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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Winter 2021 Course Descriptions

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100-Level English Courses | 200-Level English Courses | 300-Level English Courses | 400-Level English Courses | 500-Level (Graduate) English Courses |

ENG 101 – Writing Your Way Through WWU

Prerequisites & Notes: May not be taken concurrently with ENG 100. GUR: ACOM

A writing course designed to prepare students for college-level creative, critical, and reflective writing. Because writing looks and works differently in different contexts, this course teaches the rhetorical competencies that students need to write across multiple disciplines. The course introduces students both to the processes of building and analyzing ideas, and to ways of communicating those ideas in context-specific genres for targeted audiences. This course has the immediate goal of preparing students to succeed in their writing at Western, but it will also serve them personally and professionally. Students needing to satisfy Block A of the communications section of the General University Requirements, which ENG 101 does, are required to do so prior to completion of 45 credits. Students with a 4 or 5 AP score are encouraged to take this class so they can learn to adapt their test-taking skills to college coursework.

Note that English 101 is being offered in several online modalities, including fully asynchronous and blended sections.

OVERRIDES / CAPACITY OVERRIDES ARE NEVER GRANTED FOR ENGLISH 101. English 101 is capped at 24 students due to the constraints of the physical space. Please see the English 101 website for more information about ENG 101.

 

ENG 201 Writ in Humanit: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. CCOM.

10812 TR 1000-1150 Weed Katie

What does popular music teach us about the human experience? Who gets to define what counts as “popular music”? What factors influence how--and which--music becomes and sometimes remains popular, and how we communicate about it?

To begin, we will pose and explore questions like these from a range of humanities perspectives: historical, cultural, social, political, religious, and others. We’ll probe issues like the politics of genre classification (hello Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road”) and representation in contemporary music criticism and genres (hello, The Highwomen and “ABC”: Anything But Country). We will also explore non-Western popular music and ways that the digitization has impacted people’s abilities to produce, listen to, and experience music--with particular attention to how the industry is evolving during the global pandemic.

At the heart of this class will be your own inquiry and research. Early in the quarter, you will choose a specific popular music topic as the basis for in-depth independent research, culminating in a final researched essay and multimedia presentation. Other assignments for this Comm-C course will include creative projects and extensive informal writing. Throughout the course, you will develop and refine skills in source-based research, inquiry, and writing processes common to many kinds of humanities scholarship.

 

ENG 202 Writing About Literature 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. BCOM.

10064 MWF 1130-1250 Steven VanderStaay

Young adult literature may be described as the literature adolescents read, the literature written for them to read or, more broadly, literature about the passage from childhood to adulthood. We will consider the significance of each of these definitions as we trace the historical roots of this popular genre and its contemporary manifestations in modern literature, graphic novels, trade paperbacks and film. Designed to help students develop the skills of close reading and analysis of literary texts, student work in this class includes both cultural criticism and guided examinations of how language, style, and form contribute to a text's social or political claims.

Assigments/Evaluations: Course work includes informal analyses and homework, a course presentation, midterm exam and final paper.

Texts:

  • J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
  • Gary Paulsen, Hatchet
  • Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  • John Greene, Looking for Alaska
  • Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

10213 MWF 1300-1450 Tony Prichard

This course directs attention to where literature and madness overlap by examining texts that either include characters experiencing hallucinations or texts that claim to produce madness. We will inquire into the differences between madness, weirdness and that which is yet to be articulated and made habitual.

Texts:

Chambers, Robert.The King in Yellow(online)

  • Shadows of Carcosa: Tales of Cosmic Horror by Lovecraft, Chambers, Machen, Poe, and Other Masters of the Weird (optional--all stories can be found online.)
  • A People’s Future of the United States (required)
  • Wyndham, John. Chocky (required)

10598 TR 800-950 Allison Giffen

English 202: Writing about Literature: Early American Literature and National Identity

In this class we will focus on how to perform effective literary analysis as we read some fascinating examples of U.S. literature written from the late 18th and 19th century. In our reading, we will explore issues of race, class, and gender as we look to the ways in which U.S. writers engage in the process of constructing, challenging, and revising notions of national identity. We will do a lot of writing, formal and informal, as we investigate a variety of literary genres, reading them in their historical and cultural context. We will focus on learning how to craft questions that lead to productive and interesting lines of inquiry; how to develop persuasive arguments, and how to integrate textual evidence into those arguments.

10813 TR 1000-1150 Bruce Goebel

In this course, you will engage in analytical reading of postmodern literature, video, music and other art forms and write personal, creative, and academic responses to those texts. We will pay particular attention to the authors’/artists’ choices in terms of form and style, exploring how form and style contribute to the viewpoint or argument of the text. For the formal writing assignments, you will produce a number of drafts, participate in peer writing workshops, and attend instructor-student conferences.

10814 TR 1200-1350 Kaitlyn Teer

Dear students, in this research and writing course, we will practice close reading and critical analysis of epistolary (from the Latin "epistula" for "letter") works of literature and write personal, creative, and academic responses to these texts.

We will read a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, and nonfiction—all written as letters. We'll trace the literary history of the poem-as-letter from Horace to Emily Dickinson to contemporary poets like Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Ross Gay. Likewise, we'll examine the circulation of historical and contemporary nonfiction epistles, from the Pauline epistles to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail to book-length letters such as Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me. We'll also read novels written in letter form, including Marilynne Robinson's Gilead and Ocean Vuong's autofiction, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous.

In the process we'll consider how letters have figured prominently in literary activism. We'll talk about sub-genres such as the open letter, satirized by the McSweeney's column "Open Letters to People or Entities Unlikely to Respond," and the advice letter, which enjoyed a recent surge in popularity driven by Cheryl Strayed's empathic and essayistic Dear Sugar column.

Though I expect you will bring your own research interests and perspectives to these texts, I anticipate that some of the questions we will explore together will have to do with audiences and publics and the circulation of texts; how we conceptualize public and private, personal and political forms of communication; the effects of second person, direct address; and the intimacy afforded by the epistolary form.

Through reading, discussing, writing, and revising, you will build analytical skills and develop a critical essay project rooted in your own responses to our questions about these texts. Won't you join me?

Sincerely, Kaitlyn Teer

10815 TR 1400-1550 Simon McGuire

This section of Eng 202 uses Making Arguments About Literature: A Compact Guide and Anthology as central reference and text. To give the course an emphasis for discussion and writing, we will explore the early work of James Joyce: Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. All 3 texts are required, and other required readings and texts will be made available in class and on Canvas.

 

ENG 216 American Literature 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. HUM.

13665 TR 800-950 Laura Laffrado

This course focuses on a variety of writing from the nineteenth-century United States, a racially charged period in which authors practiced resistance, outrage, entertainment, struggle, and deception in their work. We will read, analyze, interpret, and discuss a wide range of texts by writers of different race/ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and other identity markers.

Assignments and Evaluation: Requirements include exams, quizzes, lots of reading, and lots of thinking.

Text: The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume B, seventh edition.

 

ENG 227 Queer Literature 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: BCGM.

13420 MWF 1430-1550 Elizabeth Colen

In this course we will read, respond to, and analyze a wide range of texts. Students will explore the historical context of these works and exercise and refine literary analysis skills by examining how an author uses context, form, language, and elements of style to deal with the personal, social, and political. Our encounters with the work will maintain a critical eye towards intersections of race, class, economics, ethnicity, ability, and others. As such, we will examine the literature of liminal spaces and their bearing on the future of queer culture. Students will be responsible for and graded on written literary analyses, class presentations, and regular participation in class discussions.

 

ENG 234 African-American Literature

Notes & Prerequisites: BCGM.

12542 MWF 1000-1120 Tony Prichard

This course will examine African American cultural production throughout the history of the United States.  There will be an examination into the tropes used by authors and how there is a contrast with those of the predominant American Culture.

Texts: All texts will be available free and online.

 

ENG 238 Society/Lit: Modernisms Old and New 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: HUM.

13666 TR 1200-1350 Simon McGuire

Moderns Old and New: This course approaches modernism not as a movement or set of aesthetic qualities but rather as an often interrelated series of artistic responses to the historical, technological, intellectual, and political conditions of modernity in Europe and the U.S.  Covering primarily authors (Pound, Eliot, Joyce, Yeats, Stein, Moore, Barnes, Beckett) & isms (Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, et. al.) from the fin de siècle to the late 1950s, we will read and analyze seminal works of literature and discuss their relationship to changes and trends in painting (The 1913 Armory Show, Cubism), sculpture (Duchamp), and film (Chaplin, King Kong). At the end of the course, via Samuel Beckett, we’ll consider when and in what ways modernism ended by looking at the influence modernist art and artists had on artists from the 1950s to our own time (Tom Phillips, John Ashbery, Mark Tansey, et. al.).

 

ENG 239 Latina/o Literatures 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: BCGM.

13667 MWF 1300-1420 Lysa Rivera

Welcome to English 239, a lower-division English course that satisfies the BCGM General University Requirement (GUR) at Western Washington University. As a BCGM, this course’s primary goal is to foster a multicultural understanding of the United States, both historically and as it pertains to today’s socio-cultural landscape. As an aid to “self-understanding” and overcoming “provincialism,” BCGMs broaden and strengthen your understanding of the multiplicity of experiences, perspectives, and voices that make up the United States. This particular BCGM centers the stories of U.S. Latinx communities.

The moniker “U.S Latinx” encompasses a wide range of Latinx national and cultural identities, including Cuban American, Dominican American, and Puerto Rican American communities. In this class, we will focus our attention on the literature of Mexican Americans, the largest U.S. Latinx community in the United States. By the late 1960s, Mexican Americans began to self-identify as “Chicano” during the Chicano civil rights movement or el movimiento. Today, many Chicanas/os prefer the gender-inclusive moniker “Chicanx.”

