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Upcoming Courses

So many interesting courses this term — how will you choose?

Expanded information about upcoming courses is offered by the professors who will teach them.

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH - FALL 2015


LIT 204A
Critical Analysis
Taught by: Keri Behre


More about this course from the instructor:

The stories we tell ourselves are important. This course is about those stories – about how our stories mesh together as a community, and about how we can look more closely at the stories we will approach in the coming quarters. Literary texts have value because they reflect and affect our humanity in surprising and often uncomfortable ways. And the best stories, the best arguments, the best theory – all of these things speak to us only when we speak to them. This weekend we will begin that process, together.
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LIT 205E
Intro to Literary Studies
Taught by: Gerard Killeen


More about this course from the instructor:

Together, we will

    • study and practice the elements of argumentation;
    • engage ourselves with the “discipline” of literary studies: its methodologies, terms, and theories;
    • select and read works of fiction, poetry, and drama; and
    • experiment with genres of literary analysis and response.

To accomplish this, we will participate in discussions and cultivate presences on our individual WordPress accounts and on Twitter. Our project for the course will involve three stages: 1) write a traditional academic argument essay, 2) experiment with genre by writing an essay that involves both argument and personal narrative, and 3) further experiment by creating a piece of literary criticism that engages and responds to the work we are studying in class for a public audience.
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LIT 301E
Survey of American Literature: American Gothic
Taught by: Chuck Caruso, Ph.D.

More about this course from the instructor:

This survey course will focus on “American Gothic,” a genre of fiction that combines horror with romance, as expressed in a range of U.S. literature from early national roots to contemporary. Regional, ethnic, and gender diversity will be emphasized. Authors studied include Irving, Hawthorne, Melville, Alcott, Dickinson, and Chopin.

This course will peek through the keyhole of gothic literature to examine a wide range of U.S. literature including early national roots, inventing nationhood, confrontations with race and gender, and anxieties about individuality, voice and democracy. As a method for exploring the literature of the American Republic, we will focus on the variety of rhetorical strategies these writers use to convey textual meaning—either asserting authority or undermining it. The use of “close reading” strategies will be emphasized throughout the course.
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LIT 302A
Survey of British Literature
Taught by: Keri Behre


More about this course from the instructor:

The British Literature survey is one of my favorite courses to teach. This particular version of the course has grown out of my enjoyment of teaching the material through the lens of a variety of adaptations and reflections. Early English literature echoes all around us. In this course, we will read and discuss literary works by medieval, Renaissance, and eighteenth-century men and women, paying close attention to both genre and historical context. We will also consider how we can use each of these texts to engage and understand the culture we live and participate in today. Coursework will include class participation, short response papers, a term paper, and a final exam. We’ll include short clips of media to engage questions of relevance, theme, and critical issues of appropriation for each text. This course is perfect for anyone who needs or wants to understand more about early English literature. No prior background in the subject matter is required.
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LIT 323E
African-American Autobiography

Taught by:  Dr. Perrin Kerns


More about this course from the instructor:

In this course we will begin our reading with Frederick Douglass and end with Barack Obama.  We will pair the readings of the autobiographies, reading a male writer and a female writer, throughout America’s history.  Our discussions will involve issues of gender as well as race as we look at self-representation in autobiography.
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LIT 330A
The Graphic Novel
Taught by: Dr. Perrin Kerns


More about this course from the instructor:

This term we will focus on graphic memoirs that bear witness to historical periods of trauma. Thus, some of the “comics” we read contain some emotionally tough material such as Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman, Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel, and Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi   In addition, I’ve added this term an additional focus on comics that interrogate the “architecture” of the comic form.  These will include Building Stories, by Chris Ware, In the Shadow of No Towers, by Art Spiegelman,  Here, by Richard McGuire, and  The Great War, July 1, 1916, by Joe Sacco.
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WR 222A
Introduction to Literature and Writing:
Arthurian Literature
Taught by: Dr. Meg Roland


More about this course from the instructor:

WR 222 is a rigorous introduction to the English Literature and Writing major.  This class will ask you to reflect upon what it means to engage in the study and writing of literature and, in the process, introduce you to the history of, conventions within, and controversies surrounding literary studies as an academic field. It is a rich field of study.  We will use the lens of Arthurian literature and film to develop skills in analyzing poetry and prose, to establish a working vocabulary of literary terms, to consider historical context as part of the reading experience, to critically analyze film, and to encounter several of the major theoretical approaches to reading and writing about literature practiced by contemporary scholars.  Learning about theoretical approaches to literature will help you better understand secondary sources that you encounter as part of your research.  You will be so smart by the end of the term!
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WR 368A
Writing Seminar I: Short Fiction
Taught by: Natalie Serber


More about this course from the instructor:

Students will respond to in class writing prompts and take home assignments with short scenes, extended descriptive passages and stories. We will read a wide range of stories and consider the tools of fiction writing--methods of characterization, point of view, conflict and setting, among others. We will explore how writers use observations, notes, lists, imitation, imaginings and personal experiences to create rich and complex fictional worlds.  Finally, students will use their new knowledge and close reading skills to write short critical essays.
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WR 375E
Short Prose Forms
Taught by: Jay Ponteri


More about this course from the instructor:

This seminar will examine the genre of short prose forms—the prose poem, the short-short story, the lyrical essay, and the micro story, among others.  We will take a close look within each of the forms to glean some of their essential qualities. Furthermore, we will lightly touch on the relationship between this genre and its literary antecedents, thus placing it in a tradition. We will consider how prose writers can better employ the poet’s tools: sound, image, metaphor, syntax & diction, voice, meditation, and narrative. Students will write several prose pieces and read a handful of book
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WR 466A
Writing Seminar II: Creative Nonfiction
Taught by: Jay Ponteri


More about this course from the instructor:

This nonfiction seminar focuses on prose that purposely blurs the lines between nonfiction and fiction, that both bends and appropriates the truth for thematic purpose, and that mingles elements from myriad nonfiction genres (reportage, memoir, criticism, diary). I’m especially interested in how to write about the self and something larger than the self at the same time. Students write several essays and read a handful of books, and there are writing exercises, discussions of assigned readings, and informal critiques of student work
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