English Course Offerings

The English Department's course offerings vary by semester. We offer 100-level composition courses, 200-level introductory courses, 300-level intermediate courses, 400-level advanced courses, and 500-level graduate courses.

▼   SPRING 2023: Experimentation Cluster

Spring 2023 Experimentation Cluster


During the spring semester, the Department of English will offer a cluster of courses, events, and speakers whose focus is experimentation.  The following courses are participating in this initiative.

EH 315 - Chaucer | Halbrooks
TR 2:00-3:15

Chaucer is at the same time the most welcoming and the most unknowable of poets. His personable narrative voice and his self-deprecating poetic personality seem so simple, and yet they mask dazzling complexity, poetic subtlety, and political ambivalence. This course will survey the major works of this essential poet, especially The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. No prior knowledge of Middle English is required.


EH 363 - American Novel since 1945 | St. Clair
TR 2:00-3:15

Does Chaucer make you anxious? Have you had enough Shakespeare? Are you tired of reading dull books by dead people? Then we’ve got the course for you. A survey of the contemporary American novel, EH 363 features fiction by real, live humans. And we might even get to talk to a couple of them.


EH 481 - Composition and Rhetoric (W) | Shaw
TR 3:30-4:45

This course inquires into rhetorical constructions of identity of race and sex. Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will study cultural, racial, and sexual identities as discursive and historical formations, and we will inquire into the cultural assumptions surrounding notions such as whiteness, racial and sexual otherness, and cultural normativity. We will examine the power relations at work in the discourses that construct these identities and consider how such identities have implications for social, cultural, and political power. Our analytical starting points will be both practical – by looking at recent events – and theoretical.  


EH 501 - Introduction to Critical Theory | McLaughlin
M 6:00-8:30

Because EH 501 will be part of a cluster of courses that takes experimentation as its focus, this course will not only provide an introduction to some of the most essential approaches to critical theory and literary criticism, but also it will give you an opportunity to stitch "life" and "theory" together into new (experimental) forms under the rubric of "autotheory." In this course, "Live theory!" will become your motto.


EH 507 - Topics in Rhetoric/Composition | Shaw
TR 3:30-4:45

This course inquires into rhetorical constructions of identity of race and sex.  Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will study cultural, racial, and sexual identities as discursive and historical formations, and we will inquire into the cultural assumptions surrounding notions such as whiteness, racial and sexual otherness, and cultural normativity.  We will examine the power relations at work in the discourses that construct these identities and consider how such identities have implications for social, cultural, and political power.  Our analytical starting points will be both practical – by looking at recent events – and theoretical.


EH 513 - Studies in Chaucer | Halbrooks
T 6:00-8:30

This course will survey the major works of the most important writer of the English Middle Ages, as well as the vast history of Chaucerian scholarship and criticism. Each generation of scholars creates multiple alternative "Chaucers." Since he was also radically innovative as an artist, we will add to this mix "experimental Chaucer," in keeping with our departmental theme for this year. Our own series of experiments will involve studying these most canonical of texts in ways that will allow us to understand and appreciate their radical aspects.


EH 573 - Contemporary Fiction | St. Clair
R 6:00-8:30

In EH 573, we'll be reading books that might frighten your mother. (But not that one, weird aunt — she'd probably like to borrow them when you're done.)  As part of the department’s special "experimentation cluster," this course will consider fiction from the contemporary era that is formally innovative, from Italo Calvino’s OULIPO-inspired novel If on a Winter's Night a Traveler to Mark Z. Danielewski's modern classic House of Leaves.


EH 591 - Screenwriting for Television | Prince
T 6:00-8:30

This class focuses on the fundamentals of screenwriting for television. We will study character development, conflict, structure, formatting, and so on as we explore how to write screenplays. Our focus will be as expansive as possible, covering drama, comedy, and action genres. Students will write one research paper and work on both an hour and a half-hour TV pilot.