The diversity of the Chicanx community remains woefully underrepresented in U.S. culture. We hardly ever see them as fully developed protagonists in mainstream Hollywood films (or indie films, for that matter) and television shows. When they are represented, their images tend to be stereotypically two-dimensional. Yet, when we look at their literature, we find what we always find when we look closely at cultures: complexity, fluctuation, contradiction, and diversity.

We will delve into the literary history of Mexican Americans by surveying a range of texts from the early twentieth century to the present day. As we read texts from different genres and historical periods, we will work together to cultivate a deep appreciation for the rich, subversive, and diverse ways that Chicanx writers and cultural practitioners have contributed to and even shaped American literature.

This class meets synchronously on MW 1:00-1:50. Assignments will include weekly discussion posts, a midterm and final exam, and one group project.

Required texts:

  • The Earth Did Not Devour Him(Tomás Rivera, 1971)
  • Under the Feet of Jesus (Helena María Viramontes, 1995)
  • The Devil’s Highway (Luis Alberto Urrea, 2004)
  • I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (Erika Sánchez, 2017)

A Note on Workload:

As stated in both the university catalog and Registrar’s website, all classes at Western are “assigned one credit for each hour per week of classroom discussion or lecture.” Additionally, “each hour in a course requires at least two additional hours of study” outside of class each week. Since this is a five-credit class, you are therefore required to spend about ten hours of additional study outside of class. I have compiled reading and writing assignments with this clearly stated academic policy in mind. More information can be found here: http://www.wwu.edu/registrar/registration/policies/credits.shtml.

 

ENG 297A Intro to Professional Writing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

13710 TR 1000-1150 Michael Bell

English 297 is designed to provide you with instruction and practice in the creation of highly effective documents custom-tailored to specific professional and public audiences and their functional contexts. Writing in this field is focused on the uses that readers put to texts, readers who are reading to make decisions, choose actions, or accomplish tasks.

Audience-centered writers are therefore experts in rendering complex information in clear terms that their readers can understand. A skilled professional writer is able to accurately determine the specific requirements of a target audience, making careful selection and presentation of information for specific effect. Such writers present complex information with impeccable organization and clarity across many different kinds of documents: letters, reviews, reports, proposals, and presentations among them.

Successful audience-centered writers must be excellent researchers and fast learners. Increasingly, such writers must also be excellent visual designers, with a solid grasp of the effects of graphics and layout on reader response. In the 21st century, the production of text for professional and public audiences lies within the realm of design: writers for these audiences are document designers.

Now that I’ve had some experience using a variety of approaches to remote learning, I’ve come to the conclusion that a blended modality works best: The course is offered as a blended online course with one required synchronous meeting each week.

 

ENG 301 Wrtg&Public: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101; junior status; or instructor permission. WP3.

10393 TR 1000-1150 Catherine McDonald

The field of Writing Studies is new to many students, who are used to English classes being focused on either literature or creative writing. The lit course might include readings of, say, slave narratives of American women. The creative writing course might emphasize how one produces or creates such a narrative. But a writing studies course asks different questions. Writing studies is a discipline that looks at how writing works in the world and in our lives. So we are going to investigate the social and personal forces at work in stories about self. We’ll ask:

  • Does autobiography create identity, not merely reveal what was already there?
  • What do writers get out of publicizing their experiences—is there a cultural need for exhibitionism that social media has taught us to desire?
  • Is memoir therapy, a figuring out of self, family, change, mental health, pain, injustice?
  • Is memoir art, a creative expression of the soul?
  • Why do we want every memoir to have a story of redemption or be an inspiration? Must everyone live happily everafter for audience satisfaction?
  • What’s the difference between celebrity memoirs by public figures like Trevor Noah or Michelle Obama versus the “No-Body Memoir” by unknown people?
  • What would you get out of writing about self? Of having others read your story?

 

ENG 302 Technical Writing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101; junior standing. WP3.

10376 TR 800-950 Rachel Sarkar

Students engage with the rhetorical and technical practices for creating user-friendly content. Topics include document design, information architecture, and sentence-level grace. The course covers a variety of technical genres and focuses on the ethical and social implications of a technical writer's choices.

10435 TR 800-950 Michael Bell

English 302 is an introduction to the field of professional communication and document design. Communicators in this discipline are above all focused on readers and users. They are experts in rendering complex information in clear terms that their audiences can understand. They write the instructions and manuals that help us assemble and use various products at home and at work. They translate complex scientific and technological concepts for a lay audience, preparing guides, brochures, catalogs, press releases and newsletters. They administer professional websites and social media presence for businesses. They write and design teaching materials, including handouts and textbooks. They may also write copy for advertisements and deliver oral presentations at trade shows. More and more, “writing” in this field also includes a solid grasp of basic design principles and practices, and may include audio, video, and animation. You will emerge from the course with a grasp of the field, and a set of strategies and practices to carry forward into your professional writing tasks.

This fall, given how many of us are working from home, the core of the course will involve a large-scale collaborative writing project using a combination of online tools. You will therefore not only get practice in rendering professional documents on your own, but also the methods through which they are often prepared collaboratively in the working world. This project could be an online how-to manual, an online store, an instructional video, a game, a lifestyle guide, an app…there are many possibilities.

Now that I’ve had some experience using a variety of approaches to remote learning, I’ve come to the conclusion that a blended modality works best: The course is offered as a blended online course with two optional synchronous meetings each week.

10490 TR 1200-1350 Rachel Sarkar

Students engage with the rhetorical and technical practices for creating user-friendly content. Topics include document design, information architecture, and sentence-level grace. The course covers a variety of technical genres and focuses on the ethical and social implications of a technical writer's choices.

10543 TR 1000-1150 Nicole Brown

This interdisciplinary course puts knowledge into action by researching, inventing, interpreting, translating, designing, composing, and distributing technical knowledge for audiences to understand and apply effectively.

In addition to rhetorical analysis, design thinking, and writing strategies, we explore the influence of technology, globalization, and localization on disciplines and information and related behaviors in cultural, social, economic, and ecological contexts. We reflect upon how we view authorship and writing, the social construction of knowledge, and how we imagine readers as information users and discourse as social action.

A primary goal for the course is to construct a portfolio of rhetorically savvy documents for use with public audiences outside the class: resumes, cover letters, memos, interpretive materials, instructional documents, usability testing reports, proposals, and other verbs-visual representations of information.

Similar to most technical writing contexts, these projects require you to work individually (as well as collaboratively) to conduct out of class observations and research and to practice/learn new knowledge concepts and computer applications. Throughout the quarter, you will participate in the ongoing process of digital writing that includes: planning, researching, drafting, collaborating, critiquing, revising, and presenting.

10610 TR 1200-1350 Justin Lewis

Students engage with the rhetorical and technical practices for creating artifacts that help people do things with technology; including usability testing, instruction sets, web authoring, professionalization document design and information architecture. The course covers a variety of technical genres and focuses on the ethical and social implications of a technical writer's choices.

11345 TR 1400-1550 Geri Forsberg

English 302 is the English department’s introductory 300-level course in technical writing. It is for juniors and seniors. It is a 5-credit writing proficiency course. English 302 emphasizes the writer-reader relationship in a variety of non-academic writing situations. Students learn to identify their audience, develop objectives, organize the content of their documents and revise documents for readability. Students write and design a resume, letters, memos, a proposal, a formal report, infographic and a visual presentation. Students also learn to work in small groups, collaborate on writing, and give peer feedback. The final project in this course is a professional portfolio which provides examples of your strongest work. When you have completed this course, you should be ready to write in the professional world.

 

ENG 307 Seminar: Medieval 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites:The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 307 if you have already taken ENG 307 or ENG 317.

12980 MWF 1420-1550 Amy Amendt-Raduege

Knights! Dragons! Churches! Really good gravy! The literature of the Middle Ages is diverse and fascinating, ranging from the silly to the sublime, the enlightening to the enigmatic, the humorous to the holy. Far from being stiff and boring, medieval literature is filled with adventure, excitement, and the ongoing quest to understand the human condition. The songs, stories, and tales of this period of history continue to exert their influence today, in works like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and even Game of Thrones - and it all begins with English 307.

Text: The Broadview Anthology of Medieval Literature.

 

ENG 308 Seminar: Early Modern 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202. The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 308 if you have already taken ENG 318 or 308.

11651 MWF 1000-1120 Mary Meztger

In this course, we will read a range of Shakespeare’s tragedies in light of philosophical questions they raise and attempt to answer about human vulnerability to error, loss, suffering and death – and the consequences of how we humans, as individuals and collectives, respond to such vulnerability.  Ethics is the field of philosophy concerned with theories of right action and thus with justice. The course assumes no philosophical background; we will spend time establishing a working vocabulary and basic historical understanding of Western philosophical and literary concepts and forms and sample classical, enlightenment, and contemporary ethical works. Throughout the course, we will explore the connection between such philosophical inquiry, human complexity, and literary and, more specifically, tragic poetic & dramatic form and meaning. Two one page papers and one 7 page final paper; much close reading, critical thinking, and collaborative discussion required.

Text: The Norton Shakespeare: Tragedies (No substitute, used 3rd Editions ok).

 

ENG 309 Seminar: The Long 18th Century 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202. The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 309 if you have already taken ENG 319 or 309.

11652 MWF 1130-1250 Julie Dugger

Revolt and Reform: This course examines the mutually constitutive relationship between politics, literature, and social reform in the British eighteenth and early nineteenth century. We will read and evaluate works associated with social developments including the 1845 Jacobite Rebellion, the American and French Revolutions, the early abolitionist movement, and the development of bardic nationalism. Questions we will ask include the following:

  • How do literary works frame and foster political identity and social movements?
  • How do social and political contexts influence literary form, as well as our understanding of which written works count as literature?
  • It’s said that history is written by the victors. To what extent is this also true of literary genres? What is the role of popular literature in popular protest, and to what extent can literature succeed in providing a voice for those who may lack one?

 

ENG 310 Seminar: The Long 19th Century 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202. The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 310 if you have already taken ENG 320 or 310.

