Fall 2022 Undergraduate English Courses


ENGL 2050: Literature by Women (BHU) | Icard
Did you ever wish you had the time to read well-known works of fiction like Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre? Have you been curious about the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson? Or the awardwinning author Sandra Cisneros? English 2050 is a fun introductory survey where you will read and learn about literature written by women. Emphasis will be on approaching texts with understanding and appreciation. Readings may include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. This three-credit course fulfills the BHU requirement


ENGL 2200: Understanding Literature (BHU) | Icard
The course is an introduction to reading literature--as a subject for college study, and also as an intellectual and artistic experience for individual readers. Representative texts will be discussed, with attention to characters, language, and meaning, and to such matters as irony, metaphor, and allusion. The class will practice building confidence and pleasure as readers. 


ENGL 2200: Understanding Literature (BHU) | Winn
English 2200 is an introduction to representative works of world literature including short fiction, poetry, and theatrical plays/films. The course emphasizes the study and consideration of the literary and cultural of selected works from both Western and non-Western literary traditions. Texts are selected from among a diverse group of authors for what they reflect and reveal about the evolving human experience and character. An important goal of the class is to promote understanding of the works in their cultural/historical contexts and of the enduring human values which unite the different literary traditions. Students will respond critically to readings through class discussion and produce written, evidence-based arguments.


ENGL 2210: Intro to Folklore (BHU) | Thomas
Introduction to Folklore (English 2210) explores basic folklore concepts and genres. We focus on supernatural legends, digital folklore, material culture, personal experience narratives, and roots music genres and their influence on contemporary music. 


ENGL 2210: Into to Folklore (BHU) | Estiri
In this course, we will investigate the concept of folklore and review the major genres studied by folklorists while focusing on folklore as emergent and dynamic and 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 that highlight the significance of dynamics usually framed as trivial and quotidian. 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 2230: Intro to Film (BHU) | Crawford
This course introduces students to global film from the 19th century to contemporary award winners and examines how authorship, genre, presentation, and narrative structure contribute to meaning. Students will learn to evaluate films as reflections of culture and mediums for communication while becoming familiar with film techniques, terminology, and basic film concepts through film analysis and criticism.


ENGL 2630: Introduction to American Studies (BHU) | Holt
This section of Introduction to American Studies focuses on how US culture has been shaped by protest.. This course examines different periods of protest in US history, beginning with the American Revolution and continuing on with protests involving Indigenous dispossession, slavery, women’s rights, labor, and immigration, and civil rights involving race, gender, sexuality, and disability. We will also examine recent protest movements involving Occupy Wall Street, Me Too, Black Rights Matter, Covid-19, and the 2021 takeover of the U.S. Capitol. This course also introduces students to the interdisciplinary methods involved in American Studies, working with a range of sources, including essays, poems, fiction, advertisements, newspaper articles, songs, posters, visual art, speeches, cartoons, photographs, and film. 


ENGL 2640: Race and Ethnicity in the United States (BHU) | Straight
Artists and scholars who examine race and ethnicity in the US must contend with a core paradox of modern societies: “Race” is an invented concept that has no basis in human biology; nonetheless, as the social construct behind racism, race is one of the most powerful factors influencing how we live. In this course we will study the fundamentally important interplay between systemic racism, social constructions of race, racial identity, and more nuanced concepts of ethnicity. The essayists, novelists, poets, and memoirists who provide our course texts grapple with the histories and realities of race in American life and—most importantly—they do so out of a belief that “there is power in words, power in asserting our existence, our experience, our lives, through words. That sharing our stories confirms our humanity. That it creates community” (Jesmyn Ward). At heart, then, this course is about the power and responsibility we all have to work toward our unrealized American ideals of equity and justice.


ENGL 3030: Perspectives in Literature (DHA) | Ricketts
This course will examine literature of the Southwest with a special emphasis on Utah. Authors often use a specific place to reflect, contest, or even attempt to shape regional identity. We will read several texts with the goal of understanding how place can be as important to consider as character, plot, theme, and other traditional literary devices. By analyzing how authors weave place into their stories, we will consider how a place can drive not only narrative, but also give us insight into American history and culture while perhaps even teaching us something about ourselves along the way.


