Spring 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 220 240 254
258 260 264 276 277 278
321 333 335 338 340 341
353 354 360 365 371 375
420 421 431 440 447 448
449 450 453 454 459 461
464 465 467 468 470 471
474 478 480 522 534

Option in English Studies, Spring 2011: Courses Offered

Option in Literature, Spring 2011: Courses Offered

Please Note: The syllabi on this website are for your reference only. The reading list and requirements may vary from semester to semester. For more accurate information, please check with the course instructors before signing up or purchasing books for the classes. 

English 130: Academic Writing

English 130P: Academic Writing

English 130E: Academic Writing

English 220: Creative Writing

Section(s): 1, 2, 3, 4
Professor: Jeanne Clark

Section(s): 5, 6
Professor: Paul Eggers

Section(s): 7, 8
Professor: Rob Davidson

English 220 is designed to introduce you to the writing of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. You will be asked to write “literary” work in this class (i.e., 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 C-2).

Text(s):

  • Richard Ford, ed. The Granta Book of the American Short Story, Vol. 2. New York: Grove-Atlantic, 2009
  • J. D. McClatchy, ed. The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry. Second ed. New York: Vintage, 2003
  • Lex Williford and Michael Martone, eds. Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present. New York: Touchstone-Simone & Schuster, 2007

Section(s): 9, 10
Professor: TBA

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English 240: Introduction to Literature

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 some great novels, poetry, drama, and non-fiction prose, 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. Grades will be based on a few short writing assignments on Vista, a midterm, a final exam, and an analytical paper.

In addition to very brief excerpted portions of the Analects of Confucius, Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound,Dante’s La Vita Nuova, and Plato’s Republic, there are the following required texts:

  • Plato, Symposium (Nehamas & Woodruff translation, Hackett), ISBN: 0872200760
  • Dante, Inferno (Hollander translation, Anchor), ISBN: 0385496982
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Oxford), ISBN: 019953716X
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (Oxford), ISBN: 0199535566
  • Honoré de Balzac, Père Goriot (Burton Raffel translation, Norton), ISBN: 039397166X
  • Henrik Ibsen, Four Major Plays, Volume I (Signet), ISBN: 0451530225 
  • Yevgeny Zamyatin, We (Clarence Brown translation, Penguin), ISBN: 0140185852

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English 264: American Ethnic/Regional Writers

English 276: Survey of British Literature

English 277: Survey of British Literature II

Section(s): 1
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 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.

Text(s):

  • 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

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    • T. Coraghessan Boyle, ed., Doubletakes: Pairs of Contemporary Short Stories. Boston: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2004
    • Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? 1976. New York: Vintage, 1992
    •  
      • To introduce you to rhetorical theory and environmental criticism
      • To help you develop your understanding of the way language and other media influence our perceptions of nature
      • To help you develop your understanding of the cultural, social, scientific, and governmental dimensions of the environmental crisis
      • To describe the character and dominant forms of Western environmental rhetoric
      • Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, ed. Peter G. Beidler
      • The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature, ed. Michael Meyer
      •  
        • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and Emma
        • Georgette Heyer, Frederica
        • Shannon Hale, Austenland
        •  
          • The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse & Prose, edited by Alan Rudrum, et al.
          • William Shakespeare, HamletCase Studies in Contemporary Criticism series, ed. Susanne L. Wofford.
          • Restoration and Eighteenth Century Comedy (Norton Critical Editions), ed. Scott McMillin.
          •  
            • 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)
            • Joseph Conrad (UK) Heart of Darkness,1902
            • Franz Kafka (Austria-Hungry) The Trial, 1925 
            • William Faulkner (U.S., a Nobel Laureate) The Sound and the Fury, 1929 
            • Vladimir Nabokov (Russian American) Pale Fire, 1962 
            • Laura Esquivel (Mexico, an Ariel Award winner) Like Water for Chocolate, 1989; 1992
            • Charles Frazier (U.S., a National Book Award winner) Cold Mountain, 1997 
            • Gao Xinjian (Chinese French, a Nobel Laureate) Soul Mountain, 1990; 2000 
            • J.M. Coetzee (South Africa, a Nobel Laureate) Disgrace, 1999 
            • Toni Morrison (U.S., a Nobel Laureate) A Mercy, 2008 
            • Kazuo Ishiguro, (Japan-England) The Remains of the Day
            • Bessie Head, (South Africa) A Question of Power
            • Bharati Mukherjee, (India-U.S.) Jasmine
            • Salman Rushdie, (India-Pakistan-England-U.S.) East, West
            • James Joyce, Dubliners (Oxford), ISBN: 0199536430
            • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Harcourt), ISBN: 0156907399
            • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (Grove), ISBN: 0802130348
            • John Osborne, Look Back in Anger (Penguin), ISBN: 0140481753
            • Caryl Churchill, Cloud 9 (Theatre Communications Group), ISBN: 1559360992
            • Zadie Smith, White Teeth (Vintage), ISBN: 0375703861

