Undergraduate Course Descriptions Spring 2011

Campuswide Gen Ed Common Core: Art, Aesthetics, & Creativity

ENG-A 190 — Arts, Aesthetics, and Creativity (3 cr.)
4311 MW 4:00-5:15 P Clayton Michaels
4489 TR 2:30-3:45 P
Topic: Of (Super)Men and Myths: Writing for Comic Books
In this course, we will be taking an intensive look at the mythology of comic books. Students will spend part of the course studying comic books with the same detail with which they would study any other literary form. They will study how comic writers create and refine their own mythologies, like Jeph Loeb does in Batman: The Long Halloween or Brian K. Vaughan does in the first collected volume of his acclaimed Y: The Last Man series. Students will also explore the ways comic writers draw from and re-imagine world mythologies and folk tales in their works, like Mike Mignola’s reworking of Russian folk tales of the Baba Yaga and Koschei the Deathless in Hellboy: Darkness Calls and Neil Gaiman’s blend of Greek, Egyptian, Babylonian and myriad other mythologies in his seminal Sandman series, along with reading some of the original stories these writers are adapting in their books. Students will also spend the semester creating their own comic book, moving from creating their own character(s) and mythologies to plotting their first story arc to scripting and drawing the first issue of their books.

ENG-A 190 — Arts, Aesthetics, and Creativity (3 cr.)
4310 MW 2:30-3:45 P David Dodd Lee
28003 MW 5:30-6:45 P
Topic: Poetry and Autobiography: The Authenticity of Self in Contemporary Poetry
In this class students will examine their own lives through the prism of “autobiographical” poetry texts (as well as other art forms, including movies, the visual arts, music, etc.) We will examine the idea of poetic "persona" in contemporary poetry by reading various authors, as well as exploring film and visual art, and you will learn through various writing projects, and possibly a visual art project or two, how to determine, in your own autobiographical poems, what you need to do to get the most "truth" out of language through means of concision, music in language, exaggeration, eliminating cliché. The influence of class, gender, and race will all be germane to a deep understanding of how we authentically express and/or build into a complex language construct a representation of the self. You will write imitation poems as well as poems wholly your own. Additionally you will keep a journal of reader responses to the various readings and films, and write 2 short analytical response papers.

ENG-A 399 — Art, Aesthetics, and Creativity (3 cr.)
4827 TR 4:00-5:15 P Kelcey Parker
Topic: Narrative Collage

The word collage comes from the French verb coller, which means “to glue,” and usually refers to the gluing of papers and objects to other surfaces. Today we use it to describe the combining of any sort of fragments – paper, images, objects, words, texts. Something magic happens when you attach one thing to another. The Surrealist artist and writer Max Ernst once defined collage as “an exploitation of the chance meeting...of two or more distant realities on an unfamiliar plane. And the flash of poetry which results from their mutual approach."

In this class we will make visual collages out of paper and glue, and literary collages out of words and phrases. We’ll study many examples of literary and visual collage as we explore new ways to tell stories. To provide an historical and interdisciplinary framework, and to explore relationships to other cultures, we’ll study the key twentieth century artistic movements that experimented with collage. In particular we’ll investigate European Dada and Surrealism, examining their finished products and participating in their creative processes. Students will maintain an ongoing collage journal to practice techniques and experiment with ideas, and will complete 2 major projects: a 2-D Surrealist Self-Portrait collage and a complete, self-published book that tells a story using image and text.

Note on content and materials: This course includes advanced reading assignments and reflective writing. Students should expect to pay up to $20 extra for materials and self-publishing.

