ENGLISH DEPARTMENT COURSES
English 100 [W]
Focuses on rhetorical awareness. In this course, students will explore the reading and writing practices of the academic community. Through primary and secondary research, and through guided writing practice, students will critically examine what these practices mean and consider how students’ own reading and writing practices fit into those of “the Academy.” While additional texts may be assigned, writing produced by students in the class will serve as the principal texts of the course. Additional texts may include Graff & Birkenstein’s TheySay/I Say, Harris’ Rewriting: How to do things with Texts, and Richard Lanham’s Revising Prose. Prerequisite: FYS. Enrollment is restricted to first-year and sophomore students.
English 100-01: Introduction to Academic Writing [W]
Writing enhancement in academic settings. Includes reading and analysis of published essays, practice in research, and production of a corpus research paper. Writing skills are designed to build fundamental skills step by step thorough exploration of rigorous academic content. Critical thinking skills move from skill building to application of the skills that require critical thinking.
Professor Kang TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 100-02: Introduction to Academic Writing [W]
In this course, students will explore the reading and writing practices of the academic community. Through primary and secondary research, and through guided writing practice, students will critically examine what these practices mean and consider how students’ own reading and writing practices fit into those of “the Academy.” While additional texts will be assigned, writing produced by students in the class will serve as the principal texts for the course. This class will be of particular interest to students who have had limited experience with academic writing. Prerequisite: First Year Seminar.
Professor Uzendowski MWF 9:00 – 9:50 a.m.
English 100-03: Academic Writing -Writing about the world of work [W]
Course Theme: The Heartbeat of America–Writing about the World of Work. In our reading and writing this semester, we will explore different kinds of work in contemporary U.S. culture. We will read and discuss narratives of men and women’s working lives and explore the changing nature of work in the post-industrial United States. You will read and respond, both orally and in writing, to texts from a variety of genres, including oral histories, memoirs, academic essays, and scholarly writings from such fields as history, economics, and sociology.
Professor Tatu TR 11:00 a.m. -12:15 p.m.
English 115: Science Fiction [H]
This course focuses on a genre that is highly popular but often regarded as mere entertainment. Examining representative short stories, novels, and films, we’ll discuss the imaginative and thought-provoking way in which Sci Fi writers have depicted human interactions and societies—those of the writer’s past and present as well as his or her potential future. Authors likely to be studied include Philip K. Dick, Ursula LeGuin, Isaac Asimov, Octavia Butler, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Ray Bradbury…and a host of writers you probably haven’t heard of unless you’re an reader of sci fi.
Professor Byrd MW 12:45 – 2:00 p.m.
English 119: Literary Women [GM1, H]
Literary Women examines the writing of women and gender-nonconforming writers from the 20th and 21st century. The class will utilize different critical lenses to explore how each author attends to issues related to the intersections of gender, race, and sexuality among other identity markers.
Professor Van Asselt MWF 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
English 135: Literature and Human Experience [H, V]
An examination of a significant social or cultural problem as reflected in literary texts. Topics vary from semester to semester and will be announced during the registration period. May be taken more than once with different content.
English 135-01: Ten Plays You Need to Read Before You Die! [H,V]
Drama runs the real-life gamut of human interaction and experience (humor, ambition, falling in love, the desire for success, fear of failure) in ways unique in literary study. We watch real people in recognizable human situations, talking, debating, deciding, and figuring stuff out. This course seeks to introduce students to plays that have proven to be substantial, provocative, and illuminating to the degree that they constitute a must read “ten best list.” But precisely because drama seems the closest literary form in its representation of how we live and interact, it makes serious demands on us as an effective mirror that challenges us to look at ourselves closely and examine our values as individuals, family members, neighbors, friends, students, and citizens with a social and political awareness. Playwrights include McDonagh, Herzog, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Moliere, Reza, and Fugard.
Professor Smith MWF 3:10 – 4:00 p.m.
