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Undergraduate Course Descriptions
202-001 MWF 9:00-9:50
202-002 MWF 10:00-10:50
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 Melvin Mencher’s News Reporting and Writing and The Associated Press Stylebook.
Introduction to Journalism
Discussion, and more importantly, lots of practice, you will develop the tools that you will need to identify, gather, and report the news. While many of the practices you will learn in this course were developed by reporters working for large urban newspapers, you will apply these same core principles and practices (lede writing, story structure, how to cover news events, and conducting interviews) to reporting for any kind of outlet: print, broadcast, or the internet. We will also examine the differences between news stories and feature stories, and cover the basics of journalism ethics.
Introduction to Journalism
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.
Introduction to Professional Writing
This course serves as an introduction to “writing” (conceived of broadly) in the professional setting as well as the academic fields of professional writing and technical communication. It explores strategies for analyzing organizational contexts, including professional audiences, professional purposes for writing, and organizational cultures. Assignments will build skills in document design, writing in multiple modes and media, usability testing to develop more accessible texts, and ethical considerations for communication in professional settings.
Introduction to Professional Writing
Students in this course will learn the rhetorical, ethical, and design considerations that inform effective professional and technical communication. Working in both print and multi-media contexts, they will develop strategies for conducting workplace research, performing audience analysis, and evaluating document usability. Students will produce a range of documents, including memos, proposals, instructions, and public relations materials. Much of their work will be conducted in a service-learning context in which their efforts will engage a wider public beyond the classroom.
204-003 T 12:30-1:45
204-004 T 2:00-3:15 R Online
Introduction to Professional Writing-Hybrid Class
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.
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. Text: Johnson-Sheehan, Technical Communication Today. 5th ed.
Introduction to Professional Writing
This course is an introduction to the field of professional writing. The course explores both traditional and online documents. Students will learn about traditional resumes, cover letters, and proposals as well as be exposed to designing documents online. Understanding professional writing, communication, and design are significant principles of the field.
This course will be offered online via Blackboard. All students must have full internet access throughout the semester. Students must also be able to use Blackboard to submit assignments and engage in the course. This course also satisfies a WI (Writing Intensive) requirement for the university.
Introduction to Literary Studies
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. Others will be added, either posted online or to be purchased.
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, and of non-fiction, and through the methodical study of critical essays on those primary texts, we’ll learn the intricacies involved in negotiating the world through language. Students will produce a variety of essays, including research essays.
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
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, Chopin, The Awakening
Classical Literature in Translation
The classical writings of ancient Greece and Rome are still very much alive in the multiple ways they have influenced our culture. We will sample a rich variety of texts that still speak to us today, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey (courage, heroism, living by one’s wits, wandering and returning home); tragedy by Aeschylus (Agamemnon [religious devotion vs. family loyalty, adultery, revenge]); philosophy by Plato (Symposium); lyric poetry by Catullus (celebration of and cynicism about forbidden heterosexual love) and Sappho (lesbian love); Virgil’s epic The Aeneid (duty to the gods vs. passionate personal love); Ovid’s Metamorphoses (memorable accounts of the transformations of form that take place in classical myths). We will also give some attention to the influence of classical works on later literature and on our culture today. Reading quizzes, class participation, written responses, two tests. Text: The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 9th ed. Vol. 1. Ed. Martin Puchner.
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.
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. Texts: To be emailed to you in time for you to get them inexpensively.
British Literature to 1800
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). Texts include: Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (Translated into Modern English by Nevill Coghill); Marlowe, Doctor Faustus with the English Faust Book
British Literature Since 1800
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.
Partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Writing Intensive.
American Literature to 1870
This 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.
224-001 TR 9:30-10:45
224-002 TR 11:00-12:15
American Literature Since 1870
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 include: McQuade, Donald, et al. The Harper American Literature. 3rd ed.
World Anglophone Literature
World Anglophone, Literature, Caribbean focus is a chance to familiarize you with an area often seen as simply a place to obtain a good tan, drink fruity cocktails, and listen to reggae music. Through critical examination and analysis of poetry, prose, music, and short stories this class will give you a better understanding of a region of the world rich in history, culture and identity and the struggles and celebrations associated with them.