11653 TR 1000-1150 Ning Yu

This course surveys works by writers of Chinese descent in North America from the 1890s to the current millennium. We will read, analyze and discuss texts by Sui Sin Far, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen, Shawn Wong, David Wong Louie and Jamie Ford in the context of both American and Chinese cultures, especially the history of Chinese immigration. Our objective is to achieve a better understanding of the rich diversity within Chinese American communities.  One final paper of 12-15 pages, four written questions and two-page responses and a project of oral presentation.  Active participation of class discussion is of vital importance. The class offers reasonable accommodation of religious holidays (Let the instructor know two weeks before the holiday so that he can make sure there is no conflicts between the holiday and the day of your presentation and discussion leading).

Requirements:

Evaluation: Class participation = 25% of total grade; written questions = 32% (8% per question and response); oral presentation = 20%; final paper = 23%.
 
Texts:  Sui Sin Far, Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings; Frank Chin, The Chickencoop Chinaman, The Year of the Dragon: Two Plays by Frank Chin; Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men; Ruthanne Lum McCunn, Gish Jen, Typical American; David Wong Louie, The Barbarians Are Coming; Shawn Wong, American Knees: A Novel; Jamie Ford, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

 

ENG 311 Seminar: The 20-21st Century

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202. The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 311 if you have already taken ENG 321 or 311.

11654 TR 1200-1350 Bruce Goebel

This course will examine the nature and function of humor and the variety of ways in which artists use humor to offer a commentary on society. We will examine a variety of types of humor--found in both literature as well as popular culture media like comic strips, TV, and movies--to explore the diverse social and political functions humor holds within society. We’ll use this as a focal point for your writing of a critically informed essay. In addition, our focus will be on the ways in which different genres can be used for humorous effect. In conjunction with this genre focus, you will be required to write a variety of humorous pieces and workshop these in small groups. While your writing in these various genres does not have to be “funny,” it does have to follow the form and strategies typical of each genre that we will discuss at length in class.

 

ENG 313 Critical Theories & Prac I 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

10087 MWF 830-950 Mark Lester

This course will focus on a series of questions concerning the nature, function, and value of literature: What exactly is a work of literature? How does it work? For whom does it have value? On what grounds should a work of literature be judged or assessed? Should it be conceived of strictly as an object of analysis (something to be interpreted and explained), or does the work of literature possess a distinct dynamic, critical, and constructive dimension of its own? To what kind of knowledge can authors and readers of literary works lay claim? Using Plato as our starting point, we will follow a number of different trajectories that will allow us to explore the intersections of literature, philosophy, science, and literary analysis.

 

ENG 314 Critical Theories & Prac II 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202.

13671 TR 1400-1550 Jean Lee

This course is an introduction to literary theory from the 19th and 20th centuries. We will read texts that speak to underlying principles of language, knowledge, culture, and literature and track how debates from linguistics, political economics, various social sciences, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, literary criticism, and gender and sexuality studies provide interpretative frameworks and foster self-reflection.

13670 MWF 1000-1120 Dawn Dietrich

Want to think about how we construct identities? Why gender, sexuality, and race matter? Why texts are political? How capitalism, immigration, and climate change are related? How power is embedded within our institutions and practices? And how to create meaningful change within our communities and the broader world? This class will center on discussions that utilize critical and cultural theories to help us think about the most pressing issues of our day, and we will do so through so a wide range of readings and examples from contemporary culture.

The course will begin by providing an overview of structuralist and post-structuralist literary and critical theories, from Ferdinand de Saussure’s insights about language as a sign system to N. Katherine Hayles’ analysis of digital culture and Bruno Latour’s new work on politics and climate change. We will engage a full range of readings and media selections from post-Marxism; new materialism/object-oriented ontology; eco-criticism/Anthropocene; feminism, gender and sexuality studies; disability studies; critical race theory; post-colonialism; indigeneity; new historicism; and deconstruction theory. Course questions and themes will investigate the embodied perspectives we assume in the material world and how these perspectives shape our reading and writing practices as well as our behavior, generally.  The digital context in which we find ourselves necessitates our thinking about our relationship to “things” and “machines” as well as peoples and cultures.  And the current climate crisis requires us to think about the relationship of all systems and networks, including those involving non-human animals, geological processes, and inanimate objects. By the time you’ve completed this course, you will be able to identify the ideological perspectives and inherent biases embedded within texts, whether written, spoken (aural), or visual; and you’ll understand how to use critical thinking to inform your agency and advocacy in the larger, civic world.

Assigments: Course work will include the assigned readings, participation in class discussions, and theory blogs (where you are asked to hold a text of your choice and a theory within the same field of inquiry--and look at the possibilities that unfold from their mutual interrogation).

Evaluations: Course evaluation will be determined by theory blogs (70%) and synchronous class participation on Wednesdays 2:30-3:50 (30%).

Texts:

  • The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (3rd edition), Leitch, Cain, Finke, et al.
  • A Critical and Cultural Theory Reader (2nd edition), Antony Easthope and Kat McGowan
  • Writing Machines, N. Katherine Hayles

 

ENG 318 Survey: Early Modern 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 319 if you have already taken ENG 308 or 318.

13673 MWF 1300-1420 Mark Lester

This course is a survey of 16th and 17th century fiction, poetry and drama focusing on the cultural significance of early modern representations of nature in general, and of the forest in particular. In Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the forest is contrasted to the court and is said to have a great deal to teach us. The majority of the action of Loves’ Labours’ Lost takes place in the park surrounding the royal court. The manner in which such representations have shaped our relationship to the woods, our sense of our place in the world, will also be explored.

 

ENG 320 Survey: The Long 19th C (TYE) 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. The seminar and survey time periods are not repeatable. Do not take ENG 320 if you have already taken ENG 310 or 320. This section is designed for Winter transfer students.

12556 TR 1000-1150 Katherine Anderson

Victorian Sexualities

Our contemporary culture tends to associate the Victorian era in Britain (1837-1901) with the repression or concealment of desire. This is not completely incorrect: it is true that after the more freewheeling eighteenth century, new codes of public propriety arose in Britain. Victorian sexuality, then, was in some senses "repressed" and heavily regulated. Yet many of those who lived and wrote in nineteenth-century Britain were obsessed with sexuality, and even when sexuality appears to be forbidden or censored, it is often front and center as a topic. You don’t have to look very far beneath the surface, or between the lines, to find evidence of all kinds of sexualities and desires, including kinky or “perverse” ones, in Victorian art and writing. Topics considered in this course will include prostitution and the trope of the “fallen woman,” “inversion” or homosexuality, gender fluidity, attitudes towards marriage (including interracial marriage, adultery, divorce, and bigamy), global sex trafficking, and erotic vampires, among others. We’ll consider these topics as represented in a range of some of the most important fiction, poetry, essays, and art produced in Britain during the nineteenth century.

Warning: This course incorporates mature themes. Some of the texts we’ll read (and view) include representations of graphic sexuality and/or violence. Please be certain you are willing and able to discuss this kind of material in a mature and respectful way.

Course Objectives: The primary objective of this course is to give you a broader knowledge of the development of British literature over the course of the long nineteenth century. By the end of the quarter, you will have a better understanding of specific literary movements and significant innovations that emerged in the period and how they overlap (realism, the dramatic monologue, and aestheticism, to name a few), as well as a better understanding of nineteenth-century British history and culture: the issues, fears, and desires that emerged in relation to sexuality in said literature.

As a Transfer Year Experience (TYE) course, this ENG 320 will also help you hone your reading and writing skills in preparation for upper-division courses in the English major here at Western. In our discussions of both literature and writing, we’ll focus on the relationship between form and function: the ways in which what is said connects to how it’s communicated (and why this matters). We will also place emphasis on building a strong and supportive classroom community. To that end, while most of the work in the course is asynchronous, we will hold Zoom class meetings once a week (Thursdays). The work we do in these meetings will consist mostly of small group discussion and writing practice.

Assignments/Evaluation:

  • Weekly close reading responses
  • Weekly annotations
  • Thursday small group Zoom participation
  • Comparative essay and reflection memo
  • Research essay and reflection memo

Texts:

  • Anonymous, The Woman of Colour
  • Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
  • George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • Required short texts and articles will be available on Canvas as PDFs.

 

ENG 333 Topics in Global Literature 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 or ENG 202 equivalent.

13674 MWF 1300-1420 Christopher Wise

Maghrebian Literature

This course will focus on the literature of the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia), including Jewish, Arab, and Amazigh (“Berber”) texts. Authors studied will include Fatema Mernissi, Mohamed Choukri, Jacques Derrida, Mohamed Hamri, Hélène Cixous, Muhammad al-Nafzawi, Ibn Tufyal, and others. Although we will focus on non-black African writers, we will also read Yambo Ouologuem’s The Duty of Violence to gain insight into black African perspectives on the history of Arab and Berber imperialism, racism, and slavery in Northwest Africa; and, we will address expatriate American writing in the Maghreb, especially the work of Paul Bowles as an English language translator of Mogrebhi authors. (NOTE: Some of the texts we read will be sexually graphic and extremely violent, including disturbing images of war, murder, and rape.)

This course will be completely asynchronous. Students will be expected to write weekly reading-responses, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

 

ENG 334 Txts/N.Am& Eur: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101 or equivalent. BCGM.

11353 MWF 1130-1250 T 1600-1850 Film Viewing Greg Youmans

Transgender Film and Media: The course investigates the form, history, and politics of transgender media. Guided by the work of trans and non-binary scholars and activists, we will explore media productions across a range of modes and genres, from Hollywood cinematic representations of trans people to avant-garde films and videos made by trans artists. At the end of the term, students will present original research and analysis of a trans media production of their choice.

 

ENG 335 TxtsOutsideN.Am&Eur 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101 or equivalent. ACGM.

