, ECS 108]

We will study the basic conventions and techniques of the three major literary genres: fiction, poetry, and drama. You will write four papers: a personal response to a short story, an explication of a poem, a scholarly argument about a literary work of your choice, and an analysis of a scene in a play. Your final grade will be determined by your grades on these papers, a number of group reports, and your participation in acting a scene from a play.

ENGL 315            Cultural Studies

Section A: MWF 1:30--T. Gonzalez

Was “The Matrix” right – are we living in a dreamworld that keeps us distracted from the painful issues of real life by distracting us with consumer objects and entertainment culture?  Some of the theorists we’ll read in this class, like Theodor Adorno, would say yes.  Others we’ll read, like Janice Radway and John Fiske, will suggest that our relationship to popular culture is much more complex, that we aren’t just lulled into a passive state, but that we interact with the cultural products around us to make our own identities, or to alter the culture in which we live.  Throughout the semester we will learn to decode cultural texts – from movies to posters to advertisements to graphic novels to public demonstrations to literature – to explore the ideologies that inform them, the identities they symbolize, and the potential for radical change they may contain. 

Course Requirements:  midterm, final exam, weekly on-line posts, final project. English 315 is a General Education course.

ENGL 315            Cultural Studies

Section B: TU 9:30-10:45--M. Janette

Was “The Matrix” right – are we living in a dreamworld that keeps us distracted from the painful issues of real life by distracting us with consumer objects and entertainment culture?  Some of the theorists we’ll read in this class, like Theodor Adorno, would say yes.  Others we’ll read, like Janice Radway and John Fiske, will suggest that our relationship to popular culture is much more complex, that we aren’t just lulled into a passive state, but that we interact with the cultural products around us to make and makeover our own identities, or to alter the culture in which we live.  Much of Eng 315 is about learning to decode cultural texts – from movies to posters to advertisements to graphic novels to the Manhattan Mall to public demonstrations to literature to baseball caps – to explore the ideologies that inform them, the identities they symbolize, and the potential for radical change they may contain.  In this section, students will write two 5 pg papers, one final exam, and weekly reading journal entries.  Primary texts will include writings by Karl Marx, Theodor Adorno, Janice Radway, Roland Barthes, John Fiske, Edward Said and bell hooks; the films The Matrix, It’s a Wonderful Life, Arabian Nights and Waking Life; music by Madonna, Grandmaster Flash, Sleater Kinney, and the Dixie Chicks; and poetry by Susan Hahn, Simon Ortiz, and Sonia Sanchez. English 315 is a General Education course.

ENGL 320            The Short Story

Section A: MWF 8:30; Section B: MWF 12:30; Section C: MWF 1:30; Section D: TU 8:05-9:20; Section F: TU 1:05-2:20--S. Smith; Section G: TU 2:30-3:45--S, Smith

Study of short stories from world literature with emphasis on American, British, and Continental.

ENGL 320            The Short Story

Section E: TU 11:30-12:45--S. Rodgers

This course is designed as an introduction to reading and responding to fiction, specifically the short story.  We will begin with some early masters of the form like Guy de Maupassant, James Joyce, and Anton Chekhov, in order to gain a historical perspective on the development of the short story.  Most of the semester, however, will be spent on American authors, especially stories written in the last fifty years.  Class format will include lecture, discussion, group work, and some in-class writing.  Requirements include class attendance, quizzes, a short paper, a midterm, and a final.

ENGL 330            The Novel

Section A: MWF 9:30--L. Warren

Novels selected from various periods and cultures.  Concern for form and critical analysis.

ENGL 330            The Novel

Section B: MWF 11:30--D. Potts

This course introduces students to the history of the novel, emphasizing modern and contemporary novels that address  the impact of colonization and immigration on the development of personal and national identity. Texts may include Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance;  Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake; Margaret Atwood, The Robber Bride; Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart; and Alice Munro,  Lives of Girls and Women. Approved for Canadian Studies credit.

ENGL 335            Film

Section A: TU 11:30-12:45, Lab T 7:05-9:55--M. Janette

The movies have arguably become the dominant form of narrative storytelling in our culture. This course offers a historical survey of film as a genre, from its beginnings in silent movies through Classic Hollywood to contemporary cinema. Additionally, it introduces students to the analysis of movies as literary texts.  Among the films we will analyze: Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, Dreyer’s Joan of Arc, Chaplin’s Modern Times, Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Ford’s High Noon, Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Hark’s Once Upon a Time in China, Madden’s Shakespeare in Love.  Students will write two 5 pg papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

ENGL 340            Poetry

Section A: TU 2:30-3:45; Section B: TU 3:55-5:10--A. Reckling

This course introduces students to close readings of poems. Students learn terminology and critical methods for identifying and evaluating the elements that comprise poems. Group discussions, interpretive papers, exams, original creative work, and analysis of original work enable students to utilize a comprehensive arsenal of poetic terms and to discover the architecture, insights, rigors, and pleasures of a wide range of poetry.

