Fall 2009

The following are the course numbers of the classes offered through the English Department (listed within The University Catalog under ENGL). Each number will send you to a brief description of the course, when available.
130 203
220 230 240 251
252 253 254 258 260 264
276 321 327 332 333 335
340 341 342 353 354 355
357 358 359 360 371 372
374 375 415 416 421 431
441 445 449 450 451 452
454 455 458 459 461 462
467 470 471 475 476 477

English 130: Academic Writing

English 203: Shakespeare On Film

Robert O'Brien

From the silent-movie era to the present, filmmakers have interpreted Shakespearean drama. Some of these interpretations have been lost, others are of dubious quality, but a large number are masterpieces of cinematic art.

In this course, you'll study some of the best Shakespeare films made since the Second World War. By the end of the semester, you will have gained a deeper understanding of both film and Shakespearean drama.

Classes will be a mixture of lectures, discussions, and film showings. Outside of class, you'll read synopses, scenes, and passages from the plays. You'll also write essays responding to the readings and films and take a mid-term and final examination.


  • The two-volume, second edition of The Norton Shakespeare.

English 220: Creative Writing

English 230: Intro to Technical Writing

Susan Aylworth

As described in the University Catalog, this course offers you, “A study of technical writing and presentation skills in business and scientific environments, including audience analyses, writing processes, genres of technical and business discourse, visual communication, collaboration, professional responsibility, clear and correct expression” (368). Thus English 230 introduces you to the wide range of practices that make up the field called technical writing. My goals for this course are:

  1. To help you develop rhetorical awareness of the documents used in your field;
  2. To give you a general overview of principles of document design;
  3. To give you opportunities to develop the reading, writing and research practices required to produce those documents.

Most reading, research and document development will be done outside of class with communication through Vista. Class time will be a mix of large group discussions, small group and individual work on writing, research and revision, formal and informal in-class presentations and, rarely, lecture.


  • Kenneth W. Houp, Thomas E. Pearsall, Elizabeth Tebeaux, and Sam Dragga, Reporting Technical Information, Eleventh Edition, ISBN-13: 978-0-19-517879-1 , pub date: 2005

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English 240: Introduction to Literature

English 251: African American Literature

English 252: American Indian Literature

Professor: Lynn Elliott


  • Ed. Paula Gunn Allen, Spider Woman’s Granddaughters
  • Welch, Fools Crow
  • Erdrich, Tracks
  • Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
  • Silko, Ceremony

In the long process of colonization, what has survived in spite of the disruption of native language is a particular way of perceiving the world...there is hope that in 'reinventing' the English language we will turn the process of colonization around, and that our literature will be viewed and read as a process of decolonization. (Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird, Reinventing the Enemy’s Language)

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English 253: Asian American Literature

Professor: Aiping Zhang

This is a survey of Asian American literature. It will introduce you to the various traditions and issues of Asian American experience in literature. We will explore early and contemporary novels, short stories, and plays by writers of different gender, ethnicity, and culture. While giving major Asian groups—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and Indian—particular attention, this course seeks to present the larger Asian American literary and intellectual landscape. Also, we will try to define a basic set of literary terms such as motif, character, plot, voice, time, setting and objects and develop our analytical skills through the reading of the chosen texts and the comparisons to mainstream writers. Students will be encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences in group activities and classroom discussions.


  • Jessica Hagedorn, Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian 
  • American Fiction
  • David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly
  • Chang Rae-Lee, Native Speaker
  • Bharati Mukherjee, Desirable Daughters
  • John Okada, No-No Boy
  • Bienvenido Santos, Scent of Apples
  • Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club

English 253/AAST 253 is an area C2 general education class. It is also an ethnic class.

English 254: Chicano/Latina/o Literature

English 258: World Literature

English 260: Great Books

Section(s): 1
Professor: Geoff Baker

The goal of this course is to introduce you to novels, poetry, and drama selected from the world’s great literature, a body of work that stretches back thousands of years. On your own, you will be expected to read each text carefully. As a class, we will attempt to place each work in its larger context and see what it seems to want to say to its reader and what tools it uses to say it. Ultimately, a literature class is always about learning to read and write critically. While it’s always fun to read great books, this course is also an opportunity to hone skills vital to whichever field we choose professionally.

