Summer 2012 Courses

Summer 2012 Courses

Summer 2012 Course Offerings


Summer I Courses Summer II Courses
ENGL 2220: Literature and Culture of the U.S. ENGL 3050: Practical Writing
ENGL 3050: Practical Writing ENGL 3130: Asian Literature
ENGL 3310: British Literature II ENGL 3200: American Literature I
ENGL 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader ENGL 4440: Studies in the Novel
ENGL 4790: Writing in the Secondary School ENGL 4800: Multicultural Adolescent Literature
ENGL 5400: Contemporary Literature ENGL 6970: Austen and Adaptation
ENGL 5830: Multicultural Adolescent Literature  
ENGL 5970: Language, Gender, and Culture  
ENGL 5970: The "New" New Play Project--Live Serial  

 

Summer I



English 2220: Literature and Culture of the U.S.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 – 2:30; Brown 1048
Dr. John Saillant

Ethnicity and cultural variety in American literature from the colonial period to the present, beginning with written accounts of conflict between natives and Europeans, continuing through white literary exercise of hegemony, and treating a variety of racial, religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Our readings treat not only "ethnic experience" but also reflect on the essential question, What is ethnicity?



English 3050: Practical Writing

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 – 5:20; Brown 3002
Dr. Charlotte Thralls

English 3050 is a course designed to develop your confidence and competency in written communication. Whatever your future career plans or your current, favorite media for communicating (print, digital, twitter, Facebook or other social media), you are likely to need strong writing skills. Numerous studies, for example, show that employers place communication skills at the top (first or second place) of their most valued qualities in employees. Many of you might be surprised at how central writing is in the day-to-day life of most professionals. To help prepare you for the challenges ahead, this class will expand your writing repertoires beyond the academic essay or research paper.  Through various class projects, you will

  • Become familiar with the formats and rhetorical challenges of various practical genres and document formats (memos, reports, manuals, web text, visual displays and designs etc.).

  • Develop skill for anticipating (and addressing) the needs and reactions of audiences to communications in different contexts.

  • Learn the fundamentals of reader-centered communication, including the fundamentals of document design and readability used to create well-crafted documents.

  • Learn some documents and communication habits typical for professionals in your discipline.

This course is approved as a writing intensive course which may fulfill the baccalaureate-level writing requirement of the student’s curriculum.



English 3310: British Literature II

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:30; Brown 2037
Dr. Todd Kuchta

This course will survey British literature of the past two centuries. The era can be divided into three distinct periods: Romantic, Victorian, and Modern. Writers of the Romantic period (1790s to 1830s) were inspired by dramatic social change in the American and French revolutions, and sought to revolutionize literature by adopting what poet William Wordsworth called the “language really used by men.” The Victorian era, named for the Queen who ruled Britain from 1837 to 1901, was also revolutionary, even though it has become synonymous with tradition and repression. Advances in science, industry, and trade made Victorian Britain the most powerful nation on earth, but writers and artists also lamented its staggering poverty, declining morals, and increasing sense of uncertainty. This uncertainty came to a head in the twentieth century with a host of changes—the rise of cities, shifts in gender dynamics, the psychological devastation of two world wars, and the steady decline of Britain’s empire. These changes led “modernist” writers to experiment with radical new methods for understanding the world.

As this overview suggests, we will consider how Romantic, Victorian, and Modern writers both reflect and respond to historical and cultural concerns of their particular period. To make these concerns apparent, I will organize readings for each class session around a particular issue. We will explore these issues as they manifest themselves—in terms of both theme and form—in some of the most well-known, influential, and mystifying literary works of the past two hundred years.

Students will likely write regular responses and two essays, as well as take a mid-term and final exam.



English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:20; Brown 2045
Dr. Judith Rypma

English 3830 focuses on criticism of works for children in grades 4 through 8, with a focus on critical thinking and close literary analysis.  Works read include a variety of novels, epics, myths, poems, biographies, etc.  This a lecture and discussion class, and serves as a content course for both education and non-education majors. It also fits Distribution Area 2.

Texts will include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Spinelli'sEggs, Nikki Grimes' Bronx Masquerade, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Devil's Arithmetic, The Giver, and Tuck Everlasting.  A variety of handouts of myths, hero tales, and poems will also be provided.



