English Course Offerings


ENGL 2050 (BHU): Literature by Women (Icard) 

Will focus on literature by primarily British and American women within the historical and cultural framework of their times. Lectures, videos, and class discussion, as well as some group work, will take place. Quizzes, examinations and at least one paper are required.  

 

ENGL 2070 (BHU): Digital English Studies (Rezaei) 

In this course, we will think about how digital media (“born-digital” texts like social media, streaming media, video games, etc.) inform and influence our engagement with literature and culture in the present moment.  In addition, we will draw on scholarship in folklore studies to understand how digital culture both shapes and is shaped by vernacular expressions (such as legends, conspiracy narratives, or jokes), as well as how people use the digital space to create and maintain social, ethnic, or religious networks. Students will also be introduced to a number of digital tools and how they can help us map and understand both literary texts and people's behavior. 

 

ENGL 2200 (BHU): Introduction to Literature (Icard) 

Do you like to read?  Are you intimidated by poetry?  Did you ever consider being an English major?  Introduction to Literature is a fun three-credit Breadth Humanities course designed for any student interested in learning about literature.  Class focuses on understanding and appreciation of the texts, with attention to types, terms, and historical development as well. Readings may include fiction, poetry, and drama from such famous authors as Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dickinson, Shakespeare, and others. 

ENGL 2200 (BHU): Introduction to Literature (Quistberg) 

Description TBA 

 

ENGL 2210 (BHU): Introduction to Folklore (Thomas) 

In this course, students will be introduced to basic folklore concepts and genres. We will focus especially on legends (including ghost stories), personal experience and family narratives (as documented by the StoryCorps project), roots music genres (including the blues) and their influence on contemporary music. 

 
ENGL 2210 (BHU): Introduction to Folklore (Estiri) 

In this course, we will investigate the concept of folklore and review the major genres studied by folklorists, while focusing on the concept of folklore as emergent and dynamic—as an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We will explore different forms of vernacular culture, including oral/verbal, customary, and material folklore, and consider various interpretive and theoretical approaches to the examples of folk culture discussed. We will particularly explore contemporary forms of folklore, including urban/supernatural legends, personal narratives, jokes, food traditions and celebrations, occupational folklore, folk art, and digital forms of folklore such as internet memes. 

 

ENGL 2220 (BHU): Introduction to Fiction (Kunz) 

This course will trace the breadth of the Fiction genre from Beowulf to Cormac McCarthy. We will explore different literary traditions through the lens of theoretical analysis and historical scope. The course will help develop student's understanding of how to read critically and to approach texts from different analytical and discursive perspectives. We will read and discuss several major literary works in a variety of forms from short story, novel, and novella. 

 

ENGL 2300 (BHU): Introduction to Shakespeare (Winn) 

Shakespeare is a natural subject for a Breadth Humanities course since his works are primarily concerned with the nature, meaning, and spectrum of human experience. His characters exhibit various and often contradictory value systems on a wide array of important issues. Our objective is to attempt to understand the depth and complexity of his depictions of the human condition. We will examine these issues in their original cultural context, but also as a lens through which our own experiences can be viewed, with the objective of gaining an understanding of the bard’s works in contemporary settings. Interpretations are selected from among a diverse group of media for what they reflect and reveal about the evolving human experience and character. Students will respond critically to readings through class discussion, exploration of Shakespeare using different media, and written arguments. 

 

ENGL 2300 (BHU): Introduction to Shakespeare (Icard) 

The course is an introduction to reading Shakespeare--as a subject for college study, and also as an intellectual and artistic experience for individual readers. Representative plays and poems will be discussed, with attention to characters, language, and meaning. We will also explore such matters as Comedy and Tragedy, allusion, metaphor, irony, the stages Shakespeare wrote for, and the construction of the texts. We will focus on building skill, confidence, and pleasure as readers of Shakespeare. 

 

ENGL 2630 (BHU): Introduction to American Culture (Crawford) 

In this course, we examine how war shapes and influences American culture by analyzing societal shifts during the Vietnam War and its aftermath found in novels, films and television, music, comics, sports, and art. 

 

ENGL 2630 (BHU): Introduction to American Culture (King) 

Whether it’s “the best of times” or “the worst of times” in our American experience, it is certainly a time of challenge and change—political, economic, technological, social, unsettling  our sense of the meaning of America, our narratives of national purpose and meaning—or providing an opportunity to revise those narratives. A survey of American literary, historical, and cultural works will allow us to examine the roots of American culture, with a key focus on dignity and on what it means to be a citizen in a democracy—what does the government owe you, what do you owe the government and community? Should you wear a mask? And after a distinctive political year, what is the condition of our democratic institutions? Why are our politics now so partisan and polarizing? Can we answer these questions by the end of the semester? 

