Courses Offered (Fall 2023)

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.

Introduction to Marquette Core Curriculum

2011 Books That Matter (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Intelligence, and Memory)

101 MWF 8:00-8:50 Professor Sebastian Bitticks
102 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Sebastian Bitticks


2020 Texts, Social Systems, and Values (ESSV1)

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Rebecca Nowacek

Course Title: Analyzing American Culture through the American Musical

Course Description: The genre of the American musical is nearly a century old and has always offered a fascinating lens on changing attitudes towards gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and what it means to be American.  This course will focus on four musicals from different historical eras: Showboat (1927), Oklahoma! (1943), Cabaret (1966), and Hamilton (2015).  We’ll learn about how those musicals responded to their historical moments (channeling and sometimes challenging beliefs of the time) and discuss how subsequent productions sometimes changed substantially in new historical moments.  We’ll be thinking about how issues of gender and sexuality and race and ethnicity and what it means to be American get represented in the very American genre of the musical.  In short, our main activities will be close reading and critical analysis: the staples of most English courses. 

This is not a course that requires that you arrive with any particular knowledge about musicals or even be a big fan of musicals.  I will confess that (no surprise) I do love musicals—and if you actively dislike musicals this course may well give you a semester-long headache.  Nevertheless, our focus will be on analyzing a handful of shows closely and critically, so what matters most is that you develop the knowledge and the ability to analyze musicals in their historical and cultural contexts.

Writing Courses

3210 Writing Practices and Processes (WRIT)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Jenn Fishman
102 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Jenn Fishman

Course Title: College Writing Writ Large
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Writing Practices and Processes requirement for ENGA and ENGW majors. Fulfills ENGL major Elective requirement.

Course Description: This course gives you, the students who sign up, a chance to define—and redefine—college writing. How? Mainly through 3 projects: 

  • Project #1 invites you to gather and analyze personal examples that help you answer these questions: Who am I as a college writer? How did I become this writer? How can I become the other writer(s) I'd like to be?
  • Project #2 involves comparative analysis. Reading college writing from right after 9/11 and from the 2020 pandemics, driving questions will include: How can we better understand what past college students wrote? What can we do to help future readers understand what we, as college students, have been writing?
  • Project #3 is up to you. That's to say, the third project is self-designed in relation to a short list of guidelines. Previously, projects have ranged from podcasts and video documentaries to writing of all kinds. Students have produced 'zines, social media campaigns, and cookbooks as well as photo essays and children's books. Using archival and original research (e.g., surveys, interviews), 3210s have studied family genealogies, kindness, and the human stories behind Milwaukee crime stats. Some have used Project #3 to seed honors projects or writing they submit to the MLR or other public venues. Other have pursued passion projects, whether for personal or public audiences.

To support all of the above, we'll read and discuss several chapters of Bad Ideas about Writing (free) as well as one of three books by Austin Kleon: Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work, or Keep Going ($2-$20); there will also be regular peer exchanges (e.g., of ideas, writing). Although this course is full of surprises, the workflow is steady: we meet onsite Tuesdays and Thursdays; reading responses are due Wednesdays; weekly writing is due by Sunday night. Please note: Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors from all majors and minors are welcome. Anyone who has taken ENGL 4230 should be in touch, since we'll cover some similar ground.

3222 Writing for Health and Medicine (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor Elizabeth Angeli

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

Course Description: What do health sciences, nursing, biomedical sciences, and humanities majors have in common? You are all writers, both here at Marquette and in your future workplaces, and you all can have vibrant careers in healthcare. 

If you’re studying to be a healthcare provider or you’re a non-science major who wants to make a difference in healthcare, this class is for you. 

Written communication is the lifeforce of the healthcare workplace, and healthcare providers aren’t the only people who write in this workplace. Writing connects providers, patients, and key stakeholders together across time and space, and these key stakeholders include medical writers, educators, social workers, medical examiners, attorneys, firefighters, and law enforcement officials. If you’re on one of those career paths, this class is for you, too. 

Ultimately, written communication is an essential part of providing high quality patient care, and writing involves much more than typing up a patient healthcare record. Decision making, emotional literacy, and training informs patient-provider-stakeholder interactions. Put another way, how healthcare providers and stakeholders “show up” mentally and emotionally to a patient’s room, on scene, or in a meeting impacts decisions made, care provided, and records written. 

To that end, in this class, you will:

  1. Develop the habits of mind that lead to effective written communication, including active listening, reflection, sensory and situational awareness, collaboration, inquiry, curiosity, ethics, and discernment
  2. Learn and practice the rhetorical skills that underlie effective healthcare communication
  3. Research how writing is used in your future workplace
  4. Craft your own “Writing Philosophy” that illustrates how you will communicate in the healthcare field 

Readings: Include pieces written by rhetoricians of health and medicine (they’re experts in how language facilities action in healthcare) and articles students bring to class discussion 

Assignments: Tailored to students’ professional and personal goals, assignments include analyses of healthcare documents, a document lifecycle report, a redesign of patient education documents, class presentation about students’ healthcare fields of interest, and the “Writing Philosophy.”

