Graduate Level Course Descriptions: Spring 2014

4016 ENGL 504-01 Advanced Creative Writing II-Poetry: TTh 4:00 – 5:15PM (Professor Skinner)


This is a workshop‑style course in the writing of original poetry. While class sessions are used  primarily to discuss work written by class members, some classes will focus on discussion of contemporary published work, and other issues relevant to creative writing.


Through the work of the course students will: build a vocabulary with which to discuss contemporary poetry; explore in some depth a number of contemporary published works, and discern their strengths and weaknesses with increasing insight and clarity; learn to recognize the difference between levels of precision in language; learn something of the historical context for contemporary poetry; become familiar with some of the basics of prosody; and learn to profitably apply all of the foregoing to the improvement and growth of their own original writing, and that of their peers.


3363 ENGL 506-01 Teaching of Writing: TTh 1:00 – 2:15PM (Dr. Schneider)

English 506 is an introduction to the theory, and practices that inform the teaching of writing. While we’ll initially look at theories of what writing (and the teaching of writing) is, we’ll also look at how theory governs pedagogical practice, and vice versa; to that end, we’ll examine both the pedagogical approaches that govern the teaching of writing, and the various practical activities—curriculum design, assignment design and sequencing, classroom activities and management, formative and summative assessment—we might use to ground and elaborate those approaches in the classroom.


5386 ENGL 510-01 MA Grad Coop Internship (Dr. Kopelson)

Note: This section requires permission from the instructor

An individually arranged semester-long project that combines English Studies with workplace-based goals and responsibilities. The program does not guarantee or facilitate internship placement. Permission of the DGS required.


8218 ENGL 515-01 Introduction to Old English: MWF 12:00-12:50PM (Dr. Rabin)

This course is designed to introduce students to the skills, challenges, and many pleasures involved in studying Old English language and literature.  As such, we will focus of the acquisition of those language skills needed to encounter pre-Conquest texts in the original Old English.  In addition to such linguistic concerns, we will also survey Anglo-Saxon history and culture, taking into account the historical record, archaeology, manuscript construction and illumination, and the growth of Anglo-Saxon studies as an academic discipline.  Readings will cover the entire range of Old English texts, including battle poems, saints' lives, elegies, sermons, epics, viking texts, and (of course!) monster narratives.


4927 ENGL 518-01 Foundations of Language: TTh 1:00-2:15PM (Dr. Patton)

Note: This is a cross-listed course.

Pre-requisite: ENGL 102 or 105; junior standing. Note: Cross-listed with ENGL 518. A survey of both the theoretical and applied aspects of Linguistics. This is not an in-depth exploration of single-topic in the field of Linguistics. This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the discipline of linguistics. The course is, simply put, a graduate level introductory linguistics course. NOTE: If you have taken LING/ENGL 325, this may not be the course for you! Please see the instructor to determine the suitability of this course to fit your particular needs if you are an undergraduate student and/or you have recently taken LING/ENGL 325. This course will introduce students to aspects of theoretical (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) linguistics and explore various aspects of applied linguistics. This course will also encourage graduate students to think critically about language and its use.


4929 ENGL 522-01 Structure of Modern English: TTh 9:30-10:45AM (Dr. Stewart Jr.)

Note: This is a cross-listed course.
This course is designed as a linguistic exploration of the various forms and combinations of words, phrases,
and sentences that contemporary speakers of English typically recognize as belonging to that language, i.e.

To help in this exploration, students will:

  • examine both popular and technical conceptions of “grammar”
  • examine that variety of English referred to as Standard American English (SAE)
  • consider some of the ways in which one can vary from SAE and still be speaking English
  • consider the role of situation, audience, etc., in determining “appropriate use”
  • acquire terminology and methods that permit clear description of English grammar
  • collect real-life examples of actual English usage for detailed description
  • identify and monitor trends in English usage to evaluate “changes in progress”


5800 ENGL 523-01 History of the English Language: TTh 2:30-3:45PM (Dr. Stewart Jr.)

Note: This is a cross-listed course.

