Courses

English Studies Courses

By changing our department name to English Studies, we have signaled our continuing efforts to connect to some of the core curricular trends in our discipline: the emergence of cultural studies and its many affiliated fields such as film studies and gender studies, the inclusion of new textualities such as digital media and graphic novels, and a rejuvenated focus on rhetoric and composition. We plan to continue expanding into these fields and subjects, to complement and connect with our continued strengths in many other areas of English Studies including Shakespeare, Medieval Literature, African American literature, journalism, and secondary education.

Undergraduate Topic and Theme Course Descriptions

Fall 2017

  • Hispanic Literature and Culture - ENGL 2003 - Diego Ubiera

This course is a survey of major works and authors in their aesthetic, historical, and biographical contexts. We will explore cultural products from a broad range of genres in order to reflect upon key questions in Latin American Studies: modernism and modernity, citizenship and nationhood, revolution, dictatorship and post-dictatorship, migration and globalization. Our discussions will focus on works by writers such as Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, Alfonsina Storni, Delmira Agustini, Horacio Quiroga, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Alejo Carpentier, Mario Vargas Llosa, , Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Elena Poniatowska, Ana Lydia Vega, Roberto Bolaño, and others. Students will contribute oral and written assignments reflecting upon these works and will learn to think critically about Hispanic literature, history and politics.

  • Writing for Finance, Service, and Industry - ENGL 3005 - Heather Urbanski

This course will examine what makes writing for the financial services and accounting sectors distinct from other industries. Particular focus will be paid to the effect that the regulatory environment (for example, SEC regulations) and ethical considerations has on this discourse community. Students will practice adapting material for a variety of audiences using both text-based and visual communication strategies. No prior experience with accounting finance or statistical communication is required.

  • Black Feminist Discourse - ENGL 3008 - DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld
  • Major Authors: Mark Twain - ENGL 4000 - Benjamin Railton

Over the course of a 50-year career that made him the most famous author in America (a title he still likely holds), Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) wrote in a huge variety of genres: short stories and novels, children’s stories and dense historical fictions, silly humor and biting satires, autobiographies and political essays, travel writing and philosophical inquiries, and much more. In this course we’ll read widely and deeply across Twain’s career, seeking to learn more about the man and his identities, his time period and its histories, and their many contemporary connections and echoes.

  • Aesthetics and Stylistics of Tragedy  - ENGL 4400 - Chola Chisunka

This seminar grapples with the discourse of tragedy as an aesthetic vehicle in literature. It poses the question: what is the philosophical value of tragedy? The traditional answer is that it provides catharsis for the audience, who are gripped with pity and terror for the tragic hero’s fate. We will interrogate this answer with discussions based on readings of primary texts by writers such as William Shakespeare, August Wilson, Wole Soyinka, Thomas Hardy, etc. Our discussions will be complemented by critical scholarship on tragedy, such as Roger Fry’s “An Essay in Aesthetics;” Morris Weitz’s “The Role of Theory in Aesthetics”, and Susan Langer’s “The Dramatic Illusion;” This exploration of tragedy will hopefully help us understand not only the characters that populate the fictional world, but also our own hopes, impediments, and afflictions as human beings.

Spring 2017

  • Major Authors: Salmun Rushdie - ENGL 4000 - Irene Martyniuk
  • Seminar: Tolkien, Tradition, and Troll - ENGL 4400 - Kisha Tracy
  • Writing for Finance - ENGL 3005 - Heather Urbanski

This course will examine what makes writing for the financial services and accounting sectors distinct from other industries. Particular focus will be paid to the effect that the regulatory environment (for example, SEC regulations) and ethical considerations has on this discourse community. Students will practice adapting material for a variety of audiences using both text-based and visual communication strategies. No prior experience with accounting finance or statistical communication is required.

  • Paris: Absurd and Experimental - ENGL 3025 - Elise Takehana

Reason unraveled in Paris between the 1920s and 1960s and this course will focus on a string of literary movements that embraced the unconscious, absurd, and experimental. As we read, we will also look at related fields that our writers and poets pulled from including visual arts, music, cinema, and philosophy. The course will survey Dada, Surrealism, the Lost Generation, Nouveau Roman, New Wave cinema, Absurdism, Existentialism, Pataphysics, and the Oulipo.

Fall 2016

  • Major Authors: Anton Chekhov - ENGL 4000 - Joseph Moser

More than 110 years after his death, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov remains among the most influential short story authors in the world, as well as one of the world's most produced playwrights and an inspiration to many filmmakers. In this course students will explore Chekhov's fiction and drama in depth, as well as select film adaptations of his stories and plays and scholarly criticism focused on his work . We will strive to comprehend the art and legacy of one of the foremost humanist writers in all of literature. Students will hone their analytical and close reading skills by writing weekly short analysis papers, as well as a midterm paper and final project involving a paper and presentation.