ENGL 345            Drama

Section A: MWF 12:30--D. Murray

In Drama, we will read and discuss plays, both classic works (such as Oedipus) and experimental material (such as Suzan-Lori Parks’s In the Blood).  Staging a production is an integral aspect of how a play achieves its meaning and impact; therefore, in addition to discussing and writing about plays, each student is required to participate in a brief staged reading and attend a KSU student production.  Additional course requirements include two essays and two exams.

ENGL 350            Introduction to Shakespeare

Section A: MWF 10:30; Section B: MWF 11:30--D.K. Smith

Someone in the theatre once remarked that the villains get all the best lines. While that’s not altogether true, within the corpus of Shakespeare’s plays some of the most indelible and memorable characters are also some of the most despicable: characters whose depths of evil are matched only by their complexity and vividness. In this course we’ll be looking at the ways in which some of Shakespeare’s more notable villains behave within the context of some of the playwright’s most compelling plots. This doesn’t mean we’ll be focusing entirely on unrelieved evil. We’ll simply be using these villains as a starting point from which to examine the motivations, personalities, plots, and complexly human aspects of this pre-eminent English playwright’s work. In doing so we'll explore the slippery notion of how villains function in the plays, how they drive the action, and how they help illuminate the difficulties of achieving a moral balance in a complicated world. The course will emphasize class discussion. Other requirements may include in-class quizzes, two short papers, and two exams.

ENGL 355            Literature for Children

Section A: MWF 11:30; Section B: MWF 12:30--P. Nel

Permission obtained from English Department, ECS 108, beginning 17 October 2005. Enrollment by permission only: priority is given to junior and senior Elementary Education majors; spaces gladly given to non-Education majors if available. Arranged by genre, this section of Literature for Children is designed to introduce major genres in and conventions of literature for children, and to develop critical skills for reading, thinking and writing about children’s literature and culture. Components of the course include discussion of picture books, fairy tales, myths, poetry, fantasy, realism, and animal stories, among others. For a representative syllabus and book-list see, please see <http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/choose.courses.html>. English 355 is a General Education class.

ENGL 355            Literature for Children

Section C: T 7:05-9:55--Staff

Permission obtained from English Department, ECS 108, beginning 17 October 2005. Enrollment by permission only: priority is given to junior and senior Elementary Education majors; spaces gladly given to non-Education majors if available. Arranged by genre, this section of Literature for Children is designed to introduce major genres in and conventions of literature for children, and to develop critical skills for reading, thinking and writing about children’s literature and culture. Components of the course include discussion of picture books, fairy tales, myths, poetry, fantasy, realism, and animal stories, among others.

ENGL 361            British Survey I

Section A: MWF 10:30--C. Franko

This course is designed to introduce English majors and minors to British Literature before 1800.   We will focus on several major works of this period, including Beowulf, TheCanterbury Tales, and Paradise Lost.  We will read Beowulf in translation but will read Chaucer in Middle English.  Our goals are to become familiar with a canon of British literature before 1800 and to practice literary analysis and interpretation.  You will write two short essays and three exams.

ENGL 362            British Survey 2

Section A: MWF 12:30--L. Warren

British Survey I is not a prerequisite. Course applies to survey requirements for English majors. A survey of British literature from the late 17th century to the beginnings of modernism, this course will explore the changing conceptions of literature as defined by Augustan, Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist writers. Several short papers and two quizzes are required.

ENGL 381            American Survey I

Section A: MWF 9:30; Section B: MWF 10:30--J. Machor

This course will examine American writing (and writing about America) from the accounts of early exploration to the literature and discourse of the Civil War.  Besides attending to individual texts and their interrelations across historical periods, we will seek to examine this body of materials as products of specific places, times, and cultural formations.  Readings will include works from the traditional canon as well as writings by women and minorities.  Requirements will include three semester exams and a final, a journal comprised of daily entries on the readings, and participation in class discussion.  Will apply to survey requirement for English Majors.

ENGL 382            American Survey II: Imagining Communities

Section A: MWF 9:30; Section B: MWF 10:30--T. Gonzalez

Benedict Anderson has argued that nations are “imagined communities.” This course examines how American writers “imagine” the national landscape of the U.S.A.   What do these writers tell us about community within the national space?  How do race, gender, sexuality, language and other forms of diversity factor into the way writers are imagining the U.S.A.?  Are there tensions between the writings?  Does the historical moment affect the ways we see national identity? 

