Course Descriptions for Fall 2010

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Course Descriptions for Fall 2010

  • Course descriptions are listed in alphabetical order by code and number. 

  • Only courses for which descriptions are available are listed here; for the full Fall 2010 English Department Course Schedule, see links on previous page.

  • If a course in which you are interested is not listed here, please contact the professor for further information.


CWR 206 Creative Writing: Required foundation course for Creative Writing minors. Students write and revise their own fiction and poetry, improving their craft through writing exercises and by discussing the writing of both published writers and their classmates.

CWR 301 Writing Communities: Students engage with the campus, local, regional, and national literary communities. In addition to traditional reading and writing assignments, students organize a Visiting Writers Series, a Student Reading Series, and community projects. Assigned reading in the course will be books by visiting authors, focusing on current literary trends.

EED 390 Methods of Teaching Secondary English : Focus on reading and comprehension strategies as well as debates over "best practices" in the teaching of secondary English. Students introduced to a number of theoretical and pedagogical approaches and required to develop corresponding curricular materials.

JPW 208 Intro to Journalism: The basics of news reporting and news writing, with an emphasis on the ethics of journalism, clear writing and online reporting. Students will learn how to prepare for news conferences, how to cover breaking news and how to prepare for the changing nature of the news industry. Instructor: Lounsberry

JPW 301 Computer Assisted Reporting: Students will become proficient in the primary and secondary research methods used by professional journalists to do investigative and explanatory reporting. This includes, but is not limited to, Internet research, spreadsheets, databases, surveys and field studies. Students will design and complete a database reporting project.

JPW 308 Media Law: An overview of the First Amendment and related case law as it pertains to the news media. Among the topics: Prior restraint, libel, privacy, intellectual property, political speech, commercial speech, obscenity, fair trial versus free speech, protection of sources, and access to government records and meetings.

JPW 311 News Editing & Production: Prerequisite: JPW 208 or permission of instructor. Intensive introduction to modern practices in electronic newspaper editing and production.

JPW 350 Magazine Writing: Instructor: Staff

JPW 370 Topics in Journalism
Section 01 - Investigative Reporting: This course introduces students to the challenges of investigative reporting. Students will learn how to conceptualize a potential project and how to gather information, conduct interviews and analyze documents, with a major emphasis on putting together a comprehensive online package.

Section 03- Science Journalism: An introduction to the fundamentals of science journalism, paying particular attention to the broad topics of medicine (including pharmaceutical and biotechnology research) and the U.S. health-care system. How money, power and politics affect science and medicine.

LIT 226 Genre Studies: The Film The specific focus of this course, The Film, is to introduce you to the fundamental aspects of cinema as an art form, in the context of movie genres, styles and movements. We will explore the dominant genres of movies produced in the Hollywood studio system, as well as major genres of European and Asian film. And using cinematic terminology as well as archetypal story analysis, we will explore how the film medium gives us powerful experiences similar to those provided by painting, sculpture, literature, music, theater or dance.

LIT 227 Global Animated Film: This course explores animation as a modern and post-modern art form, in a global context. The focus will be on animated films from America, Europe and Asia, with a special emphasis on recent Japanese animation. Also, in this course we will appreciate how animation resembles and differs from live action film, and how animation has influenced and been influenced by techniques and themes in live action film, and has embraced subjects ranging from dinosaurs to cyborgs. Instructor: Hannold

LIT 230 The Classical Tradition:Classical Traditions puts classical literary texts next to non-classical texts and explores both.  We will read classical Greek and Latin drama, translated into PDE, and Shakespearean drama that has classical roots, settings, or influences, and discuss both types of dramas.  Students will read selected plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Seneca, Plautus and Terence, and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, and Winter's Tale, and one other play selected by groups.  Classical Traditions is designed to help students become adept at teaching
classical or Shakespearean drama to high school or middle school students.  LIT 230 is a pre-Restoration literary history course and it meets certain requirements in the Classical Studies and the Classical Studies and Early Modern interdisciplinary concentrations, as well as in
the Classical Studies minor.

LIT 251 British Lit to 1700: In this course, students take a close look at specific literary techniques and genres, and at aspects of British culture, in selected examples of pre-1660 British Literature. The course is designed to engage students in the analysis and interpretation of texts in their divers historical, aesthetic, cultural, and theoretical contexts; and to lead to an understanding and appreciation of the development of literary traditions, cultural values, modes of thought, and uses of language.

LIT 281 African American Lit to 1900: A study of selected African American Literature from the colonial period to the Harlem Renaissance, this course will build your knowledge and confidence as readers and critics of African American culture and society in the United States. We will focus on the oral folk productions of the colonial period, slave narratives, poetry, speeches, autobiography, essays of the 19th century and the poetry and prose of the Harlem Renaissance. We will look at these texts through a lens focused on the effects produced by struggles with American fictions of race, class and sex and their intersections with categories of gender, ethnicity and nation. Instructor: Williams

LIT 310: Literature for Younger Readers:  This course will explore literature for young adult readers across various genres: fantasy, fabulism, historical fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and graphic texts. The emphasis of the course is literary and theoretical; expect a substantial amount of reading and writing.

