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Course Descriptions

Fall 2021 English Course Descriptions

For more information: http://www.uwyo.edu/registrar/university_catalog/engl.html

 

For instructors, course times, and sections please see corresponding excel file here.

 

1010: College Composition & Rhetoric--or Writing @ 7200 Feet

ENGL 1010 is designed to help first-year students become stronger writers, speakers, and critical thinkers, and features assignments that allow students to explore issues that matter in the university community and broader civic sphere. The course requires students to engage in different genres for a range of audiences, emphasizes revision, and gives students practice in critical thinking, digital and oral communication, and researched argumentation. ENGL 1010's emphasis on civic discourse is in keeping with one of the University of Wyoming's central missions: to help reinforce in students a sense of responsibility for adding their voices to important public conversations. 

 

1080: Intro to Women’s Studies

An introduction to key issues in women’s studies. A topical examination of women’s participation in and relationship to institutions of society, such as family and school, as well as processes and activities, such as work, art and politics in historical and cross-cultural analysis. Cross listed with WMST 1080. (Offered both semesters)

 

1101: FYS: Travel Writing: From Wyoming to the World

Bergstraesser

“True travels and the inquiry of the essayist,” states travel writer Paul Theroux, “require the simpler stratagems of being humble, patient, solitary, anonymous, and alert.” In this course, you will be asked to explore your “traveling self” as well as refine your skills as a writer. We will study the essays of such writer/travelers as Pico Iyer, Gary Shteyngart, Andrea Lee, and Colson Whitehead, whose work stretches from Las Vegas to Bombay. We will also look closely at the act of writing nonfiction, focusing on its analytical and creative techniques. Through a series of trips based on and off campus (to the Art Museum, to Laramie, to Southeast Wyoming) and a slate of activities (essays, interviews, a travel video) you will learn to define yourself as a traveler and enrich your life experience through travel.    

 

1101: FYS: Film Genre Studies

Marks

This course will examine a number of films through the classification tool of genre. Genre, in its traditional sense, designates a kind or type of film that can usually be recognized with such common labels as western, gangster, horror, science fiction, musical, romance, etc. This understanding of the term genre immediately exemplifies its usefulness for categorizing films into specific groups, potentially satisfying particular viewer's expectations. Such overarching film genres, such as those listed above, are often thought in terms of static, unchanging conventional forms that continually apply a particular formula for a familiar result. Such an understanding of film genres does little to suggest how and why these groups are formed, and what might account for a particular genre's success in a particular historical moment. This class will look at five relatively distinct genres of American film (Western, comics superhero, screwball/romantic comedy, true story, and gangster) in order to understand how film genres come about. This exploration will hopefully lead to questions about the role of genre films in marketing, selling, sustaining, and reinvigorating particular kinds or types of films. Genre is first and foremost a classifying structure, yet we will try and examine how this seemingly static structure depends upon rupture and deviation in order to keep film genres in circulation for any prolonged period of time. Finally, we will attempt to suggest how newer cycles of films (slasher films, b movies, cult films, the woman's film, etc.) might use a different criteria to decide what constitutes a genre film, hence casting doubt on any entirely stable, universal definition of generic formations.

 

1101: FYS: Zombies

Pexton

You may know how to survive the zombie-pocalypse, but do you know that when they aren’t trying to eat your brains, zombies CAN be good teachers? In this class, we will use scholarly articles, zombie films and television shows, along with a variety of other “texts” to explore issues that are important to the non-zombie: gender, class, race, environment, science and technology, corporate control...just to name a few. Along the way, you will practice using several research options, as well as hone your critical reading, writing, and communicating skills.

 

2005: Writing in Technology & the Sciences

Develops writing styles and techniques, document design and formats, and audience/readership considerations that are specifically suited to technological and scientific fields of study. The course concludes with a student-directed long form report. Prerequisite: successful completion of WA/COM1.

