Summer 2014 Courses

Summer 2014 Courses

Summer 2014 Course Offerings

See past semesters' offerings in the Course Archive

A note about registration for graduate students: Unlike semesters during the school year, we will not distribute a survey for registration requests.  Thus, if you’re interested in registering for a summer class, please send the following information to

Your Name:
Your WIN#
Requested Course number:
Requested Course CRN:

We can register you beginning immediately.  Please send your requests no later than April 6, 2013.

Summer I Courses Summer II Courses
ENGL 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing ENGL 2110: Folklore and Mythology
ENGL 3210: American Literature II ENGL 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States
ENGL 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader ENGL 3060: Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture
ENGL 4790: Writing in the Secondary School ENGL 3310: British Literature II
ENGL 5550: Hemmingway ENGL 3840: Adolescent Literature
ENGL 5970: New Play Project ENGL 4440: Studies in the Novel
  ENGL 5550: Hitchcock and Authorship


Summer I


English 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing

CRN: 21116
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00—5:20
Dr. Brian Gogan

Recently, 97% of over 300 Fortune 1000 executives rated the “ability to write clearly and persuasively” as “absolutely necessary” or “very important” for individuals embarking on careers. The message of these high-powered executives is clear: Writing effectively positions you for professional success.

As such, “English 3050: Introduction to Professional Writing” is a course designed to position you for success by developing your confidence and competency in the written communication that occurs in professional settings.

During this course you will:

  • Write in a variety of workplace genres including resumes, letters, emails, memos, reports, and proposals
  • Practice strategies for anticipating, identifying, and addressing the situated needs of audiences
  • Craft polished documents that demonstrate the fundamentals of reader-centered communication
  • Research the habits of writers in your discipline

This course is held in a computer lab with plenty of opportunity for personalized help with course projects. No textbooks are required for this course.


English 3210: American Literature II

CRN: 21541
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00—2:30
Dr. Philip Egan

The summer section of American Literature II will use Volume Two of the Shorter Eighth edition of The Norton Anthology of American Literature. We will read a selection of major poets, fiction writers, and playwrights of American literature from the late 19th century to the present, including (but certainly not limited to): Mark Twain, Henry James, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tennessee Williams. We'll fit in other authors as we can. Students will do lots of short writing, take quizzes, deliver an in-class report, write a longer paper toward the end, and take a final exam.


English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader

CRN: 21263
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00—9:20
Professor 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 The Ravenmaster's Secret, Percy Jackson's Lightning Thief, Spinelli's Eggs, Nikki Grimes' Bronx MasqueradeThe Wonderful Wizard of OzThe Devil's ArithmeticThe 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

CRN: 20012
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00—9:20
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 and MRA and read regularly the English Journal or Voices from the Middle.

The course will prepare teachers to meet and exceed the Common Core State Standards.


English 5550: Hemingway

CRN: 22144
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30—9:00
Dr. Jon Adams

Description: Study of the works of classical, European, British or American writers.

Our particular focus on Hemingway allows us to:

    1. read rather extensively in one of the U.S.’ most prevalent 20th century writers;
    2. chart the development of Hemingway’s style and thematic concerns;
    3. interrogate critical responses to Hemingway’s work, especially in light of recent theoretical interventions;
    4. read challenging but enjoyable texts and discuss them with peers in an informal setting (i.e. summer).

Required Texts:
A Farewell to Arms
A Moveable Feast
For Whom the Bell Tolls
In Our Time
The Garden of Eden
The Sun Also Rises
To Have and Have Not

Assignments: Daily Attendance; Reading Responses; Annotated Bibliography of 2 critical works and presentation to the class on same; 2-short essays (undergraduate enrollees); 1-seminar length essay (graduate enrollees)


English 5970: New Play Project

CRN: 21418
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00-11:40 a.m. and 7:00—10:00 p.m.
Dr. Steve Feffer

(Please note: the Tuesday and Thursday evening times are used for rehearsals, performances and production.)

Description: For the past ten years, the New Play Project has developed and presented new stage work by Western Michigan University’s playwrights in collaboration with the Theatre Department’s actors and directors. This year, New Play Project Eleven will continue that tradition of interdisciplinary partnership, while embracing the new technologies associated with the production of Webisodes.

During Summer One, writers in English 5970: New Play Project Eleven will work with the Theatre Department’s actors and directors in the class to write, develop and produce web series or episodes. Once again, the New Play Project will be taught by WMU playwriting professor Dr. Steve Feffer, and WMU directing professor Mark Liermann. Additionally, the class will be joined by guest experts and artists in the field of web production and design.

How: Interested writers should contact Dr. Steve Feffer at for permission or more information.

Please include a few sentences or so about classes in dramatic writing, screen writing, or playwriting that you may have taken or relevant experience in the areas of theatre, film, tv or web writing and production. Additionally, if available, please include a 5-10 page sample of your dramatic writing and/or a clip or web address of your work. However, in the case of web production, no experience is necessary!


Summer II


English 2110: Folklore and Mythology

CRN: 31800
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00—1:20
Dr. Mustafa Mirzeler

In this course students will explore the folklore and mythology of people who live in disparate parts of the world. In the world, past and present, what assuages the pain and suffering of people are the stories, the myths, and the imaginary worlds of the ancient storytellers. In reading the accounts of these storytellers, the students will enter into their magical worlds and experience the magical truth of storytelling as well as the magic of the words. In every age, human societies have produced their master storytellers who have moved tradition into new dispensations through the magic of words. They have exerted their influence on the present, giving it a mythic image in a traditional context.