Course requirements: two 5-7 page essays, a midterm, a final exam, on-line posts, and a short presentation.

ENGL 400            Expository Writing for Prospective Teachers

Section A: TU 9:30-10:45--D. Smit

Since this is a writing course, we’ll write: about five papers, each in a different genre, for different purposes and for different audiences.  In the process, we will talk about what makes writing good in each of these different genres.  We will also do a large number of exercises in style and rhetoric in order to explore the range of ways we can express ourselves in writing.  Finally, we will think about how to teach students what we have learned.  The grade for the course will be determined primarily by a portfolio of your writing, which you will assemble at the end of the course.

ENGL 415            Written Communication for Engineers

Section A: MWF 9:30; Section B: MWF 10:30; Section C: MWF 11:30--L. Chakrabarti

Section E: MWF 12:30; Section F: MWF 1:30; Section G: MWF 2:30--R. Friedmann

Section H: TU 8:05-9:20--S. Smith

Section I: TU 9:30-10:45, Section J: TU 11:30-12:45--M. Reekie

Section D: MWF 12:30; Section K: TU 1:05-2:20--Staff

Restricted to juniors and seniors in the College of Engineering. Permission is required for enrollment. This preprofessional writing course provides intensive study of an practice in the techniques and forms characteristic of professional practice. See instructors for further course and section details.

ENGL 435            Linguistics for Teachers

Section A: MWF 9:30--Staff

This course will acquaint prospective teachers of secondary English with the history, structure, and use of the English language.  We will discuss the nature of language, as well as how it is acquired, both as a first and a second language; how and why language changes, and how the English language in particular has changed (and continues to change today); why different varieties of (mostly American) English have developed, and why they continue to be used; how linguists have attempted to account for the phonological and grammatical and semantic regularities of English; how language and culture are related; and how linguistics can be used as a pedagogical and diagnostic tool in the classroom.  This is not a methods course, but it will give you a considerable amount of information regarding how the scientific study of language can be brought to bear in the English classroom.  Books:  Linda Miller Cleary and Michael D. Linn, eds., Linguistics for Teachers; Virginia P. Clark, Paul A. Escholz, and Alfred F. Rosa, eds., Language:  Introductory Readings; and a bound collection of handouts.  Three tests, no papers.

ENGL 440            Harry Potter's Library

Section A: MWF 2:30--P. Nel

This class examines the Harry Potter phenomenon by reading the novels themselves and the works of Rowling's antecedents, influences and contemporaries. We will approach these works from a variety of critical perspectives, and we will consult selected secondary sources.  Prerequisites: You must have taken English 125 or English 200.  Before the first class session, you must have finished reading the first two Harry Potter books: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, if you have the UK edition) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  If you have questions about the course, please see <http://www.ksu.edu/english/nelp/rowling/faq.html>. English 440 is a General Education course.

ENGL 461            Introduction to Fiction Writing

Section A: TU 1:05-2:20; Section B: TU 2:30-3:45--I. Rahman

This course involves the study of narrative structure and craft as well as practical experience in writing short stories. We will discuss the nature of fiction and narrative, using the work of professional writers as examples. We will write—a lot—both in class and outside of class, using various brainstorming techniques, exercises, collaborations, and writing triggers to help you generate material and develop your writing voice. You will write several short pieces as well as one completed short story that will be workshopped in class. Other course requirements include written and oral critiques of your classmate’ stories, written responses to weekly readings, and active class participation. Authors will also meet with the instructor for individual manuscript conferences.

ENGL 463            Introduction to Poetry Writing

Section A: MWF 11:30--J. Holden

The class consists of 8 assignments, each of which gives the student a "model" poem and asks the student to imitate that model.  The models are carefully chosen.  Each is significantly different from the previous one. These models cover all the the major conventions which comprise the contemporary tradition.  "Models" consist of poems by Brendan Galvin, Tim Seibles, Louis Simpson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Robert Mezey, William Stafford, Bin Ramke, E.A. Robinson, Edgar Lee Masters, Li Po (trans. by Ezra Pound), Randall Jarrell, Ted Kooser, Robert Frost, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alexander Pope, W.C. Williams, E.E. Cummings, Robert Creeley, Wallace Stevens, Stephen Dunn.

The class is hard, exerts pressure:  one fresh poem every two weeks.  The poems can be revised or rewritten as necessary, and the grade of the rewrite replace the grade of the original.  The intent is to minimize raw talent as a factor in grades, because each assignment is graded according to objective "criteria."

