English course descriptions: Fall 2022


1000 level

ENG 1010 - Basic Writing

All sections

English 1010 prepares students for English 1020 by building upon their diverse skills to help them become critical readers and effective writers at the college level. The main goals of the course are (1) to teach students to integrate reading and writing in basic academic genres; (2) to use a writing process that incorporates drafting, revising, and editing for grammar and mechanics; and (3) to write according to the conventions of college writing, including documentation.

To achieve these goals, the course encourages students to read carefully; respond analytically and critically; and write in a variety of academic genres, including summary, response, analysis and argument for an academic audience.

ENG 1020 - (BC) Introductory College Writing

All sections

In ENG 1020 you’ll apply the Wayne State writing curriculum’s core emphases of discourse community, genre, rhetorical situation, and metacognition/reflection to written and multimedia works focused on specific audiences, such as your classmates, academic and professional audiences of various types, or civic communities you might belong to or wish to influence in a particular way. While, as with all of the courses in the Wayne State required writing sequence, mechanical correctness and appropriate academic writing styles are a key concern, in ENG 1020 you’ll also concentrate specifically on rhetoric (or persuasion) and argument as major objectives of many important kinds of writing you may be asked to produce. By focusing on rhetoric and on audience, assignments in ENG 1020 will require you do two major types of work. In one type, you’ll analyze a particular piece of argumentative discourse to determine how it succeeds (or fails) to appropriately impact its audience. In another type, you’ll choose a particular issue and a relevant audience for that issue and then argue for a certain point or for a certain action to be taken by that audience. Work in 1020 often takes place through the following key writing tasks, several of which might serve as long-term projects in your 1020 course: genre and subgenre analyses, genre critiques, researched position arguments, rhetorical analyses, definition analyses and arguments, proposal arguments, and reflective argument and portfolio.


2000 level

ENG 2200 – (CI) Shakespeare

Bernadette Kelly

In this course, we will study a selection of plays written by William Shakespeare which represent his work in comedy, tragedy, and history. We will explore Shakespeare’s early modern theatrical world by comparing and contrasting the tropes and production practices of the different genres as well as contextualizing our observations using a historical lens. As we read, we will look for various themes such as nature, jealousy, ambition, self-doubt, love, etc. Our close readings will lay the foundation for us to discuss the themes we find through various critical lenses including critical race, feminist, and queer theory. While our discussions will cover the selected plays, we will also open the floor to questions about Shakespeare’s canonicity, how we can make Shakespeare more accessible, and how Shakespeare’s work has been reinvented in popular culture time and time again. Assignments will include weekly reading responses, close reading practice, a literary analysis essay, and an end of semester presentation.

ENG 2390 – (DEI, IC) Introduction to African American Literature: Literature and Writing

Laval Duncan

AFS 2390/ENG 2390 seeks to convey a sense of African American Literature through six blocks of historical time, from the period of Slavery to the Present. We will begin with Someone Knows My Name, a contemporary novel on slavery. We are also reading Frederick Douglass’ classic Narrative. Among other works are poems by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Lorraine Hansberry’s play Raisin in the Sun. We will also read a story by Earnest Gaines, one or two stories by Edward P. Jones and probably something by Toni Morrison. In our reading, we want to understand the context and shaping power of each historical period. Each person in the class will be part of group that presents an overview on one of these six historical periods. Each person also will do a short Individual Presentation on a Research Topic or an Interpretation of one of our assigned readings. As readers, we will practice paying close attention to specific language and to writing about what we have read. Most weeks there will be a short-answer quiz. While there will be no final exam, there will be three Outside Essays due at different points in the semester.

ENG 2450 – (CI) Introduction to Film

Steven Shaviro

This class introduces students to films from a broad-based spectrum of styles, genres, historical periods, and national cultures. The primary method of the course is to break films down into their component features: narrative, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound; to analyze the operations of each of these constituent parts in detail; and then to return each of the parts to the whole. In this course, students will learn, practice, and perform the analytical and critical methods necessary to describe, interpret, and appreciate the film text.

