Courses Offered (Fall 2020)

Undergraduate Courses


First-Year English (UCCS Rhetoric Requirement)

1001 Foundations in Rhetoric (Foundation Tier)

Various days and times, see Snapshot
English 1001, Foundations in Rhetoric

Students learn to:

  • Critically engage scholarly communication by identifying and analyzing the main rhetorical features of variously mediated texts used by scholars to express ideas in academic settings;
  • Pursue inquiry with rigor and responsibility by formulating feasible and meaningful research questions and revising them while conducting thorough, ethical inquiries using appropriate available resources;
  • Understand writing as a purpose-driven, audience-oriented, multimodal activity that involves writers in making continuous ethical and informed choices;
  • Develop writing by engaging in overlapping phases of invention, synthesis of ideas and information, and revision undertaken in response to others' feedback and self-critique;
  • Deliver writing by making full use of appropriate available media, genres, formats and styles;
  • Write with exigence by addressing issues of importance with the goal of increasing one's own and others' understanding as a foundation for future action of various kinds;
  • Develop an appropriate ethos by meeting academic audiences' expectations for credibility, consistency, and integrity.
  • For additional details, including unit-by-unit syllabi, contact either Dr. Rebecca Nowacek or Dr. Amelia Zurcher.

 UCCS Literature and Performing Arts Requirements

Pre-2018 University Core Literature Courses (ENGL 2000 and 2010)

ENGL course numbers 2000 and 2010 fulfill the University Core of Common Studies requirement in Literature/Performing Arts (LPA) for students enrolled prior to Fall 2018.

2000 Literature, History, and Culture

103 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Jacob Riyeff

Course Title: Dreams, Visions, Western Culture

Course Description: We have dreams and (at least some of us have) visions, but the ways these are experienced and interpreted are heavily influenced by the cultures, societies, and interpretive communities to which we belong. In this course, we will take a sweeping oneiric journey through the last millennium of western culture—with an emphasis on Anglophone literature—to see how literary and visual artists have explored self, society, the divine, language, and art itself through their treatment of dream and vision. After glancing back to the biblical and classical antecedents, we will study dream visions from the tenth through twenty-first centuries in association with historical context and major ideas from contemporary thinkers to see how these are reflected in and critique the various shifts and turns of western culture. Works studied will include the Old English Dream of the Rood; works by Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Jack Kerouac; and films such as David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. In this course you will gain greater understanding of the cultural history of the west, learn a number of strategies literary and visual artists employ to explore pressing questions, and develop communication skills you can employ to both interpret such works and articulate your own contribution to the ongoing and wide ranging discussion of contemporary culture. 

2010 Literature and Genre

101 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Ron Bieganowski, S.J.

Course Title: Literature and Genre: How texts mean: Fiction-Poems-Plays.  

Course Description:  Flannery O'Connor wrote that "the main concern of the fiction writer is with mystery as it is incarnated in human life." (Mystery and Manners)   

This section of Literature and Genre will discuss its analysis of how the stories, poems, and plays begin to unfold the human mystery incarnated in texts created by some of the most imaginative writers, particularly American writers.  Included will be texts by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, Tennessee Williams and August Wilson, Robert Frost and Adrienne Rich, Mary Oliver, Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Amy Tan, James Baldwin along with others.   The readings, reflection, and discussion of stories of human mystery will lend an individual tone to what James Baldwin describes as the artist's task: "...while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.  There isn't any other tale to tell.... ("Sonny's Blues")

Readings:  Will include “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” "Daisy Miller," The Glass Menagerie, "Neighbour Rosicky," "Birches" "Big Two-Hearted River," Fences, “Half and Half” and "Sonny's Blues."

Assignments:  Two papers (4-5 pp.), several "Reflections" (1 p. each), a few quizzes, and final exam (essay) will be required.  Class will be primarily discussion format because "it takes a whole class to get at how stories mean."

 



Marquette Core Curriculum: ESSV Courses

2020 Text, Social Systems, and Values (ESSV 1)

101 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Amber Strother

Course Title:  Beyond the Anthropocene: Imagining the Future of Our Planet

Course Description: What does the future of Earth look like? What consequences do the actions of humans have on the world around them? What potential threats to our environment does technology and progress contain? What social inequities can result from drastic changes to our society and environment? This exploration of the genres of science fiction and environmental writings will engage with these questions in order to better understand the ways in which literature considers the impact of developing technologies, changes to the environment, and society on Earth’s future. This course will consider how these works offer alternative visions of how humanity and our society will be impacted by technology in ways that define the future of our environment. By examining the cultural and historical contexts of the works, we will also consider the ways in which narratives about the future and our environment engage with social issues involving gender, race, class, ability, and equality/inequality.

Readings: Our texts may include non-fiction, poetry, short stories, novels, film and television, and comics. Possible texts include Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Paulo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, Alex Garland’s Annihilation, or Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne.

Assignments: Participation in class discussions, reading responses, research project, and creative project.

 

102 MW 3:30-4:45

 

103 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Cedric Burrows

Course Title: I Am We: Memoirs of the Civil Rights Movement 

Course Description:  This course will focus on narratives written by participants in the Civil Rights Movement (1955-1975). We will study how these participants used their narratives to give voice to those who are often overlooked in mainstream narratives about the era. The course will also investigate how the authors used their accounts to respond to common perceptions (and misperceptions) about the movement. In the process, we will explore the Civil Rights Movement as a grassroots movement occurring in several locations that created a national movement. 

