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Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Introduction to Journalism
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: Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing and The Associated Press Stylebook.
202-002 MW 2:00-3:15
202-003 MW 3:30-4:45
Introduction to Journalism
This is an introduction to reporting and writing, with particular emphasis on writing for print and the web. The course will focus on core skills such as story origination, news judgment, how to write leads and nut grafs, story structure, how to cover news events, how to conduct interviews, and how to cultivate and find sources. We will work on news stories and feature stories, and will cover the basics of ethics and law as they pertain to journalism. Text: Mencher, The Associated Press Stylebook.
204-001 MWF 9:00-9:50
204-002 MWF 10:00-10:50
Introduction to Professional Writing
We use writing in our everyday lives to communicate change, give instructions, create relationships. We write to inform, request, offer apologies, lodge complaints, and seek clarification. In this course we will use a rhetorical lens to consider what it means to be an effective, efficient, and ethical composer in the workplace and in our social and civic lives. To do so we will explore a wide array of composing tools and strategies. And we will reflect on how these strategies and tools apply across contexts. Throughout the semester students will work with design software and utilize a variety of media to do workplace research, perform audience analysis, and conduct usability testing. By the end of the semester each student will have compiled a portfolio of work in both digital and print media.
204-003 MWF 11:00-11:50
204-005 MWF 8:00-8:50
Introduction to Professional Writing
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. This ENG 204 is also an applied learning class, where you will have an opportunity to design a project for a local business or organization. This course will enhance your ability to compose well-designed, persuasive, and purposeful texts in a variety of professional and academic contexts.
204-007 MW 10:00-10:50 F Online BR 160
Introduction to Professional Writing
Introduction to Professional Writing
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 resumes, 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. e-text: Johnson-Sheehan, Technical Communication Today. 4th ed with free access to MyTechCommLab.
Introduction to Literary Studies
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 theories and 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.; Lynn, Texts and Contexts, 6th ed.; Treadwell, Machinal; Chopin, The Awakening.
Introduction to Literary Studies
This course is an introduction to literary studies and will thus offer you the opportunity to develop your knowledge of how to read, interpret and write about literature. The course has four primary objectives: (1) to introduce you to the field of English studies, including discussions of what you can do with an English degree; (2) to provide you with instruction on how to do research and how to write as a literary scholar; (3) to expose you to general overviews of some prominent approaches to the study of literature; and (4) to enable you to critically examine your own approaches to literature through engagement with primary literary texts.
Because this is a writing intensive course, you will be asked to write and submit several formal response essays, argumentative research essays, and to keep an informal reading response journal. You will also be responsible for the readings and class discussions and to take occasional reading quizzes. As this will be a discussion based class, attendance, participation, and attention to the readings will of course be required.
This course partially fulfills the University Studies writing intensive and the information literacy requirements.
Introduction to Literary Studies
This course is designed to introduce students to literary criticism as a form of writing, and to develop their research, analytical, and interpretive skills by exposing them to the key questions and basic assumptions of various theoretical perspectives. Required textbook: Lois Tyson, Using Critical Theory.
205-008 TR 9:30-10:45 MO 201
205-009 TR 12:30-1:45 MO 102
Introduction to Literary Studies
In this course we’ll refine our critical reading skills, sharpen our research, writing, and speaking skills, and learn major theoretical approaches to the study of written texts, including psychoanalysis, feminism, new historicism, deconstruction, and post-colonialism. Through the analysis of poetry, of fiction, of non-fiction, of film and popular culture media, and through the study of critical essays on primary texts, we’ll learn the intricacies involved in research and in negotiating the world around us through language. Students will produce a variety of essays, including research essays.
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 exams.211-001
British Literature to 1800
Mist-walking monsters, rolling heads and flimsy gowns, farts and polyandry, a sympathetic Satan, love poems, the joys and anguishes of the modern world; we’ll meet them all, reading carefully, discussing thoroughly, writing several short essays and having a final exam. Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 1, 8th ed.