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

101 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Megan Paonessa
102 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Megan Paonessa

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

Course Description: Students will learn to describe, interpret, write, and revise works in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction’s styles through annotation and writing exercises focused on the specifics of craft: imagery, voice, narrative structure, point-of-view, etc. Together, we will read and write weekly, engaging in the discussion of published works and in workshops of our own work. The aim is to introduce students to diverse styles of writing, give them time and space to create, and provide an encouraging community of writers who will help cultivate a final portfolio of work in at least two genres.


103 MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor Tyler Farrell
104 MWF 2:00-2:50 Professor Tyler Farrell

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

Course Description: Learn to write creatively in multiple genres. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote, “Literature belongs not to the department of general ideas, but to the department of specific words and images.” In this course, students will learn to read and write short/flash fiction, poetry, and a short drama/screenplay. We will focus on our writing community and place attention on word choice, sound, voice, subject matter, style, and revision in all of our work. All students will read and write weekly while also engaging in workshops to critique and offer/receive guidance. Time and space to practice writing and learn technique is our constant aim. A supportive community of writers will help to cultivate a helpful atmosphere and a final portfolio of work in at least two genres. Go writing!

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

102 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Katherine Zlabek
103 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Katherine Zlabek

Course Title:  Crafting the Short Story
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGA and ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement.

Course Description: Students will produce fresh, original writing that appeals to an audience’s imagination in this intermediate-level journey into short fiction. In it, we will be discussing the various elements of fiction, including concrete and specific detail, voice, atmosphere, and plot, to name a few. Students will explore the formal elements of writing alongside fiction that exemplifies or challenges these formal elements. Each story will be examined critically for its form as well as its representation of social, cultural beliefs and values, economic or global conditions, and environmental circumstances. In a workshop setting, we will critique one another’s creative writing, and discuss strategies for revising creative writing effectively.   

Readings:  Stories and craft essays will be posted on D2L. 

Assignments: Thoughtful attention to published work, and the work of peers; considerate workshop participation; short stories; outside reading and short presentation; final portfolio.

3250 Lifewriting, Creativity, and Community (WRIT, ESSV2, Discovery Tier - Cognition Memory, and Intelligence)

103 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Megan Paonessa
104 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Megan Paonessa

Course Title: Lifewriting, Creativity, and Community
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGA and ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement.

Course Description: In this course, students will analyze a diverse array of life-writing forms such as memoir and the personal narrative, discussing how each work attempts to convey an author’s lived/real/felt self. We will explore questions of language and representation, memory and imagination, creativity and authenticity, and individual and group identities. At the same time, students will practice writing their own memories into narrative, exploring the complexities, ironies, contradictions, and poetry wrapped into their identities and the places and spaces they share with others.

4250 Creative Writing: Fiction (WRIT) (NOTE: due to high demand, this course will not count for the Discovery Tier for the 2023-2024 academic year).

102 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Katherine Zlabek

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

Course Description: This course will focus on stretching our fictional muscles and writing new and engaging material. We will look at different forms of fiction: flash fiction, short stories, and the novella/novel. In addition to time spent workshopping our material, class time will be spent analyzing material from both a craft and cultural perspective, and informing our work in relation to what we’ve learned in our analysis.

Assignments: In addition to in-class writing prompts and critiques, students will be expected to write a short series of flash fiction, a short story, and craft the opening of a longer work.

4260 Creative Writing: Poetry (WRIT)

101 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor Angela Sorby

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

Course Description: This course encourages writers to engage with the field of contemporary poetry and to find their voices within it.  Students will read widely in addition to writing new poems every week.  We will explore a range of sub-genres from documentary verse to formalism to spoken word.  Most of our class sessions will follow the Iowa Workshop model, which involves peer feedback within the context of a deliberately supportive community.

4932 Topics in Writing (WRIT)

102 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Amina Gautier

Course Title: Advanced Fiction Seminar
Fulfills English Major Requirement:
ENGA and ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement 

Course Description: This class is for dedicated and experienced fiction writers hoping to hone their craft by studying with visiting professor Dr. Amina Gautier, Marquette's AMUW Chair for 2023-4. Dr. Gautier is a prolific and award-winning writer who has published three collections of short stories and has received over fifty awards, fellowships, and prizes for her fiction and scholarship. 