12778 MWF 830-950 Christopher Wise

Arabism, Zionism, BDS

This course will focus on the historical literature of Arab Nationalism, the Pan-Arab Movement, and Jewish Nationalism (or “Zionism”), as well as the rise of the BDS Movement in Palestine (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions); hence, we will read the literature of Arab and Jewish writers in Israel and Palestine, including Sephardic (Maghrebian and/or Spanish), Mizrahim (Arab or Middle Eastern), and Aschkenazi (European) Jews. One goal of this course is to orient students to the complex history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its on-going impact on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and global affairs. However, this is a literature course rather than a course in history, religion, or political science. We will therefore perform close readings of major texts on the themes of Arabism and Zionism, especially from the time of the Israeli Occupation to the present, with the goal of understanding the themes that impact the literature of Arab and Jewish peoples of the Middle East, relative to this conflict. Authors studied will include Theodor Herzl, Gamel Abdel Nasser, Michel Aflaq, Sigmund Freud, Edward Said, Mahmud Darwish, Israel Shahak, Jacques Derrida, Ella Shohat, Jaqueline Rose, and others. NOTE: Although I will seek to present the material in as unbiased a fashion as possible, I am a citizen of the Muscogee (“Creek”) nation and Jewish. Like the Palestinians, the Muscogee people have experienced the adverse impact of settler colonialism for many years, and I am accordingly opposed to settler colonialism in any form, including the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. Students will not be expected to adopt my own political views; they will be expected to demonstrate their own complex and nuanced understanding of the texts under consideration.

This course will be completely asynchronous. Students will be expected to write weekly reading-responses, a midterm exam, and a final exam.

 

ENG 338 Women's Lit N Am and Europe 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101. BCGM.

10318 TR 1200-13500 Suzanne Paola

A study of womxn's literature with a focus on feminist history, gender, sexuality, and the disabled body.

Texts:

  • Ryka Aoki, Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul
  • Jillian Wiese, Cyborg Detective
  • Women in Culture: An Intersectional Anthology, 2nd edition

 

ENG 339 Mythology and Literature 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202. HUM.

13675 MWF 1130-1250 Stefania Heim

The past comes to us in many forms—through myth, narrative, memories, rubble, gaps, instructions, history. And we do many things with those materials: remember, pay homage, contest, inherit, repurpose, reimagine, tell stories, erase, try (and fail) to understand. In this class we will explore these activities through a grounding in Homer’s Odyssey, a story that has been re-told countless times; indeed, a story that persists only through and as re-telling. At its root, the Odyssey is a story about a person trying to find his way home. Or, it is a story about a warrior grappling with the end of war. Or, it is a story about women seizing power through available means. Or, it is a story about monsters, witches, and gods. Or, it is a story about hubris. Or, it is a story about telling stories. Navigating these and other topics, this course will foreground questions of translation and perspective. The first half of the quarter will be a deep dive into Emily Wilson’s most recent (2017) translation of the Odyssey—the first translation into English ever undertaken by a woman. Next, we will trace reverberations of the epic across a range of modern and contemporary works including Derek Walcott’s resituation of the Odyssey as a play set in the Caribbean; the visually ruptured collages of Romaire Bearden’s A Black Odyssey; and Margaret Atwood’s rescuing of the murdered maids’ voices in The Penelopiad. Finally, students will seek out and present their own traces and uses and rebuttals.

 

ENG 347 Studies in Young Adult Lit 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 or instructor permission.

10816 MWF 1300-1420 Annmarie Sheahan

With a focus on identity, community, and agency, this course will familiarize you with multiple genres and mediums of literature written for young adults (ages 12-20+) and will provide a survey of texts geared toward adolescent readers. Our work will explore texts by both well-known and lesser-known YA authors as we consider the relevance of young adult literature for both adolescent and adult readers. Together, we will read books by diverse writers and respond to these writers in diverse ways, privileging adolescent voice in understanding the development of identity and agency across varied communities and experiences. Throughout the course we will consider whose voices get heard in YA literature and how those voices offer insight into teen lives and experiences. We will also explore YA literature as a vehicle for critical literacy, equity, and inclusion, thinking about some of the social, political, and ideological issues that surround the field. As such, course texts, assignments, and discussions will be framed by critical perspectives acknowledging the importance of adolescent voice in unpacking systems of oppression and in imagining and creating more hopeful, equitable futures for young people.

In lieu of a traditional final, your culminating project for this course will take the form of a multi-genre, multi-modal creative project centered on a particular character’s path toward identity development, agency, and change.

Note: This course will be taught in a blended format, with required synchronous meetings on Mondays and Fridays and a focus on asynchronous learning on Wednesdays.

Required Texts:

  • The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo)
  • Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein (Lita Judge)
  • They Called Us Enemy (George Takei)
  • The Fountains of Silence (Ruta Sepetys)

Choice of:

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Benjamin Alire Sáenz) OR Felix Ever After (Kacen Callender) OR The Stars and the Blackness Between Them (Junauda Petrus)
  • Punching the Air (Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam) OR The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) ORDig(A.S. King)
  • Individually selected text for our final unit on YA speculative fiction/fantasy/sci-fi

Not Required:

*Excerpts from #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women (Lisa Charleyboy and MaryBeth Leatherdale.

 

ENG 350 Intro to Creative Writing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

10142 MWF 0830-0950 Lee Gulyas

This course will introduce you to the process of writing—the reading, scribbling, drafting, craft elements, analysis, extensive revision, focus, and discipline that are essential. You will explore, develop, rethink, and revise with the final goal of a portfolio of creative work. This is a skills class, one that will require practice and participation. We will work in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Assignments include: exercises, readings, analytical discussions, group discussions on a variety of topics, and extensive revision of your own drafts into your final portfolio.

COURSE GOALS:

  • You will practice reading published work as a writer.
  • You will work with craft elements and literary techniques in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and read examples from a variety of authors, perspectives, genres, and forms.
  • You will experiment and take risks to create drafts, then cut, hone, and explore possibilities through revision.
  • You will actively work to increase your knowledge and skills, and aim for professional standards.

Texts: Imaginative Writing, Janet Burroway (THIRD Edition).

10453 TR 0800-0950 Kaitlyn Teer

This course is designed to introduce you to the processes of composing creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, and work that is a hybrid of genres. Those processes include reading and analyzing exemplary creative works, and then emulating aspects of those works; studying the fundamentals of writing craft (imagery, voice, character, setting, form, structure, sonic texture, and more) and responding to craft essays; engaging in the practices of generating and revising creative work, as well as noticing and reflecting on those practices; and participating in a community of writers through small group workshops and other opportunities for peer feedback. The final project for this course will consist of revising and polishing a portfolio of creative work. At the end of the quarter, we will hold a reading, in which you will present a piece from your portfolio. I hope you’ll discover that the practice of creative writing is paradoxical, at once playful and rigorous, generative and critical, imaginative and scholarly.

13677 TR 1200-1350 Jane Wong

English 350 is a foundational-level course in creative writing that introduces writers to the history, craft, and practice of writing across multiple genres. We will read the work of diverse writers, including the work of your peers. By exploring these texts as readers, we will get a better sense of how language and form work (or don’t work) and how we can begin to cultivate our own styles and literary voices. We will be engaging multiple genres in this course, including poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and hybrid work. You will be expected to generate creative pieces for workshop, feedback letters, and a final portfolio of revised writing. Together, we will build a robust community centered around our literary growth.

English 350 is blended (synchronous and asynchronous) online. We will meet on Zoom T/TH, from 12:00pm-1:00pm.

13678 MWF 1430-1550 Jeanne Yeasting

This introductory creative writing course will focus on writing and revising original poetry and creative nonfiction.  Students will read and study the craft of range of poets and nonfiction writers, and use their texts as catalysts for generating and revising their own work.  We’ll study the work of some earlier practitioners, as well as contemporary authors. Class will be a mixture of discussion of assigned writing models, writing exercises, and workshops.

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments include considerable reading of writing model poems and creative nonfiction; weekly writing and revising of original poetry and creative nonfiction; giving detailed peer feedback, including written feedback letters; and completing a Final project.  Students may be required to work on a collaborative project.

EVALUATION:  Based primarily on active, attentive class participation and fulfillment of assignments, including a Final Project.

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • The Poet’s Companion, edited by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux; W.W. Norton. paperback: ISBN: 978-0393316544; e-text: Kindle; Apple Books
  • In Short, edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones. W.W. Norton; paperback: ISBN: 978-0393314922
  • Various poems and other texts on Canvas

 

ENG 351 Intro to Fiction Writing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 350.

10004 MWF 1000-1120 Elizabeth Colen

In this introductory fiction course, students will analyze all aspects of the short story form, including plot, point of view, characterization, setting, and conflict, as well as the sonic qualities of language; learn how these tools are combined to best effect in the service of storytelling; develop a language for discussing the interplay of a writer’s craft and content; and engage with weekly writing exercises. The final project will be a portfolio that includes 10-15 pages (2500-4000 words) of one fully revised, well-crafted story.

10560 TR 1000-1150 Kami Westhoff

This course is designed to introduce you to the craft and culture of writing fiction as well as the complex world of critique and workshop. We will read established authors from various backgrounds and cultures and study the ways in which they make their writing work through unique use of voice, description, language, dialogue, character development, and experimentation. While reading and studying these authors, you will begin your own journey into fiction writing with the help of various writing exercises and assignments, revision, and most importantly, your imagination and individuality.

 

ENG 353 Introduction to Poetry Writing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 350.

13679 TR 1000-1150 Jane Wong

Language is curious. Language is an archeological dig, a translucent fish. In this class, we will turn over the rock and see what’s underneath. We’ll discover that language is malleable, evocative, elusive, and ferocious. In addition to language, we will test our curiosity with genre, form, and content. We will read and write poetry. And then we will question these genres. Be prepared to challenge yourself aesthetically, thematically, and formally. Throughout the quarter, we will return to certain questions: How can we use language to convey the unconveyable? How can words on a page move us? How can we play with language and form in an innovative, challenging, and productive way? English 353 is a foundational-level course that introduces writers to the history, craft, and practice of poetry writing. To help us explore the above questions, we will read the work of diverse writers, including the work of your peers. By interrogating and exploring these texts as readers, we will get a better sense of how language and structure work (or don’t work) and how we can begin to cultivate our own styles and literary voices. You will be expected to generate creative pieces for workshop, feedback letters, and a final portfolio of revised work. Additionally, we will invite visiting guest poets to our class this quarter, moving writing from the page and into the real world.