This course traces the development of English from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) origins, through the Middle English (e.g., Chaucer) and Early Modern English (e.g., Shakespeare) periods, to Present-Day English. The course has a double emphasis:

  • internal history (diachronic change), or how grammar and vocabulary change with use over time and space, and
  • external history (language and dialect contact), including influences such as the 9th century settlement of Vikings in Britain and the 11th century Norman-French conquest of Britain.

Because English hasn’t been “perfected” (whatever that would mean), it hasn’t stopped changing and it won’t, as long as people use it as a living language. In order to speculate as to how English might change in the future, this course will also consider regional dialects, and both current and post-colonial English vernaculars
around the world.

Successful completion of this course will provide the student with:

  • greater appreciation for the fluidity of language usage,
  • broader understanding of the socio-political contexts for language change, and
  • increased ability to describe language phenomena objectively.


6570 ENGL 535-1 Teaching English as a Foreign Lanugage: Th 4:00-6:45PM (Dr. Patton)

Note: This is a cross-listed course.

Pre-requisite: ENGL 325/518 or LING 325/518; junior standing. Note: Cross-listed with ENGL 535. This course is an applied linguistic course that explores the theoretical and practical construct from which to view the discipline of Teaching of English as a Foreign Language. It is, from a theoretical standpoint, the intersection between the fields of WorldEnglishes and Teaching English as a Second Language. From a practical perspective, this course is designed for any student interested in second language learning and more specifically, for those who are particularly interested in teaching English overseas. While theoretically grounded, the course will provide practical applications and projects for students planning on Teaching English as a Foreign Language.


6551 ENGL 544-01 Studies in REST& 18th Century British Literature: Th 11:00-12:15PM (Dr. Ridley)

Those who work in the field of eighteenth-century studies talk of a “long eighteenth century” that goes from 1660 to 1830. (We can discuss the reasons for this in class.) Clearly it would be difficult to cover 170 years in any depth, so the subtitle, “Redrawing the Known World,” hints that we are going to find a way of narrowing class focus to look at discoveries made during the period that changed forever people’s view of their world and of mankind’s place in it. Some of those discoveries were geographical, for the period includes the European discovery and settlement of Australia. The class will read the convict narrative written by the English “prince of pickpockets,” George Barrington, about his transportation to Australia, and his views of an unfamiliar land and its aboriginal people (George Barrington, The Impartial and Circumstantial Narrative of the Present State of Botany Bay, in New South Wales, c.1793.) We will contrast his experience with those of gentlemen scientists trying to understand the flora and fauna of the new continent. A general late eighteenth century disdain for Australia will be contrasted with fascination expressed about Tahiti – discovered by Europeans only in 1767, after which the island and its peoples become the subject of a wealth of visual and verbal commentary, both fictional and non-fictional. As the map of the globe crystallized to its present form, the era was also one in which the popularization of the microscope and telescope among the educated classes led to literary investigations of worlds in miniature and those imagined while studying the heavens. The class will consider Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World (1666) about an imaginary journey to the North Pole and beyond, and Aphra Behn’s A Discovery of New Worlds (1688), in which Behn argues for the inclusion of women in scientific pursuits. In addition to these unfamiliar texts, we will also consider some better known explorations of eighteenth century encounters with unfamiliar people and places, such as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719). By the end of the course, we will have seen how the map of the world was redrawn during the long eighteenth century, and how new discoveries changed British literature’s accounts of that world. Please note that it is impossible to study the literature of this period without understanding something of the period’s history: for the purposes of this course, that history will include an exploration of science and imperial politics.


8097 ENGL 545-01 Studies in British Literature Romantic: TTh 11:00-11:50 (Dr. Hadley)

This course will address select materials from revolutionary writings in England of the 1790s and following. A period of agitation and (less often) reform in England, these years witnessed the centenary of England’s Glorious Revolution, the rise of British Colonialism, the outbreak of war in France, the rise of rational (religious) dissent over the Test and Corporation Acts, the first modern manifesto on woman’s rights, the outbreak of war with France, the rise of (liberal Whig) parliamentary opposition to Pitt’s newly-instituted repressive laws, and the increasing polarization of literature and politics toward the end of the century. This course will look at texts representing that socio-political context--including the “pamphlet wars” of the early years of the 1790s--and at the creative response to this context. Specific topics may include: the question of American colonies, the politics of gender, the intimate connection between religious and political issues, and the increasingly noted link between imaginative power and reactionary politics.