English 4790: Writing in the Secondary School

Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00 – 9:20; Brown 3037
Dr. Allen Webb

Learning to write can empower students to trust and value their own words and voice, to inquire more deeply into knowledge and ideas, to be creative, to better understand themselves and the world around them, and to speak out clearly and cogently on topics that matter.

Facilitating the power of writing will be the focus of this section of English 4790 Teaching Writing in the Secondary Schools. Aspiring and practicing teachers will write about their own experiences learning to write, learn about leading writing workshops, effective ways to improve student writing, and help make writing meaningful. We'll think about how to help secondary students meet Michigan and national standards.

We’ll focus, too, on writing in the digital age and using new tools for composing, collaboration, revision, and publication, and draw on research in teaching of writing.

The work we do will help you develop your pedagogical content knowledge in English education.

Class will be held in a wireless, laptop classroom in Brown Hall specifically designed for English education courses. This room will allow us to integrate technology into language arts teaching in a "classroom of the future." Our class will be organized by our on-line syllabus that also serves as an electronic, hyperlinked, textbook. Students will work extensively with new digital writing platforms.

Technological change is reshaping the world our students will be living in. Course discussions will be significantly extended in the class on-line discussion forum on the English Companion Ning, a remarkable resource with, at the time our course begins, over 20,000 English teacher members.

As the capstone experience for English Education majors, this course entails an exciting variety of professional activities and responsibilities. You should join NCTE, MCTE, and/or MRA and read regularly the English Journal or Voices from the Middle.



English 5400: Contemporary Literature

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 – 5:30; Brown 2048
Dr. Jon Adams
Fulfills: Master’s level elective credits/Ph.D. level Contemporary American

Course Description & (possible) Readings List

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisites: 18 hours of English courses, including eight or more hours at the 3000- or 4000-level, and second semester junior status; exemption only by permission of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Open to Upperclass and Graduate students. 3 credits.

Description:

Scholars of war writing often declare that war is “non-narratable” in that, instead of attempting to make realistic descriptions of battle, literary writers frequently use metaphorical representations to ‘tell’ the war story. So described, war writing begins to sound like Jean Francois Lyotard’s definition of postmodernism as “the presentation of the unpresentable”. In this class we’ll explore the various ways that writers tell the war story. In our efforts to establish the meaning of the phrase “war writing,” alongside a wide swath of texts about war, we’ll examine aesthetic issues, theoretical approaches, cultural exigencies (gender, race, sexuality, disability, definitions of heroism, etc.), and even the concept of genre itself.

Readings will include primary texts covering war (from the novel, to the blog, to drama, to the memoir, to the short story, to film) as well as critical/theoretical texts that will provide a vocabulary for discussing our primary texts. We will, of course, NOT be able to cover all the possibilities listed below, so the reading for the course will be significantly less than the list suggests. Assignments will include critical reading responses to primary texts, annotated bibliographies for external research sources, as well as final seminar projects.

(Possible) Primary Texts:

Bauman, Christian The Ice Beneath You (novel)
Cameron, James Avatar (film)
Didion, Joan Democracy (novel)
Hartley, Jason Christopher Just Another Soldier (blog, selections)
Heller, Joseph Catch-22 (novel)
Hemingway, Ernest “Soldier’s Home” (short story)
Herr, Michael Dispatches (memoir)
Kingston, Maxine Hong “The Brother in Vietnam” (short story)
Rabe, David Streamers (play)
Russell, David O. Three Kings (film)
Silko, Leslie Marmon Ceremony (novel)
Swofford, Anthony Jarhead (memoir)

(Possible) Supporting Texts:

Boose, Lynda “Techno-Muscularity & the Boy Eternal”
Bourke, Joanna Dismembering the Male (selections)
-------. On Killing (selections)
Broyles, William, Jr. “Why Men Love War”
Garland Thompson, Rosemarie Extraordinary Bodies (Introduction)
Goldstein, Joshua Gender & War: How Gender Shapes the War System (selections)
Halley, Janet Don’t: A Reader’s Guide to the Military’s Anti-Gay Policy (selections)
Hutcheon, Linda “Historiographic Metafiction”
Jeffords, Susan The Remasculinization of America (selections)
Kellner, Douglas “From Vietnam to the Gulf”
Kitaeff, Lila “Three Kings: Neocolonial Arab Representation”
Lane, Alycee “Black Bodies/Gay Bodies: The Politics of Race in the Gay/Military Debate”
Lyotard, Jean Francois The Postmodern Condition (selections)
Provenzo, Nicholas “Jarhead: Heroes Do Not Exist”
Scarry, Elaine The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (selections)
Serlin, David Replaceable You (selections)
Slotkin, Richard “Myth and the Production of History”