English 353 is blended (synchronous and asynchronous) online. We will meet on Zoom T/TH, from 11:00am-12:00pm.

 

ENG 354 Intro to Creative Nonfict Writ  5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 350.

10432 MWF 1130-1250 Jeanne Yeasting

This course will focus on creating and revising original creative nonfiction. Students will be introduced to a variety of forms of nonfiction, including memoir and lyric essays. Students will read and study the craft of range of nonfiction writers, and use their texts as catalysts for generating and revising their own work.  We’ll study the work of some earlier practitioners, as well as contemporary authors.

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments include considerable reading of writing model creative nonfiction; weekly writing and revising of creative nonfiction; giving detailed peer feedback using guidelines; posting to a weekly reading response forum; and completing a Final project.  Students may be required to work on a collaborative project and/or conduct research.

EVALUATION: Based primarily on active, attentive class participation and fulfillment of assignments, including a Final Project.

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Lex Williford and Michael Martone, editors. Touchstone Anthology of Creative Nonfiction. Touchstone (2007). paperback: ISBN 978-1416531746 e-text: Kindle, Apple Books
  • Zadie Zmith. Intimations: Six Essays. Penguin Random House (2020). paperback: ISBN 978-0593297612 e-text: Apple Books, and through Penguin: ISBN 978-0593297629
  • Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenny, editors. Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, paperback: ISBN: 978-0393350999 e-text: Kindle, Apple Books
  • Assorted readings on Canvas

12982 TR 1400-1550 Jeanne Yeasting

This course will focus on creating and revising original creative nonfiction. Students will be introduced to a variety of forms of nonfiction, including memoir and lyric essays. Students will read and study the craft of range of nonfiction writers, and use their texts as catalysts for generating and revising their own work.  We’ll study the work of some earlier practitioners, as well as contemporary authors.

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments include considerable reading of writing model creative nonfiction; weekly writing and revising of creative nonfiction; giving detailed peer feedback using guidelines; posting to a weekly reading response forum; and completing a Final project.  Students may be required to work on a collaborative project and/or conduct research.

EVALUATION: Based primarily on active, attentive class participation and fulfillment of assignments, including a Final Project.

REQUIRED TEXTS:

  • Lex Williford and Michael Martone, editors. Touchstone Anthology of Creative Nonfiction. Touchstone (2007). paperback: ISBN 978-1416531746 e-text: Kindle, Apple Books
  • Zadie Zmith. Intimations: Six Essays. Penguin Random House (2020). paperback: ISBN 978-0593297612 e-text: Apple Books, and through Penguin: ISBN 978-0593297629
  • Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenny, editors. Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, paperback: ISBN: 978-0393350999 e-text: Kindle, Apple Books
  • Assorted readings on Canvas

 

ENG 364 Introduction to Film Studies 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

10377 MWF 1430-1550; Film viewings: M 1600-1850 Greg Youmans

The course introduces the foundations of film studies. We will explore core vocabulary, concepts, and skills that help us look and listen more closely to motion pictures. We will also develop practices of critical thinking, argumentation, and analysis through various writing exercises. Our course screenings will present films from around the world and from the historical beginnings of cinema to the present day.

 

ENG 365 Film Hist: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 364 or ENG 202.

11658 TR 1000-1150; Film viewings: T 1600-1850 Eren Odabasi

This course offers a survey of key films, filmmakers, and cinematic trends that have shaped film history outside North America until 1960. The period between 1920-1960, marked by two major World Wars, saw the emergence of influential cinematic movements such as German Expressionism, French Poetic Realism, and Italian Neo-Realism. We will unpack the social, historical, and political factors that informed these waves in European filmmaking. Additionally, we will expand the framework beyond Western Europe by studying important directors from Southeast Asia, the Far East and Latin America, rejecting the Euro-centric approaches that have traditionally dominated the field.

In our analyses of canonical classics from several different regions and time periods, we will discuss many different aspects of film culture ranging from various distribution and exhibition models to the invention of sound and other technological advances, or evolving spectatorship practices. Through a series of (re)discoveries from global film history, we will observe how well-known filmmakers of today are deeply indebted to the pioneers of the past.

TEXTBOOK: The Oxford History of World Cinema, edited by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

This is a very large reader covering the entire film history, I highly recommend using the e-book version instead of purchasing an expensive copy. The e-book is available through Western Libraries.

FILMS (Tentative List):

  • Limite, dir. Mario Peixoto, 1931
  • Rules of the Game, dir. Jean Renoir, 1939
  • Marius, dir. Alexander Korda, 1931
  • I Was Born, But…, dir. Yasujiro Ozu, 1932
  • Rome, Open City, dir. Roberto Rossellini, 1945
  • Nosferatu, dir. F.W. Murnau, 1922
  • Passion of Joan of Arc, dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928
  • Ugetsu, dir. Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953
  • The Music Room, dir. Satyajit Ray, 1958

All the films will be available online for streaming.

 

ENG 370 Introduction to Language 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 101.

10089 TR 1400-1550 Catherine McDonald

This course is an introduction to the wonder and nature of language. Course content includes a survey of approaches used to probe, wonder about, and understand language, including the branches of linguistics called phonology, morphology, syntax, and stylistics. Questions about gender and language, cultural prejudices about accents and dialects, and speculative ideas about the role of language in shaping thinking and identity—all of these are topics in English 370. We’ll see that while many aspects of language are rule-governed phenomena that can be studied with mathematical precision, others are as loose and ephemeral as our sense of ourselves and our understanding of experience. No wonder, then, that philosophers and computer-scientists, mathematicians and poets, all find a common subject in language.

Course work will include regular homework exercises, project/tests, and outside readings. Lively participation is required as part of the course.

Text: How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction, 3rd Ed. by Anne Curzan and Michael Adams.

 

ENG 401 Wrtg & Rhet 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites:ENG 301 or ENG 302 or ENG 370 or ENG 371, or instructor permission; senior status.

11478 TR 1200-1350 Donna Qualley

Something is going on.

The transition from a literacy culture to an electronic culture is engendering change—but not just to our technologies. It is changing our institutions, communities, values, behaviors, and practices. It is altering the ways we design and exchange ideas and information. It is creating new notions of subjectivity, identity, and representation. Some people think that we are on the cusp of a transformation that could be as significant as the change from orality to literacy several thousand years ago. Rhetoric scholars have given this “something” a name. They call it electracy—and it is still being invented. That’s where you come in!

Just as the shift from orality to literacy spawned new ways of knowing and being and doing and communicating in the world, so too has the gradual shift from literacy to electracy. Literacy is concerned with trying to nail things down, to explain or argue in a definitive way, using knowledge and reason. In contrast, electracy concerns itself with unpredictable affect. In the electrate world, the questions are not about what things are, what things mean, or what things do. Instead they’re about style and aesthetics, about play and conjecture—exploring how things affect us and make us feel.

In this rhetoric seminar we’ll try to make headway with questions like these:

  • What is the relationship between entertainment and truth?
  • How are emotional responses circulated through digital networks?
  • In what ways are reason and logic functioning differently?
  • What are the new genres emerging and being invented in this landscape?
  • Are there other ways to make sense of our seemingly entrenched politics and ideologies?

 

All readings are available on Canvas. In addition to collaborative reading annotations and occasional discussion posts, you’ll engage in two multi-layered, multi-modal invention projects: The Choric Invention project and a focused “mystory” project.

 

ENG 402 Writing & Community Engagement 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 302.

10670 TR 1400-1550 Nicole Brown

In this community-based, field-work course, students gain real-world professional writing experience by working intensively with a local non-profit. Working in teams, students invent, design, build, and implement documentation for their team’s specific community partner.

In this course you’ll team up with other students to help solve problems and build documents for specific non-profit organizations within the greater Bellingham area. You’ll be building documents that go to work in the worlds in which you act.

So a large part of this course will consist of practicing how to best discern and respond to the needs of specific community partners. The work we do will help you expand your competency for writing in context, project management, document design, teamwork, research, and using differing digital technologies.

By closely considering the importance of the contexts out of which your projects arise, you’ll discover some new things not only about the power and often serious consequences of writing and designing, but also about yourself. I mean, success in college and certainly in the world outside the classroom generally involves more than simply knowing how to read and write. Learning to write and design (or compose) alongside community patterns and within moving and morphing environments will benefit you regardless of the life you’re chasing after. Simply put, good writing, in whatever form it takes, can make lots happen. And that’s what I hope we’re going to do together, make things happen.

 

ENG 408 Cultural Studies 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 313 or ENG 314; two courses from: ENG 307-347, ENG 364 or ENG 371.

12547 TR 1000-1150 Christopher Loar

The Natureculture of the Ocean

The ocean has often been understood as fundamentally wild--an inhuman place of danger and peril. But the modern sea is also fundamentally human--a place where human cultures and economies mingle with nonhuman life forms and material systems. This course looks at the sea as what Donna Haraway calls a "natureculture"--a place where the cultural and the biological interact in complex and fascinating ways. In this course, we will explore the way that the sea shapes human culture--as a site of inhumanity and danger as well as a natural resource. And we will consider humanity's effects on the sea, as humans incorporate it into economic and cultural systems that seek to tame it, to aestheticize it, or to extract resources from it. And we will, inevitably, consider the way that human activity places the sea and the beings that inhabit it in peril. How might global cultures of the twenty-first century respond dynamically to the perils of the present moment and work towards a more intentional and respectful oceanic natureculture?

The course will use a blended synchronous/asynchronous format, with some online meetings held via Zoom. Many of the texts used in this class will be available digitally through our library or will be supplied as PDFs by the instructor.