The genius of these ancient storytellers can be traced in the traditional genres of the popular ballad and in the art forms of contemporary master storytellers and poets. In the work of these storytellers new myths arise from and intertwine with the old to create unique and inventive new worlds. Drawing from the contemporary folklore and mythology, this course historicizes and conceptualizes cultural and social contexts that produce folklore and myths around the world.


English 2220: Literatures and Cultures of the United States

CRN: 31359
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00—7:20
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 3060: Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture

CRN: 31358
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00—5:30
Dr. Brian Gogan

Why was that one sketch from last weekend's Saturday Night Live sketch so funny? What makes a viral meme work? How can you use language to provoke laughter? In this class, you will explore these questions (and more) by studying the relationship between parody (the use of language for comic effect) and rhetoric (the use of language for effect).

During this course, you will:

  • Compose a parody
  • Define the relationship between parody and rhetoric
  • Research parody’s effect on society  using methods of rhetorical criticism
  • Position your understanding of parody alongside other theories of parody and rhetoric

Major course requirements include a class presentation, an analytic paper, and a multimodal composition. No textbooks are required for this course.


English 3310: British Literature II

CRN: 31772
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00—2:30
Dr. Scott Slawinski

This course begins with the Romantic period, moves through the Victorian era, and concludes in the twentieth century. Rejecting many of the values of the eighteenth century, the Romantics put forward their own sense of artistic achievement. The class will consider the Romantics’ varying use of their aesthetic values, including their interest in the common, their lauding of nature, and their political activism. Authors from this period include Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, the Shelleys, Barbauld, and Robinson.

The Victorian period occupies about two thirds of the nineteenth century, and its authors’ wide-ranging concerns reflect the period’s length and variety. We will take up issues of class, empire, gender, sexuality, and aesthetics. Some of the Victorians include Carlyle, the Brownings, Ruskin, Tennyson, Hardy, and Stevenson.

The first part of the twentieth century is dominated by the experimental literature of the Modernist movement. The class will look at their notions of art and how they implemented them. Moderns to be read include Woolf, Lawrence, Mansfield, and the World War I poets.

The post-World War II era widens the range of authors considerably, and among those writers the class will sample are Larkin, Auden, Thomas, and Lessing. All three eras’ aesthetic values permeated not just their writings but other arts such as architecture, painting, and music, and the class will consider and compare all these forms of expression alongside the readings.

Course requirements include reading quizzes, regular attendance, two essays (one involves research), and a final examination.


English 3840: Adolescent Literature

CRN: 31138
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30—9:00
Professor Judith Rypma

This course examines literature for 9th- to 12th-grade readers. Thus we will read young adult novels, poems, and one play. Emphasis will be on culturally, socially, and globally diverse literature.  Readings might include the following: Lovely Bones, True Story of Hansel and Gretel, Forgotten Fire, Macbeth, Crank, Bottled Up, Catherine the Great (Royal Diaries series)The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, etc. Much of your grade will be dependent on keeping up with the reading, thinking critically about the texts, and expressing your analytical skills both verbally and on exams. All students will be required to attend at least one outside event.

English 4440: Studies in the Novel

CRN: 31519
Tuesdays and Thursday, 12:00—3:20
Dr. Christopher Nagle


English 5550: Hitchcock and Authorship

CRN: 31799
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00—6:30
Dr. Casey McKittrick

Although it may seem counter-intuitive to discuss the notions of authorship and authorial vision in a highly collaborative medium like film, cinematic scholarship has been intermittently preoccupied with such a discussion since the early 1950s. In this course, we will perform a brief historical survey of Auteur theory, from its roots in the Cahiers du Cinema with Francois Truffaut to the American popularization of the theory in the 1960s by Andrew Sarris. In doing so, we will examine some of the theory’s more provocative and controversial claims: 1) That directors, not screenwriters, are the real “authors” of film; 2) That there are not good and bad films; only good and bad directors; and 3) That successful auteurs have either a consistent theme or a distinctive style that permeates their body of work in an easily recognizable way.

This seminar focuses on the iconic status of Alfred Hitchcock as a director, as a public figure, and as the subject of much auteur criticism, in order to pose and answer some of the following questions: How did Hitchcock’s early training in German Expressionism and Soviet Montage influence his ideas of filmmaking? What recurring stylistic techniques and thematic preoccupations constitute Hitchcock’s “thumbprint” or “signature” upon his films?  Does Hitchcock’s “signature” change or evolve over time?  Did Hitchcock’s issues with control hinder or engender his status as auteur?  When contemporary works are described as “Hitchcockian,” what auteurist signifiers are at work in determining cinematic Hitchcock-ness? Finally, we will ask: What are the benefits and drawbacks of considering films and filmmakers through the auteurist lens? What critical blindnesses and insights ensue?

Something to consider: Even if you leave this class wholly unconvinced of Auteur theory as a worthwhile theoretical concept, the foundational questions in this class nevertheless have a great heuristic value in that you will become conversant with the fundamentals of film theory and authoritative in matters of Hitchcock, his career, and his aesthetic.

Films: The Lodger (1927); The 39 Steps (1935); Shadow of a Doubt (1943); Notorious(1946); Rope (1948); Strangers on a Train (1951); Rear Window (1954); The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956); Vertigo (1958); Psycho (1960); Marnie (1964); Frenzy (1972).

Texts:  The Art of Alfred Hitchcock, Donald Spoto; Excerpts from: The Hitchcock Romance, Lesley Brill; Hitchcock’s Appetites: The Corpulent Plots of Desire and Dread, Casey McKittrick; The Murderous Gaze, William Rothman; The Women Who Knew Too Much, Tania Modleski; The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, Andrew Sarris; Hitchcock, Truffaut; essays by Francois Truffaut, Alexandre Astruc, and Jean-Luc Godard.


Department of English
6th floor Sprau Tower
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5331 USA
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