ENGL 3070: Folklore and the Internet (DHA) | McNeill
This course introduces students to a major new area of folkloristic research: digital culture. It explores the ways in which we can understand folklore in a digital context, the kinds of folklore we find in digital settings, the kinds of folk groups we find through the use of communication technologies, how fieldwork changes in an online environment, and the ways humans make meaning in diverse contexts. In other words, we'll look to the internet to reveal all sorts of crazy, interesting, confusing, contradictory, appalling, appealing, and generally weird things about ourselves.


ENGL 3270: Children's Folklore (DHA) | Gabbert
This course focuses on the culture of children by examining children's folklore and folklife. Materials to be examined include games, stories, songs, rhymes and other verbal routines created and adapted by children for children.  Children's literature—material written by adults for children—will not be covered. The course is organized around themes that arise in the study of childhood traditions, providing a window into the culture of childhood as presented by members of that culture themselves.  In taking this course, students will learn to interpret children’s behavior, play, and folklore/folklife in order to better understand the culture of childhood.


ENGL 3470: Research English Studies (QI) | Kinkead
This course for English majors introduces students to multiple methods of conducting research in English, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The course examines current research, principles of research design, and instruments of data collection. Students will undertake two research projects: a whole class research project that provides practice in research methods, and an individual research project.  We will present research findings orally and in writing. The course also gives attention to conducting research ethically.


ENGL 3630: Farm in Literature and Culture (DHA) | Moore
The Literature and Culture of the Farm 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, African American Slave Narrative, Steinbeck, and Cather to more modern writers like Cesar Chavez, 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.


ENGL 3630: Farm in Literature and Culture (DHA) | Kinkead
This Depth-Humanities/Arts course explores the theme of agriculture, food, and land and also requires extensive reading and writing to meet the objectives of the CI criteria. The Farm in Literature and Culture investigates the “culture of agriculture.” Students read classical texts that provide a foundation and other texts of the American farm. We also explore farming through the lens of art, architecture, popular culture, and genre. By reading fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama, as well as viewing film and visual arts, students will enhance their understanding of the role that agriculture, food, and land have played in American life. 


ENGL 3640: Reading and Writing the Environment (DHA) | Whitaker
ENGL 3640: Reading and Writing the Environment is an interdisciplinary course that explores practices of reading and writing and their effect on the human-environment relationship. The course will investigate how American cultures developed within the contexts of colonialism, westward expansion, individual freedom, and the notion of “exceptionalism.” Students will trace and compare these themes as they emerge across different arguments, discourses, and genres. In addition to historical perspectives, students will also read widely from contemporary authors and will consider how the production and consumption of text impacts current conversations on environmental issues. The knowledge students gain from these readings will inform their own intellectual pursuits as they research and write their way into greater environmental consciousness.


ENGL 3700: Regional Folklore (CI/DHA) | Estiri
This course orients students to the folklore of the Middle East. Material to be examined will be diverse across genres and drawn from various ethnic, national, and temporal spheres. Folklore is not necessarily ancient and historical, and there will be an emphasis on Middle Eastern contemporary life. In this course, folklore is conceptualized as everyday life expressive culture, including verbal arts, texts, religion, performative activities, and material culture. Though this is not a theory course, students will gain an attenuated background in folklore studies that includes the history and development of the discipline, its various methods, and contemporary scholarly conversations.


ENGL 4230: Language and Culture (DSS) | McLaughlin
An introduction to the diversity of language in the world and its use 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 4610: Western American Literature (DHA) | Straight
In many ways, the US West has always been a fiction, and fictions about the West abound in US literature. This course studies the mercurial US West through the lens of historical fiction, a provocative subgenre uniquely suited to the complexities of an amorphous region that is also at the heart of our national mythology. The novels we will read—including works by Colson Whitehead, Linda Hogan, Julie Otsuka, and Leslie Marmon Silko—go beyond the cowboy and sagebrush veneer of the rugged frontier to explore our complicated West as a shifting place, as a contested idea, and as a living history that we still inhabit.


ENGL 4700: Folk Material Culture (DHA) | Rezaei
From quilting to cosplay, from roadside shrines to yard art and graffiti, folk art is all around us. This course explores various forms of everyday artistry as venues for individual and collective creative expressions, while also examining the relation of material objects with history, market, and cultural heritage. We will address how different forms of folk art and material culture are intertwined with individual and collective expressions of gender, ethnic, and racial identities, as well as the role of folk art in politics, activism, and peace/conflict. The course draws on analytical approaches from folklore, anthropology, cultural studies, and other related fields. Lectures and discussions will be supplemented with films, (virtual) field trips, and other activities. 