English 136: Irish Writers & the Struggle for Political Independence [GM2, H]
This course focuses on Irish writers of the period 1880-1930, a time when Ireland fought for political independence from England and underwent a civil war that led to the partitioning of the island into the modern-day republics of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We’ll be examining how the literature of this era, which has come to be known as “The Irish Literary Renaissance,” both reflects and responds to the political, religious, and socio-economic turmoil of the times. Readings will include fiction by James Joyce and James Stephen; the poetry of William Butler Yeats, and plays by John Millington Synge, Lady Augusta Gregory, and Sean O’Casey.
Professor Byrd MW 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 151-01: Introduction to Creative Writing [W]
An introduction to the fundamentals of creative writing, focusing on strategies for generating, developing, revising, and editing poetry and fiction. Through intensive reading, writing, and discussion, students will explore ways to enhance their own creative processes as they identify and attempt to duplicate techniques employed by imaginative writers. Closed to juniors and seniors.
Professor Upton TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 151-02: Introduction to Creative Writing [W]
An introduction to the fundamentals of creative writing, focusing on the elements of craft. Students will develop strategies for generating, developing, revising, and editing in the genres of poetry and fiction. Through intensive reading, writing, and discussion, students will explore ways to enhance their own creative processes as they identify and seek to duplicate techniques modeled by published writers. Students will discover ways to critique the work of their peers and to respond with insight to the imaginative writing of a diverse range of writers and, in so doing, find new and innovative ways to re-see their own work. Closed to juniors and seniors.
Professor Gilmore MW 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 174: Chicano Literature [Pending Attributes: H, GM1, W]
A sense of place will guide this exploration of Chicana/o literature. We will examine how Mexican American writers represent distinct regional and national identities. Each literary text captures a dynamic relationship between community and space. Settings we will consider include East Los Angeles, the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, Latino neighborhoods in Chicago and New York, and the border between the US and Mexico. Analyzing Chicana/o fiction and non-fiction written since the 19th century, we will discuss how Mexican American writers have addressed dominant themes in American literature such as race, gender, sexuality, and class. We will also study how Chicana feminist writers created new intersectional frameworks for writing and reading literature in the 1970s and 1980s that would ultimately transform academic and literary traditions. Authors we will read include Gloria Anzadlúa, Oscar Casares, Ana Castillo, Luís Alberto Urrea, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Jovita González, and Rudolfo Anaya.
Professor Uzendowski MWF 2:10 – 3:00 p.m.
English 202: Writing Seminar [W]
Writing seminars are courses that make writing and language their explicit subject. Examples include seminars in writing genres (memoir and travel writing), in rhetoric and argument, or in the way language and discourse constitute particular cultural constructions (“the animal” or “race”). While each seminar has a specific focus (to be announced in its subtitle), all seminars emphasize the process of academic reading and writing and use student writing as a primary text. Prerequisite: FYS.
English 202-01: [W]
In this course, students will study human rights literature and analyze foundational human rights documents. Historical events that will be discussed in class include the Holocaust, the Sierra Leone civil war, the Syrian refugee crisis, and the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. We will examine a variety of genres including memoirs, short stories, films, graphic novels, and investigative reporting. We will also discuss historic human rights documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and the United States Declaration of Independence. By exploring rhetorical strategies through the lens of human rights, we will analyze how writers appeal to human rights values to instigate political and social change in the world. Students will also practice advocacy writing by creating their own arguments about human rights
Professor Uzendowski MWF 11:00 – 11:50 am
English 202-02: Representing Animals [W]
Animals are our companions, our scientific “models,” our evolutionary kin, our food, our genetic playthings, our fashion statements. We experience animals at home, in zoos, in the grocery store, in labs, in the”wild”, and throughout the spectrum of popular media like television and film. This writing seminar will investigate how animals are represented in language and the value systems that underwrite those representations. Among our chief considerations will be what our description of animals say about us; the intersections of gender, race and animality in language, and the question of animals “talking back.” Prerequisite: FYS
Professor Falbo TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 202-03: Why Rehetoric Matters [W]
The word “rhetoric” is commonly employed these days, especially in the media, to characterize unreliable and insincere speech, or language that is formulaic and distracting: “oh, that’s just her rhetoric. Ignore it.” Rhetoric is actually much more than this: it is both the use of, and the study of, purposive language intentionally fashioned to make things happen in the world—to urge action or encourage identification. In this section of 202, we will focus on rhetoric’s persuasive power, as first explicated by Plato and Aristotle, and then consider why an understanding of rhetoric matters, whether you are a citizen, a consumer, or a student. While the course will focus on student work and require attendance at various college presentations, it will also include a considerable amount of reading, including excerpts from classical texts, the Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” 1984, and more.