In addition to very brief excerpted portions of the Analects of Confucius, Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, Dante’s La Vita Nuova, Plato’s Republic, and Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, there are the following required text(s):

  • Plato, Symposium (Nehamas & Woodruff translation, Hackett), ISBN: 0872200760
  • Dante, Inferno (Hollander translation, Anchor), ISBN: 0385496982
  • Goethe, Faust (Constantine translation, Penguin), ISBN: 0140449019
  • Shelley, Frankenstein (Oxford), ISBN: 019953716X
  • Zamyatin, We (Clarence Brown translation, Penguin), ISBN: 0140185852
  • Camus, The Plague (Gilbert translation, Vintage), ISBN: 0679720219

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English 264: American Ethnic/Regional Writers

English 276: Survey of British Literature

Professor: John Traver

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”  -Sir Francis Bacon

This course provides you with a full-course meal of British literature. We will survey the development of British literature, beginning with the Medieval period (with works such as Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales), continuing through the Renaissance and early Seventeenth Century (with authors such as Shakespeare and Donne), and concluding our repast with the Restoration and Eighteenth Century (with works such as Pope’s The Rape of the Lock and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels). In order to survey such a wide-spanning period of history, our pace will have to be fast (i.e., a lot of texts will be “tasted” or hastily “swallowed”). As a result, you will not only discover how British literary traditions develop over time, but also be introduced to a variety of delectable texts for future periods of digestion.

Assignments will include the following: a mid-term examination and a final; journals and vista postings; a group presentation; poetry memorization; quizzes.

  • Volumes 1-3 of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature.
  • Samuel Johnson’s The History of Rasselas, ed. Jessica Richard (Broadview).
    (Note that all 4 Broadview texts are available at a discount when purchased together.

English 277: Survey of British Literature

Professor: Teresa Huffman Traver

This course provides an overview of two centuries of literature, from the Romantic era to the dawn of the twenty-first century. We will also explore the historical and cultural contexts that shaped the literature of these time periods. Readings will include poetry, non-fiction prose, drama, and both short and long fiction. Note: In this class, rather than writing two or three “major” papers, you will produce a series of two-page argumentative papers in response to specific prompts. This does not mean that the writing load for this class is easy or light: short papers may still take a good deal of time. 


  • The Broadview Anthology of British Literature volumes 4, 5, and 6
  • The Broadview Edition of Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
  • E.M. Forster, Passage to India.

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English 278: Survey of American Literature I

Professor: Lynn Houston

If you've ever wondered what it really means to be American or what our country is all about, you should take this course. In it, we examine many of the founding documents that give this country its unique character and we learn what different authors over the course of 300 years have found special about it! We begin by looking at some of the journals kept by Europeans who travel in the Americas during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and their initial impressions of the land and the indigenous peoples they encountered, as well as the biases in world view they brought with them to the "new" land. We move into the documents of the early American colonies, examining the problems that led to starvation and strife amongst the colonists. Then, we read works related to American revolution and independence and how our constitution came into being through the debates between the Anti-Federalists and the Federalists. We then examine the critiques made in slave narratives against white, Christian culture and the plantation economy of the South. Students always love the American manifestations of Romanticism that come next! First, we deal with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The Transcendentalists were the hippies of the nineteenth century! Next, we discuss works in the movement called the American Renaissance—Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allen Poe. Some of these stories (the ones that fall into the American Gothic category) are pretty scary! Mainly, however, these authors try to find what is unique about America and convey it in their stories. We end with an examination of the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. If you like latent sexual imagery (or in Whitman's case, not so latent), you will enjoy the works of these fine poets whose work still influences many contemporary poets!

All readings are available for free online (no book purchase required). The major assignments for the course will be online discussion postings (which replace our Friday meeting time), a midterm, and a final exam. The final will include identifying passages from the works we've read as well as short essay questions.