            English 470: Second Language Acquisition

            English 471: Intensive Theory & Practice Second Language Acquisition

            English 474: Syntactic/Morpho Analysis

            English 478: Linguistics Approaches to Reading

            English 480: Literary Theory and Criticism

            English 522: Undergraduate Form and Practice

            English 534: Literature/Language/Composition

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          • English 456: The British Novel

            Section(s): 1
            Professor: Teresa Huffman 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. 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. Assignments will include two papers; required discussion posts; and a mid-term and final exams.

            Text(s):

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            English 459: American Literature-1850 to 1945

            English 461: Modern Novel

            Section(s): 1
            Professor: Aiping Zhang

            This course is intended as an in-depth and comparative study of some powerful but challenging novels by a group of influential and controversial authors. These novels were written in different languages and historical periods of modern times. Most of the selected texts have won prestigious awards, served as trend-setters during their time, and become masterpieces in novel writing. By exploring the daring experiments, monumental successes, and lofty failures in novelistic narratology, we will trace all the major developments, from modernism to post-postmodernism, that have made their unique contributions to establishing, shaping, and diversifying the writing and reading of the modern novel.

            With this course, you may fulfill the requirement of “Comparative, Continental European, World, and Multicultural Literatures” for English Studies Option, or you may take it as one of the four courses in “Late Literature” for Literature Option.

            Text(s):

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            English 464: World Literature

            Section(s): 1
            Professor: Rob Burton

            In this course, we will read and discuss four or five contemporary multicultural (and multinational) authors who use the English language as a common vehicle to articulate their singular artistic visions.

            My book, Artists of the Floating World: Contemporary Writings Between Cultures (University Press of America: 2006), will be used to frame and organize the course.

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            English 465: American Literary Topics

            Section(s): 1
            Professor: Lynn Houston

            The contemporary Las Vegas experience embodies fascinating contradictions: dining cheaply at all-you-can-eat buffets in a nation with an obesity problem; gambling when the odds are in favor of the house and our country is in an economic crisis; and visiting miniature versions of the world’s monuments—the Eiffel Tower, the Venetian canals, an Egyptian pyramid, etc.—as America’s global relations have deteriorated post-9/11. What relationship does Las Vegas have to American culture and how have various authors represented it in literature? From Hunter S. Thompson to Stephen King, this class will investigate the place of Las Vegas in literature and the special position it holds in American culture. Other authors may include: Normal Mailer, Tom Wolfe, Noel Coward, Joyce Carol Oats, Michael Herr, and Joan Didion. This course fulfills the “later literature” requirement in the Literature major and the requirement for “American Literature: 1850's to Present” in the English Studies option.

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            English 468: 20th-Century and Contemporary British Literature

            Section(s): 1
            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 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 domestic tensions 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 poetry, drama, and fiction from modernism to postmodernism.

            In addition to brief texts by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Erich Auerbach, Martin Esslin, Émile Zola, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, William Butler Years, T.S. Eliot, and Paul Muldoon, and the film My Beautiful Laundrette (writ. Hanif Kureishi, dir. Stephen Frears), we’ll read the following required books:

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        • Section(s): 2
          Professor: Lynn Houston

          Using The Norton Anthology of Women’s Literature, we will cover a range of literary works in which women writers express a complex relationship to culture and society. We will discuss historical and current practices, examine institutions and belief systems that impact women’s lives, and identify ways women writers confront social, economic, political and personal issues. Literary analyses in class will employ theories from feminist criticism. While reading assignments tend to be shorter selections, we may read two or three longer works. Attendance in class and participation in group discussions are mandatory.