English 3420: Introduction to Fiction Writing | Caron 
This fiction class is designed for 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. 


English 3420: Introduction to Fiction Writing | Waugh
This introduction to fiction writing course will help you see all the many things a story is besides what happens. Plot may be “the soul of a tragedy,” according to Aristotle, but it certainly won’t keep your readers if that’s all there is. We will examine why character matters, as well as imagery, description, setting, time, point of view, and sparkling prose, among many other things. By taking this course, you will learn: 1) to use a basic fiction writing vocabulary, 2) to identify the core narratological concepts in a work of fiction, 3) to recognize the sound and rhythm of good prose, 4) to understand and employ various narrative structures, and 5) to participate fully and constructively in a workshop oriented class.


English 3420: Introduction to Fiction Writing | Olsen
This is a fiction writing course that is accessible to beginning fiction writers and beneficial to writers who have had practical experience with fiction writing but minimal academic study. The course is workshop-driven (meaning there will be extensive hands-on analysis of student work) but will also feature serious craft discussion and thorough readings of published material to help students better understand how to approach their own work. It is structured as a hybrid course with every-other-week in-class meetings that alternate with weeks where we discuss specific issues related to craft and contemporary fiction.  


English 3430: Introduction to Poetry Writing | Sowder
English 3430 is an introductory poetry-writing workshop. In this class we will experiment with writing various, exciting forms of poetry, using an excellent introductory book, Steven Kowit’s In the Palm of Your Hand.  In addition, we will study two individual poet’s books of poetry, one by one of our own faculty poets, as well as exploring a treasure trove of other poets and poems. We will analyze poems together, from ancient Greek poems to contemporary spoken word poems, to see how they work and achieve their power. We will practice the craft of writing, learning from each other 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, and memorize a poem to recite the last day of class.   


English 3430: Introduction 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! 


English 3440: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction | Beck
English 3440 will be a mix of lectures, workshops and out-of-class assignments that will focus on crafting new nonfiction projects. Few parameters will be placed on the subjects of the writing projects, but the class will emphasize narrative and personal writing. Course materials will mostly consist of contemporary essays in both audio and traditional formats. The class will be a safe place to hone existing skills and experiment with form and medium.  


English 3440: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction | Kunz
English 3440, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction will introduce students to contemporary writers within an increasingly hard to define genre. Students will study the narrative approaches and techniques employed by professional writers, while being asked to apply that knowledge to the crafting of their own Creative Nonfiction pieces. Students will work in small group workshops as well as taking part in a whole class workshop. We will read a selection of essays and larger works.


English 4420: Advanced Poetry Writing | Waugh
The purpose of this advanced fiction writing course is to allow you to make the step from story dabbler to serious fiction writer, and to help you, as M.S. Bell says, “deploy unconsciously, intuitively, instinctively” the rudimentary skills you learned in the introductory course.  The readings of our own work will be the basis for our workshop discussions, which means you must read the work in advance and come to class prepared with notes to help you give thoughtful, constructive criticism. We will also read exemplary texts to help us better understand what creates good writing, to train ourselves always to read as a writer, and to find how a particular word or sentence contributes to the overall effect. 


English 4430: Advanced Poetry Writing | Sowder
English 4430 is an advanced poetry-writing workshop. Accordingly, much of the work of the semester will involve reading and responding to each other’s work in a rigorous yet supportive environment. As you may know, world literature began with poetry—deriving from religious ritual, magical spells, chants, and incantations. Other forms of creative writing—novels, fiction, and creative nonfiction—derived from poetry. Poetry employs the tools of creative writing in the most intense, compressed, and sophisticated ways possible. If you study the poetry of the last several millennia, you’ll sharpen and hone your writing in whatever genre you ultimately choose to write in. 