English 303: Survey of American Film

Professor: Lynn Houston

This course provides a historical survey, beginning in the Hollywood Studio era of the '40s and ending in our contemporary time, of the representation of women in American movies. The course meets for brief discussion on T/TH and then meets to watch a weekly movie on Thursday nights. Readings from feminist theory and film theory/criticism will accompany and enhance our discussions. This course fulfills the same requirement in the general education upper division THEME O: Women's Issues as ENGL 365: Women Writers.

One unit on women in Hitchcock films. Another major unit on the portrayal of women heroines in action/sci-fi movies. Possible films in this latter category include Catwoman, Tomb Raider, Elektra, Terminator, Alien, and Kill Bill

English 321: Fiction Writing

Section(s): 1
Professor: Paul Eggers

Aims: This course is designed to enhance you ability to draft, workshop, and revise full-length fiction stories, as well as to discuss and analyze published stories and drafts composed by members of the class. You’ll write draft, workshop, and revise two substantial stories, typically around 10-20 pages, though the length is flexible. We’ll talk over theoretical and craft matters, especially in terms of story structures, assumptions, and approaches common to most published stories; and we’ll devote time to useful idea generation and drafting. You’ll be writing serious, contemporary stories that have the same type of aims underlying most of the literature you read in contemporary literature courses. Revisions are expected, as are written comments to your classmates’ work and thoughtful responses during workshopping.


  • Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 6th edition
  • Rust Hills, Writing in General and The Short Story in Particular

Evaluation: Holistic, heavily based on portfolio work. No tests or exams.

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English 327: Creative Nonfiction

English 332: Intro to Literacy Studies

English 333: Advanced Composition for Future Teachers

Section(s): 72
Professor: Susan Aylworth

As described in the University Catalog, this course offers you, “Advanced practice in writing and in using writing in the classroom for single- and multiple-subject credential candidates.” Thus English 333 is a skills course, allowing you to practice using the tools you have learned for close reading and rhetorical analysis of both written and visual texts and offering further help in developing these skills. We also prepare you to use these writing skills with students in a future teaching career. My goals for this course are:

  1. To help you to polish and further develop your skills for reading and analysis of college-level texts, both written and visual;
  2. To give you practice and opportunities to develop your own skills in writing advanced academic prose;
  3. To help you better understand why some documents communicate successfully and others do not;
  4. To give you the skills to help you apply what you have learned when you are teaching future students.

Although we do not meet face-to-face, we will work to build community in our virtual classroom using Vista. Most web activities are asynchronous, but you will also have occasional synchronous web “meetings” with others in your work team. 


  • Wendy Bishop and James Strickland, editors. The Subject is Writing: Essays by Teachers and Students, Fourth Edition, Boynton-Cook Heinemann, 2006. ISBN: 0-86709-586-5, paperback. 
  • Lester Faigley, The Brief Penguin Handbook, 3rd edition. Longman/ Pearson Education, Inc., 2009. ISBN: 0-205-50582-1, paperback. 
  • You should also own a good dictionary.

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English 335: Rhetoric and Writing

Professor: Lois Bueler

In this course students both write a range of short and long assignments (the “writing” part) and study what and how they are doing it (the “rhetoric” part). In my section we will look closely at style—how writers put their words together to achieve clarity and interest—and practice many sorts of sentences and paragraphs. We will look closely at organization—how writers construct effective texts—and experiment with creating and moving the components of texts to accomplish our purposes. We will engage in research projects based on the present life and the memories and archives of Chico State and the community of Chico. Finally, we will learn something about the way the field of rhetoric has been organized and talked about for the past 2,500 or so years.

My students tell me this course helps them feel like real working writers. I hope you will think so too. 

English 340: Approaches to Literary Genres

Section(s): 1
Professor: John Traver

This course introduces you to several literary genres (fiction, poetry, and drama) and provides you with a set of analytical skills and strategies for interpreting literary texts. You will learn to recognize common genre conventions, as well as how skilled authors may work within (or even defy) these conventions in ways which surprise us. You will also become familiar with common literary terminology and learn how to construct an effective literary argument.

Note: because this course provides important preparation for the English major, it will be writing intensive. Assignments will include the following: a midterm and a final; two papers; shorter writing assignments (such as postings on vista); quizzes; memorization of one poem of your choice; class participation. 


  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, Ed. Marilyn Gaull.
  • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, ed. Peter G. Beidler. 
  • The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, ed. Michael Meyer.