ENGL 463            Introduction to Poetry Writing

Section B: TU 9:30-10:45--E. Dodd

Open to English Majors and Minors, as well as interested students from other disciplines. The course is just as the title suggests, an introduction to poetry writing. That is, we'll focus on imagery, metaphor, meter, tone, concrete detail, and other elements vital to good poetry, and the poetry assignments will provide an opportunity for writers to use these fundamentals again and again. Assignments may include an object poem, poem in response to art, a sonnet or villanelle, a prose poem, a persona poem, etc. Additionally, there will be much discussion of contemporary poetry, occasional quizzes over the readings, and specific assignments to give students practice with the fundamentals. While no particular experience in writing poems is necessary, students should genuinely enjoy reading and writing.

ENGL 485            Literacy Studies

Section A: TU 1:05-2:20--P. Marzluf

ENGL 485 will examine how reading and writing represent much more than the acts of individuals exchanging information; they are political acts, used oftentimes to describe the health of the United States, its culture, and its economic and political systems. During periods of social instability, literacy crises will certainly soon follow. Students will connect the personal impact of literacy with the broader social and political implications of acquiring and practicing literacy, which become especially complicated with the rise of computer-based communication technologies and an economic system dependent upon the flow of information. Additionally, students will study the impact of No Child Left Behind, standardized testing, and the common attitudes and definitions of literacy.

Texts:  Lisa Delpit, Other People's Children; Mike Rose, Lives on the Boundary; Michael Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm, Reading Don't Fix No Chevys; Deborah Brandt, Literacy in American Lives; and James Paul Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy.

Assignments:  Quizzes and short reading responses; two tests; one paper; and, one collaborative project and presentation.

ENGL 490            Development of the English Language

Section A: MWF 11:30--J. Brogno

This course is an introduction to the many ways that the English language has changed and developed through its 1,500-year history. After acquiring the tools necessary to study linguistic change, we'll talk first about where English comes from and how it's related to other of the world's languages, then consider in some detail the development of the sounds, words, and grammar of English as they have been influenced by the forces both inside and outside the language. We'll also trace the history of certain groups of works as well as discuss briefly the differences between American and British English, the role prescriptivism has played in the development of the language, and writing systems. Students will use one textbook and one workbook, take exams, do homework exercises, and complete a project on the changing English language.

ENGL 516            Written Communication for the Sciences

Section A: MWF 8:30; Section B: MWF 9:30; Section C: MWF 10:30; Section C1: MWF 12:30--N. Ransom

Section D: TU 11:30-12:45--S. Smith [Sections C1 and D for Hotel/Restaurant majors only; see Pat Pesci in Justin 103 to enroll]

A preprofessional writing course intended to acquaint students from a number of disciplines with the types of writing they will be doing in their professional lives. Assignments focus on audience, purpose, and content and cover a range of formats (memos, letters of various sorts, short and long reports based on research in the students' fields, as well as assignments centered around such reports). Assignments also include an oral presentation based on research.

ENGL 525            Women in Literature

Section A: TU 11:30-12:45--K. Westman

How many women writers are published in the Norton Anthology of Literature: Major Authors, 3rd ed (1975)?  Zero.  How many women writers are published in the Norton Anthology of Literature: Major Authors, 7th ed (2000)?  Twenty-three.  Where did all these women come from?  How did earlier editors overlook five centuries of work?  And who should be in the 8th edition?  We'll discuss answers to these questions and more as we read works by authors such as Anne Bronte, L.M. Montgomery, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Jeanette Winterson, Margaret Atwood, Helen Fielding, J.K. Rowling, and Gloria Naylor.  We'll explore women writers' choice of themes and genres, their readers, the changing social role of the woman author, and the ways that racial, class, and national affiliations affect the production and reception of women writers' work.  Requirements: Active class participation, quizzes, two papers, and a final exam. Prerequisites: ENGL 125 or ENGL 200.  This course satisfies requirements for the English and Women's Studies programs and for General Education.

ENGL 545            Literature for Adolescents

Section A: T 7:05-9:55--A. Phillips

English 545 is designed to introduce students to literature that features adolescents as protagonists and depicts conditions and situations familiar to adolescents. Students will study key authors and texts in the field of adolescent literature, acquiring knowledge of both middle school- and high school-appropriate literature and developing expertise in wielding literary theory in a concrete, useful fashion. We'll study some classic works, such as Alcott's Little Women, Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Cormier's The Chocolate War; we'll screen films such as Rebel Without a Cause and Dirty Dancing. We'll also survey quality works of literature by such authors as Katherine Paterson, Chris Crutcher, Robert Lipsyte, S. Morgenstern, and Walter Dean Myers that draw thought-provoking connections between adolescence and culture. Requirements: participation, two papers, two midterm exams, and a final. This class is required for secondary education majors, but others are certainly welcome to enroll. English 545 is a General Education course.

