Courses

Experience and Engage

CSU English department courses

English department courses are opportunities for you to explore the ways in which we employ the language to meet demands of the twenty-first century. A vibrant and diverse group of teacher educators, linguists, literary scholars, novelists, composition specialists, and writers of creative nonfiction comprises your faculty.

Scroll down for links to comprehensive course offerings and browse some of the special-topic courses available this coming semester.

Please note: Full course listings

This web page provides a small sampling of our full course offerings. Access comprehensive course listings in CSU's online course catalog and RAMweb at the links below.

Keep in mind, these listings cannot replace the support or knowledge of your advisor, especially in choosing courses for completion of a degree or minor.

Course offerings: Spring 2020 (fall 2019 registration)

The accordion lists below provides a sampling of our complete offerings for the coming semester. They are organized into tables by undergraduate and graduate courses.

Click each title below to expand the description. Use these special courses to immerse in the interdisciplinary study of language arts! And join us as we continue to grow our community of critical, creative, and practical thinkers.

The accordion lists below provides a sampling of our complete offerings for the coming semester. They are organized into tables by undergraduate and graduate courses.

Click each title below to expand the description. Use these special courses to immerse in the interdisciplinary study of language arts! And join us as we continue to grow our community of critical, creative, and practical thinkers.

Undergraduate Courses

E329 Pragmatics & Discourse Analysis | 3 credits

Luciana Marques | 2:00-2:50pm MWF

E329 introduces the study of Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis in natural languages, with examples from English and other languages. Pragmatics is the study of general principles that communicators invoke when producing and interpreting language in context. Discourse analysis studies the properties of specific types of language use in specific settings, e.g., conversational, advertising, legal, medical, educational, as well as such topics as politeness, gender, genre, identity, and culture, all areas of exciting current research and discovery. In this class, you will understand and be able to make analytic use of the essential concepts in the study of pragmatics and discourse analysis; you will become familiar with variant terminology; you will become proficient in basic linguistic analysis and will begin to apply analytic techniques to data you have collected yourself.

E333.001 Critical Studies of Popular Texts – Science Fiction | 3 credits

Lynn Badia |12:30-1:45pm TR

This course fulfills a Category 3 elective requirement for English majors.

How do we imagine the future in literary texts? From post-apocalyptic landscapes to the alternative worlds of Indigenous futurism, we will analyze a range of speculative realities offered to us in science fiction. This course explores the history of the genre and the topics that continually animate it, including utopia/dystopia/heterotopia, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and resource wars. We will examine science and speculative fiction through a range of media (novels, films, short stories, manifestoes, etc.) and think critically about the questions it poses concerning science, community, ecology, colonialism, and the future of the human species.

E337.001 Western Mythology | 3 credits

William Marvin | 12:00-12:50pm MWF

This course fulfills a Category 4 elective requirement for English majors and world literature for English Education concentrators. It also counts toward the Religious Studies minor.

The gods who emerged from the timelessness of pre-creation, the cannibal gods and the cosmic gods who with war shaped the order of existence, and the gods who loved sacrifice, ruled in discord, and had ado with mortals in the guises of human-and-animal-kind: These are the personified inscrutables that “western myth” built a coherent core of narration around, and to this narration attached plots and characters in endless variety. Even the story-telling itself, like creation, began in time immemorial. Its main cycles coalesced in spite of migrations and the wrack of civilizations, long even before the advent of writing and literature. But literature, when it came, changed everything. No longer was hieratic myth, the mythology of priests, to be solely the property of cult. This course is about how poets in the age of writing reshaped the potential of the gods. We will track the gods’ wanderings from their cultic origins in magic and hymn to their fluorescence in Sumerian and Greek creation myth, Indic and Germanic dragon slaying, Greek siege epic around the war for Helen of Troy, up to the point of the Roman desacralization of the gods in a modern kind of erudite, humane irony. We shall discover furthermore how myth first prompted literary criticism, when readers asked if what Homer said about the immortal gods was true? So, the course will also cover the history of reading myth from classical antiquity to the present, develop this history into a set of critical perspectives, and apply these as hermeneutic tools to the myths as we read them. 