Literature Courses

ENG-E 302 — Literatures in English 1600-1800 (3 cr.)
3392 MW 2:30-3:45 P Lee Kahan
Topic: “The World Turned Upside Down”
1. Course of any thing that returns to the point at which it began to move. Milton
2. Rotation in general; returning motion. Milton
Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language (1755)
Johnson’s definition of revolution illustrates the tension between new and old, “change” and “return,” that arguably defined the period between the English Civil War of 1644 and the French Revolution of 1789. This was, indeed, an age of revolutions—not only political but also economic and cultural—as eighteenth-century writers render explicit through phrases like “the Battle of the Books,” the “Revolution in Low Life,” and the “Revolution in Female Manners.” The instability of political and social  hierarchies during this period prompted Britons to question and to revise their relationship to the past. Were they experiencing a break with history—the irrecoverable loss of some Golden Age? Or was the “world turned upside down” (as one balladeer called post-Civil War England) only one stage in a “rotation” of history that would eventually “return to the point at which it began to move?” In this class, we will examine how a range of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century poets, dramatists and novelists grappled with such questions, as they contemplated the fall of kings, the founding of new nations, the waning of aristocratic privilege, and the rise of a new middle class. We will pay particular attention to how these writers’ explicitly or implicitly associated political or cultural revolutions with literary ones, as when Milton claimed that his epic history of Satan’s “foul revolt” against his King would recover the “ancient liberty … of Heroic Poem from the troublesome and modern bondage of rhyming.” How are these two forms of revolt related? Such questions about the interrelation of form, content and culture will preoccupy us throughout the semester, as we explore how literature was itself turned upside down during this tumultuous period. Requirements will include two papers, short weekly responses to the readings, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

ENG-E 303 — Literatures in English 1800-1900 (3 cr.)
3393 MW 1:00-2:15 P Karen Gindele
From the small and intimate community to the extended urban landscape and the reaches of the British empire, this course will also span late Enlightenment, the Romantic, and the Victorian periods in English literature.  Some of our concerns will be the relationships between insiders and outsiders, the individual and society, conceptions of nature and culture, and major social issues such as the effects of the industrial revolution and Britain’s relation to its colonies.  We’ll read poetry by Romantic writers, and novels by Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Hardy, and probably Joseph Conrad, as well as a comedy by Oscar Wilde. We will give some attention to narrative theory and form and students will do some independent research in the cultural context of the nineteenth century.  The class will operate primarily by discussion, and students themselves, in small groups, will lead a discussion once during the semester.  There will be three essays of medium length (5-10 pages), one including the student’s research, as well as short response papers. 

ENG-G 205 — Intro to the English Language (3 cr.)
3397 TR 2:30-3:45 P Ann Bridger

Elementary phonetics, phonology, and grammatical analysis: historical and comparative linguistics: language variation; English language as considered in relation to other languages.

ENG-L 202 — Literary Interpretation (3 cr.)
4220 MW 4:00-5:15 P Chu He
  This course offers an introduction to literary study, including the key terms, concepts, and theories involved in literary interpretation. We will read from a variety of genres, including short fiction, drama, poetry, and novel, and discuss their formal features and characteristics and how different forms shape meaning. We will also learn about the core literary theories such as New Criticism, Feminism, Post-colonialism, etc, and how different critical approaches render different meanings to the literary works. Classes will primarily be centered upon discussion and writing, through which we will learn to analyze and interpret literary works, apply literary theories to reading and writing, and formulate arguments about a literary text.

ENG-L 202 — Literary Interpretation (3 cr.)
3398 TR 1:00-2:15 P Karen Gindele
This course is an introduction to interpreting literature, and we’ll read English and American drama, poetry, and fiction.  We’ll pay attention to how forms of literature themselves shape meaning—how a writer might use a poem as the form in which to define an experience or perception, while he or she might use a play to present social interactions in dialogue or a novel to show us how an imagined person grows up or people fall in love.  We’ll consider how writers adhere to or depart from the conventions or rules for the various genres, and we’ll work at mastering the concepts and terms that literary analysis entails.  We will try to evaluate the choices writers make in what they include in their imagined worlds and how they represent those worlds, from their language, “ordinary” and figurative, to their characters, plots, themes, and ideas. Our format will be discussion, and there will be four formal interpretive papers mainly of medium length (4-5 pp.) as well as frequent informal reading response papers.  Students will have small research assignments to develop skill in incorporating other critical perspectives and to aim for complexity and detail in analysis. Second-level writing.