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          English 365: Food and Literature

          Section(s): 1
          Professor: Lynn Houston

          In literary texts, food functions a gateway to important cultural issues. This class will investigate how authors give meaning to politics—from an international level to an interpersonal one—through food. While we will engage the cultural issues that literary food references reveal, we will also pay close attention to the stylistic devices that authors use to transmit ideas about food (or about life lessons learning through food). Through these approaches, we will characterize the genre of “food writing,” including one or two chef’s memoirs, and theorize the nature of cookbooks and recipes as forms of literature. We will also examine the use of the recipe as a narrative device within the genre of the novel. This course satisfies the GE diversity requirement and is part of the new upper-division general education Theme V, Consuming Interests: Food and Society.

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          English 371: Principles of Language

          English 375: Introduction to English Grammar

          English 420: Advanced Poetry Writing

          Section(s): 1, 2
          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. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way? —Emily Dickinson

          In this course, you will write new drafts of poems, poems of your own wild imaginings. You will read brand-new, hot-off-the-press poems by both established and up-and-coming poets, representing a wide constellation of voices, approaches, and subjects. 

          You will consider in depth the following craft issues: voice and tone, structure and form, titles, deep revision, and preparing manuscripts for publication.

          The reading list may include: Sharon Olds, Kevin Prufer, Kevin Young, Mary Jo Bang, Robin Robertson, and Brendan Galvin, among others.

          Prerequisite: English 320, or permission of the instructor. Graduate students may take this course for credit. Questions? Contact Jeanne Clark (Taylor 122, jeclark2@csuchico.edu)

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          English 421: Advanced Fiction Writing

          Section(s): 1, 2
          Professor: Paul Eggers

          This course aims to enhance your ability to write serious short stories, the kind found in, for example, the New Yorker or the Best American Short Stories series. Students will draft, workshop, and revise two full-length stories; comment both orally and in writing on their classmates’ stories; read and discuss published contemporary stories (with the aim of seeing how these stories work, and what we can take away from them as writers); and do writing activities aimed at helping to generate story ideas and to help those stories artfully fulfill the expectations serious readers typically have for published, contemporary serious fiction.  

          These are the same kind of activities typically found in English 321, intermediate fiction writing, but at a more advanced level, with more attention paid to honing the writer’s craft and seeing how published literary stories work.

          English 321, intermediate fiction writing (or its equivalent, elsewhere), is the required prerequisite for this course, unless you’re a new or newish graduate student in English, focusing on creative writing.

          Our class text will likely be 2006 Best American Short Stories (paperback), but that’s not yet definite. Figure around $50 or so for photocopying your work for the class.

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          English 431: Theory/Practice in Tutoring Composition

          Section(s): 1, 2
          Professor: Chris Fosen

          English 431 offers training and experience in tutoring students in writing. In our weekly seminar, we will discuss readings in the theories and practices associated with writing and mentoring, give presentations and present problems of practice, develop an inquiry project on some aspect of your work with student writing. The fourth unit of this four-unit course is a practicum that requires you to intern in an English 30 workshop. This practicum experience provides a rich resource for us to explore how to mentor student writing. So the course is closely connected to our first year writing program, but we will also think about other spaces and cases that could help us explore issues in teaching and learning how to write. Paid positions in the English 30 Writing Workshop require successful completion of this course. English 431 also provides an introduction to theories and practices of writing instruction and is a recommended prerequisite for English 634, the graduate-level course in Teaching Academic Writing. 

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          English 440: Chaucer and His Age

          English 447: 17th Century Literature

          Section(s): 1
          Professor: John Traver

          The seventeenth century is a period that delights in dramatic experimentation and outright contradiction. Metaphysical poetics such as John Donne and George Herbert risk apparent ridiculousness, whether it is an extended analogy between love and a blood-sucking flea, or a poem written in the shape of a pair of wings. Political upheaval prompts many writers openly to contradict themselves, such as during the English Civil War and the Restoration, where the poet John Dryden can praise the end of monarchy in a 1658 poem and celebrate its re-institution in another poem just two years later. We see not simply the closing of the theaters and the rise of Puritanism, but also the re-opening of the theaters and the rise of libertinism. We will consider these dramatic shifts in perspective through the literature of the time from a variety of genres, such as poetry (e.g., John Donne, Aphra Behn, Katherine Philips, and Andrew Marvell), plays (e.g., William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and William Congreve’s The Way of the World), and prose (e.g., John Milton’s Areopagitica and John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress and John Milton’s Areopagitica).