▼   SPRING 2023: Themed Composition Sections (100 LEVEL)

Spring 2023 Themed Composition Sections


EH 102.102 or EH 102.132 - English Comp II | Roddy
Problems at Home
MWF 8:00-8:50 or MWF 11:15-12:05

What does a home do for us? In these service-learning sections, we will consider this question to begin an in-depth study of home-related problems. Early in the semester, we will skip a day of classroom learning to participate in Project Homeless Connect, an annual event in which students guide people experiencing homelessness to various free resources that address problems associated with their homelessness. Readings and early papers will center issues concerned with "problems at home" and culminate in researched arguments that spin out related, student-selected issues, ranging from migration to inmate reentry programs and environmental justice to foster-care reform.


EH 102.149 - English Comp II | Peterson
Be the Change
TR 2:00-3:15

Have you ever wondered if one person can make a difference in the problems of this world? Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." In this composition class, we will explore the issues you are passionate about, and discuss and write about ways we can make a difference. We will also discuss our moral obligation to "Be the change you wish to see in the world" (attributed to Gandhi).


▼   SPRING 2023: Themed Lit Surveys (200 LEVEL)

Spring 2023 Themed Literature Surveys


EH 215.105 - British Lit before 1785 | Halbrooks
Masks and Identity
TR 2:00-3:15

From the mysterious Green Knight to Milton’s shape-shifting Satan to Shakespeare’s cross-dressing Viola, writers have been interested in the ways in which we use masks, both literal and metaphorical, to create identity, to deceive, and to protect the self. As we all wore masks during our recent crisis, we will use the idea of the mask as a starting point for our study of identity in literature from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century.


EH 215.106 - British Lit before 1785 | Hillyer
Patterns of Virtue and Vice
MWF 1:25-2:15

We will study representative works of British literature produced before 1785, or dating across about a thousand years, and including masterpieces by some of the greatest writers of any time or place: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Milton. More particularly, we will focus on patterns of virtue and vice, as traced on both a larger and smaller scale: across dramatically changing historical conditions, but also within particular individuals presented as exemplary. We will also examine some ambiguous cases: embodiments of virtue and (or) vice.


EH 215.108 - British Lit before 1785 | Hillyer
Patterns of Virtue and Vice
MWF 12:20-1:10

We will study representative works of British literature produced before 1785, or dating across about a thousand years, and including masterpieces by some of the greatest writers of any time or place: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and John Milton. More particularly, we will focus on patterns of virtue and vice, as traced on both a larger and smaller scale: across dramatically changing historical conditions, but also within particular individuals presented as exemplary. We will also examine some ambiguous cases: embodiments of virtue and (or) vice.


EH 216.102 - British Lit after 1785 | Harrington
Doubles and Imposters
TR 9:30-10:45

Interested in the idea of a monstrous double — or individuals who are not what they seem to be? This Survey of British Literature after 1785 considers interesting pairings from the horrific to the humorous in British literature from the Romantic period to the present. We will use these doubles and imposters to investigate race and gender, nation and empire, guilt and innocence, and memory and identity in a sampling of texts ranging from Frankenstein to Monty Python and beyond.


EH 235.105 or EH 235.106 - World Lit before 1650 | Roddy
Myth and Meaning
MWF 1:25-2:15 or MWF 10:10-11:00

How did the world begin? How can we understand our mortality? Are there gods or a God who orders our world? Or are we simply following a script of our own making? In this survey, we take a comparative look at seminal religious, philosophical, and literary texts to see how burgeoning civilizations around the globe explore big questions to understand humanity’s place in the universe. We’ll examine legends of early world literature, like Confucius, Sappho, and Vālmīki, as well as texts born out of the communal consciousness of tale-telling across the ages.


