Courses Offered (Spring 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.
  • For additional details, including unit-by-unit syllabi, contact Dr. Steve Hartman Keiser.


Introduction to Marquette Core Curriculum

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

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor Ibtisam Abujad

Course Title: Books That Matter: Migrant Literature: Global Migration Politics, in our Own Words 

Course Description: In this class, we will examine migration politics through the activist literature of migrant writers and cultural producers. We will think about how twenty-first century experiences of migration-- the crossing of borders and ideological boundaries-- are informed by political, social, and economic contexts. This will help us critically examine how these experiences are impacted by colonial histories of dispossession and displacement and the contemporary global flows of power. We will read novels and non-fiction essays that resist assimilation and marginalization, also engaging with visual texts and articles that help us examine race, religion, gender, and class in these complex experiences of migration.  

Readings: Texts include Samira Ahmed’s Internment, Ibi Zoboi's American Street, and Neema Shah’s Kololo Hills, stories by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, and essays, film, and sonic texts that facilitate critical thought

Assignments: engagement and active participation in class discussions and critical and creative activities, short responses, two think pieces, and your own research-based activism project   


102 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor James Pribek, SJ


103 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Holly Burgess

Course Title:  African American Youth Culture and Literature

Course Description: Tupac Shakur stated, “I’m not saying I’m gonna rule the world or change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world." This course will study poetry, novels, and music written by 20th and 21st century African American writers. We will explore how African American youth culture and activism influence literature and music. This course will discuss how hip-hop artists like Tupac Shakur and his musical contemporaries influence the current generation of Black activists and artists in The Black Lives Matter Movement.

We will study how African American authors utilize young adult literature and science fiction to examine race, gender, sexuality, trauma, grief, and violence. As we read, we will consider: how literature and music reflect reality, how Black writers use literature to teach Black history and cultural memory, and how authors utilize their writing as an act of social protest. This course will also engage in the current scholarly discussions on police brutality, book banning, and making space for joy when trauma is ever-present.

Readings: Tiffany D. Jackson’s Let Me Hear a Rhyme, Janelle Monáe’s The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, Tupac Shakur’s The Rose That Grew from Concreteand Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give.

Assignments: Online discussion posts, short writing assignments, and a reading journal

104 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Susan Jones-Landwer

Course Title:  Books that Matter:  Women's Protest History in the United States  

Course Description:  This course will be guided by the questions - how has women's protest literature changed in the United States, and how has it remained the same?  In this class, we will explore protest literature beginning in the early 19th century through the 21st century that surveys speeches, lectures, and other published works.  We will take a look at the context to which each literary artifact is delivered, how each protest artifact is organized, and why that particular artifact was used to institute change.  

Readings:  American Protest Literature, Narrative in the Life of Nancy Prince, Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement, and The Purity Myth List not all inclusive and will include multiple short readings on D2L. 

Assignments:  Several short writing assignments; a reading journal; and participation. 

2012 Well Versed (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence)

101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor CJ Scruton
102 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor CJ Scruton


102 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Tyler Farrell

Course Title: Well Versed: Poetry, Myth, and Life

Course Description: This course is for anyone who has ever struggled with poetry—with understanding it or liking it—as well as for anyone who already loves poetry and wants to deepen their appreciation. We’ll survey a variety of poetic forms while practicing the basics of poetic reading: focusing tightly on language, including how words look and sound; learning key figurative devices; and (often but not always) using rhyme and meter to analyze meaning. Learning how to interpret poetry will help you become a better reader of prose, since a poem’s condensed language teaches you to focus your attention simultaneously on a work’s broad and small movements. Finally, reading poetry is a deeply joyful process. This class will encourage the delight that comes from engaging with poetic language in a focused way and hopes that you’ll leave with at least one new favorite writer. We’ll be reading a wide range of poets, from medieval to modern, and practicing listening and reading poetry together in class—from ancient Greek poets to Contemporary Spoken-Word artists, poetry can be appreciated in many forms. After all Poetry is the oldest written art form and can address almost any subject. Poetry is also powerful and can awaken an awareness of ideas of history, love, lessons, politics, war, society, and revolution. Poetry can As Carolyn Forche writes, “[A poet’s] voice is the saying of the witness, which is not a translation of experience into poetry but is itself experience.” Go poetry!