 

ENGL 2640 (BHU): Introduction to Ethnic Studies (Taylor) 

This course centralizes the experiences and perspectives of People of Color to help provide students with a broad overview of the history of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity in the United States. Through the study of racial formations; labor, land, and migration; Civil Rights Movements; and contemporary issues, students will gain increased understanding of the ways in which race and racism have been, and continue to be, powerful social, cultural, and political forces in society today. This course examines connections between race and gender, race and class, race and sexuality, and race and legal status. 

 

ENGL 3030 (DHA): Perspectives in Literature (Crawford) 

This course examines the work of Russian dissidents, American and Nigerian authors, films, television programs, and short stories to investigate how authors from different time periods and locations use speculative fiction to address inequality and injustice and push for societal change. 

 

ENGL 3030 (DHA): Perspectives in Literature (King) 

Our focus will be on the American culture of personal transformation and creed of social mobility and self-development. These values are very much rooted in American literature, from the Puritans’ preoccupation with personal salvation, Ben Franklin’s “rags to riches” narrative, through Emerson and Thoreau’s expression of American Romanticism (rugged individualism in a sublime key), up to its contemporary forms and expressions—self-help podcasts, “makeovers,” yoga stretching itself across the country, transformations in gender and racial identities. Other issues include the extent transformation is communal or relational, as opposed to autonomous and personal, and how it relates to “the pursuit of happiness,” especially in Pandemic times and our own experience. Several readings will focus on the Southwest desert as a landscape of personal transformation. 

 

ENGL 3040 (DHA): Perspectives in Writing and Rhetoric (Whitaker) 

ENGL 3040, an interdisciplinary course, explores the deeply entangled relationships between humans, animals, and writing. It raises questions about the way animals are represented in cultural artifacts, how those artifacts come to bear on the human imagination, and whether animals themselves are capable of rhetorical expression. Students will have the opportunity to read widely across a diverse set of intellectual frameworks, beginning the Enlightenment and Pre-Enlightenment eras and working toward more contemporary perspectives. The knowledge students gain from these readings will inform their own investigations, as they research, write, and reflect upon the various meanings of animals in different discourses, cultures, and contexts. 

 

English 3630 (CI/DHA): The Farm in Literature and Culture (Moore) 

This course examines literature related to the farm, farming, and agriculture in the broad definition of the word, including written texts, images, music (folk song, farm ballads, and country), film, and material culture such as quilts. The course covers texts ranging from an ancient Sumerian almanac, to Chaucer, Jefferson, Crevecoeur, Steinbeck, and Cather to more modern writers like Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin, Novella Carpenter, and Kristin Kimball. Students from a wide variety of majors including music, economics, business, education, communications, English, and engineering, as well as agricultural-related majors have found the course engaging, interesting, and valuable. 

 

English 3630 (CI/DHA): The Farm in Literature and Culture (Thornley) 

This course examines texts using the lens of American farms and farming. In this Depth Humanities (DHA) course, students will analyze canonized literature from authors such as Jefferson, Thoreau, and Steinbeck alongside contemporary writers including Michael Pollan, Novella Carpenter, and Paul Fleischman. Applying a multimodal approach, participants will add to their knowledge of how agriculture has evolved over time by applying that lens to music, art, film, and folklore. To fulfill the Communication Intensive (CI) requirement, students will create and blog about a selected farm-related subject. Students in any discipline throughout this Land-Grant University will find their individual connection to the farm as they apply Wendell Berry’s belief that "eating is an agricultural act." 

ENGL 4230 (DSS): Language and Culture (McLaughlin) 

An introduction to the use of language as a descriptive and analytical tool to understand human culture, and to how speakers use language to manipulate and shape their culture as a whole, including their individual place within it.  It looks at a range of topics through the lens of language as well as looking at the theoretical underpinnings of language as a mediator of culture. 

 

ENGL 2250: Introduction to Creative Writing (Russell) 

Your story is waiting to be written, your poem is waiting to be formed, your memoir is waiting to be shared, your song is waiting to be sung. Join us as we study the theory and practice of writing poetry, fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction. By exploring works from powerful writers, we will gain an understanding of the strategies used to write creative texts. We will then apply those strategies in developing our own writing. Finally, we will explore pathways to publication so that your creative voice can be heard!  

