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Undergraduate English Courses

Fall 2020 Courses

To see these options on SPIRE, see our Class Listings page.

English 115 The American Experience (AL,DU)
Section 1: MWF 9:05-9:55                  Instructor: Maria Ishikawa
Primarily for nonmajors. Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture, with a wide historical scope and attention to diverse cultural experiences in the U.S. Readings in fiction, prose, and poetry, supplemented by painting, photography, film, and material culture. 

English 115 The American Experience (AL,DU)
Section 2: MWF 10:10-11:00              Instructor: Banjamin Latini
Primarily for nonmajors. Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture, with a wide historical scope and attention to diverse cultural experiences in the U.S. Readings in fiction, prose, and poetry, supplemented by painting, photography, film, and material culture. 

English 115H The American Experience Honors (AL,DU)
TuTh 1:00-2:15               Instructor: Hoang Phan
This course explores how American literature has contributed to broader social conceptions of American identity and collective imaginings of the “American Experience.” Focusing on the role of literature in modern historical understanding, we will study diverse and historically shifting definitions of American identity and the “American Experience,” as they were transformed by debates over nationhood and nationalism, slavery and freedom, immigration and citizenship, and by forms of social identification such as class, race, and gender. This course satisfies the DU and AL General Education Requirements. This course is open only to first year ComCol students.

English 116 Native American literature (AL,DU)
TuTh 10:00-11:15                   Instructor: Laura Furlan
This introductory course in Native American literature asks students to read and study a variety of work by American Indian and First Nations authors. We will discuss what makes a text "Indian," how and why a major boom in American Indian writing occurred in the late 1960s, how oral tradition is incorporated into contemporary writing, and how geographic place and tribal affiliation influence this work. We will also think about these texts as responses to settler colonialism and consider their representations of an Indigenous past and future.  Authors will include N. Scott Momaday, Louise Erdrich, Diane Glancy, Tommy Orange, and Cherie Dimaline.

English 117 Ethnic American literature (AL,DU)
MWF 1:25-2:15           Instructor: Leslie Leonard

Primarily for nonmajors. This introductory study of ethnic American culture encourages students to think critically about ethnic American experiences and perspectives. Reading texts authored by ethnically diverse American authors, this class asks students to engage critically with American culture and identity, particularly as it is experienced by individuals of various backgrounds. Some of the questions this course explores include: What do we make of American experiences that contradict popular ideas of what it means to exist in America? How do various ethnic American authors depict their experiences as Americans/in America? How do these texts compel readers to more critically consider American culture and identity? How do various authors engage with their ethnicity while still identifying as distinctly American? How have shifting formations of race impacted ethnic authors? Using texts that span from Zitkala-Sa and Frederick Douglass to Cherrie Moraga and Maxine Hong Kingston, this class uses fiction, poetry, and prose to consider how America and the American experience has been navigated, understood, experienced, and reimagined by various ethnic communities across time with a particular emphasis on the perspectives of these communities. (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)

English 131 Society and Literature (AL,DG)

Section 1: TuTh 10:00-11:15              Instructor: Crystal Baines
This course explores the relationship between literature and human rights in the Global South. In what ways do writers of the Global South use specific genres to articulate and humanize what may seem to be otherwise abstract concepts such as human rights and social justice? How do literary modes of representation both reclaim and problematize discourses of human rights? We will discuss how aesthetics and ethics combine to produce alternative and innovative ways of imagining a just society. Students will consider how novels, short stories, poetry, and films become a creative platform to educate and raise awareness on compromised or denied social, cultural, and economic rights in systems of war, colonization, slavery, race, and caste. We will also consider instances where writers and artists have successfully agitated society into action and have in turn found their own rights compromised and their works censored or destroyed. This course will include the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nadine Gordimer, Deepa Mehta, Arundhati Roy, and Nawal El Saadawi among others.

English 131 Society and Literature (AL,DG)
Section 2: MWF 11:15-12:05              Instructor: Patricia Matthews

The Contemporary Campus Novel.  This course considers the relationship between campus and society through the depictions of the university community and college experience in the literary genre of the "campus novel." While some view college as a preparation for the "real world," others consider it as a kind of refuge or utopian place where students and professors enjoy the privilege of pursuing knowledge for its own sake. Yet others object, arguing that college is real life, pointing to the ways in which social issues like economic inequality, racism, sexual assault, and political polarization persist and even flourish on college campuses. In many ways our expectations of higher education are shaped by the stories we're told about the college experience. This semester we'll be reading a selection of fictional works that address campus life from the perspectives of students and professors in order to think through the relationship between higher education and broader society, and the ways in which such stories interact and shape our understandings of our own experiences as college students. Themes of the course include education and self-discovery; belonging and seeking belonging; encounters with difference; political commitment and activism; inequalities on campus; life after college. The reading list for this course may include works by Donna Tartt, ZZ Packer, R. O. Kwon, Belinda McKeon, Zadie Smith, and J. M. Coetzee, amongst others. 

English 131 Society and Literature (AL,DG)
Section 3: MWF 1:25-2:15                  Instructor: Dina Al Qassar

Why poetry?  What do Sappho, Beyoncé, and Hozier have in common? Heartbreak, and catchy lyrics. 

Poetry, or verse, is one of the oldest and most versatile forms of literature. From Sumerian creation stories to modern day diss-tracks, verse is a constant thread throughout human history withstanding the many changes in the literary and cultural scenes. Why? What is it about poetry that makes it a form not for a time but of all age? 

This course is divided into four units: we will begin by exploring what poetry is and isn’t. What does the term “poetic tradition” mean? What are the different types and forms of poetry? How do we define poetry and how can we challenge and expand this definition? From there, we’ll start to learn how to read poetry. What does analyzing a poem mean? What’s close reading? Are there any hidden meanings that we need to uncover in poems? Is there a right way to read a poem? This unit will focus more on “canonical” poems, poems that you may or may not at one point have read and hated. Once we’ve learned how to read poems we’re going to focus more on our current moment: despite the notion that poetry is dead, the genre is thriving and serves a purpose beyond literary and aesthetic pleasure, it’s a mode of communication and activism, it’s challenging the literary norms and offering a platform for many nontraditional artists. So in this unit we’ll look at what poetry is doing now. What are current poets are doing, and what new innovations are they bringing to the poetry world? How is poetry being used in our current moment whether in terms of civil rights movements, the pandemic, climate change, or just everyday life. This unit will focus primarily on poets from the last 20 years or so. In addition to looking at the subject matter in this unit we will explore the way we experience poetry— how it feels in our bodies? What makes the experience of reading poetry unique? 

You do not need any experience with poetry to be in this class. This is a beginners course with no prerequisites, designed even for those who dislike poetry or are afraid of it.

English 131 Society and Literature (AL,DG)

Section 4: MWF 10:10-11:00              Instructor: David Pritchard
Literature that deals with our relationship to society. Topics may include: the utopian vision; the notion of the self, politics and literature.

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (AL,DG)
Section 1: MWF 11:15-12:05              Instructor: Angela Kim
Literature treating the relationship between man and woman. Topics may include: the nature of love, the image of the hero and heroine, and definitions, past and present, of the masculine and feminine.

English 132 Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture (AL,DG)
Section 2: MWF 12:20-1:10                Instructor: Tyler Smart
Literature treating the relationship between man and woman. Topics may include: the nature of love, the image of the hero and heroine, and definitions, past and present, of the masculine and feminine.