E338.001 Ethnic Literature in the United States | 3 Credits

Leif Sorensen | 2:00-2:50pm MWF

This course fulfills a Category 3 elective requirement for English majors.

This class offers a survey of contemporary ethnic writing from the U.S. We will read a range of genres (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and graphic novels). Because contemporary writing is in dialogue with a range of media, we will also watch films and discuss digital art and storytelling. Our texts include popular commercial blockbusters, critically acclaimed works from mainstream publishers, and lesserknown experimental works from small presses. Focusing on ethnic writing published since the year 2000 will give us an opportunity to think about how ethnicity functions in the twenty-first century U.S. and to consider how different artists imagine the future of identity. Authors covered will likely include Claudia Rankine, Colson Whitehead, Ocean Vuong, Valeria Luiselli, Ta-Nahesi Coates, Stephen Graham Jones, and others. Students will write a final project on a topic of their choosing as well as a
series of short papers focused on individual texts.

E339.001 Literature of the Earth | 3 Credits

Lynn Badia | 11:00-12:15pm TR

This course fulfills a Category 2 or 3 elective requirement for English majors.

In this course we will explore how literary narratives shape our knowledge and experience of the natural world. Covering several literary genres over the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, we will gain critical perspective on how literature and narrative shape our planetary and environmental consciousness. Over the course of the semester, we will develop a critical vocabulary for thinking about environmental issues while examining the history of concepts such as “nature” and “wilderness” and their entanglements with literary and cultural projects. Readings will include the work of authors such as Thomas King, Helon Habila, Barbara Kingsolver, and Leslie Marmon Silko.

E344.001 Shakespeare | 3 credits

Barbara Sebek | 11:00-12:00pm TR

This course fulfills a Category 1 or 4 elective requirement for English majors.

In this new incarnation of Shakespeare in the English curriculum, we will study six plays, one of which will be selected by students. Students will have the option to study a play by one of Shakespeare’s popular contemporary playwrights. Theatre historians estimate that 25,000 people per week attended performances in and around London, totaling 50 million visits between 1576 and 1640. Shakespeare remains the most familiar of those who wrote for this flourishing institution. We will study how different plays recast important issues in the playwright’s culture. Shakespeare's era was one of rapid change and, for many of his contemporaries, a time of disruptive upheaval in the social order and cultural values. How do Shakespeare's plays register and intervene in debates about politics, religion, gender, family, and other social conflicts? In addition to reading the plays in their historical contexts, we’ll consider recent screen productions as creative appropriations that speak to our own moment.

E344.002 Shakespeare | 3 credits

Aparna Gollapudi | 9:00-9:50am MWF

This course fulfills a Category 1 or 4 elective requirement for English majors.

In this course, we will study a selection of Shakespeare's plays, from tragedies and comedies to histories and romances. While we will focus on elements such as Shakespeare’s use of dramatic conventions and modes, his dramatic vision, his figurative language, etc., the course also emphasizes the plays’ status as theatrical performance. We will also place these texts in their social and historical context, examining the issues of class, politics, nationalism, race, gender, and sexuality in these plays.

E345.001 American Drama | 3 credits

Ryan Claycomb | 4:00-5:15pm TR

This course fulfills Category 2 or 4 elective requirement for English Majors.

From our earliest texts, Americans writing in English have believed that the world is always watching us; in response, we imagine ourselves as always on stage. Our drama reflects this: an understanding that we perform who we are in public, that the vagaries of American place can and must be represented in stage space, that the groups of people that we invite to the theatre reflect those people we invite into our American communities. American drama, then, doesn’t just happen to be America, or even about America—it’s often at its best working to enact America. As such, we will examine the representational messages of plays from across this history, and how those messages influence their audiences.

The semester will cover a range of historical periods and styles: 19th-century sentimental drama, social realism, expressionism, epic theatre, agit-prop, and even performance art. We will examine these plays and styles both for the political positions they espouse and for the way that these styles and forms use the stage to achieve specific artistic and social ends.

E406.001 Topics in Literacy - Literacies, Borders, & (Counter) Narratives | 3 Credits

Tobi Jacobi | 9:30-10:45am TR

This course is for English majors and minors across all concentrations. It is required for Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacy concentrators.