ENGL 3420: Introduction to Fiction Writing (Ballam) 

In this workshop-based course, we’ll analyze and practice a variety of narrative techniques from developing setting and character to creating rich dialogue and intriguing plots. We’ll complete a wide array of writing exercises from Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Art, and we’ll read and analyze the innovative, exciting short stories included in the book. Students will write short stories and brief critical essays designed to illuminate specific aspects of narrative craft addressed in the readings and in class. No experience in fiction writing is necessary—all you need is enthusiasm!  

ENGL 3420: Introduction to Fiction Writing (Caron) 

This upper-division class is designed for advanced undergraduates who are new to fiction writing. Students will be introduced to a variety of authors and published stories with a number of questions in mind: What are the components of a story? How do writers create memorable characters? How does time work in a story? How can dialogue reveal character? In what ways does setting evoke emotion? Together we’ll answer these and other craft-based questions, and students will apply this new knowledge to their own stories. Writing prompts and exercises will push students to take literary risks, and workshops will help them revise their work. 

ENGL 3430: Introduction to Poetry Writing (Sowder) 

English 3430 is an introductory poetry-writing workshop. In this class we will experiment with writing various forms of poetry, using an excellent introductory book, Steven Kowit’s In the Palm of Your Hand.  In addition, we will look at individual books of poetry by two of our own faculty poets. We will analyze poems together, old and new, to see how they achieve their power, and learn from each other workshopping student poems in large and small group workshops. Students will write and revise ten new poems, including several poems in form, and write an ars poetica, a personal philosophy of poetry writing.    

ENGL 3430: Intro to Poetry Writing (Ballam) 

In this workshop-based course, we’ll analyze and practice a variety of poetic techniques from musicality to metaphor to drawing material from common stories, such as myths and fairy tales. We’ll complete a wide array of poetry exercises from Steve Kowit’s In the Palm of your Hand, ranging from cross-out/cut-up poems to poems about childhood memories, and we’ll read poetry collections by USU faculty members and poems from a diverse variety of voices. Students will write several poems and brief critical essays designed to illuminate specific aspects of poetic craft addressed in the readings and in class. No experience in poetry writing is necessary—all you need is enthusiasm! 

ENGL 3440: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing (Engler) 

Creative Nonfiction Writing is a class for people with something to say. Whether you have stories to tell from your life or you want to say something about Rihanna, racism, or raising cattle, we experiment with the tools of the nonfiction artist (like form, voice, style, and story) in a workshop-style, supportive, writing community to craft powerful memoir and personal essay. Whatever you have to say, this course gives you the chance to find a compelling way to say it. 

ENGL 4420 (CI): Advanced Fiction Writing (Waugh) 

This fiction writing course focuses on the short story to introduce you to language as a medium of artistic expression, to make you aware of the rhythm and sound of good prose, to help you see more in a story than simply its plot, to help you identify underpinning structures and to create such structures yourself, to make you aware of choices an author has made and to make those choices for yourself, and above all else to help you see the importance of revision. Student work will be the basis for our workshop discussions, which means you must read and listen closely, and come to every class prepared to give thoughtful, constructive criticism. 

ENGL 4430 (CI): Advanced Poetry Writing (Gunsberg) 

This advanced poetry writing course is designed to enhance the skills you’ve developed in other writing courses by exposing you to a wide range of poetry written by your peers and by established authors. Like other workshop classes, this course offers many opportunities for you to share your work in small and large groups. Beyond writing and revising individual poems on a weekly basis, you will assemble a final portfolio consisting of your most successful writing.  Because this is an advanced course, you are expected to submit 3-5 of these poems to a literary journal before the conclusion of the semester. 

ENGL 4440 (CI): Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing (Wells) 

Advanced Creative Nonfiction builds off of the introductory course, which focuses on memoir and personal essay, to examine varied essay forms. We’ll examine craft techniques in order to deepen our understanding of form and structure. Together, we’ll look closely at braided, lyric, and flash essays to develop and hone our craft. Students will engage in writing exercises and workshops, with a focus on revision strategies to produce a final portfolio of innovative and polished essays. 

ENGL 5450: Special Topics in CW: Novels, Novellas, and Long Stories (Waugh) 

The purpose of this special topics course is to explore the structures and creative demands of long forms of fiction: novels, novellas, and long stories. Students will read several theories of the novel alongside six exemplary long forms of fiction, map how they are structured, make maps of their own long work, and write 40-60 pages of their own fiction that will be workshopped in the second half of the semester. 