 

2020: COM2: Literature, Media, and American Sport

In this asynchronous course, you will dive into American sport through the study of literature and different types of media (including film and art). You will acquire the tools for understanding, appreciating, and writing about sports—and get ready to share (through online discussions and essays) your own personal experiences in sport as well. By exploring a variety of authors and media, we will investigate the many ways sports are a part of our culture and lives. Online discussion, reading, and writing are equally important in this class, and you will hone your skills in each area by the end of the semester. This course fulfills your COM2 University Studies requirement.

 

2025: Intro to English Studies

Russell

English 2025 is the gateway course to the English major, required of all majors who declare English in calendar year 2016 onward.

This course will introduce you to the joys of English study; the skills you will need to succeed in the major; and the utility of your degree in your college life, your professional life, and beyond. Majors should take this course as soon as possible--for new English majors, English 2025 is a prerequisite for upper-division study in the department.  The field of English studies is capacious. In 2021, it encompasses literary and cultural analysis, rhetorical theory, persuasive composition, and effective communication through a range of technologies. In our class we will engage this rich field through an exciting selection of readings and a challenging range of written, oral, and digital assignments.

The loose theme for the course will be “difference.” One of literature’s great delights is its capacity to introduce us to a wide variety of voices and to give us glimpses into worlds other than our own. The work of imagination, and thus of empathy, and thus of civic engagement is the work of an English major, and we will perform this work together in our class as we become keener, more sensitive readers. This semester, we will examine poems, novels, plays, films, and works of non-fictional prose that foreground questions of difference. We will think about indigeneity, race, gender, and sexuality; migration and exile; histories of colonialism and the implications of our contemporary global moment. And at every step of the way we will investigate the value of English studies: what can this field of study do for you and you for it?

2025: Intro to English Studies

Obert

English 2025 is the required gateway course to the English major.  This course will introduce you to the joys of English study; the skills you will need to succeed in the major; and the utility of your degree in your college life, your professional life, and beyond. Majors should take this course as soon as possible--for new English majors, English 2025 is a prerequisite for upper-division study in the department.

 

The field of English studies is capacious. In 2021, it encompasses literary and cultural analysis, rhetorical theory, persuasive composition, and effective communication through a range of technologies. In our class we will engage this rich field through an exciting selection of readings and a challenging set of written, oral, and digital assignments.

 

The loose theme for the course this semester will be “difference.”  One of literature’s great delights is its capacity to introduce us to a wide variety of voices and to give us glimpses into worlds other than our own.  The work of imagination, and thus of empathy, and thus of civic engagement is the work of an English major, and we will perform this work together in our class as we become keener, more sensitive readers.  This semester, we will examine poems, novels, plays, films, and works of non-fictional prose that foreground questions of difference.  We will think about indigeneity, race, gender, and sexuality; migration and exile; histories of colonialism and the implications of our contemporary global moment.  And at every step of the way we will investigate the value of English studies: what can this field of study do for you and you for it?

 

2035: Writing for Public Forums

English 2035 is an introduction to professional writing that focuses on analyzing and producing texts designed for public audiences. The ability to understand, participate in, and produce well-crafted communication is highly valued today in both local and global spaces. Some of the course assignments include a letter to the editor, a newsletter, a public service announcement(s), and a brochure. This class focuses on effective writing for a particular (public) audience, collaborative skills, and use of technology necessary for ethical, and appropriate participation in public conversations. In addition to individual written work, this course requires oral presentations, peer workshops, and collaborative writing projects. You will spend significant time working with computer technology, software and on-line forums.

 

This class is the introductory course for the professional writing minor and meets UW’s COM2 (previously WB) requirement. The prerequisite is a COM1, (previously WA).

 

2350: Intro to African American Literature

This course is an introduction to African American literature and culture, with an emphasis on the voices and language used by Black people. The course is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to give a sample, which can be a guide to further study. The course is intended to orient students to some of the major themes of the African American experience, including migration and mixing; slavery and freedom; labor and culture; and history and the continuing efforts to develop African American identities. The class is an intensive experience in reading a variety of texts, including TV and film, and discussion; written and oral assignments will assess reading comprehension and an aid to class discussion. The goals of the course are to give students a broad overview of the African American literary tradition and to sharpen students’ writing and analytical skills.