Professor Donahue W 1:10 – 4:00 p.m.
English 205: Seminar in Textual Practices
This course provides students with an introduction to the theory and methodology of literary study by focusing on three questions: What is a literary text? How do we read a literary text? How do we write about a literary text? By considering the rhetorical, aesthetic, and ideological issues that determine literary value, students examine their assumptions about literature. Required of all English majors and minors. Prerequisite: Any introductory English Department course (100-199) or AP credit.
English 205- 01 & 02: Seminar in Textual Practices [H]
This course introduces students to some of the questions they should be asking as English majors: what is a text? Why are some texts considered literary? How do professors and scholars think about texts, and why should we care? Such questions centered around short stories by writers including Flannery O’Connor, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lorrie Moore, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; poetry from a range of writers, including Shakespeare, Browning, Owen, and e.e. cummings. We will also critically read important texts in different genres such as The Waste Land, Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Lolita, A Small Places, and True West. These primary texts will be supplemented by numerous critical readings.
Professor Belletto Section 01 TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
Section 02 TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 206: Literary History [H]
How is literary history constructed? What is the canon of great works and how is it formed? This course enquires into the specific cultural practices that construct literature and engages students in an exploration of canon formation, marginalization, intertextuality, and influence. Readings are chosen from British, American, and Anglophone literatures and from various genres; texts from at least three literary periods are studied in depth. Prerequisite: Any 100 level literature course, AP credit, or approval of instructor.
English 206-01: Literary History: [H]
This course explores the emergence, development and legacy of the Black Arts Movement and the theorization of the “Black Aesthetic” over the larger portion of the twentieth century to answer the following questions: What is literary history? Who determines the “beginning” and/or “ending of a literary movement? What is the process by which a literary canon and/or movement is formed? What do we gain by studying literary history? In exploring the Black Arts Movement—which was largely a literary movement—the course will analyze the conditions that made such an aesthetic shift possible and the movement’s major figures and debates. Moreover, we will consider the Black Arts Movement’s critiques of the “Western” aesthetic and its often tenuous relationship to other Black literary movements and aesthetics preceding and following it—i.e. the “New Negro Movement” and the “New Black/Post-Black Aesthetic,” respectively. In so doing, students will critically question the logics that create divisions between “Western” and “Black” aesthetics, “old,” “new,” and “post blackness” and who does and does not belong in a particular period of literary history or literary movement. Students will pursue these issue through closes readings and listening to poetry, plays, essays and music by figure like Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Saanches, James Brown, Larry Neal, Carolyn Rodgers and Aretha Franklin.
Professor Gil-Sadler TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 206-02: English Renaissance, Harlem Renaissance [H]
This course brings together distinctive, important periods that are typically not studied together, raising the immediate question: why? The answers to this radical concept lead us to rethink the processes by which we arrive at “great works,” and, at the same time, tell a revealing story of genre, gender, authorship, race and sexuality that culminates in the twentieth century during the Harlem Renaissance. Does literature have a history? More than mere chronology, “Literary History” asks that as shrewd readers we master the politics of canon formation.
Professor Smith MWF 11:00 – 11:50 a.m.
English 231: Journalistic Writing [W]
This course introduces the fundamentals of journalism through its most basic form: news reporting. Students will learn how to write clearly and succinctly, conduct interviews, locate and use accurate and relevant information, think analytically, recognize a good story, and work on deadline. The course also examines the changing media landscape as it pertains to digital media and the role of the journalist in a democratic society. Prerequisite: FYS.
Professor Parrish T 7:00 – 9:50 p.m.
