English fall 2021 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 2000 – (CI) Shakespeare
We will be live and in person. We will talk. I will talk more at the beginning - because I know what I am talking about - and you will talk more as we move along. In addition, we will read. Eight or Nine plays. We will watch too (so keep your Canva pages open and MS Stream and all that). But the plays the thing. They always came back after plague season. Always. Only the government stopped them, and that was only for twenty years. We will write. I live my life by these plays. And while I don’t expect to convert any or all you to live quite like me...I do intend to prove that there is a method to my madness. More prosaically: weekly quizzes, attendance necessary, short papers, some (amateur) acting (don’t get unsettled by that).
ENG 2435 – Introduction to Digital Humanities
Digital humanities scholarship has exploded over the last ten years. Early DH scholarship represented a niche in humanities fields like English and History, dominated by unique individuals who had both technical programming skills and experience in humanities research. Since its early days, the field of digital humanities has expanded significantly. New tools and platforms make DH research more accessible. Today, DH scholars work in a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary environment that place programmers and developers, information science specialists, and humanities scholars in active conversation. In this course, students will be introduced to these different elements – tools, methods, theories, and critical analysis – of the digital humanities in order to learn new ways to interpret artistic or cultural objects or ideas, social relationships, and historical processes.
ENG 2450 – (CI, VPA) Introduction to Film
In this course we break films down into their component features—mise-en-scène, editing, and sound—to discern how filmmakers make meaning using visual design, composition, sound, and editing. During the semester, students will learn how to describe, interpret, and appreciate film and other media texts, and in learning how films and other media are constructed, students will become better able to evaluate the media they come in contact with every day. This course fulfills the Cultural Inquiry (CI) requirement of the General Education Requirement.
ENG 2450 – (CI, VPA), Introduction to Film
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 2510 – (CI) Popular Literature
American Poetry as a field saw something of a surge on the back of evolutions in social media and digital communication. The sheer glut of solid work accessible in the 21st century may later mark our current moment as a literary renaissance in the States. What is written, by whom, and for what purpose has multiplied/mutated, and this should be seen as an advantage of reading poems in America. We will look at only 1-2 key works per session from different writers every week, comparing them to older poems or something that might initially seem unrelated such as a film scene. We will uncover both the craft elements of the work and implications for popular culture. Demonstrating what you learn will take the form of critical or creative writing based on individual student interests and needs. This makes the class amiable to people looking to get more experience writing about writing as well as those looking for a more creative way to get to know some of the most popular poets writing right now. Discussions are a big part of the course. Students are encouraged but not required to be vocal in these sessions.
ENG 2540 – (GL) Literatures of the World
This course will focus on contemporary global literature relating to concepts of migration, race, and labor. We will study how a variety of writers from around the world have attempted to understand the relationship between the various concepts including those of the nation, globalization, borders, exile, immigration. Historical and theoretical texts will ground our understanding of how literature, film, and other media depict migration. Readings may include works by writers such as Nicholas De Genova, Douglas Massey, Rey Chow, Laila Lalami, and Edwidge Danticat. This is a discussion-based course. There will be weekly assignments and students will have the opportunity to develop their writing commensurate with each student’s own intellectual interest.
ENG 2570 – (CI, DEI) Writing about Literature: Women Writers
In this course we will read and analyze powerful books written by women about what it means to be a woman in different places, times, and circumstances. Through our reading and writing, we’ll examine how gender intersects with other important aspects of identity, including race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion. With this intersectionality in mind, we’ll consider to what extent women’s writing constitutes a distinct literary subculture forged out of what women may have in common, despite obvious and important differences. By writing about challenging fiction, students will improve their analytic skills and their ability to write critically and persuasively. Questions we’ll ask include: How have women writers addressed the significance of gender in women’s daily lives? How have they negotiated their own relationships with language and literary history when patriarchal systems have so often limited women’s access to literacy and sociopolitical agency? How does their writing challenge literary conventions and reimagine history, tradition, and resistance? Our authors will most likely include Alison Bechdel, Toni Morrison, and Virginia Woolf, and some among the following: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Margaret Atwood, Jennifer Egan, Bernardine Evaristo, Kiley Reid, Arundhati Roy, and Zadie Smith.
