Department of English

Sasha Johnson (l) helps celebrate with Sigma Tau Delta adivsor Ashley Bissette Sumerel after the fall induction ceremony.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

FALL 2016

202-001 MWF 9:00-9:50
202-002 MWF 10:00-10:50
Introduction to Journalism
Shirley Mathews
BR 160
Go beyond the mundane "who, what, where, when, and why" of journalism and, over the semester, discover the fact that remains as true today as when the Founding Fathers raised Freedom of Speech as a fundamental right: One person telling the truth can indeed change the world. Extensive practice in the basics of writing news stories, instruction in how a newsroom works, training in how to look for stories and the importance of accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. Roll up your sleeves, put on your good shoes and prepare to walk in the footsteps of giants. Texts include: Melvin Mencher's News Reporting and Writing and The Associated Press Stylebook.

202-003
Introduction to Journalism
Rory Laverty
MW 2:00-3:15
BR 160
Introduction to news, values, style, and writing. Focus is on writing leads, nut grafs and basic news stories under deadline pressure. Also included: note taking, interviewing, radio and broadcast journalism, online journalism, and an introduction to feature writing.

204-001
Introduction to Professional Writing
Lance Cummings
MW 9:00-9:50
F Online
MO 104

In this class, you will reflect on how rhetoric and visual design can inform effective communication in collaborative and technologically diverse contexts. Using print and online tools, you will explore the composing process through invention, collaboration, audience analysis, and revision. Besides composing traditional professional genres, like memos, proposals, instructions, and public relations materials, you will also reflect on how these can be redesigned and delivered in digital and networked contexts. Consequently, you will be required to experiment with various emerging Web 2.0 technologies, culminating in a major design project purposed for a specific professional audience. This course will enhance your ability to compose well-designed, persuasive, and purposeful texts in a variety of professional and academic contexts. Note: This class is a pilot laptop version, which means you will be required to bring a laptop to each class.

204-002 MW 12:00-12:50 F Online
204-003 MW 1:00-1:50 F Online
Introduction to Professional Writing
Anirban Ray
MO 204
This course prepares you to face workplace challenges that require professional communication skills in terms of writing and presentation. It will enable you to develop critical appreciation for core technical concepts including audience, context, persuasion, and purpose in writing situations with an emphasis on ethics in communication. You will be exposed to writing a variety of business collaterals, such as resume's, memos, proposals and reports in different contexts and for different purposes. Additionally, this course puts a huge emphasis on information design from a visual communication framework and challenges students to create technical documents from a defined visual perspective. Most importantly, you will find opportunities to collaborate with peers to share expertise, knowledge, and experience in a service-learning framework. By the end of this course, you will learn to design effective technical documents to solve problems with attention to text, visuals, format, usability, and citation. Since this class is a hybrid, we will meet face-to-face twice a week and online (asynchronous) once a week.

204-004
Introduction to Professional Writing
Jeremy Tirrell
R 9:30-10:45
T Online
MO 204
Students in this course will engage core professional writing concepts such as audience analysis, document design, usability, and ethical composing practices. Students will produce materials including public relations documents and technical instructions in multiple formats. Individual and group projects are a feature of this course, as is directed service learning with community partners.

This is a hybrid course. During most weeks, students will meet once in a classroom and have one online instruction session. Students must be comfortable with sustained, independent online interaction to succeed in this course.

204-005
Introduction to Professional Writing
Amanda Cosgrove
Online
Introduction to Professional Writing is an introductory survey of concepts in professional writing, including audience analysis, research methods, visual thinking, and the composing process. This course includes a service-learning component.

204-006
204-007
Introduction to Professional Writing
Anthony Atkins
Online
Students should have access to the Internet and Blackboard. Students should have basic technology skills (adept with email, attachments, blackboard, etc.). The course will introduce students to strands of Professional Writing like design, resume writing, and multimedia. Students will also review and evaluate a number of online and traditional texts ranging from websites to professional reports. Students will also learn multiple theories of professional writing. While students will work with traditional documents, they will also address multimedia's impact on professional writing.
*Access to Blackboard and the Internet for the full semester is required.

204-008
Introduction to Professional Writing
Jeremy Tirrell
T 9:30-10:45
R Online
MO 204
Students in this course will engage core professional writing concepts such as audience analysis, document design, usability, and ethical composing practices. Students will produce materials including public relations documents and technical instructions in multiple formats. Individual and group projects are a feature of this course, as is directed service learning with community partners.

This is a hybrid course. During most weeks, students will meet once in a classroom and have one online instruction session. Students must be comfortable with sustained, independent online interaction to succeed in this course.

205-001
Introduction to Literary Studies
Daniel Noland
TR 8:00-9:15
MO 202
Why do you want to study approaches to literature? That question you will mull and eventually answer in detail. You will develop a rich relationship with literature, learning and applying vocabularies and methods of literary theory and criticism, performing close readings and analyses of primary texts and secondary source materials, developing a writerly voice and understanding conventions of literary criticism and research. Phew. Texts:Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice,4th edition. Others will be added, either posted online or to be purchased.

