Undergraduate Courses Spring 2011

Undergraduate Courses Spring 2011

Department of English

Undergraduate Course Descriptions Spring 2011

 

2100: Film Interpretation

3820: Literature for the Young Child

2220: Literature and Culture of the U.S.

3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader

2230: African-American Literature

3840: Adolescent Literature

2520: Shakespeare 4150: Literary Theory and Criticism
2980: Introduction to English Studies (English 2000) 4400: Studies in Verse
3050: Practical Writing 4440: Studies in the Novel
3120: Western World Literature 4620: Advanced Writing
3130: Asian Literature 4640: Professional Writing
3200: American Literature I

4720: Language Variation in American English

3210: American Literature II 4790: Writing in the Secondary School

3300: British Literature I - Cultural and Linguistic Change

4800: Teaching Literature in the Secondary School
3310: British Literature II 5220: Studies in American Literature - Native American Literature
3690: Writing in the Elementary School 5320: English Renaissance Literature
3710: Structures of Modern English 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Fiction
3720: Development of Modern English 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Playwriting
3740: Language in the Elementary School 5740: Grammar in Teaching Writing

 

 

English 2100: Film Interpretation
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 2:50; Brown 1301
Dr. Casey McKittrick

Film Interpretation is a course designed to acclimate students to thinking critically about the medium of cinema. In watching films of various genres, time periods, and nationalities, and learning critical vocabularies for assessing the cinematic experience, students will learn to discuss how narrative, sound, mise-en-scene, cinematography, and editing work together to produce meaning for the film spectator. Students will confront aesthetic, social, and ideological questions surrounding the production and reception of movies. Films may include, but are not limited to: Citizen Kane, Election, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Boogie Nights, Grand Illusion, Nosferatu, The Hours, Mildred Pierce, Rear Window, Vertigo, Higher Learning, and Rebel Without a Cause.


English 2220: Literature and Culture of the U.S.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:50; Brown 2048
Dr. Lisa Minnick

Catalog Description: Through study of literary works (and, when possible, other artistic achievements or cultural artifacts) by members of the varied cultures which comprise the United States of America, this course considers the perspectives and sustaining values of these cultural groups and considers the challenges, problems, and opportunities of a pluralistic American society. For more information, contact instructor at Lisa.Minnick@wmich.edu.


English 2220: African-American Literature
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:50; Brown 3002
Dr. John Saillant

This course surveys African-American literature from the era of the slave trade to the present. Written work includes three essays.


English 2220: African-American Literature
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:50; Brown 3002
Dr. Casey McKittrick

This section of African American Literature examines predominantly 20th century African-American literary and cultural production. Students will become conversant with some of the social, political, and aesthetic questions bound up in Black authorship and readership. The focus for this course is on the novel, with a foray into essays and short stories. Authors may include, but are not limited to, W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Ntozake Shange.


English 2520: Shakespeare
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 4002
Dr. Grace Tiffany

This class is an introduction to the college-level study of Shakespeare and is classified as a general education class. In it we will discuss and see portions, on video, of six of Shakespeare's best-known plays. While we will treat these plays as works designed for performance, careful reading of their dialogue will be necessary in order for them to be understood, and so we will go slowly. Some historical background of the age of Shakespeare will be provided throughout to enhance understanding of the plays. In addition to the reading, assignments include six in-class short-essay tests (worth 10% each of final grade), a final exam (worth 20% of final grade), and class participation in the form of attendance, attentive listening, and discussion (20%). The final exam is optional and, if taken, guaranteed either to raise or, at worst, not to hurt your grade. (If it threatens to lower your grade the final exam grade will be dropped.) If students want their grades to be averaged from their class participation and six earlier test grades and to skip the final, that is permissible. Extra credit (one project) is possible in exchange for a presentation, a memorized speech from Shakespeare, a written review of a Renaissance drama performance, or a dramatic performance done for the class. Students are responsible for designing and proposing such extra-credit projects.

Plays to be read: The Two Gentlemen of Verona; The Merchant of Venice; Richard II; Henry the Fourth, Part 1; King Lear; The Winter's Tale. Suitable editions: Any modern editions that contain line numbers and do not contain paraphrase of the original language in contemporary English.


English 2520: Shakespeare
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00 - 5:50; Brown 4003
Dr. Margaret Dupuis

We will look at a variety of plays written by William Shakespeare, including plays that can be described as comedy, tragedy, romance, history play, and problem play. It is important to consider these plays not only as literature to be read, but also as works to be seen, heard, and acted. Therefore, we will approach Shakespeare's plays as both literary works and performance pieces, with opportunity for personal expression and interpretation while also honoring the written text. In addition, we will see how the plays have been interpreted through film.