ENG 2800 – (CI) Techniques of Imaginative Writing
Creative Writing Detroit
M. L. Liebler
This course fulfils a Gen Ed in “CULTURAL INQUIRY,” and it is designed to offer you a unique learning experience through The Motown Creative Writing Learning Community. This English 2800 class is based on all things Detroit. It is essentially an introduction to creative writing, creative thinking and overall creativity using fiction, poetry, flash nonfiction and some drama/dialogue writing exercises – all with a Motown twist. Its purpose is to expose you to your creativity while sampling Detroit culture, listening to some live oral histories by well-known artists from Detroit. A Learning Community at WSU is meant to better connect you to the university and to help you establish yourselves as successful college students. We meet in a friendly environment, and we will have peer mentors with us in each session. There is no prescribed method for teaching creativity, just bring an open mind. Books are inexpensive This class is designed for both creative enjoyment and academic learning.
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 3100 – Introduction to Literary Studies
This class introduces students to the toolkit of contemporary English literary criticism through the lens of the strange and the monstrous. Employing a range of methodologies, we will examine texts from a range of forms and genres to explore how literature constructs, reflects, and supports or contests visions of “the monstrous.” Potential texts we might read range from the early medieval Beowulf to the 18th-century classic Frankenstein to modern films like Midsommar; our methods will include introductions to the close-reading practices of New Criticism as well as newly dominant critical theories that form part of larger socio-cultural critiques, such as feminist, queer, and race studies.
ENG 3110 – English Literature to 1700
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 toward 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 3140 – American Literature after 1865
The end of the American Civil War marks the beginning of our Survey of American Literature to the Present. Wars define the 3 phases of our reading: Civil War to World War I, World War I to World War II, and World War II to the Present. Among the voices we are sampling are a speech by Booker T. Washington, a memoir by Zitkála-Šá, poems by Emily Dickinson, narratives by Theodore Dreiser and Upton Sinclair; stories by Hemingway, poems by Langston Hughes; and narratives by Ralph Ellison, Flannery O’Conner, Toni Morrison, and Paulette Jiles. By paying close attention to the contexts and distinct language of each work we read, we want to understand better the range and variety of our national literature as it has been developing. There will be quizzes, a class presentation, a midterm and a final.
ENG 3180 – Rhetoric to 1800
This course will introduce classical rhetorical theory and will focus on the transition from classical rhetoric in writing education to vernacular language education and the emergence of standard English in publication/authorship and higher education in the 18th century.
ENG 3470 – Survey of African-American Literature
Lisa Ze Winters
What is justice, and what does justice have to do with Black liberation and Black freedom? What would it mean to enact and then live in a just society? In this course, we will examine how Black writers from the colonial period through today have consistently and complexly explore these questions through a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, essay, and speeches. This course is asynchronous, which means that 100% of the course requirements will be fulfilled through various online written assignments. This course fulfills a General Education requirement for all students, and fulfills a survey requirement for English majors.
ENG 3800 – Introduction to Creative Writing
M. L. Liebler
This course is an introduction to creative writing: fiction, poetry, flash creative non-fiction and some drama/dialogue writing exercises. The emphasis, however, will be on fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. The way I teach such an abstract and subjective subject as creative writing is by exposing you to the various techniques and characteristics of these genres, and by offering many different daily writing prompts in each area. I will suggest stories and poems for you to read. My writing prompts are designed to stimulate your creativity. I have ordered two inexpensive books for you in your College Bookstore. I will encourage you to attend a handful of public reading on zoom, Facebook or in person when available. Some readings will likely be built into the class time period. Seeing and hearing live writers read their work is just as beneficial to writers as reading them on the page. Again-there is no prescribed method for this course. This class is designed for both creative enjoyment and to allow an opportunity to explore and to work with the craft of creative writing. No Experience Required!