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.” ~Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006)

This course will explore the bridges, edges, boundaries, and possibilities of literacyas central to our lives. We’ll begin with these questions: How do borders—real and imagined— influence our experiences as readers and writers? How might encounters with geographic, psychological, familial and professional boundaries shape and be shaped by our language and literacy practices? We will explore the consequences and possibilities through conversation, writing, and critique. We will explore a multiplicity of narratives and diversity of literacy experiences by reading and responding across historical contexts (U.S. and beyond) and looking deeply in our own neighborhoods through some local archive work. Texts will include a prison memoir, a graphic novel featuring a (slightly) alternate reality,
and a heavily annotated map of a well-known metropolis—to name a few—as well as community-based and critical texts.

As a class we will establish (and inevitably challenge) some working definitions for our key concepts and apply them across varied contexts. Our primary goals, then, will be 1) to locate literacies within/across diverse geographies and contexts; 2) to define, interrogate, and challenge the relationship between literacy, borders, and counter/narratives through course readings and experiences; and 3) to reflect upon and make sense of the implications of these insights through a community-based project.

Assignments will include short response papers, experimental writing, a research project, and, perhaps,
even map-making.

E441.001 American Prose Since 1900 - The Problem of Now: Reading the 2010s | 3 credits

Mark Bresnan | 10:00-10:50am MWF

This course fulfills Category 2 or 3 elective requirement for English Majors.

This course focuses on the very recent past, asking students to consider how contemporary literature fits into the long tradition of literature written in English. When reading the last decade, how useful are national boundaries, especially in contrast to ethnic and cultural categories? Is the literature of the last decade fundamentally different than what came just a few years before it? How have advances in information technology changed the status and content of contemporary literature? How does a book become "literature" in contemporary culture? We will explore these questions by reading a broad range of literary work including both familiar genres (novels, poetry, essays) and less familiar forms: a graphic novel, a young adult novel, an experimental poetry collection, a collage essay, and a work of e-fiction.

E444.001 Restoration and 18th - Century Drama | 3 credits

Aparna Gollapudi | 1:00-1:50pm MWF

This course fulfills a Category 1 elective requirement for English majors.

Dangerously seductive rakes, pretty flirts, crotchety old men, garrulous servants, ruined maidens, saintly wives, good-hearted beaux, merchants both greedy and generous – these are the colorful characters that thronged the stage from 1660 to the end of the eighteenth century. This course studies some of the most significant plays produced by this thriving theatre culture. Comedy was by and large the more popular genre, so we will be reading some hilarious plays with razor-sharp wit and rollicking farce. Our exploration of tragedies, though more limited, will focus on important milestones in the changing notions of tragic experience in the period. The course will not only contextualize the plays within the socio-cultural milieu but also study them as constructs meant for performance by enacting particular scenes. The aim of the course is to encourage students to be perceptive readers and interpreters of dramatic literature by introducing them to the exciting world of Restoration and eighteenth-century drama.

E451.001 Medieval Literature - Writing the Crusades | 3 credits

Lynn Shutters | 3:30-4:45pm TR

This course fulfills a Category 1 elective requirement for English majors.

The Crusades are often imagined as a simplistic ideological conflict between medieval Christians and Muslims centered on Jerusalem. The reality is much more complex: this series of wars spanning from the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries encompassed multiple peoples, places, and political and cultural imperatives. In this class we’ll examine medieval literary representations of the Crusades to consider the many ways in which medieval authors re-imagined these wars as well as their reasons for doing so. We’ll also examine Western representations of Islamic cultures more generally to get a sense of the broader spectrum of European attitudes towards Muslims. Finally, we’ll study some Islamic accounts of the Crusades and European Christians. While we’ll mostly read literature in translation, we’ll also study a few texts in Middle English. No prior experience with Middle English is required, but you should be
ready and willing to work with it in this class.

E456.001 Topics in Critical Theory | 3 credits

Paul Trembath |1:00-1:50pm MWF

This course fulfills a Category 3 elective requirement for English majors.