205-002
Introduction to Literary Studies
Keith Newlin
TR 9:30-10:45
MO 202
How does one find something interesting and informative to say about a work of literature? And how does one convey that interpretation effectively in writing? This course seeks to answer those two questions by introducing students to the methods of literary criticism and by providing an opportunity for detailed attention to the process of writing and revision. We will begin by examining a variety of interpretive strategies for reading literature; and then we will write a series of papers applying what we have learned to several literary works. Texts include: Gibaldi, The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed.; Treadwell, Machinal; Alger, Ragged Dick

205-003
Introduction to Literary Studies
Tiffany Gilbert
TR 3:30-4:45
MO 206
ENG 205 studies a mix of texts with an eye toward constructing meaning in a collaborative setting. Thisiteration will adopt popular fiction of the twentieth century as our primary lens through which we will examine constructions of race, gender, culture, and sex and to understand theoretical discourses and vocabularies.

205-004
Introduction to Literary Studies
Meghan Sweeney
MW 2:00-3:15
MO 202
What can't you do with a major in English?
This course will introduce you to the vast field of literary studies and will include conversations about the many things you might do with an English degree. Throughout the semester, we will read texts in a variety of genres, conduct meaningful research, and craft nuanced arguments. The most important requirements for this class are a deep and abiding curiosity, a desire to improve your writing, and a willingness to share your ideas with your peers. Ideally-and much of this will depend on your hard work-you'll come to a new understanding of how language functions and begin to feel as if you are a part of an ongoing scholarly conversation.

210-001
210-002
Mythology
Ashley Bissette-Sumerel
Online
In this course, students will become familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology, as well as myths from other cultures. In addition to critical analysis of the myths, students will learn different approaches to the study of mythology, and explore how mythological narratives affect our own culture and can inform our reading of literature.

This is a fully online course. Assignments may include weekly discussion boardparticipation, writing activities, quizzes, essays, and a final project.

211-001 MWF 9:00-9:50 MO 101
211-002 MWF 12:00-12:50 MO 104
British Literature to 1800
Michael Wentworth
As a survey of English literature to 1800, our course will consider the enduring literary and cultural legacy of such major figures as Geoffrey Chaucer, Sir Thomas More, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, and Samuel Johnson and less familiar, though nonetheless significant, figures as Eliza Haywood, Frances Burney, Mary Astell, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (all of whom, you might note, are women) in relation to such topical and thematic concerns as power, freedom, social order, conformity and rebellion, life choices, happiness, the problem of evil, happiness, life choices, gender roles, romantic love, marriage, sexual commerce, and sexual exploitation. Over the upcoming weeks, we will encounter major barnyard mayhem, diabolical contracts gone bad, demonic delinquents on a tear, and, for better or worse, the full simmering broth of human emotion. Throughout the course, we will further consider strategies of interpretation, literary devices and conventions, and matters of literary form and genre.

Beyond the general focus of the course as a survey of English literature to 1800, I can think of a number of further concerns that should characterize our collective, and your individual, enterprise over the coming weeks.

First of all, since literature doesn't originate in a vacuum, we will be concerned throughout the course with the informing intellectual, cultural, and historical context for the assigned readings and will be similarly concerned with recurring emphases, ideas, and topical issues-e.g., art and nature, reason and faith, ideals of conduct, the role of women in society.

We will also be concerned with establishing complementary relations between our assigned readings and

  • other works of literature you have read, either independently or in other courses;
  • the current arena of local, national, and international affairs;
  • contemporary popular culture (television, film, popular music, etc.); and
  • other academic courses you have taken-e.g., English history, psychology, philosophy and religion, sociology, anthropology, women's studies-the supposition being that, beyond the usual platitudinous lip service, a real liberal arts education should be consciously and purposefully interdisciplinary and thereby should encourage a sensitivity to the interconnectedness of both major and non-major courses.

Perhaps most importantly, we will be concerned with an ongoing attempt "to come to terms," both individually and collaboratively, with each of the assigned readings. Such a "coming to terms" will require a thoughtful interaction on your part with the assigned texts-i.e., determining the values and beliefs that condition and inform a particular text and then measuring those values and beliefs against your own. Such thoughtful interaction may lead, in some cases, to a clarification or confirmation of your own values and beliefs or, in other cases, may lead to a delayed judgment. At any rate, whatever judgment you come up with should be based upon deliberative and reflective negotiation on your part. Beyond recreational pleasure, emotional engagement, and intellectual stimulation, one of the most compelling arguments for reading literature is the simple fact that the "thoughtful interaction" I've been talking about can lead to a greater sense of self-insight and self-understanding (the very destination, interestingly enough, of many of the characters we encounter in literature). Required Texts include: Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales; Marlowe, Doctor Faustus with the English Faust Book; Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love; Raleigh, The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd; Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales; More, Utopia; Chaucer, The Pardoner's Tale;Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus; Swift, The Lady's Dressing Room; Montagu, The Reasons That Induced Dr. Swift to Write a Poem Called the Lady's Dressing Room; John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, The Imperfect Enjoyment; Behn, The Disappointment; Steele, Spectator No. 41; Addison, Spectator No.; Addison, Spectator No. Two; Addison, Spectator No. 275; Addison, Spectator No. 281; Addison, Spectator No. 323; Defoe, The Cons of Marriage; Astell, "From Some Reflections on Marriage;