English 140 Reading Fiction (AL)
MWF 1:25-2:15           Instructor: Rabia Saeed

The Stuff of Life:  Reflective Voices and Lyrical Seekers in Memoir and Auto-fiction.  Friends—there has been of late a trend in the literary world: a rise in the trend of memoir and auto-fiction. Our aim in this course is this: to trace back the roots of how writers have historically used the story of their lives to shape narratives, and the forms in which they have done so. What are the ways in which Proust wrote about his life in the 20th century, and how does it compare with the writers today who are employing lived experience? Why do some writers choose the form of memoir, while other’s call their stories fiction, or well, auto-fiction? What are the writing and structural techniques that distinguish the two from each other? From examining graphic memoirs like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, to Maggie Nelson’s work of memoir/poetry/“auto-theory” The Argonauts, we will trace for ourselves a literary history that is becoming all the more important. We will read writers such as Virginia Woolf, Mary Karr, Akhil Sharma, Meena Kandasmay, Ocean Vuong, and others. Ultimately, we will put ourselves to these questions: what is the value in writing from true life; why is it increasingly becoming more significant; how are people doing this in different ways; what are the boundaries that categorize a work as fiction or not fiction; what is the value of these categories; how is the memoir and life narrative employed internationally, outside the US; and above all, the relationship between memoirs and the writings of women historically as well as in the contemporary moment? Ultimately, we will put ourselves to the question of hybrid-styles and their relationship to gendered categorizations. However, our main aim is to see for ourselves what it is that we can learn from all this, and how can we, as writers, employ the best of these methods to write about our life.
Course Goals— General Education Learning Objectives
·    Content – (i) Approach reading with the lens of creativity and imagination; identify and understand terms, mechanics, methods and forms in fiction, essay, memoir, and poetry to develop diverse methods of analysis. (ii) Contemplate the relationship between writing, history and society in contemporary times and in its relation to the tradition of literature. (iii)Develop an appreciation and a deep understanding of writing and reading literature.
·    Critical Thinking – (i) Read and analyze simultaneously by understanding that writing is a product of language, technique, emotion and human experience. (ii) Explore uncertainty, inspiration and possibilities of the imagination in writing. (iii) Provide incisive critique and build arguments on writing techniques employed by writers from past to present. (iv) Develop a sharp reader’s eye for detail, nuance and patterns in writing.
·    Communication – Reflection pieces, essays, critiques, book reviews and presentations as well as class discussion and in-class writing exercises provide an opportunity for self-expression and a comfortable safe space where emotions and observations can be freely expressed by speaking and writing. 
·    Connections – Develop the ability to see works of literature in different ways, from different lenses of different cultures, disciplines and time. To understand how all writing is in some way, an expression of the time, culture and experience of a given historical moment: How writing has shaped the world and how the world has shaped writing.

English 144 World Literature in English (RAP section) (AL,DG)
TuTh 11:30-12:45       Instructor: Korka Sall

World Literature in English: Representation of the "Black" Body is designed to explore literature and language in the writings and artistic productions from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. As our literary and cultural texts guide these discussions, we will ask what makes these texts 'world' literature, what that conceptual framework allows, and what it prohibits. This course helps us understand the use of literature in the representation of the black body and the "Global South" in literature that deals with colonialism, oppression, racism, gender, sexuality and race.

 We will be exploring questions such as what are the characteristics of the black body and of the Global South? What does it mean to be part of the "Global South"? How do gender, race and sexuality influence the way racism is dealt with in the writings of artists from the "marginalized" world? What does it mean to be human within a broad sociocultural and historical context of colonialism and postcolonialism?  We will also examine the role of translation and the place of language in "world literature." The texts by artists from across the world will help broaden our discussion of race relations, gender, language and literature through the English language. 

English 146 Living Writers (AL,DU)(creative writing specialization)
Lecture 1: TuTh 4:00-5:15      Instructor: Astha Gupta
Writers is a course in contemporary writing and contemporary writers. You will read the work of contemporary writers including those selected for the term's Visiting Writers Series and respond critically as well as creatively. A unique feature of Living Writers is the opportunity to ask writers questions about their work and about their experiences as artists during lectures—each author will visit class for an extended Q&A with students. In addition to the course goals described below, one of the key issues to consider  throughout the class is how the authors and their works both respond to and are products of contemporary culture, how these creations relate to contemporary music, film, politics, and/or other aspects of the time in which we live.
This course fulfills two General Education Requirements: AL and DU.

English 146 Living Writers (AL,DU)(creative writing specialization)
Lecture 2: TuTh 4:00-5:15      Instructor: Julio Diaz
Writers is a course in contemporary writing and contemporary writers. You will read the work of contemporary writers including those selected for the term's Visiting Writers Series and respond critically as well as creatively. A unique feature of Living Writers is the opportunity to ask writers questions about their work and about their experiences as artists during lectures—each author will visit class for an extended Q&A with students. In addition to the course goals described below, one of the key issues to consider  throughout the class is how the authors and their works both respond to and are products of contemporary culture, how these creations relate to contemporary music, film, politics, and/or other aspects of the time in which we live.
This course fulfills two General Education Requirements: AL and DU.

English 150 Writing and Society (DU,SB)
MWF 12:20-1:10         Instructor: Robin Garabedian
In this course, we will aim to heighten your awareness about "Writing Studies," an increasingly important area of interdisciplinary study at the intersection of literacy, communication, digital studies, education, and linguistics. This field has expanded in recent years to examine "writing" as a mechanism through which to understand the operations of power in society. Throughout the semester, we will focus extensively on social, cultural, and political power relations as writing reflects, creates, or challenges them. Students will also be given the opportunity to practice writing, and reflecting on that practice, through assignments that take up questions such as: What are scholarly and popular understandings about what writing is or can do in the world? How does a diversifying society redefine writing as effective, creative, illegal, failing? How can writing engage people to take social action in ways they might not have before?

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for English Majors (English 200)
Lecture 1: TuTh 10:00-11:15              Instructor: Jordy Rosenberg
Lecture 2: TuTh 2:30-3:45                  Instructor: Jordy Rosenberg
Cultivating Awareness: The Study of Literature as a Contemplative Practice. English 200 is the department’s introduction to advanced literary studies, so we will be studying the basic terms and concepts used in literary analysis today. Our particular approach in this class is to focus on the ways the form of a literary text shapes our responses to it. (This approach is known as “reader response criticism.”) We will also explore some ways some ways that historical knowledge and literary theory can deepen our understanding of literature. As well, this class suggests that the study of literature is a contemplative practice, and as such prepares us well for life and for a wide variety of careers that call for awareness, attunement to others, strong communication skills, and developed emotional intelligence. In every class, we will devote some time to meditation. And in every class, we will be asking ourselves: how might the careful study of literature help us to become more aware and compassionate persons? How might the fundamental techniques of reading and writing about works of literature improve our lives and prepare us for our futures? 


A collection of haiku and other poems (handout)

Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek

Selected criticsm and theory (handout)

Two films


Active and mindful participation in class discussion

Occasional posting to a forum in our class web page (Moodle)

Several short (3-5 pages) essays

Exercises in editing one’s own and others’ work

Creative writing of poems and a short story (and possibly a short film script).