4954 Seminar in Creative Writing (WRIT)

101 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Angela Sorby

Course Title: Lyric forms
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Capstone requirement for ENGW

Course Description: Serious writers working in any genre will benefit from this deep dive into diverse forms of lyric writing, including documentary poetry, poetry comics, narrative microfiction, and long- and short-form lyric poetry.  We'll read contemporary magazines and a few important recent poetry collections; we'll discuss publishing; and of course we'll workshop original pieces.  By the end of the semester students will complete an original chapbook or other culminating project.  Prior writing experience (in courses or independently) is assumed.

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.

4988 Practicum in Literature and Language Arts (WRIT, ESSV2)

101 Friday 9:00-10:30 Professor Sarah Wadsworth

Course Title: Practicum in Literature and Language Arts
Fulfills English Major Requirements: Writing Elective

Course Description: This experiential learning course couples biweekly seminars with students’ on-the-job activities in internship or internship-like placements in nonprofit agencies. Two different “strands” are offered, in which students are clustered into either a Publishing Experience track or a Story Experience track. Regardless of the track, students work in their placement sites and attend seminars every other Friday for approximately ten hours / week altogether. Readings and classroom activities help build practical, transferable skills, while discussions extend to how students’ work and the field they are participating in engage with different social systems and value structures and their own positioning within it. One of the primary objectives of the Practicum is to help prepare students to contribute to current and future work environments in ways that are equitable, inclusive, and collaborative, while prioritizing working for the greater good and acting as people for and with others.

  • The Story Experience Program brings UWM and Marquette students into year-long partnership with Milwaukee-based nonprofit organizations to facilitate storying in a range of forms from oral history to poetry and story-circles. Students learn myriad skills including facilitating group and individual storytelling, mapping and building on assets of organizations, organizing and preserving story data, time management, and interviewing. Organizations and their members work with the student teams to design projects according to their own goals. If desired, the culminating project can be collected into a public archive of Milwaukee stories. This is a unique opportunity for deep experiential learning and relationship building, putting humanities and arts skills into practice to build community. Students gain invaluable work / life skills and experiences. Story Fellows beginning in AY 2023-24 will be part of a President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge Grant initiative aimed at alleviating the effects of poverty in the City of Milwaukee. Students participating in the Story Experience Program may request that the course count as a humanities course in the Individual and Community theme of the Discovery Tier. 

To apply to the Story Experience Program, please complete the application form at the following link:

Further information about the program can be found at the Story Experience Program link on the website of the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities.

  • Students involved in the Publishing Experience Program gain experience in various branches of the not-for-profit sector of the publishing industry, learning editorial and marketing skills while engaging in timely explorations of and conversations about the current state of the field. Areas of focus in the seminar component will include issues surrounding gender equity and diversity in the workplace as well as the contributions publishing companies and specific publications can make to representing diverse groups, disseminating diverse voices to the organization’s target audiences, and publishing content that contributes to the effort to advance social justice. Placements may include Marquette University Press, which shares in the social justice mission of Marquette University; Marquette Literary Review, which showcases the creative work of an increasingly diverse Marquette community; the English Department newsletter, a weekly multimodal publication of perspectives on all things English that will circulate to current students and faculty as well as friends and alumni of the department; and A Line Meant, a poetry-based creative-writing project founded by Wisconsin Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton designed to “connect the creativity of neighbors and the humanity of strangers,” including individuals who are incarcerated.  

To apply to the Publishing Experience Program, students should submit by email a current resume and cover letter summarizing why they might be a good fit for this program and indicating which areas of publishing they would be most excited to work in to Drs. Ben Pladek and Sarah Wadsworth by Friday, March 31, 2023. Students with career aspirations in publishing are especially encouraged to apply.

Language Courses

3140 Sociolinguistics (ESSV2, Discovery Tier - Individuals and Communities)

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor Steve Hartman Keiser

Course Title: Language & Gender
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Language study

Course Description: Every day, simply by speaking, we reconstruct the world and our place in it as gendered beings: feminine, masculine, androgynous, straight, lesbian, gay, bi, trans, cis, questioning. In this course we investigate the communicative practices that form the culture of everyday life (our conversations, the media) to uncover the links between language and cognition and the ways that language both reflects and creates social organization—including categories such as gender, ethnicity, and class. 

4110 Exploring the English Language (Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Steve Hartman Keiser

Course Title: Exploring the English Language
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Language study

Course Description: The aim of this course is to wow you with the wonder of language:  its complexity, systematicity, and diversity.  We will take a scientific approach to the investigation of language, that is, we will collect data, analyze it, and consider testable hypotheses to account for it.  In the process you will evaluate your beliefs and attitudes about language and human beings as language speakers.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Describe the features of human language that differentiate it from animal communication. (CMI outcome)
  2. Collect and transcribe language data from natural conversation.
  3. Analyze the structure of sounds, words, and sentences in English by describing the relationships between the units that compose them. (CMI outcome)
  4. Describe the systematic, rule-governed features of several important language varieties in the US, including ASL and African American English (CMI outcome)
  5. Critically evaluate statements and attitudes—including your own—about language and human beings as language speakers.