ENG 5050 – Historical Topics in Film and Media
The New Hollywood (1970s)
This class offers an intensive look at Hollywood film from the 1970s: the decade commonly known as The New Hollywood. By the late 1960s, the traditional Hollywood studio system had fallen apart. Economic and social changes (the Black liberation, women’s liberation, and anti-war movements; new attitudes towards sex and drugs; economic displacements in all the entertainment industries; the end of the movie industry’s self-imposed censorship) led to massive displacements. Old genres were no longer popular. A new generation of filmmakers emerged, who knew film history thoroughly, and thought of themselves as artists and creators. Both new sorts of art films, and new sorts of blockbusters, needed to be invented. The 1970s in Hollywood were a time of massive upheavals, and the decade is still regarded as one of the most vital and exciting in Hollywood history. This class will introduce students to the range of Hollywood filmmaking in the decade.
ENG 5200 – Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature
Mediating the Global Eighteenth Century The long eighteenth century in England (1660-1800) was a time of global expansion, trade, and the building of empire. At the same time, it was a period that witnessed an explosion of new media forms and genres. With rising literacy rates, people were hungry for works hot off the press or fresh from the pen: periodicals, novels, travel literature, autobiographies, political appeals, petitions, and letters. This class will look at how these two historical trends worked together. We will examine how the British multimedia environment shaped understandings of people from Africa, India, the Middle East and the Americas in a time before race had solidified into binary categories. In turn, we will look at the ways that the black and brown people used the press strategically to share their stories and demands. While this class addresses bleak topics like slavery and gendered oppression, we will also think about the possibilities for agency and empowerment, empathy and solidarity, political action and movement-building, then and now.
ENG 5450 – Modern American Literature
Literature and Politics in Modern America
With recent and current political events in mind, this course (cross-listed with Art History 5560) will examine a series of efforts over the last 100 years to make political art, literature, music and film. Sometimes these efforts were directly linked to specific social movements or events, such as the long civil rights movement, feminism, labor strikes, gay liberation, antiwar protests, or environmentalism. In other instances, they were dissident voices of protest made in the absence of a movement. In order to give ourselves a critical language, we will read debates about aesthetics and politics: what makes art political if and when it is political? Or is are always political? Or never political? And what is art, what is literature and what are politics anyway? By necessity, we will also engage with US political history and at the same time get an overview of both literary and art history. The syllabus will select from a longer bibliography of political art in different genres and media including poetry (Langston Hughes, Frank O’Hara, Diane di Prima, Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Claudia Rankine, Ryan Eckes); sculpture (Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Robert Smithson); fiction (Gertrude Stein, Meridel LeSeur, Michael Gold, Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Ursula K. Leguin, Toni Morrison. N.K. Jemison); film (Salt of the Earth, Harlan County, Black Panthers, Finally Got the News); journalism (John Hersey’s Hiroshima, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring); photography (Dorothea Lange, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Zoe Leonard); painting (Jacob Lawrence, Aaron Douglas, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Kara Walker); history (W.E.B. Du Bois, Dee Brown, C.L.R. James); manifestos and statements from various groups; and works in multiple media by Emory Douglas, Gran Fury and Barbara Kruger. Along the way, we will also create and consider a playlist of political music (including protest songs such as “We Shall Not Be Moved,” and the music of Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Public Enemy, Le Tigre, Sleater-Kinney, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson, Paak etc). Students will be responsible for regular short writings, two essays, and one presentation. Art History students will be able to write about the visual arts and English students about literature. We will only meet in person if it is completely safe to do so.
ENG 5500 – Topics in English and American Literature
Detroit Poetry: Can’t Forget the Motor City
Detroit has a rich legacy of poets and poetry. Most of these poets, though not all, are from Detroit, several nurtured by Wayne State. All have been shaped by the city. In ways direct and indirect they write about it. Our course focuses principally on the legacy of African American poets but attempts to understand that legacy within a broad context that includes other poets and cultural intersections afforded by Detroit—and generic urban life. We will study Robert Hayden and the Broadside legacy of Dudley Randall, and we’ll look at the significance of writers as diverse as the late Naomi Long Madgett (Detroit Poet Laureate), Murray Jackson and Alvin Aubert. Additionally, we will acknowledge the importance of Philip Levine, the latest U.S. Poet Laureate to have been shaped by Detroit. Finally, we will pay some attention to an array of younger Detroit poets, including the late David Blair. Among the several books we will use are Robert Hayden’s Collected Poems, the Broadside anthology A Different Image, Naomi Long Madgett’s Connected Islands, Phillip Levine’s What Work Is and the anthology Abandon Automobile. Everyone will keep a journal and do a final project. While there will be some lecture, the course will develop through discussion.
ENG 5700 – Introduction to Linguistic Theory (HON 4280, LIN 5700)
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, as well as how these levels are acquired by children (language acquisition), 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.
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 5795 – Topics in Rhetoric and Writing
Locations of Writing: Writing Ourselves in/into the City
How do locations of writing shape our perceptions of the world and our ideologies and beliefs within it? In this class, we will explore the relationship of location to composing, within and beyond the university. By examining urban rhetorics of space, identity and beliefs, as well as writing studies theories of “located-ness,” we will frame our inquiry of our own writing practices in familiar and novel locations. As we are all shaped, particularly in terms of locations of writing, by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will consider writing inside, outside and for the classroom, the workplace and informal situations in the context of contemporary constraints and affordances brought on by pandemic protocols. We will consider online and embodied writing, and what Yancey calls the “hidden sites of writing,” which may be internal, even spiritual. As we develop research interests and questions, we will explore readings, field research and activities leading to composing a multimodal research project.
ENG 5820 – Internship Practicum
Students work 8-20 hours per week as tutors, writers, editors or researchers in publishing firms,businesses, government, and community organizations. Classroom sessions focus on guiding students through their internships with readings and reflective or analytical writing related to workplace experience, and creating a portfolio of works created from the internship.
ENG 5870 – Poetry Writing Workshop
“La vraie vie est ailleurs” (Real life is elsewhere) -- Arthur Rimbaud This course will be an intense engagement with experimental poetry attuned to possibilities of the lyric as portal to an elsewhere, a zone of disobedience, revelation or glimpse into realms beyond the norms of the here and now. By focusing on some key representative modalities in American poetics--from Beat to Language, translation to cross-genre, elegy to counter-cultural invective, and social architecture to the cosmos--the class will gauge the many ways that lyric plays at experiencing language not only in its materiality and relation to the world, but in its passage to dimensions that expand a sense of the real. The authors studied will include Amiri Baraka, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Allen Ginsberg, Renee Gladman, Harryette Mullen, Alice Notley, Leslie Scalapino, and Jack Spicer. A few theoretical essays will extend our discussion. Requirements: attendance, preparedness, participation, ten weekly assignments (one page each approx.) a final manuscript of original works (25 pages minimum), one oral presentation and six journals.
ENG 5992 – Senior Seminar (ENG 4991)
The Modern Medieval
This course explores contemporary appropriations or reworkings of medieval literature and history. As part of the course’s larger project, Medieval Modernity students will read medieval texts alongside modern cultural productions, from novels to poetry, film, and multimedia websites, exploring ways in which contemporary authors and artists seek to complicate “traditional” or canonical visions of the medieval past that are largely deployed in the service of white European identity and nationalist or imperial projects.
ENG 6003 – Teaching Film and Media Studies
This course has three main objectives: to survey theoretical approaches to teaching media, to explore the wide array of Media Studies teaching resources available online and in print, and to enter into conversations about fostering innovative, inclusive Media Studies classrooms. During the semester, students will examine some of the ways one can structure Media Studies courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including via history, representation, form, and industrial practices. Students will also consider resources for teaching Media Studies, including the Lantern Database at the Media History Digital Library, the Critical Commons, the JCMS Teaching Dossier, and Teaching Media Quarterly. Finally, the class will discuss inclusivity and precarity in Media Studies with an eye towards designing Media Studies courses that are accessible while also acknowledging the different positions from which one might teach a Media Studies course. Students will produce an annotated syllabus for a Media Studies course during the semester.
ENG 6005 – Teaching Developmental Writing
ENG 6005 is a practicum that prepares students for the teaching of developmental writing courses. In order to do so, the practicum asks students to research various pedagogical theories/frameworks with the ultimate goal of developing course materials for a future course in which they might be teaching students on the developmental level. In preparation for this, students will read theory in developmental writing (both contemporary and historical), synthesizing and analyzing this material in order to develop their own perspective on this teaching. Genres in the course include a teaching philosophy, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, reading responses, multimodal presentations, and course proposals. In ENG 6005, students will compose multiple annotated bibliographies which contribute to a literature review and researched rationale for a final course proposal and design. Through class discussions, presentations, and reflective writing, students learn best practices for teaching developmental writing, ultimately creating a course design that can be utilized or proposed in the future.
ENG 6800 – Advanced Creative Writing
This course will focus on poetry and is designed with attention to both production and revision. The word "advanced" should be taken to mean deeply focused. Your work will be your primary concern and readings will be relevant to craft and thematic discussions. Students will be placed in small, rotating, peer groups to share work with each other so that there are always fresh eyes on your writing whether you are up for workshop or not. The workshop format will be exploratory conversations where both the writer and readers have a chance to grow their vocabulary and get experience sharing their perspectives on creative work.
ENG 7001 – Introduction to Doctoral Studies in English
This course is focused on developing an understanding of the critical frameworks for the study of society. We will read various thinkers who help to theorize important categories of analysis such as those of the nation, race, gender, society, culture, and the economy. Our discussions will be centered around the following major questions: How does a critical theoretical practice help us produce clearer and more comprehensive explanations for our contemporary world-historical situation?; How critical theoretical frameworks can help understand interlocking struggles on multiple fronts, including racism, gender, sexuality, health, and environmental catastrophe? Students will begin the process of situating themselves within their chosen areas of study. The assignments are designed to familiarize students with some of the professional forms of writing and broader debate in the field.
ENG 7003 – Contemporary Literary Theory
What is the present? In this seminar we will (1) examine the history of various approaches to thinking about the present (the now, the contemporary, the modern) and (2) tests these ways of approaching the present by thinking about *this* present, the one “we” are in “now” (however we decide to define those terms). We will read works on some key concepts for approaching the present, such as modernity, the event and the everyday (by thinkers like Walter Benjamin and Raymond Williams). We will consider a series of theories that may help us characterizes the present that 2021 is in: late capitalism, globalization, the post-Soviet (or post Cold War), postmodernity, the anthropocene, racial capitalism, settler colonialism and more. And we will examine some recent texts that address recent or current pressing issues like hatred for the police, #metoo, the gig economy, #BlackLivesMatter, precarity, migration, fascism / antifascism, queer and trans activism, anticapitalism and pandemics. Readings may include works by Christina Sharpe, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, Juliana Spahr, Joshua Clover, The Invisible Committee, Wendy Chun, Matthias Nilges, Nick Estes, Katie Stewart, Lauren Berlant, Sianne Ngai, Robert Brenner, Marie Buck, Tan Lin, Ryan Eckes, Brandon Brown, Wendy Trevino, Claudia Rankine, Colson Whitehead and films such as Bacurau, Parasite, Nomadland and Camperforce. Students will be responsible for two short papers (7-10 pages) and a presentation. We will only meet in person if it is completely safe to do so.
ENG 7042 – Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture
Lisa Ze Winters
This course will center questions of citizenship, nation, empire, and belonging as explored by nineteenth-century U.S. writers. However, rather than presume national belonging to be the idealized goal, we will attend to rebellious and subversive articulations of community and collectivity, including maroon communities and transnational revolutions. Likewise, while we will engage the readily accessible tropes and themes of naturalism and realism in the works we explore, we will also consider the deeply speculative work of writing community and belonging within a nation whose political and economic success depended on the violence of settler-colonialism and slavery. Some of the writers we’ll read include Maria Stewart, Harriet Jacobs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, David Walker, William Wells Brown, and Martin Delany. The course will meet virtually once a week.