ENGL 580            Indian Literature

Section A: T 3:55-6:45--D. Hall

This course samples novels written in English in the twentieth century by Indians and Pakistanis.  Though many subjects will be discussed, the following foci will be included in the discussion of the appropriate novels:  Indian and Pakistani cultural values (family, home, treatment of children and so on), sexual politics, east-west relations, mysticism, colonialism, post-colonial history, language, Hinduism, sikhism, ghandism, and vedic philosophy.  The class will be a combination of lecture and discussion with the instructor providing introductory overviews for each writer and novel followed by close reading and discussion by class members.  Requirements:  Class attendance and participation (including the assigned leading of the class for part of one or more meetings), one short paper, one in-class midterm, one in-class final, and one long paper on a novel not discussed in class.  Participation through listserv will be expected every week in response to questions and other prompts provided by the instructor and other students.  Readings may include:  R. K. Narayan (The Guide), Kamala Markandaya (Nectar in a Sieve), Raja Rao (Kantapura), G. V. Desani (All About Mr. Hatterr), Anita Desai (Clear Light of Day), Bharata Mukherjee (The Tiger’s Daughter), Ruth Jhabvala (Heat and Dust), some selections from Rabindanath Tagore, and Khushwant Singh (Train to Pakistan).  Be prepared to read at a pace of about one novel for every 3-4 class meetings.  Reading quizzes will be given as we start each novel.   English 580 is a General Education course.

ENGL 620            17th Century British Literature

Section A: MWF 12:30--M. Donnelly

This course presents a comprehensive survey of the literature, dramatic and non-dramatic, prose and poetry, of one of the most fruitful and varied periods of literary production in whole span of English literary history.  Major figures include Donne and Jonson, Webster and Middleton, Sir Thomas Browne, Sir Francis Bacon, Robert Burton, Andrew Marvell, Dryden and Congreve.  The literature of the period will be set in the context of social, cultural, and political developments in this particularly tumultuous time of social change, the century in which England seems to conclusively pass from the remaining forms, practices, and intellectual habits of the Middle Ages to the incipient culture and attitudes of the Early Modern Period, from Renaissance and Reformation to Enlightenment and Rationalism.  Critical issues such as the problems of periodization, schools and influences, canonical and non-canonical texts, and historicism and New Historicism will be touched upon, as will the literature of “High Culture” and the Courts vs. an emerging popular literature (Bunyan, Civil War pamphlets) giving a voice and articulate sense of identity to social elements hitherto silent, marginalized, or spoken for in quite different works from the same periods is an unusual feature of the course, as well.  An excellent opportunity to read works by some of the best and most influential writers in English (favorites of the Romantics and major writers of the American Renaissance, and central texts for Modernism through T. S. Eliot and F. R. Leavis’s patronage), and to explore some central theoretical questions for literary history and criticism.

ENGL 635            London in Contemporary British Literature

Section A: U 7:05-9:55--K. Westman

The city of London has been a center for art and commerce for centuries.  It has also been a city of immigrants, especially with the arrival in 1948 of the Empire Windrush. Traveling from the far reaches of a fading Empire, this ship's passengers hoped for a better life in the mother country but arrived in a city whose doors were often closed to people of color, a city ravaged by the bombs of World War II.  What kind of London emerged from the rubble of war?  What kinds of lives did these new immigrants build?  How did existing Londoners respond?  What is the legacy of this immigration in contemporary British culture?  We will explore answers to these questions as we study the culture of post-WWII Britain through its literature published since 1950.  Our texts will range from award-winning and best-selling novels (Andrea Levy's Small Island, Zadie Smith's White Teeth, Monica Ali's Brick Lane) to historical surveys (Peter Ackroyd's London: A Biography) to popular international films (Bend it Like Beckham) and British television shows (EastEnders, The Avengers, The Prisoner).  Requirements for all students: active participation in class discussions, response papers, a short paper (5 pages in length), and a final exam. Undergraduates will complete one additional writing assignment: a longer paper (7-8 pages in length). Graduate students will complete three additional writing assignments: a longer paper with secondary resources (12 pages in length), an essay review of four articles or a book-length study (4-5 pages in length), and a one-page abstract for the longer paper.

ENGL 660            Readings in Melville and Hawthorne

Section A: MWF 1:30--J. Machor

As its title indicates this course will focus on the work of two major nineteenth-century American writers: Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The course will concentrate on the shorts stories and novels by each, though we will also cast a glance at Melville's poetry. Discussions and lectures will be concerned with the very different trajectories of each writer's career and corpus, with the effects of their friendship upon their respective writing, and with the relations between their fictions and the social, cultural, and political contexts that helped shape them and to which they spoke.  Besides the short fiction, we will probably read 3 of Hawthorne's 5 completed novels, including The Scarlet Letter and 5 of Melville's 9 novels, including Moby-Dick.  Undergraduates will take a mid-term and a final and write two papers (one 3-5 pages, one 8-10 pages). Graduate students will take the final, do two papers (one 8-10 pages, one 15-25 pages), and have one additional requirement which will be decided individually and as a group.