English 2980: Introduction to English Studies (English 2000)
Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Dunbar 3210
Drs. Jil Larson and Margaret Dupuis

If you have an interest in creative writing, literature and language, or rhetoric and writing studies, you=ve chosen an exciting time to pursue a career in the field of English studies. Faculty members in the Department of English want to help you to achieve your goals, whether you are taking your first survey course or whether you are preparing for a career in the many fields that are looking for English Studies graduates. We've created a new, team-taught class, English 2000, designed to match you up with professors in your areas of interest, so that you can develop stronger scholarly, creative, and professional agendas. English 2980 is a two-credit-hour course that meets once per week for an hour and fifty minutes. It's a small investment of your time that will help you to make the most of your education.


English 3050: Practical Writing
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:20; Brown 1002
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 in many professions, communication skills are ranked at the top (first or second place) of the most valued qualities for success. 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 about 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 3050: Practical Writing
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:50; Brown 1045
Dr. Thomas Kent

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 in many professions, communication skills are ranked at the top (first or second place) of the most valued qualities for success. 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 about 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 3120: Western World Literature
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 - 12:15; Brown 3030
Dr. Philip Egan

Because Western World literature is a large topic, we will concern ourselves in this section of it chiefly with the development of narrative in Western literature. The great themes include war (including ideals of heroism and chivalry), women and men in and out of love, education (often seen through satire), portraits of the artist, and the power of the irrational. Starting with The Odyssey, we will see how some different narrative genres and trends developed, including the sources of romance, satire, comedy, and the novel. We will also examine what different large intellectual movements or periods of Western literature (ancient, medieval, renaissance, neoclassical, romantic, realist, etc.) contributed to literature and how they each influenced narrative.


English 3130: Asian Literature
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Dunbar 3208
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 Khaled Hosseini. 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
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 - 12:15; Brown 2048
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. We will be looking at issues like the nature of freedom, shifting religious beliefs, the growth of authorship and the publishing industry, 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)
Emily Hamilton and Other Writings (University of Nebraska Press)


English 3210: American Literature II
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Brown 4010
Dr. Scott Slawinski

This course covers the period from the end of the Civil War to the present time. Class participants will be reading such authors as Twain, James, Freeman, Chesnutt, T. S. Eliot, Stevens, Moore, Hemingway, Sexton, Ginsburg, Baldwin, and others. A substantial portion of the course will include fiction and poetry, but we will also look at other forms of expression such as autobiographies, essays, and perhaps even a play. We will examine the issues these authors addressed in their writings, from racism to stifling social conventions to gender stereotypes, and we will interrogate their aesthetic methods for conveying their conclusions about American life.
At minimum, class assignments will likely include two long essays, a final examination, and frequent reading quizzes.

Text: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, vols C, D, and E. (Norton)


English 3300: British Literature I
Cultural and Linguistic Change
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 - 12:15; Brown 3002
Dr. Eve Salisbury

This course offers a wide variety of texts written in English over a number of centuries during which time England experienced profound ideological and linguistic change. Beginning with Caedmon's Hymn and Old English poetry, continuing through the Middle English period of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales into the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries of pre-modern English, our study of this literary corpus allows us to see the dynamics of linguistic transformation and to understand how a distinctively British literary tradition is made.


English 3310: British Literature II
Tuesdays, 5:30 - 8:00; Brown 3030
Dr. Cynthia Klekar

Catalog Description: A survey of British literature from the Romantics to the present. For more information, contact instructor at Cynthia.Klekar@wmich.edu.


English 3690: Writing in the Elementary School
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 3037
Dr. Ellen Brinkley

Students in English 3690 assume the role of both teacher and writer. We study what research teaches about the needs and interests of K-8 students, identifying the widely varying experiences and interests that individual students bring with them to our classes. In English 3690 we focus on how to teach young students to write and, just as important, how they can use writing to think and to learn. We focus broadly on the writing development of children in pre-school through middle school, especially focusing on strategies that teachers use to (1) encourage and respond to student writing, (2) assess writing growth, (3) link writing and reading, and (4) use writing as a means of learning. The course includes designing writing curriculum across K-8 grade levels, using writing in all areas of the curriculum, and assessing the writing of young writers. During class sessions we will write and learn from sharing our writing in small in-class groups. Our class texts are written by K-8 teachers who share practical day-to-day teaching strategies and who teach us how writing supports all subject areas. We will function as a class of writers, learn from each other, and interview K-8 teachers who make writing an especially important part of their work with students.