ENG 7061 – Rhetorical Theory
Participants in this seminar will engage contemporary rhetorical theory as its own distinct area of inquiry as well as in relation to such topics as contemporary political discourse, posthumanist thought, continental philosophy and critical theory, neuroscience, identity, conspiracy theory, history, and medicine. Our class will be fully online and asynchronous. While we will attend to the general structure of rhetorical theory and how it has changed over time, our major texts will be book-length studies in rhetorical theory published in the last five years: Cedric Burrows / Rhetorical Crossover: The Black Presence in White Culture (U of Pittsburgh, 2020) Candace Epps-Robertson / Resisting Brown: Race, Literacy, and Citizenship in the Heart of Virginia (U of Pittsburgh, 2018) S. Scott Graham / Where’s the Rhetoric?: Imagining a Unified Field (Ohio State UP, 2020) Jordynn Jack / Raveling the Brain: Toward a Transdisciplinary Neurorhetoric (Ohio State UP, 2019) David L. Marshall / The Weimar Origins of Rhetorical Theory (University of Chicago Press, 2020) Jeffrey Rice / Authentic Writing (U of Pittsburgh, 2021) Jenny Rice / Awful Archives: Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence (Ohio State UP, 2019) Brooke Rollins / The Ethics of Persuasion: Derrida’s Rhetorical Legacies (Ohio State UP, 2020) Allison L. Rowland / Zoetropes and the Politics of Humanhood (Ohio State UP, 2020) Stuart A. Selber / Institutional Literacies: Engaging Academic IT Contexts for Writing and Communication (U of Chicago P, 2020) Christa Teston / Bodies in Flux: Scientific Methods for Negotiating Medical Uncertainty (U of Chicago P, 2017)
ENG 7720 – Advanced Studies in Language
African American Vernacular English (AAVE): Its History and Structure
This course will examine the linguistic, sociolinguistic, historical, cultural, and educational aspects of AAVE and its speakers. The course will begin with a review of the literature concerning the historical origins of the variety. To that end, we will discuss whether or not AAVE has its linguistic roots in African languages, English dialects, or evolved independently. For evidence in this debate, we will review extant records of 18th and 19th century written and spoken AAVE. A significant part of this course will be devoted to describing the linguistic rules inherent in present-day AAVE and comparing those rules to Standard American English, Caribbean creoles, African languages and southern White vernacular English. We will also discuss differences and similarities among dialects of AAVE (e.g. Gullah, Texas, Detroit, Atlanta). The principal outcome of these discussions will be to establish that AAVE is a legitimate linguistic variety with systematic links to other recognized languages.
The course will also address such sociolinguist matters as code-switching and style-shifting between AAVE and Standard English, and how and when AAVE is used to index racial, cultural and social solidarity. We will also study the use of AAVE in such pop genres as hip-hop and comedy. Finally, we will discuss how AAVE is treated in the classroom in the USA and what pedagogical approaches are recommended by experts for teaching Standard English to AAVE speakers without questioning the legitimacy of AAVE.
Expected outcomes of the course include a clear understanding of the history and linguistic structure of AAVE, and an appreciation of the cultural and sociolinguistic richness and complexity of the variety.
ENG 7850 – Pedagogical Practicum I
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 develop a statement of teaching philosophy.
ENG 8007 – Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition Studies
Students in this class will read and discuss scholarship on Writing Program Administration to think about questions related to disciplinary values and the values-oriented work of writing programs. The class will engage with artifacts from an ongoing research study as part of their work. Projects will include almost-weekly inquiry-driven writing tasks based on assigned readings, several short synthesis papers, and analysis of program documents from across the field.
ENG 8998 – Prospectus and Dissertation Chapter Workshop
The Prospectus and Dissertation Chapter Workshop Course is designed to provide relevant readings, a supportive student cohort, and structured guidance in the production of key degree benchmark documents such as the dissertation prospectus and dissertation chapters. This workshop will assist students making the transition from Qualifying Examinations to the prospectus approval meeting and from prospectus approval to producing the first dissertation chapter (or a subsequent dissertation chapter). The workshop provides a collaborative critical community in which to draft successive versions and to learn in-depth how peers are constructing theirs. Short weekly writing assignments will structure points of entry into these projects. We will also review a range of prospectuses and dissertations from our department to examine the genres and to gain a better understanding of their functions; we will also discuss the disciplinary pressures on the dissertation and strategies that are being developed to create more innovative dissertations. We will discuss the dissertation in relation to the job market, conference papers, scholarly journals, the sub-disciplines of English, and monographs. Monday evenings from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Permission required: send a brief email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org detailing your goals for the Fall 2021 semester for your prospectus and/or dissertation and outline the work completed so far.