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English 341: Reading Literature for Future Teachers

Section(s): 1
Professor: Lynn Elliott

ENGL 341 has two main objectives:

1) It addresses the literary study areas specified by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as requirements for future multiple-subject teachers: the study of literary concepts and conventions; literary genres; and interpretation of literary texts. So we’ll be asking ourselves the following questions:

  • What is literature? What is its relationship to “reality”? What can we learn from literature? What can we teach about literature?
  • When we read literature, what questions should we ask of it?
  • What specialized knowledge helps us answer those questions?
  • What is important to professionals who work with literature, and how do they construct interpretations of literary texts?

Of course, in order to answer these questions, we’ll need to read some good literature in a variety of genres: narrative fiction, poetry, and drama, plus some things that cross genre boundaries. We will apply the ideas we generate to children’s literature, which too often is considered unworthy of serious study. We’ll also read some fairy tales—both traditional versions and new adaptations—and give some thoughtful consideration to them, both as literary works and as artifacts in children’s education.
In our reading groups, we will read, interpret, and critique popular children’s novels.

2) Secondly, as we read the various works, we will also consider ways that we could productively teach literature to children, including the topics of literacy and its acquisition. In other words, we’ll be looking at and for ways to use literary study to teach kids to read, write, and think more clearly. It should be obvious that much of this class’s success will rely upon the discussion of ideas; so good preparation on
your part—achieved by timely reading, writing, and thinking—is paramount.


  • Burdett, Lois. Shakespeare Can Be Fun: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  • Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Creech, Sharon. Love That Dog.
  • Keene, Ellin Oliver & Susan Zimmerman. Mosaic Of Thought. 2nd edition.
  • Tatar, Maria (ed.). The Classic Fairy Tales.
  • Snickett, Lemony. Bad Beginning
  • Myers, Walter Dean, Monster
  • Elliott and Johnson, Another Child’s Christmas in Wales
  • There are also readings in the “Contents” folder of Vista

English 342: Literature of the Child

English 353: Multicultural Literature

English 354: Classical Literature

English 355: Bible as Literature

Professor: John Traver

Why does the narrator of Moby Dick want to be called “Ishmael?” Why does Faulkner title his novel Absalom, Absalom? In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, how much of the “story” is of his own invention? To answer such questions, readers need a shared familiarity with the Bible that many writers have taken for granted. 

This course will provide you with a working knowledge of the structure and themes of the Bible to help you recognize allusions and perceive its influence on the shape of English literature; we’ll look at the Bible alongside examples of the texts it has influenced. We’ll also examine the genres and literary qualities of the Bible itself, such as its use of symbols, typology, repetition, acrostics, and even puns! Our goals are to have a greater appreciation of the Bible as a work of literature in itself and to understand its profound effect on the shape of subsequent literature.

This class should fill either a genre or period requirement for the English major. (Be sure to check with your advisor first.) All levels of familiarity with the Bible are welcome (from none, to knowledgeable). We will be reading in translation selections from the Hebrew Bible (or “Old Testament”), the New Testament, and the deutero-canonical works (or “Apocrypha”).


  • Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative
  • Ed. Robert Carrol and Stephen Prickett, The Bible: Authorized King James Version
  • Ed. David Pasper and Stephen Prickett, The Bible and Literature: A Reader

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English 357: Survey of British Literature

English 358: Survey of American Literature

English 359: Survey of American Literature

English 360: Women Writers

Professor: Teresa Huffman Traver

This course focuses on the continuing literary legacy of Jane Austen. We will read two of Austen’s novels (in addition to some of her letters), but we will also read works from the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries which bear tribute to Austen, in various ways Along the way, we’ll also view some recent film adaptations of Austen’s work. We will spend considerable time discussing Austen’s own time period (late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Britain), but we’ll also raise questions about Austen’s seemingly eternal appeal. Why are people still making film versions of Pride and Prejudice more than 200 years after Austen began writing it? What relationship (if any) does the twentieth-century Regency romance bear to Austen’s work? And, above all, how do we read Austen today?

Assignments include two papers, in addition to a mid-term exam and a final.