English 3510: Teaching Young Adult Literature (Gunsberg) 

English 3510 is one of the required courses designed specifically for students in the English Teaching degree program. This course combines literature with pedagogical theory and practice. In addition to reading a wide range of YAL that explores genres and issues, students will develop activities that they can use in their future secondary school classrooms. Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required), English Teaching Composite (Required) 

 

ENGL 4500 (CI): Teaching Writing (Rivera-Mueller) 

English 4500 is one of the required courses designed specifically for students in the English Education degree program.  This course will combine the content knowledge you have gained in your English coursework with pedagogical theory, enabling you to cultivate theoretically robust teaching practices.  The learning activities and projects in this course will help members of the class collectively examine three related concepts:  designing, engaging, and assessing writing experiences.  Broadly, we will study the following questions:  What are meaningful aims for writers?  How do secondary writing teachers prompt students to engage in these purposes?  What kinds of support do students need to achieve these learning goals? Our course texts will support our investigation into these questions. Because the course is a face-to-face blended course, we will meet in person and additional coursework will be completed asynchronously via Canvas. Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required), English Teaching Composite (Required) 

 

ENGL 4510 (CI): Teaching Literature (Piotrowski) 

English 4510 prepares students to teach literature, broadly defined to include canonical, contemporary, digital, print, fiction, and nonfiction texts, at the secondary level. The course explores a variety of pedagogical strategies for teaching diverse literary traditions to students of various backgrounds and developmental levels. Students will engage both the philosophical and practical dimensions of secondary English teaching by reflecting on readings, designing units, and presenting to one another.  Students will engage in the complexities of lesson planning and assessment by creating a unit centered on a literary text(s) of their choosing.  Woven into this course will be opportunities for regular writing. Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required); English Teaching Composite (Required) 

 

ENGL 4520 & SCED 4300: Teaching Literacy in Diverse Classrooms (Rivera-Mueller) 

English 4520 is one of the required courses designed specifically for students in the English Education degree program. Students are required to also register for SCED 4300, the clinical experience that accompanies this course. Paired together, these courses provide an opportunity to peer deeply into classroom moments and learn about teaching and learning from a range of educational stakeholders, including secondary students, peers, mentor teachers, and scholars. Beyond reading about or practicing teaching tasks, these courses aim to help you help you develop a robust understanding of literacy from the perspective of a teacher in diverse classroom settings.  Collectively, we use our course reading and experiences in the clinical to examine classroom teachers’ roles as literacy educators. To that end, you will actively study scholarship related to teaching and learning, observe learners and learning communities, provide instructional support, deliver instruction, and reflect upon your process of becoming a teacher.  Engaging in each of these processes provides an opportunity to grapple with the connection between educational theory and practice. Because the course is a face-to-face blended course, we will meet in person and additional coursework will be completed asynchronously via Canvas. Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required), English Teaching Composite (Required)  

ENGL 2210 (BHU): Introduction to Folklore (Thomas) 

In this course, students will be introduced to basic folklore concepts and genres. We will focus especially on legends (including ghost stories), personal experience and family narratives (as documented by the StoryCorps project), roots music genres (including the blues) and their influence on contemporary music. 

 
ENGL 2210 (BHU): Introduction to Folklore (Estiri) 

In this course, we will investigate the concept of folklore and review the major genres studied by folklorists, while focusing on the concept of folklore as emergent and dynamic—as an integral part of our day-to-day lives. We will explore different forms of vernacular culture, including oral/verbal, customary, and material folklore, and consider various interpretive and theoretical approaches to the examples of folk culture discussed. We will particularly explore contemporary forms of folklore, including urban/supernatural legends, personal narratives, jokes, food traditions and celebrations, occupational folklore, folk art, and digital forms of folklore such as internet memes. 

 
ENGL 2720: Survey of American Folklore (Estiri) 

This course offers a general overview of everyday life in the United States and serves as an introduction to the academic field of folklore. We study what Americans say, make, do, know, and believe in their unofficial everyday lives to shed light on who Americans are and, ultimately, what America is. This course also gets students familiarized with folk studies' basic concepts such as tradition, performance, and group. 

 

ENGL 3700 (CI): Regional Folklore (Rezaei) 

How did fry sauce and funeral potatoes turn into iconic Utah foods? Why are there so many legends about rats or dog meat found in ethnic restaurant meals? How do regional, religious, and political identities impact our everyday food choices? In this course, we will answer these and other questions by studying regional foodways from a folkloristic lens, studying the symbolic, artistic, and communicative importance of food in our everyday lives. We will look primarily at the role of food in constructing and performing regional and ethnic identities in the US context. In addition, we will address how the preparation, consumption, and presentation of food is related to individuals' performance of class, gender, or racial identities. Students will engage in food-related research of their own and will have the option to pursue an ethnographic or historical project informed by the course themes. 

