Fall 2016

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.

130I 130PI 203 220I 240 252
258 258I 260 261 264I 276
277 278 279 304 320 321
327 332 333 335 338Z 340
341 342 342I 350I 353 354
355 356 364I 371 375 415
420 421 431 441 447 450
452 464 465 470 471 474
475    

English 130I: Academic Writing

English 130I, “Academic Writing,” is a core General Education Foundation course (Area A2) that introduces you to the challenges of university level writing, reading, and critical thinking.  This course uses writing to develop your scholarly curiosity.  To do this, instructors focus on:

  • deepening your research skills,
  • developing your ability to read and respond to difficult texts, and,
  • most importantly, helping you through the writing process in a social, collaborative, revision-focused environment.

All writing-intensive GE courses require a minimum of 2,500 words, and students enrolled in English 130 or 130P must demonstrate the ability to criticize, analyze, and advocate ideas with persuasive force in writing. A grade of C- or better is needed to pass this course.

Depending on your instructor, the focus for research in English 130I varies. Your specific course may research issues in digital culture, identity, food, popular culture, or music, just to name a few of the options. The common thread among all sections is an inquiry-based approach to pursuing research questions that are interesting to students. 

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English 130PI: Academic Writing

Please note: English 130PI is not offered every semester.

English 130I, “Academic Writing,” is a core General Education Foundation course (Area A2) that introduces you to the challenges of university level writing, reading, and critical thinking.  This course uses writing to develop your scholarly curiosity.  To do this, instructors focus on:

  • deepening your research skills,
  • developing your ability to read and respond to difficult texts, and,
  • most importantly, helping you through the writing process in a social, collaborative, revision-focused environment.

All writing-intensive GE courses require a minimum of 2,500 words, and students enrolled in English 130 or 130P must demonstrate the ability to criticize, analyze, and advocate ideas with persuasive force in writing. A grade of C- or better is needed to pass this course.

Depending on your instructor, the focus for research in English 130I varies. Your specific course may research issues in digital culture, identity, food, popular culture, or music, just to name a few of the options. The common thread among all sections is an inquiry-based approach to pursuing research questions that are interesting to students. 

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English 261: Women Writers

Instructor: Sandra M. Flake

Women Writers provides an opportunity to explore women’s writing from multiple perspectives.  We will read and talk about contemporary and classic short fiction and poetry, as well as novels, drama, and memoir, all created by women. 

In this course, we will explore works by women writers who have lived in different times and places and who have varied perspectives and histories, resulting in a range of experience, ideas, and values.  These authors, while all sharing identity as women, write from a range of perspectives, based on personal history, including their sexuality identity, as well as their socio-economic, educational, familial, ethnic, religious and other experience.  Through reading, discussion, and research, we will focus on the expression of identity, culture and history in their literary works.

 What can these works tell us about how women see the world, about how different societies function, about relationships, about human behavior?  What can we learn about the complex roles of women across time, place, and experience—about the commonalities and connections?  About the contrasts and changes in how women see the world?   

This course uses discussion as its primary learning mode.  In discussions and in other assignments, we will examine and analyze the ways in which women writers, through fiction, poetry, drama and memoir, connect to us in their literary creations.  In addition to reading and in class discussion, course assignments will include regular, e-journal or blog entries, a project, quizzes, and a final essay examination. 

Course Readings:

In addition to selections from such websites as Narrative Magazine, The Poetry Foundation, Poets.org, and Poetry International, which include short stories, poetry, and essays, we will read four texts:

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (graphic memoir)

George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (fiction)

Yiyun Li, Kinder than Solitude (fiction)

Josefina López, Real Women Have Curves (play and film)

Women Writers is an approved General Education course in Humanities (area c-2). It is also included in the General Education Gender and Sexuality Studies Pathway. Students who complete the Pathway requirements can earn an interdisciplinary minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies while completing their General Education requirements.

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English 264I: American Ethnic and Regional Writers

Instructor: Aiping Zhang

This course is going to be a study of ethnic literature only. It is not designed to give any coverage of regional literature. Three goals will guide the lectures, reading assignments and quizzes in this course; first, to give a detailed critical reading of a representative set of great novels and stories written by Native American, African American, Asian American and Chicano writers; second, to connect these novels and stories into the broader issues of American culture and the deeper traditions of the mainstream American fiction writing; third, to define a basic set of literary terms such as motif, character, plot, voice, time, setting and objects.