  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and Emma
  • Emily Eden, The Semi-Attached Couple
  • Georgette Heyer, Frederica
  • Shannon Hale, Austenland

Professor: Lynn Houston

The material for this course focuses largely on late twentieth-century and twenty-first century British and American novels known as “chick lit.” In this class, students will identify the major defining characteristics of the genre (owing much to the bildungsroman form) of contemporary fiction called “chick lit” (a novel in which twenty- or thirty-something career women deal humorously with the ups and downs of their romantic relationships). Students should also gain a sense of the origin/history of this genre as it arises out of the marriage plot of eighteenth and nineteenth century bourgeois novels written by women, as well as a sense of the relationship that chick lit has to the history of feminism and feminist writing. Our debates surrounding the nature and features of "chick lit" will be the organizing elements of this course. We will also spend a unit on the role of the supernatural in women's writing, focusing on certain subgenres of chick lit that involve mystery and the supernatural. We will draw in other materials that will also help students to gain a larger sense of the history of women's writing and of feminist literary criticism and theory. Some possible readings include: Pride and PrejudiceWuthering HeightsBridget Jones’s Diary, Confessions of a ShopaholicSex and the City (yes, it was originally a book!), etc., TwilightDead Until Dark (the inspiration for HBO's True Blood series), as well as works of “ethnic chick lit” by authors such as Kim Wong Keltner, Terry McMillan, and Alisa Valdes-Rodriquez. The course fulfills a requirement for the general education upper-division THEME O: Women's Issues.

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English 371: Principles of Language

English 372: Pedagogical Grammar

English 374: World Languages

Section(s): 1
Professor: Graham Thurgood

An introductory survey of the world's languages, examining contact, convergence, and loss. Attention will be paid to ongoing efforts to preserve this linguistic legacy through revitalization and documentation programs, and the role of language in the construction of ethnicity, with particular attention paid to linguistic diversity in the United States.

English 375: Introduction to English Grammar

English 415: Literary Editing

English 416: Editing for Publication

Section(s): 1
Professor: Paul Eggers

Aims: This course is designed to introduce you to the processes, skill sets, and types of editing common to the editing profession. It is aimed at those wishing to go into the editing profession, though anyone with an interest in developing editing expertise will benefit. We’ll edit various types of documents—institutional manuscripts, feature articles, technical documents, and a nonfiction book manuscript—and we’ll proofread and examine effective ways to work with authors and publishers in a corporate environment. If time allows, we might also do some editing of fiction manuscripts. We’ll spend much time on grammar, levels of editing, larger language issues and corporate assumptions, and controversies within the field. Please note that this is not an introduction to grammar. We’ll address and fine-tune the nuts-and-bolts of punctuation, sentence structure, syntax, and diction, but if you currently have much difficulty with these issues, this is not the course for you.


  • The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide to Book Publishing and Corporate Communications, 2nd edition, by Amy Einsohn
  • A course packet from Mr. Kopy
  • Probably The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition.

Evaluation: Editing projects and editing tests.

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English 421: Advanced Fiction Writing

English 431: Theory/Practice in Tutoring Composition

Professor: Kim Jaxon

In English 431, we prepare you to become a Writing Workshop Leader in our English 30 Program. The course offers direct teaching experience, a chance to think about current issues and theories in the teaching of writing, and an opportunity for employment in the English 30 program. The Student Learning Center will also recruit writing tutors from our 431 students upon completion of the course.

This course includes a 1-unit practicum (for a total of 4 units), providing you with direct experience working with students in the English 30 Program.  In order to fulfill the requirements of this practicum, you will work for 3 hours each week. One hour will be spent with me in a section of English 130, Academic Writing, where you will function as a mentor for freshmen who take the course. You will also co-lead a two hour workshop for 10 freshmen from this 130 course each week. You’ll select your own section, from a list of nine sections, before classes begin in the fall. We will also meet for a four hour training a few days before the fall semester.

This is an exceptional opportunity for students considering a career in teaching, as you will have an opportunity to think carefully about teaching writing and you will have a chance to teach your own small group of students. This is also professional work, which you may include on your résumé. Many students who complete English 431 go on to work as paid tutors in the Student Learning Center and as English 30 Writing Workshop Leaders.  