ENG-L 207 — Women and Literature (3 cr.)
4192 MW 11:30-12 :45 P Jake Mattox
(combined with WOST-L 207/4202)
Topic: Protest Writing
This course will offer a selected survey of women’s protest writing in the United States from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. We will analyze works with specific attention to their historical and cultural contexts, and course materials will include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film, and autobiographical writings. We will investigate how different genres and forms of “literature,” broadly conceived, are used strategically to enact direct and/or implicit critiques of social, political, and cultural conditions. We will also examine how questions of gender affect key issues in women’s writing, from access to publishing to expectations about genre and form. Authors and works studied might include Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Jacobs’s slave narrative (1861); Ida Wells’s essays on lynching; Muriel Rukeyser’s activist poetry; Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660, an illustrated account of life in Japanese internment camps; Angela Davis’s essays on prison, race, and gender; and Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, a multi-perspective account of the 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion written for the theater.

ENG-L 222 — Intro to Literary Criticism (3 cr.)
3399 MW 5:30-6:45 P Lee Kahan
  To analyze literature, critics employ a variety of theoretical concepts, which they borrow from an array of other disciplines, such as anthropology, economics, and psychology.  The main purpose of this course is to introduce you to some of the foundational concepts that have influence literary criticism over the past fifty years. We will read key texts from the schools of psychoanalysis, Marxism, deconstruction, post-structuralism, feminism, and postcolonial theory. Our focus will be on how these theories define identity/subjectivity in its relationship to the social order and to various power dynamics. Alongside of these theories, we will read several literary texts, all of which focus on that most problematic of identities: the “monster.” These texts will likely include Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and perhaps Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. We will also read literary criticism that interprets these texts from the theoretical perspectives we discuss. The course grade will be based on three papers and a take-home exam. Note: this course presumes that you have the basic skills of literary analysis that are covered in ENG-L202, Introduction to Literary Interpretation. 

ENG-L 352 — American Literature 1865-1914 (3 cr.)
28007 MW 2:30-3:45 P Jake Mattox
The period leading up to and following the U.S. Civil War saw a tense culture combining deep optimism and a crisis of confidence over such issues as national unity, imperialism and empire, market capitalism, the legacies of conquest, and race relations. It also saw an incredible wealth of literary production. In this course, we will consider how different authors, using a variety of genres—such as naturalism, historical romance, humor/satire, and the fictional autobiography—engaged with the debates surrounding these important issues. Authors studied will likely include Mark Twain, Harriet Wilson, Herman Melville, Frank Norris, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Charles Chesnutt.

ENG-L 358 — Twenthieth Century American Fiction (3 cr.)
4703 MW 11:30-12:45 P Benjamin Balthaser
Topic: Radical Modernisms: Social Movements and Culture from World War I to the Cold War
The cultural period of Modernism is often thought of as a despairing response to the industrialized carnage of World War I and the increasing atomization of the modern world. “High” modernist poets like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound were deeply pessimistic about modernity, decrying the "iron cage" of regimentation, consumerism, and the new mobility that threatened traditional values and hierarchies. Not all cultural workers in the modern period saw the changes of the modern world as without promise. Many activists and artists in the period from World War I to the Cold War thought of literature and mass cultural production as a way to construct a new democratic, even revolutionary society. Looking at modernism from the lens of U.S. social movements, this course examines what one critic calls the "third wave of modernism," the fusion of revolutionary politics with the arts of the modern. Such movements included anti-imperialists in Harlem and Greenwich Village radicals in the 1920s, the proletarian cultural movements of the 1930s, emergent feminist and civil rights cultural movements of the late 20s and 30s, the Beat poets, film noir, and new directions in documentary photography that all in one way or another attempted to blend a new social vision with formal and technological innovation. Combining literary, media, and film studies with historical scholarship, this course hopes to re-open debates on what constitutes "the modern" and how it might be reframed with changes in the capitalist, cultural, and social orders.
Throughout the course, we'll examine works and selections including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Claude McKay's Banjo; John Dos Passos's The Big Money; CLR James' The Black Jacobins; Tillie Olsen's Yonnondio; Richard Wright's American Hunger; Clifford Odet's Waiting for Lefty; Meridel Le Sueur's Salute to Spring; poems by Muriel Rukeyser, Allen Ginsburg, Amiri Baraka, and Langston Hughes; films and photography by Orson Welles, Preston Sturges, Jules Dassin, NYKINO, the Workers Film and Photo League, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothy Lange, and Oscar Micheaux; and radical newspapers including the New Masses and the Daily Worker, the International Negro Worker, The Liberator, and The Crusader.