ENG 2560 – (CI) Children’s Literature: Literature and Writing

Lisa Maruca

This course is designed to teach you how to analyze and write about literature: to think more deeply about how literature reflects and shapes our culture; to understand its artistic effects; and to learn a critical vocabulary for interpretation. We will do so by examining books for children written in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Despite these texts’ ties to younger audiences, we will treat them seriously as literary works worthy of close observation and sustained attention. Some of the areas we cover are:

  • the history and genre of children’s literature (what it is, its key features, how it developed, etc)
  • how picture books create meaning through text, image, layout, size, and other material aspects
  • the shifting image of the child and of childhood over time and through culture
  • ideas about children’s’ agency and innocence
  • the historical context in which our texts were written
  • the ways these works understand history and comment on historical events
  • the ways that children’s literature represents gender, ethnicity, class, disability and other intersectional identities

We will read six picture books and five novels, as well as The Wiley Guide to Writing Essays about Literature. Students will write an analytical paragraph, a short literary analysis, a comparison paper, and a creative project.

ENG 2570 – (CI, DEI) Writing about Literature: Women Writers

Chris Tysh

This course will explore gender constructs in contemporary literature drawn from multicultural sources. We will attend to the notions of sexual difference, representation, politics of identity, agency and production of desire, among other issues. By taking an in-depth approach to women’s fiction (both short stories and novels) and poetry, we will examine the ways in which texts produce, resist and invent gender identities. The format of the class will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Active participation is required. There will be two short papers (4-6 pages) and a final paper (8-10 pages). In addition, each student will be responsible for one oral presentation based on class materials. Grading: Participation/Preparation: 10%; oral presentation: 10%; short papers: 30%; mid-term: 20%; final paper: 30%

ENG 2720 – (CI) Basic Concepts in Linguistics (LIN 2720)

Petr Staroverov

This course provides an introduction to the nature and complexity of human language. We will study the structure of language at the level of words (morphology), the level of sounds (phonetics and phonology), and the level of phrases and sentences (syntax). We will also consider common attitudes that people hold about language, and how the discipline of linguistics can lead to a deeper understanding of these issues. Much of the data we analyze will come from English; however, since the principles we discuss have universal validity, we will work with data from other languages as well. This course fulfills the “Cultural Inquiry” General Education requirement.

ENG 2730 – (GL) Langauges of the World (LIN 2730)

Natalia Rakhlin

This course will introduce students to global linguistic diversity. It will survey major language families from different geographic regions of the world, including Europe, Northern Eurasia, Central Asia, East and South East Asia, India and Iran, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and Oceania and the Americas. We will discuss linguistic characteristics of representative languages from each language family, compare grammars of languages of distinct structural types, talk about ways in which languages relate to each other, and historical reasons for these relationships. We will also discuss the causes for widespread language extinction and its implications. The course should broaden students' understanding of the diversity and unity that exists in the way people structure their thoughts through language. This course fulfills the General Education Global Learning Inquiry requirement.


3000 level

ENG 3010 - (IC) Intermediate Writing

All sections

Building on students’ diverse skills, ENG 3010 prepares students for reading, research, and writing in the disciplines and professions, particularly for Writing Intensive courses in the majors. To do so, it asks students to consider how research and writing are fundamentally shaped by the disciplinary and professional communities using them. Students analyze the kinds of texts, evidence, and writing conventions used in their own disciplinary or professional communities and consider how these items differ across communities. Thus students achieve key composition objectives: (1) learn how the goals and expectations of specific communities shape texts and their functions; (2) learn how writing constructs knowledge in the disciplines and professions, and (3) develop a sustained research project that analyzes or undertakes writing in a discipline or profession.

ENG 3020 - (IC) Writing and Community

All sections

ENG 3020 satisfies the Intermediate Composition (IC) requirement. It combines advanced research writing techniques with community-based activities with local community organizations. In addition to coursework, the course requires community-based work outside of normal class time distributed across the semester. Satisfies the Honors College service-learning requirement.

ENG 3050 - (IC) Technical Communication I: Report Writing

All sections

ENG 3050 prepares students from across disciplines for the reading, researching, writing, and designing Technical and Professional genres. The value that technical communicators provide stems from making technical or professional information more usable and accessible to diverse audiences, most often to advance the goals of a workplace, organization, or company. While some technical writing in 3050 addresses a general audience (e.g., instructions for online communities), technical documents are often written for multiple audiences with different specializations (e.g., technical reports for executives and implementers). Technical documents incorporate both textual (writing) and visual (graphics, illustrations, media, etc.) elements of design, and deal with topics that range from technical or specialized (computer applications, medical research, or environmental impacts), to the development or use of technology (help files, social media sites, web-pages) to more general instructions about how to do almost anything (from technical instructions to managerial and ethical workplace procedures).