 

2360: Mexican American Literature

Discusses literary reflections of Chicanoism. Studies literature of the Hispanic Southwest, Mexican-American folklore and the contemporary Chicano movement. Crosslisted with ENGL 2360. Prerequisite: WA/COM1.

 

2425: Literature in English I

In this course, we will examine some of the major literary works of the medieval and early modern period, largely focusing on English texts, but we will seek to understand the multi-"national," and multi-cultural intersections and influences within literature up to the mid-17th century. We will learn how to approach and read different genres of literature, and also address questions such as how does the past resonate in the present? what about "old" literature still matters and what might not? how have ideas about heroism, community, individuality, personal identity, gender, love, freedom, and beauty emerged and evolved. We will see this wonderful early literature in its cultural contexts and learn how to "read backwards," as well as learn to read and analyze literary elements in the literature.  

 

2430: Literature in English II  

Per the course catalog, this course covers English and American literature from 1750 to 1850. But let’s be honest: the first literature survey (ENGL 2425) never makes it much past Milton. So this course covers English and American literature from 1680 to 1850. Writers of this era enlist a variety of modes (poems, plays, sermons, satires, fiction) to process many different revolutions (political, economic, social) from the rise of democracy and capitalism to the emergence of the feminist and anti-slavery movements. Over the semester we will discuss how traditional literary forms attempting to represent, explain, or explain away these momentous cultural changes failed and succeeded at their task, and how new forms were made and old ones broken through the encounter with unprecedented social forces. Taking the “making and breaking” title literally, there will also be a book history component, where we will take apart some cheap paperbacks—break binding, tear covers, etc.—in order to talk about the book as medium and technology. Keeping with the documented popularity of poetry in terms of sales and resales until the 1820s (when the novel took over the market), we will read a lot of poems, honing your skills at analyzing poetic forms while also grappling with poetry’s unique (and infuriating) mix of radicalism and traditionalism. Authors to be covered range from Aphra Behn, Susanna Centlivre, Jonathan Swift (yes, Gulliver’s Travels) to Olaudah Equiano and the British Romantics. From the other side of the Atlantic, authors assigned may include Jonathan Edwards, Ann Bradstreet, and Susanna Rowson.

 

3000: Literary Theory

This is an introduction to some contemporary theories, which provoke  new thinking about the ways in which we approach literature.. We will read some primary theoretical texts, as well as some applications of theory. I am arranging the syllabus according to subjects in general terms: they overlap to a large degree. Students will present  at least one theoretical text in class, e.g. Derrida, Marx. etc. This course in literary theory sums up some of the ideas you have seen in previous classes. We will use Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, King Lear, some John Donne poems (on course website ),  and the film of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as examples of texts to think about the different theories we encounter. After this discussion of theories and texts, you will write a conference paper using theoretical and current critical materials.

 

3010: Application to Rhetoric, Comp Ped & Prof

Small

Our section will focus on different ways of making knowledge in the broad discipline of writing studies, sampling methods from a variety of perspectives. We'll begin with a general introduction to "research" and its relation to theory, then we'll dig in to try three particular applications. Inspired by the study of rhetoric, we'll practice Kenneth Burke’s textual criticism, analyzing how persuasive powers flow among agents, acts, agency, scene, and purpose. Next, we'll try out narrative methods which are often engaged in the study of composition and literacy. Finally, we'll learn about a form of inquiry used in technical communication: user experience studies. This class will include hands-on practice as well as analysis of how data turns into knowledge (in other words, interpretive methods and writing styles). Students will complete the class with a solid introduction to methods, concepts, and theory emphasized across the discipline of writing studies, and will be prepared to design a thoughtful, well-crafted multimodal project.