Readings: We will look at a wide range of poets including: W.B. Yeats, Lorine Niedecker,, Frank O’Hara, Allen Ginsberg, James Liddy, Terrance Hayes, Carolyn Forche, Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Cardenal, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Marie Louis Kaschnitz, Roberto Bolano, Juana Ines de la Cruz, Oscar Wilde, Emily Dickinson, Nicholas Moore, Osip Mandelstam, Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, William Blake, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Philip Levine, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, John Berryman, Charles Baudelaire, Jack Spicer, George Oppen, Alice Notley, James Wright, Jim Chapson, and many others. We will also look at poems written about the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and look deeply at how this myth informs the voice of poets from many backgrounds and eras.

This class will focus on analysis, active discussion in small and large groups, and writing informed by deep consideration of poetry from many eras.

Assignments: weekly reading assignments and short (1-2 page) reflections, group presentation, class discussions, two formal critical papers, midterm and final exam.


Writing Courses

3210 Writing Practices and Processes (WRIT)

101 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Jenna Green
102 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Jenna Green

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

Course Description: This workshop-based course is designed to help you develop your habits and skills as a writer in a digital age. Writing now includes many forms of creation in multiple modes and genres. This course will introduce you to theories of rhetoric and writing, provide opportunities to experiment with new writing processes and practices, and help you create a portfolio of nonfiction writing in multiple genres. 

We will analyze the ways writers compose texts by examining how meaning is constructed across genres through the use of text, images, sounds, and medium. The course is designed around the workshop method to allow frequent chances to write, revise, collaborate, and both give and receive feedback.


  • Ball, Cheryl E., Jennifer Sheppard, and Kristin L. Arola Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Bedford/St. Martins, 2018.
  • Your own writing and the reading and discussion of your classmates' writing.

Assignments: Assignments include brief writing assignments, style exercises and active participation in peer review workshop, and a portfolio including 4 selections of revised, multi genre writing. Portfolios may be individualized to meet student goals, needs, and interests.

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

101 MWF 8:00-8:50 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 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Sebastian Bitticks
104 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Sebastian Bitticks

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

Course Description: This class will introduce you to the ways language and creative forms help writers not just say what they need to, but learn what they need to say. We will write many rough poems and many narrative sketches in a low-pressure environment, emphasizing the discovery of things you didn’t know you knew and the pleasures of language. We will revise a few poems several times, and fashion a complete fiction or nonfiction narrative through several stages of drafting. We will share our work and learn from one another. Our focus will be experimentation and exploration--you already have everything you need to begin!

102 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Tyler Farrell
103 TuTh 3:30-4:45 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!

105 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor John Brick


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

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Katherine Zlabek
102 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Katherine Zlabek
103 MWF 2:00-2:50 Professor Katherine Zlabek
104 MWF 1:00-1:50 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.

3242 Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Expanding our Horizons)

101 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Ben Pladek
102 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Ben Pladek

Course Title: Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy: Short Speculative Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGA and ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement.

Course Description: In this course we will explore the unique joys and challenges of writing less-than-totally-realist short fiction through a combination of literary study, discussions of craft, and peer workshops. The class will begin by analyzing speculative short stories from the 20th and 21st-centuries, with bias towards recent works from what’s been called the post-2000s short speculative fiction renaissance. We’ll talk about what differentiates “realist” fiction from “not-totally-realist” fiction (it’s both less and more than you’ve been told!), as well as common genre formats and expectations. Students will write brief in-class exercises that let them practice key storytelling techniques: world-building, inhabiting a point-of-view, building characters, plotting, and scene-setting. Students will then write, workshop, and revise their own short stories. In a supportive workshop environment, students will offer one another feedback that they will use to 1) better understand themselves as writers, and 2) improve their work—both by revising stories they’ve already written and becoming more intentional and attentive when writing new ones. At the end of class, students will submit a portfolio of their revised stories.   

Readings: All readings will be posted on d2L. Exercises will be drawn from Matthew Salesses’s Craft in the Real World and Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft; short stories may include work from Ted Chiang, Sarah Pinsker, Sofia Samatar, Angela Carter, Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado, Charlie Jane Anders, and others. 

Assignments: Lively participation; in-class writing exercises; one flash story; one longer short story; and edit letters for fellow writers in workshop. 