ENG 3060 - (OC) Technical Communication II: Writing and Speaking

All sections

ENG 3060 prepares students for researching and developing technical proposals and presentations as members of collaborative writing teams. Technical proposals are a central genre in the workplace, often developed collaboratively and delivered in presentation form to multiple audiences. Research-based technical presentations incorporate both textual (written information) and visual (graphics, illustrations, etc.) elements of design, often in digital environments (e.g., PowerPoint, Prezi, Wikis, etc.). The main goals of the course are (1) to teach students to consider the audience(s) and purpose(s) in developing proposals and presentations as members of collaborative teams; (2) to teach students presentation delivery skills; (3) to integrate research, design, and writing in the effective development of technical presentations, including text, slides, visuals, format, and mechanics; and (4) to work with current technologies for technical proposal and presentation design designed for multiple audiences with different specializations (e.g., researchers, executives, implementers, communications or media representatives).

ENG 3085 – Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing

Ruth Boeder

The ancient art of rhetoric is alive and well today, and this class will explore the ways that rhetoric is being used to serve a variety of ends in written communication of the 21st century. Theories and practices central to rhetoric and writing studies will be introduced by studying the scholarly literature related to persuasive discourse and the role of rhetoric in English studies. These concepts will then be applied to analyze examples of real world communication. Students will complete both solo and collaborative projects to demonstrate their growing mastery of course concepts.

ENG 3100 – Introduction to Literary Studies

Hilary Fox

"How to Read Things": this course provides an introduction to reading, analyzing, and writing about literary texts. The first half of the semester focuses on learning how to read and write about literature, first through traditional close reading and then through critical methodologies that are shaping contemporary scholarship. The second half of the semester turns to conducting basic research, beginning with learning how to read academic work and continuing on to a short project that focuses on analyzing and synthesizing secondary scholarship on a particular work of literature.

ENG 3110 – English Literature to 1700

Simone Chess

This course is a survey of late medieval and early modern English literature, meant to give you broad exposure to literature and culture from these periods, but also the opportunity to closely read and engage with individual texts. Reading will include works from authors like Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Lady Mary Wroth, Christopher Marlowe, and John Milton, alongside less-canonical and less-famous works. We will also focus our attention on some poetry of this period, including sonnets and ballads. As we read and discuss these texts, we will trace themes of race, ability, gender, sexuality and national identity. Students should expect, in addition to an introduction to this period of English literature, a focus on issues of genre, style, and form. Throughout the semester, assignments will focus on critical reading and persuasive writing.

ENG 3120 – English Literature after 1700

Elizabeth Evans

This course provides an introduction to British literature, exploring major works from the 18th century to the present in a range of genres, from poetry to essays to short fiction. Our study of these diverse texts will be united by our investigation of their connecting concerns, such as: the relationship between the individual and the community; the role of the artist; and responses to social change. How do we come to define—or redefine—ourselves in relation or opposition to our social worlds? What happens to constructions of identity (about “women” and “men,” for instance) when we seek to go beyond their boundaries? What is the role of the artist in this process? How do writers grapple with the benefits and challenges of social change? While the literature will remain the primary focus, we will situate our readings in their historical, intellectual, and social contexts. In studying major developments and themes, we’ll gain a framework within which to read other texts (English and otherwise) in the future. Throughout this course, students will sharpen their abilities to read texts analytically and learn to use the terms and strategies employed in contemporary critical discourse.

ENG 3130 – American Literature to 1865

Laval Duncan

English 3130 is a survey of how American Literature developed up to and through the Civil War. The first phase of our survey of texts and contexts begins before the European settlements of North America and continues with the formation of the Nation and early 19th century writers, like Irving and Cooper, who experimented with the idea of an American Literature. The second phase takes up the Transcendentalists and anti-slavery writers, as well as Poe, Hawthorne, Melville—and others who powerfully define the idea of a National Literature from the mid-19th century through the Civil War: notably Whitman and Dickinson. At various times, as we proceed, we will pay some attention to various recent treatments of this early American Literature. There will be almost weekly quizzes, a midterm and a final—and both a short research presentation and a leadership role in discussing one of our assigned readings.

