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 descriptions of summer and fall course offerings, and access important links to help you begin mapping out your English education today.

CSU English students in class

Course Registration, Availability, and the University Course Catalog

The course descriptions on this web page aim to provide a sense of our disciplinary scope. To search for course availability or register for courses, students with access can login to RAMweb. Incoming or prospective students can visit CSU's online course catalog to browse a general listing of English department courses. New students can apply to CSU or reach out for more information. New undergraduates can schedule a visit.

Courses for Spring 2021

The accordion lists below highlight the English department's course offerings for the coming semester. They are organized into two tables by undergraduate and graduate courses. Click on course titles to expand their respective descriptions, and to help plan your immersion in the interdisciplinary study of language arts.

The accordion lists below highlight the English department's course offerings for the coming semester. They are organized into two tables by undergraduate and graduate courses. Click on course titles to expand their respective descriptions, and to help plan your immersion in the interdisciplinary study of language arts.

Undergraduate Courses, Spring 2021

CO130 - Academic Writing

Multiple sections available

In CO130 you will learn writing for academic contexts. As preparation for your other writing-intensive classes, CO130 will develop your research & writing skills in a small class setting.

For some students, CO130 is a required prerequisite for CO150. Other students may elect to take CO130 to further develop their writing skills before completing the required AUCC writing classes — CO150 College Composition and the 300-level advanced writing requirement.

Depending on your ACT/SAT scores, you may test out of CO130. Consult the Composition Placement for more information.

CO150 - College Composition

Multiple sections available

CO150 focuses on initiating students into academic discourse and developing composing practices that will prepare them for success as university students and as citizens. Therefore, the course focuses on critical reading and inquiry, writing for a variety of rhetorical situations, and enabling effective writing processes. The course or its equivalent is required by the All-University Core Curriculum to satisfy Category 1a., Basic Competency in Written Communication.

This course is also a gtPathways course. The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has approved CO150 for inclusion in the Guaranteed Transfer (GT) Pathways program in the [GT-2] category. For transferring students, successful completion with a minimum C‒ grade guarantees transfer and application of credit in this GT Pathways category. For more information on the GT Pathways program, go to 

CO300 - Writing arguments

Multiple sections available

CO301A - Writing in the Disciplines: Arts & Humanities

CO301A Writing in the Disciplines: Arts and Humanities

3 sections available

This course focuses (primarily) on writing for a range of public audiences interested in issues and content of the arts and humanities. In addition to a focus on deepening students’ understanding of composition as rhetorical practice, this course provides students the opportunity to transform content knowledge about the arts and humanities into discourse that engages, educates, enlightens, provokes, influences, and connects with audiences beyond the classroom, using a variety of forms, genres and mediums, traditional and multimodal. Ideally, students will gain a greater sense of engagement and agency through the process of composing in and about the arts and humanities.

CO301B - Writing in the Disciplines: Science

CO301B - Writing in the Disciplines: Science, Multiple sections available

In contrast with scientific writing directed at expert readers, writing about science informs non-experts about how science concepts and discoveries are relevant in our daily lives. Thus, writing about science relies more on analogy than on jargon, more on metaphor than on data tables, and more on writer- based narrative than data-based analysis. Ultimately, writing about science is an educational tool that provides non-technical but interested readers the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the world around them. Some of the best known and widely used examples of writing about science include Scientific American; WebMD; articles about science in TIME, Newsweek, and daily newspapers; and even the brochures we pick up in medical and veterinary offices.

Who are these non-technical but interested readers? Just about anyone. Except when experts write to experts in their own field, writers have to take into account that readers won’t know as much about the science as the writers do. Readers who are less knowledgeable about the science content are more likely to be called non-expert or non-technical readers. Here are some examples of texts to show the range of non-technical readers and how they use science writing texts:

  • Webtexts on scientific method with activities that children can do with their parents at home.
  • A website that teaches children about the importance of hygiene and vaccinations.
  • Materials explaining the physiological and neurological effects of tobacco use to adolescents.
  • Newspaper articles explaining the environmental impact and/or benefits of dams on a particular river system.
  • Brochures detailing medical treatment options for cancer patients.
  • Newsletter articles for fund-raising describing research being done at a local scientific 


These are just a few examples of potential texts and readers. Again, anybody can be interested in science and CO301B students study and practice how to write in the sciences effectively.

