Department of English Course Descriptions—FALL 2014

Creative Writing Courses

CRW 285. Poetry Workshop (Professor Amy Catanzano)

In this beginning poetry workshop, students are given practical grounding as well as an exploratory space to experiment with a diverse range of approaches to writing poetry. An immersion into the craft of poetry writing, this course emphasizes attentiveness to the textures of language and the multiplicity of forms available to writers of poetry. Students provide feedback on the poetry of their peers and receive feedback in the workshop portion of the course. Students read contemporary poetry, engage in writing exercises, and write poetry from varied modes, from the intense and rigorous to the relaxed, speculative, and playful. Students gain experience in using literary devices such as metaphor, simile, alliteration, assonance, enjambment, and symbolism. We will explore autobiographical or post-confessional poetry; aleatoric (chance-based) approaches to writing poetry; documentary poetry; conceptual poetry; eco-poetics; poetry that uses traditional forms and meters; poetry that is abstract or resists linguistic meaning; poetry that is realistic or representational; neo-surrealist poetry; poetry that works with principles from the natural sciences; visual poetry; sound poetry; digital poetry; poetry that imaginatively investigates culture, race, class, and gender; and cross-genre writing. Students must be willing to be innovative, take risks with their poetry, and go beyond their perceived previous limits. Students attend two literary readings outside of class time. The final manuscript consists of a final portfolio of revised poetry (15 to 20 pages). A celebratory reading of student work takes place at the end of the semester.

CRW 286. Short Story Workshop (Professor Joanna Ruocco)

This workshop focuses on the craft of fiction writing and introduces students to a range of narrative strategies from a variety of aesthetic traditions. We’ll discuss the elements of story—character, point of view, plot, tone, dialogue, scene, etc—and read fiction that provides multiple perspectives on each. We will consider how we approach both “traditional” and “innovative” texts. How (and why) do we distinguish between fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose? We’ll read minimalist, realist, fabulist, postmodern, surrealist, new narrative, and hybrid works, while thinking critically about the literary usefulness and the limitations of genre labels. Over the semester, students will complete a variety of writing assignments.  The assignments are designed to provide them with a multiplicity of ways to construct narrative and will be discussed in class where students will receive supportive feedback from their colleagues.  The goal of the class is for each student to learn more about her/himself as a reader and writer, to practice the craft of fiction writing, to build a critical vocabulary to talk about narrative elements and genres (and to negotiate his/her own relationship to these terms), and to find new apertures into the creative process. By the end of the class, students will have collected and revised a portfolio that should provide them with exciting, varied material for further writing projects.

CRW 383. Theory and Practice of Poetry Writing (Professor Amy Catanzano)

This course is an advanced poetry workshop that builds on methods explored in the beginning poetry workshop. It offers students the opportunity to combine the writing of poetry with literary and aesthetic inquiries about poetics—the frames and theories informing the practice of poetry writing—that will bring further complexity and intention to their own work. We start from the notion that every poem has an implied or overt poetics and that writing poetry is an investigative process. Our goal is to create a collaborative space where, in addition to writing poems, students reflect on the personal, philosophical, cultural, and political implications of working with language as an artistic practice. Students critique the writing of their peers and receive critiques in the workshop portion of the course. Students read contemporary poetry, experiment with a range of approaches to writing poetry, and respond to current conversations about poetry and poetics. Students also attend two literary readings outside of class time and become familiar with print and online literary journals. For the course’s capstone project, students bind copies of their revised poetry (20 to 25 pages) in an edition to share with family, friends, and others in a chapbook-making session with a visiting book artist. A celebratory reading of student work takes place at the end of the semester. Pre-req: CRW 285 or POI. (Elective in English major)

CRW 384. Playwriting (Professor Andrews)

Description not available

CRW 398. Advanced Fiction Writing (Professor Joanna Ruocco)

