Department of English

Rebecca Skloot, award-winning author who has received wide acclaim for her work as a science and medical writer in Columbia Journalism Review; Discover; The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Prevention; among other publications, spoke in March at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium. Skloot's bestselling first book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. UNCW Photo by Jamie Moncrief

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

SUMMER I 2017

ENG 204-800

ENG 204-801

Introduction to Professional Writing

Anthony Atkins

Online

The course will introduce students to strands of Professional Writing like document design, resume writing, and using multimedia. Students will also review and evaluate a number of online and traditional texts ranging from websites to professional reports. While students will work with traditional documents, they will also address multimedia's impact on professional writing. This course also requires a Service/Applied Learning component. This means students will work with a client in the community to apply what they learn in the course. Students should have access to the Internet and Blackboard. Students should have basic technology skills (adept with email, attachments, blackboard, etc.).
There are no required face-to-face meetings.

 

ENG 204-804

ENG 204-807

Introduction to Professional Writing

Lance Cummings

Online

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

 

ENG 210-800

ENG 210-801

Mythology

Alex Porco

Online

In this course, students will become familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse mythologies and learn different approaches to the study of myths. They will also explore how mythological narratives affect our own culture and can inform our reading of literature. Students will spend time considering the recent cultural interest in superheroes (e.g., why are "origin stories" so important in comic book mythology?); the presence of Trickster and Badman figures in rap music and hip-hop culture (e.g., from N.W.A. to the Notorious B.I.G.); and, especially, the ways in which contemporary writers revise and rewrite traditional myths. Finally, students will have the opportunity to consider the presence of myth in contemporary cinema.

This is a fully online course. Assignments may include weekly discussion board participation, short quizzes, and writing activities (formal and informal).

 

ENG 211-001 | MTWR 10:15–12:20

British Literature to 1800

Mike Wentworth

MO 104

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.

 

ENG 225-001 | MTWR 10:15–12:20

World Literature to 1600

John Walker

MO 106

We will range widely in time and geographical location to encounter a representative sampling of the rich variety in world literature during a period of over 4000 years. Readings will include the Gilgamesh epic; selections from the Hebrew Bible and ancient Egyptian poetry; selections from Homer (Iliad and/or Odyssey); Oedipus the King by Sophocles; selections from ancient Chinese Literature (The Classic of Poetry and the Analects of Confucius); selections from ancient India (the Bhagavad-Gita); selections from Roman poetry (Catullus, Ovid, and perhaps Virgil); selections from the Christian Bible; selections from the Qur’an; Dante’s Inferno. Reading quizzes; class participation; two short written responses; midterm and final tests. Text: The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Ed. Martin Puchner. Vol. 1. Shorter 3rd ed. Norton, 2013. 978-0-393-91960-8.

ENG 230-801

Women in Literature

Katie Peel

Online

In English 230 we will examine literary representations of women by authors who at some point 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.

 

ENG 233-001 | MTWR 8:00–10:05

The Bible as Literature

John Walker

MO 106

This course examines the Bible as a literary work, or, more accurately, as a collection of literary works. Through readings in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha, we will consider matters such as genre (for example, narrative poetry, history, letter, parable); style (for example, diction, metaphor, simile, symbol); historical and geographical context, authors, and organization; literary and cultural influences on the Bible; and the canon. Reading quizzes; two short responses midterm and final tests; oral participation. It is absolutely essential that everyone who enrolls in the course acquire both of the assigned texts. The only acceptable version of the Bible for class use is The New Jerusalem Bible (the hardback edition with full footnotes—not the paperback version and not any other Bible). Texts: Gabel et al., The Bible as Literature, 5th ed., 978-0-19-517907-1; Wansborough, ed., The New Jerusalem Bible, 0-385-14264-1.

ENG 316-001 | MW online; TR 2:45–4:50

Analyzing Style

Jennifer Kontny

MO 204

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

 

English 325-001 | MW 2:45–4:50; TR online

Studies in Sociolinguistics

Jennifer Kontny

MO 106

How are the ways we talk to one another related to our gender, our race, and our social class? 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 various ways that language indexes identity 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 research project that reflects careful and sustained thinking in the area of sociolinguistics.

ENG 381-001| MW 10:15–12:20; TR online

Literature for Young Adults

Victor Malo-Juvera

MO 205

There is no better time to read young adult literature than the summer and this course will provide you with the best beach reading available: the "canon" of young adult literature. In this course we will read seminal titles as well as some modern "classics," and will interrogate texts from various critical lenses discussing issues such as censorship, race, gender, class, and sexual orientation and identity.