EH 236.104 - World Lit after 1650 | Peterson
Social Justice through Writing
TR 12:30-1:45

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Not he [or she] is great who can alter matter, but he [or she] who can alter my state of mind." How do great authors enlighten us to their way of thinking, and what genre of writing has the greatest power to do so? We will study many genres: satires, dramas, mock epics, essays, animal fables, and novels to make our determinations as to how writing enacts change in the past and today.  Some of the impactful works we will study are: Jean de la Fontaine's animal fables, Jonathan Swifts' Gulliver’s Travels and "Modest Proposal," Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock" and "Essay on Man," and Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


▼   SPRING 2023: Upper-Division Courses (300/400 LEVEL)

Spring 2023 Upper-Division Courses


EH 300 - Introduction to Literary Study | Raczkowski
TR 2:00-3:15

city, n.  1.  A place to live, usually with corrupt mayors and lots of pollution. The real world is only in the city, not on Ole McD's Farm. – Urban Dictionary

This simultaneous repulsion and attraction to the City (it's corrupt / it's the real world) animates a lot of twentieth-century literature and film. Think of this class as a semester long study of literature’s strange, conflicted fascination with the modern city that aims to instruct students in the fundamental practices of literary study: close reading, literary analysis, research, and ironic eye-rolling.


EH 315 - Chaucer | Halbrooks
TR 2:00-3:15

Chaucer is at the same time the most welcoming and the most unknowable of poets. His personable narrative voice and his self-deprecating poetic personality seem so simple, and yet they mask dazzling complexity, poetic subtlety, and political ambivalence. This course will survey the major works of this essential poet, especially The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde. No prior knowledge of Middle English is required.


EH 335 - Native American Literature | Cesarini
MWF 11:15-12:05

Students will study fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by Native American writers active from about 1900 until the present, such as Charles Alexander Eastman, Zitkala-Sa, N. Scott Momoday, Leslie Marmon Silko, David Treuer, and Joy Harjo.  Our study will be to understand as much of each writer's Native/national culture and history as needed to understand and appreciate their writings. Graded work will consist of weekly quizzes and two essays.


EH 353 - Victorian Prose | Harrington
TR 12:30-1:45

This class explores the vitality and controversy in the literature and thought of the Victorian period in Britain, as writers and essayists considered gender, sexuality, and "the woman question"; social reform and suffrage; class, empire and the maintenance of colonial authority; evolution and religion; and aestheticism and decadence in art and literature. Victorian Prose considers a variety of texts that represent British Victorian viewpoints, including stories from Dickens, Gaskell, Kipling, Wilde, Le Fanu, and Conan Doyle.


EH 363 - American Novel since 1945 | St. Clair
TR 2:00-3:15

Does Chaucer make you anxious? Have you had enough Shakespeare? Are you tired of reading dull books by dead people? Then we’ve got the course for you. A survey of the contemporary American novel, EH 363 features fiction by real, live humans. And we might even get to talk to a couple of them.


EH 371 - Approaches to English Grammar (W) | Beason
MWF 1:25-2:15

So what is a dangling participle anyway? EH 371 offers students a valuable intellectual and practical skill: the ability to analyze and describe in technical terms how a given sentence is structured (beyond just saying it does or doesn’t "flow"). While the course was originally developed for students planning to teach English courses at the secondary level, EH 371 is useful for just about anyone wanting to edit, write, analyze literary texts, teach non-native speakers of English, practice law, or learn more about the English language. EH 371 is also a W-course and can help fulfill the W-course requirement for English majors and many other students.


EH 372 - Technical Writing (W) | Amare
Online

The course is designed to help you to accomplish the following:

  • Understand and analyze writing situations and technologies and invoke the roles and strategies necessary to produce effective writing in localized and globalized contexts.
  • Improve your understanding of how writing practices and genres (memos, email, proposals, reports, and websites) function within and across organizations, including how various readers read, where readers look for information, and what multiple purposes documents serve inside and outside particular situations.
  • Produce more effective visual, textual, and multimedia documents.

EH 372 - Technical Writing (W) | Beason
MWF 2:30-3:20

What does it mean to "write on the job," especially straightforward writing meant to be particularly clear yet concise?  This W-Course is for students in diverse majors. It also counts as an English elective for most English majors and minors. To prepare you to write in one or more professions, we will focus on three elements: (1) "generic" workplace-writing skills; (2) rhetorical analysis of workplace situations; (3) and practice in writing and critiquing technical and workplace documents.