ENG 3470 – Survey of African American Literature

Lisa Ze Winters

This course is a survey of African American literature from the Early American period through the present. Considering the breadth and diversity of literature created by Black writers over this period against the practical constraints of a 15-week semester, we will engage in a strategic rather than exhaustive approach to the subject. We will focus our readings on the questions of freedom: How have Black writers envisioned and imagined freedom? How do Black writers define freedom, and do these definitions align with dominant ideas of freedom? What is the price of freedom? Across these questions, we will always pay close attention to sociopolitical context, asking what is the relationship between various Black literary movements and major historical events and periods in U.S. history? Assignments in the course will include regular participation in class discussions, short written responses to weekly reading assignments, one longer midterm assignment, and a final literary analytical essay. This course is a hybrid course. Students are expected to be able to meet in person and synchronously via Zoom during the scheduled class times.

ENG 3800 – Introduction to Creative Writing

Donovan Hohn

This course will introduce students to the craft of writing in three genres—in this case poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction with an emphasis on poetry and fiction. (We won’t be studying drama on its own, but the practice you gain writing dialogue, scenes, plots, characters will be of use to aspiring playwrights.) Instead of taking on these three genres in sequential order, we’ll study them simultaneously, organizing our efforts around the various sources and forms from which poems, stories, and essays can be made. Guided by Faulkner’s remark that “a writer needs three things: experience, observation, and imagination; any two of which, at times any one of which can supply the lack of the others,” we will seek out material wherever we can find it: in libraries and museums, wetlands and waste lands, on the bus and on the street, in memories and dreams. We will read, respond to, and otherwise learn from an aesthetically eclectic selection of stories, essays, and poems, most but not all of them published in the last several decades. During the first half of the semester, weekly writing exercises will accompany our weekly readings. In the second half of the semester, students will work on a single extended writing project of their own devising—a short story, a narrative essay, a sequence of poems. Using the workshop method, we will practice responding to one another’s efforts with editorial rigor, precision, and sympathy. By the end of the semester each student in the course will have written between 20 and 30 pages of original work. Although this is an introductory course, it serves as the prerequisite to all advanced creative courses offered at Wayne State and is designed to prepare students for more advanced work, should they choose to pursue it.


5000 level

ENG 5010 – Advanced Expository Writing

Environmental Writing

Thomas Trimble

This course is focused on the production of non-fiction writing about nature and the environment. We will read a variety of contemporary environmental writing and produce environmental writing of various lengths and genres. In addition to weekly writing exercises of 2-7 pages in length (double-spaced), you will produce a course portfolio of at least 10,000 words that you can use to showcase your work to others. The course is designed for students who plan on writing professionally or as part of their careers.

ENG 5060 – Styles and Genres in Film

Film Noir

Steve Shaviro

This class provides a deep dive into the movie genre known as film noir, perhaps the most beloved and popular genre of movies from the old Hollywood. Film noir is a subset of the crime film; it is descended from the hardboiled crime literary fiction of the first half of the twentieth century. Hardboiled crime fiction featured tough guy detectives, who were often at odds both with the cops and the crooks, and who lived by their own private moral codes. These detectives did not solve their cases by logical deduction, but by getting their hands dirty, stirring things up, and putting themselves into situations of violence and danger. Film noir translated this sensibility into the movies. Film noirs were made in the 1940s and 1950s; they were generally shot in black and white, on relatively low budgets. They were focused on themes of corruption and moral ambiguity, and they exhibited moods of anxiety, alienation, cynicism, and paranoia. Film noir also has a typical visual look. We get nocturnal urban settings, dark and murky streets in the rain, together with dimly-lit apartments and hotel rooms. Visual motifs include swirling cigarette smoke, light filtered through Venetian blinds, and pulsing neon lights. Many of these movies use oblique camera angles, low-key, chiaroscuro lighting, and the prominent play of light and shadow. Typical film noir characters include the tough, seemingly amoral detective, the alluring but dangerous femme fatale, and dangerously weird gangsters and authority figures. In this class, we will look at a range of film noirs from John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1940) to Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958). In the latter portion of the course, we will also look at some more recent films, made from the 1970s to the present, that take up the legacy of film noir and push it in new directions.