English 247: Nature Writing [GM1, H, W]
From the rambles of Thoreau to the patient waiting of Annie Dillard to the activist fervor of Rachel Carson, nature writing has long been some of the most vital literary work in the United States in particular. Even at its most lyrical, nature writing often carries a strong political charge, although what politics looks like in the face of environmental scale and change can often be quite unexpected. Engaging the natural world through language helps us get at the tangled ways in which the social and the natural encounter each other. In recent years, nature writing has begun a redefinition as the whiteness of the “solitary in the wilderness” trope has become more apparent and voices from African-American, Asian-American, Native American, and other communities have given new life to the questions of how we live, and understand that life, on our planet. In this course, we will study a range of writings, from traditional classics to recent interventions, as models for our own written work, focusing on the great virtue of close observation while using that approach to consider small intricacies of natural life as well as the complexes of gender, race, and the human engineering of space—all of which make up our own ecosystems. Field trips required Professor Phillips MWF 8:00 – 8:50 a.m.
English 250 Writing Genres [W]
Writing Genres introduces students to the expectations and purposes of a particular written genre and offers students intensive practice composing texts that function within the conventions and boundaries of this genre. Students will compose multiple texts in drafts, participate in workshops and discussions, and produce critical analyses and reviews. Sample genres include the essay, autobiography, hypertext and electronic media, travel writing, and science writing.
English 250-01 and 02 Writing Genres: Professional Writing and Communication [W]
In this workshop course, we will define, examine, analyze, and practice professional writing and communication through the rhetorical concepts of audience, purpose, and context. We will develop and strengthen the ability to think critically, understand visual design principles, deliver presentations, communicate effectively as part of a team, and understand the written and presentation conventions of several different subgenres of professional writing and communication. Work for this course includes multiple individual and team-written documents and several individual and team presentations.
Professor Clayton Section-01: TR 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.
Section-02: TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 251: Screen Writing [H, W]
This course will introduce students to feature film screenwriting. Students will examine various narrative tools and methods of screenwriting including story structure, character development, use of conflict, scene writing and dialogue. Students will analyze films and their accompanying shooting scripts to discover what works and what is less successful at the script level. These formal investigations will then be applied to students’ own original material in a workshop environment where student scripts will be critiqued.
Professor Gilmore MW 12:45 – 2:00 p.m.
English 271: Dancing Cultures [H,V]
What is dance? What constitutes performance? In this course we explore how the body, identity and culture are represented through aesthetic traditions, cultural contexts and texts from many genres in order to create social and cultural meanings. We examine how performance and dance are connected to questions of gender, ecology, and national identity. Students will consider embodied knowledge practices as they are represented textually in memoirs, essays, films, graphic novels, poems, and novels. Students will learn through individual and group performances, readings, written assignments, class discussions, practicum movement workshops and attendance at live performances. While performance will be a significant part of students’ assigned work in this course, students need not be trained dancers to take it. The course is for all students interested in movement studies and in the cultural and textual exploration of dance practices.
Professor Rohman T 1:10 – 4:00 p.m.
ENG 352: Special Topics: Traveling While Black [GM1, W]
This course will examine various forms of African American and Afro-Caribbean travel literature and critically interrogate various representations of travel and travelers in Black literature. In the first portion of the course, students will examine defining characteristics of the travel writing genre and how the experiences of Black travelers affirm and trouble said characteristics. The remainder of the course will critically interrogate various types of “travelers” including, but not limited to, the figures of the migrant, the fugitive, the tourist and the immigrant. Students will consider the racialized and gendered assumptions attached to each of these figures and how these “travel identities” shape and influence these travelers’ approaches to writing. Throughout the course, students will contemplate the following question: How do travel metaphors and travel literature both reinforce and challenge our sense of belonging to local, national and/or diasporic communities?. Prerequisites: English 205 or permission of instructor.
Professor Gill-Sadler TR 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
English 353: Advanced Journalistic Writing [W]
This course takes the basic principles of newswriting and reporting acquired in English 231: Journalist Writing to the next level by allowing students to explore an array of social issues confronting American society. There will be a progressive emphasis on research, interviewing, writing, and editing as well as the strategic use of data as a reporting tool. Students will also read and analyze works of literary journalism, including books, magazines, and long-form newspaper articles. Prerequisite: English 231: Journalistic Writing
Professor Parrish Thursday 7:00 – 9:50 p.m.