ENG-L 376 — Literature for Adolescents (3 cr.)
4375 TR 11:30-12:45P Mary Anna Violi
A survey of the challenging, sometimes controversial, literature written about and for young adult readers. A wide range of readings, with discussion topics that include “problem” fiction, fantasy and escapism, and censorship.

ENG-L 390 — Children’s Literature (3 cr.)
3400 MW 2:30-3:45 P Smiljka Cubelic
This course challenges students to develop as critical readers and “informed critics” who engage in serious, meaningful, and structured discussion of children’s literature from intellectual, moral, and aesthetic point of view. A portfolio system is based on the checklist of semester-long assignments which are designed to develop your analytical skills in a gradual manner.

ENG-L 390 — Children’s Literature (3 cr.)
3401 T 5:30-8:00 P Tracey Thomas
Historical and modern children’s books and selections from books; designed to assist future teachers, parents, librarians, or others in selecting the best in children’s literature.

ENG-L 450 — Seminar: British and American Authors (3 cr.)
4704 M 7:00-9:30 P Bobby Meyer-Lee
Reserved for Seniors
Topic: Autobiographical Fiction
The concept of “autobiographical fiction” is seemingly a contradiction in terms, and yet for centuries authors have rewritten their lives as fictions precisely, and paradoxically, in order to chart the profounder meanings of their real experience of the world. In this year’s senior seminar, we will explore the ways in which some late medieval English authors cast the light of their fictions upon themselves, as well as the reasons why they do this. We will query how these ways and reasons both differ from and resemble those of modern authors, and, more generally, we will grapple with the problematic relationship between literature and life.

Campuswide Gen Ed Common Core: Literary and Intellectual Traditions

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4117 TR 10:00-11:15 A Chu He
Topic: The Outcast
The image of the outcast has captured many writers’ imagination, for it raises interesting questions about the relationship between individual and society. In what ways are the outcasts different from other people? Why are they excluded/rejected by the society? Do they pose problem, harm, or danger to the society? Do they challenge/critique social conventions and traditions? How do they view their own marginalized condition? Are they seeking for social acceptance or insisting on their own isolation? By reading writers from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, we will explore the issues of social boundaries, cultural definition, individual freedom and independence, and the price paid to be assimilated or excluded in a society.

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4488 MW 11:30-12:45 P Kate Wolford
Topic: Fractured Fairy Tale Families
Fairy tales usually take place inside the family (“Cinderella”) or after ejection from a family (Snow White”). If the parents or siblings in a story are not mean or incompetent (“Hansel and Gretel”  and “Puss in Boots”), they are often intensely evil (“The Juniper Tree”). Power struggles inside fairy tale families, in both high and low places, are then, power generators for fairy tale plot development.  In “Fractured Fairy Tale Families,” we will examine not only the appeal of failed families in the stories and the reasons for their appeal, but also ponder the central ethical problem in fairy tales: Are they inherently a bad form of storytelling? Is there something in their core that appeals to such base stereotyping – evil stepparents, plotting siblings, the inherent good of the physically beautiful – that people will, despite our best efforts to retell stories in new, modern, more morally generous ways, usually support the most base and basic forms of the tales? The course really will ask a question that may seem too extreme, but in my years of teaching about fairy tales always ends up as the central question: Should we even tell these stories anymore?

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4639 MW 4:00-5:15 P Benjamin Balthaser
Topic: Beyond Cowboys and Indians: The myths of the U.S. West
The story of the U.S. West has been told in countless ways: as conflict between advancing civilization and disappearing “savage,” as site of individual self-discovery or transformation, as a locus of unfolding national or universal progress, or more recently, as site of struggle over issues such as immigration, race, and gender. In this course we will ask how the West has been portrayed at different times and what functions such portrayals might serve. In examining these questions, we will read literary and historical accounts and view selected films and ask how and why the West has proven so important to understandings of U.S. history and culture.