  • Seminar: Analyzing 21st Century America - ENGL 4400 - Benjamin Railton

All too often, we struggle to turn the same analytical lenses we use on the past—its literature and culture, its histories and trends, its identities and communities—to our contemporary moment. In this course we'll do so head on, using an interdisciplinary American Studies perspective to engage with many aspects of our 21st century moment: from social and political trends such as #BlackLivesMatter and immigration debates to popular culture controversies over Iggy Azalea and Fresh Off the Boat, new literary voices like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Junot Díaz to vital issues such as climate change and the crisis in higher education.

In so doing, we'll be practicing a number of related skills: analyzing multimedia texts, through both a presentation and a short paper on a TV show of your choice; linking multiple primary and secondary texts and perspectives on issues through our in-class readings and conversations; contextualizing literary works to their moment through our short story readings; and developing an extended interdisciplinary analysis of a focal question in your seminar paper.

  • Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton - ENGL 4002 - Lisa Gim

Study of selected major works from three of England’s greatest Early Modern authors, William Shakespeare, John Donne and John Milton. These three well-known writers created some of the most beloved plays, love sonnets and poetry in all of literature. Their works occupy a central place in the canon of British Literature, and part of our study will be to examine why this is so

  • Genres, Forms and Themes: Researching for Creative Writers - ENGL 3026 - DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld

In this class, we will read and discuss historical and realistic fiction, persona poetry, and investigative creative nonfiction. We will learn about the different methodologies these writers and others use in getting to the true story in their genre, including Google, the library, and travel. We will then apply such research methods to create short creative pieces in each genre and to a final creative project in a genre of your choice.

  • Style Studio - ENGL 3002 - Elise Takehana

This studio course will focus on understanding style and rhetorical devices to copy models and invent unique styles. Because we use writing so often and most frequently in casual and pragmatic ways, it is easy to forget its flexibility as a medium. Our goal is to grasp language’s agility by playing with words. We will analyze written texts closely for their rhetorical and stylistic qualities, paying attention to the relationship between style and content. We’ll also exercise our skills in replicating and inventing multiple and diverse stylistic patterns.

Graduate Topics Courses

SUMMER I 2016

  • Teaching Through Dialogue - ENGL 9032 - Wendy Keyser

Teachers will deepen their understanding of the theory and practice of teaching through dialogue, including peer-to-peer talk, small group learning, and whole group discussions; as well as dialogue with texts, with the community, and with society. Teachers will investigate practices which stimulate and sustain lively conversations, in which students pose problems and co-construct meaning.

Archive of Courses

Undergraduate

GENRES, FORMS, AND THEMES IN CREATIVE WRITING

  • Culture of Science Writing - Heather Urbanski
  • Environmental Writing - Steve Edwards

TOPICS

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel - ENGL 3026 - Heather Urbanski
  • Environmental Writing - English 3061 - Steve Edwards
  • Experimental Writing - ENGL 3062 - Elise Takehana
  • Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy: A Community Approach - ENGL 3063 - Heather Urbanski
  • Online Activism - ENGL 3001 - Doris Schmidt

SEMINAR - ENGL 4400

  • Texts of World War I - Irene Martyniuk
  • "Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know": Byron and the Byronic Hero - Frank Mabee
  • Aesthetic Literature: Tragedy and Comedy - Chola Chisunka
  • Early Modern Masters: Shakespeare, Donne, & Milton - Lisa Gim
  • Colonial & Post-Colonial Literature - Aruna Krishnamurthy
  • Women in World Cinema - Joe Moser
  • Early American Literature - Michael Hoberman
  • Choice and Voice: Memoirs of Crisis - Judy Budz

MAJOR AUTHORS - ENGL 4000

  • Philip Roth - Michael Hoberman
  • Bronte Sisters - Aruna Krishnamurthy
  • Chaucer - Kisha Tracy
  • Toni Morrison - Chola Chisunka
  • W.E.B. DuBois - Benjamin Railton
  • Virginia Woolf - Irene Martyniuk
  • Philip Roth - Michael Hoberman

Graduate

  • Genres, Adaptation, and Hybridity - ENGL 9017 - Elise Takehana
  • American Modernism - ENGL 9038 - Michael Hoberman
  • Chaucer - ENGL 9010 - Kisha Tracy
  • American Art and Literature 1800-1860 - ENGL 9046 - Michael Hoberman