 

Important note: Dr. Small’s section is offered as an in-person course and will require weekly meetings on campus. If the health situation makes coming to in-person meetings risky, then we will move completely to Zoom. To confirm, this section will be either in-person or (if meeting is too risky) on Zoom. It will not be offered  as “hyflex” or both-at-once.

 

Please contact Nancy Small (nancy.small@uwyo.edu) if you have questions.

 

3010: Application to Rhetoric, Comp Ped & Prof

Fisher

This course engages students in defining the field of Writing Studies and in practicing some of the methods used in this field. Designed for students pursuing concentrations in professional writing, English education, and related majors, the course make take up a range of related issues including race, class, and gender studies; genre theory; histories and theories of rhetoric; K-16 literacy instruction; multilingual writing; multimodal rhetoric; professional writing; writing center and writing program administration—and beyond. Though scheduled for 3 synchronous meetings each week, this course will often meet twice a week over Zoom (with asynchronous activities in place of Friday class meetings).

 

3200: Topics In Medieval Lit, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

In January 2021, medieval literature became modern news. “Chaucer courses to be replaced,” the Telegraph proclaimed, “by modules on race and sexuality.”  A heated debate, carried out over the internet and social media, followed. The university in question denied any intention of cancelling Chaucer, conservative pundits lamented “woke” culture’s threat to Western traditions, and academics both defended and condemned the teaching of medieval texts and authors. While it’s tempting to dismiss this debate as click-bait, it raised a crucial question. What place does an author whom nineteenth-century scholars, seeking to establish a national literary canon, heralded as the “Father of English Literature” have in a twenty-first century English department? In this class, we will grapple with this question as we study Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and their academic and popular afterlives, analyzing the work in the context of the global Middle Ages, discussing its place in nineteenth and twentieth century English studies, and exploring popular retellings and adaptations.

 

3340: Philosophy in Literature: Haunted Houses

Hix

For information on this course please contact the instructor for this course or the home department (Philosophy).

 

3500: Topics in 19th Century Literature: Romanticisms

When asked to define Romanticism, a leading Romantics scholar described Romanticism as “having sex on the kitchen floor during a party.” In addition to questioning contemporary sexual mores, Romanticism laid the foundation for the elimination of slavery in the West, the acquisition of equal rights by women and oppressed classes, and an energetic interest in the natural world during the age of industrialism.

This class will explore the dynamic trans-Western landscapes of Romanticism, be they British, American or French. In addition to studying traditional Romantic writers like Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, John Keats, and Mary Shelley, we will encounter lesser-read but historically significant writers like Dorothy Wordsworth, Harriet Jacobs, Charlotte Smith, Joanna Baillie, Lydia Child, and Mary Robinson, as well as visit the Haitian slave revolution. Through our readings, we will discover how these writers and thinkers helped to formulate a post-Enlightenment sensibility that challenged prevailing societal attitudes about subjects like the natural environment, human rights, gender, and religion. We will also read contextual historical documents, such as Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women and Vindication of the Rights of Men.

 

3600: Race and Class in 20th and 21st Century Literature

Perhaps the most important issues facing contemporary English-speaking audiences involve race and class. This course will survey a broad range of texts that approach these issues. Tentative texts will include World War I British poetry, poetry by Seamus Heaney and W.B. Yeats, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot, March by John Lewis, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Maus by Art Spiegelman, Wonder Woman (book, Gail Simone; film, dir. Patty Jenkins), Black Panther (book, Christopher Priest; film, dir. Ryan Coogler, and Get Out (dir. Jordan Peele). Assignments will include reflection journals, writing, and exams.

 

4010: Technical Writing in the Professions

Enhances professional writing skills applicable to a variety of professions. Includes writing and communication that considers audience analysis and adaptation, information design and use of visuals, and a range of formats and genres. Emphasizes clarity and precision of language. May feature primary research and problem-based or service-learning projects. Prerequisites: WA and WB or COM1 and COM2; junior or senior standing.

