Fall 2020 English Department Course Description

ENGL 101.1   Intro to Creative Writing  (AR)
Kathleen Zurkowski
TR 8:00-9:15
Compose an ode to your goldfish. Tell a story from the perspective of a liar. Improvise a sketch comedy that might make grandma blush. Cut up words from a newspaper and rearrange them into a poem. News flash: you don’t need a special gene to be creative. All you need is to develop your sense of play. This course involves in-class games and exercises that push us out of the ruts in our minds. Students will collaborate with each other in class to generate material and evaluate new work. They will learn how to make their initial efforts even better—more moving, more suspenseful, more hilarious—through thoughtful revision. Finally, through careful reading, students will learn from the experts, imitating the style of writers who keep them turning the pages at three a.m.  Prerequisites: None.

ENGL 101.2   Intro to Creative Writing  (AR)
Kathleen Zurkowski
TR 10:50-12:05
Compose an ode to your goldfish. Tell a story from the perspective of a liar. Improvise a sketch comedy that might make grandma blush. Cut up words from a newspaper and rearrange them into a poem. News flash: you don’t need a special gene to be creative. All you need is to develop your sense of play. This course involves in-class games and exercises that push us out of the ruts in our minds. Students will collaborate with each other in class to generate material and evaluate new work. They will learn how to make their initial efforts even better—more moving, more suspenseful, more hilarious—through thoughtful revision. Finally, through careful reading, students will learn from the experts, imitating the style of writers who keep them turning the pages at three a.m.
Prerequisites: None. 

ENGL 115.01   Science Fiction    (LIT)
Wes Chapman
MWF  1:00-1:50
Science fiction has long suffered from a reputation as escapist fare unworthy of consideration as serious literature. One reason for this may be that, by definition, science fiction represents that which does not (or does not yet) exist. In this course, we will consider how science fiction uses “that which does not exist”—imagined futures, alternate histories, alien cultures, utopias and dystopias, etc.—to grapple with genuine historical, social and philosophical concerns.  Prerequisite(s): None.

ENGL 120.1   Women in Literature   (LIT)
Diana Jaher
TR  1:10-2:25
Our course examines select twentieth- and twenty-first century American and British women writers with an emphasis on cultural and generic diversity. We will read novels, auto-biographies, graphic novels, plays, short stories, and poems, as well as view films. Among the questions we will ask are: What do we mean by women's literature and how are women's experiences represented in it? How has it been influenced by changing societal norms? How might gender and feminist theories be used as categories of textual analysis? And how have women used different textual genres to express their subjectivity?   Prerequisite(s): None . 

ENGL 120.2   Women in Literature   (LIT)
Diana Jaher
TR  2:35-3:50
Our course examines select twentieth- and twenty-first century American and British women writers with an emphasis on cultural and generic diversity. We will read novels, auto-biographies, graphic novels, plays, short stories, and poems, as well as view films. Among the questions we will ask are: What do we mean by women's literature and how are women's experiences represented in it? How has it been influenced by changing societal norms? How might gender and feminist theories be used as categories of textual analysis? And how have women used different textual genres to express their subjectivity?   Prerequisite(s): None. 

ENGL 201.1  Writing Fiction   (AR)
James Plath
MF 11:00-12:15
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. Prerequisite(s): Gateway Colloquium.

ENGL 254.01   Web of American Poetry    (LIT, W)
Wes Chapman
TR  8:00-9:15
The Web of American Poetry is founded on a central working assumption: poems take much of their meaning from the many contexts into which they can be placed. Poems allude to or borrow styles, techniques or ideas from previous works; they rebel against earlier poetic traditions; they aspire to emulate other arts, such as painting or music; they converse with history, politics and religion. Learning to interpret American poetry, then, is in large part a matter of recognizing the strands of meaning that connect particular poems in a web of meanings, and of seeing a particular poem against the backdrop of American poetry as a whole and its social and historical contexts. In this course, we will trace some of these strands of meaning in American poetry from the Puritan era to the second half of the 20th C.  Prerequisite(s): Gateway Colloquium.