230-001 TR 11:00-12:15
230-002 TR 2:00-3:15
Women in Literature
Fiction reflects cultural conflicts. Far from resolved, roles for women in society continue to evolve. For this course, we will read contemporary novels 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: McCreight, Reconstructing Amelia; Church, Byrd; Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home; King, Euphoria, St. John Mandel, Station Eleven; Gould, Friendship. Informal responses, 2 essay tests, 1 final paper.
Women in Literature
In this course we will examine literary representations of women by authors who identify as women. We will begin with the introduction to Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s landmark work, The Madwoman in the Attic, as well as Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” and Alice Walker’s “In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens,” and discuss the cultural, economic, and political factors that historically have affected western women’s writing. We will explore multiple genres, including poetry, fiction, young adult literature, graphic narrative, and essays. We will look at how women create narrative about women’s experiences, and consider factors including class, sexuality, race, gender identity, modes of production, activism, and motherhood. Our work together will not seek to reduce women’s writing to a common denominator of qualities, but rather, explode existing categories.
African American Literature: Hip-Hop Music and Culture
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.
Themes in Literature
In this course we will explore the rich literature of contemporary exiled writers such as Salman Rushdie, Bharati Mukherjee, Marjane Satrapi,Wole Soyinka, and Elie Weisel, among others. We will seek to understand the racial, ethnic, political, and cultural aspects of immigration and exile, but our primary focus will be to examine how each writer conveys the conditions of uprootedness from home, the construction of cultural and bi-cultural identity and revolutions in literary form and theme.
Themes in Literature: Music and Literature
In this class, we will be examining moments in literature and culture where music becomes an integral part of the narrative. Beginning with the familiar notion that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” this course will seek to better understand these ‘impossible’ connections and make more clear the cross-currents that move between the literary and the musical—the textual and the auditory. We will be investigating texts of various sorts (comics, fiction, film, poetry) and music across a wide range of genres and registers to better understand these often surprising cultural points of connection and how they provide readers access to a more‘musical' way of reading that, as Baudelaire put it, “excavates heaven.”
Themes in Literature: Franz Kafka's Stories (with study abroad component)
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 seems to have arrived in one of those periods when events would change Europe, and the world. Although intensely reclusive, Kafka produced amazingly prophetic works before he died of TB, saving him from the fate of his family, who died in Nazi concentration camps.
In this hybrid course with study abroad component, we will read Kafka's most unsettling stories: "Conversation with the Supplicant," "The Judgment," "The Metamorphosis," "In the Penal Colony," and others. In April we will travel to Europe and visit Berlin, a city that Kafka enjoyed, and Prague to visit the haunting city that inspired most of his stories. Our course also includes several landmark films inspired by Kafka's writings.
In this course you will earn University Studies credits in "Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives" and "Writing Intensive." Enrollment is by permission of instructor.
International Studies Course: Buenos Aires: Capital of Culture (with study abroad component)
This study abroad course explores representative works of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Argentine writers, painters, and musicians. We will study the writings of authors Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Maria Marta Marciano, the paintings of artists like Césareo Bernaldo de Quirós and Xul Solar, and the music of Argentine folk dance and tango. The class will meet four times on campus in two-hour sessions, and then daily in Argentina during the last two weeks of May. It satisfies University Studies "Explorations Beyond the Classroom." Enrollment is by permission of instructor.
This Advanced Journalism Workshop will be focused on sportswriting. Over the course of the semester, we will cover UNCW and other local sports live; we will cover national and international sporting events and stories; we will interview athletes, coaches and administrators; we will write sports features, game stories, and op-eds; and finally, we will read and discuss some of the best sports journalism ever written, taken from online sources and David Halberstam’s The Best American Sports Writing of the Century.
Reading and Writing Arguments
This course is a part of a small cluster of courses that satisfy the “writing and text” component in the Professional Writing Option (and the Professional Writing Certificate) at UNC Wilmington.
In this course, we will explore argument structures and methods of persuasion in both traditional and digital reading and writing environments, focusing not only on difficult topics but topics related to Professional Writing. Students will compose arguments and work with new media to examine, analyze, and articulate their own arguments and the arguments of others, considering the rhetorical principles associated with document design and the use of new media. We will investigate the differences between persuasion and argument from a historical context. Students will be exposed to writing, drafting, researching and presenting information in a variety of writing and reading spaces. Students will be required to make claims, take positions, and construct arguments that are both in print and online. Students will focus on composing using digital technologies in professional and business contexts while understanding the ethical use of images, video, and sound.