 

4025: Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web, is an elective course in the professional writing minor and English major, as well as a COM 3 course in the University Studies Program. In the course, we will balance critical consideration of research and scholarship in the areas of professional writing and digital composition with practice applying digital, networked rhetorical practices common to both contemporary citizenship and the digital terrestrial-virtual workplace. Discussions and assignments will center on our own personal digital literacies, the idiosyncrasies of online culture, and the digital expectations and practices common to professional life. We will also move to consider, more specifically, ways in which networked, multimodal composition and digital forms of storytelling enable organizations and companies to do important intra-and extra-organizational communication work, some of it logistical and productive, some of it geared toward branding and building publics/audiences that identify with missions and products/services. Assignments will include a mix of academic writing assignments (e.g., analyses and reflections), professional writing genres (e.g., proposals, memos or activity reports), and multimodal composition (possibly podcasts, videos) using a range of digital tools. This is not a course in HTML coding. Prerequisites: WB/COM2 and junior standing.

 

4030: Writing for Magazines

Students read and discuss award-winning journalism published in contemporary magazines. In addition, they research, write, and pitch for publication articles including profile, travel, reviews, and other types. Students will finish the class with a portfolio of polished pieces and the tools to pursue publication in popular magazines.  Knowledge of Associated Press style is helpful.

Prerequisite: COM1, COM2, and junior standing.

 

4040: Rhetoric, Media, and Culture

What made Game of Thrones a worldwide phenomenon? How can Wicked still be popular after 16 years on Broadway? And why is Bodyworlds the most popular museum exhibit in history? Rhetoric, Media, and Culture will examine artifacts of popular culture (film, television, music, video games, comic books, etc.) as forms of persuasion. We will explore the choices authors, composers, curators and directors make to capture the attention – and shape the identity -- of millions of consumers. What cultural nerves do they touch? What rhetorical techniques do they employ? And what can we, as rhetoricians of our own careers and personae, learn from them?

 

4075: Writing for Non-Profits

In English 4075, students will read and learn about non-profit organizations and the kinds of communication that enables them to function and pursue their missions. To that end, we will seek to develop an understanding of nonprofit cultures and the stakes that attend nonprofit work before turning our attention to some of the key rhetorical genres that help organizations realize their goals (e.g., communicating mission, fundraising). The course will be built, primarily, around a grant writing project designed to give students an opportunity to practice the research and writing skills common to this important genre; this project will involve engaging with a non-profit client organization. Other projects will include a formal presentation and other informal presentations, and, likely, rhetorical analysis essays, possibly a short ethnographic piece and/or social media analysis, and shorter correspondence pieces.

 

4455: Slavery and Freedom

What was the experience of enslavement? What does it mean to be free? Has slavery been abolished? How are we to understand the history and legacies of slavery and the resistance to it? In what ways are slavery and waged labor similar and dissimilar? How was literacy used as a tool both to strengthen the system and to dismantle it? To answer these questions, we will study a range of texts from across the Americas, including classic slave narratives, fiction, histories, and critical theory. The first half of the semester will focus on the experience of enslavement, from a variety of perspectives; the second half will focus on its abolition and on the legacies of enslavement.

 

4470: Chicano Folklore

Chicano Folklore provides a survey of the origins, development and contemporary folklore of the Mexican American Chicano people of the United States with comparative relation to Mexico and other groups in the United States. We examine the Chicano Folklore perspective using a guide to folktales, traditions, rituals and religious practices of Mexican-Americans as found in Rafaela G. Castro’s Chicano Folklore text, and include literary genres, performance and visual artists in our analysis. As we comprehend what Chicano Folklore entails, reflections will connect themes studied to current popular culture and aspects of folklore worldwide. Topics include: La Malinche, La Llorona, La Virgen de Guadalupe, dance, song and foodways.