ENGL 280.01  Understanding Literature  (W)
Joanne Diaz
MWF 9:00-9:50
In this course, you will be required to ask yourself questions that will become essential to your identity as an English major: What is a piece of literature, and how do readers engage in literary criticism? Through rigorous in-class discussion, short and long writing assignments, and careful reading, you will be introduced to critical vocabulary that will help you develop as a serious reader, researcher, and critic. Prerequisite(s): Gateway Colloquium.

ENGL 311.01  Poetics of Engagement  (AR)
Joanne Diaz
TR  1:10-2:25
In this course, students will read and write poems that engage with the world-politically, historically, and personally. We will ask: what makes a poem feel consequential? What are the ethical risks that poets must take in order to respond to the world? By the end of the semester, students will have written and revised a series of poems that feel urgent and essential. Prerequisite: ENGL 202. Offered occasionally.

ENGL 343.01   Restoration and 18th Century   (LIT)
Wes Chapman
TR  2:35-3:50
The long 18th Century, as the period between 1660 and 1789 is often known, invented (or perhaps more accurately solidified) the era that defines us and now seems to be turning into something else. Consider: the 18th Century more or less invented the periodical, and indeed journalism as we know it. The 18th Century—the Age of Enlightenment—is the era in which scientific thinking, or more broadly reason, became the benchmark for thinking about moral and political life (among the fruits of which was of course the American Revolution). The 18th Century invented the novel, and began the mass education movements which would in the next century lead to the rise of a middle-class reading public. These are only a few of the changes that the 18th Century ushered in—and that are evolving or under attack as we more from from a print-based culture to a digital culture. At the same time, the 18th Century was very much like us in that they had to cope with the overturning of all that they knew. In this course, we will consider some of the main literary currents of that tumultuous era, with particular emphasis on satire and neoclassicism.  Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from ENGL 109-170 or 220-259, plus 280.

ENGL 355.01   Native American Literature   (LIT, U)
James Plath
TR  10:50-12:05
Since N. Scott Momaday’s  House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968, interest in writing by Native Americans has soared. In this class, we will read a number of texts, including Momaday’s The Way To Rainy Mountain, James Welch’s Winter in the Blood, Louise Erdrich’s Tracks, and possibly the brand-new highly praised novel There There, by Tommy Orange. This is a multi-genre course, and we’ll watch at least one film and explore selected theoretical essays, poetry, and prose from Nothing But the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature. In the process, we’ll try to come to a greater understanding of the ways in which Native Americans see the world, and consider to what degree postcolonial theory might be applied. Prerequisites: Gateway Colloquium; 1 course from 109-170 or 220–259, plus 280.

ENGL 401.1   Senior Writing Project    (W)
Michael Theune
W  7:00-9:30
Capstone experience for English-Writing majors. Requires thoughtful study of portfolio work and completion of an extensive, ambitious individual project that is both a logical extension of the student’s work and a new challenge. The course will be multi-genre, with an emphasis on feedback and support. Prerequisites: At least one ENGL 300-level writing course and senior standing, or by permission of instructor. 

FLM 110.01   Film Aesthetics   (AR)
James Plath
TR  9:25-10:50
Film is an art form, a cultural indicator, and a shaper of culture. The goal of this class is to acquaint students with the aesthetics and language of film, en route to their developing an appreciation for the medium along with being able to critically evaluate and write about films. Cinema is a huge field, and it is impossible to cover world cinema, or even every aspect of American filmmaking. Nonetheless, this introductory course will attempt to cover classic films, popular films, and indie films in order to give students a broad range of aesthetic tastes. The adult subject matter and profanity in several films we view may be offensive to some students, but that's the nature of cinema. Discussions will also be frank. If that makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you should find a different Gen Ed coursePrerequisite(s): None