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4490 TR 11:30-12:45 P Rebecca Gerdes
Topic: What it Means to Work in the Movies
For most Americans, work is an integral part of our lives. It both helps to identify who we are and what we “do,” but, more basically, it also takes up a large amount of our time. We work a lot. You might not think so, however, if you used movies to understand the role of work in American lives. In most films, work is a passing mention of a “cool” career (which, perhaps, affords the protagonist the expensive vacation/dinners/social activities the fuel the action of the film) or a montage of assorted degrading drudgeries. Some films, however, do address work in more meaningful ways, and those are some of the films will be studying in this course. To help us place the films into a meaningful context, we will read some theories of work and its importance in our lives. To help us discuss the films with complexity, we will read about how to interpret, discuss, and write about films in an academic way. But most of all, we will watch and discuss movies, looking for the arguments they make about when work is valuable, how much control we have over our work lives, and what kinds of actions (if any) the films support.

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4638 TR 5:30-6:45 P Anne Magnan-Park
Topic: Signed, the Land of the Long White Cloud
New Zealand is increasingly called by its indigenous M?ori name, Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, referring back to M?ori mythology according to which the explorer Kupe and his crew discovered the North Island thanks to the long cloud that permanently hung over it. The existence of a bilingual name for a single country betrays some of the tensions at play in the emergence and establishment of New Zealand’s national identity along a binary divide between the indigenous M?ori population and the P?keh? (European) settler. This course foregrounds the rise and establishment of New Zealand’s political, cultural, and literary, independence from Great Britain through the study of the distinctive stylistic traits of signature Kiwi authors and film directors of both M?ori and P?keh? decent.
  During this semester, you will become familiar with the works of at least 5 major authors (Katherine Mansfield, Janet Frame, Margaret Mahy, Patricia Grace, and Alice Tawhai) and 3 signature film directors (Jane Campion, Peter Jackson, and Niki Caro), as well as the critical discourses they have inspired.
  This course is also designed to equip you with a set of tools that will enable you to critically engage with literature and cinema; you will learn how to read, think, and write about a range of literary works and films. Through a series of discussions, formal and informal writing exercises, and presentations, you will become familiar with a set of formal elements to read, analyze, and interpret those works.
  It is my sincere hope that this course will spark or deepen your interest in New Zealand’s cultural heritage, postcolonial studies, literary, and film studies.

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4118 T 6:30-9:00 P ELKHART Jackie Collins
Topic: Stories of the Dysfunctional Family
The course focuses on the repetitive pattern of dysfunction in family groups from the ancient Greeks to modern writers. The class will analyze the causes of socially dysfunctional actions and the effects on family members and the surrounding society. We’ll study dysfunctional characters in literary works and film with the help of some psychological texts. We will examine the difficulty of breaking out of dysfunction and investigate ethical consequences of characters’ actions. How are the destructive consequences of dysfunctional acts treated by the authors in this course? How does modern society view such acts? Can dysfunctional acts be explained away by fate or birth? Where does responsibility reside?

ENG-T 190 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
31433 TR 2:30-3:45 P Shawn Nichols-Boyle
Topic: Everybody’s Irish: Uncovering Plastic Paddys and “Real” Irishmen
Whatever happened to the Ireland of thatch cottages, fairies, giants, wakes, and dances? “Modern” Irishmen and women have been asking this question as far back as the nineteenth century when the Irish countryside was being transformed by the introduction of the English language and culture, and most importantly, the setting down of stories told around the fireside into print. This course will explore how some of the first Irish authors in English were able to capture the tall tales and voices of the last of the traditional Irish storytellers in writing. Most of our current views of the Irish come from these early stories, but how accurate is the stereotype of the poor, drunk, short-tempered, yet lovable Paddy? We will read literature and historical accounts, as well as watch selections from films such as The Quiet Man and Darby O’Gill and the Little People, to discover the complex image of the Irishman in print and how it has been manipulated and reproduced over time to create the “real” Irish.