212-001
British Literature Since 1800
Alex Porco
TR 12:30-1:45
MO 104
This course is an eclectic romp through British literature and culture from the Romantic period through to the early twenty-first century. By the course's end, students will be familiar with authors and performers such as Wordsworth, Shelley, E.B. Browning, Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, Queen, PJ Harvey, and M.I.A. We will engage with canonical and non-canonical texts in a wide variety of modes, genres, and media, including lyric and dramatic poetry, the impressionist novel, pop music, situational comedy, and postmodern cinema. Throughout the semester, we will make a point of always considering how aesthetic value, literary form, representational strategies, and language practices develop in dynamic relation to historical, political, and material contexts of production and reception. Potential texts include Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land, and Mina Loy's Insel; recordings by The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Joy Division, The Smiths, Pulp, Oasis, Sade, Massive Attack, and FKA Twigs; and Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's "Cornetto" Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End). Attendance and participation are essential to success in the course.

223-001
American Literature to 1870
Mark Boren
TR 9:30-10:45
MO 206
This course will delve deeply into important literary works produced inAmerica prior to 1870,revealing themes of independence andself-governance, revolution, violence, race, gender, sexuality, human compassion, andhuman appetite. This course will look at the texts studied as both cultural texts and unique literary endeavors, and so we'll look both at the development of cultural contexts and the development of literary genres, stylistics, and the defiance of literary conventions that made American literature so unique. Authors studied will include Bradstreet, Taylor, Franklin, Brown, Cooper, Melville, Emerson, Dickinson, Hawthorne, Whitman, and more. This course will be discussion based, and students will be writing quite a bit.

223-002
American Literature to 1870
Lee Schweninger
TR 3:30-4:45
MO 106
This course will offer you an overview of American literature from its very beginnings through the late Romantics in the nineteenth century. We will read this literature in its literary, historical, political, and social contexts. As such, we will look at literature of the European Explorers, at American Indian responses to encounters with Europeans, at the colonial era including Puritan poets and historians, at the writings of some of the founding fathers and mothers. The course will proceed into the Romantic era with writers such as Poe, Irving, Stowe, Hawthorne, Dickinson, and Whitman-writers of the American literary renaissance, as it has been called.

You will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal and informal short response essays, to be responsible for the readings and class discussions, to take occasional reading quizzes and mid-semester and a final essay exams. As this will be a discussion-based class, attendance and attention to the readings will of course be required. Within the major, this course satisfies the "Literature before 1900" requirement. Within University Studies, this course partially fulfills the Writing Intensive requirement as well as the Aesthetic and Literary Appreciation requirement.

224-001
American Literature Since 1870
Bill Atwill
TR 2:00-3:15
MO 202
This course surveys the diversity of American literature from about 1870 to the present. In addition to reading texts for their formal, "literary" qualities, we will also examine representative works in their cultural, political, and social contexts. Among the topical issues we will discuss are emerging feminism, critical response to racism, the literature of propaganda, alienation and literary experiment, and the why some writers get represented in anthologies and others do not. At times selections will be lengthy, so allocate enough time to complete readings.Text:Baym, ed.The Norton Anthology of American Literature, latest edition.

224-002 TR 9:30-10:45 MO 205
224-003 TR 11:00-12:15 MO 208
American Literature Since 1870
Christopher Gould
The course surveys major authors in fiction, poetry, and drama from 1865 to the present. Every Student keeps a reading journal and writes two critical essays, each of which comprises 25% of the semester grade. The average of reading -quiz scores accounts for the remaining 25%. Text: McQuade, Donald, et al. The Harper American Literature. 3rd ed.

225-001
World Literature to 1600
John Walker
TR 9:30-10:45
MO 106
We will range widely in time and geographical location to encounter a representative sampling of the rich variety in world literature during a period of over 4000 years. Readings will include the Gilgamesh epic; selections from the Hebrew Bible and ancient Egyptian poetry; selections from Homer (Iliad and/or Odyssey); Oedipus the King by Sophocles; selections from ancient Chinese Literature (The Classic of Poetry and the Analects of Confucius); selections from ancient India (the Bhagavad-Gita); selections from Roman poetry (Catullus, Ovid, and perhaps Virgil); selections from the Christian Bible; selections from the Qur'an; Dante's Inferno. Reading quizzes; class participation; written responses; midterm and final tests. Text: The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Ed. Martin Puchner. Vol. 1. Shorter 3rd ed.