This class is designed to generate new writing and to help students expand and revise existing work with the benefit of informed peer feedback. In addition, we will read books of fiction published by early career writers since 2000. As members of the classroom and program community, we will resist instinctively inscribing our own affinities into workshop pieces and instead attempt to pose questions that take into consideration the goals and interests of each individual writer. Some general questions we will consider when responding to both course readings and to our own work: What is the relation between the author and text? What is the relation between the text and the outside world? What processes and procedures are used in the writing? How are various subjectivities/identities marked, performed, complicated, or otherwise considered? How does this text situate itself in terms of genre? How explicitly does the author respond to the immediate writerly community and readerly audience? What is this author’s conception of “the book”? How does technology affect the creation and reception of narratives? What lineages is the writer/book claiming (and perhaps rejecting)? What theoretical or political concerns inform the writing? As a class, we will come up with additional questions. The course texts are by no means an aesthetic demarcation or ideal for the class, but they do suggest a number of directions in contemporary fiction. Students are encouraged to experiment with various narrative modes over the course of the semester. (Prerequisite for this course is ENG 286 or CRW 286.) (Elective in the Major)

Gateway Courses for the English Major: 

ENG 265 (A&B): British Literature- Intro to Major: The Mythical,The Imagined, and the Fantastic in Early English Literature (Professor Sarah Hogan)

"This introductory course to the major will broadly survey early British literature, beginning in the late Middle Ages and moving through the eighteenth century. Thematically, the course will focus on fantastical works from a variety of genres like romance, pastoral, utopia, epic, and proto-SciFi. To help us chart the formation and development of these traditions, texts that directly or indirectly “dialogue” with each other will be read in pairs and “intertextuality” will be a key concept of discussion.  Our readings will indulge our imaginations, depicting mythical Arthurian pasts, unknown lands that lie across the sea, and an England itself made strange through the frightening or liberating possibilities of a New Science. At the same time, we will also explore how writers employed fantastical or mythical fictions to real world ends, critiquing sovereigns, imagining an imperial or republican destiny for England, or grappling with the relationship between religion and science.  All along the way, we will also reflect on what is at stake in interpretation by approaching these texts from various critical angles and learning about some of the most influential methods of literary criticism. "

ENG 266: Gateway Course: British Literature 1800-Present (Professor Eric Wilson)

This gateway course for English majors will survey significant works from the British and postcolonial literary traditions since 1800.  Writers covered will include Blake, Wordsworth, Keats, Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, Woolf, Auden, Derek Walcott, Rushdie, and Zadie Smith.  The texts will be The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2, and selected novels.

ENG 275. Gateway Course: American Literature: Introduction to the Major (Prof. Judith Madera)

English 275 is designed to introduce English majors to significant American authors from a succession of periods and movements. It is also designed to broaden students’ awareness of the range and richness of American literature. In this class we will consider a number of different genres of writing. Seminar lectures and discussions will highlight key ideas and styles associated with various literary movements.  Students should expect to develop a strengthened foundational understanding of American literature from the 18
th through 20th centuries. Required readings from the Norton Anthology of American Literature Shorter 8th edition and select additional texts.  Authors we will consider include: Mather, Edwards, Crèvecoeur, Emerson, Hawthorne, Walker, Thoreau, Douglass, Dickinson, Turner, Martí, Jewett, Eliot, Faulkner, Larsen, Hemingway, Welty, Capote, Morrison.


ENG 301 (A): Oscar Wilde (Professor Melissa Jenkins)

This seminar presents the varied oeuvre of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), the self-proclaimed “Professor of Aesthetics” and, arguably, the first modern literary celebrity. The reading list will balance a reconsideration of his most famous works (The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray, De Profundis) with exposure to challenging, lesser-known works such as Salomé, the fairy tales, and the Poems in Prose. We will also attend to Wilde’s most important influences (Pater and Ruskin), to the controversial censorship of his “filthy” writings and the policing of his personal life (which culminated in his imprisonment for then-illegal homosexual activity), and, finally, the varied approaches to adapting his works in the years after his death. The class will be of particular interest to students interested in studying gender and sexuality. Wilde, briefly the editor of Woman’s World (he changed the title from Lady’s World) was a thoughtful critic on a number of social issues, including those related to non-normative performances of gender identity. This course is writing-intensive. Students will write four “position papers” (1 page thought pieces), as well as three formal essays of increasing length and sophistication. In our analysis of Wilde’s writing and our work with each other’s writing, we will focus on process. Each assignment is meant to build upon the previous assignment, allowing you to see an extended project to fruition in planned stages. This is a workshop-based discussion class rather than a lecture course; thus, participation in course discussion is essential.  (Meets Group IV: Single Author; Elective)