          Assignments will 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; memorization of one poem of your choice; class participation.

          Text(s):

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      • English 341: Reading Literature for Future Teachers

        English 353: Multicultural Literature

        English 354: Classical Literature

        English 360: Women Writers

        Section(s): 1
        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 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 two-three papers, required discussion board posts, and a mid-term and final exam. Class participation and attendance are required.

        Text(s):

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    • English 333: Advanced Composition for Future Teachers

      English 335: Rhetoric and Writing

      Section(s): 1
      Professor: Chris Fosen

      This is a course in the theory and practice of rhetoric. If you’re like most people, you’ll come to this course with a fairly fuzzy idea of what rhetoric is. Is it what politicians do when they skirt talk about “the real issues,” or what ad writers do when they urge you to buy a new car? Does a Barbie doll use rhetoric when it presents to young girls a particular standard of beauty? What about Shakespeare’s sonnets, the latest Harry Potter film, or your research paper for Sociology? 

      The answers to all these questions depend on what definition of rhetoric you subscribe to. Rhetoric—the study of how texts and other symbol systems operate in public spheres to teach, persuade, influence, or move audiences—is a complex discipline with a long and contested history. In this class we’ll explore rhetoric as a field of study and work with analytical concepts and strategies in order to develop what Aristotle termed "the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion." In this way, we’ll be mastering many of the styles and strategies that orators, legislators, and teachers might have employed with students and others, and asking critical questions about how these two elements—analysis and writing, or theory and practice—might be related. We’ll also spend a lot of time in class practicing with rhetorical style in our own writing and with texts we find all around us. I want us to be looking for ways to relate conversations and debates in this course to issues outside it.

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      Section(s): 2
      Professor: Roger Kaye

      English 338: Environmental Rhetoric

      Section(s): 1
      Professor: Chris Fosen

      “Environmental Rhetoric” is a course that aims to make you a more critical reader and writer of the environments that surround us and the arguments about them. This course uses contemporary environmental and rhetorical theory to explore the dynamic relations among mass media, nature, science, public policy, and social movements. Through a variety of readings, documentary films, panel discussions, and collaborative and “real world” writing activities, students will engage contemporary arguments about issues surrounding “the environment”—issues like global climate change, environmental activism, the rhetoric of “organic,” greenwashing, agriculture and food security, energy use, control and prevention of human disease, water quantity and quality, environmental pollutants, and the role of social movements.

      The goals for this course are:

      “Environmental Rhetoric” uses readings in history, sociology, rhetoric, and communication studies in order to explore the persuasive dimensions of 21st century environmental movements in the U.S. This intellectual work involves reflection and the development of complex ideas, arguments, and questions. It involves engaged reading. It involves writing and re-writing. And it involves listening to and respecting your classmates’ ideas and arguments in order to develop engaged practices that might travel out of the classroom into the publics and environments beyond.

      Environmental Rhetoric is a GE Upper Division course in Theme D, Environmental Issues. Class meets MWF 11:00-11:50 a.m. in PLMS 102.

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      English 340: Approaches to Literary Genres

      Section(s): 1, 2
      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. 

      Text(s):

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  • English 278: Survey of American Literature I

    Section(s):
    Professor: Lynn Houston

    In this class we survey American literature from 1492 to 1865. 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. We then examine the critiques made in slave narratives against white, Christian culture and the plantation economy of the South. American manifestations of Romanticism come next: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and the movement known as Transcendentalism. Next, we discuss works in the movement called the American Renaissance, some of which also fall into the American Gothic: Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allen Poe. We end with an examination of the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Readings will be selected from volumes A and B of the Heath Anthology of American Literature (6th ed.). The major assignments for the course will most likely be a midterm and a final exam consisting of passage identification and short essay questions.

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    English 321: Fiction Writing

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

    English 321 is an intensive workshop-based course in the writing of the short story. You will be asked to write “literary” work in this class (i.e., 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 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 story in mind. As a general rule, a short story is a self-contained prose narrative that does not exceed twenty-five double-spaced pages (roughly 6,000 words). “Long” short stories, novellas, and novel excerpts are outside the domain of this class.

    Text(s):

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