230-002 MW 3:30-4:45 MO 206
230-003 TR 11:00-12:15 MO 106
230-004 TR 2:00-3:15 MO 106
Women in Literature
Janet Ellerby
Fiction reflects cultural conflicts. Far from resolved, roles for women in society continue to evolve. For this course, we will read contemporary novels, memoirs, and short stories that address women's assertiveness, independence, and the vulnerability that comes with emerging roles for women. We will confront violence against women, both in the home and in the community. What happens when women resist traditional gender roles, when they refuse to tend hearth and home, when they will no longer remain quiet and compliant, when they must face danger and hardship alone? The books we will read address triumph and tragedy in unique ways, but these are not all sad stories; in fact, they are inspiring books about strength, compassion and ethical vitality. Texts may include: Highsmith, Carol; Nutt, Becoming Nicole; Walker, Dietland; Link, Get in Trouble; Heiny, Single, Carefree. Mellow; Brown, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl; Munaweera, What Lies Between Us.

232-001
African American Literature: Hip-Hop Music and Culture
Alex Porco
TR 8:00-9:15
MO 101
In the 1970s, hip-hop emerged as a local cultural practice in the South Bronx, a neighborhood devastated by unemployment, drugs, and escalating gang violence, as well as the city's disinvestment in education. (As Howard Cosell famously announced during the telecast of the 1977 World Series, "The Bronx is Burning.") Today, hip-hop's a multi-million dollar industry with a truly global reach. Everything from haute couture fashion to professional sports and comic books are touched in some way by the music and culture. Our challenge is to think critically about the significant aesthetic, linguistic, economic, political, and technological contributions and transformations of hip-hop music and culture over the last thirty years. We will attend closely to hip-hop's four elements- rapping, turntablism, graffiti, and break dancing- as well as key figures, periods, and genres. Other topics we will address include: gangsta rap and moral panic in the late 1980s; the contributions of women to the production of hip-hop; the emergence of hip-hop cinema in the late 1980s and early 1990s; and the relationship between hip-hop music and progressive politics.

233-001
The Bible as Literature
John Walker
TR 8:00-9:15
MO 104
This course examines the Bible as a literary work, or, more accurately, as a collection of literary works. Through readings in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha, we will consider matters such as genre (for example, narrative poetry, history, letter, parable); style (for example, diction, metaphor, simile, symbol); historical and geographical context, authors, and organization; literary and cultural influences on the Bible; and the canon. Written responses; reading quizzes; midterm and final exams; oral participation. It is absolutely essential that everyone who enrolls in the course acquire both of the assigned texts. The only acceptable version of the Bible for class use is The New Jerusalem Bible (the hardback edition with full footnotes-not the paperback version and not any other Bible). Texts include: Gabel et al, The Bible as Literature, 5th ed.; Wansborough, ed., The New Jerusalem Bible.

303-001
Reading and Writing Arguments
Don Bushman
TR 12:30-1:45
MO 202
A course in critical reading and writing exploring such concepts as "argument," "persuasion," and "rhetoric." We will study readings from contemporary periodicals and look at arguments about social and political issues, and we will critique these readings for the argumentative strategies the authors employ. Students will be instructed in the techniques of writing well-argued essays on topics of their own choosing. Required will be a portfolio of five polished essays (the last of which will require significant research). Text: Gooch & Seyler. Argument! 2nd ed.

304-001
Writing for Teachers
Vic Malo
TR 11:00-12:15
MO 101
This course will introduce theoretical foundations and instructional strategies for teaching writing in secondary schools. We will begin by examining skills such as vocabulary, grammar, brainstorming, prewriting, and basic paragraph structures. We will then address the most frequently encountered/tested writing in secondary schools: narrative, expository/informational, argumentative, and research papers. Techniques such as scaffolding instruction, peer editing/review, alternative forms of assessment, and culturally relevant instruction will play a critical role in this course. We will also examine requirements for on demand standardized writing assessment and discuss how the Common Core State Standards and the new trend in using End of Course tests may impact writing instruction in the future.

309-001
Technical Editing
Colleen Reilly
TR 2:00-3:15
BR 202
Students in this course develop strategies to improve documents and to clearly express plans for revisions orally and in writing. In the process, they will acquire an interest in and appreciation for the conventions of English grammar, punctuation, and usage. Students work on the fundamentals of effective writing, organization, and design in order to develop the proficiencies necessary to edit technical documents, which include forms, manuals, policy handbooks, and websites, and to argue successfully for the changes they make or recommend. Projects prompt students to edit documents comprehensively, addressing everything from the clarity of sentences to the overall structure and visual design.

311-001
Professional Magazine Writing
Kimi Hemingway
W 3:30-6:15
MO 208
Professional Magazine Writing will introduce you to the art and business of magazine writing. We will hone the skills necessary in writing three genres of magazine stories: the review, the personal essay/opinion piece, and the magazine feature, with emphasis on the latter. In this course, you will push beyond your skills as news writers to add greater depth to your reporting and a narrative richness to your writing. The work we will engage in over the course of this semester will include--but is not limited--to the following: learning how to recognize strong magazine story ideas; interviewing to develop rich narrative; writing strong, feature-style leads; organizing full-length features; engaging readers with artful language, narrative, and tone; crafting query letters, and navigating the magazine story's production path, from story pitch to publication.