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 as the springboard for the essays students will write. Required will be four original essays, a reflective reading journal, as well as participation in peer reviews of written work and individual conferences. Text: Atwan. The Best American Essays, 7th College edit.
Theory and Practice of Editing-Hybrid Class
Meets face-to-face on Wednesdays; other two classes are online. Instruction in strengthening the backbone of writing with an emphasis on learning state-of-the-industry layout software. 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: Media Writer's Handbook and The Associated Press Stylebook.
Writing for Business
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 be started off on your creative side but gradually invited to draw on the critical side for planning, organizing, drafting, and delivering your message.
Writing for Business
In thiscompletely onlinewriting class, we will explore the various genres common throughout most business 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. Since this class is completely online, we will be exploring how businesses create a professional presence online through social media. Consequently, you will be required to explore various Web 2.0 environments 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. All students must have consistent access to an up-to-date personal computer and a robust high-speed internet connection.
Writing about Science
This course critically examines the current state of science communication for various audiences and explores multiple practical strategies by which writers can accommodate science for specific audiences, including non-experts. 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.
Writing and Technology-Hybrid Class
Students in this course will explore how digital technology shapes composition practices through critical engagement with new media formats. Students will have the opportunity to use a variety of network services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Drive to analyze and produce multimedia works including interactive maps and online advocacy networks. Course readings will explore design theory and practice, focusing particularly on the various orientations and affordances embedded in commercial and open-source design software.
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. This course includes both individual and group projects, and some student work will take place in public online formats.
Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Technical Writing in the Sciences
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. The course applies perspectives from rhetoric of science, technical communication, and science and technology studies (STS) in order to evaluate and propose best practices for texts in academic contexts such as peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences. Extra attention is paid to how writing and texts act as tools of knowledge making rather than simple “products” of science. Students exit the course with a base of knowledge that will allow them to develop and strengthen their own professional science writing practices.
In Analyzing Style, we’ll be following the wisdom of the ancients: first, we’ll examine the style of other writers and the rhetorical tradition, then we’ll work on improving our own written style. This course will offer you the opportunity to strengthen the effectiveness and polish of your own writing in an intensive and focused writing environment. We will spend plenty of time reading, analyzing and discussing writing, but we are also here to write. Class time will be used for discussions, lectures, group projects, and individual research and writing, along with small-group activities and whole-class work. We’ll even indulge in a little friendly competition. Our main text will be Performing Prose: The Study and Practice of Style in Composition, by Chris Holcomb and M. Jimmie Killingsworth.
Writing about Film
This course concentrates on analyzing and writing about film. We will practice and perfect writing a selection of film-based genres including reviews, critical essays, and personal responses. This particular course iteration will focus on adaptation. To put it another way, what does it mean to change a particular work from one genre to another? What does “fidelity” mean in adaption? To whom/what must the filmmaker be “faithful”? Is “fidelity” or faithfulness to the original desirable? To this end, we will read one or two popular works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and examine their cinematic transformations.
The course is built upon the idea of understanding our everyday visual culture through design and critical analyses of documents. Although conventional definition of documents include print-based texts, the ubiquity of multimodal digital artifacts has occupied our contemporary visual and cultural landscape. For this purpose, a significant portion of the course will involve hands-on activities for developing effective digital artifacts by integrating texts, images, sounds, and videos. The main focus will be on creating compelling user-centered artifacts and messages in electronic and physical contexts, using theories of document design in visual rhetoric, visual literacy, visual culture, interaction design IxD, color theory, visual ethics, and design thinking. You will spend time individually and in groups to apply the varied principles and strategies of document design to produce usable documents. By the end of this course, you will be confident in analyzing and creating a wide range of document types for any given audience, purpose, and context.
321-001 W 3:30-6:15 MO 205
321-002 TR 8:00-9:15 MO 101
Structure of English Language
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.
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: Early Plays/Poems
William Shakespeare: The Reviews Are In
“The answer to the question ‘Why Shakespeare?’ must be ‘Who else is there?’”