ENG 301 (B): Jane Austen (Professor Jessica Richard)

The academic study of Jane Austen was foundational to the development of English literature as a professional discipline in the early twentieth century, from the formal textual criticism of F. R. Leavis to the textual scholarship of R. W. Chapman’s Oxford edition of Austen’s novels.  In this course we will study both the work of Jane Austen and the history of Jane Austen criticism and scholarship.  We will read Austen’s novels, her juvenilia, a selection of her letters, a biography, and a broad historical selection of criticism from formalist assessments to feminist and Marxist critiques to cultural studies of film adaptations and Jane Austen clubs.  Students will thus learn to read critically an author they may once have loved uncritically while at the same time learning about the history of criticism itself.  [Meets Group IV: Single Author; Elective]

ENG 302c: Fictions of Geography: The Border and the Line (Professor Dean Franco)

This course will consider how sites of identity and forms of belonging are produced by borders, natural barriers, boundaries, and walls.  Working with literature and film from the US, Europe, and Israel/Palestine, we will consider how boundaries and borders compose, combine, and undermine geographical identities, and we will read  theory and philosophy on space and place, urban geographies, and the ethics of the neighbor on the way to understanding the difference (if any) between the border and the line[Meets Group III: Culture; Elective]

ENG 310c: The Medieval in the Modern World (Professor Gillian Overing)

What do medieval texts contribute to our understanding of a post-modern world? How might the pre-modern become a resource for elucidating or rethinking contemporary issues? Some of the areas we will investigate will be: concepts of individuality and community, heroism, the dynamics of religious conversion, nationalisms, emotions and affect, gender identities, and the aesthetics of place. This course offers the challenges and rewards of reading a wide variety of texts from the early medieval period,, and will also look also at modern versions of these themes and our current preoccupation with the medieval period. Texts include secular and ecclesiastical histories and laws, readings from Gildas, Bede, Alfred the “Great”; literary texts will include Anglo-Saxon poetry, Beowulf, The Mabinogion, Grettir’s Saga.,  We will also look at later and contemporary renditions of these texts and themes in poetry (Heaney, Levertov, Borges, Morgan), prose (John Gardner’s Grendel, Peter Tremayne’s Absolution by Murder,), and a selection of films (including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, King Arthur, Beowulf, Beowulf and Grendel, The Outlaw).

Class presentations, informal response papers, two research papers (5-7 pages), final exam and/or team presentation.  [Meets Group III: Culture; Pre-1800 Requirement.  Also meets the CD requirement.]

ENG 311: Legend of Arthur (Professor Gale Sigal)

The Legend of Arthur is a broad river into which myth, history and art flow and commingle.  Its source is pre-historic but its shape and substance continue to be drawn and redrawn even to our own time.  The course will seek out the origins of the legendary leader, delve into the mythic past of the British Isles, scan and study medieval historical records and along the way assess the relevance of historical, social, political, artistic and religious movements.  All of this will be done by reading major literary texts, primarily (but not exclusively) medieval. [Meets Group II: History; Pre-1800 Requirement]

ENG 323: Shakespeare (Professor Olga Valbuena)

We will read plays and poems from Shakespeare’s career as chief dramatist for The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and, later, The King’s Men. Our class discussions will involve close analysis of Shakespeare’s language, his culture, and the various moral, political, and aesthetic issues raised in the plays and poetry. We will favor a thematic over chronological order of reading so that we can build on our progressive examination of love, gender, and friendship; reciprocal obligation, and king and kinship. In relation to these issues, we’ll examine domestic and political tyranny—and of course, revenge and moral redemption. Required Text: The Necessary Shakespeare, 3rd New Kittredge editions of plays such as Richard II, 1 Henry IV, Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, As You Like It, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. Writing Requirement: two essays, a midterm or final and occasional response papers plus group or individual presentations. [Meets Group IV: Single Author; Pre-1800 and Shakespeare Requirement]

ENG 325: Sixteenth-century British Literature (Professor Sarah Hogan)

