Department of English

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2020

Please visit Seanet to view all classes offered for Spring 2020.

ENG 190-001 | MWF 11: 00-11: 50, MO 106
Adventures in Literature: 
Chasing Waves
Andrew Tolhurst
The search for a satisfying surfing ethos is the subject of narrative travel accounts, memoirs, movies, works of fiction and art. Its politics and curricula include environmental and protection science, international politics, social causes, travel, and trade. An 80 billion-dollar-a-year industry, surf culture is more than just palm-drenched beaches and sunsets-in-tropical-paradise. The industry, the art, and the ethos are alive and growing. This course explores the cultural exchange and touchpoints offered through the stories of surfing literature, journalism, and film. Readings and films will range widely across fictional, historical and current narratives, pop-cultural representations, and critical responses. Students will watch movies, read novels and essays, listen to music, and view art based in the surfer image and ethos as they develop their own responses to these works.

ENG 202-001 | MW 2: 00-3: 15, BR 160 
ENG 202-002 | MW 3: 30-4: 45, BR 160
Introduction to Journalism 
Shirley Mathews
Go beyond the mundane "who, what, where, when and why" of journalism and, the discovery, the fact that remains true as Founding Fathers Raised Freedom of Speech by a fundamental right: One person telling the truth can not change the world. Extensive practice in the basics of writing news stories, instruction in how to newsroom works, training in how to look for stories and the importance of accuracy, accuracy, accuracy. Roll up your sleeves, put on your shoes and prepare to walk in the footsteps of giants. Texts include Melvin Mencher's News Reporting and Writing andThe Associated Press Stylebook 2016 gold newer.

ENG 202-004 | TR 12: 30-1: 45, BR 160
Introduction to Journalism
Rory Laverty
Prerequisite: ENG 103 or ENG 201, or consent of instructor. Introduction to news values, style, and writing. Focus on the subject of literacy, interviewing, investigating, and feature writing. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies / Writing Intensive. Partially satisfied University Studies IV: Building Competencies / Information Literacy. Satisfied University Studies V: Explorations Beyond the Classroom.

ENG 204-005 | Online *
Introduction to Professional Writing
Addie Sayers China
This course will introduce students to the fundamental technical concepts of professional writing in order to help develop students' professional presentation and written communication skills.  Students will interact with a variety of business texts and documents, including résumés, proposals, reports, and digital communicative forms, such blogs, tweets, and posts for business social networking communication.  Students will also explore how issues of audience design, context, persuasion, genre, and multimodality affect various types of business texts.  In this face-to-face class, students will learn to design and evaluate business documents by working independently and through collaboration with peers.

ENG 204-003 | Online | Canvas
Introduction to Professional Writing
Anthony Atkins
An introductory survey of concepts in professional writing, including audience analysis, research methods, visual thinking, and composing processes. Includes a service-learning component. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Writing Intensive. Partially satisfies University Studies IV: Building Competencies/Information Literacy. Satisfies University Studies V: Explorations Beyond the Classroom.

ENG 204-006 | Online
Introduction to Professional Writing
Christa Weaver
This course will give students an introduction to various areas of professional writing. Using print and online mediums, students will learn how to design persuasive and purposeful texts as they compose, format, research, critique, and revise business documents. This course will also include group collaboration and a service learning component to afford students the opportunity to acquire new perspectives, overcome workplace challenges, and enhance problem-solving skills.

ENG 205-001 | MW 2:00–3:15, MO 101 
Introduction to Literary Studies
Maia Butler
This course, focused on a single work of literature, gives students an immersive experience in literary and cultural studies. We will dig deep into the text and from there branch out into historical, cultural, and literary contexts. Together, we will explore and practice ways of reading, writing, and research foundational to all English majors.
Students learn how to [a] research literary and cultural artifacts; [b] write about literary and cultural artifacts by reading model essays related to the selected text; and [c] properly document sources in MLA format.