We will address texts produced in England during the period 1780-1830, considering them both as reflecting their socio-historical context, and as constructed by our own, late twentieth-century re-visionary readings. In particular, we will address the expanding canon, engaging not only poetry traditionally recognized as "Romantic," but also a variety of other discourses and genres of the period: novels, essays, journal-writings, political pamphlets, and poetry. What, we shall ask, is the effect of the explosive cultural context--explosive in terms of gender, politics and aesthetics--on the writings of this period?  What, if anything, renders these writings distinctively "Romantic"? This course will consider as much the specifically textual as it will the generally socio-historical.  To this end, students are expected to bring the assigned texts to class each day to follow and participate in the presentation of the materials. Through readings, discussions, quizzes, and essays, students in this course should gain not only a working familiarity with course materials, but equally or more importantly, the ability to think through and apply concepts both originally and meaningfully.


8085 ENGL 551-01 Victorian Travel Narratives: TTh 9:30-10:45AM (Dr. Rosner)

We will discuss several non-fiction Victorian travel/exploration stories in order to discover how they reflect some of the values and rhetoric of the Victorians.  With that information in mind, we will discuss several fictional texts of Victorian travel/exploration.

Tentative texts

Nonfiction:  Livingstone’s Missionary Travels, M. Kinglsey’s Travels in West Africa, M. Sheldon’s An African Expedition

Fiction:  Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mine, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, some short stories, and possibly Chatwin’s 1980 Viceroy of Ouidah.

Expect reading quizzes, written homework, participation in class and in the discussion list, and critical reading of several academic essays.  You will also have to write several short papers.

Any graduate students enrolled will be responsible for one long paper as well as for teaching a class.


8086 ENGL 552-01 Fictions of the Undead: MWF 12:00-12:50PM (Dr. Griffin)

The Dead were restless in the nineteenth-century, returning in the forms of ghosts, vampires, and zombies. This class will study a range of their fictional appearances, analyzing them as literary texts, studying their illustrations (how do you draw a ghost?), and investigating the reactions of nineteenth-century readers. We will also explore the “cultural work” these narratives perform: what historical, economic, and cultural events made the Victorians such skillful inventors and avid consumers of ghosts?  Possible readings include fictions by Ambrose Bierce, Charles W. Chesnutt, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Henry James, M.R James, Rudyard Kipling, Sheridan Le Fanu, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and others.


8087 ENGL 552-02 Critical and Creative Thinking: T 4:00-6:45PM (Dr. Naslund)

This course emphasizes the interrelatedness of critical and creative work in literary studies. It provides the opportunity for students to focus on either their critical or creative writing, or both, and to apply their skills to any form of literary writing: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children and young adults, play writing, critical essays, screenwriting. Most sessions begin with an hour long formal lecture on some technical aspect of both reading and writing.(For example, an early lecture focuses on the word; the next lecture is on the sentence; a later lecture is titled "The Dream Element in Literature and Writing.")Following the lecture, in-class exercises utilize the concepts presented in the lecture. A third segment of the class period, about half an hour, features light refreshments and conversation--a sort of stand-up, non-alcoholic, move-about cocktail party in the classroom. These informal conversation will focus on pre-assigned literary texts, starting with short works (short poems) and gradually moving into longer genres. Sometimes the cocktail conversations will focus on short, analytic or creative writing by class members. Some entire class sessions will be devoted to workshop-style discussions of critical or creative writing by class members, depending on what kind of work the individual wants to do. Reading includes a wide selection of poems and short stories, made available as PDF files, and longer works such as the children's classic The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder; the novel Howards End by E.M. Forster and the script of the screenplay based on the novel; Arthur Miller's play The Crucible; the Greek tragedy-trilogy, the Orestia, by Aeschylus; Michael Ondaatje's contemporary novel The English Patient and the film based on his novel, etc. Students will write a couple of short creative works or critical papers (5-8 pages) and a longer work (10-15 pages) in lieu of a final exam, due a couple of weeks before the end of the semester, to be revised, and returned to the instructor on the last day of class. Along with a conscientious effort toward not  overworking the student, the course goal is to create an experience both intellectually stimulating and emotional supportive.

