Fall 2011

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 130P 130E 203 220 230
240 251 252 253 254 258
260 264 276 277 303 320
415 416 421
452 454
475 476

English 130: Academic Writing

English 130P: Academic Writing

English 130E: Academic Writing

English 203: Shakespeare On Film

Section(s): 1 
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.

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English 220: Creative Writing

Section(s): 1/2, 5/6
Professor: Rob Davidson

English 220 is designed to introduce you to the writing of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. You will be asked to write “literary” work in this class (i.e., work that is serious, ambitious, well-crafted, contemporary, adult-oriented, emotionally engaging, and so forth). Work that does not aspire to the literary is outside the domain of this class. This includes literature for children, the sentimental romance, formulaic mystery writing, and the like. We shall study writing techniques and craft in each genre by reading each other’s work and by studying the work of established authors. Expect to do a lot of writing and revision.

English 220 is a General Education course (GE Area C-2). Through the study of creative writing, this class will help you to:

  • Improve reading, writing, critical thinking, discussion and speaking skills; and the ability to access, evaluate, and apply information;
  • Instill efficient, effective learning skills;
  • Enhance general knowledge about creative writing, literature, and broader questions related to these fields;
  • Broaden knowledge about diversity both within and without the world of creative writing;
  • Help provide coherence, connectedness, and commonality within your other areas of study.

As part of the G.E. experience, each student is required to attend four out-of-class literary events. These events can include author readings, dramatic performances, poetry open-mics, and so forth.


  • Ford, Richard, ed. The Granta Book of the American Short Story, Volume 2. London: Granta, 2008.
  • McClatchy, J.D., ed. The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry. Second ed. New York: Vintage, 2003.
  • Williford, Lex, and Michael Martone, eds. Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present. New York: Touchstone-Simon & Schuster, 2007.

Course Material(s):

  • Examination Book(s)—you will need one or two examination “blue books” for three required exams.
  • Photocopying & Printing—budget for up to 100 pages of required photocopying or printing for the workshop portions of this class.
  • Texts and exam booklets are available at the Associated Students Bookstore in Bell Memorial Union.

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    • Confucius, Analects 
    • Plato, Symposium
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Rex
    • Shudraka, The Little Toy Cart
    • Dante, Inferno
    • Molière, Tartuffe and The Misanthrope
    • Voltaire, Candide
    • Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons
    • Shelley, Frankenstein 
    • Austen, Pride and Prejudice
    • Hugo, Les Misérables
    • Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
    • Ibsen, A Doll House and Ghosts
    • Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard 
    • Zamyatin, We
    • Camus, The Plague
      • 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.)
        • The Broadview Anthology of British Literature volumes 4, 5, and 6
        • The Longview edition of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
        • E.M. Forster, Passage to India.
        • Jamaica Kincaid. A Small Place. New York: Penguin, 1988. 
        • Tobias Wolff. This Boy’s Life. New York: Grove Press, 2000.
        • Bill Roorbach, ed. Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Truth. New York: Oxford UP, 2001.
        • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, 3rd ed. Peter G. Beidler. 
        • Michael Meyer, The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, 8th ed.
        • Burdett, Lois, Shakespeare Can Be Fun: Romeo and Juliet for Kids 
        • Delbanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheuse, Literature: Craft & Voice, Vol. I (fiction) & II (poetry)
        • Koch, Kenneth, Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry 
        • Park, Madison, Children's Favorite Classic Fairy Tales
        • Additional readings, both original and secondary, will be posted on the Vista.
          • Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
          • Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca
          • Caryl Churchill, Girls
          • Bisco Hatori’s Ouran High School Host Club (selected volumes)
          • Laurie King, The Art of Detection
          • Additional short readings may be posted on the course Vista page
            • The two-volume, second edition of The Norton Shakespeare.
              • Broadview Anthology of British Literature: The Victorian Era
              • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (Bedford Edition)
              • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four (Dover Thrift)
              • Plays by Tom Taylor (Cambridge)
              • Gassner, John, ed. Medieval & Tudor Drama. Applause Books.
              • Gassner & Green, eds. Elizabethan Drama. Applause books.
              • Kermode, Frank, ed. Seven Masterpieces of Jacobean Drama.
              • Ed. David W. Lindsay, The Beggar’s Opera and other Eighteenth-Century Plays.
              • Ed. Scott McMillin, Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy, 2nd ed.
              • Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (Princeton), ISBN: 0691043442
              • Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot (Raffel translation, Norton), ISBN: 039397166X
              • George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (Oxford), ISBN: 0199536767
              • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Oxford), ISBN: 0199536449
              • Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (Rienner), ISBN: 9780954702335
              • Emily Eden, The Semi-Attached Couple
              • Charles Dickens, Bleak House (Norton Critical Edition)
              • Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (Norton Critical Edition)
              • Bram Stoker, Dracula (Bedford Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism)
              • 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)
              • 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
            • English 445: Early British Literature

