Spring 2018 Course Descriptions

 Following are descriptions for courses being offered in the Spring 2018 semester. Please contact the professor with any questions.   

English 213: Writing and Research about Literature (formerly ENG 111: Introduction to Literary Studies II 
Dr. Rich Zumkhawala-Cook
TR 9:30 -10:45 (213-01) AND TR 11:00 - 12:45 (213-02)

This course is designed to help you expand on the knowledge and skills you gained in Eng. 130 (or ENG 107) by introducing you to critical perspectives and research methodologies essential to literary scholarship in the English major. Students in this course will learn how to write researched analytical papers on representative literary texts in the three classic genres: drama, poetry, and fiction. You will be introduced to standard research practices in the discipline, including how to access and use authoritative critical, cultural, and/or historical sources, how to use specialized research tools, and how to develop an ability to apply diverse critical perspectives. In addition you will be introduced to basic concepts of some of the literary theories current in the field.

English 224: Introduction to Creative Writing
Prof. Neil Connelly
MWF 10:00 - 10:50

English 224: Introduction to Creative Writing
Dr. Kim van Alkemade
TR 6:30 - 7:45

English 229: Advanced Composition
Dr.Laurie Cella
MWF 10:00 - 10:50

English 233: American Literature I 
Dr. Matthew Cella
MWF 10:00 - 10:50

Course Description: The readings for this course comprise a representative selection of works that reflect the various traditions in American letters from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War.  Taken together, they chronicle the growth of a national literature through which the myths and ideologies of the United States are expressed and/or revised.  We will explore a chronological succession of cultural and literary movements, such as Puritanism, the Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the emergence of American Romanticism.  Along the way we will consider the ways in which all the writers we examine construct definitions of what it means to be an American and what it means to inhabit American land space.  While we trace key themes and trends that coalesce to form the American literary tradition, we will also be mindful of how this tradition has been challenged by those writing from the margins of American society.  

As a survey course, my job is to expose you to some of the broader cultural and historical trends in the early American period.  While the breadth of coverage will be wide, we will spend as much time as possible looking at and analyzing the literature through close reading.  One of the primary course objectives involves the careful scrutiny of language, seeing as such scrutiny is an integral part of critical reading and critical thinking.

 Requirements: reading quizzes; exams; short response papers; researched literary analysis essay.

English 238: Technical/Professional Writing I 
Dr.Jordan Windholz
MW 2:00 - 3:15

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. By the end of the semester, you will feel more comfortable solving workplace dilemmas on your own, using communication skills to achieve the best results.  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 the beginnings of 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

English 239: Postcolonial Literature

Dr.Cathy Dibello
MWF 1:00 - 1:50

Expand your reading horizons beyond the familiar Anglo-American texts with this wide-ranging survey course. Designed to introduce you to a wide range of postcolonial literature, ENG 239 features a rich selection of novels, short stories, autobiography, and poetry by representative authors from former British territories in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean. Authors may include Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott, Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Tsitsi Dangarembga, and Salmon Rushdie. This student-centered course emphasizes discussion; other assignments include an analytical paper, an oral report, and open-book exams. ENG 239 counts as a Required Survey for English majors and an elective for International Studies students.

English 243: Art of the Film
Dr.Michael Pressler
MF 12:00-12:50; W 12:00 - 1:50  (243-01) AND M 12:00-12:50; W 12:00 - 1:50; F 1:00 - 1:50  (243-02)