CO301C - Writing in the Disciplines: Social Science

2 sections available

CO301D - Writing in the Disciplines: Education

CO301D - Writing in the Disciplines: Education, Instructor Amanda Memoli

This course is designed to support future English language arts teachers. Students will read and explore current issues in literacy and English education and consider examples of professional writing both in print and in multimodal form. You will do a lot of writing in order to refine your existing theories of education, know your philosophies, and engage in professional conversations in the field. Your writing will give you space both to self-reflect and to write for others in your discipline. Teachers write to know, and they write to learn. The goal of this course is to prepare you to advance your own thoughts and to advance educational change. 

CO302 - Writing in Digital Environments

2 sections available

Like other 300-level composition courses, CO302 emphasizes writing processes with specific attention to revising, editing, and critical reading.

CO302 diverges from other 300-level courses by analyzing and producing primarily digital texts. Students develop technical literacies and rhetorical competencies to navigate a world where information and ideas are increasingly shared and produced in digital contexts. 

CO402 -Principals of Digital Rhetoric and Design

CO402.001 – Principles of Digital Rhetoric and Design, TR 12:30-1:45, Tim Amidon

CO402, Principles of Digital Rhetoric and Design, focuses on the rhetorical principles associated with digital design. Specifically, in this course we will explore five key themes related to composing in a digitally connected world: 1) accessibility, 2) ownership, 3) digital literacy, 4) multimodality, and 5) usability. We will interrogate the ideologies that are embedded within digital tools, technologies, and artifacts, including our own practices and dispositions toward these

tools. We will compose using image, audio, and video editors, explore the affordances of open-source and proprietary tools, and experiment with coding languages to

facilitate our work. As with other CO classes, CO402 is a production based course that emphases rhetorical dimensions of digitally networked composing. Students will

examine the contexts, practices, tools, and texts that circulate within digital spaces. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to

  • understand the importance of rhetorical context as both readers and writers;
  • demonstrate critical reading skills appropriate for advanced writing;
  • understand how visual rhetoric and new media can be used in a range of genres for

academic, artistic, and public aims;

  • use participatory frameworks and usability to inform the iterative design process;
  • integrate meta-cognitive reflection throughout a design project to better understand

the consequences of production/consumption choices;

  • use library, Internet, and other research resources, to solve problems independently;
  • demonstrate knowledge of theoretical concerns relevant to digital rhetoric and

design at the advanced composition level;

  • articulate and demonstrate digital writing strategies, patterns, and approaches;
  • adapt texts and improve their accessibility for a range of audiences.
AMST100 - Self/Community in American culture, 1600-1877
AMST101 - Self/Community in American Culture

AMST101-1: Self/Community in American Culture Since 1877

AMST101-2:  Self/Community in American Culture Since 1878 

AMST101-3: Self/Community in American Culture Since 1879

E140 - The Study of Literature

E140.001 The Study of Literature, Grant Bain MWF 2:00-2:50pm

Someone once said that reading is just staring at a piece of a dead tree while hallucinating. In this course, you get to do that—AND GET CREDIT FOR IT! Unofficially, this course is about how awesome reading literature is and how powerful and rewarding it can be on personal, academic, and even professional levels. Officially, this course introduces students to the fundamental skills of reading and interpreting literary texts. Students will be exposed to a variety of literary texts and genres and will study methods for finding the meaning in a text, including close reading, symbolic analysis, literary allusion, and pattern recognition. So come on: let’s put the “lit” in literature!

E142 - Reading Without Borders

E142.001 Reading Without Borders, Grant Bain, MWF 9:00-9:50am

In this course we will read works of fiction and nonfiction by writers from around the world. As we read these texts we will consider and discuss the concept of the border as a geographical, political, intellectual, psychological, and even spiritual space. Additionally, we will recursively examine the themes of immigration, education, and exile as represented in these works and as they relate to the concept of the border. The goal of this class is to more deeply understand the concepts that divide people and cultures even as we seemingly live in an increasingly connected world.

E210 - Beginning Creative Writing

4 sections available

E232 - Introduction to Humanities
E236 - Short Fiction

E236 - Short Fiction, Instructor Ramona Ausubel

This course will be a deep-dive into short fiction by a diverse array of authors both classic and contemporary. Exploration will include formal innovation and classic styles, the lineage of writers who have been inspired by one another and how lived and imagined experience is represented on the page. Students will have the chance to respond critically and also experiment creatively with their own short fiction.

E238 - Contemporary Global Fiction

3 sections available

E240 - Intro to Poetry

E240 - Intro to Poetry

2 sections available 

E242 - Reading Shakespeare

E242 - Reading Shakespeare, MWF 2:00-2:50pm, Instructor Barbara Sebek

This course will explore five plays in the historical, literary, and social contexts in which they were written. We’ll view film adaptations of each play and will attend carefully to Shakespeare’s language. The course will consider Shakespeare as a global phenomenon and as part of popular culture today. 

E245 - World Drama
E270 - Intro to American Literature
E276 - Survey of British Literature I

E276.001 Survey of British Literature I, Professor William Marvin

British literature from Beowulf through the 18th century in relation to its historical contexts.

E277 - Survey of British Literature II: Romantics to Present
E311A - Intermediate Creative Writing: Fiction

Instructor: Todd Mitchell, TR 12:30-1:45
E311A is a fiction workshop designed to help students develop the skills to better meet their individual writing goals. An anthology of contemporary short stories will be used, and writing short literary fiction will be emphasized. Through classroom workshops, discussion of contemporary fiction, and student writing assignments, students will consider a wide array of story-telling techniques and elements of craft including character development, use of setting, dialogue, description, voice, POV, form, and plot development. Specific topics for classroom discussion will be determined by student needs as revealed by trends in student manuscripts.

E311B - Intermediate Creative Writing: Poetry
E311C - Intermediate Writing: Creative Nonfiction Workshop

This course will focus on the craft and theory of creative nonfiction – transforming personal experience, observation, memory and research into compelling literary narratives. We will produce original works of nonfiction – everything from personal essay to memoir to lyric essay - and become proficient in the analysis and discussion of published work and peer manuscripts. We will also read widely across form and style and delve into the ethical considerations of writing from life as well as factual truth vs. imaginative reconstruction. Although class will involve some lecture, it is primarily designed as a studio environment of workshop critiques and generative prompts. This class encourages exploration and experimentation and I encourage you to take risks.

E328 Phonology, Morphology, and Lexis

E328.001 Phonology, Morphology, and Lexis - Remote, Instructor, Luciana Marques

E328 introduces the linguistic study of speech sounds and morphemes. You will learn the concepts, terminology, and analytic skills needed to do basic phonetic, phonological, morphological, and lexical analysis. Phonology is the study of how speech sounds function in languages (whether they contrast or not, how they are organized into sets or categories, and how they are distributed). Morphology is the study of the basic meaningful units of language and the ways in which they are combined to form words. Lexis is the study of words, their forms, meanings, and organization in dictionaries, minds, and brains.

The course will focus on topics in English phonetics, phonology, morphology, and lexis in ways that are relevant to students who are interested in (English) linguistics and to those interested in teaching English as a second or foreign language.

E333 - Critical Studies of Popular Texts: The Next American Essay

E333.001 Critical Studies of Popular Tests: Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction, TR 2:00-2:50pm, Todd Mitchell

How do we engage current issues and imagine the future through literature? From post-apocalyptic landscapes to alternative worlds, we will analyze a range of realities offered to us in sci-fi, cli-fi, dystopian, and speculative narratives. This course explores the history of the genre and the topics that continually animate it, including utopia/dystopia, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, climate change, and resource wars. We will examine science and speculative fiction through a range of media (short stories, novels, films, and essays) and think critically about the questions that literature poses concerning science, community, ecology, colonialism, income inequality, and the future of our society.

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

E334 LGBTQ Literature

E334.001 LGBTQ Literature, Hybrid,  Catherine Ratliff

Writer, producer, and activist Janet Mock argues that, “telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act.” Threading this idea with Toni Morrison’s argument that language is agency, this course brings together LGBTQ+ literatures by global authors. Examining how writers use narrative to engage sexuality in the world around them—using their voices and stories as sources of personal or social change, witness, or self-identity—students will gain an expanded understanding of the ways that narrative provides agency, awareness, and witness to experiences. We will engage with a variety of genres including novels, graphic fiction, essays, and young adult fiction. Alongside literary texts, we will explore theoretical perspectives in queer and gender theory. Topics will include contemporary conversations of LGBTQ+ identity (including how authors and/or texts are given this categorization), socio-cultural responses to queer literatures, freedoms and restrictions of authors working with LGBTQ+ topics, and the influences of queer expression.

This course fulfills a Category 2, 3 or 4 elective requirement for English majors

E337 - Western Mythology

E337 Western Mythology, 3 Credits, Remote, William Marvin

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 de-sacralization 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.

 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.

E341 - Literary Criticism and Theory

2 sections available

Theory and practice of modern literary analysis and evaluation; writing about literature.

E344 - Shakespeare

E344.001 Shakespeare, MWF 2:00-2:50pm, Aparna Gollapudi

In this course, we will study a selection of Shakespeare's plays through the lens of race and colonialism. While we will also focus on elements such as Shakespeare’s use of dramatic conventions and modes, his figurative language, issues of gender and sexuality etc., the course will emphasizes the production of national and global identities through theatrical performance in plays such as Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest.

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

E345 - American Drama

E345.001 American Drama, TR 4:00-5:15pm, Ryan Claycomb

From “a city on a hill” to “history has its eyes on you”…From the earliest texts, US drama has imagined that the world is always watching; in response, our dramatic texts have imagined America as always on stage.  Our plays reflects this: an understanding that we perform who we are in public, that the identities of American place must be represented in stage space, that the groups of people invited into the theatre reflect those people who are invited into American communities.  American drama, then, doesn’t just happen to be America, or even be 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 to mega-musicals and the experimental theatre of today.  We will examine 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.

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



E370 American Literature in Cultural Contexts Reading Now: Genre and 21st-Century Literature

E370.001 American Literature in Cultural Contexts Reading Now: Genre and 21st-Century Literature, TR 2:00-3:15pm, Mark Bresnan

This course focuses on the very recent past, asking students to consider how contemporary American literature fits into the long tradition of literature written in English. In particular, we will study how contemporary writers use, adapt, and transcend the genres they inherited from previous literary movements: the social novel, the sonnet, the coming-of-age story, the dystopian tale, and the slavery narrative, among others. By focusing on the last decade, we will consider the ways in which American literature is assuming new forms and transforming old ones, and we explore how a new book (or poem or electronic text) might become what future generations will call "literature”  We will explore these questions by reading a broad range of authors including Colson Whitehead, Carmen Maria Machado, Tommy Orange, George Saunders, and Jenifer Egan.

This course fulfills Category 3 or 4 elective requirement for English Majors.