3245 Creative Nonfiction

101 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Sebastian Bitticks

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

Course Description: Maybe you’ve wanted to tour a city like Anthony Bourdain, but couldn’t convince a TV crew to follow you. Or maybe you’ve filled pages with thoughts and reflections, but can’t quite find the form to fit them. Maybe you’ve read Roxanne Gay or Rebecca Solnit and thought: yes, this is what we need more of. Creative nonfiction is for you. Covering travel and food writing, memoir/autobiography, New Journalism, personal essays and hybrids that blur the borders with poetry and fiction, CNF is literature’s eclectic, big-tent genre. In this class, we will learn the habits, methods and writing techniques to tell true stories well. We will go out into the world and deep into our memories, explore new literary forms to express unique experiences, and learn how to take an idea from a vague feeling in our guts to a polished piece of writing.

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

101 TuTh 3:30-4:45 Professor Sebastian Bitticks

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

Course Description: This class breaks down barriers, between the campus and community, between "creative" and "analytical" disciplines, between nonfiction and other creative writing forms. In this course, we will read and write lived stories, both our own and those of people close to us. In our notebooks, we will explore memory, imagination, representation and records, reading memoir, personal essays and hybrid forms. We will also work to represent the stories of other people through interviewing and shared experiences, reading profiles, participant narrative and oral histories.

105 MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor CJ Scruton

106 Online (3/20/23-5/13/23) Professor Elisa Karbin
107 Online (3/20/23-5/13/23) Professor Elisa Karbin


108 Online (3/20/23-5/13/23) Professor Megan Paonessa
109 Online (3/20/23-5/13/23) 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.

4230 Writing Center Theory, Practice and Research (WRIT, ESSV2)

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Rebecca Nowacek
601 F 12:00-12:50 (Discussion) Professor Rebecca Nowacek

Course Title: Writing Center Theory, Research, and Practice
Fulfills English Major Requirement: ENGA and ENGW writing elective requirement and ENGL major elective requirement.

Course Description: Participants in this course will study the theoretical and practical aspects of peer tutoring of writing—a topic that may have relevance not only in the short term (for students looking to gain employment at Marquette’s Ott Memorial Writing Center and other campus programs that hire peer writing tutors) but also in the long term (for students looking to cultivate written and oral communication skills attractive to employers in a wide range of professions). Topics of inquiry include the complex processes involved in written, oral, and multi-modal composition; the exploration of the different genres and contexts of writing; the theory and practice of providing feedback on work in progress; and writing center scholarship more broadly. Observation, examination, and reflection upon our own experiences as writers and tutors is a central dimension of the course. Permission of the instructor after a process of application is required for registration. Please contact Dr. Rebecca Nowacek (Director of the Ott Memorial Writing Center) at

Readings: Texts will include scholarly sources made available through electronic reserve as well as original texts composed by current and previous participants in the course.

Assignments: Will likely include two reflective papers, a longer inquiry project, and 15 hours of participation in a “writing center internship” in Marquette’s Ott Memorial Writing Center. 

4250 Creative Writing: Fiction (WRIT) (NOTE: due to high demand, this course will not count for the Discovery Tier for the 2021-2022 academic year).

102 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Mollie Boutell

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

4260 Creative Writing: Poetry (WRIT)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Tyler Farrell

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

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!

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

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

101 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Steve Hartman Keiser

Course Title: Sociolinguistics: World Englishes
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Language study

Course Description: Has English become its own family of languages stretching from Kingston to Mumbai to Milwaukee? What even is English? Explore the political, economic, and social contexts that have led English to become the world’s lingua franca: 1 billion speakers and growing!  Analyze the variation in the linguistic structure of English dialects world-wide (America, Caribbean creoles, South Africa, and India) and their social meanings and uses by multidialectal and multilingual speakers (code switching, diglossia).  Investigate the ways in which writers represent these varieties in literature in order to construct intimacy and distance in social relationships, to define socioeconomic class, and to invoke history in their stories.

4120 The Anatomy of English

101 MWF 12:00-12:15 Professor Steve Hartman Keiser

Course Title: The Anatomy of English
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  
Language study

Course Description: In this course we will look closely at (and be wowed by) the structure of the sounds, words, and sentences of American English.  We will apply our analytical skills to develop a working model for representing the knowledge we each have as speakers of English—this will also require a certain amount of memorization of the terms needed to describe language structure.  We will consider how some of the conventions of standard edited English are or are not motivated by our model as we work to establish a basis for making informed decisions about style, usage, and grammar pedagogy.  Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Explain the evidence that:
    1. All languages are rule-governed.
    2. The rules of any particular language are acquired through everyday social interaction (and not through explicit instruction or attempts to learn a prestige language).
    3. Any stigma or prestige accorded a language is not predictable from the language itself, but rather from the social evaluation of its speakers.
  2. Analyze the structure of sounds, words, sentences, and conversations in English by describing the relationships between the units that compose them.
  3. Engage in productive conversations with people who have not had the opportunity to learn these course objectives (i.e., 1 and 2 above):
    1. Critique ideologies of (standard) language that shape public commentary on speaking and speakers.
    2. Critique prescriptive/evaluative statements about style, usage, and grammar pedagogy