ENG 205-002 | TR 11:00–12:15, MO 202
Introduction to Literary Studies
Mark Boren
In this course we’ll refine our critical reading skills, sharpen our research, writing, and speaking skills, and learn major theoretical approaches to the study of written texts including psychoanalysis, feminism, new historicism, deconstruction, and post-colonialism. In understanding how texts generate their (often contradictory) meanings, we’ll also see how those approaching texts are themselves “written” by both the texts before them and the cultural contexts in which they are themselves inscribed. Through the analysis of poetry, of fiction, and of non-fiction, and through the study of critical lenses, we’ll learn the intricacies involved in negotiating the world through language.

ENG 210-001 | TR 11:00–12:15, MC 1005 
Mythology
Victor Malo-Juvera
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Dumbledore, and Gandalf the Grey all die in almost identical scenes. In Harry Potter, Fluffy is lulled to sleep by music. In Game of Thrones, Lyanna Stark is abducted by a Targaryen prince, and Stannis Baratheon sacrifices his daughter on advice from the Red Woman. All of the aforementioned scenes can be traced back to ancient myths and this course will examine the underlying mythic structure of modern works of literature and popular culture. Specifically, we will study of the mythic structure of the hero’s journey and through readings of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology, critically interrogate multiple myths.

ENG 212-001 | TR 12:30–1:45, MO 205
British Literature Since 1800
Lewis Walker
This course is a survey of significant short works of English Literature from roughly the past 220 years. The three periods (Romantic, Victorian, and Twentieth Century and After) into which our book divides this work include poetry and prose of enormous diversity and richness. Types of literature covered include poems, short stories, a short novel, and essays. In addition to analyzing the individual works read, we will give attention to the cultural and historical context of those works. Authors include William Wordsworth, John Keats, Mary Wollstonecraft, Matthew Arnold, Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot., and Seamus Heany. Reading quizzes, class participation, three tests.  Text: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2, 10th edition.


ENG 223-001 | TR 11:00–12:15, MO 208 
American Literature to 1870
Lee Schweninger
This course will offer you an overview of American literature from its very beginnings through the late Romantics in the nineteenth century. We will read this literature in its literary, historical, political, social and even philosophical contexts. We will look at the historical contexts of the literature of the European Explorers, at American Indian responses to encounters with Europeans, at political and social contexts of colonial era including Puritan poets and historians, at the writings of some of the founding fathers and mothers. The course will proceed into the Romantic era with writers such as Poe, Irving, Stowe, Hawthorne, Dickinson, and Whitman—writers of the American literary renaissance, as it has been called.

You will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal and informal short response essays, to be responsible for the readings and class discussions, to take occasional reading quizzes and mid-semester and final essay exams.  As this will be a discussion based class, attendance and attention to the readings will of course be required. Within the major, this course satisfies the "Literature before 1900" requirement. Within University Studies, this course partially fulfills the Writing Intensive (WI) requirement as well as the Aesthetic, Interpretive and Literary Perspectives requirement (AIL). 


ENG 224-001 | TR 2:00–3:15, MO 106 
American Literature Since 1870
Keith Newlin
In this course, we will read representative fiction, plays, and poems in American literature from the late 1900s to the present. We will discover how and why each story “works”—how it captures the reader’s interest, the aesthetic methods the authors use to tell their story. We will also look at the political, social, and cultural context; and we will discuss such issues as emerging feminism, critical responses to racism, the literature of propaganda, alienation and literary experiment, and why some writers get represented in anthologies and others do not. This section will also emphasize critical discussion and writing. Text: Cain, American Literature, Vol. 2, 2nd ed. (Penguin Academics).

ENG 230-001 | TR 11:00–12:15, MO 210
ENG 230-002 | TR 2:00-3:15, MO 101 
Women in Literature: American Dreams, American Dreamers
Katherine Montwieler
In this class in contemporary women’s fiction, we’ll explore the intersections of hopes and limitations, dreams and boundaries, aspirations and restrictions facing people living in the United States. We’ll begin the semester by reading historical fiction by Toni Morrison and Sue Monk Kidd, and then we’ll launch into representations of our century.  We’ll discuss representations of women, femininity, and feminism, and look at the complications of women’s relationships with each other, their partners, their workplace, and their families. In particular, we’ll explore how the American dream functions for women—historically and now. Books we’ll read may include Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings, Anne Cherian’s A Good Indian Wife, Patricia Park’s Re: Jane, Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton, and Ibi Zoboi’s Pride.