ENGL 554-01 Women’s Personal Narratives: W 4:30 – 7:15PM (Dr. J. Griffin)

*This is a cross listed course.

Women’s Personal Narratives (Spring 2014) will explore women’s rhetorical constructions of agency and subjectivity at the intersection of gender and traditionally androcentric institutions such as: education, military culture, work, politics, religion, citizenship, law, and medicine. While we may not cover all of these intersections in the course readings, we will employ tools of analysis that can apply to all. Those tools will allow students to engage in independent research projects across any of these intersections. We will confine ourselves to narratives of self (autobiography, memoir, letters, diaries) written by women rather than about them, and we will interrogate the nuances of this distinction. Course materials will pull from both nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers as well as from contemporary theory in self-narrative and women’s rhetoric.


6553 ENGL 564-01 Moby Dick as Anthology: MW 2:00-3:15PM (Professor Petrosino)

*Pre-requisites: ENGL 102 or 105; junior standing

In this course, we will read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick as an anthology of creative forms: poetry, the essay, drama, fiction, etc., taking Melville’s eclectic opus as a kind of instruction manual for how writers may unfold a single obsession over multiple literary genres. At the start of the semester, students will identify a personally-relevant project topic to explore, and they will generate original writing on that topic, inspired by their own “white whale,” in at least three of the literary genres that Melville deploys in _Moby Dick_. Class time will be divided between seminar-style discussions about the Melville text and writing activities or workshops of manuscripts-in-progress. Students enrolling in this course should be interested in creative writing and familiar with the basic practice of moving a piece through multiple revisions. The multi-genre writings produced by students will be collected as a final portfolio at the end of the semester.


7754 ENGL 570-01: Language and Social Identity: W 4:00-6:45PM (Dr. Stewart Jr.)

Note: This is a cross-listed course

Embarking on a study of language and social identity requires us to consider carefully our definitions of both of these concepts in their own right, and also to attempt to discern the ways and means by which each is used to create and contest the other.

It is a fundamental assumption in linguistics that any natural human language system is, if taken on its own terms, the equal of any other such system.

It is clear, however, from human history –ranging from colonial experiences to global media production and consumption to our day-to-day and face-to-face personal interactions– that no two languages (or even two varieties of a single language) stand on truly equal footing.

In this course, we will explore:

  • the social structures that guide language socialization (e.g., caretaker speech or “motherese”, classroom discourse, language in entertainment intended for children);
  • the social structures that discipline language difference (e.g., stereotyping, official language rules and laws, provision of interpretation and translation services); and
  • the dimensions available in the structure of languages that can be used to indicate similarity to and difference from others (e.g., accent, slang, politeness, code-switching).

Discussion and examples will relate primarily to the use of English in the US, but other languages and communities are both relevant and welcome in the conversation and in student research.


4017 ENGL 601-75 Introduction to English Studies: T 7:00-9:45 (Dr. Byers)

Note: This section requires permission from the instructor


3364 ENGL 607-01 Creative Writing II: W 4:00-6:45PM (Professor Petrosino)

This graduate-level workshop is for writers of poetry, fiction, and drama. Because this is an advanced course, I expect students to demonstrate a working knowledge of the basic literary terms appropriate to each genre. This workshop-style course invites students to continue developing their own writing practices, while adding new compositional and critical techniques to their repertoires. We’ll devote most class sessions to reviewing peer-generated works-in-progress, but we’ll also discuss some published texts in each genre and take time to explore other relevant elements of the creative process. Students should be prepared to participate energetically in group critique sessions (i.e., “workshop”) in addition to polishing their own writing. Students will assemble a portfolio (containing 30-60 pages of prose/drama OR 20-30 pages of poetry OR some combination of these) at semester’s end. Each student will also write significant responses to each peer manuscript and compose 4 brief responses to selected published pieces. The final grade will be calculated based on the above items, plus attendance and participation.