No description

E465.001 Topics in Literature and Language – World English(es) | 3 credits

Gerald Delahunty | 1:00-1:50pm MWF

This course fulfills the capstone requirement for all majors. For English Educations concentrators only, it fulfills both the capstone and a Category 4 upper-division English requirement. English majors who already have the capstone can count it as a Category 4 elective.

English is currently the world's most used language. It is written and spoken across the globe as a first language, a second language, a foreign language, and as a lingua franca, especially for such special purposes as diplomacy, education, science, and business. This course will briefly trace the history of English from its Indo-European origins, through its establishment as a West Germanic language in England, its near-death experience and subsequent transubstantiation as a result of the Norman Conquest, its efflorescence during the Renaissance, its travels and travails as it spread beyond Britain to the rest of the British Isles and thence to worlds new and not so new as Pilgrim warriors and the Honorable East India Company gave it precarious perches west and east, which the engorgement of empire congealed into solid footings, establishing its now undisputed position as the language-to-know for world travelers, diplomats, entrepreneurs, and scholars. Along its way, English has butted up against
all of the world's major and many of its minor languages, cultures, and societies, destroying some, borrowing from many, lending to others, so that it now has unprecedented expressive resources and influence, but also so much internal variation that native speakers can find it hard to understand each other and it seems to be coming apart at its dialectal seams. Is it still a single language? Has it already divided into several languages, as Latin did into the Romance languages? (How can we tell?) How is it responding to the competition from Mandarin, Hindi/Urdu, and Spanish, the world's next most-used languages? All are welcome; no linguistics background needed.

E465.002 Topics in Literature and Language – Reading and Creating the Graphic Novel | 3 credits

Todd Mitchell | 2:00-3:45pm TR

This course fulfills the capstone requirement for all majors. For English Education concentrators only, it fulfills both the capstone and a Category 3 upper-division English requirement. English majors who already have the capstone can count it as a Category 3 elective.

Graphic literature is one of the fastest growing areas in publishing, education, and critical studies, with some graphic memoirs recently winning awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Printz Award.

In this interactive course we'll take a practitioner's approach to help us better understand graphic texts and the many ways form and content interact. This means that in addition to reading and discussing a diverse range of graphic memoirs, we'll work on creating our own graphic memoirs to explore the multitude of choices writers and artists make when creating graphic texts. Formal elements such as page layout, placement of text and images, use of different drawing and writing styles, as well as the process of producing graphic texts (outlining, scripting, dummy creation, drawing, inking, lettering, and coloring) will be discussed. The course will combine analytical work with creative work to meet the entwined goals of increasing critical literacy while developing creative skills.

Students will participate in critical discussions of diverse graphic memoirs, presentations on the evolving form, frequent creative activities, and several workshops of their developing creative work. Art and design skills are not necessary. Even stick people can tell a powerful story (as some of the texts we'll look at will demonstrate).

The course will culminate with students creating a graphic memoir portfolio of 15-25 pages of original work, along with a 4-7-page analytical essay discussing the texts they encountered during the course, and how these texts influenced their creative exploration of their selves. Overall, students will be encouraged to use graphic memoirs to better understand themselves and the creative process, and the creative process to better understand graphic texts.

Graduate Courses

E507.001 Special Topics in Linguistics – Language Across Cultures | 3 Credits

Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker | 11:00-12:15pm TR

Required Textbook: Bennett, M. J. (2013). Basic concepts of intercultural communication: Paradigms, principles, & practices. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Intercultural Press.

The main goals of this course are:

  1. Examine the ways in which language and culture interact.
  2. Engage in empirical examinations of communication practices that reflect cultural
    differences (including instances of both intercultural conflict and cooperation) and/or incorporate empirical findings in pedagogical developments.

The course will provide theoretical and methodological insights into intercultural communication and will give students an opportunity to apply their knowledge through reflection and critical analysis of various manifestations of intercultural communication differences. Students will carry out a research/curriculum development project to explore the effect of cultural variables in language use, learning, and teaching.