ENG 5120 – Topics in Medieval Literature

The Book of Monsters

Hilary Fox

Cyclopes, blemmyae, giants, women with the tails of lions, fairies, Chthulu-like beings from the chaotic abyss: these creatures and many more occupied the margins of human geography for centuries. In ancient thought, monsters were not merely fantastical creations, but existed as important ways of talking about humans and their society: despite their distance—living as they did India, Africa, the depths of the sea or the burial mound, sometimes even on the moon—monsters and marvelous beings have been intimately involved with Western understandings of what it means to be a human. We will look at cannibals in medieval epics, werewolves in Norse saga and French romance, madmen, Biblical and apocryphal tales of monsters and fallen angels, classical and medieval “travelogues” (including voyages to outer space), and other sources to acquire an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts that shaped ideas of humanity and monstrosity. Secondary critical readings will help students toward a sense of the many different issues at play in the primary works, from historical context to more in-depth considerations of gender, geography, and race.

ENG 5150 – Shakespeare

Shakespeare and Justice

Ken Jackson

There are many reasons Shakespeare became the centerpiece of English and then American culture. For example, he is funny, fall down funny, and can't stop telling jokes even when you say "don't even joke about that." But I would argue he garnered our attention and maintained it because he doesn't babble and he thinks clearly - even about hard or impossible things. We like that because we don't. We babble. A lot. And our brains have been turned to mush by Covid, and communications teams, and social media and so on. Mush. So Shakespeare is a relief, a good healthy meal and a brisk walk in cool air even for us. He is particularly good on big items: like "justice." We babble and bobble this term about like we have access to what it means. We look like fools doing so. We aren't the first, of course, to do so. Humans always have done this, always will do this. We are just in a particularly bad trough. Shakespeare loved laughing at people who believed they had a firm hold on "justice." Richard II - for instance. Hamlet. King Lear. This course for English majors will do a close examination of 8 or 9 plays that traffic in our fool's game of justice seeking. You will write. But mainly read. I will make you talk - coherently. And argue. I will insist you don't bore yourselves or me. You have Shakespeare. Hard to mess it up. You will be pushed to read in light of today's world, for your own life. He is a wonderful (and fun) guide.

ENG 5360 – Child Language Acquisition (LIN 5360)

Natalia Rakhlin

Despite its complexity and abstractness, young children acquire language rapidly, without conscious effort or explicit instruction. This amazing feat is unique to humans and is unmatched by any other species or even the most sophisticated computers. The course will present a comprehensive introduction to the study of child language acquisition. We will use a cross-linguistic approach to discuss some key issues in this field. We will not only talk about what children accomplish linguistically at various ages, but also discuss various theoretical approaches to explaining how children acquire linguistic knowledge in different domains focusing on the acquisition of the sound system, words, and sentence structure. We will look at some of the methods that have been employed to collect and analyze child language data. The students will have an opportunity to learn a methodology for analyzing child language samples and to apply it in a small project of their own.

ENG 5595 – World Literature in English

Short Fiction in Global Contexts

renée hoogland

This course focuses on what is perhaps the most elusive form of literary genres, the short story. Traditionally, Anglo-American literary criticism has favored the longer form of the novel as the most important, if not prestigious form of prose fiction. Yet, as the short-story Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges outside this context has claimed, “unlike the novel, a short story may be, for all purposes, essential.” Taking up the challenge of Borges’ statement, we will study a range of short fiction written in English but largely originating outside dominant English-speaking countries, including, among others, the African continent, the Caribbean, Australia, India, and South America. Through careful close readings of a variety of short fictional texts and several theoretical and critical essays, we will explore the question of the forms and functions, the historicity, and the local contexts of production and reception of the genre, as well questions of identity as they emerge in the selected texts, and thus try to get to the “essentiality” of short  fiction in a global world. Assignments will include weekly passage discussions, monthly response papers, and a take-home exam.

ENG 5700 – Introduction to Linguistic Theory (HON 4280)

Ljiljana Progovac

This course is an introduction to the formal, scientific study of human language, the purpose of which is to account for our unconscious knowledge of language rules. It is concerned with three primary linguistic levels of structure: the level of sounds (phonetics and phonology), the level of words (morphology), and the level of phrases and sentences (syntax). Furthermore, we will examine how meaning is computed at these different levels (semantics), incorporating some basic notions of logic and philosophy. In addition, we will introduce the main approaches to language acquisition by children, incorporating some basic developmental milestones, intersecting with those studied in psychology. Classes will consist of lecture, discussion, and problem-solving sessions involving a wide sample of languages, cutting across a variety of cultures. Requirements for the class include regular attendance, homework assignments, two in-class midterm exams, and a final term paper. This class is required of all Linguistics MA students, and can also be taken by Linguistics majors and minors instead of LIN 2720.