English 361: Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry [W]
Students will explore a wide variety of poems, write poems each week, and explore the myriad ways that new poetry engages readers and listeners. Students will take part in intensive workshops in which their own poetry is critiqued. The course requires completion of advanced exercises in structure and style and the composition of a chapbook of poetry. Prerequisites: English 250, or English 251, or English 256, or English 257, or permission of the instructor.
Professor Lee Upton TR 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
English 362: Advanced Creative Writing: Short Fiction [W]
Students will practice and discuss many phases of the writing process–note taking, drafting, revising and offering feedback–to continue to hone the discipline. Student writing will be the primary texts in intensive workshops where student writing will be critiqued. This course involves intense study of craft and the analysis of contemporary fiction as well as a variety of advanced exercises the completion of at least two works of short fiction. .Prerequisites: English 250, or English 251, or English 256, or English 257, or permission of the instructor.
Professor Gilmore Wednesday 7:00 – 9:50 p.m.
ENG 365: Seminar in Literary Criticism [W]
English 365 aims to introduce students to influential models of theory and criticism as applied to the analysis and interpretation of literature. Throughout roughly the past century, scholars and critics have developed unique intellectual frameworks that consider literature and literary interpretation from a variety of angles. In this course, we will study many influential theoretical schools such as New Criticism, poststructuralism, psychoanalytic theory, and feminist theory. We will also examine more recently emergent trends in race and queer theory, and very current work in posthumanism and bio-poetics. Our explorations will be additionally engaged with novels and films.
Professor Rohman TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m.
English 370: Gender, Race & the Classics [GM1, H]
The stories told by ancient Greek poets and dramatists have had a powerful influence on writers of later times, including 20th century writers of imaginative literature. This course will begin with readings about ideological constructions of gender, race, class and foreignness in 5th century BCE Athenian society. We also will discuss ancient Greek theatrical practices and the role that literature—especially drama—played during Greece’s “classical” period. The majority of the semester will be spent (a) analyzing the several ancient Greek tragedies, with special attention to issues of race and gender, then (b) juxtaposing those texts to novels, poems, films, and short stories in which 20th century women writers and writers of color respond to the stories told by Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
Professor Byrd Tuesday 7:00 – 9:50 p.m.
English 375: Making English [W]
Have you ever wondered how the texts you read in English classes got that way? A huge range of things can happen to a text between a moment of authorial inspiration and a reader’s encounter with printed (or digital) text. This course explores such textual mysteries through making a digital edition of a literary work from Lafayette’s Special Collections. As we’ll see in producing the edition, this kind of text-making provides a perfect occasion for thinking in new ways about literary theory and history, and about our own work as writers and readers. After collaboratively making the edition, students will develop individual projects that relate their own special interests in English studies to our edition. The course thus promises two big takeaways: a literary resource to serve the public for years to come and a new understanding of what excites you about English that can last a lifetime.
Professors Falbo & Phillips TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
English 377: What’s Happening in Early Modern Studies [W]
Performing Shakespeare, Performing Ourselves
The early modern period—the era of Shakespeare and his contemporaries—was a time of dramatic advancement in overseas trade, technology, and a growing economy. We continue to live with the consequences of this moment of historic transformation: globalization, nationalism, the class system, the rise of secular culture, colonization, and the emergence of race as a category of identity and power. Literary studies in this canonical period is rich, diverse, and constantly growing. This course focuses on the various critical and theoretical developments that inform the current work in early modern studies and engages students in the contemporary debates that drive and shape the field. Playwrights for consideration include: Shakespeare, Middleton, Webster, and Beaumont and Fletcher.
For this edition of the course, we will be focusing on performance, examining the multiple ways this concept applies to a range of social, cultural, and artistic practices. Specifically, this course will contribute to “The Quality of Mercy” project, a national undertaking among fourteen colleges and universities in the teaching of one play through student-directed performances that will be curated on YouTube. The play selected jointly is Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. This collaborative project is the first of its kind, and Lafayette students will play a significant role in this inaugural venture.
Professor Smith MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m.