ENG 231-001 | TR 3:30–4:45, MO 101
Theory and Practice of Hip-Hop
Alex Porco
In the 1970s, hip-hop emerged as a local cultural practice in the South Bronx, a neighborhood devastated by unemployment, drugs, and escalating gang violence, as well as the city’s disinvestment in education. Today, hip-hop’s a multi-million dollar industry with a truly global reach. Everything from haute couture fashion to professional sports and comic books are touched in some way by the music and culture. Our challenge is to think critically about the significant aesthetic, linguistic, economic, political, and technological contributions and transformations of hip-hop music and culture over the last forty years. We will attend closely to hip-hop’s four elements—rapping, turntablism, graffiti, and break dancing—as well as key figures, record labels, performance venues, period styles, and genres. Other topics we will address include: gangsta rap and moral panic in the late 1980s; the contributions of women to the production of hip-hop; the emergence of hip-hop cinema, television, and literature; and hip-hop’s relationship to sports, especially basketball.

It’s an exciting time to study hip-hop music and culture. It is a (relatively) new field of study that continues to grow. Accordingly, we will reflexively deliberate on the condition of hip-hop as a field of study—in particular, we’ll focus on hip-hop’s use and value within the twenty-first century academy. The design of the course is purposefully interdisciplinary because hip-hop is interdisciplinary. Therefore, students from fields as diverse as sociology, history, music, literary studies, cultural studies, education studies, dance, and film are encouraged to enroll.


ENG 233-001 | TR 11:00-12:15, MO 101
The Bible as Literature
John Walker
This course examines the Bible as a literary work, or, more accurately, as a collection of literary works. Through readings in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha, we will consider matters such as genre (for example, narrative poetry, history, letter, parable); style (for example, diction, metaphor, simile, symbol); historical and geographical context, authors, and organization; literary and cultural influences on the Bible; and the canon. Written responses; reading quizzes; midterm and final exams; oral participation. It is absolutely essential that everyone who enrolls in the course acquire both of the assigned texts. The only acceptable version of the Bible for class use is The New Jerusalem Bible (the hardback edition with full footnotes—not the paperback version and not any other Bible). Texts: Gabel et al, The Bible as Literature, 5th ed. 978-0-19-517907-1; Wansborough, ed., The New Jerusalem Bible. 0-385-14264-1.

ENG 290-002
Stayin’ Alive: Literature and Culture of the 1970s
Michelle Manning
What do all the following have in common? The Godfather, Star Wars,Jaws, and The Exorcist. Saturday Night Live and Charlie’s Angels. Punk rock and pet rocks. Disco balls and the black-and-white hexagonal soccer ball. The breakup of the Beatles and the deaths of Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. Watergate and Kent State. Streaking. Smiley face stickers. Rubric Cubes.  Pocket calculators and the first Apple computers. Barbara Walters, Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi. Beverly Johnson on the cover of Vogue. The first gay rights parade. The Fall of Saigon. The opening of the first Walt Disney World. The opening of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. All these iconic elements are from the 1970s, a decade which set the stage for life as we know it almost a half century later. In this class, we explore the cultural and historical impact of this captivating decade through the literature, music, and movies. Expect seminal works from authors such as Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye, Blume’s Forever, and Stephen King’s Carrie and other authors, musicians, filmmakers, and essayists writing during and writing about the 1970s.

ENG 294-001 | Online*
Buenos Aires: Capital of Culture
Jennifer Lozano
For the 9th year, UNCW Seahawks will study the culture of Buenos Aires through its writers, painters, and musicians. The online spring course prepares you for your travel experience during the last two weeks in May. Stay in an upscale apartment hotel in Recoleta, the best neighborhood for dining, shopping, and exploration.