312-001
Writing for Business
Anirban Ray
MW 2:00-3:15
MO 204
Why enroll in Writing for Business? What do you want, my sixty second or six-volume answer? You're right-it depends on how much and what you want to know. Writing for Business is precisely about finding how much your audience in workplace wants and how they want it. It is less about what you know and want to tell and more about what someone else wants to hear. In this sense, the course marks a transition from academic to professional/workplace writing in four major ways:

  • Action-oriented: writing that influences actions in your audience
  • Collaborative: writing situations will invite you to work in groups to meet real-life workplace challenges
  • Genre-orientated: writing that spans across communication channels- memos, resumes, reports, and proposals (traditional); Twitter, podcasts, Wikis, and blogs for business
  • Strategic: writing that utilizes various organizational techniques in the writing process

These four features will help you to realize and identify the basic goals and objectives of 'another' kind of writing that exists when you're ready to explore the professional space.

Finally, you will also learn about separating two very important skills in writing: creative and critical skills. According to Peter Elbow, an eminent theorist, we need creative skills to generate ideas, topics, sentences, and words while require critical skills to decide which ones to use. Most often writers are unable to separate the two skills and create miscommunications in reports, proposals, and even in regular emails. Therefore, in this course you will learn to get yourself started with your creative side and then let your critical side steer you through planning, organization, drafting, and delivering the message.

313-001
Writing about Sciences
Kate Maddalena
MWF 11:00-11:50
MO 204
This course critically examines the current state of science communication for various audiences and explores multiple practical strategies by which technical communicators can accommodate science for specific audiences, including non-experts. The course also applies perspectives from rhetoric of science, technical communication, and science and technology studies (STS) in order to evaluate and propose best practices for such accommodations of specialized knowledge. Extra attention is paid to scientific processes of knowledge making rather than science as product. That is, in this course, interpretations of how we know is valued as highly as what we know.

314-001
Digital Composing
Lance Cummings
MW 10:00-10:50
F Online
MO 204

In this writing course, you will explore ways in which writing practices are changing in light of emerging digital technologies and their online and networked environments. Recognizing that the act of writing can no longer be confined to the production of printed words alone, you will engage in the analysis and production of digital multimodal texts that blend alphabetic, visual, and aural components for online audiences. You will learn key rhetorical concepts (e.g., argument, arrangement, appeals, audience, context, delivery, invention) which can guide both the reading and writing of digital multimodal texts for specific online audiences. Due to the digital nature of this course, you will be required to experiment with various emerging Web 2.0 technologies.

316-001
Analyzing Style
Jennifer Kontny
TR 11:00-12:15
MO 204
We spend many years taking formal writing courses in school, but often those courses do not help us consider the importance of style in our writing. This class is designed as a writing laboratory with a special focus on how to engage, move, and excite our readers. Line by line, paragraph by paragraph, our class will consider what writers do to help our pages come alive. We will begin by reading award-winning sample essays that experiment with particular stylistic devices. Then, we will engage in some experimentation of our own. Each student in the class will compose five experimental style pieces. You will choose one of your experimental pieces to revise into your final project and submit your draft for a class workshop.

320-001 TR 2:00-3:15 MO 104
321-002 TR 8:00-9:15 MO 106
Introduction to Linguistics
Jennifer Kontny
What can language tell us about ourselves and our communities? In this introductory linguistics course we will address how language reveals important aspects of our social identities. As a member of this class you will conduct original research and produce a language podcast. You might choose to explore sociolinguistic topics such as language and gender; language and sexuality; code-switching; language shift; language variation; ethnic and regional dialects; and bilingual and multilingual education. Through reading about a range of approaches to studying language in the field, you will gain the necessary foundation for analyzing contemporary social issues that matter to you. Required text: Finegan, Language: Its Structure and Use, 6th ed.

321-001
Structure of English Language
Daniel Noland
W 3:30-6:15
MO 104
In this course you will become an expert in the metalanguage of the structures of English, beginning with those phonological and morphological, but most particularly the syntactic ones. You have been a master of most of those structures since early childhood; we need to concentrate on making this knowledge conscious, giving you the ability to describe what you know and making predictions based on that knowledge. In addition, some of the structures that we deal with may be new to you. This deeper understanding of your language should carry over into several related areas, and learning how to apply syntax to your own interests is one of your responsibilities. You need no special linguistic training to succeed. Text: Lobeck and Denham, Navigating English Grammar.

332-001
Shakespeare: Early Plays/Poems
Michael Wentworth
MWF 1:00-1:50
MO 100
William Shakespeare: The Reviews Are In

"The answer to the question 'Why Shakespeare?' must be 'Who else is there?'"