Books to purchase may include some of the following:

  • Conrad, Typhoon
  • Carson, The Sea Around Us
  • Hogan, People of the Whale
  • Mentz, Ocean

Students may need to access film materials using using Netflix or Amazon.

 

ENG 410 Lit Hist: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 plus three from: ENG 304-347, ENG 364, ENG 370, ENG 371.

12129 TR 0800-0950 Katherine Anderson

Post-9/11 Literature: Narrative in an Age of Terrorism

Everything changed after the planes hit the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. We now live in a “post-9/11” world, defined by our obsessions with security, warfare, terrorism, ethnicity, and national identity. Certainly, 9/11 is the defining event of the 21st century (at least to date) for the United States, but what about the rest of the world, Western and otherwise?

In this class, we’ll examine the literary response to the events of September 11th, 2001 and their aftermath. Throughout, we’ll consider the developing, distinctive identity of a body of twenty-first-century writing (often called post-9/11 literature) that is transnational as well as American. Our discussions will be framed by our attention to both our writers’ aesthetic choices and their cultural/political claims. Our class will be different from many others because of the contemporary relevance of the material. Discussions will inevitably involve an attention to contemporary politics, both national and global, and I ask that you engage each other with mutual respect and sensitivity. While most of the work will be asynchronous, students of this class in the past have benefited most from discussion. To that end, we will hold small-group discussion sessions from 9-9:45 am on Thursdays.

The class will also be different in one other important respect: the written work I ask you to do, book review essays, falls under the category of what is increasingly termed the public humanities. This means we will seek to create work that is of interest not only within the walls of our classroom or academia more broadly, but work that is also accessible and relevant to a wider public audience.

Some of the topics we’ll consider include:

  • the ability of literary writers to help us understand the consequences of terrorism and war on our imaginations
  • the adequacy of language to represent this kind of world-shifting event
  • the extent to which representations of the events can be said to have changed as time has elapsed
  • the challenge of representing the Islamic “other” evident in texts by written by white westerners
  • how texts written by non-white and/or non-western subjects present a challenge to the U.S.-centric narratives that have dominated the post-9/11 moment


Course Objectives: In addition to offering an introduction to critical terrorism studies, the concept of terrorism, and the production of knowledge about political violence, this course interrogates the influence contemporary writers have on the ways we shape our cultural narratives about 9/11, terrorism, warfare, security, ethnicity, religion, politics, globalization, and national identity, and conversely, the way cultural narratives about those things influence contemporary writers.

Warning: This course incorporates mature themes. Some of the texts we’ll read include representations of graphic violence and/or sexuality, and all of them deal with emotionally troubling issues of some kind. Please be certain you are willing and able to discuss this kind of material in a mature and respectful way.

Assignments/Evaluation:

  • Weekly reading responses
  • Weekly annotations
  • Thursday small-group Zoom participation
  • Review essay (single text) and reflection memo
  • Review essay (comparative) and reflection memo

Texts:

  • Don DeLillo, Falling Man
  • Laila Halaby, Once in a Promised Land
  • Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
  • Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • Ian McEwan, Saturday
  • Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows
  • Required theoretical/critical readings will be available on Canvas as PDFs.
  • There are also several required films for this course; I will make every effort to stream them through Western’s library, but if this is not possible, you will need to watch them on one of the usual streaming services. (I will research links in the event this is necessary.)

There are also several required films for this course; I will make every effort to stream them through Western’s library, but if this is not possible, you will need to watch them on one of the usual streaming services. (I will research links in the event this is necessary.)

 

ENG 418 Snr Sem: Lit 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: Senior status; ENG 313 or ENG 314; and one course from: ENG 307, ENG 308, ENG 309, ENG 310 or ENG 311. Important note: ENG 418 is not repeatable & cannot be used as an elective for the literature major.

10492 MWF 1000-1120 Stefania Heim

Experiments in the Long Poem

From war-torn early 20th-century London to the silica mines of Gauley Bridge WV to south-side Chicago tenement buildings to an imagined underground world ruled over by “the Tyrant,” long poems range across landscapes, rewrite histories, animate myths, and create worlds. If the “epic” foregrounds a hero’s journey and the “lyric” is brief and interior, long poems—with their many voices, collage techniques, snatches of stories, facts, and feelings amid the breakdown of clear story—take from each, questioning not only the boundaries between genres but the kind of public work poetry can do. In this course we will follow experiments in long poems from the early 20th century into the present. We will observe how poets have attempted to speak to and of a violent and fractured world, always attentive to the connections between radical literary experimentation, social forces, and political struggles. Together, we will grapple with works by TS Eliot, Muriel Rukeyser, Aimé Césaire, HD, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Alice Notley, and Claudia Rankine.

Texts:

  • TS Eliot, The Wasteland
  • Muriel Rukeyser, The Book of the Dead
  • Aime Cesaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land
  • HD, Trilogy
  • Langston Hughes, Montage of a Dream Deferred
  • Gwendolyn Brooks, In the Mecca
  • Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, DICTEE
  • Alice Notley, Descent of Alette
  • Claudia Rankine, Just Us

10493 TR 1200-1350 Allison Giffen

The Racialized Politics of 19-Century US Girlhood: Seduction, Slavery and Miscegenation

Turning to Black girlhood studies as a critical lens, this class will investigate 19th-century US literature by black and white writers. We will explore seductions stories and narratives of development, as we interrogate the racialized construction of girlhood. Will explore such questions as how are constructions of girlhood informed by race, ability, and class, and who has access to childhood innocence. Reading this work in its historical and cultural context, we will investigate how it engages some of the central reform issues of the days, as we think about settler colonialism, feminist abolition, and women’s rights. Texts will include Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Wilson, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.

 

ENG 423 Maj Auth: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 202 plus three from: ENG 304-347, ENG 364, ENG 370, ENG 371; possible additional prerequisites relevant to topic.

10378 MWF 1430-1550 Dawn Dietrich

This course will introduce you to the radical creativity of the indie comix scene with the work of Emil Ferris & Mariko Tamaki. Focusing on the contemporary indie presses of these two writers/artists (Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly), we will explore the intersectional young adult themes of identity, community, and agency. Through our four texts, we will try to articulate and understand the strange, the beautiful, the complex, and the interesting . . . in these graphic narratives. The selected texts feature marginalized and under-represented characters and themes, including topics such as love and friendship (relationship building), depression, sexuality, resiliency, loneliness/isolation, and mental and physical abuse. We will celebrate comix as a potentially queer space where openness, fluidity, and non-conformity represent textual strategies as well as characters’ identities. The themes in these writers’ work intersect and overlap with politics and rebellion while issues of diversity and inclusion are brought to the fore in a contemporary context. We will also study comix form, technique and theory, and you will have the opportunity to write about comix as well as create your own comix in the course. No artistic experience or illustrating talent is required for this assignment or this class! I also invite you to share your favorite comix or web comix throughout the quarter.

*Please note: this class content contains adult language and themes.

Assignments and Evaluation

You will have the opportunity to write multi-modal blogs about Ferris’ and Tamaki’s work. You will also have the chance to engage in comix workshops, where you will create your own artwork. Students will receive full credit for doing the exercises, which are totally fun! No artistic experience or illustrating talent is required. And the capstone project will involve creating your own short comix!

Required Texts

  • Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
  • Skim, Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connel
  • Making Comics, Lynda Barry
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters (vol. 1), Emil Ferris
  • Free Comic Book Day’s (FCBD) Our Favorite Thing is My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Emil Ferris

Note: My Favorite Thing is Monsters (vol. 2), Emil Ferris (available September 15, 2021)!

10786 TR 1400-1550 Nancy Pagh

“The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”

—Audre Lorde, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”

In this course we explore Audre Lorde (1934-92), self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” who dedicated her life and creative talents to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and homophobia. Through Lorde’s poetry, biomythography, critical essays, speeches, and experimental life writing, we will consider how this Twentieth-century public intellectual has remained an essential voice to today’s intersectional feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies.

Our work together will focus on close reading and response, query and analysis, and the drafting and revision of a researched paper using peer-reviewed sources. Examining the rich body of Lorde’s writing, we will attend to patterns that emerge in these varied forms of expression and the themes that surface across them—central among these, as Allison Kimmich notes in Feminist Writers, that “differences in race or class must serve as a ‘reason for celebration and growth.’”

Required Texts:

  • The Selected Works of Audre Lorde
  • Zami: A New Spelling of My NameA Biomythography

 

ENG 427 Queer Studies 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: One course from: ENG 227, ENG 313, ENG 314, ENG 351, ENG 353, ENG 354 or equivalent prerequisite coursework and instructor approval; and junior status.

12983 MWF 1130-1250 Ely Shipley

This course explores the wave of poetry by trans and gender nonconforming poets published primarily within the past decade. We will read trans poets whose work spans diverse embodiments of sexual, racial, national, class-based, and familial experience. Some questions we’ll consider include: What is trans and/or genderqueer about these poems? What is the trans poet’s relationship to content and to form, whether “traditional” or “innovative”? How and what poetic techniques do trans poets use and to what end? Ultimately, what is form’s relationship to the body?

 

ENG 441 Language and the Sec Classroom 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 301, ENG 302 or ENG 371; ENG 347; ENG 350, ENG 351, ENG 353 or ENG 354; two from: ENG 307, ENG 308, ENG 309, ENG 310, ENG 311, ENG 317, ENG 318, ENG 319, ENG 320 and ENG 321. Co-requisite: ENG 443. Major restrictions do not lift.

13690 MWF 0830-0950 Pam Hardman

This course will explore language structure and use in the Secondary Language Arts classroom, including cultural and equity issues, dialect and discourse style bias, ESL learners, and the challenges of standard grammar and conventions.  We’ll spend some time addressing linguistic fundamentals as a means of understanding language diversity. This methods course requires the same kind of individual initiative, dedication, and professionalism that you will apply to your future work as a teacher.

This course must be taken concurrently with English 443 unless the instructor approves otherwise.