ENG 303-001 | Online | Canvas
Reading and Writing Arguments
Anthony Atkins
In this course, students will compose arguments and work with technology to examine, analyze, and articulate their own arguments and the arguments of others, considering the rhetorical variables associated with document design and the use of new media. We will investigate the differences between persuasion and argument from a historical context. Students will be exposed to writing, drafting, researching and presenting information. Students will be required to make claims, take positions, and construct arguments that are both in print and online. Students will focus on composing using digital technologies in professional and business contexts, understanding the ethical use of images, video, and sound.

ENG 304-001 | TR 9:30–10:45, MO 208
Writing for Teachers
Victor Malo-Juvera
This course will introduce theoretical foundations and instructional strategies for teaching writing in secondary schools. We will begin by examining skills such as vocabulary, grammar, brainstorming, prewriting, and basic paragraph structures. We will then address the most frequently encountered/tested writing in secondary schools: narrative, expository/informational, argumentative, and research papers. Techniques such as scaffolding instruction, peer editing/review, alternative forms of assessment, and culturally relevant instruction will play a critical role in this course. We will also examine requirements for on demand standardized writing assessment and discuss how the Common Core State Standards and the new trend in using End of Course tests may impact writing instruction in the future.

ENG 306-001 | MWF 1:00–1:50, MO 106 
Essay Writing
Donald Bushman
A writing course focusing on the genre of the essay. The text, which provides a sampling of work from contemporary essayists, will serve as the focus of class discussion and as the springboard for the essays students will write. Required will be five original essays, a reflective reading journal, and participation in peer reviews of written work and in individual conferences. Text: Atwan, ed. The Best American Essays, 7th College edit.

ENG 310-001 | MW 12:00–12:50, MO 204; F online
Editing for Journalism and Media (hybrid)
Shirley Mathews
Meets face-to-face on Mondays and Wednesdays; the Friday class is online. Instruction in strengthening the backbone of writing with an emphasis on learning state-of-the-industry layout software.  Course work includes extensive practice in the fundamentals of punctuation and grammar, editing, copyediting and rewriting, all done with an eye to preparing work for publication.  Privacy and libel law are examined. InDesign introduced, and there is an optional, extra credit track for getting Adobe certified. Texts include: Media Writer's Handbook and The Associated Press Stylebook 2016 or newer.

ENG 312-001 | online
Writing for Business (Online with Study abroad option in Krakow, Poland)
Lance Cummings

For this ENG 312 Writing for Business, we are throwing out the textbook ... literally. During the Spring semester, you will learn online how people collaborate and solve problems with writing from real practitioners in multi-national companies like Motorola Solutions, Fortum Power, and Electrolux ... all of which have important hubs in Poland. We will finish the course by visiting several companies in Poland from May 26 - June 9. These visits will end with an cutting-edge multi-national conference on writing and content management called Soap!. You'll get to network with professional writers from all over the world and experience firsthand the breadth of career options in professional writing.

While in Poland, we will also visit important cultural sites. Here are just a few highlights:

Most students aren't familiar with the rich history of Poland or its close ties with US. Learn how this affects elements of business writing, while experiencing one of the most beautiful (and affordable) cities in Europe. Click here get a taste of what Krakow has to offer!

ENG 319-001 | MW 3:30–4:45, MO 204
Document Design
Lance Cummings

In this class, you will explore the connections between visual rhetoric, design principles, and problem-solving. In other words, how do we solve problems, persuade people, or simply do things with well-designed documents in the 21st century? We will also explore the intersections between print and digital media using Adobe Creative Cloud (design software used in most professional contexts). This class will include an applied learning project with a local software company, nCino. Digital designers from nCino will visit our class and share their professional experience. We will also work on a design project relevant to these visits. Students will walk away with both pratical and theoretical experience with document design, along with a portfolio of work that can be used on the job market.