Upper Division Literature Courses

3000 Introduction to Literary Studies (WRIT)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Jacob Riyeff

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 for the advanced study in the discipline of English literature. While the course is oriented toward new majors and minors, it is also open to anyone interested in honing their critical skills in the interpretation and evaluation of works that fall under the purview of literary studies. Our readings will range mainly thru twentieth and twenty-first century works for content with a stop in the earliest period of English literature as well. This lack of thematic/generic cohesion will enable the prioritization of literary criticism itself and, particularly, the position of the critic (that's you). With the help of several professional critics, we will engage our primary works with reflective understanding of the intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical bases and suppositions upon which the critical process rests and toward which it works in any given iteration. That is, we'll self-consciously focus on what it means to be a (scholarly) critic and press ourselves to develop our own abilities to take up the position of critic by doing so.

Readings: Authors and works to be read/viewed include Lorine Niedecker, Junot Diaz, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Beowulf, James Baldwin, David Lynch, Helen Vendler, and Terry Eagleton.


102 MW 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


103 MWF 11:00-11:50 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—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: Texts will include: Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home; Octavia Butler’s Kindred; Tony Kushner’s Angels in America; Claudia Rankine’s Citizen; a variety of poems; and a smattering of television episodes.

Assignments: weekly discussion board, creative assignments, a review, and a public-facing “thinkpiece.”

3410 Drama (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Intelligence, and Memory)

101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor John Curran
102 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor John Curran

Course Title:  Drama
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Pre-1700

Course Description: This course is a historical exploration of the dramatic representation of human reality, especially psychological reality. Its purpose is to give you an appreciation for dramatic art, a sense of its development from its earliest stages to the present, some practice at interpreting it carefully and thoughtfully, and the experience of directing this interpretation toward engaging the guiding questions of Cognition, Memory, and Intelligence. Drama is a very old and very controversial cultural phenomenon. As Aristotle told us, drama is “mimesis,” imitation of human action--and human action is multifarious. It can range from the horrid, to the ridiculous, to the majestic, to the evil; and, depending on how we model psychology, it can be thought compulsive or free. How do different modes of drama, in different times and places in the Western experience, imagine human behavior? We will examine specimens of premodern drama in the course's first half, concentrating on the Greeks and on the Renaissance; in the second half of the semester we will sample modernity's trend toward realism and departures from it. Along the way we will take special interest in plays that reflect thematically back on drama itself, asking in many ways if perhaps life is imitated most accurately when conceived in dramatic terms. But this is merely one dimension of the overarching two-part question we’ll be asking, which concerns the relationship between mimesis and meaning. What constitutes realism, and how in a given case does realism (or unrealism) contribute meaning?

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

102 MWF 8:00-8:50 Professor David Kenney

Course Title: Introduction to Gothic Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900

Course Description: The term “Gothic” is used to describe a branch of literature fascinated with the grim and the gruesome, with hauntings and persecutions, with spooky, moon-lit castles and wild, untamed landscapes. But do tales of ancient curses and walking nightmares have any real relevance to our everyday lives? And can stories about ghosts or monsters really be considered serious literature?

Beginning with the first novel of the genre, Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto (1764), this course will explore the origins and evolution of this fascinating genre through the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. We will encounter iconic villains in Stoker’s Dracula and Shelley’s  Frankenstein and wander through such ill-famed edifices as Poe’s House of Usher and Jackson’s Hill House, all the while considering why these macabre creations have had such an enduring legacy. Throughout its existence, the Gothic genre has challenged standard modes of literary interpretation, and we will scrutinize how literary analysis has adapted to cope with its strange, sometimes-terrifying, always-unsettling creations.