E515.001 – Syntax for ESL/EFL | 3 credits

Gerald Delahunty | 3:00-3:50pm MWF

Teachers of English as a second or foreign language must be familiar with the major syntactic patterns of English, their typical meanings and uses, and with the inflectional and derivational morphology they entail. This knowledge will enable them to appropriately select and present this material in a variety of teaching circumstances, as well as to read and make use of grammatical descriptions of English and other languages.

Students completing this course will be able to understand the linguistic concepts in ESL/EFL pedagogical materials and in SLA research; they will be familiar with variant terminology; they will be proficient in basic linguistic analysis; and will be able to apply analytic techniques to learner data.

The course will focus on topics in English syntax and relevant morphology, but comparative/contrastive data from other languages will be introduced, especially from those languages whose native speakers our graduates are most likely to teach. The topics are selected so as to maximize the overlap with the topics, constructions, and terminology current in the major ESL/EFL grammar texts.

E527.001 Theories of Foreign/Second Language Learning | 3 credits

Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker | 2:00-3:15pm TR

Required Textbook: VanPatten, B., & Williams, J. (2015). Theories in Second Language Acquisition. An Introduction. (2nd edition). New York: Routledge.

This course provides an introduction to the field of second language acquisition (SLA) focusing specifically on how humans learn a second (or third) language in addition to their native language and the factors that affect variability in their language development. Areas covered in this course include background on the historical development of the field, universal features of the L2 learner, interlanguage development and variability, individual differences, and social factors affecting L2 learning. In addition, the course introduces a variety of experimental methods used in SLA research and highlights the implications of SLA findings for L2 teaching. Student will read and discuss research articles in SLA and engage in the analysis of learner data.

E528.001 Professional ESL Teaching – Theory to Practice | 3 credits

Luciana Marques | 4:00-5:15pm MW

E528 offers pre-service TEFL/TESL teachers a guided opportunity to learn about and apply principles for planning, designing, and carrying out effective classroom instruction and assessment. The main goal of the course is to help establish connections between theory and practice and to engage students in constructive interactions about language teaching experiences with colleagues. In this class, you will be able to formulate a teaching philosophy, create theory-informed lesson plans and materials, deliver appropriate EFL/ESL instruction in a controlled setting, and reflect on your own teaching practices, with then ultimate goal of improving your knowledge and skills in EFL/ESL teaching, ensuring professional growth.

E605.001 Critical Posthumanist Approaches to Reading and Writing | 3 credits

Erika Szymanski | 3:30-4:45pm TR

Humanist traditions have encouraged attention to the individual writer and reader and their experiences. Today, many scholars find focusing on the individual human actor unproductive in a world characterized by the manifestations of mass denial of human interdependence. Posthumanist scholars have responded by rethinking reading and writing as interconnected beyond and outside the individual. Critical theorists, rhetoricians, and diverse writing scholars have made sense of writers as interdependent assemblages or ecologies, and of reading and writing practices as necessarily products of community and environment. Readers and writers have been identified as other-than-human and more-than-human, living and otherwise. In this class, we will investigate theories (and some practices) of posthumanist reading and writing across feminist, technology and innovation studies, digital rhetoric, cyborg,
indigenous, ecological, and environmental trajectories, asking how they respond to various manifestations of social (including environmental) injustices. We will each choose a contemporary question or issue of interest to us having to do with reading, writing, and/or literacy so that collectively, through the semester, we can ask: what do these various methods of reconfiguring “the writer,” reading, and writing, do in practice? How do they configure questions or problems of interest to us, and what can (and cannot) be gained as a result?

E630A.001 Special Topics in Literature: Area Studies – Medieval Emotion: Texts, Lives, and Afterlife | 3 credits

Lynn Shutters | 12:30-1:45pm TR

This course will examine medieval literary and non-literary texts as means to excavate how medieval peoples formulated and practiced emotions. We will also consider how non-medievalist scholars in the field of emotion studies have positioned the Middle Ages and what larger historical trajectories such positionings invite. For example, sociologist Norbert Elias influentially argued that medieval people were limited to childlike practices of emotion that would evolve as history progressed beyond the Middle Ages, while historian William R. Reddy has controversially claimed that present-day Western formulations of romantic love first took shape in medieval court culture. Who, if anyone, is right, and how does our answer to this question affect how we assess Western culture today? Finally, we will consider what specific interventions literary specialists can make in emotion studies. Traditionally, literary texts have been viewed as fanciful and therefore fundamentally untrustworthy as historical accounts of emotion. Literary specialists both within and beyond medieval studies have argued against this position, although on diverse grounds and via differing methodologies. In sum, this class will connect medieval, literary, and emotion studies to enrich our understanding of literature, historicism, and past and present practices of emotional life.

