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Fall 2014 English Department Course Descriptions

LITERATURE

EN 220:   Pre-1800 British Literature-Renaissance: War and Romance in Early England

Instructor: Professor Louis Martin
This course explores the cultural heritage of Medieval England through the literature of the period. We will discuss widely different aspects of the time such as aesthetics, political issues, sex roles, and chivalric values. Alfred the Great, Cynewulf, William the Conqueror, Chaucer, The Pearl Poet and other important figures helped shape 1,000 years of English literature, and we will consider ways that Medieval attitudes contributed to the culture of later ages up through current times.  (English major; Core, Western Cultural Heritage; GWR)

EN 230:   Post-1800 British Literature-Romanticism: Nature and Revolution
Instructor: Professor Suzanne Webster
This course examines seminal works of poetry and prose from the British Romantic period (c.1770/1789–1835). Works explored include representative examples of this era's most popular genres and forms (e.g., lyric poems, magazines, ballad stanzas, and blank verse); and the works cover a wide range of subjects and themes, from social justice and revolution to self-consciousness and the Sublime.  (English major; Core, Western Cultural Heritage; GWR)

EN 240: American Literature-Modern: The World Turned Upside Down
Instructor: Professor John Rohrkemper
Students will read fiction, poetry, and drama written during the last hundred years. These have been turbulent years and the restless experimentalism of the writers we will examine reflect the age. Sample text: William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. (English major; Core, Western Cultural Heritage; GWR)

EN 240: American Literature: Revolution to Civil War
Instructor: Professor Carmine Sarracino
This course focuses on the major writers from the inception of our country until shortly after the Civil War, especially those from the middle of the nineteenth century: Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman. (English major; Core, Western Cultural Heritage; GWR)

EN 251: Multicultural Literature
Instructor: Professor Becky Olson
This course will examine cross-cultural experience as reflected in contemporary American and world literature. Sample authors:  Erdrich, Morrison, Selasi, Ha Jin.
(English major; Core, Humanities; GWR)

EN 313:   Studies in Drama
Instructor: Professor Michael Swanson
Students in this course will study plays by late 20th and early 21st century postmodern female playwrights who may include Caryl Churchill, María Irene Fornés, Sarah Kane, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, and Wendy Wasserstein -- along with feminist dramatic theory – to learn about contemporary playwriting techniques to explore such concerns as gender roles, gender inequality, power, and sexuality.  (English major)

EN 440: American Authors- Hunter S. Thompson: The Author, The Journalist, and the Myth
Instructor: Professor Matthew Skillen
Between 1966 and 1974 Hunter S. Thompson published a body of work that would forever change the landscape of journalism.  His full-tilt “Gonzo-journalism" writing style captivated audiences that read his larger works published as books and his shorter works published in Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone.  Students enrolled in the course will read and examine: Hell’s Angels: The strange and terrible saga of the outlaw motorcycle gangs, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Rum Diary, just to name a few. (English Major)

EN 450: World Authors: Magical Realism
Instructor: Professor Mark Harman
We start off with a great precursor of magic realism,Franz Kafka, whose blend of fantasy and realism has inspired artists throughout the world. Among the subsequent examples of magic realism we shall explore are works by Latin American novelist Gabriel García Márquez (A Hundred Years of Solitude); a playfully postmodern novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami; a novel by the Chinese writer Dai Sijie (Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress) about a love affair set in China during Mao’s so-called cultural revolution. We shall also examine closely the movie version of the book by Sijie, which he himself wrote and directed. (English major)

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

En 180: CE Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and Poetics
Instructor: Professor Suzanne Webster
Although we may not always be aware of it, the form or structure of an idea—the manner in which it is presented to us—matters just as much as its substance. Sometimes, form and content work together harmoniously: sometimes, though, they seem to jar, as if message and means are at odds. Students taking this course will engage with the “form/content” dynamic both as readers and as writers, doing so in the context of works composed in four “closed” poetic forms: couplets, quatrains, sonnets, and blank verse. While exploring and learning from the compositions of eminent English and British poets, from William Shakespeare to Don Patterson, class-members will produce four poems of their own, one in each of the poetic forms named above. This course offers a solid examination of composition techniques employed in the majority of poems written between the Renaissance and the early twentieth century; and students who have read and written poetry in the free verse form will find that this class involves the development of quite different technical skills and disciplines. (Core, Creative Expression; Creative writing minor)

En 185: Introduction to Professional Writing
Instructor: Professor David Downing
This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of research, writing, and editing tasks most common to professional writers. We will discuss guidelines, contexts, and good and bad models of writing in the worlds of journalism, business and advertising, technical writing, book or magazine publishing, and webpage design.  (English major)

EN 280: Creative Writing- Poetry
Instructor: Professor Carmine Sarracino
We begin with about five weeks of writing-prompt based creative writing exercises, and then move on to five weeks of writing poems derived from journal entries.  In the last five weeks the focus is on revising poems for the final portfolio. (English major) Register by Instructor

EN 281: The Short Story
Instructor: Professor Becky Olson
This course provides an introduction to the analysis and creation of short stories. Students will use concepts of literary criticism to discuss and write about short fiction. They will also use their understanding of the elements of fiction to generate a variety of topic papers, a research paper and one original short story. (English major; Core, Creative Expression)

EN 282: Technical Writing
Instructor: Professor Jesse Waters
Technical writing. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? While it may appear as exciting as watching paint dry, technical writing is both a crucial component of almost every quality and consideration in human enterprise, and a place where writers discover one of the most important facts of global experience: powerful, concise writing skills can take you anywhere in commerce, business, education and communication. In this class, we’ll explore ethical conflict resolution in writing, analysis of writing trends and writing habits in a variety of occupations, and recommendation and feasibility in solution-building oriented to written research. Whether you’re engaged in business, actuarial science, art, history, English or chemistry, Technical Writing is a class that will harmonize your writing skills, and empower you to amplify your career viability. (English major) Register by Instructor

EN 283: Legal Writing
Instructor: Professor Deb Packer
A survey of the types of writing common in government, politics and law. Students practice basic legal analysis, statistical analysis, persuasion and more advanced forms of legal writing, such as the appellate brief. (English major) Register by Instructor.

EN 493: Seminar in Rhetorical Theory
Instructor: Professor Dana Mead
A seminar for majors in the Professional Writing concentration on the history of rhetoric and its application to the composing process. (English major)

ENGLISH EDUCATION
EN302: The English Language
Instructor: Professor Louis Martin
This course considers the transformation of the English language from its formation in Anglo Saxon England through modern times. Using cultural, political, historical, literary, and linguistic analyses, students will follow changes in vocabulary and syntax from Beowulf through Shakespeare and on to the many varieties of English spoken across the globe today. (English major, English education concentration)

EN 306: Methods Seminar in Teaching Language and Composition
Instructor: Professor Matt Skillen
The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the opportunity to teach language and composition in a secondary education setting. The course emphasizes the teaching writing and language at the secondary (middle school or high school) level.  Students will engage in instructional application of various methodologies through research-based teaching demonstrations.  (English major, English education concentration)

 

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