Fall 2018: Majors Course Descriptions


English 130: Introduction to Literary Studies for English Majors and Minors 

Dr. Matthew Cella | MWF 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Dr. Michael Bibby | TR 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

English 224: Intro to Creative Writing

Dr. Nicole Santalucia |  MW 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm & 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Introduction to Creative Writing introduces elements of creative writing in a variety of genres, providing practice analyzing short stories, creative nonfiction pieces, poems and/or dramatic scenes from the point of view of a creative writer. In a series of creative assignments, students will learn to use the tools of creative writing—such as scene, dialog, imagery and description—to explore and improve their own creative writing. Students will write a series of short summary/analysis responses to reading assignments. Students will complete a series of short explorations of creative writing, with a culminating assignment of an expanded and revised creative work in a process portfolio. This course satisfies the requirement for a course in Writing.

English 237: British Literature II

Dr. Richard Zumkhawala-Cook | TR 11:00 am -12:15 pm

English 238: Technical/Professional Writing I

Dr. Carla Kungl |  TR 9:30 am - 10:45 am

The primary goal for this course to give you the skills you need to solve rhetorical problems in your professional career. Technical Writing is not an in-depth study of one particular field, but rather an increased awareness of audience and concise response to a particular problem. In this class, you will be asked to think critically, examine many possible solutions, and then choose the best response to the given situation. For each assignment, I will provide the particulars, and we will work together to develop an effective rhetorical solution. However, as the semester progresses, you will be asked to solve these problem more independently. By the end of the semester, you will feel more comfortable solving these workplace dilemmas on your own. I want you to be ready to work on your own, since most on the job projects will ask you to solve these problems without the support of the classroom or a professor. We will be using Mike Marcel's textbook, Technical Communication, 11th ed.  

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

*      create documents that adhere to the eight measures of technical writing excellence

*      incorporate graphic design elements effectively into your documents

*      collaborate effectively within a small group to identify and solve rhetorical problems

*      create a professional career portfolio, including a concise resume and cover letter

*      identify and address ethical dilemmas on the job, and respond thoughtfully

*      create and deliver a professional oral presentation based on your research


EDU 290: Introduction to English/Language Arts Education

Dr. Shannon Smith | MWF 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm


English 307: Poetry Writing

Dr. Nicole Santalucia | TR 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

English 308: Fiction Writing

Dr. Neil Connelly | MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am

English 330: Shakespeare I

Dr. Jordan Windholz | 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

In this course, we are going to read some of Shakespeare’s plays, along with a few of his poems, to think about what makes his work good and bad, as well as where, how, and why uglier elements of early modern British culture animate the plots, motivate the characters, and contribute to the meanings of his works. We will be looking at popular and not-so-popular plays in the following genres: comedy, tragedy, and history. While I have organized the syllabus around good plays, bad plays, and ugly plays, these categories—and the premises that underwrite them—will remain open for debate. As we come to define our terms and encounter Shakespeare’s wide-ranging works, we will ask how they anticipate or defy modernity, what they have to teach us about gender, sexuality, race, class, and disability, as well as why Shakespeare remains a central author in the Anglophone literary canon. We'll likely end our semester with a visit to the Folger Shakespeare library in DC.

English 341: Teaching Writing Second Schools

Dr. Erica Galioto | TR 8:00 am - 9:15 am

Secondary English teachers need to consider many factors to teach writing effectively.  They need to understand how to plan and instruct adolescents using best practices of writing pedagogy, but they also need to think about what it is like to be an adolescent, what forms of expression resonate most with adolescents, what complex personal and social issues may affect their ability to perform well in the classroom, and what student products should be examined for their emotional representations.  To that end, this section of ENG 341: Teaching Writing in the Secondary Schools will provide three interconnected strands for students to pursue as they gain much-needed instruction on how to teach writing in scaffolded, meaningful, and student-centered ways.  First, we will situate our pedagogical path in The Reading/Writing Connection by Carol Booth Olson, which will allow us to develop the strategies students must use similarly when they do the required tasks of both reading and writing in the classroom and outside of it.  Second, we will read a number of nonfiction texts that present variants of the adolescent experience and how writing functions within them: Dave Cullen’s Columbine, Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation, Erin Gruwell's The Freedom Writers Diary, Mark Salzman’s True Notebooks, and the edited collectionThe Full Spectrum.  Third, we will also examine a number of required (Meg Wolitzer’s Belzhar, Ellen Hopkins’ Perfect, Patricia McCormick’s Cut, and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and choice (Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, Megan Abbott’s The Fever, Mary Gaitskill’s The Mare, Sapphire’s Push, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and Phoebe Gloeckner’s Diary of a Teenage Girl) fictional works of adolescent literature (that also feature writing in various ways) that will be the content pieces we will plan our writing tasks around.  As is always the case with pedagogy coursework, we will also be completing our own assessments in model form for the students we will one day instruct.  Class requirements include rigorous reading and participation, formal and informal writing assignments, practical planning materials, and short presentations/teaching demos.  This course satisfies the requirement for a course in Writing and is open to all English majors, not just certification students.


English 369: Studies in Poetry

Dr. Michael Bibby | TR 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

To Dwell in Possibility: Ways of Reading Poetry 

What is poetry? According to William Wordsworth, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Emily Dickinson once wrote, "If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry." The modernist poet William Carlos Williams claimed that poetry is a "machine made of words." For Gwendolyn Brooks, poetry is "life distilled." With so many varying ways of defining poetry, how do we go about reading it?