Assignments: Teaching Plans; Dialect analysis; Research Project.

Texts: Required: Crovitz and Devereaux, Grammar to Get Things Done; Devereaux and Palmer, Teaching Language Variation in the Classroom; George Yule, Study of Language, 7th edition. Optional: Crovitz and Devereaux, More Grammar to Get Things Done.

 

ENG 443 Tch Eng Lang Arts in Sec Sch I 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 301 or ENG 302; ENG 347; ENG 350; ENG 370; and two from ENG 307, ENG 308, ENG 309, ENG 310, and ENG 311. Major restrictions do not lift.

10093 MWF 1000-1120 Pam Hardman

This course is the first of a two-quarter sequence that is designed to help you become a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective teacher of English language arts at the secondary level. In this first quarter, we emphasize the teaching of writing, though oral performance, literature, and media will be integrally linked. Through the frames of pedagogical theories, we will connect what we know about the diverse student population that secondary teachers face with what we know about ourselves as language arts learners and teachers in order to create useable teaching materials. This is a writing and reading intensive course. This methods course requires the same kind of individual initiative, dedication, and professionalism that you will apply to your future work as a teacher.

This course must be taken concurrently with English 441 unless the instructor approves otherwise

Assignments: Writing Activities; Mini-lesson; Writing Assignment Plan.

Texts: Kelly Gallagher, Write Like This and Teaching Adolescent Writers.

 

ENG 444 Tch Eng Lang Art in Sec Sch II 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 443.

10787 MWF 0830-0950 Annmarie Sheahan

This course is the second of a two-quarter sequence that is designed to help you become a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and effective teacher of English language arts at the secondary level. While ENG 443 focused primarily on the teaching of composition, this second course focuses on the teaching of skills related to reading, interpretation, and the critical analysis of literature and other media. In addition, this course will also attend to the specifics of lesson and unit planning for the English language arts classroom.  Through the frames of a variety of pedagogical theories, you will connect what you know about the diverse student population that secondary teachers face with what you know about yourselves as language arts learners and teachers in order to discover what methods might work best for you and your future students. This is a writing and reading intensive course which requires the same kind of individual initiative, dedication, and professionalism that you will apply to your future work as a teacher.

Tentative Assignments:

  • Miscellaneous Writing Responses
  • Mini-Lesson(s)
  • Discussion Plan and Performance
  • Collaborative Novel Unit Plan
  • Critical Literacy Literary Analysis
  • Final Year-Long Curriculum Plan

Required Texts:

  • Kay, Matthew R. Not Light, but Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom. Stenhouse Publishers, 2018.

Choice of:

  • Yang, Gene Luan. Superman Smashes the Clan. DC Comics, 2019
  • Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed. DC Comics, 2020.

*Selected group novel of choice

Not Required; Excerpts from:

  • Gallagher, Kelly. Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It. Stenhouse Publishers, 2009.
  • Appleman, Deborah. Critical Encounters in Secondary English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents (3rd Ed.) Teachers College Press, 2015.
  • Other articles and readings on Canvas

 

ENG 451 Creative Wrtng Seminar:Fiction 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 351.

10671 TR 1400-1550 Kami Westhoff

Welcome to English 451! This course is designed to encourage you to continue your exploration into the complex world of creating literary fiction. We will read the work of contemporary fiction writers and examine the ways in which they create compelling and innovative fiction through careful and unique attention to such elements as character development, setting, theme, format, and narrative focus. In addition to extensive fiction writing, you will be asked to engage with the literary world on a larger scale, including online literary journal research, “Live” literature viewing, and taking part in the process of submitting your own work. Showcasing your knowledge and creativity, you will produce a chapbook of your work as your final project.

10143 W 1430-1550 Kami Westhoff

Welcome to English 451! This course is designed to encourage you to continue your exploration into the complex world of creating literary fiction. We will read the work of contemporary fiction writers and examine the ways in which they create compelling and innovative fiction through careful and unique attention to such elements as character development, setting, theme, format, and narrative focus. In addition to extensive fiction writing, you will be asked to engage with the literary world on a larger scale, including online literary journal research, “Live” literature viewing, and taking part in the process of submitting your own work. Showcasing your knowledge and creativity, you will produce a chapbook of your work as your final project.

 

ENG 453 Creative Wrtng Seminar: Poetry 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 353.

10424 TR 1200-1350 Bruce Beasley

This course will be an intensive seminar in poetry writing. Students will write and extensively revise at least five poems. We’ll write in reaction to the poetics of a wide variety of American poets, both traditional and radically experimental. The course will also serve as a crash course in modern and postmodern American poetry through extensive readings in poetry and poetics. We’ll examine student poems in full class discussions, small group workshops, written meditations and critiques, and in conference discussions of multiple revisions. Requirements include five drafts, five extensive revisions, active class participation, a series of written meditations on poetics, and a final essay.

 

ENG 454 Creative Wrtg Sem: Nonfiction 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 354.

10401 MWF 1000-1150 Nancy Pagh

Students in this advanced creative writing seminar and workshop explore the expressive power of memoir. We begin the quarter by reviewing and sharing the expertise we bring—from the foundational 354 “introduction to creative nonfiction” course and from our own experiences as readers and writers of memoir—into the space of this workshop. We move then toward discovering and writing four forms of personal essay: the epistolary essay, ekphrastic essay, object essay, and community memoir.

Required Texts:

  • Karl Ove Knausgaard, Autumn (978-0399563300)
  • Mary-Louise Parker, Dear Mr. You (978-1501107832)
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (978-1555976903)
  • Lawrence Sutin, A Postcard Memoir (978-1555973049)
  • Recommended: Miller & Paola, Tell It Slant (3rd edition)

 

ENG 457 Special Topics Poetry Writing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 353.

13691 MWF 1300-1420 Ely Shipley

Kathryn Nuerenberger notes, “Poetry and mysticism have long shared stylistic and theoretical kinship—there is between them a shared trust in associative logic, appreciation for visions derived from dream states, and deep attention to and analysis of iconic imagery… [a] complicated ambivalence towards power, which they describe, praise, invoke, and challenge.” Alexis De Veaux discusses her writing practice in terms of approaching “Black shamanic texts,” stating that her “work is grounded in… something sacred…trying to speak with Spirit. Spirit comes, tells me their name, what their thing is… and how to move from there.” Jack Spicer discussed the role of the poet as taking dictation from “Martians” and “spooks” over radio waves. James Merrill turned Ouija transcripts into poems. Poet CA Conrad engages in what they call “(soma)tic rituals” to access an “extreme present.” Ariana Reines uses astrology. Hoa Nguyen, Timothy Liu, and Selah Saterstrom are all readers of tarot. This course will survey various poets and generative writing techniques informed by occult practices such as bibliomancy, dream work, automatic writing, and so on. Tarot will focus the course and be our main tool for accessing intuition and developing the art of reading and writing.

 

ENG 459 Editing and Publishing 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 351, ENG 353 or ENG 354.

10817 TR 1600-1750 Kathryn Trueblood

In this class, students will role-play the part of editor, publisher, and writer, learning the protocol and diplomacy of the industry. The course will offer an introduction to useful skills such as copyediting and proofreading. We are essentially looking at publishing from both sides of the desk—as a person who might like to be employed in the publishing industry, or start his/her/zer own publishing venture, and as a writer who would one day like to write and publicize a book; in all cases, you will want to know as much as possible about the trade.  

The assignments for this course are designed to heighten students' awareness that publishing is key to the democratic process i.e. one of the ways ideas are disseminated in an open society. Historically, communities whose access to the public forum was limited have begun their own publishing movements; students will be encouraged to understand the roles of editor and publisher in that context. 

Assignments : Every single assignment in this class is different—5 written, 2 oral. This course requires vigilance, resourcefulness, and organization. Assignments include a 2-3-page Reading Reflection; two book reviews 250-750 words apiece; a 3-page Book Ideas description with market research; a copyediting skills test; and for your Final Project, a collaborative manifesto and a 5-7 page Press Kit or Web Site text (your choice).

13692 MWF 1130-1250 Lee Guylas

This is a capstone course that offers an overview of publishing in the United States. Our explorations include the history of publishing; the wide variety of publishing houses and presses; literary careers and the business of publishing; and the literary Northwest.

Course Goals

As upper-level writing students, you will:

  • explore the world of publishing and its place in our culture.
  • be introduced to skills including research, sources, copyediting, and proofreading, and be aware of the current literary conversation, discourses, and cultures of editing and publishing.
  • consider writing from the perspective of writer, editor, and publisher within the context of the industry, and be familiar with the roles of each.
  • understand how a book is made—from inception, to production, distribution, and promotion.
  • be familiar with some of the ethical issues and current trends in publishing, the politics of book buying, and how to engage and flourish as a member of a larger literary community.
  • actively work to increase your knowledge and skills and aim for professional standards.

Texts:

  • Eckstut, Arielle, and David Sterry. The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, How To Write It, Sell It, and Market It—Successfully! New York: Workman Publishing, 2015.
  • Saller, Carol Fisher. The Subversive Copy Editor. Second Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

 

ENG 460 Multi-Genre Writ: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 351, ENG 353 or ENG 354.

11908 TR 0800-0950 Bruce Beasley

In this seminar we will explore our own dreams, neurophysiology of dreaming, psychological theories of the dream, and poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that works in ways parallel to the work of the dream through radical juxtaposition, fragmentation, repetition, hyperassociation, intense and elusive imagery. Among writers we may read are Borges, Calvino, Machado, Link, Kafka, Beckett, and various contemporary and experimental writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry working in the vein of the marvelous, slipstream, magical realist, and other nonlinear forms. The class will write poetry, fiction, and nonfiction drawing from one another's dream images, narratives, and dialogues and our discussions of dream structure. The course is designed to experiment with writing in dream-like forms in various genres.

 

ENG 462 Prof Wrtg 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: One course from ENG 301, ENG 302, ENG 371; or equivalent experience and instructor approval.