English 304: Literary Criticism
Dr. Erica Galioto
TR 12:30 - 1:45                                              

                                                                 SEX RESEARCH & SUBJECTIVITY

What can sex research tell us about subjectivity?  This section of ENG 304: Literary Criticism aims to answer the preceding question by applying psychoanalysis, feminism, and queer theory to nonfiction texts that represent the intersectionality of sex, gender, and sexuality in various manifestations.  At the center of each text seems to be the timeless irreconcilability between the heart and head, and this course will use the featured theories to examine the body/mind duality and analyze the messy contradictions of sexuality that both reinforce and challenge that opposition.  Along with the social research and literary criticism, we will also read several fictional works that contribute to our ongoing conversation about sex research and its representation of subjectivity, relationships, desire, and language.  Featured topics include: Pioneers of Sex Research, Constitutional Bisexuality, Transgenderism, Sex Work, Contemporary Technology, Public vs. Private Identities, Sexual Symptoms, and Broken Relationships.  In addition to a coursepack including theoretical readings, class texts will be drawn from the following list: The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff, Whip Smart by Melissa Febos, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, American Girls by Nancy Jo Sales, Becoming Unbecoming by Una, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese, Married Sex: A Love Story by Jesse Kornbluth, The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan, Blackout by Sarah Hepola, Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce, and Enigma Variations by André Aciman.  Requirements include one long paper, several short papers, a presentation, and active discussion.  This course fulfills the requirement for the Genre Category.

English 307: Poetry Writing

Dr. Nicole Santalucia
TR 2:00-3:15

English 308: Fiction Writing
Prof. Neil Connelly

MWF 11:00-11:50

English 318: Renaissance Literature
Dr. Jordan Windholz
TR 9:30-10:45

NOT SHAKESPEARE:  Archives, Afterlives, Anachronism 
In this course, we will examine the vast and varied landscape of early modern English drama (1562-1660), much of which goes unread. But what we read this semester is up to you, for you’ll be the ones uncovering and assigning our readings by searching digital archives, consulting bibliographies, and otherwise hunting for interesting plays that are not by Shakespeare. I’ll provide some guidance, of course, but on the whole you will be constructing your own canon of English Renaissance drama, and hopefully, by the end of the course, you’ll have a real sense of the scope and scale of the period’s dramatic literature, as well as some new plays you’ll want to read long after the semester ends.

This course has two purposes: to introduce students to the variety and volume of English Renaissance drama, most of which was not produced by Shakespeare, as well as to acquaint students with practices, theories, joys, and frustrations of encountering this drama in digitized archives, which have become central to early modern English studies and the digital humanities. As we read the plays you find, we’ll discuss them alongside current scholarly debates about the uses and abuses of the archive, about what makes literature timely and timeless, and about how the present relates to and reshapes the past. Projects include a group research presentation, weekly blog posts, a literary review, and a creative or critical capstone. This course fulfills the History and Movements Category.

English 336: Theories and Approaches: Language, Learning, and Literacy
Dr. Shannon R. Mortimore-Smith
MW  3:30 - 4:45

Game Studies

“I like the term ‘gaming literacy’...because of the mischievous double-meaning of ‘gaming,’ ...Gaming a system, means finding hidden shortcuts and cheats, and bending and modifying rules in order to move through the system more efficiently— perhaps to misbehave, but perhaps to change that system for the better. We can game the stock market, a university course registration process, or even just a flirtatious conversation. Gaming literacy, in other words, ‘games’ literacy, bending and breaking rules, playing with our notions of what literacy has been and can be.”  --Eric Zimmerman        

This section of ENG 336: Game Studies seeks to "bend the rules" and play with traditional notions of how language and literacy are constructed.  Participation in the course will require students to:

  • Play games. Games are the primary text of study. Plan to play 30+ hours of games. (The course will focus on Tabletop, RPG/MMORPG, and narrative-based video games)
  • Read game theory and scholarship. (There will be a lot of reading in this course)
  • Study games as cultural artifacts, games as narrative, games and identity, games as participatory culture, and games and learning theory
  • Write game journals and response papers
  • Participate in and design quests and final projects
  • Engage in lively class discussion and in online forums

Given the unusual nature of the course "texts," please make note of these important considerations:

  • We will take games seriously (this is not a club).
  • Gaming experience is beneficial. Inexperienced or new gamers are absolutely welcome, however, the learning curve can be steep!  Talk to me if you have any questions. 
  • The course requires hardware and patience. You will need to own or have access to a PS4 or a current, upgraded PC with a good graphics card. Some games can be played on multiple platforms. Playing a game is often not as simple as picking up a book.  
  • Access to a small game room is available. DHC 005 currently offers a PS4 and two gaming PCs for student use. This room also houses a small reading library. Further, many games can be played in the Game Zone in the CUB with special permissions.
  • The class will be "gamed." Along with playing games and reading game theories, the classroom itself and your learning will be designed around systems of choice and gamification.
  • All majors are welcome!