ENG 320-002 | TR 9:30–10:45, MO 210
Introduction to Linguistics
Addie China
This course will introduce students to the basics of linguistics, the study of human language, with an emphasis on applying linguistics in the everyday world. We will explore such topics as language structure, language variation, language and society, and language change, with an emphasis on practical application of language study. Students will interact with several types of language data and will have the opportunity to connect linguistics to their own personal interests and areas of study.

 
ENG 324-001 | TR 2:00–3:15, MO 210 
Topics in Linguistics - Installinguistics: Language, Memes, and Media
Addie Sayers China
In this class we will examine the language of digital communication. We will explore language and multimodal communication in social networking and social media (such as Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, & Instagram), memes, gaming, texting, and in other types of mobile and digital discourse practices. We will question if digital communication is destroying language, whether we will all end up speaking in emojis, how memes function as modern folklore, and how we interpret visual communication, such as Instagram and Snapchat posts. We will also connect user practices to concepts of identity, society, and community. Students will have the opportunity to analyze and research their own areas of interest in the digital domain.


ENG 337-001 | TR 12:30–1:45, MO 104
Victorian Literature
Katherine Montwieler
If in the twenty-first century, the Victorian era is synonymous with repression, austerity, and silence, it’s only because Victorian culture had the greatest “open secrets” of any era to date.  Seduction, murder, illegitimacy, disease, madness, and drug use (to name some of the most popular secrets of the time) were the stuff that haunted city streets and the pages of fiction.  In this class, we’ll explore how secrets—their hidden nature and their revelations—figure in the Victorian novel.  In addition to looking at how specific allegedly clandestine phenomena are constructed by wonderful writers of the era, we’ll ask what secrets mean more generally for a particular culture, as we investigate how reading Victorian literature can illuminate not only our view on nineteenth-century history but our own historical moment, our cultural preoccupations and aporias as well.  The reading load will be intense, the subject matter will be scandalous, the conversations will be stimulating, and your expectations will be challenged.  Books will most likely include Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret; Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre; Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone; and Charles Dickens’s Bleak House.

ENG 351-001 | TR 9:30-10:45, MO 205
American Realism
Keith Newlin
William Dean Howells called it “the truthful treatment of material” and the highest form of art.  Frank Norris belittled it as being about “tragedies of an afternoon call, crises involving cups of tea.”  American realism lies somewhere between those two assessments, and this course will give you a generous sampling of the best writing of American realism.  Realists explored such issues as unbridled capitalism, urban poverty, rural opportunism, gender conflicts, and social conformity.  We’ll encounter corrupt businessmen, wayward strumpets, social-climbing nouveau-riche, naïve observers, and even an immense but stupid dentist.  The realists’ legacy is significant, for the narrative techniques realists developed influenced all subsequent writers who aim to delineate life accurately. Texts include Nagel & Quirk, The Portable American Realism Reader (Penguin); Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Broadview); Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham (Penguin); Norris, McTeague (Norton); Dreiser, Sister Carrie (Norton).

ENG 358-001 | MW 3:30-4:45, MO 101
African American Literature: Since 1945
Maia Butler
We will engage with African American literature from the 1940s to the 1960s, the heyday of realism, naturalism, and modernism; to the Black Arts Era (1960-75); to the contemporary (1970 to the present). We will cover genres such as poetry and music, nonfiction, drama and film, short fiction, and the novel, and we will keep literary criticism and theory close at hand. African American literature reflects migration as much rootedness, innovation as much as influence, and literary community shapes a sense of authors’ place in the United States and the African diaspora. African American literature is a highly allusive tradition, rife with signification, pastiche, and call and response, and representative of cultural concerns with gendered, classed, and nationalist implications. We will understand African American people as belonging to heterogeneous communities whose concerns, political and artistic, respond to specific cultural moments and geographical locations.

ENG 381-001 | MW 3:30-4:45, MO 106
Literature for Young Adults
Meghan Sweeney
Throughout the semester, we will examine a broad range of literature, including novels, memoirs, advice books, and graphic novels about and for adolescents. We will read these texts sympathetically and critically, paying particular attention to the influence of youth culture and popular culture more broadly. Some of the questions that will guide our discussions will include

• What defines young adult literature?
• What does it mean to be an adolescent in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries according to YA literature? How (and why) are adolescents idealized/villainized/ portrayed “authentically” in YA texts and adult crossover texts—and what might “authentically” mean?
• How do authors for young adults address social concerns about growing up in a variety of social and economic circumstances?