ENG 385-001 | TR 10:15–12:20; MW online

Multicultural Young Adult Literature

Victor Malo-Juvera

MO 205

This course studies a wide variety of multicultural literature written for and about adolescents from various populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in the United States. In addition to studying texts that reflect the ever changing population of American adolescents, we will explore themes and issues such as censorship, race, gender, class, immigration status, war, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. This course satisfies University Study Living in a Diverse Nation requirement.


Summer II 2017

ENG 204-802

Introduction to Professional Writing

Anirban Ray

Online

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 emphasizes 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.

ENG 205-001 | MTWR 10:15–12:20

Introduction to Literary Studies

Michelle Britt

MO 208

The UNCW course catalogue cites ENG 205 as “An introduction to literary studies in which students develop their knowledge of how to interpret and write about literature.”  This course will approach this mission through close readings, in depth class discussions, and research that is focused on the theories and criticisms associated with literature.   You will enhance your interpretative and analysis skills as well as become more familiar with the engaging elements of scholarly discussions in the field of English.

ENG 210-802

ENG 210-803

Mythology

Ashley Bissette Sumerel

Online

In this course, students will become familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology. In addition to critical analysis of the myths, students will learn different approaches to the study of mythology. They will also 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 board participation, writing activities, quizzes, essays, and a final exam.

ENG 223-001 |MTWR 10:15–12:20

American Literature to 1870

Mike Wentworth

MO 104

As a course in American literature from the sixteenth century through 1870, we will obviously be concerned with a number of major early American authors, with many of whom you may already be familiar.  Many of you, for example, have had previous contact with Ben Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman.  But if you haven’t, don’t panic; for, I can assure you, you will have by the end of our course.  On the other hand, we will be reading a number of writers with whom you may be unfamiliar.  I have taken special care, for example, to include writings outside the traditional social and cultural mainstream such as selections from Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and selections from Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.

Since literature doesn’t simply originate in a vacuum, we will also be concerned with the general intellectual and historical context for the assigned readings and will be similarly concerned with recurring emphases, ideas, and topical issues—the primacy of practical experience and observation over theory, America as a nation with a special destiny, cultural pluralism, the idea of the frontier, and the sense that the American character is something unique, to name a few.

Finally, it’s easy to overlook the most obvious questions, the most notable of which, in regard to this particular course, might be stated any number of ways: “What’s so ‘American’ about American literature?” “When did an authentic American literature actually begin, and what were the conditions that contributed to the emergence and development of a distinctively national literature?”  We will hopefully negotiate and come to terms with such questions throughout our course.

Though the focus of the course should be self-evident on the basis of the course title itself, we will be concerned with establishing possible complementary relations between our assigned readings and other works of literature you have read, either independently or in previous courses; the current arena of local, national, and international affairs; and other academic courses you have taken—e.g., American history, American geography, psychology, philosophy and religion, sociology, anthropology—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.

 

ENG 227-001 | 12:30–2:35

World Anglophone Literatures

Michelle Britt

MO 106

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. Counts towards Writing Intensive, Living in a Global Society & Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives.

ENG 303-801

Reading and Writing Arguments

Nick Crawford

Online

ENG 303 introduces you to argumentation, or persuasion through an appeal to reason. You will read and analyze the persuasiveness of others’ arguments. You will write arguments of your own. To those ends, you will read about and practice working with some important components of effective argumentation. This includes collaborating with your classmates to deepen your understanding those components. Since this is an online class, regular (i.e., daily) Internet access and basic Blackboard competency are required. 

ENG 306-001| MTWR 12:30–2:35

Essay Writing

Hannah Abrams

MO 204

“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 

Students in this course will explore the compelling form of the familiar essay. Reading may include selections from The Art of the Personal Essay, Best American Essays, The Seneca Review, and The Artful Edit. Expect writers to range from George Orwell to Cheryl Strayed, subject matter to travel from the death of a moth to a man that works as a Macy’s Christmas elf, and style to encompass polemics as well as braided lyrics. Dynamic discussions of the texts will not only generate a shared critical lexicon but also shape us into writers who can, as Frost once said, “trip readers into the boundless.” Workshops and intense revision will yield deliberate, intentional work and marketable editing skills.

 “There [is] nowhere to go but everywhere, keep on rolling under the stars.” —Kerouac


ENG 312-001

Writing for Business

Anirban Ray

Online

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, and blogs for business
  • Strategic: writing that utilizes various organizational techniques in the writing process

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

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