EH 390 - Love and War at Troy | Hillyer
MWF 10:10-11:00

This course will build towards coverage of Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida through extensive and detailed examination of background material in the shape of Homer's epic The Iliad and Geoffrey Chaucer's medieval romance Troilus and Criseyde (both in translation). Our coverage of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida will coincide with Theatre USA's production of the play, which will be required viewing. We will finish by studying John Dryden’s play Troilus and Cressida, or Truth Found Too Late—an explicit attempt to update Shakespeare's version to appeal to the literary tastes of late-seventeenth-century England. Assigned writing will include two shorter papers (3-4 pages each) and one medium-length paper (10-12 pages). 


EH 391 - Fiction Writing | Johnson
TR 3:30-4:45

This course will introduce students to elements required to make strong short fiction—observation, plot, setting, characterization, surprise, economy, point of view, and so on. By reading contemporary examples of short fiction written in a variety of styles and modes, students will begin organizing their own craft toolboxes, which they'll then use to build original stories they share with their peers. After all, as the writer George Saunders said, "To study the way we read is to study the way the mind works: the way it evaluates a statement for truth, the way it behaves in relation to another mind (i.e. the writer’s) across space and time." In doing so, students will question what makes interesting short fiction, consider why they feel an urge to tell a particular story, and analyze how to shape said urge into a surprising, immensely readable work of art.


EH 393 - Creative Nonfiction Writing | Pence
MWF 12:20-1:10

In this course, students will analyze and create three of the main types of creative nonfiction: the personal essay, the lyrical essay, and the digital/video essay. Creative non-fiction blends literary art (fiction and poetry) with the real (facts and research), and uses many literary devices such as setting, voice, image, and character development. Since part of the writing process is the revision process, workshop will play a fundamental role in our course.


EH 402 - Rhetoric Ancient and Modern (W) | Shaw
TR 2:00-3:15

Beginning with the early sophists of Periclean Athens and ending in the twenty-first century, this course examines and compares various movements in the history of rhetoric, with particular emphasis on the relationship between rhetorical strategy and one's image of human beings. The course aims to increase the scope of students' understanding of rhetoric and help them apply this knowledge to their own communication and to their evaluation of the communications of others.


EH 477 - Folklore and Ways of Listening | Jackson
TR 11:00-12:15

This course focuses on the collection of folklore and expressive culture. Analysis of oral narrative provides a contemporary glimpse at collective memory in a specific time and place. Students are trained in ethnographic fieldwork methods, oral history interviewing techniques, transcription, and the evaluation of oral evidence. The class reads theoretical material about collective memory, the relationship between memory and folklore, the ethnographer’s role in the creation or preservation of the past, and the challenges and possibilities of interpreting genres and contexts of folkloric performance.


EH 481 - Composition and Rhetoric (W) | Shaw
TR 3:30-4:45

This course inquires into rhetorical constructions of identity of race and sex. Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will study cultural, racial, and sexual identities as discursive and historical formations, and we will inquire into the cultural assumptions surrounding notions such as whiteness, racial and sexual otherness, and cultural normativity. We will examine the power relations at work in the discourses that construct these identities and consider how such identities have implications for social, cultural, and political power. Our analytical starting points will be both practical – by looking at recent events – and theoretical.  


EH 483 - Advanced Fiction Writing | Johnson
TR 2:00-3:15

This workshop-style course is devoted to the discussion and composing of literary short fiction—and what exactly that term means today. The works of fiction students write in this course can be set anywhere, during any time period imaginable, but should demonstrate a deep engagement with and respect for elements of craft and technique. Or as the writer Audre Lord said, "There are no new ideas. There are only new ways of making them felt, of examining what our ideas really mean." In attempting to do so, students will produce and revise a significant piece of fiction that’s close, if not ready, to submit for publication by the end of the semester. Guiding them will be a number of essays on craft and stories written by a diverse array of authors working in various styles to illuminate how fiction works.