 
ENGL 4700: Folk Art and Material Culture (Gabbert) 

The purpose of this class is to learn to recognize, appreciate, and analyze folk art and material culture for what it reveals about both individuals and society.  The class focuses on genres of folk art and material culture such as pottery, masking, memorials, protest art, graveyard art, and textiles.  We cover a variety of theories and ideas about how to analyze objects and will watch a number of ethnographic films. 

 
ENGL 5700: Folk Narrative (Thomas) 

In this course, students will explore a variety of forms of folk narratives. We will focus especially on Irish fairy and folktales, place-based legends (including USU legends), and folk eyewitness accounts of historical events (including narratives about surviving Hurricane Katrina), and memorates (including accounts of near-death experiences). 

 
ENGL 5700: Folk Narrative (McNeill) 

This course introduces students to several of the major genres of folk narrative: folktales, legends, and personal experience narratives.  Commonly distinguished from each other by their complex relationships to truth, these narrative forms of folklore have been at the base of folkloristic study since the inception of the field. Students will explore these narrative forms in a variety of contexts—oral, textual, and digital—and will consider multiple approaches to understanding traditional stories. 

ENGL 4200: Linguistics Structures (Manuel-Dupont) 

This is a 3-credit course that covers the following areas: morphology, phonology, syntax, child language acquisition, dialects, second language acquisition, world languages, and endangered languages.  It takes you through the process of what it takes to be a linguist and what linguists do.  From sub-Sahara Africa to the Navajo Nation, you learn how language makes a human being uniquely equipped to deal with the world around us. Assessment involves traditional exams, essays, and projects.  This is also a service learning class where you will create a language enhancement experience for a primary school in Uganda. Requirements filled: Prof/Tech Writing (Linguistics) 
 
 

ENGL 4230 (DSS): Language and Culture (McLaughlin) 

An introduction to the use of language as a descriptive and analytical tool to understand human culture, and to how speakers use language to manipulate and shape their culture as a whole, including their individual place within it.  It looks at a range of topics through the lens of language as well as looking at the theoretical underpinnings of language as a mediator of culture. 

ENGL 2600: Literary Analysis (Aikens) 

Literary analysis is a “writing-intensive course in literary analysis and research” which, according to the course catalog, “introduces English majors to techniques and problems of critical interpretation.” This section of English 2600 will investigate a wide range of classic and contemporary poetry especially by women and people of color including poems by Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, Cherríe Moraga, David Tomas Martinez, and Jericho Brown. Our drama unit will include William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, and the course will conclude with the novel Iola Leroy by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (pictured and honored above right with a statue dedicated in Harrisburg, PA in August 2020). Assessments will include three revised essays and weekly reading quizzes. 

  

ENGL 2600: Literary Analysis (Rivera-Dundas) 

In this class, we’ll develop our literary analysis toolkit by engaging in various modes of critique as well as the genre expectations of poetry, drama, and fiction. As we learn formal literary analytical techniques we will also ask what it means to tell an American story and what it means to be scholars in the contemporary moment. What analytical tools do we need to develop and how do stories or ways of writing look different from different angles? We’ll read poetry by Natasha Trethewey and Claudia Rankine, plays by Lorraine Hansberry and Ntozake Shange, and a science fiction novel by N. K. Jemisin. 

  

ENGL 2600: Literary Analysis (Holt) 

This course introduces the central tools of literary analysis, teaching students how to engage in close readings of fiction, poetry, and drama. We will work with a textbook to study key terms and methods of literary analysis, which we will then apply to specific literary texts from the past and present examining a rage of themes and perspectives involving race, gender, class, and sexuality. Readings will include poetry by William Shakespeare, Percy Shelley, John Donne, Phillis Wheatley, Claude McKay, Ada Limón, and Tyehimba Jess, fiction by Flannery O’Connor, Gabriel García Márquez, William Faulkner, and Shirley Jackson, drama by Euripides and Susan Glaspell, and a novella by Nella Larsen. 

  

ENGL 2600: Literary Analysis (Nelson) 

British Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote in his Defense of Poetry that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World”. By this Shelley meant that poetry—literature, broadly defined—has the power to invoke sympathy, inspire passion, and motivate us to change the world we live in. Indeed, the story of Malcom X illustrates the power of literature to change lives. When Malcom X entered prison, he could not read or write, but by painfully copying every word in the dictionary, he taught himself how to read. He says that “ten guards and the warden couldn’t have torn me out of those books . . . I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life”. Literature is important because it leads to discovery of self and important insights into the nature of humanity and culture. Literature helps us understand and make sense of the world around us, and how we fit into that world. As the foundational course for the English Major, we will particularly focus on learning to read texts closely, articulating a central interpretation of a text, and using textual evidence and outside sources to support our argument. The Norton Introduction to Literature will provide the foundation for our course, and this course will survey a history of the development of literature from the Ancient Greeks to the present. Along the way, we’ll become familiar with the conventions of drama, poetry, and fiction. We’ll learn to analyze literature for its point of view, narrative frame, character development, and the universal themes that have tied us together for 2,500 years of human history. 