In addition to weekly workshops, we’ll read several contemporary books of poetry, beginning with a famous twentieth-century collection, Ariel, by Sylvia Plath, and a collection by her equally famous—and infamous—husband, Ted Hughes’s, Birthday Letters.  We’ll read a fantastic book of poems, African American poet Ross Gay’s exuberant Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude, which will lighten our mood after Plath and Hughes. We’ll read Monument, by African American, Natasha Tretheway, Welcome, Dangerous Life, by our own Ben Gunsberg, and a collection of essays by Tony Hoagland.  These works will help us deepen our understanding of the diversity of styles and themes of contemporary poetry and help us see how it achieves its power. 

Grades will be based on a portfolio of poems turned in at the end of the semester and class participation.


English 4440: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing | Sinor
Speculative Nonfiction. In this advanced creative nonfiction workshop, we will be exploring what happens when writers take speculative and imaginative leaps in their work. John D’Agata suggests that art must destabilize if it is to remain meaningful. To that end, many contemporary nonfiction writers disrupt our understanding of the genre by pushing on the boundaries of fact and truth. Initially such efforts included “perhapsing,” especially in memoir, but more recent work is less concerned with reassuring the reader and more concerned with offering a truth that is more true because it never happened. That said, they write creative nonfiction, not fiction, which makes for fascinating conversation.


English 5450: Special Topics: Mixtures and Margins: An Introduction to Multimodal Composition | Gunsberg
How do contemporary writers use digital technology to adapt their poems, stories, and essays to a diverse and rapidly changing media textscape? English 5450 investigates this question by exploring different media forms and modes of representation, including alphanumeric writing, film, music, electronic literature, visual art, performances, and installations. Students will have opportunities to create new media texts that combine audio, visual, and interactive elements, such as printed poems that also occur as audio files or videos in conversation with alphanumeric text. After a brief introduction, we’ll discuss theories and historical antecedents of contemporary multimodal work. The first of three major assignments asks you to adapt a piece of conventional writing (poem, story, essay) into a multimedia artifact.  Next, you’ll create a multimedia project from scratch.  The third major assignment is a performance or installation that can be experienced live or through an audio/video recording.  Your efforts on these assignments will be supported by readings, experiments, and class visits from writers who steer their work toward both the page and the screen.

English 3500/SCED 3300: Teaching English and Clinical Experience | Rivera-Mueller
Admission to STEP is required. The Teaching English course is paired with the one-credit course, SCED 3300 Clinical 1 (English) to provide students with hands-on experience working in secondary school classrooms. Students will meet in class and also work in schools 30 hours over the semester. The goal of the clinical experience is for pre-service teachers to begin to view the classroom and its students from the perspective of a teacher. Throughout your undergraduate education, you have focused on subject matter content; in this experience, you’ll be looking more closely at the process of teaching and learning. In particular, you’ll be observing how a teacher functions in the classroom as well as the teacher’s relationships with students, parents, colleagues, and school leaders. You will also have the opportunity to practice teaching in the classroom. You must register for ENGL 3500 plus the appropriate section of SCED 3300 paired by instructor.

Requirements filled: English Teaching; English Teaching Composite (Required)

English 3500/SCED 3300: Teaching English and Clinical Experience I Piotrowski
Admission to STEP is required. Teaching English is paired with the one-credit course, SCED 3300 Clinical 1, to provide students with hands-on experience working in secondary school classrooms. Students will meet in class and also work in schools 30 hours over the semester. The goal of the clinical experience is for pre-service teachers to begin to view the classroom and its students from the perspective of a teacher. You must register for ENGL 3500 plus the appropriate section of SCED 3300 paired by instructor.

Requirements filled: English Teaching; English Teaching Composite (Required)

English 3510: Teaching Young Adult Literature | Piotrowski
English 3510 is one of the required courses designed specifically for students in the English Education degree program. Study of a variety of genres written specifically for adolescent audience. Intended for those interested in teaching secondary school English. This course will be a blended mix of in class participation and online content.

Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required); English Teaching Composite (Required)

English 4510: Teaching Literature | Gunsberg
English 4510 prepares students to teach literature, including print literature, film, television, and print journalism. 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 delivering instruction to one another. Woven into this course will be opportunities for regular writing, examination of digital resources, and sustained work on a piece of literature that is of special interest to each student. Students will build a library of digital and print-based professional resources that will support their efforts within and beyond this course. Engaging the complexities of lesson planning and assessment, students will create a unit centered on a literary text(s) of their choosing. 

Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required)

ENGL 4520/SCED 4300: Teaching Literacy in Diverse Classrooms/Clinical Experience II English | Rivera-Mueller
Admission to STEP required. 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.

You must register for both ENGL 4520 and SCED 4300 in the same semester.

Requirements filled: English Teaching (Required)/ English Teaching Composite (Required)

ENGL 2210: Intro to Folklore (BHU) | Estiri
In this course, we will investigate the concept of folklore and review the major genres studied by folklorists while focusing on folklore as emergent and dynamic and 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 that highlight the significance of dynamics usually framed as trivial and quotidian. 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 2210: Introduction to Folklore (BHU) | Thomas
This course explores basic folklore concepts and genres. We focus on supernatural legends, digital folklore, material culture, personal experience narratives, and roots music genres and their influence on contemporary music. 


ENGL 2720: American Folklore | Thomas
This course explores the diverse and changing landscape of the United States by analyzing legends, memes, conspiracy theories, regional foodways, and Native American narratives. 


ENGL 3070: Folklore on the Internet (DHA) | McNeill
This course introduces students to a major new area of folkloristic research: digital culture. It explores the ways in which we can understand folklore in a digital context, the kinds of folklore we find in digital settings, the kinds of folk groups we find through the use of communication technologies, how fieldwork changes in an online environment, and the ways humans make meaning in diverse contexts. In other words, we'll look to the internet to reveal all sorts of crazy, interesting, confusing, contradictory, appalling, appealing, and generally weird things about ourselves.


ENGL 3700: Regional Folklore (CI/DHA) | Estiri
This course orients students to the folklore of the Middle East. Material to be examined will be diverse across genres and drawn from various ethnic, national, and temporal spheres. Folklore is not necessarily ancient and historical, and there will be an emphasis on Middle Eastern contemporary life. In this course, folklore is conceptualized as everyday life expressive culture, including verbal arts, texts, religion, performative activities, and material culture. Though this is not a theory course, students will gain an attenuated background in folklore studies that includes the history and development of the discipline, its various methods, and contemporary scholarly conversations.


ENGL 3710: Topics in Folklore (Legend, Belief, and Conspiracy) | McNeill
This course will cover the genres of legend, belief, and conspiracy theory, ranging from supernatural beliefs to contemporary legends, conspiracy theories to public perception. This is an important topic for the current cultural moment, which is experiencing a growing awareness of the influence of folk culture on some of the most important structures of daily life, including politics, religion, and health. In this class we will consider the rhetorical nature of legends, the mechanics of conspiracy theories, the nature of belief, and the ways that narratives infuse our daily lived existence and influence our decision making.


ENGL 3720: Children’s Folklore | Gabbert
This course focuses on the culture of children by examining children's folklore and folklife. Materials to be examined include games, stories, songs, rhymes and other verbal routines created and adapted by children for children.  Children's literature—material written by adults for children—will not be covered. The course is organized around themes that arise in the study of childhood traditions, providing a window into the culture of childhood as presented by members of that culture themselves.  In taking this course, students will learn to interpret children’s behavior, play, and folklore/folklife in order to better understand the culture of childhood. 

ENGL 4200: Linguistics (Online) | 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.

ENGL 4230: Language and Culture Online | 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.

Requirements filled: Prof/Tech Writing (Linguistics)

Note: John is also teaching ENGL 5490, Topics in TCR: Social Media Perspectives (Online)

ENGL 2600: Literary Analysis | Franks
Literary analysis is the foundation of our discipline—it’s what makes us literary critics and scholars. In this class, we’ll engage with multiple genres to better understand what we mean when we talk about “close reading,” and, more importantly, the many strategies we have for doing the work of analysis. We’ll build your vocabulary of specialized literary terms and your confidence in applying specific analytical techniques as we read poems from Layli Long Soldier and Claudia Rankine, novels from Louise Erdrich and Zane Grey, and plays from August Wilson and Tracey Letts, among others.


ENGL 2600: Literary Analysis | Graham
This course is designed especially for aspiring English majors and minors, but it will be valuable to anyone wanting to learn fundamental concepts and methods in the study of literature. You will learn the formal elements of three basic genres of literature—poetry, drama, and fiction—and the critical terminology for the kinds of figurative language that characterize literary writing in all genres. We will discuss how to research, organize, and write essays in literary studies, how to cite sources, and how to sharpen your writing style in general. Ultimately, the skills and methods you acquire in this class will help you better appreciate the richness, complexity, and beauty of the works you will read as a student of literature in English, and it will help you begin to develop the critical thinking skills, the mental flexibility, and the ability to cope with ambiguity required for most any career you might pursue.