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

Course Title: Introduction to Gothic Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900

Course Description: As horror films continue to dominate box offices and streaming services, the language and imagery of horror also dominates news about politics, the environment, public health, and the economy. From the monstrosity of murder hornets (remember those?) to the invisible threat of COVID-19, whose very name induces panic: these fears may seem new, but they are not, and the ways we talk about and understand them are not. In this course, we will read broadly across the Gothic literary tradition, which provides us with a frame of reference for understanding what we fear and why. The semester will introduce you to the core concepts of this literary tradition through its most notable texts. Through reading, writing, and discussion, you will develop analytical and critical thinking skills, an interpretive toolbox, and an eye for identifying literary tropes across time periods. As a class, we will dissect and reconstruct the meaning of what scares us and why.

The Gothic has survived for hundreds of years because it warps and evolves to address the fears of each generation of readers. We will begin with the first texts referred to as “Gothic,” which shaped its trajectory for years to come, spending time in the Romantic and Victorian periods before moving to American Gothic and the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. We will also watch and discuss several films. Likely texts include: The Castle of Otranto, Frankenstein, Northanger Abbey, Dracula, Beloved, and Affinity.

Assignments: There will be one formal Media Research Paper, which asks you to look beyond our required texts to choose, analyze, and research a piece of “Gothic” media from any period and any modality (novel, film, poem, film, comic, videogame, etc.). There will also be one Creative Project. There will be no exams or quizzes. Instead, for each class period expect to write a Reading Response of approximately 250-words.

3517 Memory and Forgetting in Contemporary Historical Fiction (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Cognition, Intelligence and Memory)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Jackielee Derks

Course Title: Memory and Forgetting in Contemporary Historical Fiction
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900

3611 Jane Austen (Discovery Tier - Cognition, Intelligence, and Memory)

101 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor Al Rivero
102 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Al Rivero

Course Title: Jane Austen
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900

Course Description: Jane Austen is huge these days. Dozens of television, film, and theatrical adaptations of her novels have appeared and will continue to appear. Merchandise featuring her image or the images of her characters is everywhere. Only Shakespeare exceeds her in cultural capital. The downside of our current obsession with Austen is that the novels themselves are often trivialized or not read with care. In this course, we will read Austen’s six novels with the close critical attention they demand and deserve. Whether Austen was a feminist in our modern sense is debatable. What is beyond dispute is that her novels aim to represent the plight of women in a patriarchal society rigged against them. Austen’s novels are not the fantasy machines for which they are often mistaken but pedagogical interventions in a culture which, while ostensibly valuing women, kept them from achieving their full human potential. This is a truth not universally acknowledged either in Austen’s time or in ours.

Readings: Norton Critical Editions of Northanger Abbey; Sense and Sensibility; Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park; Emma; and Persuasion.

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

3740 Film Studies (Discovery Tier: Crossing Boundaries)

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

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

101 TuTh 8:00-9:15 Professor Grant Gosizk
102 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Grant Gosizk

Course Title: Medicine and Literature  
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.

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

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Jason Farr

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

Course Description: This class will examine the writing and representation of disabled people in fiction and non-fiction from various time periods and genres. In our reading and interpretation of disability-centered narratives, we will contemplate ethics, social justice, and representation 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.

4311 Themes in Medieval Imagination (WRIT)

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

Course Title: Themes in Medieval Literature: Make Love, Not War 
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Pre-1700

Course Description: Late medieval England witnessed the emergence of a new group of poets writing poetry about swooning lovers and fair ladies for the English royal court. But, in the same period, England was gaining ground in a wholly different way. The Hundred Years War, a disastrous 110-year long conflict between England and France, saw the rise of English military might, the birth of what we would now call terrorism and guerrilla warfare, and the rise of the “nation,” in its modern political sense. We will start this course by examining the conflict itself, and different versions of the same events told by different sides in the war. From here, we will read the original and authentic trial transcript of the remarkable Joan of Arc, who died at the hands of the English at just nineteen years old. From here, we will consider major literary sources that inform medieval poets’ literary representation of war, such as Virgil’s Aeneid. Finally, we will move on to medieval poets such as the famous Geoffrey Chaucer, focusing in particular on his Troilus and Criseyde, the tale of a doomed secret love affair transpiring in lockdown within a besieged city. Through these works, we will explore the birth of English nationalism: the pre-condition for the eventual formation of the British Empire and for the birth of “English” itself as an academic discipline in the university.

Readings: Including but not limited to Virgil’s Aeneid, the trial Joan of Arc, medieval war chronicles, anonymous medieval war poetry, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Assignments: Three papers with a scaffolded research component, in-class discussion leading, and final presentations

4351 Milton 

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor John Curran

Course Title: Milton
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Pre-1700
Advanced Seminar for English Majors—Permission Number Required

Course Description: An examination of Milton’s life, times, art, and thought, this course concentrates heavily on Paradise Lost. While we will work with specimens of the minor poetry and prose and with Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, our primary task is to wrestle with the problems and questions emanating from Milton’s great epic.

Readings: Paradise Lost, selected minor poems, selected major prose

Assignments: Three papers and a final exam

4423 Legal Fictions of the Enlightenment (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Melissa Ganz
102 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Melissa Ganz

Course Title: Legal Fictions of the Enlightenment
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900

Description:  From bigamy and robbery to treason and murder, eighteenth-century novels obsessively depict illicit behavior.  In this course, we consider the centrality of law and lawlessness to early British fiction while exploring the ways in which novels can help us understand the nature and consequences of illicit acts.  Reading novels alongside criminal biographies, statutes, and treatises, we take up questions concerning justice and judgment, crime and punishment, gender and marriage, testimony and evidence, and legal terror and popular violence.  At the same time, we examine the development of the novel genre.  Likely texts include the lively and checkered fictional autobiography of Moll Flanders, a four-time bigamist and successful thief who claims to have repented for her crimes even as she proudly narrates them; a novel by the founder of modern feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft, recounting the struggles of a young woman whose husband confines her in a madhouse; and one of the earliest works of detective fiction, itself an account of the abuse of police power.  We may also examine Austen’s treatment of marriage in Pride and Prejudice and view the 2013 PBS/Masterpiece film adaptation of P.D. James’s continuation, Death Comes to Pemberley.  The course should appeal to students with interests in law and ethics as well as anyone with an appetite for stories of transgression, punishment, and revenge. 

Note:  This class satisfies the 1700-1900 literary history requirement for English majors and counts toward the minor in Law and Society.  In addition, it counts toward the Basic Needs and Justice theme of the Marquette Core Curriculum (MCC) and satisfies the MCC Writing-Intensive requirement.

Readings:  Novels by authors such as Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Jane Austen; secondary readings by Martha Nussbaum, Douglas Hay, Michel Foucault, and others.

Assignments:  Two papers (with drafts/revision); a reading journal (“crime log”); short reading responses (in the form of D2L posts); and lively participation.

4616 Moby-Dick (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Expanding our Horizons)

101 MWF 10:00-10:50 Professor Amy Blair
102 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Amy Blair
- (Advanced Seminar for English Majors—Permission Number Required)

Course Title: Moby-Dick
Fulfills English Major Requirement: 1700-1900, American Literature

Course Description: “A good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing . . . and the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think.”—Moby-Dick chapter 5, “Breakfast”

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is a hilarious book. It is also encyclopedic. Its narrator, Ishmael, thinks of himself as a philosopher, a naturalist, an engineer, a social critic, a poet, an historian, and a competent sailor—he both is and is not all of these things. Melville’s novel was a critical flop when it was published: “it repels the reader,” wrote a critic for the London Spectator. But they just didn’t get the joke, or the metaphysics. After this seminar, in which we will read the entirety of Moby-Dick, you will have a profound appreciation for Melville’s subversive sense of humor and his radical politics. Alongside the novel we will read things other people have said about this literary/scientific/historical masterpiece, from perspectives literary-critical (Charles Olsen’s Call Me Ishmael), postcolonial-political-theoretical (C. L. R. James’s Mariners Renegades and Castaways) and sci-fi-ecocritical- salvagepunky (China Miéville’s Railsea). We will cherish all of Melville’s bawdy humor, as well as the very funny Melville!Twitter world, will check out Emoji Dick and the star-studded Moby-Dick Big Read, will create our own versions of Captain Ahab’s Pequod Crew Onboarding HR/Instructables videos, and will almost certainly indulge in a sea shanty or two (and might come to blows over whether they are “shantys” “chanteys” or “chantys”).

“Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.”—Moby-Dick chapter 94, “A Squeeze of the Hand”

Assignments: Active participation in class discussion; weekly short writing and annotation assignments; an Instructable video based on one of Melville’s “how to run a Whale Ship” chapters, final researched project (modality to be determined by student) and final reflective essay.