English 5830: Multicultural Adolescent Literature

Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30– 9:00; Brown 2037
Dr. Gwen Athene Tarbox
Fulfills: Master’s level elective/Ph.D. level Non-Traditional Requirement (Creative Writing & Literature Students); Ph.D. level prerequisite (English Education Students)

This course draws upon a variety of fields – visual studies, youth studies, and literary history – to explore contemporary multicultural literature about and for young adults.  As part of our discussion, we will ask the following questions:

  • What are the characteristics of contemporary multicultural literature?  Why should it or should it not be studied separately from, say, the Bildungsroman or mainstream adolescent literature?

  • Who are the key critics who write about multicultural literature for or about adolescents?  What are the conventions of critical works that treat multicultural authors, texts, and issues? 

  • What are the themes that have emerged in the last 20 years regarding multicultural literature for or about adolescents?

Participants in the course will discuss, on average, one short novel per week and complete the following assignments:  mid-term and final examinations, an annotated bibliography, and periodic in-class writing assignments designed to encourage reflection on the texts and ideas generated during class discussion. 

Text List:

Alexie, Sherman.  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.  New York:  Little, Brown and Co., 2007.  ISBN:  978-0316013697.

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. An Island Like You. New York: Orchard Books, reprint 2009. ISBN: 978-0545131339

Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. New York: Amistad, 2001. ISBN: 978-0064407311

Na, An.  Step from Heaven.  New York: Penguin, 2001.  ISBN:  978-0142500279.

Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon, 2007. ISBN: 978-0375714832.

Tamaki, Mariko, and Jillian Tamaki.Skim. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books, 2010. ISBN: 978-0888999641

Yang, Gene Luen.  American Born Chinese.  New York:  Square Fish, 2007.  ISBN:  978-0312384487. 



English 5970: Studies in English: Language, Gender, and Culture

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:00 – 7:30; Brown 4025
Dr. Lisa Minnick
Fulfills: MA-level elective;PhD requirement for English Language or Linguistics Course

Language, Gender, and Culture explores internal (linguistic) mechanisms in relation to external (social) structures, the result of which interaction is our language, a complex human tool constructed as much by our most deeply held beliefs and attitudes as to meet our communicative needs.

In English 5970, we will consider the social and academic contexts that gave rise to ‘language and gender’ as an area of inquiry and analyze its theoretical and methodological developments from early research to the present. We will also consider the influences of culture, power, and ideology on language and on the complex ways that speakers deploy the linguistic options available to them in the construction and performance of identity. Additionally, control of and authority over language in its public and private uses will be explored, along with the tradition of linguistic rebellion in response to prevailing attitudes and ideologies about gender, sexuality, and culture, as well as about language itself.

In addition to learning about theories and practices of research into language, culture, gender, and sexuality, students will also learn general linguistic terms, concepts, theories, and methods. No previous coursework in linguistics is required (although it is welcome), but curiosity and interest are essential.



English 5970: Studies in English: The “New” New Play Project—Live Serial

Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 – 11:30 A.M. and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00 – 10:00 P.M.; Gilmore Theatre Complex 2015
Dr. Steve Feffer and Professor Mark Liermann
Fulfills: MFA or PhD CW workshop requirement

What:
Now in its ninth summer, the Western Michigan University New Play Project has developed and presented over one hundred plays to audiences in the York Arena Theatre.   Approximately 15 short plays are selected for a development rehearsal process with a company of actors and directors from the Theatre Department.  Each play receives two weeks of rehearsal for the script-in-hand staged reading.  Additionally, while the playwrights are not in rehearsal on their own plays, they serve as dramaturgs, stage managers, and, sometimes, actors on the other readings.  Other classroom activities include workshops on other ways that plays are made and exercises in the new play rehearsal process.

When:
Summer I. Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00 AM - 11:50 AM–with the public readings and additional rehearsals Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM.