 

4480: American Western Literature

 

4600: Studies in Modern Poetry

Russell

This is perhaps the most important and life-changing course you will take during your college career. Modern poetry—roughly defined as World War I to the present—will cover the main poetic movements within modern poetry written in English, and teach you how to close read and analyze poetry, which will in turn learn you how to read for your other classes. Of special importance will be issues of race, gender, and class. Why? The epic social movements of the 20th century (feminism, post-colonialism, civil rights, etc.) derive inspiration from and find reflection in modern poetry. Concerned you may be a moron? Take this course.

 

4600: Studies in Post-Apocalyptic Film

Creel

Between climate change, a pandemic, and threats to democratic principles, we seem to face an end of the world every other day. In this class, we’ll explore a range of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic global film, uncovering the ways that we imagine the world to be falling apart.

 

4600: Studies in Feminist Theory

Vandermeade

For information on this course please contact the instructor for this course or the home department (Gender and Women’s Studies).

 

4620: Independent Reading

Involves independent study and research experience in given topic, person, movement in literature. Prerequisites: 6 hours of 2000-level literature courses, consent of instructor and permission of department chair.

 

4780: History of the English Language

The History of the English Language is the study of English from its roots in Indo-European and Germanic languages to the varieties of Present Day English. I have divided the class into 2 broad elements (internal history, the pronunciation, sentence structure, and vocabulary), and external history (historical developments, such as the Viking invasions, the Norman Conquest etc.) We begin with issues of sound and writing, and move from there to specific descriptions of the history of English. Methods of instruction will include in-class and out-of-class assignments responding to lecture, discussion, group work, and other activities. We will also consider the basics of neurolinguistics theory, language acquisition, and some other modern issues.  By the end of term, students should be able to explain the characteristics of the English language during the various stages of its development, including the cultural and linguistic forces that shape English.

 

4830: Victorian Women’s Art

Denney

For information on this course please contact the instructor for this course or the home department (Gender and Women’s Studies).

 

4970: Writing Internship

Students work 6-8 hours per week as “writing interns” for a private business or public agency, performing specific writing/editing tasks for that client. Students are supported and enabled through a series of classroom sessions and individual meetings with the course instructor. Form progress reports and a comprehensive final report are required. Prerequisite: successful completion of ENGL 4010, 4020, or 4050.

 

4999: Senior Seminar: Stories, Narratives, Lifeworlds

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live... We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers [or researchers or interpreters], by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images...” (Joan Didion, The White Album, p. 11)

 

As Didion reflects, the stories we tell ourselves form the foundations of our identities as well as the gravities that pull us together into communities. This course is all about everyday stories. We’ll explore theories about what stories are and how they work to create our shared lifeworlds, we’ll practice methods of gathering stories via primary research, and we’ll consider the processes and challenges of gathering stories into unified (and perhaps artificial) narratives.

 

This senior seminar will be a great option for both English major concentrations!

  • For folks on the English Studies track, it will extend and apply your knowledge of rhetoric and writing. It will develop your understanding of why narrative bridges differences, and how stories function as arguments.
  • For folks on the Literary Studies track, it will explore how stories create empathy for readers, how the literary arts are intertwined with community identities and politics, and why we need literature now more than ever.

Stories of all kinds—from canonical and published to informal and mundane, from fiction to non-fiction, and of all genres—are the forces that pull us together (and sometimes push us apart). Our semester will engage with stories and narratives as such powerful sources.

 

Important note: Dr. Small’s section is offered as an in-person course and will require weekly meetings on campus. If the health situation makes coming to in-person meetings risky, then we will move completely to Zoom. To confirm, this section will be either in-person or (if meeting is too risky) on Zoom. It will not be offered as “hyflex” or both-at-once.

 

Please contact Nancy Small (nancy.small@uwyo.edu) if you have questions.