Readings:  Readings will include: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It—JoAnn Gibson Robinson; March Trilogy—John Lewis; Negroes with Guns—Robert F. Williams; The Autobiography of Malcolm X—Malcolm X; Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community—Martin Luther King, Jr.; Revolutionary Suicide—Huey P. Newton 

Assignments:  Reading Responses; Quizzes; Midterm; Final; Class Participation

 

104 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Al Rivero

Course Title: Representing Race from Othello to Native Son

Course Description: Beginning with Othello and focusing on six other works written between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, this course examines how race--specifically “race” as defined within the context of slavery and its aftermath--is represented by authors writing at different historical moments, from different historical perspectives, circumstances, and locations. Written by both men and women, of different nationalities and ethnicities, and set in Europe, Africa and the so-called new world of the Americas, these works will help you understand how your own attitudes and beliefs about race have been shaped by a long and complex historical process. Whatever your ethnic or racial background, twenty-first century Marquette students inhabit a historical moment in which diversity is not only an ineluctable fact but also appears to be a good thing. It has not always been so, as the readings in this course, as well as class discussions, will remind you.

Readings: William Shakespeare, Othello (1604); Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave (1688); The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (1789); Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852); Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899); Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966); Richard Wright, Native Son (1940).

Assignments: One oral presentation; two short papers (about 5pp. each); midterm examination; comprehensive final examination; class participation; and regular attendance.

105 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Rebecca Nowacek

Course Title: The Jury Project

Course Description: A vigorous democracy relies on the ability of its citizens to engage in collective deliberation on complex issues. In this class, students will be acting as members of a mock jury and working together with classmates to solve shared problems while negotiating conflict and difference. Through in-class discussion and debate of three cases that have recently appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States, you will learn about what it means to argue for a particular audience about what you believe. The oral and written communication you practice in this course will help you develop skills in arguing, critiquing, analyzing, summarizing, visualizing, and listening to difficult conflicts and concepts. This course is not about the law or the jury system in America (although you will no doubt learn a lot about both), nor is it a class dominated by mock trials. This course, ultimately, is meant to expand your idea of what it means to be a writer within a community and perhaps too what it means to be an engaged citizen of a democracy.

Readings: Texts will include the petitioner and respondent, as well as some amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court for three cases.

Assignments:  Will include four written assignments for each of the three cases: summary of brief, synthesis map, dialogue, and final opinion.  In addition, each class participant will serve as the “advocate” to represent one brief at some point in the semester, and all participants will be expected to actively participate in class-wide deliberations.

 

106 TuTh 3:30-4:45

 

107 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Amber Strother

Course Title:  More Human Than Human: Technology and the Body 

Course Description: What does it mean to be human? How are the lines between human and nonhuman blurred in science fiction? How do current and future technology shape our bodies? In what ways does science fiction focus on social issues to call for action and revolution? This course will engage with these questions to better understand the ways in which science fiction reflects societal fears about the shifting definition of what it means to be human. We will consider how these works offer alternative visions of gender and sexuality, developing technologies, future societies, and images of the posthuman. We will also look at the real-life developments of technologies like genetic engineering, cloning, and artificial intelligence to understand how science and science fiction are influenced by one another. By examining the cultural and historical contexts of the works, we will consider the ways in which science fiction engages with social issues involving gender, race, class, ability, and equality/inequality. 

Readings: Our texts may include non-fiction, poetry, short stories, novels, film and television, and comics. Possible texts include Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, BBC America’s Orphan Black, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, Octavia Butler’s Dawn, or Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca

Assignments: Participation in class discussions, reading responses, research project, and creative project.

108 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Paul Gagliardi

Course Title: The Suburbs

Course Description:  As of 2018, roughly half of all Americans live in the suburbs, but how did this happen and how do we think about the suburbs as a space? This course will explore the history and culture of the suburbs in America, with an emphasis on readings from the post-World War II era. We will examine the impact of the suburbs on American society through readings from a variety of academic disciplines, including urban planning, sociology, history, and philosophy. Throughout the term, we will consider such suburban topics as gender norms, the proliferation of fast food restaurants and malls, cultural paranoia, suburban sprawl, and alienation. And we will examine suburban issues through a range of texts, including  modern and postmodern novels, short stories and poems, contemporary plays, television sitcoms from the 1950s and today, and horror films, paying careful attention to how the suburbs have shaped art, but also how art has shaped the suburbs.

Readings: Our texts will likely include Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt, Gloria Naylor, Linden Hills, short stories by John Cheever, Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique , John Carpenter, Halloween (1978), Jordan Harrison, Maple and Pine, Will Eno, The Realistic Joneses

Assignments: Short written responses, mid-term exam, oral presentation, final argumentative project.

 

109 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Steve Hartman Keiser

Course Title:  Me-mory and Them-mory: memoirs and empathy

Course Description: What’s your story? Your life (and mine!) does not simply happen to you as a series of objective events. Your life is a story formed from the collection of stories that you hear others tell about you, and—most importantly—the stories that you tell to yourself about yourself. The goal of this course is to encounter and enjoy important stories, with particular focus on the genre of the memoir. We will consider how stories (of immigrants, injustices, and indigenous people) are windows to understanding the breadth of human experience and re-imagining our own lives.