ENG-T 191 — World Literary & Intellectual Traditions I (3 cr.)
4412 TR 1:00-2:15 P Matt Brown
4993 TR 1 :30-12:45 P
Priority given to Education students
Topic: Heroes in Ancient and Medieval World Literature
Three boys without a father: one finds a sword in a stone, one is given a light saber, and one is chosen by a wand. All become heroes. The significance of these and many other similarities among such tales of heroes—as well as of their important differences—is the topic of this course. The focus, in particular, will be on heroic legends from the ancient and medieval eras, ranging across time and space from 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia (Gilgamesh), to 2500 years ago in India (the life of the Buddha), to 500 years ago in England (Sir Thomas Malory’s account of King Arthur). Throughout, we will reflect on apparent continuities among these stories as well as the vast differences in culture that they carry, and we will think about the cultural functions of heroic legends in general. And, yes, we will also talk about how the Star Wars and Harry Potter sagas fit into the long tradition of heroic literature.

ENG-T 192 — World Literary & Intellectual Traditions II (3 cr.)
4411 MW 4:00-5:15 P Karen Gindele
Priority given to Education students
Topic: Literature and the Visible World
               In this course we will consider the presentation of visual experience in literature:  what writers think it's important to describe concerning people, objects, and the environment, and how they see the world, literally and metaphorically.  We¹ll think about two streams of influence:  science, which not only observes but tries to explain, and aesthetics—the study of the creative, beautiful and pleasing. We¹ll read primarily fiction and nonfiction that rely on observation of the natural world, but we¹ll also have a glimpse of the humanly invented spaces of cities.  In keeping with the campus theme, we'll look at how different kinds of work are represented.  The class will be conducted by discussion and there will be several medium-length analytical essays as well as frequent short response papers.

ENG-T 390 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4491 MW 1:00-2:15 P Chu He
Topic: Bad Mothers
In literature, mothers are often portrayed as loving, selfless, sacrificial angels in the house. What about those bad mothers? Those who do not take care of their children, those who leave their home, those who have troubled relationship with their family members? Are they wicked, victimized, or rebelling? How could we view mothers as people rather than as symbol, type, or category? By reading historical and cultural writings as well as literature from a variety of racial and ethnic background, we will examine the gender norms for “good mothers” in specific historical and cultural context and explore sociopolitical, ideological, and cultural reasons for “bad mothers.” Therefore, this course will explore how mothers are inscribed in various discourses, how they represent or challenge traditional values and morals, how they reconcile their sexuality, freedom, and individuality with their familial obligations, and how the “good/bad mothers” could be redefined.

ENG-T 390 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
28011 TR 10:00-11:15 A Jake Mattox
Topic: Conquest, Progress, and the U.S. West
The story of westward movement has been told in countless ways: as conflict between advancing civilization and disappearing “savage,” as site of individual self-discovery or transformation, as a locus of unfolding national or universal Progress, or more recently, as site of struggle over issues such as immigration, race, and gender. In this course we will ask how the West has been portrayed at different times and what functions such portrayals might serve. In examining these questions, we will read and analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, from poetry and fiction to film and visual art, always keeping in mind the central question: how and why has the West has proven so important to ideas of human Progress and specifically of U.S. historical, political, and cultural identity?

ENG-T 390 — Literary & Intellectual Traditions (3 cr.)
4602 T 1:00-3:30 P ELKHART Lee Kahan
Topic: The Commercial Revolution and the Rise of the Novel
In the early eighteenth-century, the novelist Daniel Defoe proclaimed that England had become “a nation of shopkeepers.” While Defoe might have been a bit premature, it was certainly the case that over the course of the century, England transitioned from an agricultural to a commercial economy.  Defoe meant his remark as a compliment, but others were not so sure that this change was a positive one, given how it had unsettled many of the assumptions upon which personal identity was based.  Money, for example, was quickly replacing birth as the basis for power and prestige: “I can buy a gentleman, therefore I am a gentleman,” as one shopkeeper of the time put it.  While this produced a new sense of social equality (an evil more than a good for many), it also suggested that one’s identity was based on what one owned rather than on any inherent attributes (soul, personality, etc.). A new luxury market promoted this mentality by offering a wider array of goods than ever before and invented new techniques, such as advertisements and window displays, to make these goods appealing. The result was a new type of individual—“the consumer”—who seemed to lack any fixed identity, or indeed any substance at all.
One of the new luxury items that consumers purchased and used to define themselves was the
novel—a form of literature that catered to a new middle-class audience by focusing on workaday life and making everyday people the heroes of its plots.  In doing so, the novel served as a device for analyzing the
new commercial world and its effects on society. It also helped to shape, and was shaped by, attitudes towards this world.  In this class, we will examine how England responded to the crisis of identity wrought by the commercial revolution and how the literature of the time attempted to offer solutions to this crisis, helping to naturalize the modern individual of capitalism in the process. Novels will include: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Samuel Richardson, Pamela; Tobias Smollett, Humphrey Clinker; Henry McKenzie, The Man of Feeling; and Frances Burney, Evelina. We will frame our discussions of the novels through selections from the sociologists Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu, as well as period sources by the philosophers John Locke, David Hume, and Adam Smith. The grade will be based on weekly responses, two short papers (3-4 pages), a research paper (8+ pages), and a final exam.