How:
All interested playwrights or creative writers or theatre artists or anyone that has a draft of a play--grad and undergrad--should email the script (10 pages to 50 pages in standard play format) to Dr. Steve Feffer by 5 PM, Friday, March 16 (the Friday after classes resume from Spring break).  These plays may also include adaptations, docudramas, or translations (with proper rights and permissions).  The selected playwrights will be notified shortly thereafter and then enrolled in ENGL 5970.

Who:
The course will be team taught by Mark Liermann, Theatre Department, and Steve Feffer, English Department.

Why:
This unique course provides playwrights, actors, directors, and dramaturges the remarkable opportunity to explore their own work and how new plays are developed and produced through the rehearsal process, as well as through full company classroom discussions, readings, and devisings.  Plays from the New Play Project have gone on to numerous publications, productions and prizes.

For more information please contact Dr. Steve Feffer.



Summer II


English 3050: Practical Writing

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 – 5:20; Brown 1048
Dr. Staci Perryman-Clark

English 3050 is a course designed to develop your confidence and competency in written communication. Whatever your future career plans or your current, favorite media for communicating (print, digital, twitter, Facebook or other social media), you are likely to need strong writing skills. Numerous studies, for example, show that employers place communication skills at the top (first or second place) of their most valued qualities in employees. Many of you might be surprised at how central writing is in the day-to-day life of most professionals. To help prepare you for the challenges ahead, this class will expand your writing repertoires beyond the academic essay or research paper.  Through various class projects, you will

  • Become familiar with the formats and rhetorical challenges of various practical genres and document formats (memos, reports, manuals, web text, visual displays and designs etc.).

  • Develop skill for anticipating (and addressing) the needs and reactions of audiences to communications in different contexts.

  • Learn the fundamentals of reader-centered communication, including the fundamentals of document design and readability used to create well-crafted documents.

  • Learn some documents and communication habits typical for professionals in your discipline.

The course is held in a computer lab with plenty of opportunity for personalized help with course projects.



English 3130: Asian Literature

Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 – 4:30; Dunbar4202
Dr. Mustafa Mirzeler

This course introduces students to the richness and variety of literary traditions in various regions of Asia: Ancient Mesopotamia, Arabia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Asian storytellers have always been imaginative and innovative; relying on oral tradition and the written word they have worked and continue to work within the realms of fantasy and reality. The fantasy element of their oral tradition and written literature is the link to a fabulous and grandly mythicized past created in epic tales, stories, and novels. The genius of Asian storytellers can be found in their ability to work within the traditional genres of the popular ballad and the ancient epic. You will find traces of the epic narrative form in the modern masters Yashar Kemal, Said Kurban, or KhaledHosseini. In the work of Asian storytellers new myths arise from and intertwine with the old to create unique and inventive new worlds.



English 3200: American Literature I

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 – 2:30; Brown 2045
Dr. Scott Slawinski

In this course students will read literature from the Age of Discovery and Exploration, texts from colonial America, and eventually pieces from the early United States up to the Civil War. While short stories, poems, and plays will be on the syllabus, class participants will also read diaries and journals, Puritan sermons and Transcendental essays, personal narratives and epic histories. Authors will include Captain John Smith, William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lydia Sigourney, and Walt Whitman, to name a few. Longer works likely include Sukey Vickery’s Emily Hamilton, Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life, and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. We will be looking at issues like the nature of freedom, shifting religious beliefs, the growth of authorship and the publishing industry, appreciation of the natural environment, and the growing problem of American slavery. At minimum, class assignments will likely include two long essays, a final examination, and frequent reading quizzes.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, vols. A and B. (Norton, 7th edition)
Emily Hamilton and Other Writings (University of Nebraska Press)



English 4440: Studies in the Novel

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 – 3:20; Dunbar3212
Dr. Cynthia Klekar

Catalog Description: This course studies the development and diversity of the novel as a literary form. Emphasis will be on the novel from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Attention shall be paid to the critical and theoretical bases of interpretation. This course is approved as a writing-intensive course which may fulfill the baccalaureate-level writing requirement of students’ curriculum.



English 4800: Multicultural Adolescent Liteature

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 – 9:20; Brown 3037
Dr. Karen Vocke

English 4800 is a capstone course which considers fundamental questions of why and how to teach literature; we will also focus on recent waves of reform, reader response, cultural studies, and the impact of the internet. Using both reader response and cultural studies approaches, we will examine the ways that culture and literature intersect to inform--and transform--our practice. We will use a thematic approach to explore a variety of themes in a problem-posing, student-led format.