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 3315: Early Modern British Literature 
Instructor and description to be announced.


ENGL 3335: Nineteenth Century British Literature | McCuskey
This course introduces students to British Victorian literature and its historical context, with an emphasis on four major themes: Industry and Society; Ladies and Gentlemen; Science and Religion; and Fantasies and Nightmares.  This semester, we will pay special attention to the relationship between literature, history, and visual art: Victorian portraits, paintings, pictures, and photos.  On one level, we will juxtapose texts and images: for example, reading Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shalott” next to Waterhouse’s painting of the Lady in her boat, or Gaskell's "Our Society at Cranford" next to a painting of nearby urban Manchester.  On another level, we will also analyze the representation of visual art within literary texts: for example, the portrait that hangs on the wall in Browning’s “My Last Duchess."  The goal is to learn to develop arguments that bring together text, image, and history.


ENGL 3365: 19th-Century American Literature | King
A survey of American literature from 1800-1900, a century of great change, growth, tragedies, and progress. Much of these historical transformations were imagined in literature, in the minds of poets, playwrights, philosophers, and fiction writers. Our survey will emphasize the relation of literary to historical studies; the paradoxes of defining an American identity—the tensions between consensus and conflict that still resonate; and the effort to bring writers on the margins—women and people of color, e.g.—closer to the center. Pedagogical approaches—how to teach American literature—will also be a focus. 


ENGL 3375 American Literature Since 1900: Black Speculative Fiction | Rivera-Dundas
You can only enact change if you can imagine it first. Writers of science and speculative fiction have leaned into this idea, imagining alternate worlds and far-flung futures in order to make sense of our present day, manifest futures outside of our current social dynamics, or explore alternatives to the status quo. In this class, we will read works of science and speculative fiction by Black American writers from the mid-20th century to today. We'll read novels that re-imagine language, gender, environmental collapse, and what it means to be human. We'll read stories that take place hundreds of years in the future and some that travel back and forth between the 1870s and the 1970s. We'll talk about social hierarchies, systems of power, and manifestations of oppression and we'll talk about joy, and celebration, and love. In this class, we'll work on a semester-long research project as well as write our own speculative fictions spun from the stories of our own lives.


ENGL 3395: World Literature in Translation: Medieval African Literature | Cooper-Rompato
Many people don’t realize that rich traditions of African literature survive from the precolonial period. This class offers a survey of both written and oral literary texts from several areas of medieval Africa, including Ethiopia, the Mali empire, Ile-Ife, and Great Zimbabwe. We will spend time reading and discussing a range of texts, including charters and political writings, religious writings, epic poetry, and songs, as well as learning about different genres of art, including sculpture and architecture. Special attention will be paid to texts that English Teaching students can bring into their secondary school classrooms. This class will meet face-to-face on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Assignments include short essays, some Canvas work, and one oral presentation. All readings are in modern English translation, and no previous knowledge of African literature or history is required—but expect to learn more than you would think possible in one semester!


ENGL 3620: Native American Studies | Franks
This multidisciplinary course will survey the formation of Native American Studies as a distinct area of study, as well as some of its primary concerns. Readings/viewings will draw from scholars, creative writers, filmmakers, traditional storytellers, and activists on issue ranging from Indigenous sovereignty, the long-term effects of settler colonialism, current struggles over reconciliation politics, and the continuing fight against Anti-Indigenous racism in the US.


ENGL 4300: Shakespeare
Instructor and description to be announced.


ENGL 4310 American Writers | González
In this particular iteration of ENGL 4310, the emphasis is on the American author James Baldwin—an author whose works have helped to recast and critique America’s claim of an American Dream for all, and what is meant by the lofty statements that serve as pillars of the United States—such phrases as “justice for all,” “all men are created equal,” and “the pursuit of happiness.” Students enrolled in this course will take a methodological approach to understanding a great deal of Baldwin’s body of work according to various formal, historical, ideological, and thematic elements, primarily, and other ancillary components in the process of creating and reading narratives. Further, because American Literature is a protean and capacious category, there are many orientations and approaches to it. Thus, the course aims to lay out the many perspectives that inform James Baldwin and his position in American literature and American Studies.