 

English 3690: Writing in the Elementary School
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 3045
Dr. Toby Kahn-Loftus

This class focuses on writing development of pre-school through middle school children and on ways one can encourage and respond to student writing, assess writing growth, and use writing as a means of learning. It fosters a theoretical understanding of the writing process in part by writing in varied genres and forms; it emphasizes writing as an integral component of the entire curriculum and demonstrates the use of powerful mentor texts for teaching craft, grammar, and vocabulary.

Restricted to education students.


English 3710: Structures of Modern English
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:50; Brown 3037
Dr. Paul Johnston

The course introduces students to the idea of English (and language in general) as a
multi-leveled, patterned, structured system, a vehicle for speakers to produce utterances and to communicate in a social context. Participants learn the terms and concepts needed to study each level of this structure: phonetics/phonology (sounds), the morphology (meaningful word parts), lexical studies and semantics (words and meanings), syntax (sentences), and pragmatics (texts and whole utterances). Students will also study how writers of literature use these levels of language to create effects and patterns that guide readers toward certain interpretations of their texts.


English 3720: Development of Modern English
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:50; Brown 3037
Dr. Lisa Minnick

From the catalog: English 3720 traces the development of modern English from its beginnings to the present, examining historic and linguistic influences on change in spoken and written English. It explores theories of language development, with emphasis on their practical implications.Learning objectives:

Students who complete the course successfully will acquire the following:

  • Language description skills, including proficiency in the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Working knowledge of terminology used in the discipline of linguistics.
  • Understanding of the external (social, political, intellectual) influences on language change.
  • Understanding of the internal (linguistic) mechanisms of language change.
  • Awareness of how standard varieties are authorized and institutionalized.
  • Understanding of English as a global lingua franca and the implications of its influence.


English 3740: Language in the Elementary School
Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:15; Brown 3045
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:45; Brown 3045
Dr. Toby Kahn-Loftus

This course will deal with the following topics: the history and structure of words, dialects, and interlanguage (i.e., lingua franca, a common language used by speakers of different languages) as cultural phenomena; teaching reading and writing in light of language variations; aspects of grammar most useful to writers; research on teaching grammar; and integrating language study into the elementary curriculum.

Prerequisite: English 3690


English 3820: Literature for the Young Child
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 3003
Dr. Gwen Tarbox

English 3280, Literature for the Young Child, is a survey course that will focus on these questions: 1) What are the distinguishing features of contemporary texts written for children, aged 0-9? 2) How has the representation of childhood altered over the last two hundred years in texts written for children and what do these changes in representation tell us about adults= anxieties regarding children and their behavior? 3) What forms of critical analysis have been brought to bear upon children's literature and how can they enrich our understanding of the genre?

In a typical unit, students would read a pair of related texts-- say, Wilder's Little House on the Prairie and Louise Erdrich's The Birchbark House--and consider ways that the authors write about westward expansion and encounters between indigenous people and settlers. In addition to engaging in class discussion of the novels, students would read scholarly articles on the texts that would form the basis of a short critical essay.

Other text pairs may include the following: Bridges' Through My Eyes and Burton's Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel; Tan's The Arrival and Wiesner's The Three Pigs; Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret; multiple variants of the Cinderella story; Seuss' The Lorax and Silverstein's The Giving Tree.

As an added feature to this course, students will have the opportunity to interact with Dr. Lance Weldy and his children's literature students as they study the same material in their course at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. Dr. Weldy and I will be visiting with each other's classes via Skype, and the students in our classes will engage in conversation regarding texts via a course blog that we have created.

Assignments for ENGL 3820 will include quizzes, blog posts, a mid-term and a final examination, 3 short critical essays, and a poster presentation.

Prerequisite: Sophomore status


English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:50; Brown 3017
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:50; Brown 4003
Tuesdays, 5:00 - 7:30; Brown 4017
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 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Spinelli's Eggs, 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 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 4017
Dr. Ilana Nash

An exploration of literature for pre-adolescents. Emphasis is on critical sensitivity and techniques necessary for interpreting and evaluating works representative of the major forms of children's literature for the older reader. Various genres will be considered.