4631 Toni Morrison (WRIT, ESSV2, Discovery Tier - Basic Needs and Justice)

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Heather Hathaway 

102 MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor Heather Hathaway

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

Course Description: Toni Morrison has been a formidable force shaping 20th (and now 21st) century American literary history. As an editor at Random House, she played a pivotal role in selecting contemporary fiction for publication and mentoring a generation of young African American writers, in particular. As a literary critic, she worked toward transforming scholarly understandings of how race functions in fiction. As an educator, she helped students understand the richness, depth, and changing nature of the American literary canon. Most importantly, as a writer, she provided the reading public with novels, short fiction, drama, children’s literature, a libretti, and non-fiction novels—an oeuvre for which she was awarded the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In this course we will study Morrison’s role in American literary history by studying on her primary texts, both fictional and critical, within the historical, cultural and political contexts framing their production.

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

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 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 marginalized “others”? How does writing for children address the power differentials upon which this marginalization rests?

Readings: Primary texts will 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 reflections / responses, four short response papers, and a longer paper, developed in stages. 

4734 The Epic (WRIT, Discovery Tier: Expanding our Horizons)

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor Leah Flack
102 MWF 1:00-1:50 Professor Leah Flack

Course Title: The Epic
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  1700-1900

4736 Fiction (Discovery Tier: Cognition, Intelligence, Memory)

101 TuTh 9:30-10:45 Professor Paul Gagliardi
102 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Paul Gagliardi

Course Title: Fiction: The Lost Generation
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900, American Literature

Course Description: In the aftermath of the First World War, the term "Lost Generation" applied to the men and women who felt disillusioned from the trauma of war and began to challenge many social norms and traditions. In literature, "The Lost Generation" applies to American writers of this generation, many of whom congregated on the Left Bank of Paris during the 1920s. This course will explore aesthetic and cultural context of the literary Lost Generation, focusing on how these writers dealt with a variety of themes including decadence, rejection of gender norms, and problematic histories. We will also explore the social and historical influences on these writers: World War I, the Influenza Pandemic, Prohibition, racism, the economic boom of the Roaring Twenties, and the onset of the Great Depression. 

Readings: Texts may include F. Scott Fitzgerlad's The Great Gatsby, Djuna Barnes's Ladies Almanack, John Dos Passos's Three Soldiers, The Sun Also Rises and short stories by Ernest Hemingway, essays and letters from Claude McKay, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach, and poetry from Edna St. Vincent Millay, Alan Seeger, and EE Cummings.

Assignments: Short essay, final project, class participation. 

4745 Digital Literacies

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

Course Title: Game Studies
Advanced Seminar for English Majors—Permission Number Required

Course Description: This course (one of the new advanced seminars for English majors) is a survey of the burgeoning academic field of game studies, with special focus on the history and reception of video games. Together we will explore some of the fraught ethical and political debates that have accompanied the rise of video games as multi-billion-dollar popular entertainment. Are video games addictive? Are they bad for children? Are they bad for adults? Are they a waste of time—or, to paraphrase Steven Johnson, do “bad” video games turn out to actually be quite good for you? What is the status of “gaming” in a world where the boundary between work and leisure seems to have become ever more fluid? And how do we consume, create, and interpret different sorts of game texts when gaming has become the most culturally important and most lucrative mass-media market on the planet?

Readings and Games: Students will read major texts in the field of game studies, as well as play significant games of the past decade. I will finalize the readings and games we will study after a poll of student interest.

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

4786 Women Writers (WRIT, Discovery Tier - Individuals and Communities)

101 MW 2:00-3:15 Professor Jackielee Derks

Course Title:  Women Writers:  Global Voices
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Post-1900

Course Description: This course foregrounds the voices of women writing from a variety of national and geographic contexts. Using a range of contemporary texts, we will explore how women, trans, and non-binary writers from around the world grapple with gender, sexuality, and identity in what is generally considered a post-colonial era. Our reading will be guided by several questions: How do these writers engage literary traditions, genres, and styles to express their lived experiences? Does the category of “women’s writing” sufficiently account for the intersecting ways in which gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and ability shape the identities of such writers? How do these writers employ literary form and aesthetics as a means of interrogating their unique social and cultural contexts? And, how do our own cultural contexts shape our responses to such writing? Our reading will be guided by a variety of theoretical frameworks, including the work of global feminists and post-colonial scholars. Possible texts include: Baghdad Burning by Alia Mamdouh, Nervous Conditions by Akwaeke Emezi, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, and short stories by authors such as Li Yiyun and Nadine Gordimer. We will also explore the film, music, art, and multimodal works of creators such as Vivek Shraya and Akwaeke Emezi.