---Harold Bloom

"With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise as entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. It would be a positive relief to dig him up and throw stones at him."

---George Bernard Shaw

"I know not whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life."

---James Barrie

"He was not of an age, but for all time!"

---Ben Jonson

"Shakespeare was the man who of all modern, and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive soul. He was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he looked inwards, and found her there."

---John Dryden

"To know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare; to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators."

---William Hazlitt

"The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good."

---Robert Graves

The above compilation is but a random sampling of testimonials to Shakespeare's genius, achievement, and enduring influence over the ages. One of the truly amazing aspects of Shakespeare's reputation and popularity is that he has both literally and figuratively "held the stage" during his own career as a professional dramatist and over succeeding centuries up to the present. In terms of the established literary canon, and no disparagement intended, Shakespeare is probably the ultimate "dead white guy," and like the "energizer bunny," he just keeps on going and going and going with no end in sight. Not bad for a small-town kid from the provinces who, without the benefit of a college education, left Stratford-upon-Avon (a village of approximately 1500) to try his luck as an aspiring playwright in London. So how do we account for Shakespeare's enduring status as one of the most prominent figures in world literature and his complementary status as the most famous and the most widely read playwright in the English language whose plays are still performed on a regular basis throughout the world?

That's where our course, the focus of which is Shakespeare's early dramatic and poetic career through 1600 (admittedly, a rather arbitrary date), comes into play. Through a careful reading and discussion of seven of Shakespeare's "early" plays, we will attempt to explore and identify the basis for Shakespeare's enduring legacy, influence, and pervasive iconographical status across cultures and continents. At the same time, and more importantly, our course will provide us (and I include myself in your good company) with the opportunity to negotiate and transact our own personal and critical response to each of the assigned plays and, quite aside from the authoritative assessments of Ben Jonson, John Dryden, William Hazlitt, Robert Graves, and others, to arrive at our own measured assessment of Shakespeare's "greatness." In terms of the written texts, this can be a daunting enterprise for the modern reader, who may feel challenged by Shakespeare's language, versification, and a likely unfamiliarity with the many topical, mythological, Biblical, historical, and political allusions in his plays. However daunting, such challenges shouldn't interfere with our enjoyment, appreciation, and larger, "holistic" understanding of the plays themselves. It is worth noting, in this regard, that whatever his eye toward posterity, Shakespeare was a professional dramatist whose livelihood and income depended upon his productivity and the popular reception of his plays on stage. Thus, Peggy O'Brien (the Head of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.) has observed: "Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed-acted and seen on a stage. About half of Shakespeare's plays weren't even published until after his death. . . . Shakespeare wrote his sonnets to be applauded and remembered as a writer. He wrote his plays to make money. And he made lots of it." It is also important to recognize that the popular theater was one of the primary venues of entertainment on every social level and across class lines during Shakespeare's career as a dramatist. As O'Brien further observes,

Everyone-all levels of society-went to see Shakespeare's plays. There weren't
many other forms of entertainment: no TV; no cable; no DVDs; no videos, hand- held electronic game players, or personal CD players; no CDs; no movies; and only the rudiments of a newspaper. People went to the bear-baiting or bull- baiting ring for a thrill, they went to a public execution or two-and they went to the theater. Experiencing a play in the Globe Theatre in 1603 was sort of a cross between going to an Oscar de la Hoya fight and an 'N Sync concert.

Thus, though his plays may present any number of challenges for the modern reader, Shakespeare didn't write his plays to be difficult; he wrote his plays to make money and, as Peggy O'Brien notes, he clearly succeeded. Thus, while our course will involve an assiduous, thoughtful, and creative attention to the written texts, we need to recall, once again, that for Shakespeare the written text was secondary to the dramatic presentation and live enactment of the text on stage-which, rather than the written text, served as the primary "rate of exchange" between Shakespeare and his audience, a considerable percentage of whom were uneducated and illiterate. It might be appropriate to conclude, in this regard, with a number of illuminating quotes, the spirit of which should inform our approach to and experience of the assigned plays:

"In Shakespeare's plays, you find drunks, ghosts, teenagers running away from home, boy who gets girl, boy who loses girl, king who loses everything, woman caressing her lover's body which is minus its head, woman caressing her lover's head which is minus its body, weddings and celebrations, murder by stabbing, suffocation, decapitation, and drowning in a vat of malmsey wine."

---Peggy O'Brien

"There are some parts of the play you'll never understand. But excuse me, I thought that's what great art was supposed to be about. Don't freak out over it. Keep reading."

---Peter Sellers

"I went to see a Shakespeare play when I was 15, and it changed my life."

---Kenneth Branagh

"If the public likes you, you're good. Shakespeare was a common down-to-earth writer in his day."

---Mickey Spillane

Note: Mickey Spillane was a legendary pulp fiction writer, whose hard-boiled detective series (featuring Mike Hammer) enjoyed such immense popularity in the 1950s that Spillane was the most widely read and best-selling author in the U.S. Hence, the implied, and admittedly self-flattering connection with Shakespeare.