Please note that, while many future educators take this class, this is a literature course rather than a methods class and is meant for anyone interested in the topic. 

ENG 386-001 | TR 11:00–12:15, MO 104 
Critical Theory and Practice
Nicholas 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 to understanding how we humans make things mean things. This is a difficult class, though if you keep up with the reading, note taking, and class discussion, I think you might find it to be a rewarding one. There will be regular reading notes, a midterm, a bibliography, and a final essay.

ENG 390-001 | TR 8:00-9:15, MO 208
Rise of the Gothic
Mark Boren
This course will follow the rise of the Gothic in literature from its inception to the present. The genre deals with such things as the supernatural, sexual ambiguity, violence, and myriad marginalized social human practices and beliefs, and the works belonging to this genre follow well-developed and highly complex structures. Using psychoanalytic and genre theory, we’ll analyze the Gothic as both literary and social phenomena in order to reveal how this genre of deviance, which is more pervasive today than ever, functions to define less “deviant” genres and texts.

ENG 393-001 | MWF 11:00–11:50, MO 204
ENG 393-002 | MWF 1:00–1:50, MO 204
Writing in Scientific 
Jeremy Tirrell
This course prepares students to compose and present contemporary science writing in professional and academic contexts. Students will engage writing rhetorically as part of a collaborative knowledge-making process that is situated within conventions and discourses. Students will exit the course with honed abilities to create research and make it accessible.

English 490/509 (Hybrid)
Queer Cartographies
Katie Peel 
“People come to know the world the way they come to map it—through their perceptions of how its elements are connected and of how they should move among them.” Edward Rothstein, The New York Times.

In this course, we will spend the semester investigating the intersections of queerness, narrative, and space. The queer community is one that has struggled with visibility (think of the construct of the closet, the role of Pride marches) on personal, political, historical, and literary levels, just to name a few. Mapping offers us a way to think about rendering identities and experiences visible, and often vulnerable.

We will look at conventional maps (think of Alison Bechdel’s translation of her father’s life into a map of his hometown, a stone’s throw from the highway connecting two hubs of gay culture, San Francisco and New York), as well as digital and other forms of mapping. We will look at a number of current projects, including Queering the Map (an open collaboration/community-generated project), Queer Appalachia, the AIDS Memorial Instagram project, and the Queer Zine Archive Project. We will ask questions like how do we document and preserve something that is often intentionally underground, or marked by absence? What does this mean for archives, museums, and memorials?

We will consider literal space (bathrooms, doctors’ offices, police stations, prisons, classrooms, and libraries), as well as space on the page (on intake forms, in news coverage, in family photo albums, in archives), and virtual space (internet, social media). We will discuss issues of safe space, as well as the appropriation of space (hello, bachelorette parties), as well as queer tourism and rainbow travel guides. We will also think about how legislative narrative affects queer space and experience. Landmark court cases (including Bowers v. Hardwick and Lawrence v. Texas) have been rooted in issues of public versus private space; three cases currently before the Supreme Court concern workspace.

We will think about regions and borders (including immigration, asylum, and the Rainbow Railroad), metronormativity, and the roles of movement and technology. We will also consider how race, class, ability, and education (among other identity factors) affect narratives of queer experience and space.

If “queer” can mean that which challenges the normative, then what does this mean for narrative and space? Does mapping participate only in representation, or can it also indicate aspiration? Lastly, while visibility has been a political goal, it comes with risks. How might we be mindful of dangers while navigating this mapping of experience and identity?

*Note: This course is a combined 490/509, and scheduled as a hybrid course. Our course will meet face-to-face on both Tuesdays and Thursdays for at least the first two weeks of class.