  

ENGL 3305: Medieval Literary History (Cooper-Rompato) 

Reading medieval literature has never been so exciting! This class will examine medieval literature and culture from three geographical areas: England, Iceland, and Ireland. We will start the class with Old English (Anglo-Saxon) literature from England (including Beowulf and the haunting elegy “The Wife’s Lament”) and then trace the history of England and its literature as it is invaded by the Danes (Vikings). We will then transition to Old Norse literature from medieval Iceland and read the Prose Edda and selections from the Poetic Edda, with their stories of Thor and Loki; we will then encounter some amazing Icelandic sagas featuring family feuds, magical horses, and even a polar bear. We will then finish class by reading a good part of the The Táin, an Irish epic featuring battles, a stud bull, and a demigod. 
The class will meet face to face every Monday and Wednesday, and on Fridays we will have online “Medieval Fun Days” where we watch videos about amazing medieval artifacts and events before posting in Canvas discussion groups. Once or twice a semester on Fridays students will also meet in small groups in the library’s Special Collections to see medieval manuscripts. Participants should expect to write 12-15 pages of formal writing as well as post and reply on weekly discussion prompts; participants will also take comprehension quizzes that can be retaken if needed. 

 

ENGL 3365: Nineteenth-century American Literature (Aikens) 

From Romanticism to Realism. This course will investigate a wide range of nineteenth-century works in American Literature. Beginning with indigenous texts and folk tales and moving through not only Romanticism and Realism, but also Race and Slavery, First-wave Feminism, Transcendentalism, Sentimentalism, and Naturalism, this course will explore rare and classic works of fiction, drama, poetry, and non-fiction. We’ll read portions of canonical texts such as Thoreau’s Walden (1854) and counter-histories such as Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo’s Recuerdos históricos y personales tocante a la alta California Historical and Personal Memoirs Relating to Northern California’ (1875). The course will conclude with two quintessential nineteenth-century novels—James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1880-81) and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Iola Leroy (1892). With James’s tour de force novel we will ask the questions that thousands of James readers have asked over the course of the last 140 years, among them, regarding the central conflict between Madame Merle and Isabel Archer: do the clothes make the woman or are they simply outer adornments to the vibrant inner being of womanhood? Assessments will include papers, reading responses, discussion posts, and weekly reading/lecture quizzes. 

 

ENGL 3375: American Literature Since 1900 (Rivera-Dundas) 

American literature since the turn of the twentieth century has explored themes of identity, belonging, and personal autonomy. The texts we read in this course will explore how American writers—in this case, Black women from the Harlem Renaissance to 2018—have made sense of the changing political, economic, and social landscapes of this country. We’ll read classic literary fiction by canonical writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and Gwendolyn Brooks, an experimental play/poem by Ntozake Shange, classic and groundbreaking science fiction by Octavia Butler, and a beautiful and haunting novel written a few years ago by Jesmyn Ward. 

  

ENGL 3385: Postcolonial World Literature (Blackstock) 

After the Raj: Colonial and Postcolonial Literature of India. English 3385 covers a variety of texts that emerge from and explore the experience of colonization. The period of British control over South Asia was known as the Raj and produced some of the greatest works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature written in English. The Oxford Companion to English Literature offers the following brief assessment of Anglo-Indian literature: “[A]lso referred to as Indian literature in English, produced both in India and across the vast Indian diaspora, Anglo‐Indian literature represents one of the most innovative and dynamic fields of world writing in English today.” In class we will be examining the novels, short stories, and poems of British writers including Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, and E.M. Forster, along with works by writers of South Asian descent such as Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, and Sara Suleri. 

 

ENGL 3395: World Literature in Translation (Graham) 

Caribbean Literature Translated from French. The Haitian Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century was arguably the most important event in the history of slavery and colonialism: an uprising of enslaved people overthrew the masters, fought off attempts by French, English, and Spanish forces to take control of the territory, and declared Haiti a sovereign republic. After its independence in 1802, Haiti was never again a colony of France, but the French language has continued to be the language of commerce and government, while a distinctive French Creole remains the language of ordinary Haitians. Haiti has contributed richly to the Francophone world’s literary heritage, and its revolution has served as inspiration for many literary texts, including two plays that will be assigned for this course. France’s “Overseas Departments” in the Caribbean Sea, especially Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, despite their tiny size and populations, have likewise given the world some of the most important writers of the modern era.  
Our exploration of this literature will begin in the early twentieth century, with writers such as Saint-Jean Perse, René Maran, Jean Price-Mars, and Jacques Roumain. The course will give special focus to the Caribbean writers of the global Negritude movement, especially Aimé Césaire, Léon-Gontran Damas, and Suzanne Césaire. And it will include a representative survey of writing from the mid-twentieth century to the present, including texts by Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Maryse Condé, Marie-Célie Agnant, and Gerty Dambury. All texts will be translated into English, and knowledge of French (while helpful) is neither required nor expected. 