Readings: James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Trevor Noah, Reyna Grande, Sherman Alexie, and others.

Assignments: Discussions, reflections, 2 essays.

This course is an ESSV 1 course in the Marquette Common Core.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Recognize the intellectual and emotional dimensions of more than one worldview and begin to negotiate a shared understanding based on differences between your own and other worldviews.
  • Explain how history and culture and language illuminate the fundamental questions of human experience. 

110 MWF 8:00-8:50

 

111 MWF 9:00-9:50

 

112 TuTh 2:00-3:15

 

701 TuTh 5:00-6:15 Professor Thomas Simons

Course Title: Countercultures: Art, Community, and Resistance from the Beat Generation to the Grateful Dead

Course Description: In The Making of a Counter Culture (1968), Theodore Roszak characterizes “the counter culture” as resisting “the final consolidation of a technocratic totalitarianism in which we shall find ourselves ingeniously adapted to an existence wholly estranged from everything that has ever made … life … an interesting adventure.” The “emerging technocratic paradise” attempts to “denature the imagination by appropriating to itself the whole meaning of Reason, Reality, Progress, and Knowledge.” Our adventure will start from the emergence of the Beat Generation in the Eisenhower Era of the 1950s, continuing through the decades of the traveling psychedelic circus of the Grateful Dead and the legion of Deadheads. Along the way, we will also encounter the music of Bob Dylan and the emergence of New American Cinema. Our course will follow the formation of countercultural communities and their efforts to reclaim and renew the imagination by exploring the ways they use art to challenge the status quo and re-envision reason, reality, progress, and knowledge.

Readings: Our texts will include fiction, non-fiction, essays, poetry, music, and film: selected works of William Wordsworth; Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) and The Dharma Bums (1958); selections from The Portable Beat Reader; the music of Bob Dylan; Mike Nichols, The Graduate (1962); Abbie Hoffman, Revolution for the Hell of It (1968) (selections); Haskell Wexler, Medium Cool (1969); Dennis Hopper, Easy Rider (1969); The Grateful Dead Reader; Peter Richardson, No Simple Highway; Ulf Olsson, Listening for the Secret: The Grateful Dead and the Politics of Improvisation; episodes from Amir Bar-Lev’s documentary Long Strange Trip (2017); and the music of the Dead.

Assignments: Engaged participation in class discussions, discussion board posts, research paper, and midterm and final examinations.

 

2030 Global Literatures (ESSV 1)

101 TuTh 3:30-4:45

Course Description:  Engages students with the challenging process of reading fictional and nonfictional texts from a range of cultures across the world. Investigates the nature and formation of discursive communities, and the reasons why some of those communities have power and status and others do not. Examines how literary texts register and transmit social equality and inequality, how literature acts as an agent for social change and how reading and writing can create bridges between cultures. Through content, assignments and assessment processes students are challenged to recognize their own positions in social systems and to think about how they contribute to creating conditions of equality/inclusivity or inequality/exclusion. The goal is to reflect on our own values and social contexts in order to imagine how best to engage social systems and values systems different from our own.

 

102 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor Sherri Hoffman
103 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Sherri Hoffman 

Course Title: Pandemic Literature

Course Description: This course is the study of literature that depicts or responds to a pandemic of disease or illness. These are the stories of zombies, vampires, and otherworldly beings who become representative of the sick, afflicted, and disabled. It explores the response by cultural and social structures, the consequences to the affected population in terms of the economy, its shared resources—both human and material—as well as the physical, emotional, and spiritual impacts to the individual. Students will analyze how the texts engage issues of social structures, competition, protest, culture, gender roles, diversity, and racial and ethnic values, among others. Readings are diverse and will explore how cultural relationships with disease and illness reflects, reframes, resists, or reinforces different beliefs and values. Each text is an invitation to explore aspects of humanity as taxed by a pandemic force. Supporting materials for historical and cultural context include essays, video clips, and book excerpts. 

Readings: Two novels, two novellas, short stories and essays, excerpts of select books, and a documentary are selected for a broad international and intercultural representation. Authors represent a variety of race, gender, and culture. Several of the works will be in translation. Support materials for historical and cultural contexts include essays, video, literary theory, and secondary criticism. Texts include (in full or part): The Iliad, by Homer; Decameron (Boccaccio); I Am Legend (Richard Matheson); Dark Horse, Dark Rider (Katherine Anne Porter); Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez); Zone One (Colson Whitehead); The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai (John Tayman); Pathologies of Power (Paul Farmer); and others.

Assignments: Over the course of the semester, students will participate in group presentations and discussion responses to the readings, write three short critical responses (2-3 pages each), and one critical analysis project (10-12 pages plus additional creative options). Evaluation also includes a written midterm exam and several in-class or group writing exercises.

104 TuTh 8:00-9:15
105 TuTh 2:00-3:15
106 MWF 10:00-10:50
107 MWF 2:00-2:50
108 MWF 11:00-11:50
109 MWF 1:00-1:50

Course Description:  Engages students with the challenging process of reading fictional and nonfictional texts from a range of cultures across the world. Investigates the nature and formation of discursive communities, and the reasons why some of those communities have power and status and others do not. Examines how literary texts register and transmit social equality and inequality, how literature acts as an agent for social change and how reading and writing can create bridges between cultures. Through content, assignments and assessment processes students are challenged to recognize their own positions in social systems and to think about how they contribute to creating conditions of equality/inclusivity or inequality/exclusion. The goal is to reflect on our own values and social contexts in order to imagine how best to engage social systems and values systems different from our own.