Many readers view poetry as an opaque mystery, something written in a secret code. This course will help you dispel the mystery of poetry and explore the various ways poetry can be read in literary studies. It will expand on and deepen the skills you gained in your introductory courses and help you develop the analytical tools necessary to develop informed interpretations of poetry. We will learn about meter, form, sound, genre, and tropes by reading and discussing a poems from across the historical and global spectrum. Course work will include short papers, in-class discussions, oral presentations, writing workshops, readings, and a final paper.


Possible textbook:

Terry Eagleton, How to Read a Poem (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006)

Plus required readings on D2L

English 373: Studies Creative Nonfiction

Dr. Erica Galioto  | TR 9:30 am - 10:45 am

“Every family has a story . . . welcome to ours.”  We’ve all seen this sentiment plastered on canvas wall art proudly hanging in stores and in living rooms, maybe even our own.  This semester’s section of ENG 373-Studies in Creative Nonfiction will focus on “The Family Memoir,” an individual’s attempt to tell a unique family story and situate him- or herself within its specific context.  Our reading of each memoir will highlight specific characteristics of the genre, such as memory’s reconstruction in narrative form, nonfiction’s capacity to initiate psychological healing, the reader’s potential identification with the text, and the ambiguous nature of truth.  Alongside our analysis of genre, we will also consider the universal family story these memoirs provide as we examine the relationships, identities, desires, symptoms, effects, and losses of these interconnected systems.  Relating the creative nonfiction form to the family memories therein will be an anchoring focus for our psychoanalytic interpretation of the voice of consciousnesses provided.  Our book list will span childhood to old age and will encourage us to consider our own family stories and even more flexible definitions of kinship as we read, write, and discuss the following representations of family: Roz Chast’s Can’t We All Talk About Something More Pleasant?; Nick Flynn’s Another Bullshit Night in Suck City; Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk; Kimberly Rae Miller’s Coming Clean; Lauren Slater’s Lying; Kathryn Harrison’s The Kiss; Cheryl Strayed’s Wild; Piper Kerman’s Orange is the New Black; Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy; Patti Smith’s Just Kids; David Small’s Stitches; Christa Parravani’s Her; Sonali Deraniyagala’s Wave; Derf Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer.  A coursepack with required critical articles will also be provided.  Class requirements include rigorous reading and participation, formal and informal writing assignments, and a presentation.  This course satisfies the requirement for a course in Genre.


English 375: African-American Literature

Dr. Raymond Janifer | MW 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

English 383: Literature After 1900

TBA | MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am


EDU 422: Methods of Teaching English in Secondary Schools

Dr. Thomas Crochunis | W 8:00 am - 10:50 am

“Methods” aims to prepare you for the experience of student teaching, and beyond that for the work of being an early career teacher.

Our course will center on several essential questions:

  • What does it mean to teach English in a contemporary American secondary school setting? What are the conceptual, practical, and personal dimensions of the job? How does one do it well?
  • What roles does an effective teacher need to play to make the classroom, the school, and the community in which s/he teaches places where young people can learn what reading and writing have to teach them?
  • What happens in classrooms and schools—educationally, socially, culturally? What can we learn from observing, investigating what we see and hear, and reading about issues in contemporary education?
  • How do young people develop as readers and writers? What can teachers do to lead their students beyond the required skills they need to achieve to open their minds to the potential power of reading and writing in their lives?

Activities and projects we will engage in during the course include the following:

  • Extended field observations and collaborations on teaching in varied school settings
  • Viewing, analysis, and discussion of classroom videos to consider a variety of teaching approaches and contexts
  • Regular collaboration with classroom peers in planning, leading classroom experiences, and analyzing problems of English teaching practice
  • In-depth reading and thinking about English teaching generally, writing development and teaching, and the interaction between standards, reading, and literature
  • Research into a teaching approach that seems likely to be useful in your student teaching placement
  • Planning of a unit or set of extended learning sequences for your student teaching experience


English 428: Advanced Fiction Workshop

Dr. Neil Connely | MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am

English 460: Senior Seminar

Dr. Thomas Crochunis | MW 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

In this course, we will explore how contemporary playwrights in Britain and America have worked with gender and sexuality in their writing for the stage. Throughout the course, we will read cultural analysis, criticism, and theory that look at the relationship of both gender and sexuality to performance. In our study of the plays, we will consider how playwrights’ reworking of gender interacts with both dramatic form (character, plot, setting, language) and theatrical design (role-character dynamics, environment, rhetorical relationship with the audience). We will focus on British and American plays written from the 1970s until the present whose formal innovations and political/emotional challenges to their audiences’ views enact a transformation of gender and sexual relations on stage.

Course Activities and Assignments: 

 · In-class performance experimentation with gendered roles and with theatrical scenes and situations.

 · Depending on fall performance schedules in the region, we may go to the theatre to see plays of interest.

 · Viewing or listening to recordings of performances outside of class.

 · Two short response papers (3-4 pages each)

 · Participation in an evening of performance presentations dealing with gender and sexuality issues.

 · A substantial project and presentation related to course themes—may involve performance, scholarship, reviewing, media-making, or creative writing (playwriting).