Upper Division Literature Courses

3000 Introduction to Literary Studies (WRIT)

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

Course Title: Introduction to Literary Studies
ENGL 3000 fulfills the foundation course requirement in the major sequence for ENGA, ENGL, and ENGW majors.

Course Description: This course serves as an entry point to advanced study in the discipline of English literature. We will read a variety of literary texts—poetry, short fiction, drama, novel, graphic novel, film, television—and will talk about formal, theoretical, and historical approaches to literary interpretation. We are not going to be overly concerned about themes common across these texts (though we might discover some!) but will always be thinking self-consciously about the ways we approach texts with particular expectations that can be fulfilled, frustrated, or exceeded…sometimes all in the same text. This course will help students develop fluency with academic discourses and habits of literary criticism that will serve them in their upper-division courses at Marquette, as well as develop their skills as writers and thinkers in their own right.

Readings: John Peck and Martin Coyle's Practical Criticism. Other readings will be posted on d2L. 

Assignments: discussion posts (close reading), a midterm paper, an oral presentation, and a final research paper


102 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Jason Farr

Course Title: Introduction to Literary Studies
ENGL 3000 fulfills the foundation course requirement in the major sequence for ENGA, ENGL, and ENGW majors.

Course Description:  This course is designed to equip new majors and minors with the tools necessary for success in the field of English, with a focus on literary studies. Also welcome are students from a range of disciplines interested in developing their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. In particular, we will learn to read and respond critically to literature in a range of forms, including short story, poetry, drama, novel, and film. In the process, we will think about the relationship between these varying forms and their content through close reading and exposure to social justice principles (i.e. antiracism, feminism, anticolonialism, and gender and queer theory). The course will consist of a combination of short lecture, group discussion, outside research, and individual writing assignments (discussion posts, collaborative annotations, and formal academic essays).  In the process, will develop critical reading and writing skills that draw from a range of perspectives.


103 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Amy Blair

Course Title: Introduction to Literary Studies
ENGL 3000 fulfills the foundation course requirement in the major sequence for ENGA, ENGL, and ENGW majors.

Course Description: This course serves as an entry point to advanced study in the discipline of English literature. We will read a variety of literary texts across many genres—poetry, short fiction, drama, novel, graphic novel—though these texts will often play with the notion of genre itself.  We will always be thinking self-consciously about the ways we approach texts with expectations that can be fulfilled, frustrated, or exceeded…sometimes all at the same time.  We will practice many varieties of literary critical interpretation, looking closely at language, intertextuality, and literary history to explain how we elicit and/or make meaning from our reading. This course will help students develop fluency with academic discourses and habits of literary criticism that will serve them in their upper-division courses at Marquette, as well as develop their skills as writers and thinkers in their own right.

Readings: Texts will include: Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and Douglas; Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home; Octavia Butler’s Kindred; Tony Kushner’s Angels in America; a variety of poems; and a smattering of short stories.

Assignments: weekly short assignments (discussion board posts and responses, textual annotation exercises, mini research assignments); active participation in class discussions; frequent individual conferences and reflection writings; open-topic, open-modality culminating project.


3301 Here Be Monsters (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Crossing Boundaries, Honors for All)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Elizaveta Strakhov

Course Title: Here Be Monsters
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Pre-1700
Note: T
his is an "Honors for all" course open to all undergraduates, and enrollment is by permission number

Course Description: In this course we will be exploring the unknown and its monsters—or is the unknown and our monsters? From our very childhood when we beg our parents to shut the closet door at night, we have filled dark, empty spaces with the terrifying creatures of our imagination, as if to leave it empty would be worse. This course will explore the monster myths of medieval Europe: from that perhaps most famous of medieval monsters, Beowulf’s Grendel, to the first medieval European werewolf story, to King Arthur tales, to texts that use monstrosity in inventive ways to think through questions of race, gender, and sexuality. In exploring these, we will ask ourselves several questions. How did monsters allow medieval Europeans to construct socially accepted ideas of masculinity and femininity? How did they represent and deal with physical disability? How did they foster the condemnation of ethnic and religious difference? And, finally, can the uses to which monster myths were put in the medieval period shed any light on our contemporary social and political attitudes towards ethnic, religious, and sexual difference?  