LIT 315 Men & Masculinities Literary Perspectives: This course focuses on representations of men and masculinity in literary texts, although we may also look at film, video, television, advertising, and music. Some of the issues we will be thinking about include: the construction of modern male identities, the diversity of men's lives, the complex dynamics of men's relationships, and questions of power and social justice within the contemporary gender order. Instructor: Landreau

LIT 316 Global Women Writers: This course will explore various literatures from around the world, encouraging students to examine the politics of gender, culture, and nation as well as the intersections of those systems of power. Common themes include feminist politics, post- and neo-colonialism's, reproductive rights, translation, globalization, and activism.

LIT 317 The Witch In Literature: The witch has been a figure in literary history since the beginning of time. Who is she, and what does she embody? Who creates her, and to what end? This course will explore the socio-historical constructions of this figure and trace her through a wide spectrum of literary texts, including legal and historical treatises, fair tales, short stories, drama, film, children’s literature, poetry, and even cartoons. Ultimately, we will analyze the literary cultures which have persisted in creating, recreating, and reviving this timeless, powerful, and equally feared character throughout the ages.

LIT 347 Modern European Drama: Modern European Drama: Modern Drama was one of three great periods of drama and theatre in western civilization.  (The other two were Athens during the 5th century B.C. and the English Renaissance [specifically, Shakespeare] during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.) From the 1870s on, the experimentation in dramatic form, the advancement of theatre technology, and the liberalization of subject matter inspired the writing and staging of a body of drama so rich and varied that this course cannot possibly represent it fully. Nevertheless, you will learn about the many aesthetic, philosophical, and theatrical movements as we read representative plays by continental, British, and Irish dramatists who engaged in the most important experiments in dramaturgy as well as writing about many of the social issues of the modern era: Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, Shaw, Synge, Pirandello, Lorca, Brecht, Ionesco, Beckett, Pinter, Stoppard, Churchill, and 1-2 others.

LIT 354 Middle English Literature: In a sense, Middle English literature, as a coherent body of texts, does
not exist.  Medieval English culture was very diverse; surviving documents from the period tend to be unconnected to one another; and the English court was Francophone rather than English in outlook.  As a
result, we’ll begin the semester by looking closely at one genre (romance) in order to examine the fragmentary nature of that genre’s Middle English manifestations, and then groups of students will divide
up the Middle English period by genre in order to choose representative readings for their classmates from each genre (in order to explore the fragmentary nature of medieval English culture further).  Readings will
all be in the original Middle English.

LIT 359 18th Century British Novel: In eighteenth-century Britain, the newly emerging genre of the novel provides a window into the various forms of reaction, revolution and social “leveling” that began to occur.  This course will examine the texts, contexts and concerns which shaped the function of the novel.  Authors to be studied include Daniel Defoe, Ann Radcliffe, Frances Burney, and Henry Fielding.  Syllabus
available at:

LIT 37001 US Satire: Twain, Menchen, Vonnegut: Satire points out human imperfections and has fun doing so. Satirists Mark Twain, H. L. Mencken, and Kurt Vonnegut wrote about many human vices, stupidities, and absurdities in ways to make us laugh or sneer or guffaw. We will read and compare some of their works of satirical art and laugh with the authors at people’s faults (never, of course, at our own – even if we have any – which we don’t – do we?). We will explore their techniques and perhaps imitate them.

LIT 374 American Lit to 1800: This course will explore the ever-expanding canon of early American literature written between 1450 and 1800.  We will study such texts as Puritans' sermons, poetry, and their fascinating body of dissent literature; Indian captivity narratives; witchcraft trial records; slave narratives; spiritual autobiographies of Quakers; literature from the Great Awakening and its revivalism; letters and autobiographies of the Republic; 18th-century manuscript colonial American diaries; and the rising genre of seduction novels in Revolutionary America.

LIT 394/COMP370 Topics in Comparative Lit: Poetic & Epic Traditions of Central Eurasia: This course will focus on the literature and literary history of Sumerian, Mesopotamian, and Persian culture from 2300 B.C. to the 14^the Century.  Texts to be read include Rumi's /Masnavi/, /The Book of Dede Korkut/, /The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam/, Attar's /The Conference of Birds/, Sa'di's /The Gulistan/, and Fedowsi's /Shahnameh./  Syllabus available at:

LIT 421 Shakespeare: Comedies and Histories: Intensive study of Shakespeare's comedies and histories with special focus on figurative language, dramatic structure, and cultural, political, and religious contexts. Texts to be read in Fall 2010 include: Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, Henry V, As You Like It, Measure for Measure, and Twelfth Night.