When the sixteenth century began, and Henry VII—that first Tudor monarch—sat on the throne, England was a resolutely Catholic state, and an island with relatively little power or cultural prestige on the world stage. But by the end of the century, Protestantism had become the state-sanctioned religion, a female monarch had held the crown for four decades, London had nearly quadrupled in size, English vessels were already venturing to the newly discovered lands of the Americas, and republican sentiments were on the rise. In the interim, British literature had undergone a revival, or a Renaissance, occasioned in part by a continent-wide spirit of humanist inquiry and an explosion in print culture. This course will explore how writers of the period gave expression to—and found meaning in—the experiences of early modernity by reinventing older literary forms and employing new ones altogether. In particular, our close examinations of Renaissance poetry, prose, and drama will consider the ways in which British writers participated in the construction of a particularly national cultural identity.

While secondary readings of criticism and theory—especially of a new historicist and cultural materialist variety—will guide us in our reading, the bulk of this course will be devoted to an examination of the major and minor works of Tudor England, including Thomas More’s Utopia; sonnets by Wyatt, Howard, Sidney, Daniel, Drayton, and Shakespeare; poetry by women writers like Isabella Whitney and Mary Sidney Herbert; sixteenth-century aesthetic theory like A Defense of Poesy; Christopher Marlowe’s queer mythological poem Hero and Leander; lengthy excerpts from Spenser’s amazing “Cult of Elizabeth” romance epic, The Faerie Queene; “popular culture” like pamphlets, ballads, and broadsides; and two important plays on dissent and disorder in the absolutist state, Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy and Shakespeare’s Richard II. Assessment will likely include two major essays, reading responses and quizzes, student participation, and an independently researched, student-generated course Wiki on sixteenth-century British writers. [Meets Group II: History; Pre-1800 Requirement]

ENG 336: Restoration and Eighteenth Century British Drama (Professor Claudia Kairoff)

After a long period of enforced inactivity during the Puritan regime, London theatres reopened in 1660 with the return of King Charles II from exile.  The ensuing Restoration period witnessed some of the most sparkling comedies ever produced by English writers.  In addition, scathing satires and idealistic tragedies reveal the extent of both bitter cynicism and hopes for renewal typical of the era.  These trends evolved in the eighteenth century, with softer humor and tragedies that explored the potential heroism of middle class individuals.


We will read a selection of plays representing the variety of Restoration and eighteenth-century British drama.  The course requirements will include several short essays, willingness to read aloud and act in class-staged scenes, and to prepare for the final examination a substantial scene from among the plays on our syllabus. Examples of plays we may read include The Man of Mode (Etherege), The Rover (Behn), All for Love (Dryden), The Country Wife (Wycherley), The Way of the World (Congreve), A Bold Stroke for a Wife (Centlivre), The Beaux’ Strategem (Farquhar), Cato (Addison), The Beggar’s Opera (Gay), The London Merchant (Lillo), The Belle’s Stratagem (Cowley), She Stoops to Conquer (Goldsmith), The School for Scandal (Sheridan). [Meets Group I: Genre; Elective]

ENG 341g. Literature and the Environment (Professor Judith Madera)

This course looks at the ways literature illuminates environment. It introduces students to significant works of American, Caribbean and African literature, and it poses questions about the connections between nature and culture (how ideas and meanings are made.) Students in this class will explore the dynamic links between ecology and world literature. Readings will be enhanced by an examination of current ecological and environmental theory.

Authors may include: Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Jewett, Faulkner,
Kerouac, Carson, Leopold, Lopez, Rhys, Merwin, Head, Walcott, Coetzee,
Kingsolver, Erdrich, Danticat, and Theroux.
[Meets Group I: Genre Requirement, Major Elective, and Environmental Studies Minor credit]

ENG 350: British Romantic Poets (Professor Eric Wilson)

We’ll study the poetry and related prose of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats.  Here are some of the texts we’ll read. lake:                The Book of Thel

                Visions of the Daughter of Albion

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Songs of Innocence and Experience


Wordsworth:        “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”

“Preface to Lyrical Ballads

“Ode: Intimations on Immortality”

The Prelude (selections)

The Recluse (selections)

“Resolution and Independence”

“Elegiac Stanzas”

Coleridge:        “This Limetree Bower My Prison”