211-002 MWF 9:00-9:50
211-003 MWF 10:00-10:50
British Literature to 1800
As a survey of British literature from Beowulf (first recited in the eighth century) to the death of Samuel Johnson (1784), the course will consider such major authors as Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Jonathan Swift, and Samuel Johnson; a broad variety of genres, including narrative poetry, utopian fiction, tragedy, comedy, Christian epic, travel narrative, biography, and the periodical essay; topical and thematic concerns such as wit, imagination, art and nature, reason and passion, life choices, happiness, gender roles, marriage, and crime and punishment; such concerns as the value and purpose of literature, strategies of interpretation, and various factors that figure into the enduring permanence of our featured writers; and the relevance of selected works to other works of literature students have read, the current arena of local, national and international affairs, contemporary popular culture, and other academic courses students have taken. In addition to such standard canonical texts as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Ben Jonson’s Volpone, and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, we will also be reading and discussing a number of texts with which you are most likely familiar such as Mary Astell’s “Some Reflections upon Marriage,” Daniel Defoe’s “The Cons of Marriage,” Aphra Behn’s prose novella Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave, Eliza Haywood’s prose novella Fantomima; or, Love in a Maze, Jonathan Swift’s “The Lady’s Dressing Room,” and Samuel Johnson’s prose novella The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia. Required texts: Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (translated into modern English by Nevill Coghill); The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 1B: The Sixteenth Century and the Early Seventeenth Century; The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol C: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century.
British Literature after 1800
This course is a survey of British literature from the Romantic period through to the early twenty-first century. By the course’s end, students will be familiar with major authors such as Wordsworth, Shelley, E.B. Browning, Rossetti, Eliot, and Greene. We will engage with canonical and non-canonical works in a wide variety of modes, genres, and media, including lyric, dramatic, and narrative poetry; autobiography, the novel, and the essay; and cinema, television, and pop music. Throughout the semester, we will make a point of 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— for example, the Industrial Revolution and city life, nationalism and colonialism, shifting gender roles, the emergence of “popular culture,” World Wars I and II, the decline of the British Empire, postmodernism, and globalism. Readings will include Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater; Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier; T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land; 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 TR 9:30-10:45
223-002 TR 11:00-12:15
American Literature to 1870
The course surveys major authors in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from the colonial period to 1870.
Every student keeps a reading journal and writes two analytical essays, each of which comprises 20% of the semester grade. Final exam and a series of reading quizzes each account for 20%. Text: McQuade, Donald, et al. The Harper Single Volume American Literature. Vol 1. 2nd ed.
American Literature to 1870
T his course will offer you an overview of American literature from the era of European contact through the late Romantics in the nineteenth century. We will read this literature in its literary, political, historical, and social contexts.As such, we will look at literature of the European Explorers, at some American Indian responses to encounters with Europeans, at the colonial period including Puritan poets and historians, at the writings of some of the founding fathers and mothers, and at the Romantic era writers such as Poe, Irving, Hawthorne, Stowe, Dickinson, and Whitman, as well as Emerson and Throreau, lynchpins of the American literary renaissance, as it has been called.
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. As this will be a discussion based class, attendance, participation, and attention to the readings will of course be required.
This course partially fulfills the University Studies writing intensive requirement.
American Literature since 1870
In this course we will read representative fiction, plays, and poems in American literature from the late 1900s to the present. We will discover how and why each story “works”—how it captures the reader’s interest, the aesthetic methods the authors use to tell their story. We will also look at the political, social, and cultural context; and we will discuss such issues as emerging feminism, critical responses to racism, the literature of propaganda, alienation and literary experiment, and why some writers get represented in anthologies and others do not. This section will also emphasize critical discussion and writing. Texts include: Cain, American Literature, vol. 2, 2nd ed.; Faulkner, As I Lay Dying.
World Literature to 1600
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. Norton,
World Literature since 1600
This course explores representative works of world literature since 1600. Featured authors include Cao Xueqin, Voltaire, Basho, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Ellison, Tolstoy, Tagore, Kafka, Borowski, García Márquez, and Achebe.
We will look at common themes, the techniques of storytelling, the use of metaphoric language, how literature relates to the other arts and to political, social, philosophical, or religious ideas. You will learn to trace a chronology of world literature from the 1600 to the present, while making comparative explorations between national literatures.
There will be reading quizzes, group work, oral reports, and 4 writing projects in this "Writing Intensive" designated course.
World Anglophone Literature: Caribbean Focus
Anglophone is defined as: “An English-speaking person, especially one in a country where two or more languages are spoken.” This theme based Literature course will examine various fiction and non-fiction pieces written in English from a range of Caribbean Islands. We will explore the cultural nuances associated with the works and their relationships to individual and collective identity. Students will study a variety of literatures and genres from the Caribbean region.
