Graduate Course Descriptions
ENG 502: Introduction to English Studies: Traditions, Boundaries, and Change
This course is a revision of and replacement for ENG 502 Problems of Research in English. This course provides beginning graduate students an introduction to the history, traditions, issues, problems, and debates of English Studies. From the perspective of the outsider or newly initiated, the proliferation of areas of interest within English Studies can be confusing if not daunting. It is the goal of this course to familiarize new graduate students with the historical development of English Studies and the shape of English Studies today. Designed as one of the core courses for all English MA students, this course will include studies of the profession, experience in writing professional documents (such as conference proposals, abstracts, book reviews, thesis proposal), practical guidance in relevant research methods, and inquiry into the major theoretical and disciplinary issues and challenges of English Studies. This is a required course of all English MA students.
ENG 503: Thesis
ENG 510: The Rhetoric of Style
This course focuses on understanding historical and contemporary rhetorical conceptions of style in order to foster more sophisticated invention, analysis, and production of 21st century compositions. Specifically, the course examines the idea of style from its ancient understandings rooted in orality up to modern iterations rooted in multimodal composition and digital writing.
ENG 511: Contemporary Indigenous Rhetorics
This course provides graduate students with an introduction to the field of Indigenous Rhetorics, including its rhetorical traditions and practices, issues, problems, history, and cultural contexts of various indigenous communities. The goal of this advanced course is to build on students’ existing knowledge about the rhetorical strategies, techniques, and tactics of contemporary indigenous peoples in several genres: creative nonfiction, academic scholarship, stand-up comedy, journalism, political and legal documents, and web presence. Specifically, students will engage with the works of writers, thinkers, performers, artists, and speakers in specific contemporary indigenous communities as these practitioners strive to carve space for their voices and perspectives in the crowded space of modern intellectual thought and practice. This course focuses primarily on Native American Rhetorics. This course is appropriate for those interested in Composition & Rhetoric, Literature and Media Studies. This class may also include the opportunity for digital storytelling, blogging, interviewing, and community engagement. This is an elective course for all English MA students.
ENG 512: Symbol and Myth in Literature
ENG 517: Studies in Biography
ENG 523: Word Processing & Writing
ENG 525: Linguistics
This course includes a comprehensive introduction to the phonology, morphology, syntax, and dialects of American English. The problems of language which arise in elementary and secondary education are discussed. Open to students taking linguistics for the first time.
ENG 526: Modern English Grammar
ENG 527: Seminar in Linguistics
One of the following topics: (A) Descriptive Linguistics – a survey of linguistics, emphasizing the descriptive approach to the sound and grammatical systems of language; (B) American Dialects – a study of the geographic and social varieties of spoken American English; (C) History of the English Language – an investigation of selected topics in Old, Middle, and Modern English will be covered.
ENG 528: Studies in Old English Literature
ENG 529: American Dialects
ENG 530: Chaucer
In generating broad familiarity with Chaucer’s backgrounds, sources, and achievement, this course seeks to provide understanding of his place in literature, together with some facility in reading Middle English texts.
ENG 534: Studies in Middle English Literature
Following a brief intensive period in which the students begin to acquire a reading knowledge of Middle English, selected prose and poetry written between approximately 1300 and 1500 (exclusive of Chaucer) will be studied: (1) for cultural and literary significance; (2) for techniques, genre, and styles; and (3) for artistic and aesthetic qualities.
ENG 535: 17th Century Studies
ENG 538: Major 20th Century American Drama
This class is focused on some of the major voices in 20th Century American Drama: Miller, Williams, O’Neill, Inge, Shange, Wilson, Norman, Vogel, and Kushner among others. Both canonical and lesser known works will be studied enriching the student’s knowledge of the writer’s oeuvre. Experimentation in form and content will be explored as well as representations of race, gender, politics, and sexualities.
ENG 540: Milton
Milton’s stature as a poet and thinker is discussed. Milton’s shorter poems and his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, will be studied in the context of his complete poetry and major prose, and in the framework of his intellectual, cultural, and literary milieu.
ENG 542: The Age of Dryden
Literature at the beginning of England’s Age of Reason, with attention to the social and intellectual milieu in the years of the Restoration and Glorious Revolution; emphasis on poetry and criticism of Dryden, and important plays of Dryden, Etherege, Wycherley, Congreve, and Otway are presented.
ENG 545: Studies in Postmodern Fiction
This course provides intensive study of selected authors, themes, and/or approaches in postmodern fiction, both American and international. Depending on the author or theme that is focused on the time period of the work(s) covered may fall between from about 1960 to 1990.
ENG 548: Early American Literature 1607-1800
ENG 550: American Romanticism
This course is a critical study of American Romanticism together with its English and European antecedents. Works of Freneau, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman are examined for common literary elements. Romanticism is explored as a literary aesthetic, and as a social and moral philosophy.
ENG 551: Postcolonial Literary Theory and Texts
This course provides an overview of the leading currents, issues, and debates in Postcolonial theory, including the definition of field, gender, political, and resistance issues and an in-depth look at Postcolonial literary texts.
ENG 553: Literacy Studies
This course provides graduate students with an introduction to the field of Literacy Studies, including its scientific and theoretical foundations, historical and current perspectives on literacy practices, research methods and curricular implications. Literacy has culturally specific, social, economic and political implications for all people, and yet the general public’s understanding of literacy is often marred by myths or overly simplified perspectives on the acquisition and uses of reading and writing, as well as less text-centric means of interpreting and composing. This course is aimed at deepening and complicating students’ understanding of literacies, as they learn to investigate personal and communal assumptions, conduct primary and secondary research, and consider the consequences of the Literacy Studies for learning, teaching and critically navigating politics and culture. This course is especially useful for the intending to teach on the secondary and post-secondary levels, as rhetoric of a “literacy crisis” has been a staple of education reforms in the United States since 1960s. The course is also appropriate for those with an interest in Composition & Rhetoric, Literature, Media Studies or Linguistics. This is an elective course for all English MA students.
