Department of English

Rebecca Skloot, award-winning author who has received wide acclaim for her work as a science and medical writer in Columbia Journalism Review; Discover; The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Prevention; among other publications, spoke in March at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium. Skloot's bestselling first book was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. UNCW Photo by Jamie Moncrief

Undergraduate Course Descriptions


ENG 204-801
Introduction to Professional Writing
Lance Cummings
In this class, you will reflect on how rhetoric and visual design can inform effective communication in collaborative and technologically diverse contexts. Using print and online tools, you will explore the composing process through invention, collaboration, audience analysis, and revision. Besides composing traditional professional genres, like memos, proposals, instructions, and public relations materials, you will also reflect on how these can be redesigned and delivered in digital and networked contexts. Consequently, you will be required to experiment with various emerging Web 2.0 technologies, culminating in a major design project purposed for a specific professional audience. This course will enhance your ability to compose well-designed, persuasive, and purposeful texts in a variety of professional and academic contexts.

ENG 204-804, 204-807
Introduction to Professional Writing
Anthony Atkins
The course will introduce students to strands of Professional Writing like document design, resume writing, and using multimedia. Students will also review and evaluate a number of online and traditional texts ranging from websites to professional reports. While students will work with traditional documents, they will also address multimedia's impact on professional writing. This course also requires a Service/Applied Learning component. This means students will work with a client in the community to apply what they learn in the course. Students should have access to the Internet and Blackboard. Students should have basic technology skills (adept with email, attachments, blackboard, etc.).
*Access to Blackboard and the Internet for the full session is required.
*There are no required face-to-face meetings.

ENG 210-800, 210-801
Alex Porco
In this course, students will become familiar with and analyze the major figures and themes from Greek and Roman mythology while also examining the social/communal function of myth. Mythology from other parts of the world will also be discussed briefly. In addition, students will learn of multiple critical and creative approaches to the study of mythology. In particular, students will consider how painters, movie-makers, songwriters, and poets reinvent and reinterpret myths in response to personal, political, and historical exigencies. Students will also explore how mythological narratives and archetypes continue to inform our own contemporary culture—for example, what is the “selfie” but the Narcissus myth for a digital age?

ENG 210-804
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 211-001 | MTWR 8:00–10:05 am
British Literature to 1800
Lewis Walker
MO 106
In this course we will read selections from the first 800 years of English literature, including Beowulf, parts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, sonnets by Sir Philip Sidney and Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, poems by John Donne, parts of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and poetry and prose by Alexander Pope (The Rape of the Lock) and Jonathan Swift (“A Modest Proposal”). We will be concerned both with close reading of the texts as well as with their historical contexts. Some of the topics/themes we will address are heroism, the roles of women, sexuality, chivalry, hypocrisy, salvation and damnation, and satire. Short response papers, reading quizzes, midterm, and final.

ENG 230-801
Women in Literature
Katie Peel
In this course we will examine literary representations of women by authors who at some point identify as women or trans.* We will begin with the introduction to Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s landmark work, The Madwoman in the Attic, as well as Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” and Alice Walker’s “In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens,” and discuss the cultural, economic, and political factors that historically have affected western women’s writing. Our course this semester will explore the theme of hunger and how various hungers inspire and are reflected in women’s writing. We will explore multiple genres, and look at how women create narrative about gendered experiences. We will consider factors including class, sexuality, race, gender identity, modes of production, and social justice activism. Our work together will not seek to reduce women’s writing to a common denominator of qualities, but rather, explode existing categories.
*Our study will be inclusive of trans and nonbinary gender identities. Historically, to not be classified as male in American and British culture tended to automatically mean classification as female. We will bring a broader understanding of gender to our exploration of writing in a patriarchal culture.

ENG 303-801, 303-802
Reading and Writing Arguments
Sarah Hallenbeck
In this course, students will work at both producing and critiquing arguments, as well as exploring possible, productive sites of argument in a fast-changing, technology-saturated democracy like our own. Together, we will consider the ways that good argument both relies on and exceeds logic and rationality, making persuasion a tricky and somewhat unpredictable enterprise worthy of ongoing study and practice. We’ll investigate strategies for argument both ancient and modern, and we’ll do some theorizing of our own about what makes an argument successful.