ENG 417-001 | TR 2:00–3:15, BR 202
Research Methods in Professional Writing
Anirban Ray
Research improves our understanding of the world we live in by construing new knowledge. This course will introduce you to foundational and current research methods and methodologies (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed) used in professional writing/technical communication to improve your understanding of communicative contexts. The course builds on the assumption that research is ultimately guided by the ability to identify the gap or exigence in existing scholarship, academic practice and in the lived context. We will survey the major contributions to the field with the purpose to develop informed perspectives and generate valuable insights about context, theory, data, and application in research.  As the course places a premium on situated learning, the readings will orient you toward designing your own empirical study by applying varying research methods to real-life problems.


ENG 495-001 | TR 2:00–3:15, MO 202
Senior Seminar in Literature: Narratives of Democracy
Lee Schweninger
This course will offer you an in-depth look at, some literary responses to and investigations of ideas and concepts of democracy. We will read the literature by selected writers in its literary, historical, political, and social contexts. Possible texts include Joan Didon's novel Democracy (1984), Henry Adams's novel Democracy (1880), and from Cornel West's Democracy Matters (2004), for example. Other authors could include Jefferson, Hawthorne, Douglass, Jacobs, Stanton, Truth, King, Ellison, Irving, Stowe, and Emerson, to name a few.

You will be asked to keep an informal reading response journal, to write formal short response essays, to be responsible for the readings and class discussions, to take occasional reading quizzes, a mid-semester essay, and a final argumentative essay. You will also be asked to lead class discussion as well as a make semi-formal class presentation. As this will be a discussion-based class, attendance and attention to the readings will of course be required. Within the major, this course can satisfy the "ENG 495 senior seminar" requirement for the literary studies track.

ENG 510-001 | T 3:30–6:15, MO 102
Reading Popular Culture
Nicholas Laudadio
In this class, we will be focusing our attention on the question of pop culture: not just what it is and what it does, but also how we can better understand its place in the human scheme of things. If culture is made up of “the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves,” what role does the truly popular, the everyday, the "easy-to-digest" side of those stories have to offer us? We will begin the course with the general practical and theoretical issues of how to go about answering these questions while also considering the history of the popular as a genre as well as an aesthetic. But one thing that popular culture isn’t supposed to do is “get too political”—or as the current CEO of ESPN noted, “what I’ve heard consistently from day one of getting this job is the more we lean into politically charged commentary, the more we are alienating not just our core fan, but our casual fan.” With attention to this concern in multiple media and genres, this class will investigate the role of the political in the popular, the moments where something that’s supposed to be ‘apolitical’ goes all in on a particular conversation or cause. But while we will explore a broad range of topics and time periods, this class will focus most of its energy on the late 20th/early 21st century in American culture and politics. The readings will draw from philosophy, critical theory, history, literature, and the social sciences while also digging into popular media like graphic novels/(web)comics, Netflix series, YouTube music, and memes.

 ENG 552-001 | M 6:30-9:15, MO 202
Rhetoric and Culture: Histories, Cultures, and Theories of Rhetoric
Jeremy Tirrell
This course engages the theoretical analysis of significant developments in the history of rhetoric with emphasis on the influence of rhetoric on written composition.

ENG 566-001 | R 6:30-9:15, MO 102
Africana Autobiography: the Personal & Political, the Collective & Communal in Black Life Writing
Maia Butler
Africana Autobiography makes for a neat alliterative title, but we will be diving into the much broader pool of life writing, and we will conceptualize the “writing” aspect of that genre very broadly. Our memoirs will often defy genre classification, they will range from the personal to the collective, and take up the construction and performance of complex intersectional identities. We’ll ground our thinking about the writing of the self in Smith and Watson’s definitions of positionality, performativity, and relationality, exploring these concepts in our primary readings alongside additional criticism that will provide literary, historical, and cultural contexts. Note: This course will include a public scholarship assignment; students will construct the inaugural entries of the Danticat Wiki, which will be a collective endeavor by an international body of Danticat scholars and hosted on edwidgedanticatsociety.org.