Fall 2014 English Courses

The following are the English electives for the Fall 2014:

Joan Didion's Slouching Towards BethlehemENG 332 Advanced Composition Tu 12:30-3:15 Giddens
An English elective, this course also satisfies the Writing Intensive requirement for several other majors.  Advanced Composition is a course that is, fundamentally, about the art of the essay.  In our class, we will examine literary narratives as tools for exploring the 1960s in American popular culture and writing about that exploration. We will read fiction and creative nonfiction, as well as examine music of the 1960s. We will then use these texts as models to analyze, imitate, and serve as a springboard for our own writing. Specifically, we will look at how our writing can be used for reflection on a variety of issues and topics, such as objects, places, events, identity, and relevant social and cultural issues.

Books: Trout Fishing in America, Slouching toward Bethlehem, The Crying of Lot 49, and The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test

ENG 400/489 Studies in American Literature/Senior Seminar MW 12:30-1:45 Watson
Crosslisted as a regular elective 489, this senior seminar will take up the question of American Environmental Writing. Looking over a wide variety of genres –memoir, novel, eco-criticism, journalism, popular science writing, poetry, polemic; documentary and narrative films—we will examine topics relevant to this important and growing field:  animal studies, deep ecology, pollution, climate change, post-carbon, local food communities, anarcho-primitivism, ecofeminism and others. Students will design and write a scholarly essay of publishable length and format on a topic derived from discussion and readings.

Books: American Earth: Environmental Writing since Thoreau, Against His-tory, The Derrick Jensen Reader, Ceremony, and The Monkey Wrench Gang

ENG 423 Nonfiction Creative Writing TuTh 5-6:15 Franke
Creative Nonfiction is a new name for an old genre.  Essays, reviews, memoirs, and even history long have held the torch of factual storytelling and analysis.  This often went under the generic moniker “prose.”  Now specific subgenres of creative nonfiction exist as “nature writing,” “sports writing,” the “personal narrative,” and the “memoir.”  Other forms have simply continued: the book review, the music review, and general cultural commentary.  Short exercises in imitation will unveil narrative perspective and literary technique as students cast the borrowed ideas in new contexts.  By the end of the semester each student will have written three short essays or reviews and one “feature” article.  The ultimate goal for this course is for each student to secure publication of at least piece of writing.  75% of class time is done in workshop fashion, meaning that students receive detailed suggestions for and responses to their writing from the professor and their peers.  Reading consists of one memoir and a collection of essays used for guidance.

"Migrant Mother" photographed by Dorothea Lange in 1936ENG 477 Survey of the American Novel 1920-1960 Tu 6:30-9:15 Watson
This Survey of American Novels 1920-1960 class will examine novels and autobiographies depicting one of the salient features of American life in the mid-20th century: the great shift of rural populations to urban centers, and the clash of traditional ways with modern expectations and conditions those migrants experienced. Reading list will mix familiar novels — Uncle Tom's Children, Grapes of Wrath, As I Lay Dying — with less-familiar evocations of rural/urban conflict: Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre, Abbey’s The Brave Cowboy.  This is a writing intensive class. Students will produce a scholarly essay of publishable length and format.

The following are core courses for the major and minor, but they are open to students in other majors:

Book cover for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestENG 340 Analysis of Literature TuTh 3:30-4:45 Franke
This class introduces students to the process of interpreting literature and developing a research paper.  Despite the boring title, the class has a compelling reading list of contemporary American literature.  We will read Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Toni Morrison’s Jazz, Simon J. Ortiz’ From Sand Creek, and Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.  The latter will be adapted for screen in the fall of 2014 by Paul Thomas Anderson and star Joaquin Phoenix as the main character.  The professor anticipates watching this film as a class as well as the esteemed adaptation of Kesey’s novel.

ENG 350 Survey of British Literature I W 5-7:45 Holmes
This course surveys British literature from the medieval period through the Renaissance and 18th Century.

ENG 370 Survey of American Literature I MW 3:30-4:45 Watson
This course surveys early American literature up to dawn of the 20th Century.

The following are courses for students receiving their licensure in English Education:

ENG 401 Composition Study for Teachers TuTh 12:30-1:45 Powell
 The adoption of the Common Core Standards and the proliferation of 21st century technologies have moved writing, rhetoric, and communication to the forefront of K-12 education. Through investigating our own writing processes, community uses of writing, and writing studies’ theories and research, we will explore what it means to effectively teach writing. To become informed practitioners, we will write in different modalities, conduct action research in our communities and schools, read widely in the fields of literacy, composition and education, and develop heuristics for investigating writing. Students will leave the class prepared to be teachers of writing, and more importantly, teachers who write. The major assignments of this course include a community research project, a writing portfolio, and lesson plan units.

ENG 403 Language Study for Teachers TuTh 2-3:15 Powell
Language is tied to thought, thought to language. This course explores the dynamic nature of language and situates teaching language structures (grammar, syntax, etc.) within an integration of grammar, writing and reading. By situating language study within its relationships to thought and communication, we move the focus of the course beyond naming the many pieces of the sentence to improving writing. Readings will introduce language use, linguistic grammar, applied grammar, and error analysis. Major assignments include a commonplace book, lesson plan units, creating a mobile app for language instruction, and a grammatica inventory.