Readings: Texts including but not limited to: Beowulf, Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and works by Geoffrey Chaucer

3462 Introduction to Gothic Fiction (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Expanding Horizons)

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Jason Farr

Course Title: Introduction to Gothic Fiction

Course Title: The Gothic: Horror Stories, Then and Now
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900 requirement

Course Description: In this course, we will explore some of the most identifiable characteristics of what we know today as the gothic genre—typically dark, sometimes scary or campy, and often politically-inflected narratives that reveal as much about the human psyche as they do about the cultural and political contexts that produce them. With this in mind, we will read 18th- and 19th-century British gothic novels and view 20th- and 21st-century gothic films to attend to attributes of horror stories from the past that persist in our cultural imaginary today. We will examine, for example, how these novels and films depict the “monstrous other” and “the double” through what Freud terms “the uncanny,” and the way that gothic spaces—castles, monasteries, and abbeys, for instance—contribute to the terror or horror that these novels and films invoke. For example, by reading Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764) alongside a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s gothic fantasy film, Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), or by viewing the film Get Out (2017) as we read Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Frankenstein, we will think and write about the way that recent films draw on longstanding literary traditions of parody, horror/terror, and political critique characteristic of the gothic.

3514 Contemporary Irish Literature (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Leah Flack

Course Title: Contemporary Irish Literature
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900 requirement

Course Description: Contemporary Irish literature is a new course that is part of Marquette'e new Irish Studies minor that will launch in the fall. We will begin in 1995, with Seamus Heaney's Nobel Prize Lecture. In it, he asked a question that had haunted his career and those of so many Irish artists before him: what are the responsibilities of the Irish artist to the Irish people and its culture during the on-going violence of British colonial rule and civil unrest?

Heaney proposed a new answer in 1995, three years before for Good Friday Agreement created the terms for peace in Ireland. He talked about the possibilities for Irish art in the future, once Irish artists seized a little bit of spiritual freedom to imagine their art and Ireland's future more openly, through language and imagination. 

This class will look at the new traditions in Irish fiction, drama, poetry, music, and film that Heaney was trying to imagine for the twenty-first century. We will consider the questions of history and culture raised by the giants of Irish literary history but then turn to the fascinating work being done in different genres of fiction (detective fiction, dystopian fiction, to name a few). We will also look at Ireland's global impact and the Irish in America. 

Readings:  Texts include: Transatlantic, Colum McCann, A Woman Without a Country, Eavan Boland, Human Chain, Seamus Heaney, The Weir--Conor MacPherson, Pillow Man--Martin MacDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (film)--Martin MacDonagh, Brooklyn (novel and film)--Com Toibin, Irish music (from trad rock and the Pogues and U2 through 2023), Tana French—The Secret Place, The City of Bohane, Kevin Barry, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, Eimear McBride 

3740 Film Studies (Discovery Tier - Crossing Boundaries)

101 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Paul Gagliardi
102 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Paul Gagliardi

Course Title: Classical Hollywood Cinema
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900, American Literature

Course Description: This course surveys the industrial, aesthetic, technological, and ideological developments of what has been termed classical Hollywood cinema, roughly fro the late 1920s to the early 1960s. We will examine the development and promotion of cinema in American culture and consider the complicated reactions of film to social and historical events of the era such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the Civil Rights Movement. In turn, we will also explore the development of the studio system, commercialism in film, and the promotion of stars and genre. We will also explore how various other national cinema traditions, such as in Germany, Japan, and India adapted various techniques of Hollywood filmmaking, and how many tenets of classical cinema still resonate with directors, performers, and audiences.

3761 Literature and Medicine (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor Grant Gosizk

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

Course Description: Susan Sontag said that ‘Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. […] Yet it is hardly possible to take up one’s residence in the kingdom of the ill unprejudiced by the lurid metaphors with which it has been landscaped.’ In other words, the experience of being ill is often complicated by prejudices, stereotypes, and moral/ethical meanings that are attributed to illnesses within particular cultural contexts. This section of “Literature and Medicine” focuses on how fiction, theatre, poetry and prose participate in the cultural act of defining the limits and meanings of illness and wellness. To focus this inquiry, we will be taking one particular illness as a case study: addiction. We’ll spend the semester exploring the various ways that addiction has been defined by American doctors (and how this has changed throughout history), how these definitions have been embraced, denounced, and analogized by literature, and how the metaphorization of addiction has had real world political consequences.

3780 Water is Life (WRIT, ESSV2, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Samantha Majhor

Course Title: Water is Life: Indigenous Art and Activism in Changing Climates
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900, Multicultural American Literature, American Literature

Course Description: This course focuses on Native American and Indigenous efforts to address changing climates with a focus on water protection. We will delve into the history of water relations by looking at various indigenous and non-indigenous texts, stories, poetry, maps, artworks, and cultural materials that speak to the history and ongoing water relationships in the region. Our inquiries will reveal how this vital element has shaped our relationships to each other and to the state. The course will include experiential learning opportunities and the possibility to connect, collaborate, and present research with fellow undergraduates at other universities who are exploring the same topic.

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

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 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?

