English Major Course Descriptions, Spring 2011
Click on the course titles below
to find summaries of course content by faculty member
ENGL 2002—British Literature II: Making the Modern World
Dr. Jana Giles
Ever wondered why we have labor laws, who invented modern industrial machinery, or how England came to rule a quarter of world’s population? Britain literally changed the face of the globe over the past two hundred years. We’ll read about the “Storm and Stress” of Romanticism, the creepy excitement of the Gothic, the dark days of the Industrial Revolution, the fight for women’s emancipation, the shock of two world wars, and the end of an empire. All this through the lens of poetry, film, novels, stories, and drama, where history is made riveting and accessible.
James Joyce, Irish Modernist
ENGL 3003 — Literature and Film
Dr. Janet Haedicke
This course considers literary works and their film adaptations in a cultural context. Focusing on representations of class, race, gender, and sexuality, we will explore genres from Western to gangster to horror to minority to suburban films in the context of the American Dream. To encourage students to personalize their responses, texts vary each semester to include such representative and contemporary selections as Brokeback Mountain, Goodfellas, The Shining, The Color Purple, and The Virgin Suicides.
English 3023 – Professional Writing
Dr. Claudia Grinnell
What is professional writing, and why is it important? A professional writing course prepares you for writing in the professional world. Almost every job in every field requires writing to some degree. This becomes even truer as you move beyond entry-level positions. Whether you think that writing will be central to your career, or you simply want to be more fully prepared for writing in the workplace, the writing skills gained in a professional writing course can increase your marketability and chances for promotion. When your future employer demands an expertly crafted resume, report, proposal, e-mail, presentation, blog, or memo, you can confidently rise to the challenge. English 3023 prepared you for all of these workplace communication tasks.
English 4045— Writing for the Web
Dr. Claudia Grinnell
Give yourself a competitive advantage! In Writing for the Web, you’ll learn how to write, edit, and publish online content. It's simply not enough to deliver information on a website anymore. You have to create a conversation and build a community with your readers. Course participants will concentrate on successfully completing the following activities: Analyzing audiences and tasks; discovering, evaluating, and adopting software for the production and publication of web text and content; evaluating the effectiveness of web text and content; researching the literature about writing for the web; drafting, revising, and publishing web text and content.
Dr. Helen Lock
ENGL 4078 American Literature I
This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and surveys of some of the most influential and important literature of the nineteenth century before the Civil War. We will focus this semester on the period of intense literary activity between 1830 and 1860 known as the the American Renaissance, and will study texts from Herman Melville's great Moby-Dick to Thoreau's thoughts on bean-growing and law-breaking to Whitman's iconoclastic poetry to Frederick Douglass's account of escape from slavery. Assignments will comprise two essays, a mid-term, and a final.
ENGL 4083 History of the English Language
Dr. Rebecca Stephenson
Have you ever wondered why "its" (possessive) does not have an apostrophe, but "it's" (contraction) does? Or have you wondered why "oxen" is the plural of ox, but "axen" isn't the plural for "axes"? Or are you kept up at night, pondering the Indo-European roots of words? Even if you've never thought of any of these questions, History of the English Language will answer them and many more. The class will begin by examining the Indo-European roots of the English language and progress through the Old and Middle English phases of the language up to present day. Along the way, we will learn fascinating facts about the nouns and verbs (and other parts of speech) that make up our language.
ENGL 4091 Fiction Writing Workshop
Prof. Bill Ryan
This peer-driven writing workshop focuses on the composition, critique, and revision of short fiction. You will submit drafts of your fiction for critique and critique the work of your peers, which means that each of you will participate both as a student and as a teacher. Class time is devoted to close readings of student-generated fiction and careful review of the short stories of the finest contemporary fiction writers.
Jack Kerouac, American Beat
ENGL 5028 American Poetry
Dr. Janet Haedicke
This course will focus on the postmodern era from post- World War II to post-9/11. We will consider poems in their cultural as well as literary contexts as they transgress the borders between art and popular culture and call into question other borders. Whether classified as Beat, Language, or Performance poetry, these texts encourage recognition of oppositional constructs that divide us by sex, race, class, or sexuality. Given the current political and religious polarization of the country, our poets’ voices emerge as ever more urgent.
ENGL 5030 Graduate Poetry Workshop
Prof. Jack Heflin
Roundtable discussion of students' original poems. Requirements: ten poems, subscription to one literary journal, readings in selected journals.
Novelist and Poet, Nobel Prize Winner Tony Morrison