Collaborative production/publication of a collection of essays written in this class

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for English Majors (English 200)
Lecture 3: MWF 10:10-11:00              Instructor: Katherine O’Callaghan
Lecture 5: MWF 11:15-12:05              Instructor: Katherine O’Callaghan
Topic: The Ghosts of Literature  Introduction to literary study, concentrating on close reading and analysis of texts, writing and revising critical essays, and discussion of the issues that underlie the study of literature. In this course we will explore short stories, novels, poetry and drama from various theoretical perspectives. Each text will be examined on its own terms, but some general themes will emerge as the course progresses. In particular, students of "The Ghosts of Literature" are asked to consider the myriad ways in which the idea of haunting might be applied to a literary text. Literary heritage, intertextual influence, remnants of lost languages, ghost stories, and themes of absence, loss, and returns will all recur throughout the semester. Reading will include works by James Joyce, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Bharati Mukherjee, Conor McPherson and Henry James. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 200 Intensive Literary Studies for English Majors (English 200)
Section 4: TuTh 1:00-2:15                  Instructor: Ruth Jennison
This course will help students develop skills in close reading and analytical argumentation. Most class sessions will involve discussion-based collective textual inquiry. We will explore the foundational terms of literary study, such as: form and content, narrative and narrative structure, poetry and poetics, author, voice, context, discourse, and ideology. Students will have the opportunity to work across a variety of 20th and 21st century literary genres and forms. Our syllabus will include works by Claude McKay, Frank O'Hara, Amiri Baraka, Nathaniel West, Richard Wright, Julianna Spahr, and Sean Bonney. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 201 Early British Literature (early British literature or 200+ English elective)
TuTh 2:30-3:45                       Instructor: David Toomey
This course will survey the work of influential British writers from the medieval period to the eighteenth century.  We will explore these works for their particular contribution to literature and literary culture; we will also work to understand how they were shaped by their historical, social and political contexts. Coursework will include in-class quizzes, a brief presentation to the class on a subject related to the contexts of the literature the course treats, a mid term response essay, and a final response essay.

English 202 Later British Literature (British literature after 1800 or 200+ English elective)
MonWed 2:30-3:45                 Instructor: Heidi Holder
This course provides a survey of British literature from the early eighteenth century and the Enlightenment through the First World War.  We will focus on the rise of the novel, developments in the theory of poetry, and innovations in theatrical form; we will pay particular attention to changes in the nature of the audience for these genres.  Readings will include works by Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, William Blake, Joanna Baillie, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Dion Boucicault, Robert Browning, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.  Additional contextual readings examine political, economic, scientific, technological, and social changes.  Open only to English majors and those studying at the University on international or domestic exchange. Prerequisite: ENGLWRIT 112 or equivalent.  This course is open to English majors only.

English 205 Intro to Post-Colonial Studies (Anglophone or 200+ English elective)
TuTh 2:30-3:45                       Instructor: Stephen Clingman
The term “postcolonial” appears everywhere nowadays, yet what does it mean and where does it come from? This course will serve as an introduction to the range of postcolonial literature, as well as its history, chief concerns, and theoretical underpinnings. In the aftermath of the age of empire and colonial expansion, large swathes of the world face key questions involving identity, belonging, nationalism, culture, language, gender and race, where the future must be formed both within and against the legacies of the past, and the present is a complex reality. In this context we’ll be reading some of the most exciting and significant contemporary fiction from different parts of the world, including India, Africa and the Caribbean. Writers will include NoViolet Bulawayo, Michelle Cliff, J. M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy, Hisham Matar, and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, and we’ll be viewing film from Africa as well. Readings from Ngũgĩ, Said, Rushdie, Fanon, Mohanty and others will round out the picture. Overall, through literature, you should emerge with a clearer and deeper grasp of some of the major concerns of our time. Classes will involve some lecturing, much discussion and participation, online contributions, and written work.

English 221 Shakespeare (AL) (early British literature or 200+ English elective)
Mon/Wed 12:20-1:10              Instructor: Adam Zucker
A survey that covers Shakespeare's entire career, from early, sensationally bloody works like Titus Andronicus to the meditative late plays like Cymbeline and The Tempest. Along the way, we'll investigate the language, the structure, and the elaborate plotting of some of the most famous (and infamous) works ever written in English. Special focus given to Shakespeare's revealing explorations of the interplay between family, political hierarchies, and desire; his interest in distant settings and peoples; and, perhaps most importantly, his attempts to dramatize the struggle of individuals to make sense of the worlds in which they live. Through careful reading and discussion, we will work towards an understanding of why plays that seem so removed from our day-to-day concerns have remained powerfully relevant for four hundred years. Three essays, a mid-term and a final exam. Attendance at lecture and consistent participation in discussion sections required.

This course fulfills the AL General Education requirements.

English 221, Discussion D01AA
Fri 10:10-11:00
John Yargo

English 221, Discussion D01AD
Fri: 1:25-2:15
TA: Yunah Kae

English 221, Discussion D01AB
Fri 11:15-12:05
TA: Sharanya Sridhar

English 221, Discussion D01AE

Fri: 10:10-11:00
TA: Yunah Kae

English 221, Discussion D01AC
Fri: 1:25-2:15
TA: Sharanya Sridhar

English 221, Discussion D01AF
Fri: Fri 11:15-12:05
TA: John Yargo


English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (AL) (200+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
Lecture 1: MWF 10:10-11:00              Instructor: Juleen Johnson
Place Through A Creative Lens.  The Moon, Big Sur, Half Dome, Star Market, and The Blue Wall. How are worlds created? What makes places memorable? How do feelings take you back to a place? In this course we will explore poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms through the lens of place. Writing prompts will guide your exploration of diverse modes and approaches. Workshops will allow you to revise and learn by examining others’ creative pieces. After participating in this cross-genre course you will have a portfolio of original poems, fiction, and hybrid pieces. Writers at all stages are welcome.

This course fulfills the AL General Education requirements.

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (AL)(200+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
Lecture 2: MWF 11:15-12:05              Instructor: Erin Butler
Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature: Exploring the Strange.  Some of the world's most famous writers have fallen into the category of what critics describe as either genius or madness during their lifetimes—and have often floated between the two. How do the elements of our psyche show up in our writing and in the writing of others? How does that change the way we see both the text and the author? By examining fiction, poetry, and other forms of writing, this class will explore what it means to be a writer working in spaces considered subversive, inventive, radical, or simply strange. We will look at what it means to enter unexplored places in literature and what that can tell us about ourselves as readers and writers. In addition, we will question what strangeness really means and how we can use writing as a tool to explode the meaning of this term.

Course readings will include works by Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Nikolai Gogol, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, George Saunders, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, and Audre Lorde, among others. In addition to studying and writing about the work of other writers, you will also be writing your own fiction and poetry in this course as part of a workshop that will help you get acquainted with yourself as a writer. This course does not require previous writing experience—all are welcome.

This course fulfills the AL General Education requirements.

English 254 Writing and Reading Imaginative Literature (AL)(200+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
Lecture 3: MWF 12:20-1:10                Instructor: Sarah Coates
The Electric Sea: Young Adult Lit and Contemporary Reflection. Young Adult books are important. An undervalued body of literature, YA is often regarded as having little literary merit, intellectual rigor, or poetic scope. But that’s just not true. It’s an electric sea where you can find POC and LGBTQ+ authors and authors with disabilities writing about race, queerness, transness, neurodiversity, and disability. It’s teaming with hard-hitting writing about pressing contemporary issues. And what all these books have in common are powerful young adult protagonists.

In this class we’ll read YA fiction and poetry from authors such as Holly Black, Tomi Adeyemi, Neal and Jarrod Shusterman, T.J. Klune, Elizabeth Acevedo, and writing partners (in pen and life) Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy. Through our readings we’ll grapple with how these authors weave worlds, plots, and characters around current existential questions in order to write YA ourselves. And we’ll look at the use of genre fiction, graphic novels, fan fiction, and novels in verse to explore the different possibilities of form.

Poetry will be our compass. Writing it will lead us to the hearts of our stories. We’ll craft with meta and speculative fiction, traversing adjacent worlds in order to better understand our own. And we’ll also play to write. Through narrative games like D&D we’ll experiment with new modes of creation and learn from fate by rolling dice, building or destroying whole characters with each roll.

Most importantly, we’ll stretch our creative muscles to reflect on the present and future impacts of our current social, local, and global crises.

This course fulfills the AL General Education requirements.