Women in Literature
Together we explore how women are depicted in literature written by women during the 20th and 21st centuries. You will become more practiced in reading literary texts through the lens of gender and sexuality studies, which is also concerned with race, class, ethnicity, physical ability, and age-based oppression. We will discuss fiction and nonfiction by American authors of color, authors who are immigrants to the U.S., or authors whose parents were immigrants. We will also examine ways of becoming resisting readers, challenging stereotypes that persist in our society and our literature.
Women in Literature
This semester’s course will focus on women in suburban American literature. Fought on two fronts—domestic and corporate—the battle for the American Dream escalated into an existential crisis in the 1950s. The home, once treasured as a sanctuary, weighed heavily like an albatross around the necks of postwar husbands and wives: a money pit for him, a prison for her. More painful than mortgages for suburbanites, however, was the realization that they—unlike their country, which believed completely in its “exceptionalism”—were not special. They were average, conducting lives as prefab and unoriginal as William Levitt’s tract houses.
Women in Literature
In this course, we will analyze and discuss classic and contemporary women’s literature, including the works of Bradstreet, Dickinson, Plath, Sexton, and Chopin. As we read these texts, we will also explore topics such as women’s rights, female sexuality, and traditional and non-traditional gender roles.
This is a fully online course. Assignments may include weekly discussion boardparticipation, essays, and exams.
Contemporary India: Society, Economy, Culture, and Polity
Be a part of a unique interdisciplinary experience. Video-linked with students at NC State and NC Central and team-taught by literary scholar (at UNCW), an anthropologist (at Central), and a historian (at State), this course addresses the historical development of society, economy, culture and polity in contemporary India (i.e., post-1947). It traces the interactions and tensions between society, economy, culture and polity to describe people’s everyday lives as well as highlight interconnections between India and the wider world. To illustrate these interconnections, the course adopts an approach that is comparative yet geographically focused on India. Broad topics that the class covers include: physical & cultural geography, history, literature, and religion. The course also includes case studies. These case studies address: Partition, rural life, caste & religion, gender, marriage, elections, protest & dissent, development & the environment, media, technology and urbanization. The class addresses debates within the study of India to foster critical thinking and to illustrate how different academic disciplines inform people’s knowledge about India.
Themes in Literature: From Damsels in Distress to Vampire Slayers--Gender in Monster Literature
There’s something about the monster we can’t pull away from. The scary. The weird. The horrifying. From Frankenstein’s monster to Count Dracula to the deadly Mr. Hyde to the dead walking—we are a people who love to be scared. And through stories about monsters, we learn about ourselves. What it means to be human. How we use art to cope with our mortality, to grapple with the big questions of life and loss and progress. Along the way, we also tell ourselves stories about what it means to be men and women, where the lines are drawn and what happens when someone dares cross them. This semester, we will be reading monster-themed literature (old and new), and we’ll be asking ourselves what messages these texts send about gender, and what it means to be human in the face of the monstrous.
Themes in Literature: Literature in Motion
This atypical course would explore Literature beyond the classroom. You will make connections, analyze, and draw conclusions between place/setting and how it affects not just the assigned reading but the surrounding community (UNCW & Wilmington). You will critically think, analyze perspectives, and experience relevancy in this multi genre literary course. A variety of poems, plays, shorts stories, and essays from the anthology Literature to Go will be assigned throughout the semester. Each class meeting will be held at a different outside setting on campus. Some will take place at off campus locations. *Please note: classes will be held, rain or shine, hot or cold (severe weather excluded).
Themes in Literature: Coming of Age on the Coast
From Homeric epic to modern surf culture, few literary landscapes are as interconnected with coming-of-age stories as the seacoast. Often abrupt and unstable, this coastal zone between the terrestrial and the aquatic is also the site of that fluid boundary between adolescence and adulthood in literary texts. This course will explore literature and film (and perhaps music) that situate characters in and around coastal settings.
Studies in Literature: Science Fiction
In this class, we will be working to make sense of one of the more misunderstood/maligned genres in literature and cultural studies: science fiction. In order to accomplish this admittedly ambitious goal, we will be discussing science fiction (SF) as an historical, critical, and political force. By engaging with a wide variety of novels, short stories, and critical/philosophical essays (as well as films,music, and graphic novels/comics), this course aims to demonstrate how SF (ideally, practically)creates a space where fans/critics/casual observers can gain a better understanding of both yesterday and today's tomorrows.