ENG 381-001 | MW 10:15 am–12:20 pm; TR online
Literature for Young Adults (hybrid)
Victor Malo-Juvera
MO 205
There is no better time to read young adult literature than the summer and this course will provide you with the best beach reading available: the "canon" of young adult literature. In this course we will read seminal titles as well as some modern "classics," and will interrogate texts from various critical lenses discussing issues such as censorship, race, gender, class, and sexual orientation and identity.

ENG 385-001 | MW online; TR 10:15 am–12:20 pm
Multicultural Young Adult Literature
Victor Malo-Juvera
MO 205
This course studies a wide variety of multicultural literature written for and about adolescents from various populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in the United States. In addition to studying texts that reflect the ever changing population of American adolescents, we will explore themes and issues such as censorship, race, gender, class, immigration status, war, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. This course satisfies University Study Living in a Diverse Nation requirement.

Summer II 2018

ENG 202-800
Introduction to Journalism
Rory Laverty
Prerequisite: ENG 103 or ENG 201, or consent of instructor. Introduction to news values, style, and writing. Focus is on current event literacy, writing news stories under deadline pressure, interviewing, investigating, and feature writing. 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 204-803
Introduction to Professional Writing
Anirban Ray
This course prepares you to face workplace challenges that require professional communication skills in terms of writing and presentation. It will enable you to develop critical appreciation for core technical concepts including audience, context, persuasion, and purpose in writing situations with an emphasis on ethics in communication. You will be exposed to writing a variety of business collaterals, such as resumes, memos, proposals and reports in different contexts and for different purposes. Additionally, this course emphasizes on information design from a visual communication framework and challenges students to create technical documents from a defined visual perspective. Most importantly, you will find opportunities to collaborate with peers to share expertise, knowledge, and experience in a service-learning framework. By the end of this course, you will learn to design effective technical documents to solve problems with attention to text, visuals, format, usability, and citation.

ENG 210-802, 210-803
Ashley Bissette Sumerel
In this course, students will become familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse Mythology. In addition to critical analysis of the myths, students will learn different approaches to the study of mythology. They will also explore how mythological narratives affect our own culture and can inform our reading of literature.
This is a fully online course. Assignments may include weekly discussion board participation, writing activities, quizzes, essays, and a final exam.

ENG 223-001 | MTWR 10:15 am–12:20 pm
American Literature to 1870
Mike Wentworth
MO 205
As a course in American literature from the sixteenth century through 1870, we will obviously be concerned with a number of major early American authors, with many of whom you may already be familiar. Many of you, for example, have had previous contact with Ben Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman. But if you haven’t, don’t panic; for, I can assure you, you will have by the end of our course. On the other hand, we will be reading a number of writers with whom you may be unfamiliar. I have taken special care, for example, to include writings outside the traditional social and cultural mainstream such as selections from Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and selections from Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself.
Since literature doesn’t simply originate in a vacuum, we will also be concerned with the general intellectual and historical context for the assigned readings and will be similarly concerned with recurring emphases, ideas, and topical issues—the primacy of practical experience and observation over theory, America as a nation with a special destiny, cultural pluralism, the idea of the frontier, and the sense that the American character is something unique, to name a few.
Finally, it’s easy to overlook the most obvious questions, the most notable of which, in regard to this particular course, might be stated any number of ways: “What’s so ‘American’ about American literature?” “When did an authentic American literature actually begin, and what were the conditions that contributed to the emergence and development of a distinctively national literature?” We will hopefully negotiate and come to terms with such questions throughout our course.
Though the focus of the course should be self-evident on the basis of the course title itself, we will be concerned with establishing possible complementary relations between our assigned readings and other works of literature you have read, either independently or in previous courses; the current arena of local, national, and international affairs; and other academic courses you have taken—e.g., American history, American geography, psychology, philosophy and religion, sociology, anthropology—the supposition being that, beyond the usual platitudinous lip service, a real liberal arts education should be consciously and purposefully interdisciplinary and thereby should encourage a sensitivity to the interconnectedness of both major and non-major courses.