 

Writing Courses

3210 Writing Practices and Processes (WRIT)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Jenn Fishman

Course Title:  Writing What We Know, 2001-2021
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Writing Practices and Processes requirement for ENGA and ENGW majors. Fulfills ENGL major Elective requirement.

Course Description: In this section of English 3210, we will take the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as the occasion for examining how writing shapes what we know, how we know it, and how we share our knowledge with others. In the first half of the semester, we will explore writing and knowing after September 11th, asking how different methods of writing research and different kinds of writing help us address questions about 9/11 and its aftermaths (e.g., how did college students experience 9/11, how did 9/11 become part of college culture as well as everyday life, how does 9/11 inform our lives today). The second half of the semester will be dedicated to hands-on research: Everyone will have the option of contributing to a collaborative class project or pursuing a project of their own (i.e., a scholarly essay, a documentary podcast or video, a teaching guide, a 'zine). Participants in this course should be prepared to read, talk, and write in a supportive environment about difficult topics, including violence, war, racism, terrorism, death, suicide, and loss. 

Readings: Include the textbook Bad Ideas about Writing (online, free), Steal Like an Artist by August Kleon (online or hardcopy, approx. $20), and selections from the Stanford Study of Writing digital archive (online, free). 

Assignments: Regular reading, writing, peer exchanges, and reflection; a multi-stage project developed over 8 weeks.

 

3220 Writing for Workplaces (WRIT)

101 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Elizabeth Angeli

Course Title: Writing for Workplaces
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement.

Course Description:  How will you use your Marquette experience in the workplace and in the community? Are you looking for an internship, a job, or a graduate program? Have you struggled with writing and want to improve? 

This course introduces you to the written communication practices you’ll use off-campus, also known as professional communication. Professional communication is essential to succeeding in workplaces and organizations of all types where effective communicators adapt their writing for a variety of audiences and purposes.

This class, in content and form, models successful professional communication practices so that you become confident in your own skills. You will learn effective strategies to communicate by working individually and collaboratively to complete course projects that are tailored to your personal and career goals.

The course covers the following principle topics:

  • Develop the mindset and habits of an ethical, effective professional communicator
  • Discern how the skills and knowledge you’ve learned at Marquette have prepared you to be a competitive job/graduate school applicant regardless of major
  • Learn workplace research methods, including interviews, survey design, and usability testing
  • Craft your document design skills and learn design software, like InDesign
  • Hone your writing skills by planning, drafting, revising, and editing workplace documents, like proposals, presentations, reports, and instructions

Readings: Johnson-Sheehan, Richard. Technical Communication Today. 6thed., Pearson/Longman, 2018.

Assignments: You will create a professional career portfolio that includes a cover letter or personal statement, résumé, documentation/instructions, reports, and reflections. All projects are individualized to meet students’ individual goals, needs, and interests.

 

3240 Introduction to Creative Writing (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Individuals and Communities)

101 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Sebastian Bitticks
102 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Sebastian Bitticks

Course Title:  Introduction to Creative Writing
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement

Course Description:  In this course, students will learn to read and write short fiction, creative memoirs, and lyric poetry. The structure of the course allows for studio writing time, group workshops, and revision exercises. Class sessions can be intense but are always very supportive. The culminating project is a portfolio of finished pieces in three genres. 

3241 Crafting the Short Story (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Sherri Hoffman

 

4221 The Rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (ESSV 2, WRIT)

101 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Cedric Burrows

Course Title: Rereading Martin Luther King and Malcolm X

Course Description: Contemporary narratives often frame Martin Luther King and Malcolm X as polar opposites of each other, which results in King being viewed as the dreamer of an integrated society while Malcolm X is the nightmare counterpart to that dream. This course, therefore, will explore the rhetoric of King and Malcolm X within their historical contexts. To that end, we will read the original texts and speeches of both men along with learning the historical and cultural worlds that influenced their rhetorics. Also, we will compare the original texts and speeches with contemporary narratives about King and Malcolm X. In the process, students will study how society shapes narratives about historical figures— especially when that figure is part of a marginalized group—and how those narratives influence future generations.

Readings:

Martin Luther King

  • Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story
  • Why We Can’t Wait
  • Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 

Malcolm X

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X 

Assignments: Reading responses, midterm, and research paper 

4250 Creative Writing: Fiction (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Sherri Hoffman

***Please note that this section is reserved for students who are not English majors.

Course Title:  Creative Writing: Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement

Course Description: The Seminar in Fiction is the study of the craft of fiction within the context of the culture in which it is produced. This course investigates how storytelling represents, reflects, reframes, and resists or reinforces cultural beliefs and values. The workshop structure allows for an active discussion of student work. Readings are a diverse selection of authors as examples of craft and the diversity of voice. Supporting craft materials include essays, video clips, and book excerpts, which invite the study of language and story reimagining our world.