Assignments: brief reading responses, two short papers, and a final project

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

701 TuTh 5:00-6:15 Professor Jodi Melamed
102 TuTh 3:30-4:45 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. 

4825 Native American / Indigenous Literature (WRIT, ESSV2, Discovery Tier: Crossing Boundaries)

101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Professor Samantha Majhor  

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

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 Indian Boarding School histories.

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

4997 Capstone (WRIT)

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

Course Title: Capstone: The Afterlives of Texts
Fulfills English Major Requirement: Capstone, American Literature, 1700-1900

Course DescriptionThis Literature 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 David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and Henry James—three writers whose keen powers of observation and experimentations with literary form opened new avenues for writing, reflection, and representation. Paired with Thoreau, Melville, and James are three contemporary novelists whose creative work is in direct conversation with theirs. Along the way, we will examine complex relationships among time, space, and text while exploring the boundaries between real life, life-writing, storytelling, and the evolving project of literary realism.  

As a capstone course for the Literature major, 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. This seminar’s focus on life journeys, temporality, place, (re)reading, and “afterlives” will afford each student the opportunity to engage in critical inquiry, writing, and reflection to meet these objectives. 

Readings: Readings will include selections from Walden and other essays by Henry David Thoreau; Benito Cereno, Billy Budd, and an array of excerpts from the work of Herman Melville; and a sampling of tales, novellas, and other writings by Henry James, together with three contemporary novels: Woodsburner, by John Pipkin, Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson, and, The Maze at Windermere, by Gregory Blake Smith.  

Assignments: In addition to participating regularly in class discussion, each student will produce brief informal written responses, three short writing assignments, and a capstone portfolio containing a longer essay, a personal statement, and a series of reflections.  

Graduate Seminars

6730 Studies in Transnational Literature

101 MW 3:30-4:45 Professor Tosin Gbogi

Course Title: Postcolonial Poetry: Theory and Practice

Course Description: The processes of empire making thrived on narrative and discursive formations as much as they did on physical violence and subjugation. Whether to rationalize or to justify the “mission,” colonial discourses constructed the image of the Other who not only stood outside of history but also needed the intervention of Europe (or the West) to be reconciled with history. We will examine in this course how a broad array of writers and thinkers from former colonized territories respond to these discourses of race-making and expansionism. Our engagement will begin from the term itself: What is postcolonialism? Is the “post-” in postcolonialism the afterlife of colonialism or the counter-discourse to colonialism and imperialism? What is the relationship between postcolonialism, postmodernism, and decoloniality? Focusing on this set of questions, we will consider in the first part of this class the major theories, concepts, and debates in postcolonial studies. In the second part, we will focus on postcolonial poetry as a genre, exploring in detail some of the ways that postcolonial poets from different cultural and national contexts respond to concerns as wide ranging as modernity and the Enlightenment; colonialism, coloniality, and neocolonialism; difference, particularism, and universalism; exile, place, and displacement; hybridity, mimicry, and ambivalence; nationalism and postnationalism, among others.  

6820 Studies in Modern Critical Theory and Practice

101 TuTh 2:00-3:15 Professor Cedric Burrows

Course Title: Studies in Modern Critical Theory and Practice

6931 Topics in English

101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Professor Jason Farr

Course Title: Topics in English: Queer Disability, Then and Now

Course Description: Though disability is often not considered in tandem with sexuality because of pervasive ableist assumptions, these two categories are closely aligned. From the eighteenth century forward, discourses and representations of disability had an enormous influence on the development of modern sexual categories. Moreover, the variable, rich associations between disability and sexuality in the eighteenth century illuminate a rich literary and cultural history that can be traced to the present. Intersections of disability and sexuality in the literary imagination of the eighteenth-century and present will be the focus of this class. We will apply disability and queer theories to a range of literary texts, media, and genres. Readings to include theory and scholarship from disability and sexuality studies, as well as histories of eugenics, queer accounts of neurodivergence, life writing, novels, and films. More broadly, this class aims to equip students with the critical tools and experience to do intersectional scholarship (including categories of embodiment pertaining to disability, sexuality, race, gender, class, and so forth).

Approved 5000 level courses

Please see the 4000 level courses for course descriptions

5120 - The Anatomy of English
5311 - Themes in Medieval Imagination
5351 - Milton
5423 - Legal Fictions of the Enlightenment
5533 - US Literature: 20th-Century Beginnings to World War II
5616 - Moby Dick
5715 - Children's Literature
5745 - Digital Literacies
5820 - Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
5825 - Native American Literature