Writing Courses

ENG-W 031 — Pre-Composition (3 cr.) S/F graded
This course prepares students for college writing at the W130 level by focusing on fundamental writing skills in an academic context; in particular, summary, analysis, and synthesis. We will study writing as an interpretive act, organization as the logical progression of ideas, and grammar as the effective conveyance of meaning. Students will learn revision as the thoughtful development of ideas and editing as the direct and accurate presentation of those ideas.
See Schedule of Classes on OneStart ( for days and times.

ENG-W 130 — Principles of Composition (3 cr.)
In this course, students should become more confident as interpreters of college-level reading and will become well-prepared for W131. Students will also gain a wider range of tools for interpreting academic texts and for developing their ideas in relation to those texts. We will focus on using summary, analysis, and synthesis to produce thoughtful, organized, theory-driven essays, and will continue to work on organizational strategies and effective language use within that context.
See Schedule of Classes on OneStart ( for days and times.

ENG-W 131 — Elementary Composition (3 cr.)
In this course, students will expand their range of strategies for interpreting academic texts, for developing their ideas in relation to those texts, and for expressing those ideas in thoughtful, organized, theory-driven essays, while continuing to work on the effective organization and presentation of those ideas. W131 addresses these goals at a more challenging level than W130 and includes an introduction to college-level research writing.
See Schedule of Classes on OneStart ( for days and times.

ENG-W 203 — Creative Writing (3 cr.)
3450 MW 1:00-2:15 P Nancy Botkin
An introductory course in creative writing in which students are engaged in the discussion of what makes a poem or a story a good one. Although no prior experience in creative writing is necessary, a commitment to write and revise on a regular basis is necessary for success in this course. Students work on their own creative projects, devoting approximately one half of the semester to each genre (poetry and fiction). Together we will “workshop” students’ writing as well as discuss the work of published writers. The instructor will encourage adventure and imagination and introduce a vocabulary that will help students grow into more critical and sophisticated readers and writers.

ENG-W 203 — Creative Writing (3 cr.)
4032 TR 2:30-3:45 P Benjamin Balthaser
Exploratory course in writing in which students may attempt effective expression in poetry, fiction,
and drama.

ENG-W 231 — Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)
This course challenges students to explore the distinctive uses of reading and writing as critical thinking and problem-solving methods for a variety of professional fields. Even though this type of writing shares some of the basic skills of organization, paragraph development, sentence structure, and accurate word choices with previous writing classes, it focuses on the process of producing logical and compelling arguments for different professional contexts. Students will work with two portfolios, paragraph development, sentence structure, and accurate word choices with previous writing classes, it focuses on the process of producing logical and compelling arguments for different business contexts. Students will work with two portfolios, one individual and one collaborative, based on two checklists of specific requirements.
See Schedule of Classes on OneStart ( for days and times.

ENG-W 232 — Intro to Business Writing ( 3 cr.)
This course challenges students to explore the distinctive uses of reading and writing as critical thinking and problem-solving methods for business organizations. Even though this type of writing shares some of the basic skills of organization, paragraph development, sentence structure, and accurate word choices with previous writing classes, it focuses on the process of producing logical and compelling arguments for different business contexts. Students will work with two portfolios, one individual and one collaborative, based on two checklists of specific requirements.
See Schedule of Classes on OneStart ( for days and times.