ENGL 660               Shakespeare and Anti-Theatricality

Section B: MWF 2:30--D.K. Smith

In 1576 the first public theatre opened in London, and within a year the first of the anti-theatrical pamphlets appeared condemning it. Even as the new theatres produced an unprecedented flowering of some of the most vivid, compelling, and dramatic literature in the English language, anti-theatrical tracts sought to suppress the theater as a source of social disruption and immorality, attacking plays as breeding grounds for vice and temptation in which people were not what they seemed and the fixed cultural rules of class and gender were subverted and transgressed. In this course we'll examine a range of Shakespeare's plays in light of these issues. We'll look at a number of anti-theatrical texts, and trace the ways in which plays were seen to encourage lying, deceit, and lewd behavior. And then we'll use the issues of theatricality as a springboard to look at ways in which these plays addressed issues of gender, class, and politics, among others.

ENGL 661            Advanced Creative Writing/Fiction

Section A: T 7:05-9:55--S. Rodgers

Advanced writing of short fiction.  Prerequisite:  A grade of B or above in English 461, or the equivalent, and instructor permission.  This course will combine workshop discussion of student stories with the study of form and technique.  We will read and discuss contemporary short fiction as well as essays on craft and the creative process.  Requirements include 2-3 short stories, writing exercises, written critiques of workshopped stories, and class participation.

ENGL 663            Advanced Creative Writing/Poetry

Section A: MWF 9:30--J. Holden

The text will be The Best American Poetry: 2003, edited by Yusef Komunyakaa (Scribner 2003). The class will be run like a poetry workshop.  The students will write a minimum of five poems in the semester.  In addition, students will study selected poems in the text and write "annotations" on these poems.  This is the way things are done in the best poetry-writing classes in the country.  The reading component of the class is at least as serious as the writing component; because, in the end, the art of writing is an art of reading.

ENGL 670            Women in the 18th Century

Section A: T 3:55-6:45--B. Nelson

Exciting exploration of the social, political, domestic, and literary roles of women in Restoration and 18th-Century England as depicted by both male and female writers in periodicals, novels, drama, and political writings.  The course's main objective is to introduce students to lesser-known but important women writers whose contributions to the development of the novel and the drama of the period were considerable. We will read novels by Fanny Burney, Elizabeth Inchbald, Sarah Scott and Mary Hays--the predecessors of Jane Austen and the Brontes.  We will look at women dramatists, starting with Aphra Behn and ending with Elizabeth Inchbald, who was also the first female drama critic.  We will read political writers of the period as well--Mary Astell, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Hays.  We will also consider the backlash against emerging feminism--not so different from the backlash we see today--in the work of some conservative women writers like Jane West and Elizabeth Hamilton, who wrote what I designate as the "anti-Wollstonecraft novel."  Two-part midterm; Final; and a Critical Essay project on an area of special interest to student.  This course also counts towards the Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies.

ENGL 670            History of the British Novel

Section B: MWF 10:30--L. Warren

In this course, we will attempt to trace the development of the novel in Britain from the early eighteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century.  We will read eight or nine novels selected to exemplify continuities and changes in the genre over this period.  Drawing upon close readings of these works in their historical contexts, we will consider such issues as how the genre has been variously defined, what purposes it has served, and whether a history of the novel is really possible.  Students will read and report on background material and on a selected novel not covered in class.

ENGL 690            Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mildred Taylor, and the Shaping of American History

Section A: TU 11:30-12:45--A. Phillips

This course will focus on the shaping of American history through children's literature: the later 19th century, captured by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her "Little House" series; and the 20th century, depicted by Mildred Taylor in her Logan family series. We will read a significant number of the authors' primary works in addition to other relevant children's novels such as Louise Erdrich's The Birchbark House and Carol Ryrie Brink's Caddie Woodlawn. We'll learn more about Wilder's biography and the issues of authorship concerning her series, and we'll learn why Taylor was moved to research and write about her own family history. We'll examine critical reactions to these works; we'll also examine the first edition illustrations for the Little House series. In addition, we'll consider how these texts fit into contemporary discussions about American history, culture, and identity. Major assignments: two papers, three exams (including a non-comprehensive final), readings quizzes, and possibly listserve or other discussion requirements.