 

4999: Senior Seminar: Coloring Outside the Lines: How the Visual Transforms the Verbal

What happens to our interpretation of a text if characters or scenes from it are “illustrated”? How does an artist’s visualization enhance, detract from, complicate the words and the reading experience? What happens to the idea of reading if a collective visualization supplants the individual, private imagination? Think about Harry Potter—we all envision the same Harry, the same Hermione. Or Pa in The Little House in the Big Woods, playing the fiddle in his plaid shirt with his big scruffy beard. Or Milton’s Satan: a gigantic, muscular angel with ferocious wings.
In this seminar, we will explore how visual interpretations (illuminations, illustrations, etchings, etc.) interact with and transform a text. We will start by looking at the history of the material book itself as a visual experience and will visit a printing press and the Rare Book Room. Then we will examine theories of reading along with theories about art, moving then to case studies ranging from medieval illuminated manuscripts and early modern Emblem books, to illustrated versions of Milton and Shakespeare. Next, we will examine famously illustrated novels of the nineteenth century and contemporary graphic novels, and other works that show how reading is a multi-sensory experience.
Students will choose a work and examine its history and relationship to the visual arts. The course will culminate in a public-facing Capstone research project and presentation.

 

5000: Getting Medieval

Fairy tale castles, knights in shining armor, dragons, chivalry, magic: Anglo-American culture has an ongoing love affair with the Middle Ages; when we “get medieval,” however, we may turn to the past, but our fantasy pasts operate in the present-- as recently became all too apparent in the daily news cycle, with images of the angry white men of the alt-right, bearing shields emblazoned with medieval imagery and chanting racist slogans, marching for a return to a Middle Ages rooted in the medievalism of the Confederacy. In this class, we will ask ourselves how and why multiple, contradictory, and particular Middle Ages – both seemingly benign and alarmingly malignant--have been, and continue to be, created.  Our exploration will range from the nineteenth century to the latest meme, from Germany to Los Angeles, from Hitler to J.R.R. Tolkien, and across genres and media: medieval texts –and the history of their reception, academic discussions and fairy tales, fantasy novels and video games, Renaissance Faires and tourist sites, purity balls and white nationalist marches, political cartoons and news coverage, television and films, cos-play and youth organizations.

 

5010: Rhetorical Composition: History, Theory; and Pedagogies

Prepares graduate students to teach college composition and rhetoric at UW and beyond, with attention to the intellectual traditions that inform our writing program’s pedagogy. It examines the theories that support informed writing instruction and offers classroom strategies that may be applied to any course in English studies. Prerequisite: graduate status or 12 hours of 4000-level work.

 

5020: Authors’ Houses: Nodes and Networks

Authors’ afterlives often are negotiated through their houses. Places like Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, Jane Austen’s cottage at Chawton, or Mark Twain’s house in Hartford are nodes for networks of readers and communities of understanding. This course will ground students in the questions and methodologies that illuminate the study of authors’ afterlives, particularly through their houses. Its aim is to facilitate students' original research at an opening edge of literary studies. It will emphasize both literary study, and work in the public humanities. The period focus is nineteenth and twentieth century.

 

In our colloquium students will (of course) work on primary texts for our main authors, on their critical contexts, and on material culture. They will read primary theories such as Carolyn Steedman’s Dust: and Susan Stewart’s On Longing; they will study secondary iterations such as Nicola Watson’s The Literary Tourist and Paul Westover’s Necromanticism.

 

Our primary case will be Walter Scott’s Abbotsford, which helped to establish the discourse of literary tourism, and which offers opportunities for original student work, as well as for student travel.

 

We will also study sites and materials identified by students as cruxes for new and networked analysis. Statewide opportunities include Hemingway’s Speer-o-wigwam, and even Buffalo Bill’s Cody, but might include the home of a current regional author. Nina McConigley—you’re in our sights!

This course will be sometimes in person, sometimes online. There is a required Saturday field trip early in the semester (although you may take it to meet the same deadline on your own schedule).

 

5061: Rhetoric Theory

This course introduces new and future teachers to the history and theory of Rhetoric (beginning at the beginning, with Aristotle) and the history and theory of pedagogy (taking a lot of from Greek Classical Rhetoric and, specifically, Roman Oratory as discussed by two of the greatest writers on that subject, Quintilian and Cicero).  We will read a range of writers all discussing the nature of rhetorical invention, specifically as it relates to pedagogy, or the philosophy of teaching.