ENGL 4320: British Writers: “Only Connect” Liberalism in the Novels of E.M. Forster and Willa Cather | Blackstock
The novels of British writer E. M. Forster and American writer Willa Cather, while stylistically distinct, appeared in a transatlantic atmosphere of what Cather scholar Guy Reynolds has called “‘only connect’ liberalism.” “Only connect” serves as the epigraph to Forster’s novel Howard’s End, and as Cyril Connolly observed, “might be the motto of all his work.” But in Forster, the desires of human beings to establish genuine connections with other humans are typically frustrated by the social forces that conspire against such intimacy.  On the other hand, says Reynolds, Cather “developed empathy into a form of ‘only connect’ liberalism attuned to moments when cultural or racial gaps are at least temporarily bridged.”  This course will examine three novels by each writer, along with selected shorter works, that grapple with questions about whether and how human beings can “only connect” across barriers created by gender, class, culture, and religion.


ENGL 4330: World Writers: Two Zimbabwean Women Writers | Graham
Like almost every other country in Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Zimbabwe was a European colony—in this case, the British colony of Southern Rhodesia—with a bloody and depressing history. A group of rogue white settlers seized control and declared it an independent country in 1964; African freedom fighters waged a long guerrilla war against Ian Smith’s white supremacist regime, and succeeded in overthrowing the regime in 1980. But the revolutionary leader Robert Mugabe soon made himself a dictator for life and eventually oversaw the collapse of democratic rule and civil society.

This history, in turns dispiriting and inspiring, is the backdrop for all the works of literature and film by two Zimbabwean women: Yvonne Vera and Tsitsi Dangarembga. They write stories of love and heartbreak, trauma and survival, grief and recovery, all attempting to make sense of their country’s past. In this class we will read two novels and a collection of short stories by Vera; we’ll read all three novels by Dangarembga, as well as watching one of the films for which she has written the script; and we’ll encounter assorted essays, poems, stories, and interviews from both writers.


ENGL 4340: Studies in Fiction: Novel Forms | Caron
In this class, we’ll focus our attention on novels that challenge conventional narrative forms. We’ll look at a range of novels, including novels-in-stories, novels-in-fragments, collage novels, and novels that resist easy categorization. Through our close reading and careful study, we’ll consider each novel on its own terms, examining how authors create their fictional worlds. We’ll then expand the conversation to consider how these books make space for new kinds of stories and new ways of telling them. Authors will include Gwendolyn Brooks, William Maxwell, Julie Otsuka, Justin Torres, Jenny Offill, Max Porter, and Lindsey Drager.


ENGL 4345: Studies in Nonfiction: Black American Life Writing | Rivera-Dundas
What does it mean to represent yourself through writing? What does it mean to write something that's "true"? How do we tell veracity from fiction and why does that matter? In this class, we'll read nonfiction from Black American writers from the founding of the US to today and think about how writers represent themselves to different audiences. We'll explore a variety of genres within the "nonfiction" umbrella including slave narratives, long-form essays, speeches, autobiographical novels, epistolary texts, and memoirs. To better understand the content, the form, and ourselves, the writing in this class will be mostly in the form of creative nonfiction rather than traditional academic papers.


ENGL 4610: Western American Literature | Straight
In many ways, the US West has always been a fiction, and fictions about the West abound in US literature. This course studies the mercurial US West through the lens of historical fiction, a provocative subgenre uniquely suited to the complexities of an amorphous region that is also at the heart of our national mythology. The novels we will read—including works by Colson Whitehead, Linda Hogan, Julie Otsuka, and Leslie Marmon Silko—go beyond the cowboy and sagebrush veneer of the rugged frontier to explore our complicated West as a shifting place, as a contested idea, and as a living history that we still inhabit.