Readings: Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin; Story Prize Anthology, by Larry Dark, editor; and supportive essays from Raymond Carver, George Orwell, Robert Boswell, Jamaica Kincaid, Steve Almond, Neil Gaiman, and others.

Assignments: Over the course of the semester, students will give a class presentation, and write craft exercises, workshop reviews, three pieces of original fiction, and a craft essay.

  

102 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor CJ Hribal

**Please note that this section is reserved for English majors.  Section 101 is for nonmajors.  

Course Title: Creative Writing: Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement

Course Description: This course gives students an opportunity both to exercise their narrative imagination and to harness it productively.  Some student work will be generated by assignment; some will be self-generated.  The emphasis in both cases will be on learning craft. The class will be organized as a workshop, with lectures as necessary.  Students will learn the mechanics of writing fiction by reading, discussing, and analyzing fiction from a technical, practitioner’s perspective, and by writing it themselves. Students will learn to describe and interpret fiction’s various styles, techniques, and effects through annotations and writing exercises focused on the specifics of craft: characterization, setting, voice, narrative structure, etc. Through writing fully-developed stories, and through workshopping and revising and reflecting on those stories, students will both refine and integrate those techniques while furthering their understanding of the creative process.

Readings: On Writing Short Stories (Oxford, 2nd edition), Tom Bailey, ed. + student work generated during the semester.

Assignments:  In addition to writing several exercises (2-4 pages each) covering the basics of craft, students will write at least one short story, approximately 8-15 pages.  They will also write three short annotations examining some aspect of narrative craft on stories from On Writing Short Stories.  A portfolio (15-20 pages) of their best creative work will be due at the end of the semester. 

 

4260 Creative Writing: Poetry (WRIT)

MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor Tyler Farrell

Course Title: Creative Writing: Poetry

Course Description: Modeled on Jack Spicer’s Poetry as Magic Workshop, this creative writing course helps students discover magic in language. The goals are two-fold: 1. Introduce writers to a wide range of contemporary poets and poetry for discussion and 2. Contemplate works to inform and encourage exploration in (y)our own poetry. This workshop class will place specific poetic attention on word choice, sound, voice, subject matter, and style for writing poems and ways to understand the enlightening power of poetry. All students will read and write weekly while also engaging in workshops to critique and offer guidance. Time and space to practice writing poetry is our constant aim. A supportive community of writers will help to cultivate a helpful atmosphere and a final portfolio of work. Go poetry! 

 

4954 Seminar in Creative Writing (WRIT)

MW 3:30-4:45 Professor CJ Hribal

Course Title:  Seminar in Writing: Fiction: Telling the Truth By Making Stuff Up

Course Description: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger.  Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” So says that great theorist of narrative craft, the filmmaker Mel Brooks.  Of course, most of life (and most of the fiction that tries to reflect the complexity of life) falls all along the spectrum between (and including) those two poles.  Life is both tragic and comic. Or as the Yiddish proverb has it, “Man plans.  God laughs.”

This seminar will give students an opportunity to develop narratives that reflect that complexity. To paraphrase the Czech writer Milan Kundera, most people would rather believe a simple lie than a complex truth. This is a course in learning how to write complex truths by making stuff up. In this seminar, which will be run as a workshop, students will develop proficiency with those techniques (many of which they first encountered in ENGL 4250) that will help them do that. They’ll also add additional techniques to their repertoire, examine narratives from technical (as well as critical) viewpoints and develop fluency in discussing fiction writing from the practitioner’s viewpoint, with the ultimate goal of writing better prose and better narratives.

Readings:  The Story Behind The Story, Barrett and Turchi, eds. + student work

Assignments: In addition to a few writing exercises, students will produce 20-25 pages of prose fiction by semester’s end (and will do significant revision of those pages.) They will also write and present a number of brief craft-oriented responses to the assigned readings and to the work of their peers. 

4986 Writing Internship

The Writing Internship Course, English 4986, enables both English Literature majors and minors and Writing-Intensive majors and minors to earn three hours of academic credit (“S” or “U”) for "real-world” writing experience. Such internships may be paid or unpaid. For more information, visit our internships page.

 

Language Courses

4140 Sociolinguistics (ESSV 2, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Steve Hartman Keiser

Course Title: Sociolinguistics

Course Description:  Every day, simply by speaking, we reconstruct the world and our place in it: our age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, place of origin, and more. Speaking is an act of identity. Language—our voice—is perhaps the most fundamental way we identify ourselves to each other and the world. (And by “speaking” we must include visual/gestural languages like ASL.) This course will consider how language variation is correlated with social variation, and it will engage social justice by critiquing the ways that linguistic discrimination is often a stand-in for racism, classism, and sexism.

Readings: Introducing Sociolinguistics and articles.

Assignments:  Discussions, reflections, collection and analysis of conversational language data, research and proposal for public awareness of language and justice

This course is a Discovery Tier course (Basic Needs and Justice) and an ESSV 2 course for the Marquette Common Core. 