 

5230: Drama in English: Contemporary Drama in Cultural and Theoretical Context

In this graduate seminar we will read and discuss several lively and contemporary plays, film adaptations together with appropriate criticism and theory, including theories of race, class, gender, space, and the uncanny. The goal of the course is for students to gain an awareness of the complexities involved in the study of drama in our pandemic and (we hope) post-pandemic world of mixed media, as well as to demonstrate a larger sense of why we read, what we read, and how we read. Reading and viewing the plays with comprehension will be central to our course outcomes, as will thoughtful analysis of course materials and the course itself using contemporary theories of race, class, and gender. Everyone will produce work on the issue of your choice throughout the course and as a final project. If you have a favorite contemporary play or performance you’d like to see included in this syllabus, please email me this summer and I’ll try to find a way to include it. Plays currently on my mind include Tom Stoppard’s Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Angels in America, and the theater of El Teatro Compesino.

 

5250: Studies in Shakespeare: Shakespeare, Then and Now

This fall we will focus on at least 4 plays by William Shakespeare, drawn from his comedies, histories, and tragedies. After the seminar begins, I’ll ask you to choose which plays you’d like to focus on, although we will begin with Hamlet, together with the darkly witty play and film, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, as well as the 2020 novel Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell. The pandemic and the more general phenomenon of global Shakespeares have resulted in some fascinating versions of the plays, so I’ll ask you to help me hunt up some of the most recent productions in a variety of media for us to include. In the meantime, if you’d like to nominate a play for us to read, together with contemporary versions/media, by all means email me your suggestions. Reading the plays and the texts that form their aftermath with comprehension will be central to our course outcomes, as will thoughtful analysis of course materials and the course itself using contemporary theories of race, class, and gender. Everyone will produce work on the issue of their own choice throughout the course and as a final project.

The regular format of the class will be class discussions about the plays with some informal but limited lecturing. I’ll ask for student participation in short responses to reading and discussion, together with your helping to run the class with researched presentations and formulating key questions about our course materials.

 

5600: Research Methods in Writing Studies: Rhetorical Approaches to Genre

This course engages students in defining "genre" primarily from a Rhetorical Genre Studies perspective. Building on the notion of genre as typified ways of acting within recurrent situations (Miller, 1984), the course will encourage class members to extend their notions of genre through discussion of theoretical readings, collaborative inquiry, and self-guided research. Participants in this course should look forward to shaking up their foundational beliefs about common, everyday genres.

 

5900: Practicum in College Teaching

Work in classroom with a major professor. Expected to give some lectures and gain classroom experience. Prerequisite: graduate status.

 

5960: Thesis Research

This course aims to give second-year MA students a strong start on writing a thesis, providing both intellectual scaffolding and community support for the project.  Your thesis is the culmination of your graduate work at UW: it is the expression of your capacity for original research, your argumentative prowess, your organizational abilities, and your professional development.  It will help to propel you to success in a career in the humanities, whether inside or outside academia.  We devote a course to thesis research because it is crucial to have guidance from both your professor and your cohort as you undertake this important project.

In the course, we will consider how to make the most of your reading list exams; how to tackle a major project like the MA thesis, both conceptually and organizationally; how to develop, articulate, focus, write, and present a great idea; how to effectively participate in your field’s major conversations; how to contribute collegially to and gain from your intellectual community (the library, your colleagues, and your faculty); how to understand academia as a profession and English as a discipline; and how to build your career as you move forward (with a focus on applications to doctoral programs, conference-going, and publication, but also with attention to alternative/non-academic career possibilities).

By the end of the semester, you will have developed and planned your thesis project, devised a thesis proposal, submitted your first chapter to the class and to your MA committee chair, and presented your evolving work in conference format.

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