5387 ENGL 610-01 PhD Level Coop Internship (Dr. Kopelson)

Note: This section requires permission from the instructor.

An individually arranged semester-long project that combines doctoral work in Rhetoric and Composition with workplace goals and responsibilities. The internship project must relate directly to the student’s long-term academic and professional goals. The program does not guarantee or facilitate internship placement. Permission of the DGS required.


3366 ENGL 615 Thesis Guidance (Dr. Kopelson)

Note: This section requires permission from the instructor.


8099 ENGL 631-01 Cash, Monsters, and the City in Performance (1598-1625) T 4:00-6:45PM (Dr. Stanev)

This course will focus upon a complex and intriguing set of relationships between stage, street, performance, and ideas of economic migration, capital enterprises, credit, aliens and alienation, fashion, expression, transgender identities, anatomies, monstrosity, parody, and sexuality. The main questions that we will pursue address the ways in which drama in the age of Shakespeare negotiated specific forms of metropolitan identity that often opposed domestic to foreign, familiar to exotic, native to accented, and proper to monstrous, satirically depicting the urban landscape in fluid, almost unfamiliar terms, unleashed by the sweeping currents of foreign labor, proto-capitalism, consumerism, and the disintegration of stable social markers of self, gender, and status. The learning outcomes of this class will aim to generate: 1) knowledge of the rapid development of urban life under Queen Elizabeth I and her successor King James Stuart, as well as enhanced understanding of the material and cultural conditions of play-acting and play-going in the English capital around 1600; 2) awareness of the new representation of the city on stage, polarized between civic virtue and the “monstrous” menace of alien enterprises, affecting space and social and gender structures and hierarchies; 3) appreciation for a vibrant, rich, and humorous body of works that created distinct themes and dramatic techniques, and focused satirically on the complex encounters late Elizabethans and early Jacobeans enjoyed in the metropolitan terrain.


6559 ENGL 654-01 Poco Novels & Country Modernities: T 1:00-3:45PM (Dr. Willey)

Modernity, Counter-modernities, and the State in Postcolonial Fiction

In this seminar we will be investigating how the rise of nation states in the soil of the former colonial empires raises profound questions about the role of the state in ushering in modernity.  How does modernity become redefined in the contexts of the postcolonial world and how does this change its relation to the nation or the state?  Through readings in theories of nationalism, modernity, and their nexus in the postcolonial cultural sphere, we will generate a vocabulary for the key tensions mapped by the novels we will read.  We will turn to novels, from India/Pakistan, the Caribbean, and West Africa to explore how the promises of the nation state and modernity were confounded and confused, and ultimately challenged by cultural forms of contestation, compromise, accommodation and appropriation.


8088 ENGL 660-01 African American Literature: Th 4:00-6:45PM (Dr. Anderson)

In this course, we will examine African American literature in a global context, discussing ways that selected authors write about an increasingly globalized world, and conceive of history, culture, social issues, and audiences beyond national boundaries. We will read a wide range of literature across four centuries, including poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, from Phillis Wheatley writing for a transatlantic audience, to contemporary texts. Inevitably, we will discuss such topics as diaspora, Pan-Africanism, and the experience of travel. Writers may include Wheatley, Equiano, Douglass, Johnson, Du Bois, Larsen, Hughes, Hansberry, Baldwin, Morrison, Reed, and Nelson.


8089 ENGL670-01 Composition Theory and Practice: W 7:00-9:45PM (Dr. Kopelson)

*This course requires permission from the instructor

Composition Studies and the Question of Disciplinarity

English 670 attempts a broad survey of (r)evolutions in “composition theory” from our field’s inception as an academic discipline to present. However, a significant sub-question that drives this iteration of the course is, what have been Composition Studies’ (or Rhetoric and Composition’s or Writing Studies . . .) evolving conceptions of itself as an academic discipline? That is, what have we seen/do we see as its/our purview, goals, and responsibilities? Put still another way, a question that drives this course might be, “who have we been and where are (or might, or should) we (be) going now?” Oh, and who is the “we?” By the conclusion of the course, you should be developing some inconclusive answers to those large questions.

