Spring and May Term 2014 Course Descriptions

Eng 101: Intro to Creative Writing (AR)
Brandi Reisswenweber
TR 10:50-12:05
Examines theory and practice of writing creatively. Reading combined with practice in the basic processes of and strategies for writing fiction, poetry, or drama. Offered annually.

Eng 101: Intro to Creative Writing (AR)
Brandi Reisswenweber
TR 9:25-10:40
Examines theory and practice of writing creatively. Reading combined with practice in the basic processes of and strategies for writing fiction, poetry, or drama. Offered annually.

Eng 101: Intro to Creative Writing (AR)
Michael Theune
TR 1:10-2:25
Examines theory and practice of writing creatively. Reading combined with practice in the basic processes of and strategies for writing fiction, poetry, or drama. Offered annually.

170 Special Topics in Literature (LT)
 Critical reading and interpretation of literary texts. Encourages close reading as well as oral and written work in articulating understanding. May be repeated for credit if subject matter is not duplicated.  A number of 170 courses are offered each semester. Current and past titles include:

Eng 170: Freaks (LT)
Molly Robey
MWF 2-2:50
“Freaks,” or human oddities were commonly placed on display for the ‘amusement’ and ‘education’ of paying customers in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century United States. At freakshows, spectators could survey individuals with tattoos or extremely long hair, women in pants, midgets, fat ladies, and “wild men” (people of color dressed up as “primitive savages”). What should be clear from this list is that what marks someone as a “freak” changes depending on the historical moment and setting. Freaks serve to define the politics of the normal. In this course, we will explore the representation of physical, mental, and social freakishness in fiction and film, thinking about how freaks define and challenge the boundaries between normalcy and deviance. We will focus on such issues as belonging and alienation, race, gender, and the performance of identity.

Eng 170: Freaks! (LT)
Molly Robey
MWF 3-3:50
“Freaks,” or human oddities were commonly placed on display for the ‘amusement’ and ‘education’ of paying customers in the nineteenth and early twentieth-century United States. At freakshows, spectators could survey individuals with tattoos or extremely long hair, women in pants, midgets, fat ladies, and “wild men” (people of color dressed up as “primitive savages”). What should be clear from this list is that what marks someone as a “freak” changes depending on the historical moment and setting. Freaks serve to define the politics of the normal. In this course, we will explore the representation of physical, mental, and social freakishness in fiction and film, thinking about how freaks define and challenge the boundaries between normalcy and deviance. We will focus on such issues as belonging and alienation, race, gender, and the performance of identity.

Eng 170: Special Topic (LT)  
Bobbie Silk
MWF 1-1:50

Eng 170: Travelers and Travel Liars (LT)
Daniel Terkla
MWF 10-10:50
In this course we will explore narratives of discovery, ranging in time from Homer's Odyssey to John Krakauer's Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. Our purpose will be to discover what the purposes of travel—personal, political, social, imaginative—have been and how they change over time and from culture to culture. Possible readings: The Birthday Boys, Invisible Cities, The Inferno, Lieutenant Nun: Memoirs of a Basque Transvestite in the New World, The Odyssey, Into Thin Air, A River Sutra, Gulliver's Travels, along with selections from the work of Annie Dillard and Michel de Montaigne. Possible films: Apocalypse Now, Everest: The Death Zone, The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen.

Eng 201: Writing Fiction
James Plath
MWF 10-10:50
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium
Workshop in reading and writing fiction while focusing on principles and techniques used by writers and on key elements of the story form. Students will complete stories and develop a portfolio.

Eng 202: Writing Poetry
Joanne Diaz
MF 11-12:15
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium
Workshop in reading and writing poetry while focusing on primary techniques and fundamental elements used in writing poetry, both formal and free verse. Students will complete a series of poems and develop a portfolio.

Eng 206: Creative Non-Fiction (W)
Alison Sainsbury
TR 9:25-10:40
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium
Workshop in reading and writing creative nonfiction while focusing on fundamentals, including situating experience, finding the right form, and developing a personal voice. Students will complete essays and develop a portfolio.

Eng 220: Contemporary American Poetry (LT)
Michael Theune
MW 2-3:15
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium

Eng 241: Such a Knight: Medieval Chivalry (LT)
Daniel Terkla
TR 10:50-12:05
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium
Examines the rise and development of the feudal system and attendant cultural tensions in medieval texts— chronicles, biographies, epics, lyrics, romances, and their modern analogues.