E632.001 Professional Concerns in English - Conceptualizing and Enacting Mindfulness Practices in Educational Settings | 3 Credits

Cindy O’Donnell-Allen | 4:30-6:00pm T

In case you haven’t noticed, mindfulness has gone mainstream. Self-help texts, websites, meditation apps, and podcasts underscore the benefits of “intentional living,” “being present,” and “self-care” for the individual ensnared in a busy world. Still, the current preoccupation with mindfulness indicates a continued relevance over time, particularly when informed by more considered views that are embedded in contemplative traditions, scientific research, and intentional personal and collective practice. This course is for you if you are interested in mindful, sustainable pedagogies that are animated by an ethic of activism, hope, and action around issues of social injustice, with the goal of enacting awareness-based change. This course is required for students in English Education, but students from all programs who expect to engage in formal or informal teaching at some point in their careers are welcome.

What will you do in this course?

You will explore mindfulness-based approaches to teaching and learning in varied formal and informal contexts and will examine the literacies that are implicitly and explicitly embedded within them. In so doing, you will trouble a view of mindfulness as encapsulated by an almost exclusive and optimistic focus on the “self” and will critique the principles and practices that undergird mainstream mindfulness approaches that oftentimes privilege a white, middle-class ethos and thus may fall short in addressing the identities and life conditions of historically marginalized students and the educators who work with them. Finally, though it is beyond the official scope of the course, I hope you will discover and reflect on the potential of a mindfulness framework to inform your living and learning as well.

What will you read?

You will read texts written by authors steeped in classic, contemplative traditions of mindfulness
(e.g., Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chödrön); critical literacy and mindfulness-based pedagogies (e.g.,
Django Paris & Samy Alim; Louise Jennings); neuroscience (e.g., Daniel Goleman & Richard
Davidson; Jon Kabat-Zinn; Bessel van der Kolk); and expressive writing (e.g., David Whyte, Mary
Oliver, Herman Hesse, as well as anthologized works, such as, The Poetry of Impermanence,
Mindfulness, and Joy).

What will you do?

  • Create a multimodal project informed by archival, biographical, and critical/theoretical research that
    traces the lineage of an educator, broadly defined, who consciously uses a mindfulness perspective to
    inform their practice
  • Participate in a book club, where you will read primers on mindfulness published in the popular press,
    and then collaboratively create a “mindfulness primer” of your own
  • Regularly engage in mindfulness practices of your choosing and reflect on your experiences in a
    personal blog, where you will document the literacies that enable your participation and the holistic
    impact of mindfulness on your experiences in educational and personal contexts
  • Design a final project of your choosing that synthesizes your learning for the course, such as a
    mini-ethnography, treatise on mindfulness, or a collection of mindfulness-based curriculum
E633.001 Special Topics in Writing and Rhetoric – Feeling Things: Critical Emotion Studies and Cultural Materialism | 3 Credits

Lisa Langstraat | 11:00-12:15am TR

“Feeling Things” merges two highly interdisciplinary areas of inquiry: critical emotion studies and material culture studies. These fields of investigation ask questions that challenge popular (and scholarly) notions of feelings and material things: Critical emotion studies asks not, “What are emotions?” but, “What do emotions do as they circulate through affective economies?” (Ahmed). And material culture studies asks not, “How do people make use of things?” but, “How do things make use of people in cultures where the boundaries between object and subject blur?” (Brown). “Feeling Things” will provide graduate students with opportunities to understand contemporary critical emotion studies and material culture theory, as well as to make sense of their own affective identifications with material culture.