LIT 49901 Seminar: William Faulkner and Modernism: I consider Faulkner to be the greatest American novelist. In an effort to understand his work as a modernist, we will study six of his novels (The Sounds and the FUry, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, The hamlet, and Go down, Moses). In the process we will explore specifically the South of Faulkner's time and the artistry of his novels.

LIT 49902 Shakespeare’s Late Plays: This course will focus on six plays at the end of Shakespeare’s career: Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale, The Tempest, Coriolanus, and The Two Noble Kinsmen. We will read these works individually and collectively in terms of genre, authorship/ownership, and poetic language; we will also examine the plays in the context of psychoanalytic, feminist, new historicist, and postcolonial theories, considering such issues as monarchy and political stability, emerging nationalism, popular beliefs in magic and witchcraft, kinship relations, the construction of gender, and colonization of the new world.

LIT 49903 Seminar: Dostoevsky: Dostoevsky.  A study of the famous
Russian writer's major works.  Syllabus available at:

LIT 49904 Seminar: Violence, Visuality, and Race: This course will examine literature by African-American writers and visual art that depicts African-Americans. Our focus will be on the representation of violence in these works. Reading literature and images as texts, we will consider the ways in which visual and literary art illuminate and in some cases speak to each other. We will question the representational possibilities and limitations that each medium encounters. While we will read visual theory, you will find that these works integrate familiar theoretical lenses, including psychoanalysis, new historicism, and deconstruction. This course is intended to be exploratory, an opportunity to stretch the boundaries of disciplines in order to experience African-American artistic expression in light of broad historical, cultural, political, and aesthetic issues. Texts will include, Charles Chestnutt's The Marrow of Tradition and Toni Morrison's Beloved. We will also view a wide array of images that span from the nineteenth century to the present. Instructor: Jackson


LIT 49905 Seminar: Ecocriticism: The emerging field of ecocriticism began with a primayr focus on nature and environmental writing but has broadened to encompass, in Stephanie Sarver's words "a range of approaches to the study of literature that share a common concern with the relationship between humans and the non-human world." This course will begin with 19th century constructions of "nature" (Wordsworth, Whitman, Thoreau, Dickinson) and include much recent literature - - some with overt environmental themes (Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang and Barbar Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer) and some without (Leslie Silko's Ceremony). Student will complete the course by writing a major research paper applying ecocritical practice to a work or author beyond the course reading. Instructor: McCauley

LIT 49906 Seminar: Literature and Politics of Postcolonial Africa:
In the decades before the collapse of the European empires, African writers and intellectuals were inspired by mass, popular movements against European rule. The literature of this period raised the cultural expectations of an entire continent. However, after colonialism ended, the now-independent African nations struggled unsuccessfully to realize those expectations. What went wrong in postcolonial Africa? What can African novels and poems teach us about the hopes of the past, and the failure to realize the dreams of liberation? We will explore the cultural politics of postcolonial African literature via the works of Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Chinua Achebe, Ousmane Sembène and several other well-known African writers.

LIT 49907 Seminar: Realism: We frequently say that a work of art is "realistic." But what do we mean? Is "realism" purely a matter of form? What is the connection between literary realism and economic, political and social forces? This course will examine these questions through a study of three centuries of fictional masterpieces and two centuries of literary theory. We will read two realist classics (Daneil Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary), plus examples of modernist realism (Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway), magical realism (Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude), the "nonfiction novel" (Norman Mailer's The Armies of the Night), and postmodern deconstruction or realism (J. M. Coetzee's Foe), in addition to short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen Crane, Jack London, and Bobie Ann Mason. Instructor: Robertson

LNG 201:Introduction to the English Language: LNG 201 focuses on descriptions and explorations of English in its contemporary forms. Students will learn the basics of linguistic descriptions and be introduced to general linguistic theory. The course includes large units on Child Language Acquisition as well as language and discourse in social contexts. If you've ever wondered how children learn to speak so quickly and effortlessly, this is the class for you.

LNG 202 Structure and History of the English Language: LNG 202 focuses attention on the development of the English language through time. After learning the basics of linguistic description, students will learn about the grammatical structures of Old, Middle, and Early Modern English. Students will also learn about the consequences of this history to Present Day English. If you've ever wondered why there's a 'k', a 'g', and an 'h' in 'knight', this is the class for you.

LNG 311 Understanding English Grammar: Understanding English Grammar looks at the syntax of English descriptively and allows students to analyze and describe the patterns of their sentence clauses, and to explore the rhetorical value of alternate syntactic arrangements. Although LNG 311 expands on ideas about syntax taught in LNG 201 and LNG 202, it assumes no prior linguistic training. Understanding syntax is very useful for anyone who plans to teach language arts, reading, writing or literary interpretation at any grade level.

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