4321 British Literature of the 16th Century

101 MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor John Curran

Course Title: British Literature of the 16th Century
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Pre-1700

Course Description: This course examines some of the major writers and genres of this time of explosive change. We will see how authors dealt with and contributed to the social, religious, philosophical, and literary developments marking the Tudor century, with an emphasis on the late Elizabethan period. Grounding our consideration of these works and their context will be the idea of virtue; our authors share as their common concern an effort to probe this elusive concept. How do we define virtue? Who has it and how do they get it? In what ways is it relevant to human society and to the salvation of the individual? How does literature itself help or complicate our understanding of virtue? We will repeatedly pose such questions as we approach our texts in three phases, grouping them according to genre: lyric poetry (Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney), fictional narrative (More, Sidney, Spenser), and drama (Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare).

4331 Shakespeare (WRIT)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Al Rivero

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

Course Description: We will read such representative major plays as The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and The Tempest, 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, 3rd ed (Norton)

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

4610 Individual Authors: Jonathan Swift

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

Course Title: Jonathan Swift
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900

Course Description: Imagine that your city is overrun with useless poor people begging handouts from their betters. After pondering many solutions to remedy the situation, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), the Anglican dean of St Patrick’s (Dublin), finally came up in 1729 with the best possible proposal which, in humility, he called a modest proposal. What if poor people would fatten up their babies and sell them for food to those who could afford this presumably succulent delicacy? Of course, you would say, Swift is being ironic. But is he? One of the disconcerting features of Swift’s irony is that he often means what you suspect he couldn’t possibly mean. Yes, cannibalism is a no-no, but the benefits of feeding the poor to the rich far outweigh any possible downside. To prime our palate, so to speak, we’ll start with A Modest Proposal, and follow up with A Tale of a Tub and Gulliver’s Travels as well as some poems, as we sample and savor the brilliant menu of the greatest satirist in the English tongue.

Readings: Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Norton); other works in handout or Oxford/Norton editions.

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

4715 Children's Literature (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Sarah Wadsworth

Course Title: Children's Literature
Fulfills English Major Requirements: Post-1900, American Literature. Counts toward INGS and major/minor and Family Studies minor

Course Description: This course surveys key texts and transitions in the development of English and American children's literature from the seventeenth century to the present while introducing critical and theoretical approaches to the analysis of children's literature. Bringing together significant works of fiction, poetry, and illustration with literary-historical and critical texts, course readings explore the role of memory, cognition, and the adult perception of the child's mind in the shaping of children's literature. Class discussions will be guided by the following questions: How does children's literature negotiate the divide between the desire to instruct and entertain juvenile readers? How do the texts accommodate and contribute to changing notions of children and of childhood? How does the relationship between words and images operate in illustrated texts? How does children's literature respond to contemporary social issues? How do the texts construct gender, race, ethnicity, age and ageing, disability, and class? How does children's literature respond to children as marginaled "others?" How does writing for children address the power differentials upon which this marginalization rests?

Readings: Primary texts include fairy tales, poems, picturebooks, adaptations in film and other media, and the following novels: Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Part One); Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island; Louise Erdrich, The Birchbark House, Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game; Varian Johnson, The Parker Inheritance.

Assignments: In addition to participating regularly in class discussion, each student will produce brief informal written responses, four short critical essays, and a longer, paper, developed in stages.

4755 Law and Literature (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 MW 2:00-3:15 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 working together with classmates to solve shared problems while negotiating conflict and difference. Through in-class discussion and debate of three cases that have appeared before the Supreme Court, 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 jury system in America or constitutional law, nor is it a class dominated by mock trials. This is, ultimately, a writing course-one 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, respondent, and amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court for three cases

Assignments: Will likely 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.


102 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Melissa Ganz

Course Title: Crime and Punishment in English Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900 requirement
Note: This is an "Honors for all" course open to all undergraduates, and enrollment is by permission number

Course Description:  From thieves and murderers to bigamists and terrorists, criminals have long figured prominently in English fiction.  In this course, we consider the centrality of crime and punishment to the novel tradition while exploring the ways in which novels can help us understand the causes and consequences of illicit acts.  We focus on novels from the Victorian period (such as Oliver Twist and Jekyll and Hyde) and end with Margaret Atwood’s marvelous reimagining of the era’s crime fiction in Alias Grace.  We pay particular attention to the implications of criminality for literary form while sampling recurring debates about the effects of reading and writing about vice.  Along the way, we consider topics including the value and limits of transgression; the origins of the human capacity for evil; the role of gender, class, and nation in representations of criminality; and the relationship between law and literature. As an upper-level English class, this course places special emphasis on close reading and critical writing.  There will be opportunities to participate in mock trials and debates and to consider texts and discussions in this class in relation to those in other classes in the Basic Needs and Justice theme.  By the end of the course, my hope is that you will have gained a better understanding of perennial problems of criminal justice, a sense of the range and richness of nineteenth-century fiction, and a set of reading and writing skills that will serve you well in the years ahead.