13693 TR 1000-1150 Justin Lewis

Rhetoric as User Experience Design:

Students enrolled in this iteration of ENG 462 will employ rhetoric as a critical and productive analytic for understanding the emerging practices of user experience design (UXD). As an interdisciplinary effort, UXD aims to create more robust user-driven digital experiences. In this course students will employ classical rhetorical principles to teardown and rebuild an existing technology through the UXD lifecycle. Special emphases will be placed on empathy-building, user research, elementary prototyping, user journeys, information architecture and user testing. UXD/software development experience not required; however, an open disposition to experimenting with new technologies is highly recommended.

Assignments/Evaluations:

  • Technology as Rhetorical Genre Analysis
  • UXD Teardown of Mobile App
  • Design Recommendations Report of Mobile App

Texts: All course texts will be provided by the instructor.

 

ENG 464 Topics in Film Stds: 5 cr.

Notes & Prerequisites: ENG 364 or instructor permission.

13694 R 1400-1550 Eren Odabasi

This course offers a survey of cinematic depictions of immigration and diaspora formation in Europe, covering the period from the 1990s to the present. Over the past thirty years, several waves of global migration and a wide range of refugee experiences have been portrayed in cinema with increasing frequency. Films belonging to a variety of genres have shed light on the rapidly changing cultural identities of European societies and often criticized the inadequacy of institutionalized responses to immigration. In this course, we will analyze multiple films that deal with this central theme and trace the genealogy of immigration narratives in European cinema.

While the cinematic texts covered in this course are produced with European resources, they illustrate a far greater multiplicity of experiences and challenges than a narrow Euro-centric framework would suggest. In our analyses of films from various countries, we will observe a diverse spectrum of ideologies, socioeconomic factors, and historical contexts. We will watch and discuss films about immigration from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean, among other territories. We will associate these timely and topical cinematic works with several relevant theoretical concepts and ideas.

TEXTBOOK: Immigration Cinema in the New Europe, by Isolina Ballesteros, Bristol and Chicago: Intellect - The University of Chicago Press, 2015. You are welcome to use the e-book version, which may be a more affordable option.

FILMS (Tentative List):

  • Transit, dir. Christian Petzold, 2018
  • A Season in France, dir. Mahamat Saleh Haroun, 2017
  • Bhaji on the Beach, dir. Gurinder Chadha, 1993
  • Lovers Rock, dir. Steve McQueen, 2020
  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974
  • The Secret of the Grain, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007
  • Dheepan, dir. Jacques Audiard, 2015
  • La Promesse, dir. Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 1996
  • Le Havre, dir. Aki Kaurismaki, 2011

All the films will be available online for streaming.

 

Graduate Courses

ENG 502 Seminar in Writing of Fiction 5 cr.

13695 TR 1200-1350 Carol Guess

MA students will be able to register in Phase 2.

This fiction workshop will focus on writing short form fiction for a literary audience with the goal of publishing at least one piece. It will be taught on Zoom using a remote synchronous format, in exact accordance with the scheduled class times. Any English graduate student is welcome to sign up, regardless of past experience writing fiction or practicing creative writing. We will not be writing long form fiction (long stories, novellas, novels); please be prepared to work in shorter forms.

Assignments/Evaluation: Two flash fiction pieces and two short stories; one literary magazine review.

 

ENG 510 Rhetoric 5 cr.

10342 TR 0800-0950 Donna Qualley

Ralph Waldo Emerson: All minds quote. Old and new make the warp and woof of every moment. There is no thread that is not a twist of these two strands. . . . Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man [sic] is or should be an inventor.

Joseph Harris: Our voices emerge out of the ways the texts we quote rub up against each other. Remixing is a way to create new insights out of old materials.

Edwardo Navas: The remix is a sampling or reinterpretation of a pre-existing text where the “aura” of the original remains visible in the remixed version.

Adam Banks: Remix is [in part] a critical reflexive gesture producing the paradox of independent yet dependent texts.

Kirby Ferguson: Everything is a remix.

John Muckelbauer: Everything is rhetorical.

This writing seminar explores remix as a rhetorical practice and as a constellation of moves that composers of print and digital texts use to construct new texts out of or in response to existing texts. We’ll begin by examining different ways that critical writers “rewrite” the work of others. Similar to documentary films, musical mashups, political memes, or TikTok videos, academic writing (at least in the humanities) also involves creating something new by drawing from and repurposing existing texts and material. As Joe Harris notes, a defining feature of almost all critical essays (at least in the humanities) is that they contain the visible traces of other texts. In fact, it is the work of others that precipitates the creation of new critical ideas in the first place. As such, many forms of critical, scholarly, and intellectual writing could be loosely conceptualized as a kind of remix.

After examining some of the scholarship on remix, we’ll then look to what we might borrow or repurpose from other communities and practitioners that could inspire more critically inventive and inventively critical genres of writing. What if, as Adam Banks playfully suggests, we retire the academy’s go-to scholarly genre and relegate the essay to “dominant genre emeritus” status? What new models and new moves can we discover for critically working with and responding to other texts?

My aim in this course is for you:

  1. to become more knowledgeable and practiced with the moves you unconsciously make or consciously could make in working with other texts and
  1. to provide space for you to explore, try on, or invent other approaches to reusing and remixing the ideas of others. As a kind of ancillary effect, the course offers people interested in teaching useful language for talking to students about their own writing.

Multiple, small assignments and a culminating remix. Texts include:

  • Joseph Harris: Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts (must be 2nd edition)
  • Adam Banks: sections from Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age (available as an e-book from WWU’s library).
  • Additional readings and viewings on Canvas

 

ENG 515 Studies in Literary/Crit Theory 5 cr.

13696 TR 1400-1550 Ning Yu

Literature’s primary purpose, according to William Shakespeare, is to “hold a mirror to nature.”  But for literary critics the word “nature” has been confined to a narrower sense of human nature as it is developed, twisted or alienated in a human subject’s  struggle in society.  In the past three decades or so, literary scholars have been constantly redrawing the boundaries of their fields to “remap” its rapidly changing contours.  Race, class, gender, sexual orientation, all sorts of power relation and cultural constructs, especially language, are hot topics in contemporary criticism.  If you attempt to understand the “nature” of our world through the numerous “mirrors” of critical schools, you would never suspect that our physical environment, the planet earth, the only life-giving and life-supporting system to our knowledge in the whole universe, is under a lot of stress.

However, since 1990s, four waves of ecocriticism have been working towards a literature curriculum that  prepares us to participate effectively in the conversation or action about such pressing issues in the larger world as oil spill, acid rain, greenhouse gas, toxic waste contamination, climate change, wildfires, nuclear waste dumps, deforestation and loss of topsoil although our literary geniuses have been writing about similar concerns since decades even centuries ago.  “Literature,” in Kurt Vonnegut’s strong words, “should not disappear up its own ass-hole.” 

In this seminar, given the time frame of our quarter system, we’re unable to review all the four waves in meaningful depth. I therefore plan to review how the first wave of ecocriticism emerged in the 1990s and then catch up with the latest, fourth wave which emphasizes “new material” and “zoopoetics”. Students will read and discuss key texts in the field, in the context of our own experience of the nonhuman environment (especially under the stress of the current pandemic) as well as in comparison with other literary theories. An oral presentation (20% of grade), one final paper (40% of grade). Careful reading of the assigned texts and active participation in discussion (20% of grade) are essential to the success of the seminar. Write 5 sets of question and a two-page response to each of your questions (20% of grade, 4% each question/response).

 

ENG 535 Studies in Nonfiction 5 cr.

13697 TR 1800-1950 Brenda Miller

In this class, we will put our attention fully on form, studying lyric essays that work much the way poetry works: through attention to language, image, sound, metaphor, white space, and voice. These prose pieces often forego a traditional linear narrative in favor of fragmentation and metaphorical connections. What new rules arise to govern such pieces? Or do they abandon “rules” altogether? What do these pieces require of the reader? We will seek to create our own definitions of the lyric essay by reading many writers in the genre, modeling our own efforts on their essays, and creating works that encourage risk-taking and experimentation. You will do both creative writing and academic analysis in this course.

Suggested Text: Tell it Slant: Creating, Refining, and Publishing Creative Nonfiction, Third Edition.

Each student will also choose a book of lyric nonfiction to study and present during the quarter.

 

ENG 540 Studies in Global Literature 5 cr.

13698 TR 1600-1750 Jean Lee

Studies in Global Literature: Caribbean Women Writers

Caribbean women have been writing themselves into existence through stylistic, aesthetic, and thematic innovations to recover and claim their histories, voices, agency, and identities. In particular, since the 1980s, the decolonization of the Bildungsroman has gained importance in exploring the constitution of Caribbean women’s subjectivities. In this course, we will explore how Merle Hodge, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, Julia Alvarez, Christian García, and Ramabai Espinet feature girls’ and women’s stories to speak back to the concept of “development” in colonial, postcolonial, and neo-imperial settings.

 

ENG 550 Studies in American Literature 5 cr.

13699 TR 1000-1150 Laura Laffrado

Using a variety of theoretical perspectives, we will examine American autobiographical texts from the seventeenth century through the twentieth century. We will look at various stories of selfhood and think about self-representation, subject formation, and other autobiographical practices. On our way, we will consider early American Puritanism, domestic violence, gender, genre, race, and capitalism, among other issues. While this is not a seminar in pedagogies, the texts and contexts of this seminar will provide solid preparation for those who might go on to teach an American literature survey.

ASSIGNMENTS: Expect fairly heavy reading, oral presentations, and a 15-20 page seminar paper.

EVALUATION: Evaluation will be based on seminar participation, oral presentations, and the seminar paper.

TEXTS:

  • K. Z. Derounian Stodola (ed.), Women's Indian Captivity Narratives
  • Abigail Abbot Bailey, The Memoir of Abigail Abbott Bailey
  • Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano
  • Sojourner Truth, Narrative of Sojourner Truth
  • Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom
  • James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
  • Ella Higginson, Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature