English Fall 2020 course sampler
ENG 1010 - Basic Writing
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
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.
ENG 1050 - (BC) Freshman Honors: Introductory College Writing
Building upon students’ diverse skills, English 1050 prepares students for reading, research, and writing in college classes. The main goals of the course are (1) to teach students to consider the rhetorical situation for any piece of writing; (2) to have students integrate reading, research, and writing in the academic genres of analysis and argument; and (3) to teach students to develop analyses and arguments using research-based content, effective organization, and appropriate expression and mechanics, all while using a flexible writing process that incorporates drafting, revising, editing, and documenting sources.
To achieve these goals, the course places considerable emphasis upon the relationship between reading and writing, the development and evaluation of information and ideas through research, the genres of analysis and argumentation, and the use of multiple technologies for research and writing.
ENG 2420 - (IC) Literature and Science
Forests, Trees, Persons
This will be a class about trees and forests. Representing trees has been one of the fundamental ways that humans have reflected on our relationship with our environment. Thinking about that relationship has become more urgent in recent years as we confront the effects of global climate change, and this class will introduce students to the “environmental humanities” by examining a range of writing in different genres about trees and forests. We will read some poetry, a couple novels, some history, philosophy, writing from naturalists, foresters and anthropologists, political activists and legal scholars, and along the way we will also consider music, films and the visual arts (sculpture, photography, painting). We will think together about topics like tree communication (!), Native American uses of and representations of trees, settler colonialism, the history of logging practices, deforestation, science fiction representations of sentient trees, climate change, trees and capitalism, and environmental racism. Reading will include works such as: Annie Proulx, Barkskins; Richard Powers, The Overstory; Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees; Edward Kohn’s How Forests Think; and writings by Ursula K. Leguin, Henry David Thoreau, Louise Erdrich, John Muir, Tolkien (the Ents!), and others. Students will be responsible for class participation, short weekly writing and two (5-7 page) papers.
ENG 2435 - Introduction to Digital Humanities (HIS 2435)
"Digital humanities" is a term that describes the intersection of data and human cultures. Key issues in DH include the ways in which digital media circulate in society, the effects of electronic distribution on the production and consumption of books, and the use of computational methods to understand the shape of literary and cultural history. This course will introduce all of these issues, with special emphasis on using books as data. Students who complete the course will have read some of the best scholarship in the emerging field of digital humanities and will have acquired the basic skills necessary to join existing research projects in text-based data science, quantitative literary studies, public history, and new media. Tests, quizzes, a short paper, and a group project are required.
ENG 2450 - (CI, VPA) Introduction to Film (COM 2010)
This course 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—i.e., 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. There will be weekly screenings and lectures. This course fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts requirement of the General Education Requirement in Humanities
ENG 2720 - (PL) Basic Concepts in Linguistics (LIN 2720)
This course provides an introduction to the nature and complexity of human language. We will study the structure of language at the level of sounds (phonetics and phonology), the level of words (morphology), and the level of phrases and sentences (syntax). Topics also include the study of meaning, language change, language variation, language learning, language and the brain, and animal communication. We will 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 Philosophy and Letters General Education requirement.
ENG 2720 - (PL) Basic Concepts in Linguistics (LIN 2720)
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” and “Philosophy and Letters” General Education requirements.
ENG 2800 - Techniques of Imaginative Writing
Creative Writing in Detroit: The Motown & Global Learning Community
M. L. Liebler
This is newly revised course that includes participation in The Motown Creative Writing Learning Community. The class is based upon cultural inquiry featuring creative and academic writing. The class is, also, based on all things Detroit. It is designed to meet the General Education Requirement of a fulfilling Cultural course. This class is essentially an introduction to creative writing, creative and critical thinking, and analytical essay writing. We will be using fiction, poetry and some drama/dialogue writing connected to Detroit to give us practice with both creative and academic writing. To that end, this course will feature talks and discussions with living, published Detroit writers. The class will have an overall Detroit theme. English 2800 is designed specifically to provide students with the combined experience of reading, writing about and experiencing Detroit based literature in a critical and analytical way. We will read related stories, poems and plays, discuss analytically looking at how these creative pieces use the elements, theories and diverse styles in fiction and poetry. Students will be encouraged to try to creatively use some aspect of style, method or theory to write their own creative pieces. Overall this Learning Community will connect you to each other through a friendly, accepting and warm welcome to university life at WSU. This experience will offer you useful academic and creative techniques to be a successful college student.
ENG 3010 - (IC) Intermediate Writing
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
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
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
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 3090 - Introduction to Cultural Studies
This course provides an introduction to the field of cultural studies. The course explores how various writers attempt to make sense of culture. How are cultural practices rooted in social history? The course explores the major concepts of migration, gender, race, class privilege, labor, globalization, climate and ecological crisis. This is a discussion-based course. Students will be encouraged to develop critical thinking/writing according to their own intellectual interests. The course will help students will develop critical reading/writing by studying historical, theoretical texts along with cultural texts related to concepts that help us understand the relationship between culture and society.
ENG 3120 - (PL) English Literature After 1700
This course provides an introduction to the past 320 years of English literature. Our readings will include a range of genres, from poetry, drama, and essays, to novels and short fiction. Our texts will be thematically diverse as well, but we’ll trace through them a number of connecting concerns, such as: the relationship between the individual and the community; the role of the artist; and responses to social change. How do individuals come to define—or redefine—themselves in relation or opposition to their social worlds? What happens to constructions of identity (about “women” and “men,” for instance) when individuals 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?
ENG 3180 - Rhetoric to 1800
Early Survey of Rhetoric
This course is an introduction to early theories of rhetoric. We will spend part of the course looking at the field of rhetoric in general, defining some key terms, and then weâ€™ll move to a closer look at some early influential rhetoricians and relevant-to-today theoretical approaches developed during the historical frame of the course. Rhetoric matters, not only because it is a facet of all communication that we engage with daily, but also because it is essential for logical communication at the university level and beyond. Rhetoric is a discipline of study deeply rooted in ancient Greece with branches extending into nearly every sphere of discourse today. Students can expect to grapple with the ancient and historical roots of this discipline, and to work with theoretical and historical readings, as well as modern examples with which to practice concepts. In this course we will work with multiple types of writing, discussion and participation to help us process the content of the course, and students will produce a conference-length paper and poster/presentation by the end of the semester.
ENG 5035 - Topics in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSW 5035)
Queer Moods in Literature and Film
renee c. hoogland
Today, we tend to think about sexuality as, in the first place, a question of identity: we “are” either straight or lesbian or gay (or, as the case may be, bi-, pan-, a-, demi-, skoliosexual, as well as queer, polyamorous, or aromantic—the list is not exhaustive). As a result, we are used to seeing increasingly open representations of non-heterosexual characters and behaviors in cultural production. This has not always been the case. Censorship laws and fear of social approbation have led many writers and filmmakers in the past to “obscure” or merely obliquely suggest non-normative sexual desire in their work. This course examines such oblique expressions and representations of non-heteronormative desire in fiction and film from the beginning and flowering of “gay liberation.” Rather than studying such “oblique” expressions of non-normative desire as indicative of “repression,” we will approach them as ”moods”−of the times, of certain cultural practices−and explore to what extent they might help us to understand contemporary “queer” culture. Materials are likely to include novels by Patricia Highsmith, Audre Lorde, and James Baldwin, as well as films such as The Children’s Hour, Sunday Bloody Sunday, The Boys in the Band, and Cabaret.
ENG 5050 - Historical Topics in Film and Media
Hollywood from 1950 to 1970
In this class, we will look at Hollywood film between the years 1950 and 1970. This was a crucial period of transition for Hollywood. The old studio system was breaking down, audiences were changing, and new approaches to filmmaking needed to be developed. In the 1950s, the classical film style of the 1930s and 1940s got twisted into weird and ungainly shapes. In the 1960s, filmmakers desperately looked for new directions, leading to the changes that would culminate in the New Hollywood of the 1970s and after. The period from 1950 to 1970 may not have been the greatest epoch in Hollywood, but it is certainly the strangest, filled with fascinating experiments, both high- and low-budget. In this class, we will screen a large number of films from this period, and try to grasp how changing film styles and expressions were related to technological and social causes (the rise of television, anti-Communist witchhunts, the changes in economic and legal structures, the influence of the civil rights movement).
ENG 5500 - Topics in English and American Literature
The idea of flight has been with humanity for at least a millennium. Ovid’s Metamorphoses imagines Daedalus and his son, Icarus, airborne before Icarus falls to his death. Inventors, including the true Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci, produced plans of flying machines, while many artists and writers imagined what it must be like to view the earth from the position of a bird in flight. The invention of the hot air balloon in the late eighteenth century and especially of the airplane in the early twentieth century not only realized the dream of centuries but changed the world.
This class explores the literary and cultural history of flight, beginning with early fantasies and failed attempts, and focusing on twentieth- and twenty first-century responses to the rapid development of heavier-than-air flight technology. Flight – and the view from above that it enables – generated sweeping changes in many aspects of life, from our ability to travel around the world, to the way we wage war, to new figures of glamour (aviators, flyboys, jet-age stewardesses). We’ll explore all these aspects. We’ll pay additional attention to how literature has investigated the ethical dimensions of aerial perspectives: on the one hand, flight suggests freedom from limited, parochial perspectives. On the other, it involves a potentially dangerous distancing from human subjects, an effect that is newly evident in debates about drones. Our readings will include exceptional stories, poems, and novels from Britain, America, and around the world.
ENG 5595 - World Literature in English
Modern Greek Literature: Identity, Crisis, Identity Crisis
This class, which is crosslisted between English 5995 (World Literature in English) and GK 3710 (Modern Greek Literature and Culture), will explore Modern Greek literature—both prose and poetry—in translation, as well as work from Greek diaspora writers. Because Modern Greek literature is as rich and varied a tradition as any other, it is impossible for one course to cover it all. As such, this course will provide a sampling, with a particular focus on issues of identity, crisis, and identity crisis—broadly defined—as well as on borders and boundaries, conceptual and physical. We will attempt to place these works within both historical context and the current cultural context and conversation. To do so, we will examine literature of modern Greece, with a sampling from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and a particular focus on the contemporary. The class will appeal to students interested in Modern Greek language and culture, world literatures, creative writing, and literature in general. Weekly assignments will be a mix of analytical and creative. Texts will be selected from such authors as Papadiamantis, Vizyenos, Cavafy, Seferis, Ritsos, Giannisi, Kaplani, Michalopoulou, Sotiropoulos, and Ikonomou. We will end the course with a Greek American Detroit novel: Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex.
ENG 5740 - Syntax (LIN 5300)
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. This class is required of all Linguistics majors, minors, and MA students.
ENG 5790 - Writing Theory
This course centers on the development of the act of writing as a site of research. Students in this class will read and discuss texts explaining the development of writing as a widespread societal practice. Students will also discuss and practice research methods from across writing studies, including text and discourse analysis, case studies, mini-ethnographies, and archival research.
ENG 5850 - Introduction to Scholarly Writing for Non-native English Speakers
This course is designed for graduate students at the advanced masters and doctoral level who use English as an academic and professional language. Goals include supporting and nurturing writers to gain greater confidence, building a classroom community of practice, and encouraging writers to shift their focus from being an individual learner to learning by participation. Students are expected to actively write new material related to their research for class this term, not submit previously written work for editing support. The only way to improve writing is to write.
ENG 5860 - Topics in Creative Writing
Performance Art in Creative Writing
M. L. Liebler
This course is a 5000 level creative writing class utilizing and considering 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 subjective subject as performance art as creative writing is by exposing you to the history and many different examples of performance art from Futurism to Russian Futurism to Dada through Surrealism, Bauhaus, Living Art and into the 21st century. We will view, listen to, observe, take part in as many “performance art” activities, projects and prompts as possible between now and our public show in December 2020.
ENG 5870 - Poetry Writing Workshop
Lyrical Subjects/Everyday Life
This course will be an intense engagement with some key 20th and 21st century poetic texts which open up the question of subjectivity and its intersection with gender and race. The aim will be not only to familiarize ourselves with today's writing scene, but to stretch our notions about what constitutes poetic language. What conditions commit writing to politicized gestures against alienation and mastery? How do we read radical encounters between self and world when identity and language are no longer stable categories?
From John Wieners' haunting The Hotel Wentley Poems (1958) to Aaron Shurin's elegiac prose poetry in The Blue Absolute (2020), we will read writers who approach their practice as sites of experiment and transformation, wherein the notion of everyday life -- as understood by the Situationists -- becomes a place from which to undo old gestures and fixed borders.
By focusing on both established and younger writers, we will gauge the many ways that lyric echoes and reconfigures the infinite bounty of the real and its relationship to the social world. Authors studied will include Hanif Abdurraqib, Etel Adnan, Tonya Foster, Erica Hunt, Lorine Niedecker, Philip Metres, Aaron Shurin and John Wieners.
A few theoretical essays will extend our discussion.
Requirements: attendance, preparedness, participation, ten weekly assignments (approx. 1 page each), a final manuscript of original works (25 pages minimum), one oral presentation and seven journals. Students who do not complete a final manuscript will not pass the class.
ENG 5880 - Fiction Writing Workshop
The Art and Craft of Fiction: Building a Story
English 5880 is an intermediate- to advanced-level short fiction writing seminar, where we will closely examine the art of literary short fiction, with a particular focus on craft and process. What makes a good short story? What does it mean to say a good story has high emotional and/or dramatic stakes? How do we build compelling, interesting, strong characters? How do we use traditional story structure to our advantage, and how might we subvert it? We will examine these questions, and many others, as they arise from both published and student work to help make emerging and experienced writers better understand the process that goes into drafting a storyâ€”from inception, through stages of building and revision, through an eventual polished ending. Finally, students will gain skills for understanding their own work, their process, and why they write, allowing them to become owners and agents of their own work. The readings will be from The Art and Craft of Fiction by Michael Kardos (second edition), as well as selected readings provided as pdfs.
ENG 5992 - Senior Seminar
Female Anglophone Voices
renee c. hoogland
This class concentrates on the (problematically defined) field of Global Anglophone literature, which analyses texts produced both at the center and the peripheries of Britain’s imperial ventures, including Canada, Kenya, Jamaica, Trinidad, Nigeria, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, South Asia, and Great Britain itself. Alongside critical readings on the history and cultures of the British Empire, we will read a wide selection of female-authored 20th- and 21st-century texts from the greater Anglophone world, and explore how these fictional works illuminate the forces that have and continue to shape the globalized yet unequal world we inhabit today. Special attention will be paid to global histories of gender, race, and sexuality. Primary works may include writings by Arundhati Roy, Bharati Mukherjee, Nadine Gordimer, Andrea Levy, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Michele Cliff, Keri Hulme, and Jamaica Kincaid.
ENG 5992 - Senior Seminar
Immigration and Culture
We will study how a variety of writers from around the world have attempted to understand the concept of immigration and ongoing conditions of migration. We will explore on how patterns of movement are related to the nation, globalization, colonialism, incarceration, climate catastrophe and ecological crises along with related conceptions of class, race, gender, and sexuality. Historical and theoretical texts will ground our understanding of how literature, film, and other media depict migration. Readings may include Laura Pulido, Rey Chow, Helena Maria Viramontes, Edwidge Danticat, Ken Saro Wiwa among others. Since this a discussion-based course, attendance is required. Along with short writings, students will have the opportunity to pursue a major project commensurate with each student's own intellectual interests.
ENG 7006 - Media Theory
NOTE: This iteration of the course will focus on digital humanities. Specifically, on the portion of DH that emphasizes the quantitative study of culture. It will involve aspects of media theory, but will not resemble a conventional course in the area.
Economic, cultural, and technological developments over the last 150 years have produced a profusion of literary output that far exceeds our ability as readers to synthesize its salient features. One way to deal with this problem of abundance is to treat literature as data, exchanging the compromises of close reading for those of so-called "distant reading." This course introduces the assumptions, methods, and debates prevalent in quantitative literary studies and positions students to take on their own projects in the field of digital humanities. No programming or other technical experience is assumed; all skills necessary to succeed in the course will be introduced as we go. Students should be prepared to grapple with problems and methods that may differ from those with which they are familiar and to undertake, with suitable guidance, elementary exercises in programming and statistics.
ENG 7007 - Composition Theory
This course centers on texts exploring the cognitive and social turns in Composition theory. Students in this course will practice tracing arguments and synthesizing texts in Composition scholarship. Possible projects include CompPile annotations, short synthesis papers, multimodal presentations and discussion leadership, and a whole-class, collaboratively-determined project.
ENG 7710 - Advanced Studies in Linguistic Structure (LIN 7710)
This course introduces the methods used by linguists in language and culture documentation as well as the pertinent theoretical background. Course activities will include hands-on tutorials and demonstrations. The class will gradually guide the students towards a final term paper.
ENG 7800 - Seminar in Creative Writing
The Essay Collection as Theme-and-Variation
Part graduate writing workshop in creative nonfiction, part literary seminar, this course will consider The Essay Collection as a literary form comparable to a collection of poems or short stories. Although the essays they collect are self-contained enough to be published separately, the several books we will be reading are not miscellanies but artful arrangements in which the essays play variations on some unifying preoccupations, fields of study, subjects, or themesâ€”empathy, say, or en-tropy, or entomology, to name three examples from titles that may appear on our reading list.
The essays these books collect tend to be formally various, and we will pay close attention to their forms. They include literary journalism, personal essays, lyric essays. A few include critical essays. Many hybridize these strains of creative nonfiction, combining the personal and the doc-umentary, the lyrical and the critical. Some are highly narrative; some more meditative, or polemical. All are written for a general rather than specialized audience, as will be all of the writing we do in the course. Candidates for the reading list also have this in common: most of the essays they collect could have been written by a graduate student of limited means, practically and financially speaking; in fact, a number of them were written by graduate students.
Although we will write short critical responses to the books on our reading list, mainly we will be seeking in them models and inspirations for our own creative nonfiction. We will also, in passing, devote some time and attention to the editorial customs particular to the nonfiction marketplace. At the beginning of the semester, students will identify subjects or ideas or questions or fields of knowledge that fascinate them, haunt them, or preoccupy them, or that they have an itch to explore. Over the course of the semester they will map out a hypothetical table of contents for a collection of essays that play variations on their chosen theme, and they will write and workshop two or three of those variations before the semester ends.