  

ENGL 3620: Native American Studies (Straight) 

This multidisciplinary course in Native American literature and culture offers students a glimpse of the dynamic work being done by artists from a variety of tribal identities whose memoirs, novels, poetry, films, autoethnographies, and speculative fictions invite us to understand more about the complexity and diversity of Native America. Selected texts by artists and scholars like Tommy Orange, Cherie Dimaline, David Treuer, Lee Francis IV, and Leslie Marmon Silko provide students with starting points to conduct more in-depth research into the particular tribal, geographical, cultural, and historical contexts that inform the artists’ works. 

  

 ENGL 4300: Shakespeare (Cooper-Rompato) 

This class will explore the plays of Shakespeare in the context of early modern culture and history. We will also discuss in depth the many complex reasons why Shakespeare holds such a central position in the English literary canon. We will read the tragedy Julius Caesar, the history Henry IV (Part 1), the comedies Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing, and several of Shakespeare’s famous sonnets. Expect lots of in-class acting, with props!  The class will meet f2f on Mondays and Wednesdays, and on Fridays we will listen to podcasts or watch video productions of the plays, and then post online in Canvas discussion groups. Students will also meet in Special Collections once or twice during the semester on Fridays (in small groups) to encounter the library’s many early modern texts. Students should expect to write 12-15 pages of formal writing as well as post and reply on weekly discussion prompts; students will also take comprehension quizzes that can be retaken if needed. 

  

ENGL 4330: World Writers (Graham) 

Achebe and Adichie: Two Nigerian Writers. When a 28-year-old Nigerian Igbo named Chinua Achebe published Things Fall Apart in 1958, it was by no means the first English-language novel by an African writer, but it almost immediately became the best known, and signaled the beginning of an outpouring of writing from Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa in English, French, Arabic, and Portuguese. Nearly sixty years later, Things Fall Apart retains its status as the foundational text of postcolonial African literature, having sold over 20 million copies worldwide and being taught widely in high schools and universities around the world. Achebe followed it with three more novels in quick succession, but when civil war engulfed Nigeria in 1967, he was forced into exile and stopped publishing novels for two decades. His fifth and final novel, Anthills of the Savannah, was published in 1987; he died in 2013 at the age of 82. For this course we will read his first three novels, collectively known as The African Trilogy. 
The catalog description for ENGL 4330 says that it will study “[s]elected works of either a single author or a closely related group of authors based outside the United States, with attention to biographical and cultural contexts.” In this course, then, we will read Achebe’s literary writings and essays, while also focusing on another Igbo writer born some two generations after Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. On the strength of three novels (so far), a collection of stories, and many essays and public lectures, she has emerged as the twenty-first-century heir to Achebe’s throne among Igbo novelists. Like Achebe, many of her writings depict the long-lasting effects of English colonialism on Nigerian cultural traditions and practices, and tensions between Igbo traditions and the modern world, in such various guises as Christianity, globalization, and European education. Like Achebe also, she writes about corruption, authoritarianism, and civil strife in post-independence Nigeria. We will read her first two novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, and a selection of her stories and essays. 

  

ENGL 4330: World Writers (Blackstock) 

Masterpieces of Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature. The nineteenth century is known as the Golden Age of Russian literature, seeing the rise to prominence of such monumental and influential writers as Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekov. Two of these writers in particular--Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy—profoundly influenced the thought of the age in which they lived and of the ages to follow, not only in Russia but throughout the world, and their ideas helped shape the twentieth century both philosophically and politically. As professor of philosophy Walter Barrett has written, “It has been said that every man is born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian; it might be said with equal justice that he is born either a Tolstoyan or a Dostoevskian.” This course will examine the lives, times, and works of these two literary giants, along with the contemporary writers who influenced them and who were influenced by them. Representative poems, stories, novels, and plays of these authors will be studied in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. 