"Children trust Shakespeare because they can still see the plays as play, with all the joy and wonder of discovery that this truly entails."

---Janet Field-Pickering, The Folger Shakespeare Library

One final note regarding the choice of assigned plays. There is a common pedagogical practice in courses dealing with Shakespeare's "early career" to chart his development as a dramatist by beginning with his very first or very early comedies, tragedies, and history plays as an introductory point of reference. While there is something to be said for such an approach, the downside is that such an approach-given the restricted time frame for the course-necessarily eliminates any number of Shakespeare's more mature achievements within various dramatic genres. Thus, the reading syllabus for our course will focus on five of Shakespeare's major comedies from the 1590s two of his major history plays. As a matter of variety, the assigned comedies and history plays will be arranged in alternating order. Though the greater number of Shakespeare's tragedies, including Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear, were written beyond the time frame of our course, Shakespeare did write two notable tragedies (Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet) before 1600; but since both tragedies are often taught in the secondary English classroom, they haven't been included in our reading syllabus. So welcome aboard and I look forward to an enjoyable, invigorating semester. Text: Bevington, ed., The Necessary Shakespeare,

338-001
British Modernism
Janet Ellerby
MW 2:00-3:15
MO 106
This is a course about Modernism, narrative, and character. We will read about guilt, love, desire, betrayal, rebellion, fear, jealousy, delight, empowerment, powerlessness, despair, and hope. We will analyze several of the most fascinating characters to emerge from Modernist novels and the novelists who investigated the human psyche like never before. We will explore the Modernist commitment to self-scrutiny, to unconventionality and to Ezra Pound's impassioned slogan, "Make it new!" Midterm, final, informal responses, and research paper. Texts: Gay, Lord Jim, Howards End, The Good Soldier, The Rainbow, Dubliners, Mrs. Dalloway, Modernism.

350-001
American Romanticism
Lee Schweninger
TR 9:30-10:45
MO 101
This course will offer you an in-depth look at American literature of the Romantic era, roughly 1790s through the 1860s and beyond. We will read the literature by writers of the American literary renaissance, as it has been called, in its literary, historical, political, and social contexts. Possible texts include Dickinson's Final Harvest collection of poetry, Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Thoreau's Walden, Melville's Moby-Dick, Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Other authors will include Poe, Irving, Stowe, and Emerson, to name a few.

You will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal short response essays, to be responsible for the readings and class discussions, to take occasional reading quizzes and mid-semester and a final essay exams. You will also be asked to lead at least one class discussion.As this will be a discussion-based class, attendance and attention to the readings will of course be required. Within the major, this course can satisfy the "Literature before 1900" requirement as well as three (3) hours at the 300-level.

351-001
American Realism
Keith Newlin
TR 2:00-3:15
MO 206
William Dean Howells called it "the truthful treatment of material" and the highest form of art. Frank Norris belittled it as being about "tragedies of an afternoon call, crises involving cups of tea." American realism lies somewhere between those two assessments, and this course will give you a generous sampling of the best writing of American realism. Realists explored such issues as unbridled capitalism, urban poverty, rural opportunism, gender conflicts, and social conformity. We'll encounter corrupt businessmen, wayward strumpets, social-climbing nouveau-riche, naïve observers, and even an immense but stupid dentist. The realists' legacy is significant, for the narrative techniques realists developed influenced all subsequent writers who aim to delineate life accurately. I'm still in the process of selecting texts, and among them are Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham; Wharton, The House of Mirth; and numerous short stories.

365-001
Studies in Drama: The World According to Tennessee Williams
Tiffany Gilbert
T 5:00-7:45
MO 208
Subtitled "The World According to Tennessee Williams," this course explores the profoundly moving drama of one of America's leading playwrights of the twentieth-century. From his iconic A Streetcar Named Desire to his seductively brilliant Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and to the daring Suddenly, Last Summer, Williams' vexed cartography of sex, madness, and desperation mapped an uncomfortably recognizable terrain for post-atomic Americans. As intrepid explorers of Tennessee Williams' world, we will plumb the depths of his vast oeuvre and the substantial body of secondary criticism his work and life inspired.

381-001
Literature for Young Adults
Katie Peel
TR 3:30-4:45
MO 205
This semester we will explore constructions of both young adult literature and the young adult, with a particular eye towards issues of agency. We will look at the history of young adult literature from the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century conduct books, to the post-war phenomenon of the American teenager, to current young adult literature and authors. We will consider issues of genre (including both fiction and non-fiction), marketing, and, of course, censorship. We will discuss the goals and agendas of young adult literature, especially when it comes to identity formation, and will pay special attention to how young adult literature handles issues of "otherness," particularly in depictions of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, and age. Our texts range from canonical to contemporary, and include diaries, poetry, and novels.