Of special emphasis in this section of 4800 are the following: examining the reading process—how effective readers engage texts and use strategies to make the most of their reading experiences; understanding the history, current state, and influence of the English literary canon; examining issues of censorship, and designing curriculum and lessons sensitive to students of diverse abilities and backgrounds.

A variety of technologies are examined in this class: digital storytelling, website creation, wikis, webquests, and podcasting, to name a few. Guest speakers will include area teachers and administrators.

For additional information, contact Dr. Karen Vocke.



English 6970: Studies in English: Variable Topics - Austen and Adaptation

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:30; Dunbar2021
Dr. Christopher MacLean-Nagle
Fulfills: Master’s level elective; Ph.D. level Restoration& 18th Century requirement

This course will explore the various ways in which Jane Austen can be considered as a cinematic novelist, and how the experience of the film adaptations of her works has influenced the way we read her novels.  To this end, rather than confining our attention to thematic and contextual elements of her fiction, we also will emphasize (among other things) the visual and auditory dimensions of Austen's work and the difficulties of translating Austen’s inimitable style into a different medium.  By doing so, we should be able see her own artistic practice anew, and to engage in productive new readings of major films adapted from her fiction and from her life.  The point of the latter will never simply be to assess “fidelity to the original,” however tempting that exercise might be.  Rather, we will work diligently to take the film adaptations of Austen’s novels as serious works of artistic and cultural production in their own right, and on their own terms while exploring recent critical work on adaptation theory.  Ultimately, we will seek a kind of dialogical engagement between film and fiction, exploring the ways in which each illuminates the other.  In doing so, we will also be exploring the different ways that novelistic and cinematic pleasure function—how these forms work on us, what they make us feel and how they make us see.

I strongly recommend reading a generous selection of Austen’s remarkable letters throughout our class, alongside her major works of fiction—although we probably will not have time to devote close attention to them, they provide the best context for understanding Austen and her craft (and also serve as the best biography available).  Our seminar discussions will be accompanied by multiple film adaptations of the novels (some screened in class, some outside), including several looser, non-traditional reworkings, including: Kandukonden Kandukonden [I Have Found It], Bride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Clueless, Aisha, and Lost in Austen.  Much of our inspiration will come from the recent collaborative volume, The Cinematic Jane Austen, which will help to bring up to speed those who have had little or no exposure to the formal analysis of film or to film theory; no such expertise is required, although enthusiastic immersion in the world of Austen is.  Part of our first class may be devoted to some informal introductory training in film analysis. Throughout the term, if logistics permit, we will have visits (virtual or live) from several prominent Austen scholars whose work we will be reading.

Likely Required Texts:

Broadview editions of Austen’s major novels (used copies are fine): Sense and Sensibility (155111125X); Pride and Prejudice (1551110288); Mansfield Park (1551110989); Emma (155111321X); Persuasion (1551111314)

Vivien Jones, ed.  Selected Letters (Oxford UP):  0199538433

Hudelet, Monaghan, and Wiltshire, The Cinematic Jane Austen (McFarland): 0786435062

Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing About Film (Longman) — any edition is fine for our use.

Likely Recommended Texts (highly recommended for purchase and on library reserve):

William H. Galperin, The Historical Austen (Penn UP)

Claudia L. Johnson, Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel (Chicago UP)

D.A. Miller, Jane Austen, or the Secret of Style (Princeton UP)

Kathryn Sutherland, Jane Austen’s Textual Lives: From Aeschylus to Bollywood (Oxford UP)

Janet Todd, The Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen (Cambridge UP)

Janet Todd, ed. Jane Austen in Context (Cambridge UP)

& Two Anthologies:

Copeland and McMaster, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen (Cambridge UP)

Johnson and Tuite, eds., A Companion to Jane Austen (Blackwell)

Required Duties:  fairly heavy reading (usually a novel per week and readings in criticism and theory) and active participation in every class; outside screenings of films between class meetings;  short (3-5p.) response papers for each week;  a final paper (15-20p.) that engages in substantive, comparative analysis (e.g., of multiple filmic adaptations of a single novel or of formal strategies shared by adaptations of different novels).

 

Department of English
6th floor Sprau Tower
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331 USA
(269) 387-2572 | (269) 387-2562 Fax