ENGL 695        Reading the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Section A:  MWF 11:30 – L. Behlman

The Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) is a main source text not only for three major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – but also for world literature.  It is a collection of very different writings composed and edited over a period of nearly a thousand years, but in some ways it seeks to be read as a unified whole.  This class will introduce a variety of approaches to reading the Hebrew Bible (in translation) in order to account for its extraordinary richness and variety.   Primarily we will read it as a work of literature, examining the formal qualities of biblical prose and poetry and comparing the effects of theme and style across the course of the book. 

Reading assignments will divide evenly between selections from critical sources and readings in the Hebrew Bible itself.  The critical sources will include literary essays on formal aspects of the text, historical essays on early Israelite culture and religion, linguistic criticism that seeks to identify the multiple authors of the Hebrew Bible, and feminist criticism on the representation of women in the text.  Although our focus will for the most part be fixed firmly on the Hebrew Bible in its own historical context, we will spend some time near the end of the term reading and discussing later Jewish, Christian, and Muslim ways of reading the Hebrew Bible.  There is no expectation that students taking this course will have had prior experience with the Hebrew Bible.  Requirements include dedicated participation in class discussion, two papers, five short responses to the reading, a mid-term, and a final exam.  Graduate students will also write a review of  a critical book.  Required Books: Tanakh: The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford University Press, 2003);  Robert Alter, Genesis: Translation and Commentary (1996); Richard E. Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (2nd Edition, 1997); Jon Levenson, Sinai and Zion (1987); and a coursepack.  The books will be available only at the Dusty Bookshelf in Aggieville.

ENGL 710          Gender in Native Literature

Section A: U 3:55-6:45--L. Tatonetti

This class will focus on the varying construction of gender and sexuality in contemporary American Indian literatures.  To understand current depictions in literature, we must first examine the ways sexualities and genders have historically been understood within Native communities.  We will begin by reading Laguna Pueblo Yellow Woman stories, which will help us consider the position and roles of women and sexuality in a matrilineal society.  We will then turn to Jacob, Thomas, and Lang’s investigations into the contexts and histories of Native Two-Spirit identity.  This background will help ground our subsequent reading of short stories, novels, and poetry written by and about contemporary Two-Spirit or GLBTQ Native people.  As we read, we will ask a number of questions: What is sex?  What is gender? How do we define sexuality?  And, more specifically, how were/are multiple gender and sexuality categories understood in Native communities? How do contemporary Native people construct sexuality in literature? These questions and more will bring us to a greater understanding of gender, of sexuality, of literature, of American Indian cultures, and of ourselves, since, whether Native or non-Native, we are all participants in the creation/consumption of gender roles, of sexual identities, and of American Indian images in current U.S. culture. Texts may include: Sherman Alexie, The Toughest Indian in the World. Beth Brant, Writing as Witness, Chrystos, Fugitive Colors. Will Roscoe, ed. Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology, Craig Womack, Drowning in Fire.  Assignments will include a series of short papers, an annotated bibliography, a presentation, and  a final research project.

ENGL 755          Studies in Rhetoric and Composition: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

Section A: M 7:05-9:55--I. Ward

Rhetoric in the most general sense may perhaps be identified with the energy inherent in communication: the emotional energy that impels the speaker to speak, the physical energy expended in the utterance, the energy level coded in the message, and the energy experienced by the recipient in decoding the message.  –George Kennedy “A Hoot in the Dark” (1992)

Nearly the entire history of writing is confounded with the history of reason, of which it is at once the effect, the support, and one of the privileged alibis. It has been one with the phallocentric tradition. It is indeed that same self-admiring, self-stimulating, self-congratulatory phallocentrism. –Helen Cixous “The Laugh of the Medusa” (1975)

We will survey contemporary rhetorical theory, after a brief introduction to important concepts in classical rhetorical history. The term “rhetoric” has been highly contested, but nevertheless tends to flourish at times when democracy is on the rise. The 20th Century has seen a significant rebirth of “rhetoric” but under a number of disguises.  Contemporary scholars are particularly interested in the study of public discourse and mass media, the nature of social change, gender and communication, and the nature of their own scholarly tradition. We will also take time to explore the intersection between cultural and rhetorical studies. In the past students have found this course helpful in gaining insight into both critical theory and literary theory. This course assumes no previous knowledge of rhetorical theory.


  • Regular reading of primary theoretical statements.
  • Several short (1-2 page) writing assignments designed to help you learn rhetorical analysis
  • Weekly “think pieces” related to the reading assignments.
  • A individual or group presentation.
  • An extended research paper on major figure, significant concept, or an extended rhetorical analysis of a contemporary rhetorical artifact.

     Texts: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: A Reader by Lucaites, Condit, and Caudill, and a photocopied packet of material.