ENG-W 270 — Argumentative Writing (3 cr.)
This course challenges students to explore the distinctive uses of reading and writing as critical thinking and problem-solving methods for business organizations. Even though this type of writing shares some of the basic skills of organization, paragraph development, sentence structure, and accurate word choices with previous writing classes, it focuses on the process of producing logical and compelling arguments for different business contexts. Students will work with two portfolios, one individual and one collaborative, based on two checklists of specific requirements.
See Schedule of Classes on OneStart ( for days and times.

ENG-W 280 — Literary Editing & Publishing (3 cr.)
4957 T 5:30-8:00 P David Dodd Lee
Permission required
This class is designed to educate students by exposing them to contemporary writing as it goes through the process—from mailbox to published book—of being judged and selected for publication. During class time students will read and critique manuscripts submitted to Wolfson Press for possible publication. We will focus on the mechanics and ethics inherent in any editorial endeavor that includes selection as part of its process. (And this process of selection and debate will take place exclusively in the classroom--students will not be allowed to take unpublished manuscripts home, for instance.) Not only will students learn, through examples brought to light by the instructor, how to screen manuscripts based on aesthetic ideas, but they will also be instructed in the nuts and bolts of dealing with manuscripts in a professional and judicious manner. Additionally, students will learn some fundamentals of publishing including editing, marketing, correspondence with writers and other presses, and principles of layout and design. Interpersonal skills will be emphasized (as part of the process of disagreement and consensus) as we begin to focus on the aesthetic aspects of contemporary writing through the prism—a cross-section, so to speak—of styles of writing reflected in the submitted manuscripts. From more theory-driven, avant-garde works to more relatively mainstream works—post-confessional and simple narrative—students will examine the various stances and approaches available to the contemporary writer, as well as the hybridization of genres and styles that is currently part of the literary landscape.

ENG-W 367 — Writing for Multi-Media (3 cr.)
4546  MW 4:00-5:15 P Shawn Nichols-Boyle
Introduces principles and practices of multimedia design and implementation, with emphasis on writing in multimedia contexts. Students will consider ways that new media affect the production and reception of writing and its relationship to other forms of communication (e.g. oral and visual).

ENG-W 401 — Advanced Fiction Writing (3 cr.)
28020  TR 11:30-12:45 P Kelcey Parker
Topic: Write a Novella
In this class for experienced writers, students will dedicate the semester to writing a novella -- a fictional form whose length is somewhere between that of a short story and a novel. For our purposes, the target length will be 15,000 words, or roughly 60 pages. You'll draft and hone your stories one section at a time through a series of craft lessons and writing exercises. This is a writing workshop, so a significant portion of the course will be devoted to discussing one another’s scenes as your novellas evolve. We will read published novellas for analysis and inspiration.
Possible readings include: Too Loud a Solitude (Bohumil Hrabal), The Appointment (Herta Muller), Passing (Nella Larsen), Victoria (Knut Hamsun), The Day of the Locust (Nathaneal West), The Hunters (Claire Messud), Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Leo Tolstoy), The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka), The House on Mango Street (Sandra Cisneros), The Turn of the Screw (Henry James).

Comparative Literature/Film

CMLT-C 190 — Introduction to Film (3 cr.)
4273 TR 5:30-6:45 P Andrew DeSelm
This class examines the basic nature of film language through a close analysis of particular films. We will cover film form, film history, film theory, and film genres. This course aims to introduce students to fundamental concepts in film studies and prepare them for more focused courses in film history, aesthetics, and theory.

CMLT-C 294 — History of Motion Pictures II (3 cr.)
4486 MW 2:30-3:45 P Andrew DeSelm
This global survey of film history moves from the middle of the twentieth century to the present moment. In this course, students will develop interpretive skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of several national film movements. Lectures, readings, and writing assignments will address critical positions on cinema and strategies for understanding and interpreting film form.

CMLT-C 395 — The Documentary Film (3 cr.)
31625 MW 11:30-12:45 P Andrew DeSelm
Although some of the earliest films ever made were documentaries, the end of the twentieth century witnessed a rise in reality-based filmmaking and television programming. This course studies the ethical implications of the documentary film's effort to adequately represent reality.