English 257H Interactive Fiction Honors (200+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                                          Instructor: Daniel Sack
Readers and spectators are always implicitly involved in the creation of an artwork— perhaps as interpreters or as respondents. But what happens when that work explicitly invites one to collaborate in its fictional world, to act in its arena? We live in an increasingly interactive environment, where even our appliances respond to our spoken requests. How might we employ a critical awareness of our relationships to these new technologies and the people, places, and things with which they connect us? This course will survey a selection of art and entertainment from the last 50 years aimed at creating an interactive experience on the page, stage, gallery, or screen. We will focus on fictional worlds, though the line between fiction and actuality is especially blurry in the context of such immersive or interactive forms. We will witness the participation of others, and will ourselves practice playing with (and in) the work. Our study will focus on a range of interactive textual, embodied, and digital artworks, both experimental and popular, and will make use of theoretical frameworks from a number of disciplines, including literary studies, media studies, performance studies, visual art, philosophy, and sociology. Together we will ask: What do we mean by interaction, participation, or agency in a fictional world? How is it different from activity in the actual world? What are the limits and possibilities afforded by its promise? How might an increasingly interactive cultural landscape alter our understanding of narrative or storytelling, of subjectivity and even free will? How might participation encourage empathy toward those with different perspectives or backgrounds? What are the political and social consequences of an increasingly participatory art?  Open only to first year Commonwealth College students only.  

English 269 American Literature and Culture after 1865 (course in American literature after 1865 or 200+ English elective)
Section 1: MonWed 4:00-5:15                        Instructor: Gina Ocasion
This course explores the definition and evolution of a national literary tradition in the United States from the Civil War to the present. We will examine a variety of issues arising from the historical and cultural contexts of the 19th and 20th centuries, the formal study of literature, and the competing constructions of American identity. Students will consider canonical texts, as well as those less frequently recognized as central to the American literary tradition, in an effort to foster original insights i9nto the definition, content, and the shape of literature in the United States.

English 269 American Literature and Culture after 1865 (course in American literature after 1865 or 200+ English elective)
Section 2: TuTh 2:30-3:45                  Instructor: Sarah Patterson
Figures of Contestation in American Literature and Film.  In this class, we will address literary and theoretical works that tackle America’s changing cultural landscape from 1865 to 1930. In mainstream entertainment culture, fiction constituted the one of the nation’s most popular forms of artistic and political expression, creating spaces for dissent and hagiography alike. From images of workers in industrial squalor, poverty and prostitution in urban city streets to utopian depictions of feminist communities and rallying orations at national conventions, this course will introduce turn-of-the-century figures of contestation taken from the Civil War, Gilded Age, Women’s Rights and the Harlem Renaissance eras. Canonical and lesser-known readings include Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s The Sport of the Gods, Nella Larsen’s Quicksand and the 1915 propaganda film Birth of a Nation. Alongside core readings and film viewings, students will have an opportunity to experience the textual formats and iconography that undergirded past reading cultures using digitized historical newspapers and image archives. Assignments include discussion, a class presentation and short critical responses.

English 298_2 Practicum: Leadership in English Studies
Mon 4:00-5:00 PM                  Instructor David Fleming

This practicum, taken P/F usually for 2 credits, is for English majors at any level interested in joining and working on the department's Student Advisory Board (SAB). You must be able to meet Mondays from 4-5 pm. The SAB serves as a voice for undergraduate students in English and helps the department recruit, advise, and communicate with prospective and current English majors. Duties include public speaking (talking to current majors, to new majors, to prospective majors, etc.), peer advising, and work helping organize departmental events. Each SAB member will also work on a special project of service to the department. This is a great way to become more involved in English, to develop leadership and teamwork skills, and to engage with others on projects that can make a difference! By application only: email David Fleming at if you're interested.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (JYW or Anglophone/ethnic American or 300+ English elective)
Section 1: TuTh 10:00-11:15              Instructor: Jimmy Worthy
Topic: Death and Resurrection in African American Literature and Culture.  This course will examine the trope of resurrection in nineteenth and twentieth-century African American literature. By focusing on African American literature as manifestoes of community formation through resurrection, we will explore African American authors’ preoccupation with chronicling characters who must undergo and embody a ritual of death and resurrection. Our readings will provide plentiful opportunities to analyze how the construction of death and resurrection constitute a governing structure of life deeply embedded in African American belief systems, cultural memory and literary production. To aid our efforts, we will first investigate the methods through which radical dislocation and ultimate renewal entered into literary renderings of Black lived experiences and imagined existences. Not only will slave narratives prove useful in this endeavor, but they will also illuminate the psychic drive for liberation from oppression, a drive that becomes the inheritance of twentieth-century authors. We will also highlight the confrontation of Modernism and articulations of resurrection in Harlem Renaissance texts. How these texts address the process of resurrection as an avenue to an essential self in and outside of religious formations of life and how they anticipate Post-Modern African American texts’ distrust of a renewed, essential self will shape discussions and writing assignments. In writing, students must demonstrate competency in argumentation, and demonstrate writing that is strengthened by the use of multiple textual illustrations.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (JYW or course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
Lecture 2: TuTh 4:00-5:15      Instructor: Ruth Jennison
Topic: Resistance and Revolution in 20th and 21st Century American Poetry Resistance and Revolution in 20th and 21st Century American Poetry. How do poets engage with the riot, the strike, the boycott, the occupation, the commune, the sit-in, the picket, and the mass demonstration? We will explore (mostly American) poetry written during the three most recent periods of capitalist economic crisis and corresponding social rebellion: the 1930s the 1970s, and post-2008.  Our guiding questions will be: How does poetry offer ways for its readers to grasp the contours of capitalism as a system?  What strategies of resistance do American poets embrace and elaborate in their popular and experimental forms? What is the relationship between politics that take place in the streets and politics that take place on the page? What rich tensions arise between the poet as militant and the poet as artist?  How do class, race, gender, and sexuality inform struggles for post-capitalist futures? Our texts from the 1930s will include poetry by Sol Funaroff, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Muriel Rukeyser. From the 1970s, we'll examine the work of Amiri Baraka, John Wieners, Gwendolyn Brooks, Larry Eigner, and Diane Di Prima. In our turn to the current moment, we will explore how American poets metabolize the rise of neoliberalism, and in turn, give voice to popular resistance against austerity and state violence. Contemporary poets will include Keston Sutherland, M. NourbeSe Philip, Rob Halpern, Chris Nealon, Craig Santos Perez, Uyen Hua, Anne Boyer, Fred Moten, and Julianna Spahr. Throughout the course, we will place poetry in conversation with individual and collective theories, experiences, and manifestos of resistance and liberation: Marx, Lenin, Mao, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Sylvia Federici, The Black Panther Party, Chicago Gay Liberation. Senior and Junior English majors only.  Prerequisite:  English 200 with a grade of C or better.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (JYW or 300+ English elective)
Section 3: TuTh 11:30-12:45              Instructor: Stephen Clingman
Topic:  Spy vs Spy.  This course will be a survey of spy fiction in novels, television and film across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Naturally, we will be exploring some of the staples (James Bond) as well as some of the “greats,” including novels by le Carré and (possibly) Greene. But there will be space for other writers as well, such as Kate Atkinson, David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), and Hisham Matar. We will also work across different media: the film version of le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, or the remarkable East German film, The Lives of Others; television series will include The Americans among others. Overall, there will be important issues for us to consider. How does spy fiction relate to nationalism, race, gender and sexuality? How does the genre of spy fiction work? How does the “popular” relate to the “literary”? What are some of the differences between the classic Cold War texts and the ways spy fiction is being rewritten now? Why is spy fiction so obsessed with duplicity and betrayal, and what might that tell us about how we decode our world more generally? How does spying, and the question of duplicity, overlap with the literary itself, not least in terms of decoding and interpretation? Class work will involve some lecturing, lots of discussion, and student projects, culminating, in this junior-year writing class, in a longer piece of work at the end of the semester.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (JYW or Anglophone or 300+ English elective)
Section 4: MWF 1:25-2:15      Instructor: Katherine O’Callaghan
Topic: Music and the Irish Novel This seminar examines the role of music in prose fiction, and in particular in the Irish novel. Novels of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in which music plays a significant role as a thematic, formal, or aesthetic inspiration will be discussed. Traditional music, opera, ballads, jazz, classical, pop, and contemporary music; the musical influences are wide. We will explore how authors depict composers and the act of composition, performers and the act of performance, and the roles of the audience and the reader. What do we mean when we say that a language, or a piece of literature, is "musical"? The objectives of this course are to develop skills of literary analysis; to gain an overview of issues pertinent to the Irish novels on the course; to understand the fundamentals of interdisciplinary approaches to literature; to respond in a creative manner to the intersection of music and literature; to articulate arguments in short and longer essay form and in class discussion. No prior musical training necessary for this course.

