ENGL 3240: Introduction to Creative Writing
101 TTh 9:30-10:45
Professor Angela Sorby
Course Title: Introduction to Creative Writing.
Course Description: This course proceeds from the assumption that creativity can be learned and that it is broadly applicable to every life path. Students will read flash fiction, micro-essays, and lyric poetry. As they become skilled readers they will also produce and revise work in each of the three genres. The culminating course project is an online portfolio of curated and original writing.
ENGL 4210: Writing, Literacy, and Rhetoric Studies
101 TTh 11:00-12:15
Professor Cedric Burrows
Course Title: The Rhetoric of the Black Freedom Movement
Course Description: This course examines the rhetorical strategies African Americans historically and currently use to resist, reform, and renew the ideals of American democracy and human rights. To frame our discussion, the course will study the historical periods that helped shape the rhetorical strategies. These periods include the Abolition Movement, Reconstruction, The Nadir, Civil Rights/Black Power Movements, and Black Lives Matter. In the process, students will gain an understanding of the historical and cultural developments of black America, most notably how African Americans shaped an identity created by both the community and the larger society and how African Americans formed and fostered a culture that has sustained them from slavery to the twenty-first century. Also, students will learn how the historical and cultural development of African Americans informed their rhetorical strategies to members within and outside their communities.
Readings: Marable, Manning and Leith Mullings, editors. Let Nobody Turn Us Around: An African American Anthology. 2nd ed., Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2009.
Assignments: Rhetorical analysis papers; midterm; final
ENGL 4230; Writing Center Theory, Practice, and Research
- 101 MWF 11:00-11:50
Professor Rebecca Nowacek
- 601 F 12:00-12:50 (Discussion)
Professor Rebecca Nowacek
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
ENGL 4250: Creative Writing: Fiction
101 MWF 1:00-1:50
Professor Sherri Hoffman
Course Description: The Seminar in Fiction is the study of the craft of fiction within the context of the culture in which it is produced. This course investigates how storytelling represents, reframes, resists, or reinforces cultural beliefs and values. The workshop structure allows for an active discussion of student work. Readings are a diverse selection of authors as examples of craft and the diversity of voice. Supporting craft materials include essays, video clips, and book excerpts, which invite the study of language and story reimagining our world.
Readings: Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin; Triggering Town by Richard Hugo; various fiction from Tobias Wolff, Dorothy Allison, James Baldwin, Anton Chekhov, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nina McConigley, Leonard Michaels, Breece D’J Pancake, Leo Tolstoy, Alice Walker, Denis Johnson, and others; additional craft essays by various authors.
Assignments: Over the course of the semester, students will give a class presentation, write several short critical responses to short stories, write workshop reviews, and produce a portfolio of fiction (30-40 pages).
ENGL 4932: Topics in Writing
103 MWF 2:00-2:50
Professor Sebastian Bitticks
Course Title: Writing Creative Nonfiction
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.
ENGL 4954: Seminar in Creative Writing
101 MW 3:30-4:45
Professor C.J. Hribal
Course Title: Seminar in Creative Writing: Fiction & Poetry
Course Description: “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” So says that great theorist of narrative craft, the filmmaker Mel Brooks. Of course, most of life (and most of the writing that tries to reflect the complexity of life) falls all along the spectrum between (and including) those two poles. Life is both tragic and comic. Or as the Yiddish proverb has it, “Man plans. God laughs.” This workshop will give students an opportunity to develop poems and narratives that reflect that complexity. To paraphrase the Czech writer Milan Kundera, most people would rather believe a simple lie than a complex truth. This is a course in learning how to write complex truths by making stuff up. In this seminar, which will be run as a workshop, students will develop proficiency with those techniques (many of which they first encountered in ENGL 4250 or 4260) that will help them do that. They’ll also add additional techniques to their repertoire, examine poetry and narratives from technical (as well as critical) viewpoints and develop fluency in discussing poetry and fiction writing from the practitioner’s viewpoint, with the ultimate goal of writing better poems and better narratives.
Readings: The Story Behind The Story, Barrett and Turchi, eds., Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, Kim Addonizio, + student work
Assignments: In addition to a few writing exercises, students will produce 20-25 pages of prose fiction and/or poetry by semester’s end (and will do significant revision of those pages). They will also write and present a number of brief craft-oriented responses to the assigned readings and to the work of their peers.
ENGL 4997: Capstone
101 TTh 11:00-12:15
Professor Elizaveta Strakhov
Course Title: Capstone – History of the Book and Material Text
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 the serialized novel or the graphic novel). We will also attend sessions at the MARVL lab, as well as the Haggerty Museum of Art and Raynor Library Special Collections, in order to experience texts as objects in a variety of beyond-the-classroom settings, both material and digital. For their capstone, each student will complete a research project tailored to his or her literary interests that will be centered on a physical item or items within Raynor Library Special Collections.
Readings: Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Mark Daniliewski’s House of Leaves, and the “Dear David” Twitter thread.