EH 488 -Screenwriting for Television (W) | Prince
T 6:00-8:30

This class focuses on the fundamentals of screenwriting for television. We will study character development, conflict, structure, formatting, and so on as we explore how to write screenplays. Our focus will be as expansive as possible, covering drama, comedy, and action genres. Students will write one research paper and work on both an hour and a half-hour TV pilot.


EH 490 - Vision of the Post-Apocalypse (H) | Beason
MWF 11:15-12:05

This special-topics course is an Honors course that focuses on contemporary narratives of humanity taking place soon or long after "the end of the world as we know it." We will examine not only literary texts but also diverse examples and mediums of popular culture (film, internet discourses, graphic novels, and video games). The course allows us to understand how post-apocalyptic narratives reflect and create messages relevant to our real-world fears and values. This course is open only to students officially enrolled in the USA Honors College.


▼   SPRING 2023: Graduate Courses (500 LEVEL)

Spring 2023 Graduate Courses


EH 501 - Introduction to Critical Theory | McLaughlin
M 6:00-8:30

Because EH 501 will be part of a cluster of courses that takes experimentation as its focus, this course will not only provide an introduction to some of the most essential approaches to critical theory and literary criticism, but also it will give you an opportunity to stitch "life" and "theory" together into new (experimental) forms under the rubric of "autotheory." In this course, "Live theory!" will become your motto.


EH 507 - Topics in Rhetoric/Composition | Shaw
TR 3:30-4:45

This course inquires into rhetorical constructions of identity of race and sex.  Through reading, writing, and discussion, we will study cultural, racial, and sexual identities as discursive and historical formations, and we will inquire into the cultural assumptions surrounding notions such as whiteness, racial and sexual otherness, and cultural normativity.  We will examine the power relations at work in the discourses that construct these identities and consider how such identities have implications for social, cultural, and political power.  Our analytical starting points will be both practical – by looking at recent events – and theoretical.


EH 513 - Studies in Chaucer | Halbrooks
T 6:00-8:30

This course will survey the major works of the most important writer of the English Middle Ages, as well as the vast history of Chaucerian scholarship and criticism. Each generation of scholars creates multiple alternative "Chaucers." Since he was also radically innovative as an artist, we will add to this mix "experimental Chaucer," in keeping with our departmental theme for this year. Our own series of experiments will involve studying these most canonical of texts in ways that will allow us to understand and appreciate their radical aspects.


EH 548 - Native American Fiction | Cesarini
W 2:30-5:00

Students will read novels and short stories by Native American writers active from about 1940 until the present, such as Darcy McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and LeAnne Howe.  Our study will be to understand as much of each writer's Native/national culture and history as needed to understand and appreciate their works of fiction. Graded work will consist of weekly quizzes and two essays.


EH 573 - Contemporary Fiction | St. Clair
R 6:00-8:30

In EH 573, we'll be reading books that might frighten your mother. (But not that one, weird aunt — she'd probably like to borrow them when you're done.)  As part of the department’s special "experimentation cluster," this course will consider fiction from the contemporary era that is formally innovative, from Italo Calvino’s OULIPO-inspired novel If on a Winter's Night a Traveler to Mark Z. Danielewski's modern classic House of Leaves.


EH 589 - Creative Nonfiction Writing | Pence
W 6:00-8:30

Creative nonfiction blends fiction and poetry with personal facts and research to create genre-bending prose that resists easy classification.  In this graduate course, students will build on skills learned in previous creative writing courses to produce personal essays that emphasize the development of their individual style. Since part of the writing process is the revision process, workshop will play a fundamental role in the course.


EH 591 - Screenwriting for Television | Prince
T 6:00-8:30

This class focuses on the fundamentals of screenwriting for television. We will study character development, conflict, structure, formatting, and so on as we explore how to write screenplays. Our focus will be as expansive as possible, covering drama, comedy, and action genres. Students will write one research paper and work on both an hour and a half-hour TV pilot.


 

A full listing of all courses in the departmental catalog is available via the University Bulletin.  For a listing of courses offered in a given semester, please visit PAWS.  Enter the catalog term you wish to search and select "English" as the subject on the page that follows.