ENGL 761          Creative Writing Workshop: Short Story

Section A: T 7:05-9:55--I. Rahman

A writing workshop limited to 15 students, most of whom will be graduate students. Students will write original short stories that will in turn be read and constructively critiqued by their instructor and peers. In addition to workshop, we will read and discuss contemporary short stories paying close attention to various elements of craft---structure, voice, point of view, narrative drive, sentence construction, etc. Course requirements include two short stories; weekly creative reading-responses; written critiques of classmates’ work; regular participation in workshop discussion; and an in-class presentation of a collection of short fiction by a single author published in the last ten to fifteen years. Each graduate student will also examine and report on a literary magazine or journal, selected in consultation with the instructor.

ENGL 762          Advanced Playwriting

Section A: MWF 11:30--C. Macfarland

ENGL 795          Literary Criticism

Section A: TU 9:30-10:45--G. Eiselein

Literary Criticism is a survey of Western literary theory and criticism with an emphasis on the most prominent theorists, texts, schools, and ideas. It is a course in the history of ideas—specifically, ideas related to the theory and criticism of literary texts. The course begins with a survey of major figures in the development of a critical theory of literature. The emphasis will be on the careful reading of primary theoretical texts, with attention as well to the historical and social contexts. This survey will include Plato, Aristotle, Longinus, Augustine, Maimonides, Sidney, Corneille, Vico, Kant, Coleridge, Emerson, Pater, Arnold, Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche. This survey should provide a basic frame of reference from which to understand and assess the contemporary theoretical and critical scene. The second half of the course covers developments in the twentieth century, including feminism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, formalism, structuralism and deconstruction, phenomenology and reader-response theory, queer theory, postcolonialism, and postmodernism.

Requirements: a midterm and final examination, four short papers (3-5 pages), some short and informal writing assignments, active participation and class attendance.

Text: The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, ed. Vincent B. Leitch.

ENGL 805          Practicum: Teaching University Expository Writing

Section A: M 3:30-5:50--P. Marzluf and J. McClendon

Section B: M 3:30-5:50--D. Murray

Section C: M 3:30-5:50--R. Mosher

Section D: M 3:30-5:50--J. Brogno

Required of GTAs teaching Expository Writing in the English Department. Instruction in the theory and practice of teaching in a university expository writing program. Repeatable. Prerequisite: Graduate status and a GTAship in the English Department. Credit/no credit.

ENGL 825          Seminar: The Environment in American Literature

Section A: TU 1:05-2:20--E. Dodd

We will spend the semester reading, talking, and writing about the environment in American 20th Literature, and exploring work from an ecocritical perspective.  Assigned reading will include one secondary text, Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm’s The Ecocriticism Reader, along with a number of primary texts in various genres.  Required work: a classroom presentation, a conference paper proposal, and a final seminar paper.  The paper will be turned in for comments, then revised and re-submitted for a grade.  We will likely read all or most of the following: Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, Charles Wright, A Short History of the Shadow, Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer, Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, Reg Saner, The Dawn Collector: On My Way to the Natural World, Pattiann Rogers, Splitting and Binding, Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead, Chase Twichell, Ghost of Eden, among others.

ENGL 825          Seminar: Irish Literature

Section B: W 7:05-9:55--D. Potts

This course will introduce students to Irish literature from a cultural perspective. We will consider the impact of colonization on Irish culture, examining various representations of Ireland and the Irish that emerged as a result of/in response to colonization, the double colonization of women in colonial culture, as well as the way in which twentieth-century Irish authors and intellectuals created a complex modern Irish identity to replace the colonial stereotypes that had been forged through several centuries of British rule in Ireland. Texts may include plays by W.B. Yeats and Beckett, The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories,  The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry, Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin, Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour, Patrick McCabe’s The Butcher Boy, Owen McCafferty’s Mojo Mickybo, and Patricia Burke Brogan’s Eclipsed (as well as the documentary and film inspired by it, Sex in a Cold Climate and The Magdalene Sisters).

ENGL 862          Workshop in Playwriting

Section A: MW 1:00-2:15--S. Bailey

ENGL 890          History of the English Language

Section A: TU 2:30-3:45--D. Potts

This course covers the development of English from its Indo-European origins to the present. After an introduction to the origin and function of language, we will learn the I.P.A. (international phonetic alphabet), Indo-European and non-Indo-European language groups, and the history of our alphabet. We will then spend time on Old English, emphasizing elements of its lexical and inflectional systems that remain in Modern English. In “The Middle English Period,” we will consider how the Norman Conquest influenced lexicon and syntax of English. “The Modern English Period to 1800" will cover Early Modern English grammar, pronunciation and spelling, emphasizing the effect of the Great Vowel Shift and Modern Prescriptivism.  The second half of the semester will be devoted to the present-day English lexicon and varieties of English.  Required text: Cecilia Millward, A Biography of the English Language.