              English 449: The Romantic Period

              English 450: The Victorian Period

              Section(s): 1 
              Teresa Traver

              Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901, a time when many of works we now think of as “classics” of British literature appeared. This course provides students with exposure to (and understanding) of the literature and culture of the Victorian era. We’ll read a broad range of Victorian literature, including non-fiction prose (essays), poetry, drama, and both short and long fiction, but we will also pay attention to the broader cultural context in which these literary works appear. The course will also familiarize you with some of the kinds of criticism produced by Victorian studies scholars. Assignments include a mid-term and final exam; two papers; additional short assignments and occasional quizzes. Class participation and attendance are required.


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              English 451: Modern Poetry

              English 452: Development of British Drama

              Section(s): 1 
              John Traver

              “I grant you, friends, if you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more discretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you an ‘twere any nightingale.”  (Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

              How can a lion’s roar be made to sound like a nightingale’s tweet? As Shakespeare’s words might suggest, actors are themselves interpreters of dramatic texts, and if Bottom fears that his acting might prompt an irate audience to kill him, playwrights and acting troupes must similarly craft their words, their character portrayal, their costumes, etc., with their audience’s mercurial tastes (and hostilities) in mind. To best understand the plays we read on the page, then, we must be intensely conscious of issues surrounding a dramatic work’s performance on the stage, as well as how plays respond to (or challenge) older theatrical conventions and their audience’s expectations.

              This course traces the development of the British stage from its medieval beginnings to the late 18th century. You will become familiar with a diversity of genres, ranging from a “medieval morality play” to a “revenge tragedy” to a “Restoration comedy,” as well as different character-types, such as the “Sanguine” and “Melancholic” to the “Restoration Rake.” You will see how stagecraft and conventions develop (or fade away) to fit changing historical circumstances (ranging from patronage to changing political powers), and you will cultivate the imaginative powers and reading skills necessary truly to appreciate works intended for performance. You will also have ample opportunity to practice a fake British accent, should you so desire.

              Assignments should include the following: a mid-term and a final; one short paper and one longer paper; short writing assignments and/or vista; a class presentation; class participation.

              Possible Text(s):

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              English 454: Comparative Literature

              Section(s): 1 
              Geoff Baker

              Beginning with Goethe’s foundational example of the Bildungsroman, or novel of development, this course for advanced undergraduates charts the shifting relationship between the individual and society in novels about growing up. The happy endings of Goethe and Austen soon give way to the relentless complications in Balzac and Eliot, whose rebellious characters sometimes have a hard time even caring about finding their “proper” place in society. We’ll also see how this pattern morphs during the 20th century in modernist novels like James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; in postcolonial contexts, through Tsitsi Dangarembga’s 1988 novel Nervous Conditions; and in recent films like Boyz n the Hood (1991), City of God (2002), or The Devil Wears Prada (2006).


              *This class satisfies either the genre or period requirements for General English; Later Lit requirement for Literature; or the requirement in Comparative, Continental European, World and Multicultural Literatures for English Studies.

              *ENGL 454 can also be taken more than once for major credit, provided the syllabus is different. So, if you took “Fiction and the Supernatural” in Fall 2010, you can still take this class and get credit for it.

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              English 456: The British Novel

              Section(s): 1 
              Teresa Traver

              This course, as the catalog says, is a study in the Victorian novel. We'll read a wide range of novels, including examples of the social problem novel, domestic realism, and the Victorian Gothic. We’ll keep a keen eye on narrative structure, as our reading list is designed to allow us to explore different ways in which novels could be structured. The reading load will be heavy, but the texts will be rewarding: in this class, you’ll encounter rioting among workers, spontaneous combustion, and vampire invasions, to say nothing of love which extends beyond the grave. Along the way, we’ll also take a glance at some influential criticism in the areas of Victorian studies and the novel. Class attendance and participation are required. Assignments will include two papers; required discussion posts; and mid-term and final exams.


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              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

              Section(s): 1 
              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.

              Possible Text(s):

              Other novel-length works we MIGHT read (3 possibly) 

              (I haven't decided yet. I would like to include one work from a woman's perspective. If you are going to take this course, I am open to suggestion: lmhouston@csuchico.edu)

              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 371: Principles of Language

            English 372: Pedagogical Grammar

            English 375: Introduction to English Grammar

            English 415: Literary Editing

            English 416: Editing for Publication

            English 421: Advanced Fiction Writing

            English 431: Theory/Practice in Tutoring Composition

            English 441: Shakespeare

            Section(s): 1, 2 
            Professor: Robert O'Brien

            "'Tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings." Henry V, Prologue, Shakespeare

            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(1594-96) 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.