Readings will include Kate O'Brien's As Music and Splendour, Bernard MacLaverty's Grace Notes, and Sara Baume's A Line Made by Walking.

English 300 Junior Year Writing (JYW or course in British literature after 1700 or Anglophone/ethnic American or 300+ English elective)
Section 5: MonWed 4:00-5:15            Instructor: Gretchen Gerzina
Topic:  Black London In 1963, Jamaican-born dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson moved to London, as part of a long wave of post-war immigrants encouraged to go to England to help revitalize the economy. What he found, as expressed in his most famous recording, was that “Inglan is a bitch/dere’s no escaping it.”

However, black people have lived in Britain since the sixteenth century, and publishing books there since the eighteenth century.  In this course you will study the lives and works of black people in Britain over three centuries. We will read modern prize-winning authors such as Sam Selvon, Caryl Phillips, Andrea Levy, Bernardine Evaristo, Paul Gilroy, and Zadie Smith, as well works by black eighteenth-century authors such as Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho.  We will also view several feature films and documentaries about the black British experience over many years. The course's main topics are immigration and outsiders; the long-established black communities; crafting a literary voice; the concept of “home”; modern, multicultural Britain; interracial marriage; and the formation of a Black British identity. How do these British experiences differ from American experiences?

Books will probably include Equiano’s Narrative; selected letters and narratives of early black British writers; Black London; Lonely Londoners, Foreigners, Small World, Mr. Loverman, and White Teeth.

English 302 Studies in Textuality and New Media (300+ English elective)(New Media)
TuTh 10:00-11:15                   Instructor: Sarah Patterson
The Social Life of Data.  In this class, we will study the social life of data aligned with popular topics in digital culture. Data holds a ubiquitous presence in today’s society—from globalized polling tools that project measurements of happiness to governmental surveillance practices that draw public scrutiny. We will use interdisciplinary approaches to analysis and better understand data across contexts: as sites of contestation, as symbols of technological advancement and as platforms for social justice. The course draws upon a vibrant selection of theory, literature and film including Ida B. Wells’ Southern Horrors, Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener, Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. Students will explore a variety of public data sets related to fiery debates raised in readings on surveillance, poverty, entertainment industries, charitable fundraising and collective protest. The course provides an introduction to principles of data visualization, open-source tools and methods for analysis. Course work includes group discussion, a presentation and short critical responses.

English 313 Introduction to Old English Poetry (early British or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                   Instructor: Stephen Harris
Old English is a language spoken in Britain from the early 400s to the 1100s. In this course, you will learn to read it. It will give you a good grounding in English grammar as well as a solid sense of the origin of English vocabulary. Once you can read Old English, you are only steps away from reading Old Norse, the language of the Vikings, as well as Old Saxon and Old Frisian. As well as learning the Old English language, we will read Old English poetry, including "Caedmon's Hymn," "The Seafarer," "The Wanderer," "Dream of the Rood," "The Battle of Maldon," and the epic Judith, about a warrior maiden who leads her army to heroic conquest ("Sloh tha wundenlocc thone feondsceathan fagum mece ..."). It is like no other poetry in English. Reading it in the original language allows you to practice intense close reading, an essential component of a literary education. You will also be introduced to Norse and Celtic myths. Old English inspired J. R. R. Tolkien's Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It inspired Seamus Heaney's North as well as his Beowulf. And it was a profound influence on Jorge Luis Borges. We will examine runes and learn to make manuscripts. A working knowledge of English grammar is recommended.

English 317 (Dis)ability and Literature (course in American literature after 1865 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 1:00-2:15                       Instructor: Janis Greve
This course will delve into the thriving field of disability studies as it engages with literary texts and the arts. Reading and viewing from a range of genres, we will explore how texts portray disabilities across the human spectrum.  A primary goal will be to investigate how disabled and non-disabled writers alike communicate physical experiences that depart from the idealized human form of Western culture.  Paradoxically, an equally important goal will be to become less sure of what disability is, questioning our received notions. We will hope to develop insight into human physical variation, suffering, and our accountability to one another, while fostering the empathy and self-reflection that make for a humane society—as potential caregivers and responsive, informed human beings.  This is a service-learning course, where students will partner with adults with  cognitive differences to create a project.  The service-learning will be done remotely and is integrated into regular class hours.  

English 319 Representing the Holocaust (AL,  DG) (300+ English elective)
Tues 2:30-3:45 + discussion               Instructor: Jonathan Skolnik
Major themes and critical issues concerning Holocaust representation and memory in a global context.  The course examines literature, film, memoirs, music, visual arts, memorials, museums, and video archives of survivor testimonies to explore narrative responses to racism and the destruction of European Jewry and others during World War II.  There are no prerequisites. 4 Credits. (Gen.Ed. DG AL).

319 Disc 01AA Th 1:00-2:15
Instructor: Saumya Lal

319 Disc 01AD  Th 10:00-11:15  Instructor: Caroline Heafey

319 Disc 01AB Th 10:00-11:15  Instructor: Saumya Lal

319 Disc 01AE  Th 11:30-12:45  Instructor: Jonathan Skolnik

319 Disc 01AC  Th 1:00-2:15 
Instructor: Caroline Heafey



English 329H Tutoring Writing: Theory and Practice (300+ English elective)(SPOW)
TuTh 1:00-2:15                       Instructor: Anna Rita Napoleon
Prerequisite: Gen. Ed. College Writing 112 or 113 with a grade of "B" or better.  Students interested in the course should submit an application to by March 23: (1) a formal letter explaining why the student is interested and has potential to become a writing tutor; (2) an academic writing sample (attached as a word or pdf file) and (3) the name and email address of the student’s 112 instructor or another instructor who can speak to the student's qualifications.  While the preferred deadline was set for March 23rd, additional applicants may be considered if seats are available.  The strongest applications will be invited to an interview.

English 350H Expository Writing Honors (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
MonWed 2:30-3:45                 Instructor: John Hennessy
This course is designed for students who have a special interest in personal narratives, documentary forms, travel writing, and/or innovative approaches to feature writing. Students will read and write a variety of literary non-fiction forms, including memoir, documentary essays, and profiles, and the course will have a workshop component.  Texts will include works by Joan Didion, Helene Cooper, and others. Students will also be encouraged to try other forms of non-fiction, including travel writing, interviews, editorials, reviews, etc.