ENG 227-001 | MTWR 12:30–2:35 pm
World Anglophone Literatures: Caribbean Voices in Global Context
Jennifer Lozano
MO 205
This course explores the diversity, resilience, and intellectual tradition of Caribbean writers and cultural workers from the 20th century to today. By reading both fiction and non-fiction texts (in English) from the Caribbean, we will work to bring into focus a tapestry of African, indigenous, and European culture that addresses the historical conflicts and exploitations of the region while also depicting a powerful sense of place and identity. As the class unfolds, students will develop a literary vocabulary, practice literary analysis, and participate in cultural events to gain a more nuanced appreciation of Caribbean culture that goes beyond cocktails, reggae, and natural disasters.

ENG 232-800
African American Literature: The South in the Black Imagination
Maia Butler
Black authors and artists, Northern and Southern alike, have portrayed the South in various ways. Their representations of Southern histories and narratives, landscapes and locations, and lives and cultures perform cultural work, reflecting cultural concerns and also shaping cultural ideas. In this class we will cover genres such as poetry and music, nonfiction, drama and film, short fiction, and the novel. We will consider the ways that black literature, art, and media reveal attitudes and make arguments about race and nation, gender and class as they attend to historical moments, explore individual and community life, and imagine black futures.

ENG 290-001 | MTWR 2:45–4:50 pm
Themes in Literature: Spirits, Specters, and the Speculative in Contemporary American Literature
Jennifer Lozano
MO 205
In this class we will turn our attention to representations of the “other-worldly” in contemporary American fiction and non-fiction. Specifically, we will focus on a “speculative” literary tradition (science fiction, magical realism, fantasy) and consider the way that different representations of “spirits” and “specters” participate in the speculative, while also raising questions about difference, race, and racial violence in the US. Possible authors include Leslie Marmon Silko, Sesshu Foster, Salvador Plasencia, Sandra Cisneros, and Octavia Butler among others. We will also examine texts from other media including television, film, and visual art.

ENG 312-800
Writing for Business
Anirban Ray
Why enroll in Writing for Business? What do you want, my sixty-second or six-volume answer? You’re right—it depends on how much and what you want to know. Writing for Business is precisely about finding how much your audience in workplace wants and how they want it. It is less about what you know and want to tell and more about what someone else wants to hear. In this sense, the course marks a transition from academic to professional/workplace writing in four major ways:
- Action-oriented: writing that influences actions in your audience
- Collaborative: writing situations will invite you to work in groups to meet real-life workplace challenges
- Genre-orientated: writing that spans across communication channels— memos, resumes, reports, and proposals, and blogs for business
- Strategic: writing that utilizes various organizational techniques in the writing process
These three features will help you to realize and identify the basic goals and objectives of "another" kind of writing that exists when you’re ready to explore the professional space.
Finally, you will also learn about separating two very important skills in writing: creative and critical skills. According to Peter Elbow, an eminent theorist, we need creative skills to generate ideas, topics, sentences, and words while require critical skills to decide which ones to use. Most often writers are unable to separate the two skills and create miscommunications in reports, proposals, and even in regular emails. Therefore, in this course you will learn to get yourself started with your creative side and then let your critical side steer you through planning, organization, drafting, and delivering the message.

ENG 342-800
Transnational Literatures: Home, Migration, and Belonging
Maia Butler
Literatures of migration trouble the idea of home, showing that it is a fraught concept for people on the move. Countries of origin and host countries alike marginalize others, undermining nationalist conceptions of belonging. The home immigrants hold in memory is often romanticized, frozen in time, and has changed upon their return, just their identities have evolved as a result of travel. In this course, we will see that race, gender, nation, and class intersect to shape identities, and that movement across national boundaries necessitates a reimagining of home, of self, and of community and belonging. In this course, we will encounter genres such as memoir, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, music, and other media. We will also keep literary criticism close at hand to engage with some of the major concepts and discussions germane to our readings. We will spend our semester thinking through representations of people on the move, and how they sustain home and build community across boundaries.