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        • English 342: Literature of the Child

          English 353: Multicultural Literature

          English 354: Classical Literature

          English 356: Survey of British Literature

          English 357: Survey of British Literature

          English 358: Survey of American Literature

          English 359: Survey of American Literature

          English 360: Women Writers

          Section(s): 1 
          Teresa Huffman Traver

          This course focuses on the two centuries of literature by women authors. Our focus is on “writers in conversation” with each other. That is, we’ll look at texts from different time periods which respond to each other in interesting ways. The course covers a broad range of readings, from nineteenth-century poetry to twenty-first century manga (Japanese graphic novels). Assignments include two papers, required discussion board posts, and a mid-term and final exam. Class participation and attendance are required.


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      • English 277: Survey of British Literature II

        Section(s): 1 
        Teresa 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 one or two “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. Assignments also include required discussion posts, a mid-term and a final exam. Class participation and attendance are required.


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        English 303: Survey of American Film

        English 320: Poetry Writing

        Section(s): 1, 2 
         Jeanne Clark

        "One breath taken completely; one poem, fully written, fully readin such a moment, anything can happen."
        - Jane Hirshfield (Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry)

        The aim of this course is to make you a better writer of poetry by making you a better reader of poetry. Reading poetry—and writing it—is a matter of paying attention, of being alive to the possibilities of language, of learning to appreciate craft, and allowing the poem to be what it wants to be, and all it can be, in combining and reacting with the speaker’s sensibility. You will read poems by both established and up-and-coming poets, representing a wide constellation of voices, approaches, and subjects. 

        Each week you’ll complete a poem draft—writing (or rewriting) a poem in response to an instructor prompt.  We’ll read poems—yours and those of well-known and emerging poets—and talk about what we find there in terms of news and craft. We’ll experiment with revision and talk about the art of submitting work for publication. Some of the scheduled class periods will be devoted to reading and to craft issues, and some will be devoted to “workshopping” your poems. The “fifth hour” will be used for alternative activities, both individual and small group activities rather than whole class meetings: visiting a local letterpress collective and art galleries, sauntering through woodlands, talking with visiting writers about writing and the writing life, and so on.

        Questions? Contact Jeanne Clark (Taylor 122), jeclark2@csuchico.edu

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        English 321: Fiction Writing

        English 327: Creative Nonfiction

        Section(s): 1, 2
        Professor: Rob Davidson


        The texts are available at the Associated Students Bookstore in Bell Memorial Union.

        English 327 is an intensive workshop-based course in the writing of the non-fiction essay. You will be asked to write “literary” work in this class (i.e., work that is serious, ambitious, well-crafted, contemporary, adult-oriented, emotionally engaging, and so forth). Work that does not aspire to the literary is outside the domain of this class. We shall study writing techniques and craft by reading each other’s work and by studying the work of established authors. Expect to do a lot of writing and revision.

        Please note that this course is specifically designed with the short essay in mind. As a general rule, a short essay is a self-contained prose narrative that does not exceed twenty-five double-spaced pages (roughly 6,000 words). Longer essays, including chapters from longer works that cannot be read as stand-alone essays, are outside the domain of this class.

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        English 332: Intro to Literacy Studies

        English 333: Advanced Composition for Future Teachers

        English 335: Rhetoric and Writing

        English 340: Approaches to Literary Genres

        Section(s): 1 
        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. 


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        English 341: Reading Literature for Future Teachers

        Section(s): 72
        Professor: Aiping Zhang

        This course is required of all Liberal Studies majors. This course addresses the literary study areas specified by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as requirements for future multiple-subject teachers: literary concepts and conventions; literary genres; interpretation of literary texts. Its main objective is to address what roles literature plays in our lives and education. Our required readings will cover different texts of fiction, poetry, drama, and fairy tale. Through our reading and discussion, we will explore some of the major themes and styles in adult literature and children’s literature as well, and we will learn and practice some basic methods and strategies for productively teaching children to read, write, appreciate, and think about literature as they grow. Students in this course will have opportunities to exchange their ideas and demonstrate their learning through group activities, reading journals, contributions to online discussions, essay assignments, quizzes, and research projects.


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    • English 264: American Ethnic/Regional Writers

      English 276: Survey of British Literature I

      Section(s): 1 
      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 Beowulfand 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.


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  • English 230: Intro to Technical Writing

    English 240: Introduction to Literature

    English 251: African American Literature

    English 252: American Indian Literature

    English 253: Asian American Literature

    English 254: Chicano/Latina/o Literature

    English 258: World Literature

    English 260: Great Books

    Section(s): 1, 2 
    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 carefully and 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.

    Assignments will include a midterm and a final exam; 1 paper; quizzes; a few short writing assignments on Vista; and participation in class. Final book selections haven’t been made yet, but, at the course title suggests, they will be friggin’ great.

    Possible Text(s):

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