More concretely, students of this course should expect to become familiar with some central debates or long-running conversations in composition studies and to demonstrate the ability to make connections across and synthesize these debates/conversations, as well as to take and refine positions in relation to them, in both discussion and in writing.

Course requirements include but are not limited to: rigorous class participation, weekly written responses to reading, and a “keyword” essay on a term of your choice (as long as it’s a key term for the field).

The main course text is Villanueva, Victor, and Kristin Arola, eds. Cross-Talk in Comp Theory. 3rd edition. NCTE, 2011.

You should also purchase Crowley, Sharon. Composition in the University: Historical and Polemical Essays. U of Pitt P, 1998.

The remainder of course readings will be posted posted to Blackboard.


8090 ENGL 672-01 History of Rhetoric II: CANCELLED


8090 ENGL 674-75 Interdisciplinary Rhetoric and Composition: M 7:00-9:45PM (Dr. Horner)

Writing, Language, Cognition, and Culture in Curriculum Design: Histories, Theories, Practices

We’ll examine the relationship of different theories of language, writing and reading, literacy development, culture, and cognition in the design of undergraduate writing curricula (assignments, courses, and programs of courses): different arguments for why we might give the kinds of writing and reading we assign and in a particular order in individual courses, and the relationship of individual courses to one another: why college students might be expected or even required to take such courses and sequences of such courses in writing.

While we’ll devote some of our time to familiarizing ourselves with existing approaches to the design of writing curricula, we’ll be focusing especially on ways to design college writing curricula in light of new, counter-monolingual approaches to language and language relations—signaled by such terms as translinguality and plurilinguality—and the increasing inadequacy of traditional distinctions between “ESL,” “EFL,” and “native English speaking” students to represent the language resources, needs, and interests of college writing students and faculty. I anticipate bringing one visiting scholar to the seminar to address ways of teaching against monolingualism.

For the seminar itself, each seminar member will draft and revise a complete sequence of assignments for one course in writing and reading as well as a seminar paper explaining the basis for that sequence.  One long term possible consequence of our work will be one or more contributions to a book project gathering writing curricula exploring ways to respond to these new approaches to language, language relations, and the students and faculty in college writing courses.

6786 ENGL 681-01 Gender and Science Fiction: MW 3:00-4:15PM (Dr. Heinecken)

*This course requires permission from the instructor

This class will examine women’s contributions to the science fiction genre. The course will develop student’s critical reading, thinking, writing and presentation skills. Reading works of science fiction against classic readings in feminist theory, students will be expected to develop an understanding of the ways women have worked within the genre to explore issues related to gender, race, class, and sexuality. Students will be asked to consider the ways women writers have participated in on-going dialogues within both larger culture and within the SF community, developing, responding to, and resisting SF tropes, particularly those related to gender roles, identity, and social structure. Some areas we will consider include women’s early presence in the pulps, distinctions between women’s “soft” SF and the “hard” SF of male writers, as well as the ways that women have used the extrapolatory nature of SF to explore feminist issues.


8536 ENGL 681-02 Revision: Theory and Practice: M 4:00-6:45 (Dr. Lu)

Re-vision: Theory and Practice defines revision as a process of re-searching: exploring alternative and often conflicting perspectives on issues and approaches one is interested in advancing and examining why and how one might employ previously delegitimized alternatives in developing a research project

We will read various theories of the production, reception and circulation of meaning to jump start three rounds of revision of a previously written text of each student’s choice (for instance, seminar paper, MA thesis, or conference presentation).  The purpose is to have students develop a working notion and hands on experience of how to best go about sustaining a long-term scholarly project, such as a dissertation or a submission to a national journal in English studies.