English 354 Creative Writing: Intro to Fiction (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
MWF 1:25-2:15                       Instructor: Alex Terrell
“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”  ― Stephen King  Workshop (working) Title: the witching hour
What is it that haunts you? What keeps you up at night? What obsesses your mind during the witching hour? In this intro to Fiction we will investigate our obsessions and the things that haunt us. We will look at how ghosts, spectres, haints, ghouls, and monsters may also be found in the most familiar places and faces. We will read spooky fiction, timely folklore, and feminist fairy tales. We will look to what’s inside of us to find that which is haunting and move beyond the classic definition of haunting to explore themes of home, memory, and the ghosts of those still alive. All styles and genres of writing welcome as we will simply use the idea of “haunting” as a framework to better understand the things that draw us to writing what we write.

Think of this workshop as an invitation to explore the realms of strangeness or how even the mundane lends itself to the bizarre. We’ll look at elements of craft such as form, pacing, and worldbuilding, suspense, tension, and setting, among others.  Students in the workshop will be asked to write original works of fiction, attend local literary events, and provide careful, thoughtful critiques of each other’s work.

English 354 Creative Writing: Intro to Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
MWF 11:15-12:05                   Instructor: Molly Gray
GLEEFUL THIEVERY  “The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling…” (T.S. Eliot)

With writing comes the question of influence—what does it mean to be original? In our poems, what are the rules of repurposing? What do we do with the menagerie of books, poems, lines, and words we love and return to?  How do we continue to find our inspirations, and then weave them into our own work?

This course will explore the ways in which we can successfully stitch our influences into something all our own. Like magpies, we’ll become collectors in the service of writing—we’ll translate our bright, shiny things into our own words and our own voice. Together, we’ll explore writers, events, memories, and forms that pay homage to—and carry forward—what catches our eye and keeps us writing.

This workshop welcomes all writers. Whether you’re brand new to creative writing or you’ve been writing for years, your voice matters. It’s the goal of this workshop to welcome you, inspire you, to give you the space to say what you want to say, and to teach you the tools to write what you want to write.

English 354 Creative Writing: Mixed Genre (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
MWF 12:20-1:10                     Instructor: Sarah Ali
Writing Through Wonder. Emily Dickinson once said, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.” In this class, we will explore different kinds of writing that might take the tops of our heads off and help us develop an orientation toward wonder and curiosity. When we read or write, we are both in and out of ourselves—where does a poem or story take us without physically moving us? Where else can our minds go? What inspires us, moves us, makes us daydream? Together, we will work to find our own personal answers to these questions by experimenting with form, content, and style. We will approach the blank page as a place of possibility and lean into our sense of bewilderment. As a group, we’ll open the door to open-endedness and see what (or who!) walks through.

Writers at all stages welcome! Over the course of this cross-genre workshop, students will be asked to write poems and short works of fiction. Classes will consist of discussion, writing exercises, and responses to each other’s work.  The workshop will culminate in a final portfolio of original work.

English 354 Creative Writing: Mixed Genre (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
MW 2:30-3:45             Instructor: David Richardson
Image, Text. This workshop will wonder, how does the dialectic between image and text function in literature? How do images make—or complicate, amplify, distort, etc.—the meaning of a piece of writing? And how does text shape the meaning of an image?

We will explore these questions through creative writing and reading of image-text works—fiction and nonfiction prose, poetry, and all manner of hybrid. We will survey a host of contemporary image-text practitioners (plus some older examples), with a particular focus on literary writers using photographs, paintings, drawings, and other forms of visual representation in their work.

The wager of this class: the relationship between image and text is unstable, and this instability provides a fascinating site of potential for any writer or image-maker.

This workshop is designed for writers and artists with an interest in making and thinking about image-text work.

This class aims to be equally useful to workshop veterans, first-timers, and all in between. It is a great creative writing course for both writers and visual artists. Together we will build an inclusive, supportive critical environment meant to facilitate your artistic goals.

English 355 Creative Writing Fiction (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
Section 1: Tues 5:30-8:00                        Instructor: Sabina Murray
In this course students will the study the structure of narrative by comparing the handling of time in screenplay and fiction.  Students will learn the basics of the screenplay form but are required to manage a significant (novels and stories) reading load.  The focus of the class is on adaptation and there will be a series of assignments designed to progress an adaptation project (fiction to film) of the student's selection. Admission by permission of professor.

Students should submit a five page writing sample (excerpted work is acceptable if noted) and a personal statement.  In the personal statement, the applicant should mention two works of fiction--novels or short stories-- and two films, and why they are important.  The personal statement should be no more than 800 words.  Samples and statements should be submitted to Professor Murray's email Please include Spire ID #. DUE April 30th. OPEN TO STUDENTS FROM ALL DEPARTMENTS.

English 355 Creative Writing Fiction (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
Section 2: Thurs 10:00-12:30        Instructor: Chris Ayala

English 355 is a seminar in writing short stories and other fiction. In this course, we will question story and character with the goal of reconstructing narratives based on craft lectures, feedback, imitation prompts, and editing exercises with an emphasis on multimodal approaches for reseeing their work. 

We will be reading novels and short stories, mostly contemporary, while working on larger projects for a workshop element at semester's. The course culminates with a project portfolio wherein each student leaves  with a clearer understanding of their craft and several pieces of writing toward future projects and collections.

Please submit 3-5 pages of your favorite writing and a personal statement detailing your class goals to

English 356 Creative Writing Poetry (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
Tu 4:00-6:30                            Instructor: Peter Gizzi
Students should submit a portfolio of three poems in a Word document to Professor Gizzi at by April 30th. Students will be notified by the end of the semester of their status. Registration after this date is possible, but priority will be given to students who apply this semester for the fall. Registration by instructor permission only. Prerequisite: English majors only. English 354 or equivalent with a B or better.

English 359 Victorian Imagination (course in British literature after 1700 or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                   Instructor: Jill Franks
We will focus on Jane Austen and Charles Dickens—their lives and selected works. Austen’s prolific years were the 1810s; Dickens’s, the 1840s and 1850s. Reading key works of both authors, we’ll trace developments in English history from Austen’s Regency period through Dickens’s mid-Victorian era. Supplementing our novels with Claire Tomalin’s authoritative biographies of the writers, we’ll ground our reading of fictional narratives in real-life events and the authors’ personal challenges. Discussion of social issues will include these topics: gender roles, the marriage market, class satire, poverty, imperialism, the prison system, and racism. 

English 365 The Literature of Ireland (AL) (Anglophone or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                   Instructor: Malcolm Sen
“If you have the words, there's always a chance that you will find the way", wrote Seamus Heaney. It seems that Irish writers have rarely been at a loss for words. Despite its size, Ireland has produced some of the most influential literary authors of the 20th century. This course gives you an opportunity to read a number of canonical Irish authors, such as W B Yeats and James Joyce, and also contemporary authors such as Sara Baume and Donal Ryan. We will pay attention to the social, historical and environmental conditions, which shape these narratives.

This is a General Education course and in it you will also learn to communicate your ideas persuasively and with precision. You will be guided to read literary texts through the lens of contemporary concerns such as environmental degradation and climate change. You will also gain a firm understanding of how literature reflects upon, critiques and sometimes 'predicts' political and environmental realities. (Gen.Ed. AL)

English 371 African American Literature (American literature after 1865 or Anglophone/ethnic American or 300+ English elective)
TuTh 1:00-2:25                       Instructor: Jimmy Worthy
This course will offer students an overview of the important literary works produced by African American authors throughout the twentieth-century. We will examine the ideas, concerns, and preoccupations of African American authors as expressed in various literary pronouncements. ENG 371 will also allow students to assess the values and aesthetics that are not only representative of African American literature of the twentieth-century, but that define the particular genre and historical context from which the literature emerges. Using this critical orientation and throughout this course, students will discuss and write about texts with respect to how these works address challenges to gender, racial, economic, and national identity in the United States and throughout the African Diaspora. Furthermore, by focusing on African American literature since 1900, ENG 371 offers students the ability to chart the development of African American authors’ literary sensibilities across the twentieth-century and within multiple genres. Such endeavors will enable students to figure the literature produced by African Americans as indictive of a collective artistic imagination and representative of a process by which African Americans employed the written word in their demand for recognition and personhood. In essays and discussions, students are to consider the development of twentieth- century African American letters within the four specific literary areas we will encounter: Early Twentieth-Century and the Harlem Renaissance, The Realist/Modernist Movement, The Black Arts Era, and Literature Since 1975. In your writing, and discussion, make sure to engage these questions: What claims does African American literature make for itself given its political and aesthetic contexts? How ultimately does literary art function for the disenfranchised?