In his landmark essay, "The Other: Orientalism, Colonialism, and Children's Literature," children's literature scholar Perry Nodelman likens the adult-child relationship to that of colonizer-colonized. If we go further and use Mary Louise Pratt's concept of the "contact zone," or, "the space of colonial encounters, the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict" (Imperial Eyes 6), then we can think of young adult experience as the contact zone between childhood and adult cultures. Part of young adulthood entails gaining and negotiating power in the move from childhood to adulthood, but this is often a source of conflict between young adults and the adults in their lives. In looking at our narrative representations of young adulthood (most often written and produced by adults), where can we locate young adult agency in cultures that often disprivilege them? How might young adults and their narratives overcome disempowerment? What is at stake when the adult world shows itself to be problematic, as in the cases of discrimination and war?

382-001
Ways of Teaching Literature
Michelle Manning
TR 11:00-12:15
TL 1008
You have acquired all this expertise in literature, but how do you take that knowledge and create engaging, appropriate and meaningful lessons? Although part of the teacher education requirements, this course is open to all majors and to anyone who plans to teach in public school (regardless of grade level), who plans to become a TA in graduate school, or who would like to explore the field of teaching. In a hands-on, student-centered environment, you will learn how to strike a balance between pedagogy and the practical concerns of teaching as you enter the classroom as a new teacher.

385-001
Multicultural Young Adult Literature
Vic Malo
TR 9:30-10:45
KI 101
This course studies a wide variety of multicultural literature written for and about adolescents from various populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in the United States. In addition to studying texts that reflect the ever changing population of American adolescents, we will explore themes and issues such as censorship, race, gender, class, immigration status, war, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation.This course satisfies University Study Living in a Diverse Nation requirement.

386-001
Critical Theory and Practice
Mark Boren
TR 12:30-1:45
MO 101
This course will explore a wide range of contemporary literary theories andtheir relation to psychoanalysis, semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, and other methodologies. Students will read primary works, developing an acute awareness of the workings of literary andcultural texts and learn how subjectivity and knowledge are created. Additionally, we'll pay close attention to stylistics, aesthetics, concerns of genre, and the creation of affect, and we'll of course observe and learn literary critical conventions. Using a combination of theory, literary texts, and techniques of avant-garde writers and artists, students in this course will go beyond application and build text-specific methodologies, conceiving and producing new knowledge of their own.

388-001
Rhetorical Theory to 1900
Anthony Atkins
MW 2:00-3:15
MO 206
This course covers the history of rhetorical theory from 430 BCE to 1900AD with discussion of culture, dialectic, argument, persuasion, as well as biographical profiles of rhetorical theorists. Rhetoric is alive, useful, and one of the most intriguing social phenomena that humans possess: the ability to persuade with words and language. Students will work collaboratively and independently conducting research and presenting research orally. Students will also work with multiple media to present readings and researched information.

393-001
Writing in Science: Writing in the Scientific Disciplines
Kate Maddalena
MWF 9:00-9:50
MO 204
This course critically examines the current state of science writing in professional academic contexts and explores the multiple practical strategies scientists use to communicate in professional settings. Students will evaluate and propose best practices for texts in academic contexts such as peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences. Extra attention will be paid to how writing and texts act rhetorically as tools of knowledge making rather than simple "products" of science. Students will exit the course with a base of knowledge that will allow them to develop and strengthen their own professional science writing practices.

495-001
Senior Seminar: Jack London
Keith Newlin
TR 11:00-12:15
MO 202
This seminar will examine the work and life of an icon of American literature. At Jack London's birth in 1876, no one would have predicted his later success. Born out of wedlock and spending much of his early life in poverty and delinquency, London largely educated himself to become one of the world's most popular and most highly paid writers, in the process living an adventurous life that captivated the public's imagination. He sailed on a sealing schooner, prospected for gold in the Klondike, ran for mayor as a socialist when only 25, risked his life investigating London's slums, covered the Russo-Japanese war, built his own yacht in an aborted attempt to sail around the world, and later became a successful California rancher. In only 18 years, London published 50 books and more than 500 magazine pieces, the fruit of his self-imposed regimen of writing 1,000 words each day-no matter what he was doing. Beginning with the short stories that made him famous, this course will examine the development of a writer whose life and work have never ceased to amaze readers. Texts include: The Call of the Wild, The Sea-Wolf, White Fang, Martin Eden, and a collection of short stories

496-001
Senior Seminar: Ethics and Writing
Donald Bushman
TR 9:30-10:45
MO 210
The concepts of rhetoric and ethics have been linked since ancient times. In this seminar we will study some of the ways ethics has been theorized as a part of the field of writing and rhetoric, as well as how some people stretch the ethical bounds of language use (e.g., in the realms of politics and marketing). We'll explore the ideas that ethics are tied to conduct, how writing is a form of conduct, and how writing can help us sort out where we stand on issues of concern and help us better understand how we came by the attitudes and beliefs we hold. Required will be two lengthy, researched essays, several short, informal papers, and an oral report. Texts: online and reserve readings.