If you are interested in ENGL 431, please email me at: kjaxon@csuchico.edu and we will find a time to meet to discuss the requirements.

To sign up for this course for fall 2009: ENGL 431: Theory & Practice of Tutoring Writing (Registration #: 3851), Mondays, 3:30-6:20 p.m. 

English 441: Shakespeare

Professor: Robert O'Brien

'Tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings.

In this course, we will read plays from four genres—comedy, history, tragedy, and romance—following Shakespeare's career, with some digressions, from A Midsummer Night's Dream (1594-4596) to The Winter's Tale (1609). Reading these plays well means producing them in your mind's theater. This mental production demands considerable imagination and concentration, but the more you know about the plays, and the more plays you read, the easier it becomes.

Classes will be a mixture of lectures, discussions, and scene readings. You will write some short essays and a term paper and take an early-term and a final examination.


  • The two-volume, second edition of The Norton Shakespeare.

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English 445: Early British Literature

English 449: The Romantic Period

English 450: The Victorian Period

Professor: Teresa Huffman Traver

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901, a time of great social and technological change. It was also an age in which many forms of literature flourished and developed. This course provides students with a survey of the literature and culture of the British Victorian period. We’ll read a broad range of literature, including non-fiction prose (essays), poetry, drama, and both short and long fiction. We will also pay attention to the broader cultural and historical contexts in which these literary works appear. Assignments include three papers in addition to a mid-term exam and a final. 


  • Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 5: The Victorian Era
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Bedford Edition)
  • Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (Norton Critical Edition)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet (Dover Thrift)
  • Lisa Evans, East Lynne (Oberon Modern Plays – NOT the novel!).

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English 451: Modern Poetry

Section(s): 1
Professor: Jeanne Clark

"If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." -Emily Dickinson

"Writer: how books read each other." -James Richardson

This is an upper-division genre course. It is a course in which we will labor to learn more about the genre of poetry: how poems/poets begat poems/poets, what terrains poets consider worth fighting for, how poems discover and shape meaning, as well as why and how we might respond to poetry reflectively, critically, and imaginatively. This course is an exploration of full-length collections of poems, books by a diverse range of contemporary poets. We will consider the tools these poets use to make poems. These tools will include various forms /poetic structures and specific poetic strategies such as meter, metaphor, and mousse. Oops, I’m confusing poetry with desert, a simple enough mistake. Further, in this course labor to become a generous and spirited reading and writing community, one in which we’ll work both individually and in collaborative groups to wrestle this angel of poetry into our arms. For further information, contact Jeanne Clark at jeclark2@csuchico.edu.

English 452: Development of British Drama

English 454: Comparative Literature

Professor: Geoff Baker

Growing Pains: The Novel of Development in the Nineteenth Century”

Beginning with Goethe’s foundational example of the Bildungsroman, or novel of development, this course for advanced undergraduates charts the increasingly contentious relationship between the individual and society in the 19th-century European novel. The happy endings of Goethe and Austen soon give way to the relentless complications in Stendhal, Balzac, and Eliot, whose characters sometimes have a hard time even caring about finding their proper place in society. We’ll also consider the persistence of the Bildungsroman format in recent films like Boyz N the Hood (1991), Donnie Darko (2001), City of God (2002), or The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

This class satisfies either the genre (novel) or period (nineteenth century) requirements toward the English major.


  • Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (Princeton), ISBN: 0691043442
  • Austen, Sense and Sensibility (Oxford), ISBN: 0199535574
  • Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education (Penguin), ISBN 0140447970
  • Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot (Raffel translation, Norton), ISBN: 039397166X
  • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (Oxford), ISBN: 0199536767

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English 455: The British Novel

Professor: John Traver

 “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey

This course traces the development of the British novel through the eighteenth century and the Romantic era. During this period, we see the emergence of “the novel” as a new and distinct form of prose narrative which modifies (and sometimes rejects) earlier forms of story-telling, such as travel narratives, “secret histories,” and more.  We will also be interested in how eighteenth-century writers debated the nature of the “novel,” through prefaces and through the structure of the novel itself: we will see them produce a diversity of story-types, such as the picaresque, the sentimental novel, the Bildungsroman, and more. 