International Studies Abroad: Buenos Aires: Capital of Culture
May 14-28, 2015
For the 4th year, we will study the culture of Buenos Aires through its
writers, painters, and musicians. The immersion experience begins after
classes in May. Activities include participating in a writer’s class about
Borges’ life and stories, a café meeting with political journalist and Che
Guevara biographer, national art museums, live musical events, the San
Telmo markets, and historic cafés. Stay in an upscale apartment hotel in
Recoleta, the best neighborhood for study, shopping, and exploration.
ENG 294-001 earns 3 University Studies credits. This trip is for any major.
The music and painting of Buenos Aires attract students of the fine arts.
Literature students can visit the local haunts of some of Argentina’s
most imaginative writers. Students of Spanish will enjoy total language
immersion. History students can follow a trail from colonial times to
the era of dictatorships. Before traveling, students will be introduced
to Argentine painting, literature, and music. No previous knowledge of
Spanish needed. Students are eligible for financial aid & scholarships.
Contact the instructors for permission to enroll.
ENG 315 Sports Journalism Pre-requisite ENG 202 This sportswriting course will involve significant reporting from the fields, courts, and bleachers. We will read selections from David Halberstam's The Best American Sportswriting of the Century, and we will consume today's sportswriting in all its forms, mostly online. Major assignment sections include The Game Story, The Beat, The Feature, The Column, Multimedia/Broadcast, and New Journalism. Pre-requisite ENG 202 or permission of the Instructor.
Reading and Writing Arguments
A course in rhetorical theory and the application of rhetoric to real-world writing situations. We will study readings from sources ranging from popular periodicals to online blogs to academic journals which mainly focus oncontemporary social and political issues, and we will critique these readings with an eye toward the authors' argumentative strategies. Students will discover the wonders of developing well-argued essays and how they are never created by chance. Required will be five essays of varying length, at least one of which will require significant research. Text: Gooch & Seyler, Argument! 2nd ed.
Writing for Teachers
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.
A writing course focusing on the genre of the essay. The text, which provides a sampling of work from contemporary essayists, will serve as the focus of class discussion and the springboard for the essays students will write. Required will be five original essays, a reflective reading journal, and participation in peer reviews of written work and in individual conferences. Text: Atwan, ed. The Best American Essays, 3rd College Ed.
“A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.”--Woolf.
“There [is] nowhere to go but everywhere, keep on rolling under the stars.” --Kerouac
Advanced Composition Studies
Students in this course develop strategies to improve documents and to clearly express their plans for revisions orally and in writing. Along the way, 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 language and proficiencies necessary to edit technical documents, which include forms, manuals, policy handbooks, websites, and other texts used in organizations, and to argue successfully for the changes they make or recommend. Projects prompt students to edit documents comprehensively, addressing everything from the sentences to the overall structure and visual design.
Theory and Practice of Editing
Instruction in strengthening the backbone of writing. Course work includes extensive practice in the fundamentals of punctuation and grammar, editing, copyediting and rewriting, all done with an eye to preparing work for publication. Privacy and libel law are examined. Texts include: Creative Editing; Media Writer's Handbook, and The Associated Press Stylebook.
Writing for Business
In these completely online classes, we will explore the various genres common throughout most workplace environments, including memos, letters, proposals, reports, and resumes. Additionally we will explore how to adapt these genres for online environments and improve your online presence. Consequently, you will be required to explore various Web 2.0 technologies through collaborative, individual, and public work. This course is suitable for anyone interested in improving business communication skills and expanding career options during and after university life. By the end of the course, you will have several texts that you can use in professional portfolios and for self-promotion online.
Topic in Writing & Rhetoric:Digital Literacy and New Media
“The Internet has become a global platform for communication, commerce and individual expression” (www.whitehouse.gov/issues/technology) –the core guiding philosophy for this course. Downloading apps on your tablet, reading product reviews, searching terms on Google or catching up with friends on Facebook are merely scratching the surface of digital literacy. “Digital Literacy is Necessary for Today’s Jobs” (http://www.commerce.gov/)– is how far its importance can be stretched. This course is about knowing the fundamentals of digital literacy: digitization, Web, the Internet, Google, and dealing with interesting New Media notions like modularity, transcoding, variability, hot and cool media, and many more. It is about getting on the driving seat and producing New Media content, services, and products using your digital knowledge; it gets bigger than generating a search or posting on electronic walls. It’s about creating dynamic content through video, voice, text, and image. You’ve been using it; now, you will know it.
Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Backback Journalism: in the Field Reporting
Backpack Journalism: Being a One-Person Newsroom Shirley Mathews BR 160 Whether you’re covering an uprising in Egypt, a championship basketball game or the fashion runway in Milan, those photos, sound bites and video are not going to wait until you get back to the newsroom to be published. This hands-on course is aimed at using the latest technology to make each student a one-person newsroom, capable of soup-to-nuts reporting and editing, all using simple, yet powerful, tools tailored to smartphones. This course is ideal not only for those who want to go into journalism, but also for marketing majors, business majors and computer science majors – anyone who needs to communicate multimedia information quickly and completely from remote locations.
Prerequisite: ENG 202: Intro to Journalism or consent of instructor. Equipment required: Smartphone with the capability of uploading and using apps, and which also has a camera that can capture video and still photos. No formal textbook required. Costs: Incidental app prices, budget about $30.
This course focuses on analytical writing about other writers' styles, in order to be able to speak with specificity about what makes an effective prose style. We will begin by addressing grammatical and stylistic principles and concepts and applying them in shorter writings, readings and discussions. We will then move to looking in detail at various authors, both contemporary and historical. Grades assigned from class discussion, analyses and a final project. Texts include: Corbett and Connors, Style and Statement; Hale and Gordon, Sin and Syntax.
Writing about Film
In this class we will explore what it means to write about film from a critical and analytical perspective. We will begin the course with a review of writing mechanics and film terminology and then turn to a number of feature (and short) films that will serve as focal points for our excursions into academic and journalistic writing. While we will spend some time considering the review, we will concentrate most of our efforts on the critical/analytical essay.
Although much of this class concerns itself with film studies and history, it is at heart (and in practice) a writing course, and therefore a writing intensive course. Information on course readings will be available on Blackboardonce the course begins.
Students in this course learn document design as a contextual and rhetorically situated process. Building on skills learned in ENG 204, students will approach document design through research into situated contexts of use and audience-document interactions. Students will analyze the design of existing texts and produce effective print and electronic texts and graphics for a variety of purposes, contexts, and audiences. Projects include developing business cards, logos, product labels, and instructions. The class will also complete a service-learning design project for a designated client.
320-001 TR 8:00-9:15 MO 106
320-002 TR 9:30-10:45 MO 205
Introduction to Linguistics
Language is a primary way we indicate aspects of our social identity. Beyond the semantic content of our utterances, speech communicates who we are, where we come from, and what social experience we have had. In this introductory course on linguistics, we study this relationship between language and social identity through a variety of key topics in sociolinguistics: language variation; style and performance; language attitudes and ideologies; language choice in multilingual speech communities; regional and ethnic dialects; language, gender, and sexuality. We ask questions such as why do people speak differently in different social contexts, what are the diverse ways speakers use language to signal aspects of their social identity, and what does language reveal about social relationships within a community?
Studies in Sociolinguistics: Language, Gender, and Sexuality
Do women and men really have different ways of speaking? Are the ways we talk to one another related to our sexual identities? This course examines these questions from the perspective of modern sociolinguistic theory. By analyzing a wide range of languages and communities, we will learn about the variances and overlap in how gender and sexuality are constructed throughout the world. To deepen our focus in the second half of the course, we will conduct individual research. By the end of the course each student will have composed a multimedia project that reflects specific research interests in language, gender, and sexuality.
Shakespeare’s Later Plays
This course will cover six plays selected from the second half of Shakespeare’s career, including representative comedies (Twelfth Night, All’s Well That Ends Well), tragedies (Hamlet, Macbeth), classical plays (Timon of Athens), and romances (The Winter’s Tale). Among other things, we will consider issues of genre, gender, historicity, and power. Reading quizzes, informal response papers, midterm and final exams, oral presentation or performance, and critical paper of 2000 words. Text: Ed. David Bevington, The Complete Works of Shakespeare. 7th ed.