ENG 555: Black Women’s Literature – The Development of a Tradition
This intensive graduate course provides a survey and a close analysis of a major tradition in literary studies the black feminist tradition. This course will examine various genres of writing by black women, such as: short stories, poetry, drama, novels, creative nonfiction, and literary theory/criticism.
ENG 557: Digital Rhetoric and Composition
This course focuses on honing the analysis, production, and teaching of contemporary digital texts by going beyond longstanding academic conceptions rooted in the printed word alone. Specifically, the course examines why contemporary digital texts do not dovetail with previous Rhetorical and Composition frameworks and why emerging areas within Rhetoric and Composition such as visual rhetoric, digital writing, and multimodal style are vital in cultivating sophisticated, responsive methods of analysis and production. Students will familiarize themselves with issues surrounding creation, revision, and deployment of digital texts to better understand the complex rhetorics involved when arranging words, images, sounds, coding language, available designs, fonts, colors, and spaces to make new kinds of 21st century writing.
ENG 560: Critical Writing
This course invites graduate students to examine writing as an essential tool for exploring, questioning, and creating intellectual knowledge in academic and public spaces. Students will develop a conceptual framework for critical writing through the study of rhetorical theory, genre theory and composition theory. Central to the course are writing workshops in which students share drafts of course assignments. In these workshops, students develop and understanding of themselves as writers, while exploring a variety of styles and rhetorical approaches for communicating with specific audiences both within and beyond the graduate classroom. As students explore the new genres and increased expectations that come with advanced scholarly writing, they will practice: choosing a point of inquiry; gathering research; developing a position; choosing style and voice; using readers’ feedback effectively; and editing and revising as a recursive process.
ENG 561: The Epic in the Modern Imagination
The Epic in the Modern Imagination has two complementary objectives: to study the nature and function of epic narrative in its classical and modern iterations; and to study major principles and innovations in theories of narrative, as an aesthetic form and a tool for organizing information and experience. The seminar provides extended attention to especially significant epic narratives, which may include Homer’s The Odyssey, Joyce’s Ulysses, and at least one more contemporary exemplar. Additionally, the seminar focuses on influential texts on and evaluations of epic narrative.
All instruction and reading of ancient epic narratives and texts will be conducted in English and/or critically authorized English translations.
ENG 563: Studies in American Realism 1865-1900
ENG 564: Cultural Studies Seminar in American Modernism
Defining American Modernism as the cultural response to rapid changes in society brought on by new technologies and social patterns, this course introduces students to cultural studies/historicist approaches to the study of modernist American literature, inviting students to examine the interplay between literature, popular culture, and the controversies and events that shaped early twentieth-century Americans’ sense that they were both inhabiting and building a wholly new social world.
ENG 565: Seminar in British Literature
ENG 567: Seminar in American Literature
ENG 570: Seminar in History of English Language
ENG 575: Seminar in Literary Criticism
ENG 576: Seminar in Film History, Theory, and Criticism
Students in this course will have the opportunity to explore basic and advanced issues in film history, theory and criticism. A wide range of films will be studied from both American and World Cinema. Student participation and independent research are required, along with completion of a final project or term paper.
ENG 583: 18th Century Studies
Literature at the height of the neoclassical period is studied, with attention to social, historical, and philosophical background for the Augustans: Pope, Swift, and selected writings of DeFoe, Addison and Steele, and Gray. Pre-romantic themes and modes in poetry, prose, and drama of the Johnson era are analyzed.
ENG 585: Studies in English Romanticism
This course focuses on the two-fold achievement of the English Romantic Movement in effecting a break with the literary traditions of the past, and simultaneously anticipating the new attitudes current in our time.
ENG 587: Studies in English Renaissance Literature
Selected non-dramatic works written in England during the sixteenth century will be studied carefully: (1) for intellectual and cultural significance, and (2) for genre, techniques, styles, and aesthetic qualities.
ENG 589: 19th Century Studies
ENG 591: Shakespeare
Since it may be assumed that students electing this study have some familiarity with the major works of Shakespeare, attention will be directed primarily to the lesser-known plays. Also, in different years emphasis will center upon such selected areas as: (a) the tragedies, (b) the comedies, (c) the histories, and (d) the text of Shakespeare.
ENG 593: 20th Century British Novel
This class is a detailed study on some of the most influential writers of the 20th Century: Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Iris Murdoch, Somerset Maugham, Paul Kingsnorth and A. S. Byatt among others. We will examine narrative form, experimentation in voice and structure, the shifting landscape of culture, class, gender, identity, and sexualities.
ENG 594: Victorian Poetry
ENG 595: Victorian Prose
This class will study the important prose writers who flourished in Victorian England: Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Ellen Wood, Thomas Hardy, the Brontes, Anthony Trollope, and Elizabeth Gaskell among others. We will study the cultural concerns of the Victorians, shifting values in class and identity, canonical vs. popular literature, and the rise of literature as a middle class obsession.
ENG 599: Independent Study
This course allows individual pursuit in depth of a subject in English not covered within a regularly offered graduate course in English. Students in the M.A. program in English or the M.Ed. program in secondary education (English) may schedule this course for one to three (1-3) credits in a given semester. A maximum of six (6) credits of independent study is permitted in a student’s program. Permission of the chairperson of the English Department is required.