Upper Division Literature Courses

3000 Critical Practices and Processes in Literary Studies (WRIT)

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title:  Utopia in America

Course Description: 2020 marks the 505th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, which inaugurated a genre of political and social speculation that continues to structure our imagination of what is possible. This course serves as an entry point for advanced study in the English discipline, using depictions of political utopias from antiquity to the present as a way to explore how both literature and literary criticism do their work. We will study utopia in canonical historical literature, in contemporary pop culture, and in the presidential election, as well as utopian critical theory from major thinkers like Fredric Jameson, Donna Haraway, Margaret Atwood, and Ursula K. Le Guin — but the major task before us will be exploring the role utopian, quasi-utopian, dystopian, and downright anti-utopian figurations have played in the work of major authors of the 20th century, among them Gabriel García Márquez, Vladimir Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, Toni Morrison, Octavia E. Butler, and Philip K. Dick.

Assignments: Class participation, including individual and group presentations; discussion posts; three papers. Students will also construct their own utopian manifesto.

3740 Film Studies (Discovery Tier - Crossing Boundaries)

101 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Jodi Melamed
102 MW 5:00-6:15 Professor Jodi Melamed

Course Title:  Refugee Experiences and Global Capitalism in 21st Century Film
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900

Course Description: One of the most important dynamics structuring our contemporary world system is the contradiction between the movement of capital and the movement of people. Finance capital itself is borderless, but in order for it to turn over and increase, finance capital needs to keep borders alive. Even as global connectedness increases exponentially in some areas (information, technology, trade), national borders are highly securitized and policed. While so-called “global citizens” of economic means make the entire world their home, people who are dispossessed, migrants, refugees and many others face new dangers. If the novel helped people to imagine themselves as part of nations and empires in the 19th and 20th centuries, today in the 21st century, we think the globe through film. Film, unlike English language texts, crosses class, language and national boundaries, symbolizing a new transnational commons, perhaps. In this course, we will examine 21st century films that provide tools for honing our critical thinking about migration, refugee experiences, borders, and global capitalism. In doing so, we will learn how to analyze films in a rigorous manner and to write convincing arguments about films in all their aesthetic, narrative and cultural political complexity.

Readings/Films: Ed Sikov, Film Studies: An Introduction; possible films include Stephanie Black, Life and Debt, Charles Ferguson, Inside Job, Neill Blomkamp, District 9, and Adam McKay, The Big Short.

Assignments: Reading, participation, attendance, quizzes, short writes, group presentation: scene analysis, film technique analysis, literary analysis essay, final research essay, final exam 

 

3860 Russian Novel and the Search for Meaning (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Expanding our Horizons)

101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Leah Flack

Course Title: The Russian Novel and the Search for Meaning
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900

Course Description: This course will read three of the greatest novels ever written: The Brothers Karamazov (by Fyodor Dostoevsky), Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy), and The Master and Margarita (by Mikhail Bulgakov). These novels are universally admired because they make enormous and unusual promises to readers: if you read these novels thoughtfully, you will not only discover the meaning of life, but you will have an opportunity to reflect on how we make sense of ourselves, others, and life's big unanswered questions: what does it mean to live a good life? why must human beings suffer? how can we maintain faith in a world where terrible things happen to good people? why are we here, and what are our obligations to one another? And finally, what role might literature play in helping us to find meaning? A word of caution: these novels are also famous for being long, but they are worth it, and we will help each other arrive safely to the ends of all of them, richer for the experience. 

3762 Disability and Literature (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Jason Farr

Course Title:  Disability and Literature
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  American Literature, post-1900

Course Description: This class will examine the writing and representation of disabled people in fiction from various time periods, regions, and genres. In our reading of disability narratives, we will contemplate questions of ethics and social justice as they relate to the lived experience of disability. Students will be asked to think and write critically about accessibility, social justice, and intersectionality, among other disability-oriented themes. 

4303 Studies in Medieval Imagination (WRIT)

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Elizaveta Strakhov

Course Title: Castles in the Clouds: Studies in the Medieval Imagination
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Pre-1700 requirement

Course Description: The origin of the very discipline we now call “English”, in its emphasis on “close reading” and “critical thinking”, lies with medieval habits of reading events in the Bible allegorically for the figurative meaning behind the literal words on the page. As they transferred these habits of reading to other types of literature, medieval readers talked about cutting open the surface skin of the text to get at its entrails, or washing off the dung to get at the gold hidden within. Then as now, medieval bookworms sought to get “into” the text, to uncover the hidden truths that lay just below its surface. This course will explore medieval allegorical texts and their buried mysteries. Starting with perhaps the most famous medieval allegory of all, Dante’s Inferno, we will delve deeply into works by Dante’s immediate successor in England, Geoffrey Chaucer, before continuing on to some of the weirder mystical and philosophical meditations of the medieval period, ranging on topics as diverse as war, love, sex, and, of course, death and the afterlife. In the process, as we learn to read like medieval readers, we just might find our own modern reading practices enriched and illuminated by practices of a past that is not quite as dusty as it may seem.

Readings:  Included but not limited to:  Dante’s Inferno, Chaucer, William Langland’s Piers Plowman, and the Romance of the Rose 

4331 Shakespeare (WRIT)

101 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Al Rivero

Course Title: Shakespeare’s Major Plays
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Pre-1700, Shakespeare

Course Description: We will read such representative plays as Hamlet, The Tempest, and King Lear, drawn from the four major genres: tragedy, history, romance, and comedy. Our class discussions will focus on the plays, their language, themes and dramatic techniques.

Readings: William Shakespeare, The Norton Shakespeare, Essential Plays/The Sonnets (Norton)

Assignments: One oral presentation; one researched term paper (ca. 10pp.); midterm examination; comprehensive final examination; class participation; and regular attendance.