English 345: Women's Literature

Dr. Cathy Dibello
TR 11:00-12:15

This course introduces students to an exciting range of literature by women and to issues related to women's writing. Focusing on nineteenth- through twenty-first-century writers, this section of ENG 345 will feature fiction, poetry, drama, and essays by authors including Charlotte Brontë, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and Leslie Marmon Silko. In addition to discussion, assignments include an analytical paper, oral report, and two exams. Women’s Literature fulfills the Identities requirement for English majors and counts as an elective for Women’s and Gender Studies 

English 358: Ethnic Literature

Dr. Raymond Janifer
MW 2:00 - 3:15 

English 366: History and Structure of the English Language

Dr. William Harris
TR 2:00-3:15


            Gertrude Stein wrote, “I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences.”  If you’re like most people, you might disagree with Stein.  Yet what Stein is also talking about is an intense fascination with words, the passion she felt about being a writer & the workings of the English language.  One of the goals of this course is to help you share in that excitement as you immerse yourself in the language.  In this course we still study both the structure of English—its grammar and syntax—and, more briefly, its history.  This integration of structure and history will provide a clearer understanding of how and why the English language operates as it does today.  These are also elements covered in the PRAXIS/PAPA tests that many of you, as Secondary Certification majors, will be taking.

            You already know how to use language to create and interpret meaning; thus, you already have an intuitive grasp of many basic rules of English grammar.  In this class we will review the rules but focus equally on how those rules work, how the parts of sentences fit together and combine to make and change meaning.  Along the way, you will gain a greater confidence in your own ability to use English effectively and, eventually, to teach it to others.

            Using the Understanding English Grammar textbook & workbook (as well as some D2L handouts from another text), we’ll cover the basics of morphology, phonology, a brief history of English’s development, then in more detail the key concepts of structural grammar.  Along the way, we’ll also be reading & discussing two books by linguist John McWhorter.  His highly accessible & often funny work will deepen our understanding of historical & recent changes in English usage, provide new insights regarding pronunciation, grammar, & etymology, and encourage us to see English as a living & ever-changing language.

            COURSEWORK will include regular homework/exercises, take-home tests, discussion, a final project, & a discussion kick-off handout.  

             THIS IS A REQUIRED COURSE for SECONDARY CERTIFICATION ENGLISH MAJORS...but ANY English major, minor, or others interested in the inner workings—& sometimes odd past & present—of English are welcome! 

Course Texts:

Martha Kolln, Loretta Gray, & Joseph Salvatore.  Understanding English Grammar, 10th ed

Robert Funk.  Exercises for Understanding English Grammar, 10th ed

John McWhorter.  Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English

John McWhorter.  Words on the Move: Why English Won’t—and Can’t—Sit Still (Like, Literally)

English 426: Teaching Adolescent Literature

Dr. Tom Crochunis
MW 2:00-3:15

            Is there any genre of contemporary literature that is more widely read, represented in media, or active in the minds of the young of all ages than young adult literature (YA for short)? YA may be our era’s literary equivalent of popular music, a set of cultural styles and practices that inform the reading, media watching, and interpretive practices of (not just literally) young people. This class will explore writing and media about adolescents and for adolescents, inviting students to investigate and interpret texts and the people who experience them, to create their own texts about adolescent experiences, and to consider what leads audiences of all ages to be intrigued by representations of adolescence.

            For students in the secondary English education program, assignments will involve learning about strategies for teaching reading and literary study to young people, selecting and evaluating texts for use with young people, and playing the role of advocate for engaging with literature in one’s community; these students will also have additional options to write creatively and critically. Students in the regular BA or writing emphasis who take the course will extend their thinking about the course’s subjects through analyzing texts and media dealing with adolescents, researching how people have been affected by their adolescent experiences with literature and film, and creating texts that represent adolescents and their experiences. By arrangement with the professor, major assignments may include curricular planning, creative/media projects, or literary research projects as suits the goals of individual students. Together, we will analyze contemporary interest in the literature of adolescence.