                “The Nightingale”

 “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

“Kubla Khan”


“Dejection: An Ode”

Biographia Literaria (selections)

Byron:                “Prometheus”


Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (selections)

Don Juan (selections)


Shelley:                “Mont Blanc”

“Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”

 “Ode to the West Wind”

Prometheus Unbound

“On Life”

“On Love”

“Defense of Poetry”

Keats:                “The Eve of St. Agnes”

Fall of Hyperion: A Dream 

Hyperion:         “Bright Star”

“Ode on a Grecian Urn”

“Ode to Melancholy”

“Ode to a Nightingale”

“Ode to Psyche”

 “To Autumn”

[Meets Group II: History; Elective]

ENG 358c: Postcolonial Literature (Professor Omaar Hena)

The British Empire at its height in 1921 encompassed a quarter of the earth’s surface. In the era after World War II, however, Britain’s former colonies struggled, often violently, to overthrow colonial rule and to establish national independence and self-definition. Resistance to British imperialism was not solely a matter of contesting political governance, economic exploitation, or racial discrimination. It also entailed re-imagining the imperial legacy of the English language, literature, and culture. This seminar examines how postcolonial writers from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean respond to the violence of imperial modernity, from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902) through Arundahti Roy’s The God of Small Things (1996). As we journey across world literature, we will simultaneously venture into postcolonial criticism and theory, asking how literature and criticism intersect with and depart from one another concerning the condition of postcoloniality. For instance, the course will probe how postcolonial literature and theory contend with a range of problems including the relation between European imperialism and its racial others; the writing of the colonial subject; the question of resistance to colonialism in the midst of torture and terror; the tumult of decolonization and national independence; the experience of migration, diaspora, and hybridity; the formation of national, racial, and gendered and sexual identities within the colonial matrix; the onslaught of globalization upon postcolonial states; the future of postcolonial studies in the aftermath of 9/11; and the global inheritance of the western literary tradition in a transnational frame. Above all, this class will ask the dialectical question: what is the power of writing in political and cultural crisis, and what are the claims of theory upon the postcolonial condition?


Required texts will likely include:

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Norton Critical)

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (Norton Critical)

Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero (Zed)

J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (Penguin)

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (Random House)

Derek Walcott, Selected Poems (FSG)

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (Random House)

[Meets Group III: Culture; Elective]

365: Twentieth Century British Fiction (Professor Scott Klein)

In this course we will be reading a range of English and Irish novels, from the early 20th century through the 1930s. We will concentrate on the stylistic experimentation of Modernism, and the era’s late and multiple pulls toward satire, realism, and the avant-garde. We’ll also focus on the nature of the individual within British and European society, and authors' differing treatments of sexual, cultural, historical, and religious difference. Two papers, midterm, final exam.

Texts: Conrad, Heart of Darkness(Penguin)
Forster, Howards End (Penguin)
Ford, The Good Soldier (Penguin)
Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin)
Lewis, Tarr (Oxford)
Lawrence, Women in Love (Penguin)
West, The Return of the Soldier (Penguin)
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (HBJ)
[Meets Group I: Genre; Elective]

ENG 372: American Romanticism- The Individual and Society, Nature and Civilization in 19th-Century American Literature and Art (Professor William Moss)

We will consider these topics and conflicts inherent in them in selected writings of Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman, with attention to parallel developments in the art of the period, including paintings by Edward Hicks, Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand, Frederick Edwin Church, William Sidney Mount, George Caleb Bingham, and Thomas Eakins. The course will include a visit to Reynolda House Museum of American Art.

Requirements include group presentations, brief individual reports, and a major paper.

[Meets Group II: History; American Requirement]

ENG 375. American Drama (Professor Brook Davis, WFU Dept. of Theatre)

No description available.[Meets Group I: Genre; American Requirement]

ENG 381: American Slavery in the Modern Literary Imagination (Professor Rian Bowie)

From films and documentaries to graphic non-fictions to literature, reanimated histories about American slavery have provided contemporary audiences with an array of materials through which to engage with experiences often neglected or forgotten within the historical record. In this course, we will examine a variety of contemporary texts that directly or indirectly signify upon eighteenth and nineteenth century bodies of knowledge about slavery and freedom.  In particular, discussions will focus on some of the ways that modern artists have both reaffirmed and re-imagined these histories in both form and content.  Each work, to a degree, reinterprets subject matter by challenging the seemingly stable assumptions about race, geography, and identity.  Throughout the semester, we will interrogate these materials and the nuanced ways that they move their respective audiences towards contemporary questions about racial nationalisms in slavery and in freedom.