English 378 American Women Writers (American literature after 1865 or Anglophone/ethnic American literature or 300+ English elective)
MWF 9:05-9:55                       Instructor: Gloria Biamonte
"What Moves at the Margin": Reading Contemporary American Women Writers.  "The proper stuff of fiction' does not exist," wrote Virginia Woolf in 1925, "everything is the proper stuff of fiction, every feeling, every thought; every quality of brain and spirit is drawn upon; no perception comes amiss."  The contemporary writers we will be reading in this course – a rather open-ended exploration of American women writers from the mid-1970s to the present – would agree with Woolf.  Exploring the richly diverse, original, and, at times, radically experimental narratives that evolve– sometimes quietly, other times filled with rage, almost always with longing, and, at moments, with deep love -- we will consider the writers' attempts to respond to the social, economic and political events that shaped their lives. Our focus will be on short stories, short-story cycles, and the novel.  Close textual readings will help us to examine the subtleties of character interactions, the weaving together of multiple storylines, and the inventive narrative devices that each writer uses in creating their stories. And we will ask: how do these authors create a space for the reader to enter— a space where understanding and empathy can grow?  Authors may include: Ann Patchett, Lorrie Moore, Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich, Jennifer Egan, Jesmyn Ward, Anna Deavers Smith, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Karen Russell. Books will be available at Amherst Books.

English 379 Intro to Professional Writing (300+ English elective)(PWTC)(SPOW)
Lecture 1: TuTh 1:00-2:15      Instructor: David Toomey
This course offers an overview of commonly encountered professional genres such as memos, reports, job materials, and grant proposals. Students gain practice writing in these genres, with an emphasis on clarity and concision. They develop more sophisticated research skills and gain experience in communicating specialized information to non-specialist readers. Finally, they are exposed to the range of professional writing careers as they explore writing on both theoretical and practical planes through consideration of audience, as well as wider professional, social, and cultural contexts. Prereq.: ENGLWP 112 or equivalent; junior or senior status with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. (3 credits).

English 379 Intro to Professional Writing (300+ English elective)(PWTC)(SPOW)
Lecture 2: MonWed 4:00-5:15      Instructor: Elena Kalodner-Martin
See above.

English 380 Professional Writing and Technical Comm I (300+)(PWTC)
TuTh 11:30-12:45                   Instructor: Janine Solberg
Junior and Senior students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Introduces principles of technical writing, usability, and page design. Simulates writing/editing processes used in the computer industry. Students write a 20-25 page manual documenting a software product, usually Microsoft Word. Prereq.: ENGLWP 112 or equivalent; ENGL 379 (which may be taken concurrently with instructor approval); junior or senior status with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. (3 credits).

English 388 Rhetoric, Writing and Society (300+ English elective)(SPOW)
TuTh 2:30-3:45                       Instructor: David Fleming
This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of rhetoric, defined here as the art of persuasion. For nearly 2,500 years, rhetoric has been the central academic discipline for thinking about the adaptation of discourse to purpose, audience, occasion, and subject matter. The earliest rhetorical arts were focused on public speaking in direct democracies; later rhetorics treated eloquence more broadly, including written discourse and its role in religion, science, commerce, art, and education. More contemporary rhetorical theories have expanded the purview of rhetoric to include visual media, digital culture, and nonverbal performance and to see rhetorical motivations lurking even in artifacts produced without conscious persuasive design. Rhetoric is useful as a critical tool for analyzing others' discourse; as a practical art for inventing one's own discourse; and as a theoretical discipline for interrogating the languages of social and political life. In this course, we'll learn about and practice these various rhetorics. The course is also meant to help students meet objective 10 of the English section of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL): "to understand principles of rhetoric as they apply to various forms and purposes of oral and written communication." The fall 2019 syllabus for this course can be seen at

English 391D Writing and Emerging Technologies (300+ English)(SPOW)
MonWed 1:00-2:15                 Instructor: Janine Solberg

In this course we will explore modes of writing in and for digital environments. Students will develop skills that are relevant for a variety of writing-intensive professions, including publishing, content strategy, technical writing, marketing, and non-profit advocacy work. Students can expect to gain hands-on experience with software or platforms commonly used for digital or print publishing (e.g., WordPress or Adobe InDesign/Illustrator). This workshop-style course meets in a computer classroom; regular attendance is required. This course counts toward the following specializations in English: PWTC, SPOW, NMDH.

Prerequisite (may be waived with instructor approval): completion of English 200 and two of the following period survey courses-English 201, 202, 221, 268 or 269.

English 391NM Narrative Medicine: How Writing Can Heal (300+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)(SPOW)
Thur 4:00-6:30            Instructor: Marian MacCurdy
This interdisciplinary writing course investigates the cognitive and emotional benefits of writing for diverse populations including trauma survivors, patients, caregivers, teachers or those who hope to teach—anyone who is interested in the power of personal writing to effect change. Training in reflective writing supports clinical and/or pedagogical effectiveness among medical and educational professionals by enabling them to both listen to and respond to stories of conflict, illness, trauma, and transformation and to express their own histories in writing as well. Students will read, write, and discuss personal essays as well as texts that address the relationship between writing and resilience. We will focus on process—how to produce narratives that are both artistically and therapeutically effective. No prior experience with the medical humanities required.

English 392T (WGSS 392T) Reading Transgender (300 English elective)
MonWed 4:00-5:15 PM     Instructor: Joy Hayward-Jansen
From newspaper chronicles of nineteenth-century gender outlaws to the present-day explosion of transgender poetry, our personal, cultural, and political understandings of gender nonconformity in the United States have long been tied to particular modes of representation. Through sustained engagement with such creative work, as well as background reading in transgender history and theory, this course will explore the literary history of trans. Although we will pull material from across time and genre, we will focus on contemporary writers like Janet Mock and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Together, we will ask questions about authorship; the relationship between social conditions and representational strategies; the possibilities and limitations of different genres; and, ultimately, what makes literature "trans."

English 481 Individual American Writers (course in American literature after 1865 or 400+ English elective)
Thurs 10:00-12:30                    Instructor: Dix McComas
Topic: Willa Cather, Flannery O’Connor, and Toni Morrison In this course, we will read works from three pivotal American writers: Willa Cather, whose early novels center on the struggles of immigrant women on the American prairie in the late 19th century; Flannery O’Connor, many of whose mid-century short stories dissect the anxieties of white middle-class women in the American south during the years of the Civil Rights Movement; and Toni Morrison, whose novels of the 1970s and 1980s explore trajectories of Black women (at various points of history) seeking (psychological and physical) ways out of racist entrapment.   

These three writers, different as they are, converge in their focus on the manner in which the marginalized (by race, gender, class, ethnicity) serve the (psychological and material needs) of the privileged—and the latter resist exploitation by the former.  
We will read O Pioneers! and My Antonia by Willa Cather; a selection from The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor; The Bluest Eye and Beloved by Toni Morrison.  Some secondary works (literary, biographical, and historical) will also be on our reading list.  