            While students in the secondary English education program must take EDU290 as a pre-requisite to taking this course, students in the regular English or writing emphasis BAs may request permission of the professor to have the pre-requisite waived.

English 427: Advanced Poetry Workshop
Dr. Nicole Santalucia
MW 2:00-3:15

English 435: Creative Nonfiction Writing
Dr. Kim van Alkemade
TR  5:00 - 6:15

Build on your established skills as a creative writer by developing a longer creative nonfiction piece focusing on memoir, travel writing, or personal essay. In depth discussion of book-length readings as well as craft essays provide a basis for a student-centered workshop. Portfolio will include drafting, workshop and critique, rewriting and revision, and editing for submission to literary publications. If you’ve taken ENG 335, you have met the prerequisite and can schedule yourself! I will also give permission of instructor to students who have completed any other ENG creative writing course, including 224, 307, 308, 407 or 408, as well as COM 425 Feature Writing. Just email me!

English 438: Technical/Professional Writing II
Dr Carla Kungl
TR 9:30 - 10:45

This seminar-style course tackles some practical and theoretical issues raised in all types of professional communication: ethical and legal considerations, writing for various audiences, persuasive strategies, and research methodology.  Your major semester long-project entails locating a community non-profit or campus organization that needs an increased presence. After meeting with  appropriate clients and getting your proposal approved, your group will construct all necessary materials to meet that client's needs--a web site, brochures, work plans, commercials, videos, or posters--and then present them to the client at  the end of the semester. By the time you're done, you will have learned how to write professional proposals; make clean, navigable web sites; improve clarity and coherence in your writing across different platforms; understand more thoroughly how purpose and audience affect your work; and develop greater skill in document design. All students will create an electronic portfolio suitable to show employers the work they've created and develop a more sophisticated, professional online presence.

Students who have gotten jobs in the fields technical writing, editing, or web site building tell me that this was one of the most valuable courses they took here at Ship. This class is also part of the Technical/Professional Communications Minor and can fill up fast. Since this is a smaller  course, students get a lot of individual attention and have a lot of freedom to work on projects meaningful to them. Join us!

Our text, Technical Communication Today by Richard Johnson-Sheehan, is the basis for a technical writing certification exam offered by the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the field's primary professional organization. This course is structured so that most of the material on the exam is covered, and students should seriously consider taking it to get certified by the end of the semester (see their website for more information).

English 460: Senior Seminar
Dr. Sharon Harrow

MW 3:30-4:45

Writing & Representing Reality

In this seminar, students will examine literature as public texts that have reflected, challenged, satirized, or celebrated cultural traditions and political views. Literature and performance have long been the stage for authors and audiences to enact concerns and celebrations about their society. We will read across multiple genres, including poetry, novel, satire, comedy, drama, in the context of a range of theatrical forms, including guerilla theater, improvisational theatre, flash mob, and agitprop.  We will analyze ways that texts and performances engage a number of complex questions about the relationship between reality and representation. For example:

  • What’s funny? What’s brutal? What’s brutally funny?
  • Who determines the rules of censorship?
  • Who determines if a writer can be jailed because of her or his art?
  • In the face of corruption, how do people seek justice?
  • How does literature influence public policy?

We will consider how texts are shaped by contexts, including culture, politics, geography, gender, race, class, and language. Texts might include: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe; The Book of Mormon by Parker, Lopez, and Stone; Fun Home by Alison Bechdel; The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay; work of The Guerilla Girls; etc.

Assignments: The Senior Seminar provides English majors and minors the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in critical thinking, research, literary interpretation, and analytic writing. Assignments will include a seminar-length researched essay; a short, original, collaborative performance of a written scene, the subject of which will be determined by student interest; participation at the Minds at Work conference.

Pre-requisites: ENG 130 (or ENG 107) and ENG 213 (or ENG 111).