 

ENGL 4345: Studies in Nonfiction (Straight) 

Coming of Age in a Conflicted World. Memoirists navigate the treacherous territory of the self in retrospect, and those who recollect childhoods must confront more than the uncertainty of memory. This course explores the work of memoirists whose coming-of-age experiences illuminate the complexities and conflicts of American life. Writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alicia Elliot, Reyna Grande, Liz Prince, and Tara Westover work in a range of autobiographical formats—including first-person narratives, epistolaries, and graphic memoirs—to get at the problems and possibilities of self-storying. 

 

ENGL 4375: U.S. Latinx Literature (Aikens) 

This course will investigate U.S. Latinx Literature from its beginnings to today through poetry, drama, fiction, memoir, graphic fiction, and a bit of reggaetón. Students in this course will become familiar with literary and historical Latinx movements that encompass border studies, migration/immigration, latinidad, Chicano/a/x histories, hybridities, Latinx identity, labor movements, and more. The course will begin in the nineteenth-century with abolitionist drama by Alejandro Tapia y Rivera. Other texts for this course will include María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s Who Would Have Thought It? (1872), Jaime Hernandez’s Maggie the Mechanic (1981-85), Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), Daisy Hernández’s LGBTQIA+ feminist memoir A Cup of Water under My Bed (2014), and many more. In addition to reading quizzes, reading responses, and two papers, course assessments will likely include creative projects such as an adaptation project and/or a podcast. 

  

ENGL 5310 (CI): Contemporary Literature (Holt) 

 This course explores contemporary fiction that revises and reimagines previous works of history, music, performance art, and film, exploring what they accomplish by re-writing these works from different perspectives regarding race, class, gender, and disability. Works we will study include Laila Lalami’s 2015 novel The Moor’s Account, a retelling of Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca’s sixteenth-century Relación from the perspective of an enslaved member of his Spanish expedition, Luis Alberto Urrea’s 2010 novel Into the Beautiful North, a radical reinvention of the 1960 western film The Magnificent Seven, which is, in turn, a retelling of the 1954 Japanese film The Seven Samurai, and Tyehimba Jess’s 2017 Pulitzer prize winning poetry collection Olio, which draws on archival accounts to reimagine the lives of African American musicians and performance artists between the Civil War and World War I. 

ENGL 3400 (CI): Writing for the Workplace (Pollak and Cheek) 

Students are introduced to professional workplace writing, transitioning from writing for academic audiences to writing workplace documents. Students design and write professional documents, synthesize, and evaluate arguments on technology and society, and collaborate in teams to present technical information. 

  

ENGL 3410: Digital Writing Technologies (Moeller) 

The main focus of this course is learning how to learn technologies. The technical communication field increasingly requires professionals to be adept at using a variety of technologies and knowing how to select the best tool(s) to accomplish a particular task. In this course, you will not only gain experience with three core software programs but also develop or strengthen your sense of adventure, tenacity, and confidence in evaluating, learning, and using technologies relevant to technical communication 

  

ENGL 3450: Workplace Research Methods (Pollak) 

This course is designed to prepare you to work successfully as a technical writer by teaching you how to conduct research critical to the roles you will play. You will learn how to craft a research question; how to select appropriate methods to address a particular research question; how to ethically collect and analyze data; and how to report research findings and their associated implications (i.e., research-based recommendations). 

  

ENGL 4400 (CI): Professional Editing (Pollak and Clem) 

Whether or not your job title includes the word “editor,” you will find that good editing skills are an excellent way to move ahead in your workplace. A good professional/technical editor understands how language works, how others will likely expect it to be used, and how to craft it effectively—not just by copy-editing and proofreading but also by editing comprehensively for content, organization, style, graphics, and document design. 

  

ENGL 5400: Technologies and Activism (Edenfield) 

Students examine the role of ethics and social justice in the use and development of technology, learning to connect theory and heuristics with user advocacy and decision making. Topics, which vary by instructor, have included digital democracy and hacktivism, gender and technology, and accessibility. This class does not have prerequisites. 

  

ENGL 5420: Project Management in Technical Communication (Edenfield) 

Students study project management strategies involving and affecting diverse groups of stakeholders. Students learn how gender, race, culture, age, ideology, and socioeconomic class influence the design, execution, and outcomes of projects. This class is designed around a semester long community project. 

 

ENGL 5490: Special Topics: Writing with an Accent (McLaughlin) 

This course will examine how language diversity in the United States has created and maintained discrimination.  It will look at the linguistics of diversity and the natural state of language as diverse in dialect and individual variation.  It will examine how linguistic discrimination develops and is maintained consciously and subconsciously through education, the media, financial practices, and judicial proceedings.  Different linguistic communities will also be examined, including Black, Latin, Indigenous, Appalachian and Southern, Immigrant, and Creole communities.  Case studies will be examined to see the practical effects of linguistic diversity and discrimination.