Note:  This class satisfies the 1700-1900 literary history requirement for English majors and counts toward the minor in Law and Society and the major/minor in Gender and Sexualities Studies.  In addition, the course counts toward the Basic Needs and Justice theme of the Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC)’s Discovery Tier and satisfies the MCC Writing-Intensive requirement.

Readings: Novels and short fiction by authors such as Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and Margaret Atwood, as well as selected works of literary criticism and legal/cultural history.

Assignments: Two papers; a “crime log” (reading journal); short discussion posts; and lively participation. 

4765 Material Cultures (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Expanding our Horizons)

101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title: Environmental Protection
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900, American Literature; crosslisted with Environmental Studies major

Course Description: Recently, “sustainability” has become a powerful concept in both academic discourse and popular debate; however, since the time of Heraclitus in Ancient Greece philosophers have recognized that change is inevitable and that there is always tension between what we should preserve and what is disposable. This course will use interdisciplinary scholarship to probe the central question underlying all environmental protection: what should we value enough to pass on to future generations? It will ask students to confront this dilemma by interrogating what precisely makes a natural resource sufficiently valuable to cherish and keep. In our time, the concept of “value” is dominated by economic language, but this view is crucially incomplete: what gives objects value is not their exchangeability but the fact that humans care about them and are willing to preserve and maintain them. A park is just open land, after all, until someone declares it worthy of protection. Establishing and asserting these sorts of non-economic values has long been a defining characteristic of study in the humanities, which have always appreciated how shared heritage links us to the past, creates meaning and relevance in the present, and allows us to shape our collective future. In that spirit we will examine a wide variety of political, philosophical, and aesthetic questions around sustainability, and environmental protection, and develop a framework for engaging pressing contemporary debates about the preservation of our shared natural heritage.

Readings: Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia; Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home; Richard McGuire, Here; Daniel Quinn, Ishmael; Kim Stanley Robinson, The Ministry for the Future; Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation

Assignments: Final critical paper or creative project; weekly sandbox posts on D2L; enthusiastic and informed class participation

4820 Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Jodi Melamed

Course Title: Race and Racism in Milwaukee: Cultural Critique
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900, American Literature Diverse Cultures for ENGA

Course Description: How is it that Milwaukee, Wisconsin, today can be known as both “the All American City” and “The Most Segregated City in America”?  What makes Milwaukee both a paragon of multicultural America (“Festival City”)  and a symbol of the entrenchment of racialized privilege and inequality?  Focusing specifically on the post-World War II history, the course seeks to make the study of race and ethnicity intellectually rigorous and immediately relevant for students at Marquette University.  In particular, we will seek to understand racialization – a process that stigmatizes some forms of humanity and privileges others – as a complex factor that has deeply shaped the cultural, economic, political and social fabric of Milwaukee, as well as the experiences and consciousness of all its inhabitants. To do so, we will familiarize ourselves with the global and local histories of the city’s multiple social groups: white, African American, American Indian, Latinx, Asian and Arab American, and LGBTQ.  Rather than consider these groups as unified and static, we will consider how each undergoes constant change  and is constantly hybridized by a multiplicity of other factors, including national origin, class, gender, religion, and sexuality.  An equally important focus will be on the interaction between the literary text and the social text (the signs through which we “read” or make meaning of our social worlds). 

Readings: Will likely include: John Gurda, The Making of Milwaukee; Allison Hedge Coke, Blood Run; Richard Wright, Twelve Million Black Voices; Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street;  

Assignments: Two short essays (4-5 pages), one long essay (10-12 pages), one oral presentation, final exam. 

102 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Heather Hathaway

Course Title: Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900, American Literature Diverse Cultures for ENGA

Course Description: Biology tells us that differences based on concepts such as “race” and “ethnicity” are not grounded in scientific reality because all humans share 99.9% DNA. But these concepts have served as the foundation on which immense violence has taken place. In this course, we will examine literature that reveals how socially-constructed concepts distinguishing “self” from “other”—whether socially, biologically, politically, culturally, or ideologically, as examples—have led to history’s greatest injustices.

4830 Africana Literatures (WRIT)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 pm Professor Tosin Gbogi

Course Title: Afro-Atlantic Movements: Harlem Renaissance and Négritude
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900, American Literature Diverse Cultures for ENGA

Course Description: This course examines Harlem Renaissance and Négritude as a network of Afro-Atlantic exchanges of ideas and/or two continental variations on similar sociocultural engagements. Using the two movements as entry points to exploring the connections between Africa and its diasporas (including Europe, the Caribbean, and North America), the course will examine the major cultural, racial, colonial, and identity questions that inform both movements. While a wide range of historical, philosophical, artistic, and aesthetic concerns will be engaged in making sense of these movements, the major emphasis of the class will be on the literary issues and figures that define both movements. Possible authors to be read include W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Claude Mckay, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Lorraine Hansberry, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Aimé Césaire, Léon Damas, David Diop, Birago Diop, and Wole Soyinka (whose “tigritude” critique of négritude provides a useful counterpoint to the movement’s major concerns).