English 491AC The Major and Beyond: Career Exploration for English Majors
Wed 11:30-12:45                    Instructor: Janis Greve
Why wait any longer?! This course helps you pave the way to a valuable post-graduate experience--be it a program, internship, or job. You will practice important job search skills, learn to articulate the worth of your major, and leave the class with a better sense of your vocational direction. In addition to receiving individualized guidance in creating a cover letter and résumé of immediate use, other assignments are likely to include attendance at career events, interviews with professionals from fields of interest, a professional presentation, a short paper researching professions, and participation in a mock interview. Note: for an additional credit and some extra work, students can opt to have the course count toward an English elective. Please contact Prof. Greve if you are interested. Sophomores and Juniors. Seniors by permission of the instructor only.

English 491DS Data Science in the Humanities (400+ English elective)(SPOW)(Digital Humanities)
TuTh 2:30-3:45                       Instructor: Stephen Harris
This course introduces you to data science. You will learn the python programming language, how to design simple algorithms, and how to apply data science to the humanities. The skill set you learn in this course is portable to business, law, journalism, teaching, and public service. UMass offers a number of introductions to data science, but this course focuses on practical applications in literature, language, history, art, architecture, film, music, dance, society, and politics. We start from scratch, so you don't need to know how to program, and high-school-level math is sufficient. You will design and implement a final project with a faculty member or graduate student in any HFA department. You can work alone or in teams. Grades are based on basic proficiency in python, a good grasp of simple algorithms, and the success of your final project. Please feel free to contact the professor beforehand if you have any questions or concerns about this course.

English 492D Children’s Literature (400+ English elective or course in British literature after 1700)
Mon 10:10-12:40                     Instructor: Gretchen Gerzina
Topic: Pirates, Orphans, and Empire: The Victorians in Children's Literature.  British children's novels offer several ways of understanding the Victorians and Edwardians through ideas about childhood and orphanhood, masculinity and femininity, literature, nature and scientific discovery and invention, social history, the imagination, poverty and consumerism.

For example, The Water Babies explores what was then the new concept of Darwinism and its place in a religious world. The Wind in the Willows looks at the role of the pastoral in a changing world of industrialism and consumerism. Both Peter Pan and Treasure Island look at pirates and the role of adventure stories, and ideas of masculinity. The two Alice novels make a strong pitch for fantasy and the imagination in a rigidly class-bound society. The Secret Garden discusses the regenerative power of nature, and both this novel and The Little Lame Prince talk about disability. Many of these books changed the way that adults and the world they made or inherited thought about childhood itself and are still relevant today.

In addition to these and other novels, we will read critical materials on Victorian childhood and literature, the formation of class identity, why orphans are central to this literature, and how Victorianism and literature before the Great War set the stage for a rapidly changing world

English 494DI Dystopian Games, Comics, Media (Integrative Experience)(Digital Humanities +/- Games)(SPOW)
Mon 4:00-6:30             Instructor: TreaAndrea Russworm
In this class, we will study video games, postmodern cultural theory, and comic books as we ask questions about the persistence of dystopian narratives in print and digital visual culture. For example, what do dystopian narratives in comics, video games, and new media productions have in common? What makes "dark," "moody," and outright apocalyptic narratives like The Walking Dead, Half-Life 2, Fallout 4, and Mass Effect popular in this current historical moment? Can postmodern cultural theory help us better understand some of the social and political ramifications of dystopian culture? Further, can the theory help explain how such stories envision the perils of the future in ways that inadvertently comment on our current times? Is it possible that the cautionary tales of dystopian narratives might, if heeded, make the world a better place? We will compare different game genres (including RPGs, first-person shooters, war games, third person action games) in order to make arguments about the types of anxieties, fears, and dreams that get articulated in each genre. Please note: This class will follow a team-based learning format, meaning all students will be asked to play a leading role in class discussions and will be required to work closely on digital projects and other assignments with members of a team. Gaming experience or access to a gaming system is not required. This is also a "General Education Integrative Experience" class and all students will receive credit as such. In the context of our major the General Education Integrative Experience means certain learning objectives will be emphasized: critical thinking and writing, persuasive communication, creative and analytical thinking, pluralistic perspective and team-building, and developing technological literacies. Open to senior English majors. Non-majors, Five College area students, and other students may contact the professor for permission to enroll.

English 494FI Philosophizing Your Future (Integrative Experience)
Lecture 1 Wed 4:00-6:30        Instructor: Laura Doyle
In this class, as we reflect together on your college experience and look ahead to your future, our main theme will be collectivity. We'll approach this shared project philosophically.  Drawing on your past coursework and other experiences, we'll explore the ways each of us becomes who we are with and among others, as part of a collective world--at work, school, and home, and in various, sometimes conflicting communities. Our reflections on personhood and collectivity will be prompted by readings from philosophy, history, and literature, as well as by discussion of our experiences in and observations about the contemporary world.  For written work, there will be three personal memoir essays; an integrative analytical essay, and several ungraded thinking assignments. There will also be an oral presentation based on your interview with someone in a career you are considering.  Open only to senior English majors. Prerequisite: completion of English 200 and one course from following period distribution: British literature and culture before 1700, British literature and culture after 1700, American literature and culture before 1865, American literature and culture after 1865.

English 494MI Virtual Medieval: Fictions and Fantasies of the Middle Ages (Integrative Experience)
Lecture 1 TuTh 1:00-2:15       Instructor: Jenny Adams
Most people learn very little about the foggy period from 500 - 1500 that lies between the end of the Classical era and the start of the Renaissance.  The little we do learn usually consists of stereotypes.  Such stereotypes include (in no particular order): jousting, chivalry, repression of women, religious fervor, medical ignorance, lice, Crusades, economic injustice, knights, ladies, and plague.  How are these stereotypes produced and reinforced?  What is their relationship to historical “fact”?  In each module we will take up texts, objects and concepts that challenge our ideas about the Middle Ages, and also think about the ways medieval people mapped their own worlds.  In doing so, we aim to produce alternate (and often competing) views of medieval history.  In short, this course is designed to get you to come away with new ideas about about the Middle Ages.

At the same time, this course is also designed to get you to think new ideas about yourself.  Specifically, the IE is capstone course that invites you to 1) reflect on and integrate all your learning in college, from your major and General Education courses to your electives and extracurricular experiences; 2) further practice college-level oral communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary perspective-taking; and 3) think about ways you will apply your skills to real world problems.

To meet these two seemingly disparate goals, we will blend our study of the Middle Ages with material that you have studied in your other classes and with lessons you have learned during your time in college.  We will also think about ways how you might apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in college to problems, communities, and/or organizations beyond campus. Workload is not onerous and will include several shorter essays as well as the creation of an on-line portfolio.

English 499C Honors Thesis Seminar (400+ English elective)(creative writing specialization)
MonWed 4:00-5:15                 Instructor: John Hennessy
Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry, and Literary Non-Fiction is  a multi-genre, two-semester course in creative writing designed to help students complete a Capstone project within the genre of their choice. Both a class in contemporary literature and a writing workshop, Foundations and Departures will offer students a wide variety of reading assignments and writing exercises from across all three genres. At the end of the first semester students will submit a portfolio of original work; in the second semester students will finish drafting and revising their Capstone projects. Textbooks will include The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, an anthology of contemporary short stories, and non-fiction by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Helene Cooper, Studs Terkel, and Joan Didion.

Interested students should submit a personal statement: 1-2 pages, list and briefly discuss your reading preferences: favorite books, writers, poems, poets, etc.; also, tell me if you are a student in Commonwealth College—some priority will be given to ComColl students, but some of the most successful students in 499 in past years have come from outside Commonwealth College. Also include a writing sample—one complete story or essay, or 5-10 poems. Some combination of poetry and prose is also permitted. SEND TO: by APRIL 15.