“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.”
“He was not of an age, but for all time!”
“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.”
“To know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare; to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.”
“The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.”
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.”
“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.”
“I went to see a Shakespeare play when I was 15, and it changed my life.”
“If the public likes you, you’re good. Shakespeare was a common down-to-earth writer in his day.”
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 LibraryOne final note regar
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.
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 (Othello, King Lear), classical plays (Coriolanus), and romances (Cymbeline). 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: The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Ed. David Bevington. 7th ed. New York:
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.
Studies in the Novel: Madness and the American Novel
This course explores the notions and defines the aesthetics of “in sanity” evidenced in American literary works from the late eighteenth century to the present. The selections describe a trajectory of cultural fascination with mental and behavioral aberration, documenting the “dark side” of the evolution of the Romantic “ego” and the maturation and commercialization of the gothic as they appear in myriad “disturbed” characters, often written by authors popularly believed to be at least momentarily “insane,” if not pathologically aesthetically perverse. In addition to discovering the nature of the “madness” at work in each of these texts, we’ll seek insight into the secrets of how these works define “normalcy.”
European Literature and the Two World Wars (with study abroad component)
Twentieth-century Europe--its history, its culture, and its literature--provides indispensable lessons to American readers. Many UNCW students are unfamiliar with the European continent’s most passionate and articulate reactions to authoritarianism, war, holocaust, nationalism, and terrorism. Authors from Erich Maria Remarque to Heinrich Böll explore these controversial themes with uncanny beauty and sensitivity.
Our hybrid course includes a selection of representative European fiction from a century that includes two world wars fought on the continent. Our syllabus also includes the viewing of films, among them "Ashes and Diamonds" and "Memory of the Camps." During the month of April the course will meet in Europe, visiting the House of the History of the Federal Republic of German in Bonn, the National Socialist Documentation Center in the former Gestapo headquarters in Cologne, and several museums and memorials in Berlin and Prague as part of this short-term study abroad course.
You will earn University Studies credits in "Living in a Global Society" and "Explorations Beyond the Classroom." Enrollment is by permission of instructor.
Women’s Literary Traditions
“What can a woman do, all on her own, and unsupported?” Elizabeth Bennet asks her maid in Longbourn, a reimagining of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the servants. “Work,” her maid Sarah replies. “I can always work.”
In this course, we’ll read several classic texts—such as Pride and Prejudice—and think about their cultural and literary legacies. How are issues of class and race suppressed (or foregrounded) in each? We’ll also examine some unusual or avant-garde texts whose authors may not fit comfortably in what we might call “women’s literary traditions.” We’ll ask: whose traditions count as literary? What role can gender play in shaping these traditions? Throughout the semester, I’ll expect lively participation, careful reading, and a willingness to sharpen your critical writing skills.
American and British Poetry since 1945
From 1933 to 1957, Black Mountain College— located 18 miles outside Asheville, NC— served as the hub of experimental art and education in America. Great poets, painters, musicians, and dancers lived, loved, and labored in the mountains of Western North Carolina. This course is your chance to learn about our state’s great artistic legacy!
Students will be immersed in the poetry of Black Mountain College. We’ll read works by Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Ed Dorn, Jonathan Williams, MC Richards, Hilda Morley, Susan Weil, and Mary Parks Washington. However, we’ll also spend significant time studying visual art, music, textiles, ceramics, and dance. Part of our job will be to consider how artistic practices co-exist, nurture, and enhance each other. In this sense, the course is truly interdisciplinary. Finally, in the spirit of Black Mountain College, which emphasized an education grounded in experience, throughout the semester, students will have ample opportunity to complete “creative exercises” related to poetry, music, visual art, and dance. For example, as a class, we will organize a “happening,” i.e., a multi-tiered artistic event determined by chance operations; in addition, we’ll perform plays, create abstract art, and arrange collages.
Literature for Young Adults
Throughout the semester, we will examine a broad range of literature, including novels, memoirs, advice books, and graphic narratives about and for adolescents. We will read these texts sympathetically and critically, paying particular attention to the influence of youth culture and popular culture more broadly. What does it mean to be an adolescent in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? How (and why) are adolescents idealized/villainized/ portrayed “authentically” in YA texts and adult crossover texts—and what might “authentically” mean? We will pay particular attention to the ways YA literature confronts issues of otherness, constructs alternate worlds, and is marketed to its target audience. Please note that, while many future educators may take this class, this is a literature course rather than a methods class.
