Courses Offered (Summer 2022)

Undergraduate Courses


First-Year English (UCCS Rhetoric Requirement)

1001 Foundations in Rhetoric (Foundation Tier)

101 Professor Jenna Green (session 1, 100% distance learning)
102 Professor Robert Bruss (7/11-8/13/22, MTWThF 9:45-11:15)
104 Professor Paul Gagliardi (7/11-8/13/22, MTWThF 8:00-9:30)
105 Professor Sarah Stanley (7/11-8/13/22, MTWThF 8:00-9:30)
106 Staff (7/11-8/13/22, MTWThF 9:45-11:15)

English 1001, Foundations in Rhetoric

Students learn to:

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

 ESSV Core Requirements

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

101 Professor Robert Bruss (session 1, 100% distance learning)

Course Title: Books that Matter: Finding One’s Place in the World        

Course Description: One way that literature often matters to readers is its ability to help us feel like we’ve found a home in a world we sometimes feel lost in. Or, when we feel like an outcast or outsider, to realize we’re not alone in that experience. In this class we’ll read a series of books and poetry about people who are trying to find their place in the world. As we read, we’ll talk about the ways literature can help us see the world in new ways, forge connections through themes and characters, and even imagine new realities we might bring into being. The premise of this course is that learning to read complex, important literature in an intelligent, effective way is a useful and even inspiring activity.  I hope you can relate to this literature and even find in it encouragement, support, and strategies for survival when you feel adrift, disconnected, or rejected. Regardless, we’ll explore some of the central questions that give literature value and discuss methods for unlocking that value for yourself. This course invites students to become writers inspired by and engaged with the texts they read in thoughtful, original ways. 

Readings: Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao; Mohsin Hamid, Exit West; Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild; selected poetry 

Assignments: Several short creative assignments, reading journal, engaged discussion 


102 Professor Grant Gosizk (session 1, 100% distance learning)

Course Description: Technology can be exhausting. Do you ever get Zoom fatigue? Maybe it makes you feel listless, or lonely. Or, maybe you have a different experience. Maybe you look at a Tesla driving down the street and feel enthusiastic about the technological innovations that might occur in the future. To put it simply, our relationship with technology is complicated.  

Literature has long been a place where people go to better understand their relationship to technological innovation. Authors from diverse backgrounds have contemplated the technological conditions of their historical moment and used literature to explore its affect on their lives and the world around them. Whether bemoaning the loss of a simpler time or looking boldly into the future, they used literature to help them, and us, better understand our collective experience of technology and speculate about our futures. ENGL2011 is an invitation to that conversation. 

In this class we’ll explore how technology has affected our relationship to nature, money, work, death, one another, and other important topics by reading novels, short fiction, essays, and prose from various authors. As we read, we’ll discuss how and why fiction, itself an imaginary realm, helps us navigate (or at least deal with) our technological reality. The premise of this course is that learning to read complex, important literature in an intelligent, effective way is a useful and even inspiring activity. ENGL 2011 will help students become curious, empowered, engaged readers and to find their own voices in an ongoing conversation with books.

 Writing Courses

3240 Introduction to Creative Writing (WRIT, Discovery Tier: Individual and Communities)

101 Professor Tyler Farrell (Session 1, 100% distance learning)

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, Intelligence, and Memory)

101 Professor Megan Paonessa (Session 1, 100% distance learning)

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

Course Description: Following the outline Jeff Vandermeer provides in “Wonderbook,” this course will focus on the craft involved in writing short stories. We will explore the core elements of fiction, like character, point of view, dialogue, description, and style, as well as some of the lesser mysteries of writing and the role of the imagination. Taking cues from celebrated short stories that exemplify or challenge these core elements of short story writing, we will build our critical and analytical skills while also composing short pieces that experiment with these core concepts from a more creative perspective.