Learning Outcomes: Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 5700 will be able to: 1. analyze and explain the structure of sounds, words, and sentences in language data drawn from a wide representative sample of the world's languages 2. explain the properties of linear order, categorization, and hierarchical structure, in each of the components of grammar 3. articulate the defining properties of human language, which include innateness, creativity, recursion, and displacement

Required Text: Introducing Linguistics: Theoretical and Applied Approaches, edited by Garavito and Schwieter. First published in 2021, Cambridge University Press. Supplemental materials and additional chapters (very useful!): https://www.cambridge.org/core/resources/introducing-linguistics/

ENG 5715 – Morphology (LIN 5715)

Petr Staroverov

Morphology is a core area of Linguistics. The course will introduce the basic issues in the study of the internal structure of words, as well as the analytical techniques applied to morphological analysis. Students will learn how to analyze words of various (Indo-European and non-Indo-European) languages into morphemes, as well as to recognize morphological patterns and to utilize theoretical concepts in order to describe and analyze such patterns. Prerequisites: ENG/LIN 5700 or ENG/LIN 2720 (UG students only) or instructor consent.

ENG 5740 – Syntax (LIN 5300)

Ljiljana Progovac

The course examines the structure of phrases and sentences using the framework of one of the most recent approaches to syntax, the Minimalist Program. The goal of the theory is not only to discover various subconscious principles and rules that make up grammars of all human languages, but also to express these rules in the most economical terms possible. Instead of just observing the grammatical phenomena on the surface, this approach tries to understand the inner workings of language, at a deeper, more abstract level. This class is required of all Linguistics majors, minors, and MA students.

Learning Outcomes: Students successfully completing ENG 5740/LIN 5300 will be able to: 1. recognize syntactic patterns in English and other languages for which glosses are provided 2. utilize the theoretical concepts and tools of syntactic theory in order to describe and analyze such patterns 3. analyze the structure of reasonably complex sentences 4. test the predictions of the syntactic theory by gathering relevant data and determining whether they conform to the theory or not 5. be fluent in syntactic terminology

ENG 5820 – Internship Practicum

Jared Grogan

Students find, or are offered, available internships in tutoring, teaching, publishing, non-profit organizations, social media marketing, professional or technical writing, libraries, museums, government organizations or law clinics. Interns work a minimum of 8 hours a week and earn credit while being guided through a set of supportive modules, short assignments, and helpful conversations designed to support students while working, helping them grow and reflect on new skills and experiences. Readings, discussions and writings are curated to support each student's workplace experience, and to guide students in creating a portfolio of works created from the internship.

ENG 5860 – Topics in Creative Writing

Performance Art for Creative Writers

M.L. Liebler

This course “topics in creative writing” will utilize and consider fiction, poetry, drama/dialogue, film, music, sound, photographs, fine art, dance, puppetry, mime (really??) and things yet unknown to humankind. We will do some writing & performance exercises, read performance texts, view films, clips, sketches, skits, etc. The emphasis will be to combine creative writing with art, music, film, etc. The way I teach such an abstract, unique, and highly subjective subject as performance art as creative writing is by exposing you to the history of performance from the 1800s to today. We explore many different examples of performance art from Futurism to Russian Futurism to Dada through Surrealism, Bauhaus, Black Mountain, Living Arts, The Kitchen and into the 21st century. We will view, listen to, observe, and take part in as many “performance art” activities, projects, and prompts. All discussions and prompts are designed to stimulate your creativity and to help give your ideas, definition and focus for your midterm and larger final projects. This is a "Think Outside of the Box" type of class. I will put course readings and clips on our canvas site throughout the term. We will do a live final performance either on zoom or in person at The Jazz Cafe at The Music Hall or on campus before mid-December 2022. We will plan to hold in person meetings for Fall 2022 Term. We will have plenty of workshops and one on one conferences. Several well-known writers and artists will visit our class during the semester.

ENG 5885 Topics in Creative Non-Fiction Writing

Michael Okpanachi

What does it mean to tell a story about oneself? What is narrative and how is a narrative created? What is self? What does it mean to center the 'self' in nonfiction? This course will look to answer these questions. Students will read stories by writers who place their own personal histories and life experiences in the center of their writing. Writers who are confronting and/or navigating the world through intimate conversations, such as, sexuality, history, social class, race, gender, politics, etc. The course will expose students to a cross-section of present narratives, and will be built on books that serve to give us a set of characters and stories that give life and texture to the topic of nonfiction. The class will be structured around intensive reading, robust discussion, craft talk/writing, and workshops where students will offer criticism and feedback to one another. Authors we examine include Ocean Vuong, Paul Kalanithi, Akwaeke Emezi, Edouard Louis, Clarice Lispector, Roxane Gay, David Searcy, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and others. 