Romantic subjectivity traditionally privileges the solitary ego, immersed in and then reflecting on Nature, considering a transcendent experience. But the body and the physical inhabits the sublime English landscape and intense psychological issues haunt the Romantic imagination as well. In this course, we’ll look at how Romantic writers living in England between 1780-1830 conceptualized their world, and both the physical and psychological states of the human's inhabiting it. We’ll read a number of canonical and non-canonical texts, including work by Blake, Coleridge, Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, and the Shelleys.
U.S. Latino Literature: Idealists, Villains, and Rebels
They either were born in the U.S. or have made the U.S. their home. They write in English, flavored with Spanish. Their stories are those of New Yorkers, Californians, Floridians, and Chicagoans, but their novels, memoirs, poetry, and plays also reflect the Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Peruvian, and Puerto Rican cultures in which they (or their parents) were raised. Together we read works by Sandra Cisneros, José Rivera, Virgil Suárez, Junot Díaz, Cristina García, Richard Blanco, and Marie Arana. We explore how the Latin experience is depicted in American literature and what Latino and Latina writers have contributed—through experimental forms and styles--to American literary history. We examine themes of family, food, gender roles across cultures (machismo, for example), and also depictions of important historical figures and events. Latin food and Latin music sometimes spice up our discussions. Students write responses to the texts, one literary analysis, and a 1,200-word research essay. Texts include: The House on Mango Street, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, Marisol and Other Plays, 90 Miles, The Prince of Los Cocuyos, and American Chica.
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. Texts include: Nagel & Quirk, The Portable American Realism Reader; Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham; Garland, Main-Travelled Roads; Norris, McTeague; London, The Call of the Wild; Dreiser, Sister Carrie; Wharton, The House of Mirth.
American Indian Literatures
This course will offer you an in-depth look at several American Indian writers from the 20th- and 21st centuries. We will look at a couple earlier writers such as William Apess (Pequot), Luther Standing Bear (Sioux), and Charles Eastman (Sioux) and at writers of the so-called American Indian Renaissance: Momaday (Kiowa), Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre), Vizenor (Anishinaabe), and Erdrich (Anishinaabe). We will also read some of the younger, more recent writers such as Susan Power (Dakota), Sherman Alexie (Coeur d'Alene), Aaron Carr (Navajo), Sarah Vowell (Cherokee), and Toni Jensen (Métis). We will consider the very important historical and political contexts of the writings and also look at the other arts, especially American Indian painting of the same era.
For this class, you will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal short response essays, be responsible for the readings and class discussions, and to take occasional reading quizzes and mid-semester and a final essay exams. You will also be asked to lead class discussion at least once during the semester. As this will be a discussion-based class, your contributions are critical and thus attendance, participation, and attention to the readings will be required.
This course fulfills the University Studies Living in a Diverse Nation requirement.
African American Literature to 1945
This course covers a wide variety of works from major authors, and provides a model for approaching literature from a variety of literary and socio-cultural perspectives. There is a travel component to the course that requires students to visit local or regional historic sites that are connected to African American culture and history.
Studies in Short Fiction
“As long as stories have been told, there have been storytellers who combined tales to create larger effects. . . . Throughout the history of literature, there are cycles or sequences of tales, stories, novellas, lyric poems, plays, and even novels. It is only human nature for writers (and readers) to want to perpetuate the single work and to resist its completion. In any historical period, many examples of different kinds of cycles coexist. Why a writer chooses once cyclical form over another—sonnet sequence, for example, instead of short-story cycle—is no doubt a complex matter. Certain subjects require or take advantage of certain forms. Furthermore, historical periods provide different options for writers: for example, the short story, and consequently, the short- story cycle did not develop until the nineteenth century. Finally, an individual writer’s abilities, preferences, and past performances influence his or her generic choices.”
(Susan Garland Mann, The Short Story Cycle: A Genre Companion and Reference Guide, 1)
“Probably the impulse to combine individual tales into larger wholes has its origin in the very nature of imagination itself, a ‘coadunating’power as Coleridge described it. Certainly many old story-clusters show that the impulse goes far back into oral tradition.”
(Ian Reid, The Short Story, 46).
“The concept of the ‘short-story cycle’ remains to be sufficiently defined in literary scholarship. Any attempt at a systematic definition, however provisional, ultimately encounters not only the concept of ‘story,’ differentiating this form of short fiction from other modulations, but of ‘cycle,’ distinguishing this model from loose collections of stories on one side and ‘novels’ on the other. Perhaps it is axiomatic in scholarship that the most common terms and concepts are the most difficult to define.”