ENGL 5330: Race and Ethnicity in Literature | Holt
This course examines the role that literature plays in shaping public perceptions of race and ethnicity, as well as its role in reinforcing and transforming public responses to racism, focusing specifically on US history and culture. The course focuses on the 1619 Project, a collaborative work of long-form journalism sponsored by the New York Times. Originally published in the New York Times Magazine, the 1619 Project was recently expanded and published as a full-length book featuring contemporary essays, fiction, and poetry that seek to re-frame the history of the United States in relation to the consequences of slavery and the experiences and contributions of Black Americans. In addition to studying the literary works published in the 1619 Project, this class examines a range of literary works (fiction, essays, poetry) that represent experiences associated with slavery in the American colonies and United States from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. The class also examines criticism of the 1619 Project, exploring the various arguments surrounding this project and evaluating the critical and controversial role that literature plays in ongoing discussions about race, ethnicity, and racism in the United States.

ENGL 3085: Writing for the Computer Science Workplace
Students are introduced to professional and technical writing contexts in the computer science workplace, with a focus on adaptive communication strategies and ethical professional behaviors.  Students design and write professional documents, synthesize and evaluate arguments on technology and society, and collaborate in teams to present technical information.


ENGL 3400: Writing for the Workplace
This course introduces you to the field of technical communication. In this course, you will create a variety of workplace documents through the process of proposing, composing, designing, and revising. In so doing, you will apply fundamental concepts required to be a skilled communicator in a variety of workplaces. This course will also teach you how to synthesize and evaluate arguments about technology and society relevant to technical communicators. You will draw upon these competencies when you work collaboratively to present technical information to a variety of audiences. This course uses a free open access textbook along with other freely available media.


ENGL 3410: Digital Writing Technologies
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. Professional Communication Technologies is a pre-requisite for several courses such as ENGL 4400 Professional Editing, and it is a prerequisite for entering the technical communication and rhetoric emphasis.


ENGL 3450: Workplace Research
Technical communicators frequently engage in research to answer questions or address problems in the workplace. This course is designed to prepare you to work successfully as a technical writer by learning 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). By partnering with a client for the full semester, you will practice applying all that you are learning within a real organizational context, learning about how you can conduct research to address real organizational problems and questions.


ENGL 3460: Rhetorical Theory
Prepares students to analyze persuasive communication as it is enacted in a variety of texts and contexts. Students learn to define and understand rhetorical situations and theories and to evaluate rhetorical strategies.


ENGL 4230: Language and Culture
An introduction to the diversity of language in the world and its use 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 4400: Professional Editing
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 copyediting and proofreading but also by editing comprehensively for content, organization, style, graphics, and document design. Most of your work in this course will be hands-on editing.

By the end of the course, you should be able to do these things:

  • Evaluate documents’ editing needs and state specific editing priorities and objectives for the given rhetorical situation,
  • Copyedit and comprehensively edit documents written for a variety of audiences and/or clients, using both traditional copy marking and proofreading methods and electronic editing methods,
  • Assess the ethical, social, and technological implications of editing and act responsibly in light of these implications.


ENGL 5400: Technology and Activism | Colton
Topic: Disability Studies and Accessibility RhetoricsTo design accessible environments and documents, technical communicators must understand how people with disabilities access digital media. 41 million Americans (or 15% of the total U.S. population) “have some level of disability" (U.S. Census Bureau).It seems like common sense to keep accessibility in mind from the start of and throughout the life of a project; however, many technical communicators still see certain aspects of accessible design as a painful necessity or a nearly forgotten add-on at the end of a project.

In this course, we will explore accessibility through a lens of disability studies and the ethics of technology. We will gain a strong understanding of disability and accessibility rhetorics scholarship and practice, and we will discuss and practice rhetorical and legal standards of effective and accessible design through an “intervention” assignment with the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction at USU, for which you will take inaccessible PDF documents and make them accessible for screen reading software (great for your resume/CV/portfolio, btw).

By the end of the course, students should have a good understanding of disability theory, be able to make a strong case for accessible design, have improved closed captioning and basic web design skills, and understand how to approach multiple technologies and rhetorical situations for accessibility.


ENGL 5430: Technical Communication Capstone
Students study how to successfully negotiate the job market in fields related to English, such as technical communication, user experience (UX), and publishing. Students learn how to professionalize; to develop successful job application materials such as a portfolio website, resumes, cover letters, and social media profiles; and to prepare for job interviews.

English 5490: Social Media Perspectives
Describing social media as a tool to influence social, political, and religious movements throughout history focusing especially on the last two decades.  Examining how contemporary social media changes attitudes and decision-making processes on micro- and macro-scales and how its power can be successfully harnessed.