3751 The Art of War (WRIT, Discovery Tier: Individual and Communities)

101 Professor Leah Flack (Session 1, 100% distance learning)

Course Title: The Art of War

Course Description: Nearly three millennia ago, the Western literary tradition began with Homer’s pair of epic stories about war and the agonizing return to peace. In our own era, we face the urgent problems of escalating global warfare, which prompts us to become informed citizens with a critical awareness of how war is represented and justified. To this end, we have much to learn from the literary tradition.  

This course will teach students to become empowered readers of war narratives through an intensive study of short stories, novels, and films about war and peace, most of which were written in the past 60 years. We will explore several features of representations of war in literature: the celebratory, commemorative, and protest functions of literature; representations of the body in war narratives; representations of various forms of psychological, physical, and cultural damage caused by war; the difficulty of return and recovery from war; and war’s challenges to traditional narrative forms as writers struggle to define, as Tim O’Brien writes, “how to tell a true war story.”   

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

101 Professor Gerry Canavan (Session 2, 100% distance learning)

Course Title: Afrofuturism

Course Description: Greg Tate has said that "Black people live the estrangement that science fiction writers imagine." This special summer section of ENGLISH 4736 takes up the constellation of intersections between black history and the radical black imagination that is commonly called Afrofuturism, focusing in particular of figurations of Africa as a space of science fictional possibility from both sides of the Atlantic. If Afrofuturism has been, as Kodwo Eshun has said, "a program for recovering the histories of counter-futures created in a century hostile to Afrodiasporic projection," how does the rise of Africa as a global economic powerhouse in the twenty-first-century transform our understanding of black futurity? 2018's smash hit Black Panther is only the most vivid registration of the ongoing global importance of the Afrofuturist imagination; from comics to film and television to literature to music videos to social media we will trace Afrofuturist fiction across the twenty-first century cultural landscape, in both the U.S. and in Africa.

Readings: Texts will likely include Black Panther (2018 film and Marvel comics, 1966-present), Octavia E. Butler’s Wild Seed, Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Abdourahman Waberi's In the United States of Africa, short stories from across the African diaspora, the music of Sun Ra and Janelle Monáe, and Get Out.

Assignments: Weekly forum posts; short response papers; creative or curational final project 

4738 Poetry - International (Travel-Study Abroad)

101 Professor Tyler Farrell, (6/27-8/13/22)

Course Title: Poetry - International

The program, trip and class will be led by Dr. Tyler Farrell, visiting assistant professor of English. This 4-week trip (2 weeks in Galway, 2 weeks in Dublin) and class will be held at two Universities (NUI-Galway and UC-Dublin) and is a lecture and discussion-based course but also one where all students will be immersed in Irish places and culture. The class will focus on Irish literature, history and culture and examine common themes that can be seen through some of Ireland’s best and most prominent writers. (James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Eavan Boland, James Liddy, W.B. Yeats, Michael Hartnett and others.) Students will read Irish writers of the 20th century, reflecting on how they portray the Irish in fiction, non-fiction, drama, short stories, and poetry. We will together examine how the authors use their native land and its inhabitants to inform their writing and how they use of place to create a certain mood and overarching moral for their work. Readings will be assigned with ample class time to discuss themes, motifs, symbolism, ideas, etc. We will also engage in the culture of Ireland with various tours of historic places, a play at the Abbey Theater, walking tours and cultural events. Students will learn to analyze literature and its historical and cultural contexts in a self-conscious, logical, and rigorous manner. The starting point for both our reading and writing will be our personal responses to the texts, both as works of literature and as windows into the Irish world. The class will also focus on how these writers use their native land and its inhabitants to inform their writing, the use of place and surroundings to show and create a certain mood and overarching moral. Most of this class will involve lecture and discussion, and in-person engagement with all things Irish. We will also look at specific places in Ireland to ground the readings in actual history and place of Ireland. We will engage in deep class discussion and use time to allow students to present information with in-depth reflection and critical analysis. We will discuss and contemplate the places we will visit and experience. Go Ireland! Go Learning!