ENG 5992 – Senior Seminar (ENG 4991)

renée hoogland

This course surveys the aesthetic experiments of the long twentieth century as they intersect with shifting notions of "British" identity and culture in the writings of among others, Virginia Woolf, Malcolm Lowry, Elizabeth Bowen, Jeanette Winterson, Hanif Kureishi, and Monica Ali, as well as a number of films directed by some of the greatest British directors, including Mike Leigh, Ken loach, Neil Jordan, Helen Walsh, Hettie MacDonald, and Andrea Arnold. Issues to examine include: British identity in relation to (post)imperial conflicts; World War I poetry and the experiments of modernism; the onset and aftermath of World War II; changing attitudes toward gender and sexuality in the contexts and in the wake of these wars; postmodern and postcolonial efforts to redefine the boundaries of self, nation, and language. In the process, we will give attention to the methodologies of literary criticism: particularly, on ways of bridging the study of historical context with close readings of language, image, and form. Materials include several novels, a selection of feature films, shorter fiction, and poetry, plus a short textbook.


6000 level

ENG 6006 – Teaching Creative Writing

Donovan Hohn

As a discipline, creative writing straddles the Humanities and the Fine Arts, and so, of necessity, will this course. Although it complements the composition pedagogy curriculum, it will emphasize the practices particular to the creative writing classroom—practices that draw heavily from the studio art model. Readings will touch on the history of creative writing in the academy and the debates about creative writing pedagogy, but the course will mainly be a kind of laboratory in which we study and road test generative writing prompts, workshop guidelines, and writing assessments. By the end of the semester, every student will have designed a syllabus for an introductory creative writing class.

ENG 6010 – Tutoring Practicum

Service Learning and Teaching Writing in the Secondary Classroom

Jule Thomas

This course will investigate the theories of tutoring and secondary educational pedagogy. This class has a service learning component that connects both theory and practice by requiring every student to tutor at 826Michigan (https://www.826michigan.org/our-programs/) for 20 hours by the end of the semester. Failure to complete the full 20 service hours will result in failure to pass the course. Students will be required to read and sign a tutoring contract. Students will research best practices for tutoring and teaching. Students will also investigate secondary pedagogical approaches for teaching writing. We will discuss and respond to this scholarship in class and use it to complete assigned projects.


This course will introduce students to the idea of a Writing Center and to a tutoring pedagogy which embraces collaborative methods as a means to develop best practices for teaching. The course will lead students through both observations of and engagement of tutorial sessions. This course will also explore writing pedagogy and writing workshops as a mode for writing instruction. Students will utilize tutor and writing pedagogy theory for construction of projects leading towards their development of best practices for teaching writing.


Students will

  • Embrace collaborative methods as a means of developing stronger writers, and not merely of strengthening or helping to “fix” individual writing assignments.
  • Engage in best practices of the writing process, error analysis, and tutoring students.
  • Be exposed to a range of pivotal readings in the field of secondary education.
  • Use writing, research, and reflection to develop pedagogical best practices for teaching.
  • Develop instructional strategies that incorporate theories and practices from the fields of writing center studies and writing pedagogy.
  • Engage in assigned projects to refine personal pedagogy approaches for the classroom.


7000 level

ENG 7001 – Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English

Chera Kee

This course is designed to serve two major functions: to introduce students to some of the critical theoretical frameworks and issues of interest in different areas of English Studies and to provide professionalization for entering Ph.D. students. As such, students in the course can expect to read an array of works in critical theory as well as receive an orientation into the Ph.D. program in English. Throughout the semester, assignments will work on familiarizing graduate students with forms of writing that they will be called upon to produce throughout their graduate careers, including abstracts, book reviews, reading lists, proposals, and the forms of writing expected in Qualifying Exams, the Prospectus, and the Dissertation. Students will be encouraged to focus their work in the course towards the particular methodologies and intellectual traditions of most interest to them.

