Spring 2018

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.

130EI 130I 130PI 203 220I 240 252
258I 260I 261I 264I 276 278


320 321 327 332 333 335 338Z
340 341 342Z 350I 353 354 356
364I 371


415 420 421 431
441 449 462 464 470 471 474
475 476 534 634 634 641 653

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. 

English 203: Shakespeare in Film

english 203

Instructor: Dr. Erin Kelly W 4-6:50 p.m.

Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed on the public stage in Elizabethan and Jacobean London. Since then, they have been performed on stages around the world and adapted for the silver screen countless times. In English 203, we will engage with a range of film adaptations of Shakespeare’s work, exploring what Shakespeare has meant for different cultures and in different time periods. We’ll watch classics like Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and compare them to new films like the 2015 Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. The class includes tragedies, history plays, and comedies like Much Ado About Nothing (see image above from Joss Whedon’s 2012 version). In order to aid our discussions, students will read the texts of Shakespeare’s plays as well as shorter readings on film theory and terminology. We will think about how his texts work on the page, on the stage, and on the screen. Classes will be a mixture of lectures, discussions, and film viewings.

This course may be taken as an elective or to fulfill the General Education C1: Arts requirement. English 203 can be used to fulfill the Arts requirement within the Ethics, Justice & Policy Pathway or the Gender & Sexuality Studies Pathway.

English 258I: World Literature 

Instructor: Dr. Robert Burton TR 3:30-4:45 p.m.

English 260I: Great Books

Instructor: Dr. John Traver MWF 12-12:50 p.m.

English 261I: Women's Writing

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Instructor: Dr. Erin Kelly TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Can you guess who the killer is before you get to the end of the book?!? Spend a semester testing your sleuthing skills as we read crime fiction written by women from around the world. We’ll read classics like Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (coming again to theaters near you this Christmas, starring Daisy Ridley and Judi Dench) alongside more recent work from Australia, Argentina, Sweden, Ireland, and the United States. In addition to analyzing how these authors craft their mysteries, we’ll consider how they engage with larger historical, cultural, and social issues and how gender (of the writer, detective, victim, criminal) factors into it all. We’ll also watch movie and television adaptations of some of the work to add to our discussions and try our hand at coming up with a mystery of our own.

This is a Writing Intensive course that may also count for the General Education C2: Humanities requirement or as an elective. ENGL261 fulfills the Humanities requirement within the Gender & Sexuality Studies Pathway.

English 264I: American Ethnic and Regional Writers

Instructor: Dr. Aiping Zhang TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.

English 276: Survey of Early British Literature

Instructor: Dr. Corey Sparks TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.

English 278: Survey of Early American Literature

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Brown MWF 1-1:50 p.m.

English 303: Survey of American Film: American Film and the Creation of Whiteness

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Instructor: Dr. Nathaniel Heggins Bryant M 3-5:50 p.m.

This course will examine how major Hollywood films have often engaged in the consistent production and reproduction of whiteness and explored the boundaries of race. The final unit in class will be devoted to contemporary films that depicts an oppositional gaze. Readings will consist chiefly of film history and secondary criticism, and students will be expected to learn, practice, and hone filmic close reading strategies.

English 320: Poetry Writing

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Instructor: Jeanne Clark TR 11-12:15, W 2-2:50

One breath taken completely; one poem, fully written, fully read - in 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 art galleries, sauntering through woodlands, talking with visiting writers about writing and the writing life, and so on.

English 321: Fiction Writing

Instructor: Robert Davidson MWF 11-11:50 a.m., M 4-5:50 p.m.

English 327: Creative Nonfiction

Instructor: Sarah Pape TR 12:30-1:45, R 3:30-4:45 p.m. 

English 332: Introduction to English Studies

Instructor: Dr. Kendall Leon TR 11-12:15 p.m. 

English 338Z: The Environment, Rhetoric, and Social Justice

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Instructor: Dr. Aydé Enríquez-Loya TR 11-12:15 p.m.

Environmental justice is mistakenly considered to be limited to issues regarding climate and nature, in general, with little regard to the impact it has on humanity. Furthermore, in the search for environmental justice, epistemologies and the relationships of various groups with the environment are too often ignored further jeopardizing our continued shared existence on this planet. This course will interrogate definitions of the environment, rhetoric, and social justice. This course will also examine the wide breadth of inequalities in environmental conditions as a result of race/ethnicity, language, gender/sexuality, ableism, and economic class. Projects will include various formal and informal presentations, group projects, and public writing and technical writing projects such as Feasibility and Recommendations Reports.

This is a Capstone course that fulfills the Sustainability Studies Pathway and is a Writing Intensive course.

English 350I: Science, Technology, and Literature of Cultural Change: Indigeneity in Contemporary Science Fiction

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Instructor: Dr. Nathaniel Heggins Bryant TR 12:30-1:45, 2-3:15 p.m.

This course examines narratives that depict an evolving sense of indigenous people in mid-20th century and contemporary science fiction. We will consider anxieties about race, class, gender, technology, and the environment, and a major theme linking all these texts is the violence associated with colonialism and neocolonialism. Reading quizzes, discussion board posts, and three short papers will contribute to the grade.

This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course.

English 356: Slacktivism and Literature

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Instructor: Dr. Corey Sparks TR 11-12:15 p.m.