Eng 280: Practical Criticism (W)
Robert Bray
TR 8-9:15
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium
Practice in interpretation of texts through discussion and written work; attention to strategies of writing about literature, to critical vocabulary, and to critical approaches in current use. Restricted to English majors and minors only.

Eng 280: Practical Criticism (W)
Joanne Diaz
TR 1:10-2:25
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium
Practice in interpretation of texts through discussion and written work; attention to strategies of writing about literature, to critical vocabulary, and to critical approaches in current use. Restricted to English majors and minors only.

Eng 285x: Intro. to Research in English
Staff
arranged
permission of instructor and English Department Chair
Design and completion of library or archive research project in language, literature, or culture under faculty tutelage. Research may serve as first step toward larger, independent research project, investigate an issue raised in student’s previous study, or complete a limited project using library or archive holdings or acquisitions.

Eng 301: Writer as Editor: Publishing a Literary Journal (AR)
Brandi Reissenweber
MW 2-3:15
Prerequisite: Eng 201 or consent of instructor
In this course, students will learn about the editorial process and explore the craft of creative writing through the creation of a debut issue of a literary journal. Students will engage in all aspects of publication; they will develop and implement a mission statement and editorial policy, generate submissions through outreach sessions, and actively work with authors on revisions for publication. This process will be informed by an understanding of the history and purpose of literary journals, extensive exploration of contemporary literary journals, and discussions with professional writer-editors about the behind-the-scenes experiences at several of these publications. Students will situate their own creative work within the larger literary landscape and turn their newly refined editorial eye on their own writing to create work that is informed by what they have learned about the craft as a result of this experience.

Eng 301: Ekphrastic Poetry (AR)
Michael Theune
TR 10:50-12:05
Prerequisite: Eng 202 or consent of instructor
Ekphrastic poetry is poetry that employs the visual arts as its subject matter and/or inspiration. The relationship between poetry and the visual arts is longstanding, and it remains potentially very powerful; poet Wallace Stevens refers to the “migratory passings to and fro, quickenings, Promethean liberations and discoveries” which the arts’ interactions create. In this class, we’ll use the visual arts to make vital, new discoveries in the verbal art of poetry.

Eng 325: Feature Writing/In-Depth Reporting (W)
James Plath
MWF 1-1:50
Prerequisite: Eng 211 or Eng 212 or consent of instructor
Feature writing and investigative reporting for print journalism. Field trip(s) and real-world assignments, with an emphasis on publication.

Eng 335: Internship-Journalism or English
James Plath
arranged
Consent of instructor and off-campus supervisor
Offered in cooperation with an off-campus firm, business, institution, agency, department, station, etc. Attention is given to the student’s special interests.

Eng 342: Renaissance Literature (LT)
Joanne Diaz
TR 2:35-3:50
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 170 or 220-259, plus 280.
Investigates issues of representation of gender and sexuality, representations of the court, the place of the stage, versions of early modern selfhood, and moral theory in the Renaissance period, 1520-1660.

Eng 351: American Lit. to 1865 (AMSB), (LT)
Robert Bray
TR 9:25-10:40
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 170 or 220-259, plus 280.
Focus on aspect (s) of American literature up to the Civil War to form a coherent view of one part of the American experience. May examine poetry, drama, fiction, essays, journals, diaries, news articles, or collateral arts like painting and music.

Eng 352: American Lit. after 1865 (AMSB), (LT), (U)
American Literature after 1865: 

“Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned”
   -Mark Twain

In this course, we will read and analyze US literature written since 1865, using Mark Twain, a sometime printer’s apprentice, riverboat pilot, journalist, public lecturer, and novelist, as our anchor in the period. Between 1865 and 1900, the United States experienced great change. The end of slavery and the trauma of the Civil War, the “closing” of the frontier, the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the invention of the telegraph and electricity, the annexation of Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba—these events intensely affected the political and cultural lives of Americans, and Twain seemed to be at the center of it all. As the United States emerged as an international political, economic, and military power, Twain became a national and international celebrity, one identified deeply with American culture despite his often critical views of the United States. In addition to reading three major works by this most famous author of the period, we will immerse ourselves in the writings of Twain’s contemporaries, including Ambrose Bierce, Charles Chesnutt, Kate Chopin, Zitkala-Ša, Henry James, Sui Sin Far, and Sarah Orne Jewett. Through these writers, we will glimpse a world in rapid transformation. Our discussions will focus on such themes as science and technology, law, immigration, race, gender, and globalization. 

Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 170 or 220-259, plus 280.
Focus on aspect(s) of American literature since the Civil War to form a coherent view of American experience. Draws upon several literary and non-literary genres.

Eng 370: The Empire Writes Back (LT), (W)
Alison Sainsbury
MWF 1-1:50
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 170 or 220–259, plus 280
“The Empire writes back to the Centre,” wrote Salman Rushdie approvingly in 1982, but these days it can be difficult even to locate that “centre.” We’ll read contemporary works that consider what it is to be colonial, post-colonial, British, and even post-9/11 and 7/7. Readings will likely include Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Hanif Kureishi’s adaptation for the stage of his novel The Black Album.

Eng 385x: Advanced Research in English
Staff
Arranged
Permission of instructor and English Department Chair and a GPA in the major of at least 3.25
Design and completion of advanced-level library or archive research project in language, literature, or culture under faculty tutelage. Research can build on previous coursework or study in 285x. Ideally, this research serves as a foundation for a project in English 485 or English research honors.

Eng 394: Shakespeare's Tragedies/Romances (LT), (WEFL)
Mary Ann Bushman
MWF 2-2:50
Prerequisite: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 170 or 220-259, plus 280.
Both courses investigate the ways our culture is informed by Shakespeare’s works and the ways in which we construct meaning from them. While both focus on the dramatic form, they may occasionally include the sonnets and verse romances.

Eng 480: Senior Seminar (W)
Robert Bray
MWF 10-10:50
Majors and minors with junior or senior standing and prior completion of at least two 300- or 400-level courses in literature.
Intensive study of a particular topic, author, or genre. Enrollment limited.

Eng 480: Senior Seminar: Brilliant Failures (W)
Daniel Terkla
TR 7pm-8:30pm
Majors and minors with junior or senior standing and prior completion of at least two 300- or 400-level courses in literature.
Intensive study of a particular topic, author, or genre. Enrollment limited.

Eng 485: Directed Study-English
Alison Sainsbury
Arranged
Consent of the instructor and the chair of the department. Student must submit a plan of study prior to enrollment. Independent study in English. May not duplicate the content of regularly offered courses. Enrollment limited to English majors.

May Term 2014:

Eng 170: Bad Girls (LT)
Alison Sainsbury
MTWRF 9-12
This course receives credit for general education in literature; counts for the minor and major (literature track) in English, and for the minor and major in Women’s Studies.
What makes a girl good?  What makes a good girl go bad?  Can a bad girl make good?  We’ll read (mostly) contemporary literature that challenges conventions and remakes conventional stories to accommodate the unconventional desires and aspirations of bad girls. 
Work for the course will include essay exams, short papers, individual and group projects, and occasional reading quizzes.

Eng 170: Exit, Pursued by a Bear (LT)
Bobbie Silk
MTWRF 9-12
Possibly the most famous stage direction in literary history is in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, when the script requires a character to “exit, pursued by a bear.”
This simple stage direction accomplishes quite a lot: it disposes of a character who knows more than the plot later requires, marks an important moment of narrative transition, and effectively clears the stage for a change in setting and mood-from court to countryside, from dark irrationality to purity and love. On its own, “exit, pursued by a bear” does not appear to have the stuff of great literature, yet such nuts and bolts are important in combining the practical issues of performance with the literary necessity of an audience’s experience of meaningfulness.

Eng 220: Intricate Enchantment: On Science in Literature (W) (LT)
Brandi Reissenweber
MTWRF 9-12
Vladimir Nabokov, a novelist and lepidopterist, discovered the same intrigue in the natural world that he also found in art: “Both were a form of magic, both were a game of intricate enchantment and deception.” Scientific inquiry and discovery are human endeavors that are filled with mystery, wonder, and astonishment. In this class, students will focus on literature that finds its impulse in science and uses it as a lens thorough which to explore the human condition. Students will investigate areas of inquiry that arise as a result of the literature and write both critically and creatively at the intersection of fact and emotion.