 

4717 Comics and Graphic Narrative (Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title:  Watchmen
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900, American Literature

Course Description: This course surveys the history, reception, and artistic form of comics and graphic narrative in the United States, with primary exploration of a single comic miniseries that has had a massive influence on the comics industry and on the way we think about superheroes: Alan Moore and David Gibbons’s Watchmen (1986-1987). This semester ENGLISH 4717 will function almost like a single-novel “Text in Context” course; after grounding ourselves in the pre-1980s history of American superhero comics over the first few weeks of the course, we will focusing almost exclusively on Watchmen and its long afterlife in prequel comics, sequel comics, parody comics, homages, critiques, film adaptations, and, most recently, the critically acclaimed HBO sequel series (2019-2020). What has made Watchmen so beloved, so controversial, and so very influential on the larger superhero-industrial-entertainment complex? Why has DC Comics returned to Watchmen again and again, even as one of its original creators has distanced himself further and further from the work? What have different creators done, or tried to do, with the complex but self-contained narrative framework originally constructed by Moore and Gibbons? With superheroes and superhero media more globally hegemonic than ever before, what might Watchmen still have to say to us today?

Assignments: Class participation, including individual and group presentations; weekly reading journal; discussion posts; several out-of-class film screenings; one long seminar paper, several shorter papers, or creative/curational project

 

4734 The Epic (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Expanding Our Horizons)

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor John Curran

Course Title:  The Epic
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Pre-1700

Course Description: Epic poetry is one of the oldest literary genres, and in the western literary tradition it has always been intimately associated with exploring the unknown - whether far-off oceans, the edges of the theological universe, or the dark territory of the self.  Surveys four of the most important literary epics in the western tradition: Virgil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, Milton's Paradise Lost and Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh. All four document how exploring distant realms always, at the end of the day, means exploring yourself. These epics ask their heroes where they came from and where they're going as ways of forcing them to understand who they are.

 

4736 Fiction (Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

102 TuTh 2:00-3:15pm Professor Amber Strother

Course Title: Echoes of the Lost Generation: Literature of Memory and War
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900, American Literature

Course Description: What are the cultural costs of war? How has war impacted America in the 20th and 21st centuries? How has literature tried to grapple with the memories of war, with the individual costs of war, and with the ways in which various American wars have permanently shaped our society? This course will engage with these questions in an attempt to better understand the ways in which literature considers the impact of war on the individual, on communities, and on American culture. We will begin with writers from the Lost Generation whose works were shaped by the worldwide impact of the first world war before considering the ways in which future generations depict their experiences with war by focusing on World War II, the Vietnam War, and the continuing involvement of America in various wars into the 21st century. By examining the cultural and historical contexts of these works, we will also consider the ways in which narratives about war engage with issues of war, trauma, and memory and examine the ways in which authors create characters who are dealing with the lifelong consequences of war.

Readings: Our texts may include non-fiction, poetry, short stories, novels, film and television, podcasts, and comics.  Possible texts include William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time, Djuna Barnes' Nightwood, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, Art Spiegelman's Maus, N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn, Tim O'Brien's In the Lake of the Woods, and Gimlet Media's Homecoming.

Assignments: Participation in class discussions, reading responses, research project, and creative project.

 

4761 Literature and Medicine (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Brittany Pladek

Course Title: Literature and Medicine
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900 requirement

Course Description: This course introduces students to key concepts in the expansive and growing interdisciplinary field of Literature and Medicine, with a particular focus on Narrative Medicine and the genre of the "illness story." Through a study of medical narratives in multiple genres that span the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries, we will explore these questions (among others): What forms do we choose to relate our tales of sickness - individually and culturally? What are the differences between how doctors, patients, family, and other witnesses tell the story of an illness? How does the way that we choose metaphors for different maladies shape how we think about them? How do literary forms like novellas, plays, poems, and creative nonfiction give us different perspectives on the illness stories they tell? What can illness stories tell us about embodiment? How do factors like gender, race, and class affect the way illness stories are told?

Assignments: Several papers and active, informed participation.
 

4810 Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies

101 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Tosin Gbogi

Course Title:  Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Multicultural American Literature, UCCS Diverse Cultures, post-1900

Course Description: Central to constructions of race and ethnicity are vexed questions of identity that pivot on difference, differentiation, sameness, and similarity. Although historically and socially constituted—and performatively produced in specific contexts—racial and ethnic identities are nevertheless “real” for those who “embody” them. Thus, the expression, mocking, or the suppression of these identities produce not only physical violent encounters but also symbolically oriented ones (such as microaggressions) that are a feature of everyday life. 

Focusing on selected literary texts produced by authors from a broad range of multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic, and multinational  backgrounds (e.g. Native American, African American, European American, Caribbean American, Continental African (diasporic), and Arab American), we will explore in this course how issues of race and ethnicity within the U.S. intersect with racialization/racism, ethnicization/ethnocentrism, civil rights, colonialism/neocolonialism, war, genocide, and trauma, migration/immigration, language discrimination, religious discrimination, gender and sexuality, gentrification, and market/imperial globalism. Apart from individual assignments, we will work in groups, paying particular attention in the process to how literary production addresses racial and ethnic problems in selected sites within the U.S.  