(James Nagel, the Contemporary Short-Story Cycle: The Ethnic Resonance of Genre, 13)
“While there are various conventions associated with the genre . . . there is only one essential characteristic of the short-story cycle: the stories are both self-sufficient and interrelated. On the one hand, the stories work independently of one another: the reader is capable of understanding each of them without going beyond the limits of the individual story. On the other hand, however, the stories work together, creating something that could not be achieved in a single story.”
(Mann,The Short Story Cycle, 15)While most of you are no doubt familiar with the short story as a genre, chances are, you are unfamiliar with the term “short-story cycle.” This is hardly surprising since, according to James Nagel in a recent study The Contemporary Short-Story Cycle: The Ethnic Resonance of a Genre,
Our course will attempt to allay the critical neglect and misunderstanding of the short-story cycle, whatever, as Nagel suggest, its prominence and significance in American literature through a thoughtful reading and discussion of ten American short-story cycles. Beyond the progressive and recursive incremental arrangement of stories in any given cycle, we will examine such elements as title, character, plot, chronology, setting, theme, point of view, myth, imagery, and framing devices in establishing organizing and unifying patterns within the cycle as a whole. Such considerations should lead to the identification of various conventions, devices, and techniques that characterize and define the short-story cycle as a genre and that differentiate the short-story cycle from a short story collection and from such related genres as the short story and the novel.
The short-story cycle is the most neglected and the least well understood of the major genres in American literature. From the beginning, it has been without a place in literary history, and the individual works within the form have been greeted with misunderstanding and misinterpretation for well over a century.
Even in modern times, Edmund Wilson’s suggestion that In Our Time Ernest Hemingway “has almost invented a form of his own” and Malcolm Cowley’s remark that in Knight’s Gambit William Faulkner developed a genre peculiarly his own” illustrate that even the most sagacious of reviewers were innocent of the long traditions of interrelated short stories that could be arranged to form volumes with structural integrity and artistic congruence. (246)
Written Requirements: Two critical-analytical essays, each of which should be 4-5 double-spaced pages in length. A take-home final essay exam. Required Texts (arranged in order of presentation) Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (1919); John Steinbeck, Pastures of Heaven (1932); Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried (1990); Robert Olen Butler, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (1992); Donald Ray Pollock, Knockemstiff (2008); Cathy Day, The Circus in Winter (2004); Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge (2010); Alan Heathcock, Volt.
Studies in the Novel – Nabokov’s English-Language Fiction
We shall do our best to avoid the fatal error of looking for so-called “real life” in novels. Let us not try and reconcile the fiction of facts with the facts of fiction. Don Quixote is a fairy tale, so is Bleak House, so is Dead Souls. Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina are supreme fairy tales. But without these fairy tales the world would not be real.
This is courses explores fiction written since 1970 to see how the historical “moment” of late 20th and early 21st-century American culture is reflected in those texts. More precisely, it will be an exploration in “fictional border-crossing”: We will focus on some of the key formal aspects of fiction— point of view, choice of setting, and arrangement of narrative sequence--to determine how contemporary writers lead readers to understand the physical and sometimes spiritual background against which the action of a story takes place.
Literature for Young Adults
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 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, sexuality, ability, and age. Our texts range from canonical to contemporary, and include diaries, poetry, novels, and one graphic novel. 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 these representations of young adulthood (most often written and produced by adults), where can we locate narrative young adult agency in cultures that often disprivilege them? How do young adults and their narratives overcome disempowerment?
This course will examine works of poetry, fiction, and drama that are commonly taught in high school English classes. During our interrogation of texts, we will utilize various critical lenses to reveal traditional and alternative interpretations. Moreover, we will question what constitutes a literary ‘classic,’ who labels classics, and how issues of race, gender, class, religion, and language influence what is commonly taught in high school English classes. Issues of censorship as well as the influence of the Common Core exemplar text list will also be addressed.
Critical Theory and Practice
This course will introduce you to some of the major intellectual developments of the last 150 years that have played a crucial part in our understanding of, and appreciation for literary and cultural texts. Our readings will come from the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Second Edition and will include work from the New Critics, Marx, Freud, Lacan, Althusser, Barthes, Foucault, and many others. This is a challenging class to be sure, but it can also be a rewarding one if you are willing to immerse yourself in the questions and concepts these works explore.