4997 Capstone (WRIT)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Elizaveta Strakhov

Course Title:  History of the Book
Fulfills English Major Requirement:
Capstone Requirement for ENGL, ENGW

Course Description: What is a book? Traditionally literary scholars answer this question by thinking about characters, plot, genre, etc. The discipline of the history of the book, however, answers this question rather differently. The history of the book looks at the book’s pages and their size, its cover (soft or hardbacked), the quality of its ink and illustrations, the tightness of its binding (how hard is it to crack open?), and all the other details that make the book a physical object before we start to ask ourselves questions about characters, plot, and genre. Because, often, we understand a book’s message, purpose, and the intent behind its composition far better when we take into account its status as, first and foremost, a physical object with a concrete history behind it. This research seminar will teach you the history and development of the book from the earliest origins of oral culture through our modern-day online reading culture, paying special attention to the origins and evolutions of the technologies of reading and writing. In addition to history, you will also learn the practical side of working with material literary objects: deciphering medieval and Renaissance handwriting, for example, and understanding the physical mechanisms of page-gathering and book-binding. In the process, we will be reading literary texts that thematize books, and libraries, as physical objects worthy of study and interpretation and/or that constitute landmark developments in the evolution of the book (like the serialized novel or the graphic novel). For their capstone, each student will complete a research project tailored to their literary interests that will be built around a physical item or items within Raynor Library Special Collections and University Archives.

Readings: Texts included but not limited to: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and Mark Daniliewski’s House of Leaves

Graduate Seminars

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6820 Studies in Modern Critical Theory and Practice

101 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Amy Blair

Course Description: This course is a survey of important movements within theory and criticism, as well as an exploration of the history of both the university and the English department as institutions, ranging roughly from the 19th century through the present. We will explore major touchstones within literary theory (New Criticism, the Frankfurt School, cultural studies, structuralism and poststructuralism, feminism, New Historicism, critical race theory, reception studies (inclusive of fandom studies), postcoloniality, queer theory, ecocriticism, disability studies, and others) as well as consider the viability of theory as an ongoing intellectual project in an era of neoliberal austerity and revanchist political movements. In order to facilitate our investigation, we will periodically turn to Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton’s novel and later adaptations of the text) to see how the multiplicity of theoretical and critical approaches transforms our readings of texts. Depending on student interest, we may also do some introductory work with the theory and practice of scholarly textual editing (of modern texts): collation of manuscripts and editions, methods of annotation; editorial theory.

Assignments: briefer assignments that explore the ways different theoretical approaches might inform individual projects; a mini-essay (“prolegomenon paper”) that could be expanded into a longer seminar paper or article; optional longer-form work or drafts of dissertation or thesis materials, as appropriate to individual student courses of study.

6931 Topics in English

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Samantha Majhor

Course Title: Topics in Literature: Native American Literature

Course Description: This course explores texts by Native American and Indigenous writers who, on one hand, expand and critique the traditions and practices of Western archival collection and, on the other hand, draw on a variety of Indigenous archival practices and ways of knowing. We will focus on this decolonial rewriting of the archive in Native fiction and poetry and consider the ways in which traditions of textuality are both taken up and challenged by contemporary Native writers and scholars. Primary course texts include a number of contemporary novels, short stores, and poems by Native American and Indigenous writers as well as non-traditional texts, like baskets, pottery, beadwork, the body, and land. This course embraces the interdisciplinary mix of Literary Studies, Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS), and Museum Studies. Assignments will allow options for archival research and a variety of writing forms as well as traditional research and analysis essays.

6965 Practicum in Teaching Writing

MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Lilly Campbell

Course Title: Teaching Writing: Inclusive Pedagogy

Course description: This course will introduce current research in writing studies and the core debates and politics that have shaped the practice, teaching, and study of writing. The course will also examine the assumptions that guide different approaches with consideration of whose interests they serve, so that all members of the class can become more self-reflective readers, writers, and teachers. We will discuss anti-racist and translingual pedagogical approaches as well as strategies for equitable curriculum design and assessment.

Assignments: Will include a reading journal, a teaching ethnography, a bibliography and research presentation, and a teaching portfolio. 

Approved 5000 Level Courses

Please see the 4000 level courses for course descriptions

5110 - Exploring the English Language
5250 - Creative Writing: Fiction
5260 - Creative Writing - Poetry
5321 - British Literature of the 16th Century
5610 - Individual Authors: Jonathan Swift
5715 - Children's Literature
5755 - Law and Literature
5765 - Material Cultures
5810 - Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
5820 - Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
5830 - Africana Literatures
5954 - Seminar in Creative Writing
5988 - Practicum in Literature and Language Arts