Care about animals? Click a link. Have a favorite political candidate? Hashtag them. Support a particular cultural group? Change your Facebook profile picture. In our digital world it is easier than ever to show support for causes traditionally associated with energetic advocacy. Some critics read these behaviors as the laziness and disengagement of younger generations. Others note the ways “slacktivism” or “clicktivism” is associated with heightened civic participation. This course seeks to think about the conjunctions and disjunctions of slacker activism, including discussions of online identities, of politically engaged literary texts, and of the problems and possibilities posed for activism in a digital world.

English 364: Brujas Y Santas: Disrupting & Decolonizing Chicanx Literature

English 364 Photo

Instructor: Dr. Aydé Enríquez-Loya TR 2-3:15 p.m.

This course interrogates the restricted roles Chicanas have been forced into as either Brujas or Santas (Witches or Saints) as made evident through history, legends/folklore, politics, and popular culture. Such restrictions are detrimental to the construction of gender and sexuality while perpetuating Chicanas subjugation. This course examines various Chicanx novels, poetry, and short stories to come to an understanding about Mexican & Mexican American culture, Chicanx people, and their Indigenous heritage, languages, and spiritualities. Furthermore, this course argues for a disruption of linear and limited constructs of culture in order to initiate a decolonial approach to Chicanx Literature. This course will include Nahuatl language instruction that will utilize performative and embodied teaching strategies to challenge binaries between mind and body and interrogate academia’s tendency to marginalize Chicanx epistemologies.

This course fulfills the Diversity Studies Pathway and is a Writing Intensive course.

English 420: Advanced Poetry Writing

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Instructor: Dr. Jeanne E. Clark TR 12:30-1:45, W 4-4:50 p.m. 

In this course, you will write new drafts of poems, poems of your own wild imaginings. You will workshop these poems within a community of fellow writers. You will read brand-new, hot-off-the-press poems by both established & up-&-coming poets, representing a wide constellation of voices, approaches, & subjects. You will consider in depth the following craft issues: voice & tone, structure & form, titles, deep revision, & preparing manuscripts for publication.

We will also consider ways for you to support your own writing life, strategies of self-support as well as ways to build community support. You will need to consider ways of developing muscle & grit to sustain your writing practice & to take care of your work.

Prerequisite: English 320, or permission of the instructor. Graduate students may take this course for credit.

English 431: Theory and Practice in Tutoring Composition

English 431 Photo

Instructor: Dr. Chris Fosen MW 5:30-6:45 p.m. (Internship TBD)

English 431 is a course that prepares students to become paid writing mentors and workshop leaders in a variety of writing programs at Chico State. The course offers direct teaching experience, a chance to think about current issues and theories in the teaching of writing, and opportunities for employment later on. Upon completion of the course, the English 30 program, Student Learning Center, and ESL Resource Center all recruit writing mentors and tutors from our ENGL 431 students.

This four-unit course includes a one-unit practicum that provides students with direct experience working with students at every stage of the writing process. In order to fulfill the requirements of this practicum, students work for 2-3 hours each week as an English 30 “embedded mentor” or as a tutor in the ESL Resource Center or SLC. In these spaces, they will intern under the guidance of experienced mentors and faculty coordinators.

While the course welcomes English majors, students don’t need to be in English to be good workshop leaders. In fact, students from across the disciplines—and from a variety of language backgrounds—often make the very best workshop leaders. This is also an exceptional opportunity for students considering a career in teaching as they will become members of a very professional community of students who work with writing at Chico State.

English 441: Shakespeare

English 441 Photo

Instructor: Dr. Erin Kelly TR 2-3:15 p.m.

Whether you are a lover of the Bard or are suffering from Shakespeare-phobia, ENGL 441 is the course for you. Shakespeare’s plays were originally living, breathing moments of popular entertainment, and we will cast aside centuries’ worth of stuffiness and difficulty to experience the plays anew.

English 441 is an introduction to the plays of William Shakespeare. We will read plays from all four dramatic genres – comedy, history, tragedy and romance. In this course, we will focus on Shakespeare in theatrical performance, learning the conventions and conditions of performance in Renaissance playhouses, watching excerpts of modern theatrical productions, and performing scenes in class. Through this approach, we will discuss how Shakespeare works within and against the conventions of dramatic genres and consider the variety of ways that these plays can be presented on stage. Students who plan of teaching high school will leave ENGL 441 with notes for future lesson plans. Every student will have the opportunity to put their own voice in conversation with other critics in the final term paper, and those students who plan on applying to graduate school will leave with a good writing sample option. 

This is an approved Writing Proficiency course. This course is also an approved GE capstone substitute; please contact Matt Brown or Peter Kittle with any questions. Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent); ENGL 276, ENGL 340.

English 641: British Medieval Literature: Making the Middle Ages

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Instructor: Dr. Corey Sparks R 5-7:50 p.m.

To write or think about the past is not to leave the present behind. In this course, specifically, we will think about the ways that imagining the Middle Ages reflects—sometimes explicitly sometimes implicitly—contemporary artistic, scientific, and political concerns. To do this we will consider several evocative objects as markers for making the Middle Ages: the manuscript, the sword, the reliquary, the astrolabe, the map, and the ship. We will study these objects as they appear in a variety of medieval texts as well as in and of themselves as material objects.

Our engagement with these objects will be multimodal, and it will be rooted in an ethos of critical making. So, complementing readings about objects will be projects that ask students to produce objects as a means of apprehending the past and accounts of the past. The critical making aspects of the course will culminate in a digital exhibition.

We will read some primary texts will be in translation, and some texts will be in Middle English. Critical and theoretical texts will touch on the following topics: historiography, medievalism, new materialisms, as well as postcolonial and critical race studies.

English 130EI: Academinc Writing-English as Second Language