Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Department of English

 

Spring 2013

 

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

This course provides instruction for writing using research.  Students will complete a research project on Shakespeare's Hamlet, 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 centralized website on Shakespeare's Hamlet for High School AP English classes which we will build throughout the semester and then release for publication in late April/early May. Students will also set up a personal website/online resume.  Course texts: Murfin and Ray The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary TermsTurabian  A Manual for Writers, 7th ed, and MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition), and Shakespeare's Hamlet (any edition).

 

ENGL 203 Introduction to Creative Writing (January term, Dr. Walker)

This course is a multi-genre introduction to creative writing.  In general, the purpose of the course is two-fold: to examine the craft of writing across a broad spectrum, and to inspire students to produce satisfying creative works of their own.  In the end, students should feel that they are not only better writers but better readers, as well.  The course will be divided into two units: poetry and fiction.  Students will be asked to produce and to share with others work in both of these genres.  This course is a pre-requisite for all ENGL 305 Writing Workshop courses.

 

ENGL 230 Linguistics (Dr. Rohrbaugh)

An introduction to language and linguistics with an emphasis on tolls and methods for language study.

 

ENGL 305/360 Genre: Poetry Workshop, Open Form (Dr. Roth; counts as

ENGL 306 in the old Writing concentration curriculum)

This writing workshop will focus on poetry writing in open forms, often called free verse, with the goal of producing satisfying work grounded in an understanding of the open form tradition and its relationship to traditional formal verse.  Students will produce new work on a weekly basis while reading and writing about examples of the form.

 

ENGL 305/360 Genre: Fiction Writing Workshop (Dr. Lake: counts as ENGL 302 in the old Writing concentration curriculum)

This course will provide instruction, practice, and an audience for the writing of literary fiction, with the goal of mastering the basics before going on to various subgenres of fiction. Readings, assignments, discussions, editing sessions, and manuscript preparation assistance will help students develop understanding of conventional and contemporary practice in fiction writing, and useful skills, working habits, and attitudes for writers to possess. During the course, you will be expected to write an average of 10 pages of new drafts each week.  Ultimately, with the guidance of the professor and of other students, you will focus on longer story drafts. You will frequently read in-progress segments of your fiction in class, and will often share drafts with class members as email attachments for commentary and collaboration. Special encouragement will be given for pursuing publication. Required reading will include the story collection Catch Me When I Fall by Patricia Westerhoff  and stories from various years of  Best American Short Stories.  A subscription to the magazine Poets and Writers will also be required.

 

ENGL 305/360 Writing the Persuasive Essay (Dr.Dzaka; meets the ENGL 304

Advanced Writing Requirement for the old curriculum)

Introduction to and practice in advanced levels of expository writing, as well as focus on evaluation skills and the process of writing.  Emphasis will be on persuasion – writing for argument.

 

ENGL 310/360/370 Medieval Theater (Dr. Downing; counts as ENGL 349 in the old

curriculum)

Why is Charles Dickens called “The Man Who Invented Christmas”? When did the word “villain,” originally meaning “villager,” get its negative connotations? Why did ante-bellum Christians—in both the North and the South—consider Abolition “evil”? These and many more questions will be addressed in this class through the study of “semiotics”: the theory of signs. In order to assess how signs of truth have changed over the centuries, we will focus on plays written during the Medieval era, all of which are based on Bible stories and Saints’ lives, discussing why 10th through 15th century Christians interpreted Christian truth the way they did. Grading will be based on discussion, reading quizzes, two short papers (1-2 pgs) and a 5-7 page paper analyzing a film version of a passion play. Students, however, can choose to perform a scene from one of the plays as a substitute for any of the papers.

 

ENGL 340/360 Neo-Slave Narratives (Dr. McFarlane-Harris; counts as ENGL 356 in the old curriculum)

This course will focus on some of the most important “Neo-slave narratives,” novels by contemporary authors that grapple with the institution of American slavery, its aftermath, and its legacies. We will read: two Pulitzer Prize winners anchored in the historical record (Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Edward P. Jones’s The Known World); a science fiction writer’s vision where involuntary time travel forces a young black woman to contend with her white slaveholding ancestor (Octavia Butler’s Kindred); and one of the most twisted Southern gothics ever written (William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!). Before moving to these more recent works, we will view the HBO documentary Unchained Memories and read two “classic” antebellum slave narratives to get into the genre: Frederick Douglass’s Narrative and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Come indulge your interests in historiography, narrative theory, trauma studies, theology, American identity, and social constructions of power, gender, and race. Requirements: active participation in class discussions, two analytical essays, a group presentation on a film that deals with slavery (e.g., Glory, Gone With the Wind, Amistad, Roots), and a number of shorter writing assignments to demonstrate your engagement across the term.

 

ENGL 340/360 Contemporary American Poetry (Dr. Roth; counts as ENGL 354 in

the old curriculum)

This course will focus on poetry written by living American writers.  We will trace two strains of poetry in the contemporary poetry scene—the epic/narrative strain and the more dominant lyric strain—in order to understand how writers from various communities and backgrounds have used these flexible forms to achieve their ends.  Authors will include Galway Kinnell, Alice Notley, Gary Snyder, Lyn Lifshin, Kevin Young, and others.  Assignments will include short response papers, class presentations, and a long-form research project.

 

ENGL 360 Oral Literature (Dr. Corey, cross-listed as a Cross-Cultural: Kenya)

 

ENGL 370 Critical Theory (Dr. McFarlane-Harris; counts as

ENGL 394 in the old curriculum)

In this upper-division theory course, we will develop a critical vocabulary related to some of the key terms, practices, interpretive strategies, and debates that define the discipline of English. That is, we will examine schools of critical thought(e.g., formalism, psychoanalysis, cultural criticism, new historicism, deconstructionism, feminism, Marxism, reader-response theory) in relation to literary texts that comment on and intersect with one another (Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea, Polly Teale's play After Mrs Rochester, and a film adaptation of Jane Eyre). Requirements: Participation in class discussion is a vital component of the course, including one 20-minute small-group presentation on a critical movement. Short writing assignments will also facilitate engagement with primary texts and theoretical contexts. There will be a final exam and two analytical papers.

 

ENGL 407 Secondary English Curriculum and Instruction (Dr. Corey)

 

ENGL 496 Writing Seminar (Dr. Walker)

Senior capstone course for English majors with a writing concentration or Creative Writing minors. Exploration of the relationship of the Christian faith to the writer.  Preparation of a major project toward possible publication. 

facebook
Why English?
Minnemingo Review
The Swinging Bridge
Contact Us