|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.|
English 130: Academic Writing
English 203: Shakespeare On Film
English 220: Creative Writing
English 230: Intro to Technical Writing
English 240: Introduction to Literature
English 251: African American Literature
Professor: Lynn Elliott
ENGL/AIST 252: American Indian Literature. The primary focus in this course is upon the various genres—fiction, poetry, autobiography and oral texts—of American Indian literature. Works ranging from pre-contact oral traditions through contemporary American Indian writers are explored. Related studies include the historical relationship between Indian and non-Indian cultures, American Indian values, and contemporary issues affecting American Indians. The class covers both the student’s GE and ethnic requirement.
English 253: Asian American Literature
English 254: Chicano/Latina/o Literature
English 258: World LiteratureBack to Top
Professor: John Traver
From the visions of hell in Dante’s Inferno to the super-heroes in Alan Moore’s Watchmen, imaginative works have exercised a vital role in the development of literature and culture. From talking birds in Aristophanes’s The Birds to talking horses in Gulliver’s Travels, authors envision strange worlds which provide new perspectives on everyday life, or they might demonstrate that the “ideal” world we imagined isn’t as desirable as we thought it was.
Our class will cover a diversity of genres, drawing from the novel (e.g., Shelley’s Frankenstein), poetry (e.g., Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner), and the drama (e.g., Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
Course expectations: short writing assignments, 2 papers, a mid-term, and a final exam.
- Aristophanes, The Birds
- Dante, Inferno
- Alan Moore, Watchmen
- William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
- Course packet
English 264: American Ethnic/Regional Writers
Professor: Geoff Baker
The goal of this course is to give us a solid grounding in the major works and figures of British and Irish literature from Romanticism in the late-eighteenth century to postmodernism and the present day. For those hoping to go on to careers as teachers of literature or language, this is a chance to grasp larger movements and issues over time—valuable context for the period in which you are specializing or for your overall knowledge of the British literary canon. For those heading into other professional spheres, this is a chance to hit one classic after another.
Assignments will include 2 midterms and a final exam; quizzes; 2 short papers; and regular participation in class discussions and online class bulletin boards.
- The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th ed, package 2 (The Romantic Period through the Twentieth Century and After), ISBN: 0393928349
English 315: Intro to Literary Editing & Publishing
English 321: Fiction Writing
Section(s): 1, 2
Professor: Paul Eggers
Creative nonfiction refers to the type of writing you might see in, for example, The New Yorker, as well as in memoirs and investigative journalism. Creative nonfiction is “nonfiction” in that it’s fact-based, exploring things taken from real life (including your own life); and it’s “creative” in that it recognizes and makes use of the writer’s presence and imagination, and the unreliability of memory. This kind of writing leads to interesting essays that draw upon the writer’s own experiences, memory, and engagement with the outside world. It tells the truth—the real, not made-up truth—but it sculpts that truth, making that truth memorable and vivid and convincing, using the same techniques fiction writers use.
Depending on class enrollment, we’ll do up to three kinds of creative nonfiction writing: memoir, personal essay, and literary journalism (we’ll also discuss what things actually mean). We’ll draft them first, then workshop them, then revise them. Along the way, we’ll discuss theoretical matters—e.g., what is a fact? Is objectivity actually possible? How reliable is memory?—and we’ll do drafting/idea-generation work, as well as read and discuss the writing of some of our best creative nonfiction writers, including Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Annie Dillard, and others.
- Bill Roorbach, Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: The Art of Truth
English 333: Advanced Composition for Future Teachers
English 335: Rhetoric and Writing
Professor: Geoff Baker
The goal of this course is to introduce us to the tools we use to read, analyze and discuss the three primary literary genres of poetry, drama, and fiction. We’ll be reading a diverse and fascinating cross-section of traditional and modern poems, tragedy and comedy, and fictions short and long. Along the way, we’ll become familiar with the terminology used to dig into literature and to explain what it does, why it does it, and why we value it.
- Meyer, ed. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing, Must be 8th edition, ISBN: 0312469594
Professor: Lynn Elliott
English 341 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. In class 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. In addition, 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.
English 342: Literature of the Child
English 353: Multicultural Literature
English 354: Classical 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
- Stevenson, W. H. King James Bible: A Selection
- Ed. David Pasper and Stephen Prickett, The Bible and Literature: A Reader
English 356: Survey of British Literature
English 357: Survey of British Literature
English 358: Survey of American Literature
English 359: Survey of American Literature
Professor: Teresa 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 and twentieth centuries which bear tribute to Austen, in various ways. Along the way, we’ll also view selections from 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 one major paper and short writing assignments, 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
English 371: Principles of Language
English 375: Introduction to English Grammar
English 419: Chapbook Production
English 420: Advanced Poetry Writing
English 421: Advanced Fiction Writing
English 431: Theory/Practice in Tutoring Composition
English 440: Chaucer and His Age
English 441: Shakespeare
English 448: The Long Eighteenth CenturyBack to Top
Professor: Teresa 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 two 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)
English 453: Modern Drama
English 456: The British Novel
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
English 465: American Literary Topics
English 467: Teaching Multicultural Literature
Professor: Geoff Baker
The 20th century saw Britain and Ireland involved in two world wars and the loss of what remained of England’s once-expansive empire. In addition, tensions between ethnic groups and social classes occasionally culminated in riots and strikes, and women writers continued to document changing gender roles in the wake of advances in women’s rights (such as full suffrage in 1928). The literary responses to these tectonic cultural shifts ranged from avant-garde experimentalism to sober reflection, from comedy to tragedy and tragicomedy, and from stream-of-consciousness narrative to novels charged by cold-war conflict and the pressures of globalization.
In this class, we’ll read texts by British and Irish writers, and try to cover the broad range of fascinating developments in 20th-century poetry, drama, and fiction.
The following list is subject to change (check with me at firstname.lastname@example.org during the holidays for the final selection), but texts will likely be chosen from:
- Poetry by Thomas Hardy, World War I poets like Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, William Butler Yeats, W.H. Auden, Stevie Smith, Philip Larkin, Thomas Kinsella, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Paul Muldoon
- Short fiction by James Joyce; Virginia Woolf’s modernist masterpiece, Mrs. Dalloway (1925); Graham Greene’s comical espionage novel, Our Man in Havana (1958); and Zadie Smith’s novelistic ode to global London, White Teeth (2000)
- Drama by George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion, 1913), Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot, 1949), John Osborne (Look Back in Anger, 1956), and Caryl Churchill (Cloud 9, 1979).