ENG 7032 – Modernism and Modernity

Elizabeth Evans

This course introduces students to conversations about mobility in modernist studies. Mobility is a keyword in discourses of modernity, evoking the circulation of people and texts through the operations of trade and empire; challenges to traditional boundaries of gender and class (the movement of women “out of the cage” as one classic history of the period puts it); new technologies such as the car, the telephone, and the airplane that accelerated and intensified the movement of people and ideas from one place to another; and the multiplication of points of view in modernist artistic production spurred by all these transformations. Modernism – understood as aesthetic responses to the experience of modernity – and mobility go hand in hand. We will consider the rewards and the limits of theorizing modernism and modernity through the lens of mobility, reading texts by Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel, Michel de Certeau, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Bowen, and others.

ENG 7062 – Designing Research in Rhetoric and Composition

Richard Marback

A survey of major research methodologies in Rhetoric/Composition. By the end of the course, students will be able to formulate a research question and develop a research method to answer it. Students will also be able to draft a research article, a grant proposal, and an IRB proposal.

ENG 7840 – Technical and Professional Communication

Jeff Pruchnic

A growing field of scholarship and practice since early in the mid-twentieth century, contemporary work in Technical and Professional Communication encompasses not only the effective production of practical documents, but such topics as the design of digital information systems and user experiences, the challenges of preparing communications for multiple media and global audiences, and the cognitive and communicative processes of readers and users of technical documents and systems. This course surveys contemporary research in Technical & Professional Communication with a focus on such topics as research methods, information design, new media composing, and the study of usability, as well as the ethical, political, and pedagogical dimensions of work in technical and professional writing. This course is taught with the assumption that students may be unfamiliar with Technical & Professional Communication as a field of scholarship and a set of practices and skills. Thus we will begin by defining the field and its history and also spend a significant amount of time discussing the intersections between this work and the broader realms of Rhetoric & Writing Studies and English Studies. Successful completion of the course will prepare interested students to begin pursuing Technical & Professional Communication as a primary or secondary research field as well as aid them in becoming better instructors of courses in technical and professional writing and communication. Major deliverables for the course include regular written response to course readings, a multimodal assignment on ethics and information visualization, as well as a research project delivered in multiple parts (i.e., proposal, annotated bibliography, conference-style presentation, and a written or multimedia scholarly essay).

ENG 7820 – Graduate Internship Practicum

Jared Grogan

Students find, or are offered, available internships in tutoring, teaching, publishing, non-profit organizations, social media marketing, professional or technical writing, libraries, museums, government organizations or law clinics. Interns work a minimum of 8 hours a week and earn credit while being guided through a set of supportive modules, short assignments, and helpful conversations designed to support students while working, helping them grow and reflect on new skills and experiences. Readings, discussions and writings are curated to support each student's workplace experience, and to guide students in creating a portfolio of works created from the internship.


ENG 7850 – Pedagogical Practicum I

Nicole Varty

This course supports the work of new graduate teaching assistants as they teach sections of ENG 1020, Introductory College Writing. Through assigned writing tasks, readings, presentations, and class discussions, students will produce instructional materials, engage in reflective inquiry and reflective teaching practice, and develop a statement of teaching philosophy.


8000 level

ENG 8008 – Seminar in Theory

Black Feminist Theory (Beyond Intersectionality)

Lisa Ze Winters

This course offers a deep dive into Black Feminist Theory within a global perspective. Key terms from the rich tradition of Black Feminist Theory have made their way into popular culture, most notably “intersectionality” and “identity politics.” However, such circulation has frequently been reductive, severing these concepts from the specific sociopolitical contexts that demanded their theorization in the first place. At the same time, work within the Black feminist tradition has indelibly influenced how scholars across disciplines interrogate systems and institutions of what Black feminist scholar bell hooks called “Imperialist White Supremacist Heteropatriarchy” and has profoundly informed the shape and focus of radical women’s organizations across the global South. The goals of this course are thus two-fold: 1) to understand the Black feminist tradition as historically grounded and historically complex and 2) to examine the Black feminist tradition as both scholarly intervention and cultural repertoire for naming systems of oppression and enacting strategies of resistance and transformation. While we will focus primarily on Black feminist writing and scholarship from North America (including the Caribbean) and Africa from the 19th-21st centuries, we will be attentive to how Black feminist scholars, cultural workers, and organizers have consistently understood their local circumstances to be directly connected to the circumstances experienced by colonized people across the globe. This course is a hybrid course. Depending on the needs of the class and the circumstances of the pandemic, we will meet either in person or synchronously via Zoom.

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