“Feeling Things” is divided into several interrelated sections: Section one of the course will focus on providing an overview of major theoretical approaches to critical emotion studies and material culture studies and will examine intersections between these areas of inquiry. Texts in this section will also represent a variety of genres: traditional academic monographs, memoir, film, and performative research (e.g., Walker and Glenn’s “Significant Objects” project on eBay). Section two will focus on particular emotional economies and the “thing-y” practices associated with them, e.g., works that concentrate specifically on taste and curating, obsession and collecting, anxiety/fear and hoarding; and social movements whose political and economic raison d’etre depends on constructing affective identifications with the things associated with each movement, e.g., histories of slavery and the raced artifacts
associated with them.

E635.00 Critical Studies in Literature and Culture – Unruly Audiences: Riots, Resistance, Rotten Tomatoes | 3 Credits

Barb Sebek | 2:00-2:45pm TR

This course will study some theoretical accounts of theatrical audiences (cultural studies, Marxist, performance studies, reception studies) and three case studies in which theater audiences misbehave, resist, or otherwise express discontent in response to theatrical performances. What theoretical, cultural, historical, and aesthetic frameworks and contexts are most fruitful for understanding instances of audience resistance or revolt, whether real or imagined? What class-specific assumptions shape how unruly theatrical events are recounted? We will read both academic and general audience studies of some notable instances of unruly audiences and how these accounts are informed by implicit and explicit aesthetic, critical, and political investments.

Our three central case studies will come from different historical and cultural moments. The first of these will be an early seventeenth-century play, Francis Beaumont’s Knight of the Burning Pestle, in which (scripted) audience members, the grocer George and his wife Nell, step onto the stage and object to the satirical city comedy The London Merchant that the players are starting to perform. George and Nell demand instead a chivalric adventure tale, to star none other than their grocer’s apprentice Rafe as the titular Knight. Our next case study will be the cultural text of the Astor Place Riots in New York City in the mid-nineteenth century, response to rival performances of Macbeth in which hundreds were injured and over twenty killed. Our final case study will be the so-called “Merdre riot” in Paris that purportedly disrupted the 1896 premier of Alfred Jarry’s experimental play Ubu Roi. We’ll study “standard” accounts of the event as well as critical revisions scrutinizing how standard accounts of the
scandal serve particular critical, cultural, and aesthetic interests and investments. For the main project, students will research and write about a case study of their own choosing. This course fulfills the pretwentieth-century requirement.

E636.001 Environmental Literature & Criticism | 3 credits

Lynn Badia | 3:00-5:50pm W

This course is a focused examination of environmental literature, film, and theory from the early twentieth century to the present day, and it serves as an introduction to the fields of Environmental and Energy Humanities. We will cover a range of literary genres and learn to think critically about how texts not only represent the natural world but also narrativize and shape our interactions with it. We will examine texts utilizing critical frameworks informed by environmental justice, feminism, (post)colonialism, and Indigenous perspectives. Authors may include Stacy Alaimo, Amitav Gosh, Helon Habila, Donna Haraway, Kyle Powys Whyte, and Jeff Vandermeer.

E638.001 Assessment of English Language Learners–Assessment in the TEFL/TESL Classroom | 3 credits

Anthony Becker | 11:00-11:50am MWF

This course prepares language teaching professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to design, implement, and utilize language assessments that are reliable, valid, and ethically-based. Specifically, the course familiarizes students with the fundamental concepts and principles involved in the language assessment of second/foreign language learners, and it engages students in the planning and construction of both traditional and alternative language assessments. Furthermore, the course develops students’ ability to analyze and interpret statistical results, for the purposes of guiding instruction and improving language program effectiveness. Finally, the course invites students to investigate the ways in which assessment results can be used to account for and evaluate student performance, as well as improve language teaching practices.

The Rambler

The Rambler is a semesterly printable document that provides current preregistration advising information and descriptions of special courses available for the coming semester. It also includes a range of timely and important topics for English majors and minors.

Click the button above for this semester's issue of The Rambler, and find an archive of past issues in The Rambler archive, also linked above.

In each issue of The Rambler, you will find:

  • Advising information
  • Course descriptions
  • Registration details
  • Important dates
  • Composition Placement Challenge & Re-evaluation essay information
  • Award information
  • Internship information