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Department of English


Spring 2014


ENGL 202 Introduction to English Studies II (Dr. Samuel Smith)

This course provides instruction for writing using research.  Students will complete a research project on Shakespeare's Macbeth, to be presented in two formats (scholarly essay, webpage contribution).  The professor will model writing using research for each stage of the project, as well as mentoring students on their projects. Requirements: assigned readings, weekly writing assignments on the research process, an 8-10 page scholarly research paper, and a webpage linked to a larger group-developed website on Shakespeare's Macbeth for High School AP English classes. Students will also set up a personal website/online resume.  Course texts: Murfin and Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms (required for ENGL 201 as well), Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers (8th edition), and Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Pelican paperback edition).


ENGL 305 Writing: Persuasive Writing (Dr. David Dzaka)

This course offers students advanced work in persuasive writing, emphasizing the development of critical thinking and argumentative writing skills. Theory and practice go hand in hand throughout the course, in the hope of ensuring that students not only learn the relevant principles but actually make progress toward achieving mastery of the genre.  The textbook draws on writing samples from syndicated professional as well as highly-rated student writers. Near the end of the semester, we will learn and apply the principles of collaborative writing when we tackle our final writing assignment. Also counts as ENGL 360: Genre.



ENGL 305: Writing: Poetry in Form (Dr. Matthew Roth)

The last century of poetry has been synonymous with free verse—poetry written without regular meter or rhyme. Despite this reality, many poets still practice traditional form; indeed, there has been a revival of interest in form among younger poets of the new century, perhaps because, as Wordsworth once noted, we sometimes feel “the weight of too much liberty.” In this upper-level workshop, we will discover the delights and challenges of writing within the bounds of (mostly) traditional poetic form. We will take pleasure in the flexibility of iambic pentameter, engineer ingenious sonnets, and remix stanzas into surprising sestinas. Texts will include Timothy Steele’s book on meter, an anthology of formal poems, and several individual volumes of poems by contemporary formal poets. Also counts as ENGL 360: Genre.


ENGL 310: Shakespeare’s Tragedy (Dr. Samuel Smith)

This course examines Shakespeare’s major tragedies, considering his development of and contribution to the genre of dramatic tragedy. We will study eight of Shakespeare’s plays, paired to consider the nature and effects of tragedy: Macbeth with Richard III (tragedy and history), Hamlet with Troilus and Cressida (tragedy and satire), Othello with Much Ado About Nothing (tragedy and romantic comedy), and King Lear with The Winter’s Tale (tragedy and fairy tale). Requirements: TBD. Also counts as ENGL 360: Genre.


ENGL 340: Nabokov’s Lolita (Dr. Matthew Roth)

A whole course on one book??? Well, yes and no. It is true that the beating, still beating, heart of this course will be Vladimir Nabokov’s masterpiece, Lolita, which has come to be considered one of the best,  and certainly most controversial, American novels of the twentieth century—a book whose title character has escaped the bounds of the book and continues to persist as a cultural icon across the globe. But as much as this will be a course about Lolita, it will also be a course about how we read and how the novel (and its cantankerous author) resist and mislead us at every turn. We will model myriad approaches (historical, sociological, theoretical, cultural, textual, etc.) in order to understand how different modes of criticism reveal vastly different interpretations. We will also view two movie versions of the book, and we will read works by Nabokov and others that precede, and proceed from, Lolita. Texts will include The Annotated Lolita, The Enchanter, Reading Lolita in Tehran, and others. Also counts as ENGL 360: Genre.


ENGL 350: Postcolonial Literature (Dr. Larry Lake)

This course will examine literary expressions of colonial and postcolonial experiences. Careful attention will be paid to ethnographic, geographic, and historical modes of understanding the multi-layered effects of colonialism. Texts will be drawn from such places as Nigeria, Antigua, Ireland, India, Indonesia, Hawaii, and New Zealand, and will be discussed in relation to major themes in postcolonial studies including identity, power, privilege, resistance, hybridity, globalization and neo-colonialism. 


ENGL 370 Feminist Literature and Theory (Dr. McFarlane-Harris)

This interdisciplinary course will be a whirlwind tour of important feminist voices in Western thought, with particular focus on the U.S. context. These theorists subscribe to the idea that women and men should be equal in social, political, economic, familial, and religious spheres. In the first half of the course, The Essential Feminist Reader will be our guidebook, taking us through first-wave feminism (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony), second-wave feminism (Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Gloria Anzaldúa), and into the third wave (Rebecca Walker, Riot Grrrls). Spanning genres from political manifesto to poetry, autobiography to cultural criticism, we will read authors who have challenged the status quo through art and activism. The second half of the course will turn to American fiction, beginning with Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Finally, we will read Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, applying the critical vocabulary we have developed throughout the course and examining interpretive strategies common to feminist/gender criticism in literary studies. Perhaps you’ve heard Audre Lorde’s notion that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Come find out what other tools are available.




Why English?
Minnemingo Review
The Swinging Bridge
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