This is an approved Writing Intensive course for the Diversity Pathway in General Education and the US Diversity requirement.

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English 264I: American Ethnic and Regional Writers

Instructor: Nathaniel Heggins Bryant

Course Title: Multiethnic American Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction

This course is designed to introduce students to questions of race and ethnicity as they are handled in sci-fi and speculative fiction novels produced by different writers of color. We will read recent fiction that deals with time travel, alternative futures, historical curses, and near-future apocalypses to think about how history and social contexts are vitally important in the shaping of this fiction. In other words, we will examine how contemporary science fiction writers respond to social environments, particularly regarding race, ethnicity, class, and gender.  The course will stress close reading and textual analysis as the basis for argumentation, and historical research into the social contexts of these works will serve as a constitutive part of the course work as well.

The novels to be read are Sherman Alexie’s Flight; Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower; Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; and Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex.

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English 276: Survey of Early British Literature

Instructor: 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 Blackboard postings; a group presentation; poetry memorization; quizzes.

Required Texts: 

Volumes 1-3 of The Broadview Anthology of British Literature.  (Please get the most recent editions.)

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.)

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English 277: Survey of Later British Lit

Instructor: Aiping Zhang

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 journal entries in response to specific prompts. Assignments also include in-class writing assignments, a mid-term and a final exam. Class participation and attendance are required.

Required Texts: (Subject to change) Broadview Anthology of British Literature Concise Volume B; The Longman’s edition of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey; E.M. Forster’s Passage to India.

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English 278: Survey of American Literature

Instructor: Aiping Zhang

This course is going to be a study of ethnic literature only. It is not designed to give any coverage of regional literature. Three goals will guide the lectures, reading assignments and quizzes in this course; first, to give a detailed critical reading of a representative set of great novels and stories written by Native American, African American, Asian American and Chicano writers; second, to connect these novels and stories into the broader issues of American culture and the deeper traditions of the mainstream American fiction writing; third, to define a basic set of literary terms such as motif, character, plot, voice, time, setting and objects.

This is an approved Writing Intensive course for the Diversity Pathway in General Education and the US Diversity requirement.

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English 304: Comics and Graphic Novels: Images of Power, and the Power of Images

Instructor: John Traver

“Comic books are definitely harmful to impressionable people, and most young people are impressionable…. I think Hitler was a beginner compared to the comic-book industry.  The time has come to legislate these books off the newsstands and out of the candy stores.”  (Frederic Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent, 1954)

Why are comics sometimes dismissed as low-brow   entertainment and merely “kids’ books?”  What could seem so threatening about comics in the 1950s that they would prompt school-sponsored comic book burnings, a police raid of a comic book company’s offices, and even televised Senate hearings?  Often feared for their “great power”—and criticized as shirking their “great responsibility”—comics have become a site of anxiety for existing power structures as comics seem to embody a threat to conventional prescriptions of art, morality, and society.  Despite their depiction of stereotypes and reflection of some accepted societal prejudices, comics offered an alternative to traditional forms of literacy and held direct appeal to immigrant communities.  Comics appealed not simply to a marginalized readership, but to the host of unconventional and talented creators who had often been excluded from more legitimized art forms.  In their early form as comic strips in newspapers or as comic books on the newsstands, to their later manifestations in trade paperbacks and webcomics, comics have tackled a range of social issues and enabled outsiders to challenge existing power structures through the power of word and image.  We’ll consider representative samples from both earlier and later comics and from a diversity of genres, ranging from horror, science fiction, romance, the western, comedy, realism, and yes—to super-heroes.

 Non-English majors are welcome to take this course!  The course also fulfills a “Late American Literature” requirement in the English Studies major or a “Later Literature” requirement in the Literature major.  Assignments should include the following:  a mid-term and a final; three papers; short writing assignments and/or Blackboard Learn postings; a group presentation; class participation.

Required texts should include the following:

Neil Gaiman and Kelley Jones.  The Sandman:  Dream Country.

Scott McCloud.  Making Comics.

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.  Watchmen.

Osamu Tezuka.  Buddha, Vol. 4:  The Forest of Uruvela.

Jeff Smith.  Bone (volume TBA).