Texts may include:                                                           Films (tentative):

Octavia Butler’s Kindred                                                   Twelve Years a Slave

Maryse Conde’s I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem      Sankofa

James McBride’s Good Lord Bird                                     Django Unchained

Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada

Kyle Barker’s Nat Turner

M. NourbeSe Phillip’s Zong                     [Meets Group III: Culture; American Requirement]

ENG 385: 20th Century American Poetry (Professor Philip Kuberski)

Consciousness is the most mysterious fact in the natural world.  Modern science and philosophy may attempt to account for consciousness according to their disciplinary methods, but poetry has from the beginning of recorded history represented consciousness.  For the purposes of this course, we will consider how poetry dramatizes what one can call the adventures of the subject, self, or I.  We will see, as Alva Noe has recently argued, that consciousness is not an interior event, per se.  It is, as Gregory Bateson has argued, a kind of ecology that includes the natural world, the human body, and an array cultural and linguistic practices. We will begin by establishing the foundations of modern American poetry in the 19th Century (Emerson, Whitman and Dickinson) and then turn to four 20th Century poets: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gary Snyder.  Beyond assessing the meanings and contexts of consciousness as a worldly activity, we will deal with associated themes: cosmos, chaos, ecology, supreme fictions, and Mahayana Buddhism.  Three papers (7-8 pages) and seminar reports.


Emerson, Essays and Poems

Whitman, Leaves of Grass 

Dickinson, Final Harvest

Frost, Frost Reader

Stevens, Selected Poems

Bishop, Complete Poems

Snyder, Mountains and Rivers without End.

[Meets Group I: Genre; American Requirement]

ENG 389c:African-American Poetry- The Poets Speak of History (Professor Erica Still)

African American poetry stands as a rich tradition of attention to language, form, music, innovation, and literary vision. From Phyllis Wheatley’s poem in praise of George Washington to Elizabeth Alexander’s recitation at President Obama’s inauguration, African American poets have been witnesses to and participants in the unfolding story of the United States. This course will focus on that poetic tradition as it traces the country’s history. Our investigations will focus on understanding both the difference and the relationship between “history” and “poetry”: what can poetry tell us that history cannot? A particular interest in history (or poetry, for that matter) is certainly welcome but not required for success in this course. Readings will include works by Natasha Tretheway, Robert Hayden, Lucille Clifton, and Langston Hughes, among others. We may also spend time with the library’s special collection of African American Poetry Manuscripts. Course work will include various written assignments and an oral presentation.

[Meets Group III: Culture; American Requirement]

ENG 390: The Structure of English (Professor Laura Aull)

Most native speakers use English without thinking consciously about the intricacies of words, phrases, and other structures that dictate its use. But in fact, the English language is a complex, rule-governed system, from how sounds are strung together to how we take turns in conversation, from where new words come from to why Americans speak different dialects. In this course, we will systematically uncover the many levels of structure working in language as well as the ways speakers learn and change language over time. We will also discuss social and educational issues tied up in language, including attitudes toward dialects, the teaching of Standard English, and language and gender. Coursework will consist of regular short assignments, two short papers, a midterm, and a final.

Required Texts

Curzan, Anne, and Michael Adams. 2012. How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. 3rd ed. New York: Pearson Longman. (Be sure to get the 3rd edition.)

Course packet (available at the University bookstore)


ENG 391: Studies in Postmodernism (Professor James Hans)

This class will investigate the relations between Modernism and Postmodernism by exploring their links in both literary and philosophical texts. The exemplars of Modernism will be works by Nietzsche, Wallace Stevens, and Virginia Woolf. Postmodernism will be represented by writings from Heidegger, Derrida, Thomas Bernhard, Anne Carson, Lydia Davis, Harryette Mullen, and Lance Olsen.

[Meets Group I: Genre; Elective]