Not only will you encounter some of Britain’s most famous novels (such as Robinson Crusoe andGulliver’s Travels), but you’ll read them in conversation with the popular “sensationalistic” novelistic trends of their day (such as in Eliza Haywood). You’ll be treated to some of the finest examples of wit in Jane Austen and of suspense in Samuel Richardson, and you’ll see recent film adaptations (such as Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy).  If you don’t enjoy these readings, Jane Austen will think less of you!

Assignments should include the following: a mid-term and a final; two short papers; short writing assignments and/or vista; a class presentation.


  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey, Ed. Marilyn Gaull. 198 pages.
  • Frances Burney, Evelina. 448 pages.
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Ed. Michael Shinagel. 218 pages.
  • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels, Ed. Claude Rawson. 272 pages.
  • Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Ed. Angus Ross.  Selections (around 450 pages).
  • Cheryl Nixon, Novel Definitions. Short selections. 

English 458: American Literature - Beginning to 1850s

English 459: American Literature - 1850 to 1945

English 461: Modern Novel

English 462: Study in Major American Authors

Professor: Lynn Houston

Tim O’Brien and the American Literature of War

In this course, we are going to use four major works by Tim O’Brien as the foundation to understand the theme of war in American literature. Not only will we get an in-depth look at the career of a major American author, Tim O’Brien, but we will examine other selections from American literature that provide context for and respond to O’Brien’s work, or, in general, help us understand the role of American writers in witnessing and responding to war. Genres include novels, poetry, and possibly short stories, as well as excerpts from longer works. The literature we are examining will primarily cover from the World Wars (depending on final selection of reading list) up until the war in Iraq. The Vietnam conflict figures significantly in the course and we will probably watch and analyze some of the film adaptations of some of the novels set in this war.

Note: Not much of the literature we will be reading is “protest” literature per se, and the class will not be a forum for debating the pros and cons of current American involvement in Middle East. Our focus is on how war is understood in American culture and history through the devices and techniques used by American authors.


  • If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home (1973)
  • Going After Cacciato (1978)
  • The Things They Carried (1990)
  • In the Lake of the Woods (1994)

Other novel-length works we MIGHT read (3 possibly)
(I haven't decided yet. If you are going to take this course, I am open to suggestion: lmhouston@csuchico.edu)

  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Joseph Heller, Catch 22
  • Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
  • Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead
  • Irwin Shaw, The Young Lions
  • William Woodruff, Vessel of Sadness 
  • Walter Dean Myers, Fallen Angels

Graduate students are also welcome to take this course for graduate credit! See instructor for additional requirements.

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English 467: Teaching Multicultural Literature

English 470: Second Language Acquisition

English 471: Intensive Theory & Practice; Second Language Acquisition

English 475: History of the English Language

English 476: Phonological Analysis

English 477: Semantics: Language and Meaning

English 520: Undergraduate Writer's Workshop

Professor: Paul Eggers

Aims: English 520 and English 620 will be run concurrently, allowing advanced undergraduate creative writers (prerequisite: a 400-level creative writing course) and graduate creative writers (prerequisite: a 300- or 400-level creative writing course) to work together. This will be a multi-genre workshop course, meaning that (a) the course will be run as a workshop, just like advanced undergraduate creative writing courses, and (b) students will be free to write in various genres—fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction—as long as they have substantial previous experience in the genre(s) they choose. No “beginner’s work” is allowed, and all work must aim to be the type of work found in serious literary quarterlies. 

Workshop submissions should be new, not revisions of previous work. During workshopping, you may be discussing genres you don’t have experience with, but one of the aims of the course is to emphasize the overlap between fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and to develop skills in discussing and thinking about the various genres. Theoretical and craft issues will be discussed as needed, during the course of workshopping, as will any additional, smaller writing tasks.


  • Mostly student workshop drafts, with a to-be-determined amount of reading/discussing published creative work and craft essays. 

Evaluation:  Holistic, heavily based on portfolio work. Drafting, workshopping, and revisions are required, as is workshop participation. You’ll also be required to participate in an end-of-semester public reading.

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