 

English 3830: Literature for the Intermediate Reader
Wednesdays, 4:00 - 6:20; Brown 3048
Dr. Elizabeth Amidon

This course focuses on an analysis of literature for adolescents from a variety of critical and culturally diverse perspectives. It emphasizes the adolescent experience as reflected in literature, the history of adolescent literature and media, and the distinguishing features of classical and contemporary works.

Required Texts

Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Collins, Hunger Games
Fantaskey, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Levithan, Boy Meets Boy
Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Small, Stitches: A Memoir
Wolff, Make Lemonade
Zusak, I Am the Messenger
$5 Copy Card available at the WMU Bookstore (due Jan. 19)

 

English 3840: Adolescent Literature
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 - 4:45; Brown 3017
Dr. Ilana Nash

This course focuses on an analysis of literature for adolescents from a variety of critical and culturally diverse perspectives. It emphasizes the adolescent experience as reflected in literature, the history of adolescent literature and media, and the distinguishing features of classical and contemporary works.


English 4150: Literary Theory and Criticism
Tuesdays, 6:00 - 9:30; Brown 2037
Dr. Christopher MacLean-Nagle

This course will introduce students to the most important and influential areas of contemporary literary theory and criticism. Since the question of what is literary is often at the heart of this work, for our purposes literary will be construed broadly enough to encompass a range of cultural practices--practices which involve reading not merely books and other conventional textual artifacts, but also those texts and practices of everyday life (the psychic, the social, the artistic, the economic, etc.) for which criticism and theory provide important interpretive tools as well. Although our focus will be on 20th-century trends, we will engage with the most foundational modern influences (e.g., Freud, Marx, Nietzsche) on contemporary critical inquiry--both literary and cultural--and we will seek a balance between more difficult theoretical texts and more user-friendly literary criticism, adding some key works of literature to the mix as well. The range of critical approaches will be wide, reflecting the diversity of critical thinking in a globalized, multicultural world.

A word of caution: the readings for this class will often be dense, abstract, and difficult--to some, it might seem more like a course in philosophy than one in literature. While one of our considerations will be how such distinctions are made, these two traditions are intimately and unavoidably related, and students should be prepared for the kinds of challenges that deeply speculative--and often provocative--texts afford. To this end, students will need to bring to this class a mind open to challenging and sometimes troubling questions of politics and aestheticsCin short, of *valuation*, of what we value and why we do so--and must be willing to work hard to come to conclusions of their own. The expectation, in short, is that you will consider work not merely as the labor involved in completing your course assignments, but rather in Michel Foucault's sense, in which "to work is to undertake to think something other than what one has thought before." This will be our criteria for success in the course.


English 4400: Studies in Verse
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 3003
Dr. Elizabeth Bradburn

This course takes a rhetorical approach to the study of verse. Lyric is, in the words of James Phelan, Asomebody telling somebody else (or even himself or herself) on some occasion for some purpose that something is--a situation, an emotion, a perception, an attitude, a belief, or a thought process. Through a survey English and American poetry, we will consider how lyric poets create, both formally and thematically, the illusion of utterance, and how this illusion contributes to meaning. Our text will be The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Course requirements include two short (5 pp.) and two long 10-15 pp.) papers, and a final exam.


English 4440: Studies in the Novel
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:50; Brown 3003
Dr. Jil Larson

Studies in the Novel is one of the university's required baccalaureate writing courses. These courses give you the opportunity to write intensively within your major and, as such, English 4440 is designed to help you hone the skills you have been developing all along in your English courses. It will also offer you in-depth study of a single genre, the novel, as well as subgenres within that larger category. We will read American, British, and international novels that employ a wide variety of narrative techniques and imagine fictional worlds of all sorts. Your writing will allow you to pursue your own particular interests in this literature and share your discoveries and insights with the rest of the class. Although the reading list is still in flux, it is likely to include 18th and early 19th century novels by Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, and/or Jane Austen, Victorian novels by Charlotte Bronte, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and/or Robert Louis Stevenson, and 20th and 21st century novels by H.G. Wells, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Italo Calvino, Jhumpa Lahiri, Margaret Atwood, and/or Kazuo Ishiguro.


English 4440: Studies in the Novel
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 3048
Dr. Christopher MacLean-Nagle

This section of Studies in the Novel will focus on Gothic fiction, one of the most popular traditions in the history of the novel since the 18th century. The course will draw most heavily from the British tradition, tracing the early development of the gothic in writers such as Horace Walpole, Sophia Lee, William Beckford, Ann Radcliffe, and Matthew Lewis, through the stranger variations on gothic themes found in later works of the nineteenth century (Maria Edgeworth, Percy and Mary Shelley, James Hogg, Charles Maturin, Emily Bronte, R.L.Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Joseph Conrad) and draw to a close in the early 20th century with Djuna Barnes' modernist classic, Nightwood.