4567 ENGL 681-75 Digital/New Media: Th 7:00-9:45 (Dr. Williams)

Course Description

No one who teaches writing needs to be told that digital media are changing the way we, our students, and most people in the culture, compose and interpret texts. What’s less obvious is what this means to those of us who do teach writing and literacy courses. The rapidity of the changes in how we can create and read texts raises questions that are central to how we think about teaching. Among the questions we will address in this class will be:

  • How have our jobs changed in the past twenty years and what should they look like now? How have the changes in the nature of texts changed the nature of our courses?
  • What digital media should we embrace in the composition classroom? What new pedagogical approaches do new media offer to us?
  • Can we tell the difference between an important new way of writing and a fad?
  • How do we connect composition pedagogy developed around print to new ways of creating and interpreting texts?
  • How do questions of identity, of class, gender, race, culture, affect how we should approach teaching with digital media?
  • What are the material conditions that are shaping what we can or should do with digital  media in a writing classroom?
  • What attention should we be paying to fields such as film theory or graphic arts when we create pedagogies that draw on digitalmedia?
  • How do we connect our teaching practices to the multimedia literacy practices students engage in outside the classroom?

In this course we will explore these and other questions. We will read from a wide variety of sources, including scholarship on composition pedagogy, digital writing, media studies, popular culture, new literacy studies, graphic arts, and visual rhetoric. This class will be more than just reading and discussion, however. We will also work with digital technologies to learn how to produce and imagine new pedagogical approaches for our classrooms. I think it will be fun.


ENGL 682-02 Conversations Analysis MW 11:00AM-12:15PM (Dr. Soldat-Jaffe)

*This course is cross listed with LING 690

Discourse analysis is concerned with the contexts in and the processes through which we use oral and written language for specific audiences, for specific purposes, in specific settings. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to theories and methods of discourse analysis. We will investigate how culture manifests itself I the speech events of everyday conversation. This course is two-folded: In the first part of the semester, we will use critical discourse analysis as a contemporary approach to the study of language and discourses in social institutions. Drawing on critical linguistics, we will focus on how social relations, identity, knowledge and power are constructed through written and spoken texts in social settings. We will look at how critical discourse techniques are derived from various disciplinary fields and explore the analytical tools to address issues about relations of class, gender and culture. The second part of the semester will serve to study the form and functions of particular discursive constructions in themselves, and to indicate how they arise from particular social contexts. To this end, we will look at a number of techniques for carrying out analysis, such as discourse markers, coherence, transcription theory and practice, turn-taking, adjacency pairs, repair, identity construction, politeness theory, conversational style, and repetition.

Prerequisites are an interest in the mechanisms underlying conversation and openness to cross-cultural pragmatic differences and the stamina to read through sometimes challenging articles.


ENGL 682-01 Cultural Influence on Language Learning MW 2:30PM – 3:45 PM (Dr. Soldat-Jaffe)

*This course is cross listed with LING 690

First language acquisition and second language learning are distinct processes in terms of how and when they take place. And yet, the influence of culture  remains equally important.  The importance of society in language learning, for example, became evident when linguists discovered feral children (children who have lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and have no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and of human language) who passed the critical period for language learning. Feral children raise the important question to what extent language is a product of nurture or nature. We will raise the central question of how culture determines our language learning experience and language use by looking at several different contexts such as feral children, first versus second or foreign language learning, and bilingualism.


4717 ENGL 689-01 Directed Reading for Comprehensive Exams (Dr. Kopelson)

Note: This section requires permission from instructor.


3367 ENGL 690-01 Dissertation Research (Dr. Kopelson)

Note: This section requires permission from instructor.


3368 ENGL 691-75 Contemporary Theory and Interpretation: W 4:00-6:45PM (Dr. Schneider)

In this course, we’ll focus on the development of critical theory—those concepts and terms that govern our understandings of language, literature, aesthetics, and interpretation.  While we don’t always acknowledge the ways in which our understandings of reading, textuality, authorship, and interpretation impact our encounters with literary texts, these ideas—ideas that all have extended histories—in many ways circumscribe what we do.  In this class we’ll look at a number of theoretical “schools,” or approaches to interpretation.  We’ll start with New Criticism, which is in many ways the model we still use for close reading, before looking at how different ideas of what constitutes a reader or a text complicate that model.  From there, we’ll look at theories of interpretation that focus both on the political and the philosophical—that is, on the ways in which issues of class, race, gender, and sexuality, alongside broader issues of language—continue to impact what it is we do in English Studies.