Rhetorical Theory since 1900
In this course, we will situate the some of the major rhetorical theorists of the past century within their historical moments, considering how theory both reflects and shapes the material and social conditions from which it emerges. We’ll examine self-identified rhetoricians, like Kenneth Burke, Wayne C. Booth, and Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, as well as others whose work addresses the relationship between discourse and the material world less overtly. We’ll consider politics, popular culture, science and technology, and every social situations in order to do some theorizing about how rhetoric operates in our own particular historical moment. Required text: The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present, second ed.
(Bizzell and Herzberg)
Studies in Literature: Latin American Fiction and Film
This global studies course is an introduction to Latin American fiction and film as they intertwine to explore the social justice theme of indigenismo. Literary selections will be enhanced with cinematic narratives by Latin American directors and the writings of film and cultural theorists of Third Cinema (e.g., "For an Imperfect Cinema" by Julio García Espinosa and "Towards a Third Cinema" by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino).
No foreign language skills are required. Students must view several films outside of class and write about them in relation to the literary works discussed during class meetings.
Studies in Literature: Graphic Adaptation
We’re living in a golden age of the graphic novel, of comic art and of illustration in general writes Russ Kick in the introduction to The Graphic Canon, a three volume set that features comics versions of everything from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Raymond Carver. Using a combination of formal and theoretical approaches, this course will provide students with the critical tools necessary to read the increasingly important (and wily) medium of comics. In particular, we will focus on graphic adaptations, asking: to what ends have comics artists adapted classic (and not-so-classic) texts? What is a classic in the first place? What is lost and what is gained with graphic adaptations? Throughout the semester, we will examine the work of some of the most important comic artists in recent generations including Scott McCloud, Robert Crumb, Craig Thompson, Hope Larson, Marjane Satrapi, and many others.
Topics in Literature: Intertextual Shakespeare
This course is chiefly concerned with speculating on some of the ways in which Shakespeare may have responded to the works of others, especially Chaucer, Montaigne, the Bible, and The Book of Common Prayer. We will investigate cases of obvious verbal “borrowing” by Shakespeare as well as larger questions like the ways in which Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde stimulated Shakespeare to create Troilus and Cressida and the ways in which Montaigne’s comments on cruelty inform the treatment of revenge in The Tempest. As time permits, we will consider some later authors’ appropriations of Shakespeare. Graduate requirements: oral presentation; annotated bibliography of ten items; short response papers; critical paper of 4500-5000 words. Undergraduate requirements: oral presentation; short response papers; critical paper of 2000-2500 words; midterm and final exams. Texts include: Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales; Chaucer. The Riverside Chaucer; Chaucer. Troilus and Criseyde; Montaigne. The Essays: A Selection.
Shakespeare. The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
Senior Seminar: The Imagination of Franz Kafka
Get into the mind of this mentally and physically fragile genius of the 20th century. Great writers often appear at moments of historical transformation or upheaval. Kafka (1883-1924) seems to have arrived in one of those periods when events would change Europe and, by implication, America. Although reclusive and self-doubting, Kafka produced amazingly prophetic works before he died of tuberculosis, saving him from the fate of his family who died in concentration camps. We will read his unsettling novels The Trial, The Castle, Amerika, and a collection of haunting short stories in The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and Other Stories. We will also view several landmark films and read from two Kafka biographies.
Senior Seminar: The World According to Tennessee Williams
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.
Senior Seminar: Intercultural Communication and Globalization
Part I How do we define and understand the East-West and North/South divide? What is more important, who we are or what we do? Is time defined in the past, the present, or the future? This course will serve as an introduction to the core concepts, theories, and practices of communication across the globe.
Part II Is the world flat? When did globalization begin? What is the difference between globalization and Globalization? Emphasis will be placed on understanding how we as individuals are affected by globalizations on daily basis. We will cover key concepts and terms like maquila industries, harmonization, Eurocentricism, biocapital, biopolitics, core and periphery nations, and international communication flows. This course offers a broad groundwork to participate in global and cultural discourses involving people, places, commerce, and media with the aim to make you better informed about your surroundings. By the end of this course, you will be able to analyze cultural products and processes in globalized contexts.