We will explore a wide variety of themes and issues within the gothic tradition--representations of doubling and the Doppelganger, religious persecution, the terrors of family, the politics of violence, history and its traumas, discourses of colonialism, degeneration and perversion, as well as the development of psychology and pathological cultural typing--while examining the experimentation in narrative form that emerges in this fiction. The works we read will always be strange and challenging, and not infrequently disturbing. Be forewarned!

Students should expect and come prepared for: a heavy reading load each week; a substantial writing component (shorter, exploratory writing as well as longer, formal essays); class presentations; active participation by all members of the class; and reading quizzes if deemed necessary.

Course readings are likely to be selected from among the following possibilities: Walpole's Castle of Otranto, Lee's The Recess, Beckford's Vathek, Radcliffe's Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne or The Veiled Picture, Lewis' The Monk, Austen's Northanger Abbey, Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, P. Shelley's Zastrozzi, M. Shelley's Transformation, Polidori's Vampyre, Hogg's Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer, E. Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stoker's Dracula, Conrad's Secret Sharer, Barnes' Nightwood.

 

English 4620: Advanced Writing
Thursdays, 6:00 - 9:20; Brown 1002
Dr. Thomas Kent

Catalog Description: Practice in developing the forms and techniques of writing, editing, and researching required in business, industry, and government. Students should take this course as their capstone experience in practical writing. For more information, contact instructor at Thomas.Kent@wmich.edu.


English 4640: Professional Writing
Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 1037
Dr. Charlotte Thralls

WMU Catalogue Description: Professional Writing provides practice in developing the forms and techniques of writing, editing, and researching required in business, industry, and government.  Students should take this course as their capstone experience in practical writing. Prerequisite: two writing courses.  English 3050 (Practical Writing) recommended.

About the Course: As a capstone to your classes (and experiences) in practical writing, this course is designed to help you move to the next level: either a career as a professional writer or a career that requires a high level of communication competence.  The course thus focuses on some of the knowledge and skills you'll need to make this transition.

Through course projects, for example, you will have an opportunity to

1) Develop Professional Quality Projects that Demonstrate Your Communication Experience and Expertise. Here, you will gain experience with communication strategies (for example, adapting information to readers, using print and digital technologies, designing pages and documents, creating visual evidence and displays), important in workplaces and the professions.

2) Learn What It is Like to Do a Writing Project for a Client. Here you'll move beyond writing just for your teachers and get invaluable experience in creating documents for actual organizations.

3) Develop Techniques for Effective Presentation of Your Writing Experience and Competence.  Here, you'll learn how to create a professional portfolio--in either digital or print form--that synthesizes and articulates your knowledge and skills as a writer. Students typically report that the portfolio is an invaluable tool in their job searches and applications to graduate or professional schools.


English 4720: Language Variation in American English
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:50; Brown 3037
Dr. Paul Johnston

This course illustrates the interplay between language variation and social structures, groupings and speakers' linguistic attitudes and how these influence the formation, maintenance, use, and decline (if any) of dialects of English, with emphasis on those found in North America. Students learn the educational implications of such variation, how writers exploit it as a resource, and the methodology dialectologists and sociolinguists use to study it. They are introduced to how factors like geography, race/ethnicity and gender affect and are reflected in language variation, both within English and in respect to other languages spoken in the United States and Canada, and do projects involving researching dialect variation first-hand.


English 4790: Writing in the Secondary School
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:50; Brown 3045
Dr. Jonathan Bush

Catalog Description: Focuses on the continued development of student writers in grades 7 to 12, and on ways one can encourage and respond to student writing, assess writing growth, and use writing as a means of learning. Fosters a theoretical understanding of the writing process, in part by writing in varied genres and forms. Emphasizes writing as an integral component of the entire curriculum. For more information, contact Jonathan.Bush@wmich.edu.


English 4800: Teaching Literature in the Secondary Schools
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 - 3:50; Brown 3045
Dr. Allen Webb

This section of English 4800 will ground students in traditional approaches to literature pedagogy while simultaneously focusing on reform movements in literature instruction including reader response, cultural studies, and the digital literacy. After the first part of the course led by the instructor, students will take significant responsibility for course leadership as we explore approaches to teaching literature.