Readings: May include Alice Walker’s The Color Purple or Meridian; Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman; Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Islands of Decolonial Love; Julia Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents; and NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names. May also include selected poems from Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric; Niyi Osundare’s City Without People: The Katrina Poems; and Suheir Hammad’s Born Palestinian, Born Black.

Assignments: Weekly reading responses, two critical essays, one site-specific group project, engaging class participation, and final exam paper.   

4825 Native American Literature (WRIT, ESSV 2, Discovery Tier - Crossing Boundaries)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Samantha Majhor

Course Title: Native American Literature
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900, Multicultural American Literature and UCCS Diverse Cultures

Course Description: This course introduces students to a variety of texts by Native American writers and makers. We will develop a sense of context and continuation in Native American literature by looking at both traditional and non-traditional texts across a span of centuries, but our focus will be on contemporary Native writing from the late 20th and early 21st century. This course takes a particular interest in major themes in Native writing: sovereignty, gender, human-nonhuman relationships, Indian law, and transnational indigeneity.

Readings: Our texts will include novels by Louise Erdrich, Tommy Orange, Linda Hogan along with a selection of poems, short stories, and objects.

4997 Capstone

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Sarah Wadsworth

Course Title: Capstone: The Afterlives of Texts
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Capstone, post-1900

Course Description: This capstone course explores the “lives” of texts as they journey through decades and across continents to be adapted and assimilated by forms, media, and reading communities beyond what their authors could have anticipated. At the center of the course are selected works of Henry James and Virginia Woolf—two writers who redefined the novel as an art form in the early twentieth century by exploring the nature and representation of consciousness itself. Paired with them are contemporary writers whose creative work is in direct conversation with theirs. Along the way, we will examine the complex relationships among textuality, temporality, and theories and practices of reading while exploring the boundaries between real life, life-writing, storytelling, and the evolving project of literary realism.

As a capstone course, English 4997 is designed to enable each student to integrate knowledge and skills from previous experiences and coursework, both within the major and throughout the undergraduate curriculum; complete a substantial independent project involving sustained research, critical thinking, reflection, originality, and writing; and help to bridge the transition between college and the beginning of a career by extending and synthesizing skills and knowledge developed over the duration of the undergraduate years. The focus of this seminar on life journeys, temporality, and “afterlives” will afford each student the opportunity to engage in critical inquiry and reflection to meet these objectives.

Readings: Readings will likely include Michael Cunningham, The Hours; Henry James, selected essays and short fiction; Gregory Blake Smith, The Maze at Windermere; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway and selected essays and short fiction; and film adaptations of James’s novels, especially The Wings of the Dove.  

Assignments: Several short assignments and informal presentations; lively in-class participation; and a substantial, sustained capstone project shaped around individual student interests and goals.   


Graduate Seminars

6215 16th and 17th Century Literature

MW 2:00-3:15 Professor John Curran

Course Title: Transformations in Renaissance Humanism

Course Description: If there was a "Renaissance" in and around the sixteenth century, it had much to do, for intellectuals then and for students of the period since, with humanism. In this course we will discover some of the ways humanism, in a strictly defined but also in a much wider sense of the concept, changed and was changed by English writers. Taken strictly, humanism refers to the new engagement with the Classics, especially in philological, educational, philosophical, and artistic spheres; broadly, "humanism" connotes much what it does today: the positing of the centrality and potentiality of the human. We will ask how humanism animated and troubled the work of Erasmus, More, Marlowe, Sidney, and Jonson.

 

6600 Studies in American Literature From the Beginning to 1900

101 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Sarah Wadsworth

Course Title:  Studies in American Literature From the Beginning to 1900: Writing in the 1850s

Course Description: Both a period course and a methods course, this seminar introduces students to the History of the Book as a field of study and scholarly approach while focusing on U.S. literature during the cultural watershed of the 1850s. Tracing the emergence of modern authorship and publishing on a national scale, we will examine the overlapping trajectories of popular and belletristic writing at the height of the American Renaissance—a period of remarkable literary achievement punctuated by many “firsts.” Course readings will be anchored by texts that have come to form the foundation of both traditional and revisionist literary canons and include the first national “bestsellers,” the first novel by a Native American writer, one of the first African American novels, a sampling of the era’s periodicals, popular verse of the Fireside Poets, and early works of two proto-modernist U.S. poets: Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Along the way, we will pay attention to the political and cultural climate of the decade following the Seneca Falls Convention (first women’s rights convention) and falling between the U.S.–Mexican War (Intervención Estadounidense en México) and the U.S. Civil War, as we examine the shifting dynamics of the maturing literary marketplace and the rich cultural record of the mid-nineteenth century.

Readings: William Wells Brown, Clotel; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha; Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; John Rollin Ridge, The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta; Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; Henry David Thoreau, Walden; Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, and the earliest poems of Emily Dickinson.

Assignments: A few short assignments; several presentations; lively participation; a substantial seminar paper shaped around individual student interests; class conference / conference panel.  

6965 Practicum in Teaching Writing

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Lilly Campbell

Course Title: Practicum in Teaching Writing

Course Description:  Prepares doctoral students to teach in the Foundations in Rhetoric program. Students discuss pedagogical theory and practice, are paired with a faculty mentor, and design their own syllabi for the spring term.