Department of English

Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2018

ENG 501-001 | M 6:30–9:15
Introduction to Research Methods
Meghan Sweeney
This course is an introduction to English studies, with a focus on the methods of research necessary for graduate students. We will read a variety of essays that introduce us to the subfields in English studies (literature, rhetoric, writing and more) and engage with members of the department who work in those areas. Assignments will include a presentation, annotated bibliographies, abstracts, and a conference paper as well as weekly reading or research assignments that will ask students to be able to articulate what they do as practicing critics.

ENG 502-002 | T 6:30–9:15
Introduction to Literary Theory
Nick Laudadio
In this class, we will be exploring the influence that critical and cultural theory has had on the ways we understand literature and culture in the 21st century. Beginning in the late 19th and moving through to the present, we will read a broad array of challenging texts that will help us better understand most of the “-isms” we hear so much about—Marxism, structuralism, feminism—as well as many other theoretical approaches (queer theory, disability studies, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, etc.) that help us understand how we humans make things mean things.

ENG 557-001 | Online
Theory and Practice of Technical Communication
Lance Cummings
Whether your writing involves science, medicine, or just expert knowledge, being able to communicate complex information is crucial to making that knowledge work in the world. This section of technical communication will explore recent theories in plain language and information designed to help students better communicate complex information, especially in online environments. In today’s digital world, writers must not only make their writing comprehensible, but also accessible and usable. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with technical writers from several industries and companies involved with technology, business, medicine, and science.

ENG 566-001 | T 3:30–6:15
Studies in Anglophone World Literature: Reading the Global South
Jennifer Lozano
As global migration patterns shift, the concept of the “Global South” allows us to conceptually re-draw and re-consider conventional North-South and East-West borders. Even more, a Global South perspective brings into focus a space of marginalized people and voices that are not unified by a nation, race or ethnicity, but by their “South-ness” in relation to the Global North (or “First World”). This South-ness can incorporate the US South, Latin America, the Caribbean, and portions of Asia and Africa. As such, our class will look at a variety of literary, film, and popular media texts by authors and artists from all over the Global South and who explore this 21st century experience of shifting borders. We will also read several key theoretical pieces from scholars to help us better understand the key terms and stakes of this artistic representation. How do these artists formally represent the experience of the Global South? And how might these representations imaginatively work on our established borders and ways of knowing?

ENG 575-001 | R 3:30–6:15
Professional Science Writing
Ian Weaver
This intensive graduate writing workshop examines rhetorical strategies for using writing as a means to mediate the relationship between humans and the natural environment. Students in this course will advance their skills in communicating scientific information in a range of forms for a variety of audiences in professional contexts. Students will develop a writing style that they can use to communicate complex scientific information concisely and clearly in order to advance their ideas and their work. Course projects will enable students to critically analyze and synthesize scientific research, construct convincing presentations, design information for print and electronic publications, and produce other genres of writing, such as proposals and procedures. Students will investigate the persuasive strategies and ethical considerations necessary for the development of effective communications for specialist and non-specialist audiences. The instructor will provide intensive and frequent feedback on all aspects of students’ writing and information design.

ENG 576-001 | Online
Writing in the Medical and Health Professions
Sarah Hallenbeck
In this online course, students will analyze and produce different genres of medical writing, including regulatory documents, proposals, and patient education materials. They will consider the shaping role that audience has in these documents, examining not only the features of each individual genre but the ways these genres interact within the broader ecology of medical research, practice, and advocacy. Additionally, students will address the legal and ethical issues involved in medical writing, as well the appropriate formatting for each document they produce. 

Designed to accommodate graduate students from a variety of fields, this course frontloads a range of medical genres before allowing students to focus on a sustained project of their own choosing.

ENG 580-001 | W 3:30–6:15
Studies in Literature: Literature of the Insane
Mark Boren
This formal seminar explores the aesthetics of “insanity” evinced in literary works from the late eighteenth century to the present. The selections describe a trajectory of cultural fascination with mental and behavioral aberration, documenting the “dark side” of the Romantic “ego,” and the maturation and commercialization of the gothic as it appears in myriad “disturbed” characters and experimental texts, often written by authors popularly believed to be “insane” if not downright perverse. The course will include discussions of relevant historical and medical texts and some psychoanalytic theory. In addition to discovering the nature of the “madness” depicted at work in each of these texts, we’ll seek insight into how these works define “normalcy” through heavily stylized, often aesthetic depictions of aberrance. Warning: this course will at times deal with mature themes, and some of the texts contain graphic depictions of violence and unusual sexuality.