For over a generation the reader response movement has generated reform in secondary English teaching. Yet, in confronting a wide range of students, content questions, and social and cultural issues, reader response approaches fall short. Potential answers and new directions for English teaching have emerged under the umbrella of "cultural studies." This course contends that the starting point for curriculum and teaching methodology for teaching literature is addressing what literary works are about, what literary works mean, as well as how they mean, in historical, cultural, political and social contexts including those of the student and the world we live in today.

By focusing on difficult and potentially controversial cultural studies curricular themes during the student-led portion of the course, future teachers will gain understanding of issues involved in teaching literature at the secondary level, see Course Goals. You may also want to review the WMU teacher education Program Goals, which are the basis for the evaluation of intern teaching.

Changes in information technology are offering to extend and reshape the teaching of literature. The inherited cultural archive is now available in digital format on-line and with complementary resources that far exceed what is available in textbooks. A wide range of digital tools and resources for reading, writing, and thinking about literature are now available.

Class will be held in a new, wireless, laptop classroom in Brown Hall specifically designed for English education courses. This room will allow us to integrate technology into literature 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.

All students will develop and publish their own teaching website, both a portfolio of work and a real-world working site for future teaching.

A significant portion of the class will be student-led, as we explore the development of response-based, cultural studies literature teaching within the context of NCTE and the State of Michigan standards, content expectations, and model curriculums.

As the capstone experience for English Education majors, this course entails an exciting variety of professional activities and responsibilities. Students are expected to attend a professional English teacher's conference, for example the MCTE sponsored "Bright Ideas Conference" in Lansing on Saturday April 10 or the Michigan Reading Association Conference, in Detroit March 20-22. You should also join NCTE, MCTE, and/or MRA and read regularly the English Journal or Voices from the Middle. The English Companion Ning is a remarkable resource with over 17,000 members.


English 5220: Studies in American Literature
Native American Literature

Thursdays, 4:00 - 6:20; Brown 3002
Dr. Nicolas Witschi

Over the course of the last four decades or so, literature by indigenous writers has undergone a series of dramatic and always interesting changes. From assertions of sovereign identity and engagements with entrenched cultural stereotypes to interventions in academic and critical methodologies, the word-based art of novelists, dramatists, critics, and poets such as Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Louis Owens, Linda Hogan, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Simon Ortiz, and Thomas King, among many others, has proven vital to our understanding of North American culture as a whole. In this course we will examine a cross-section of recent and exemplary texts from this wide-reaching literary movement, paying particular attention to the formal, thematic, and critical innovations being offered in response to questions of both personal and collective identity. This course will be conducted seminar-style, which means that everyone is expected to contribute significantly to discussion and analysis.


English 5320: English Renaissance Literature
Tuesdays, 4:00 - 6:20; Brown 4035
Dr. Anthony Ellis

English 5320, a survey of English Renaissance literature, will extend from Sir Thomas More's Utopia to John Milton's Paradise Lost. The course is designed to give students a sense of literary history, an understanding of some central primary texts (poetry, prose, and drama), and a grasp of how British literature and its readers developed over a 150-year span. We will also read numerous critical studies, representing a variety of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives. The main textbook will be The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume B: The Sixteenth Century/The Early Seventeenth Century, ed. Stephen Greenblatt, 8th edition (2005).


English 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Fiction
Tuesdays, 4:00 - 7:30; Brown 3017
Professor Thisbe Nissen

This will be a traditional fiction workshop. Each student will put up at least two pieces to be workshopped during the semester. Class members are responsible for reading workshop stories and making line notes for the author, in addition to writing a thoughtful and substantive end note. We learn better how to edit ourselves by carefully and conscientiously editing others. We'll dig into the meat of each other's stories to figure out how theyore working, how they might work better, and what the author and the class can learn from the effort at hand. Revision is encouraged. Discussion of readings in contemporary published short fiction will compliment workshop discussions.


English 5660: Creative Writing Workshop, Playwriting
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:30; Brown 2048
Dr. Steve Feffer

Catalog Description: A workshop and conference course in playwriting, with emphasis on refinement of the individual student=s style and skills. For more information contact the instructor at Steve.Feffer@wmich.edu.


English 5740: Grammar in Teaching Writing
Mondays, 6:00 - 9:30; Brown 3037
Dr. Jonathan Bush

Catalog Description: Dealing with issues and methods in the teaching of grammar, this course for teachers focuses on using grammar to develop content, style and voice, and skill in revising and editing writing. For more information, contact the instructor at Jonathan.Bush@wmich.edu.

 

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