Reading Popular Culture
This course will examine the theories and practices involved in critiquing popular culture as an aesthetic and economic phenomenon. Paying attention to the popular in culture and the culture of the popular, we will be exploring a wide range of texts and media--short films, music, advertisements, and television--in an attempt to understand this thing we call culture as an integral part of our modern intellectual landscape. Please note that we will spend no small amount of time and effort working with the critical and cultural theory that must accompany any focused, scholarly discussion of culture.
Multicultural Young Adult Literature
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.
387-001 MW 3:30-4:45
387-002 MW 2:00-3:15
History of Literary Critical and Theory
In 1821, when Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote, “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” he impressed on his readers the crucial role of the arts in an ethical world. In this course, we will take up Shelley’s ideas as well as those of Plato, Aristotle, Wollstonecraft, Marx, Nietzsche, and Derrida, to name a few. We will delve into issues such as truth, power, identity, creativity, and aesthetics. We will ask our theorists and ourselves, what is the purpose of literature? What is the role of the poet/writer in creating a more ethical world? Why is critical awareness important equipment for living? Taking our cue from theorists like Plato and Emerson, who foreground conversation as the most vital approach to learning, we will make discussion the key mode for this course. Text: The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends, 3rd edition. Editor David H. Richter. Informal Responses; 2 essay tests: 1 final paper.
Rhetorical Theory since 1900
A course surveying the major rhetorical theorists of the past century within their historical moments. We’ll read both primary texts by those theorists and commentaries about them in order to better understand the relationship they espouse between discourse and the material world. We’ll consider rhetoric’s relationship to other fields of study as well as to the contemporary concerns of the day, such as politics, popular culture, science and technology, and so on. Required text:Covino and Jolliffe. Rhetoric: Concepts, Definitions, Boundaries.
Senior Seminar: Adventures in Shakespeare
In this course, we will examine intensively four of Shakespeare’s plays, chosen to represent different genres; their sources; and selected criticism about them. The plays are Henry IV, Part 1; Julius Caesar; King Lear; The Tempest. The procedure will be to read the text of a play first and to discuss it thoroughly in one class meeting. For the next two class meetings, we will read selections from the sources and criticism of that particular play; this will give us the opportunity to discuss some key issues regarding the play and should stimulate members of the class to generate ideas for their own research. We will explore themes like power and politics, love and sexuality, gender, folly, coming of age, and heroism. Oral presentations, class participation, short response papers, bibliography, critical research paper. Texts include: Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Ed. David Bevington. 7th ed.; Henry IV, Part 1. Ed. Gordon McMullan. 3rd ed. Norton Critical Edition; Julius Caesar. Ed. S. P. Cerasano. Norton Citical Edition; King Lear. Ed. Grace Ioppolo. Norton Critical Edition; The Tempest. Ed. Peter Hulme and William H. Sherman, Norton Critical Edition.
Senior Seminar: Hemingway, the Writer and the Myth
This seminar, intended as the capstone experience for English majors in literary studies, will examine the major works of Ernest Hemingway, his aesthetic, his milieu, and the myths that have arisen concerning him. In addition to a generous sampling of his short fiction and major novels, we will read a biography and articles about his works and times. Texts include: Complete Short Stories, The Sun Also Rises, A Moveable Feast, a Farewell to Arms, To Have and Have Not, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea.
Senior Seminar: Writing and Rhetoric: Professional Writing and Social Media
This course is a senior seminar on social media and professional writing. Students will explore the many applications of social media and their relationship to professional writing. Students will investigate how social media works for business, search engine optimization in web design, and how to use social media as an effective advertising tool. We will, in particular, explore Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While these tools have been mostly used as entertainment, social media now figures largely into how businesses market themselves online. Social media also contributes to where a site lands during a search for information. Understanding how search engine optimization fits into Google's SEO algorithm is imperative for successful websites of businesses. Professional writers are often the best candidates to manage and control social media for organizations, non-profits, and corporations. This course will look at social media from a writing and composing perspective.