Marjane Satrapi.  Persepolis:  The Story of a Childhood.

Chris Ware. Jimmy Corrigan:  The Smartest Kid on Earth.

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English 342I: Literature of the Child

Instructor: Aiping Zhang

Literature of the Child is an introduction to literature written for or about children.  Our readings draw from three centuries of literary depictions of children. Some of the questions we’ll pose include: Why are children depicted the way they are in literature? What kinds of things does this literature suggest about the role of the developing child in relation to the family, the local community, the environment, and the wider world? Assignments include two papers with multiple drafts, journal entries, oral presentations, a midterm and a final exam. Class participation and attendance are required.

Required Texts: (Subject to change): J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan; Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Francis Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden; Judie Blume’s Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret; and R.J. Palacio’s Wonder.

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English 355: Bible, Literature, and Culture

Instructor: John Traver

Why do President Obama’s speeches positively reference a “brother’s keeper?”  Why does the narrator of Moby Dick want to be called “Ishmael?” 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 and thinkers 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 and the broader culture; 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 and culture.

Note that this class is writing-intensive, fulfilling either the genre or period requirement for the English major, or serving as an upper-division arts and humanities GE requirement in the EJP pathway.  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 deuterocanonical works (or “Apocrypha”). 

Texts will probably include:

Robert Crumb.  The Book of Genesis Illustrated.

Ed. Herbert Marks.  The English Bible:  King James Version.  The Old Testament.  Norton Critical Edition.

Ed. Gerald Hammond and Austin Busch.  The English Bible:  King James Version.  The New Testament and the Apocrypha.  Norton Critical Edition.

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English 364I: American Ethnic and Regional Literature in Focus: Asian American Literature

Instructor: Aiping Zhang

This course is intended as an in-depth study of Asian American literature. It will touch upon 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 examine how key elements in novel writing, such as motif, character, plot, voice, time, setting, and objects, enhance the thematic significance and the stylistic richness of a text. The purpose is to 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.

This is an approved Writing Intensive course for the Diversity Pathway in General Education and the US Diversity requirement.

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English 452: Kith, Kin, and the Less than Kind: Betrayal in the Development of British Drama

Instructor: John Traver

When Hamlet describes his uncle, now turned father-in-law, as “a little more than kin and less than kind,” his preoccupation with betrayal by his closest relations exemplifies a recurring concern of British drama.  In this course, we’ll explore how the theme of betrayal—ranging from spouses to trusted servants, from family to friends—plays out in British drama from the medieval period through the eighteenth century.  From Satan and Judas in medieval mystery plays to Joseph Surface in The School for Scandal, we’ll examine famous traitors and hypocrites from the stage and probe the anxieties they reveal in both public and domestic life.  We’ll also consider how different genres may exemplify contradictory attitudes toward betrayal, ranging from horror or detestation in a revenge tragedy, to perhaps even fascinated admiration in a Restoration comedy.  Through this survey, you’ll become familiar with a variety of dramatic subgenres, such as “city comedies” and “comedy of manners,” and of common dramatic conventions or character types (such as the “parasite,” the miles gloriosus, or the rake).  You will also have ample opportunity to cultivate a fake British accent, should you so choose!

This course fulfills the “early literature” requirement in the Literature major or the “British Literature:  Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century” requirement for the English Studies major.  If you are in the English Education major, it can fulfill one of the requirements for the “Teacher Preparation Option Core” (one course selected from ENGL 440-480), or for the “General Studies” pattern (one of two courses selected from ENGL 440-480), or for the “literature” pattern (one of four courses selected from ENGL 440-480).  Assignments should include the following:  a mid-term and a final; one short paper and one longer paper; short writing assignments and/or Blackboard Learn postings; a class presentation; class participation.

Required Texts will probably include the following:

Medieval and Tudor Drama, ed. John Gassner, ISBN 978-0936839844

Hamlet, William Shakespeare, ed. Susanne L. Wofford, ISBN 978-0312055448.  (I would like

you to get this edition for the critical essays, but note that the kindle edition is $0.99 on

Amazon.)

English Renaissance Drama:  A Norton Anthology, Bevington et al., ISBN 978-0393976557.

The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy, ed. Brian Corman,

ISBN 978-1551119229.

Henry Fielding, The Tragedy of Tragedies, Broadview Press, ISBN 9781554811632.

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