E401 Teaching Reading

E401.001 Teaching Reading, Remote

E402 Teaching Composition

E402.001 Teaching Composition, Remote

E405 Young Adult Literature

E405.001 Young Adult Literature Instructor: Todd Mitchell, TR 12:30-1:45

E405 is designed to give future teachers, writers, and literature students a survey of mostly contemporary novels for young adults. It is an extreme reading course in which students are required to read eleven core texts, and approximately 3,000 pages of choice book reading. Class sessions will focus on discussion, ways books can be taught, and creative activities to help readers connect with texts. Central to our study will be an exploration of identity, how we “read” and “write” the self, and how adolescents are affected by issues such as race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration, war, culture, and consumerism.

E421 - Asian-American Literature

E421.001 Asian American Literature,TR 3:00-4:45pm, Leif Sorensen

This course explores Asian American fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction.  The authors studied demonstrate the diversity and occasional incoherence of the category Asian American.  Readings include writing by Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants around the turn of the twentieth century; texts by second and third generation Asian Americans; and works by recent immigrants from southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.  We will approach these texts as components of a still-emerging tradition of Asian American literature and within historical and social contexts. 

Our investigations will involve examining ideas about transnationalism, imperialism and colonialism, citizenship, assimilation, gender and sexuality, and cultural resistance.  Readings from major theorists and critics of Asian American literature such as Viet Than Nguyen, Lisa Lowe, Rachel Lee, and Colleen Lye will assist us in developing strategies for reading these texts as aesthetic and political interventions.  Authors studied will include a blend of recognized major figures such as Maxine Hong Kingston and Frank Chin, lesser known early writers like Sui Sin Far and Jose Garcia Villa, and recent authors like Ling Ma and Cathy Park Hong.

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

E427 - Victorian Age - Global Victorians

E427.001 Victorian Age,- Global Victorians, Remote, Philip Tsang

The Victorian era is remembered for the extensive and diverse interactions between England and the rest of the world. Through imperial expansion and overseas trade, England exported its culture, customs, and laws to far-off places. At the same time, Victorians left their footprints all across the globe and imported foreign images and ideas back home. In this course, we will study the remarkable careers of five Victorian celebrities: an explorer (Richard Francis Burton), a prime minister (Benjamin Disraeli), an ethnographer (Mary Kingsley), a political activist (Olive Schreiner), and a merchant seaman (Joseph Conrad). Through their travelogues, memoirs, diaries, pamphlets, and fictional writings, we will investigate the contours of nineteenth-century globalization. In addition, we will read George Eliot’s 1876 novel Daniel Deronda to explore the benefits and limits of Victorian cosmopolitanism.

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

E443 English Renaissance Drama

E443.001 English renaissance Drama, MWF 1:00-1:50pm, Barbara Sebek

The Victorian era is remembered for the extensive and diverse interactions between England and the rest of the world. Through imperial expansion and overseas trade, England exported its culture, customs, and laws to far-off places. At the same time, Victorians left their footprints all across the globe and imported foreign images and ideas back home. In this course, we will study the remarkable careers of five Victorian celebrities: an explorer (Richard Francis Burton), a prime minister (Benjamin Disraeli), an ethnographer (Mary Kingsley), a political activist (Olive Schreiner), and a merchant seaman (Joseph Conrad). Through their travelogues, memoirs, diaries, pamphlets, and fictional writings, we will investigate the contours of nineteenth-century globalization. In addition, we will read George Eliot’s 1876 novel Daniel Deronda to explore the benefits and limits of Victorian cosmopolitanism.

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

E456 Topics in Critical Theory

E456.001 - Topics in Critical Theory: Literature and Philosophy of the Non-Human: Plants, animals, minerals, Remote,  Lynn Badia

Experiments in narrative form have created new ways of seeing and thinking from non-human perspectives. This course examines the theoretical and narrative project of understanding non-human agencies, and, as Donna Haraway has described, “multispecies becoming-with.” In the process of taking on the perspective of the animal, plant, and mineral, the texts examined in this course necessarily reconsider what it means to be human. We will be reading post-humanist theory alongside a range of literary authors such as John Joseph Mathews, Ursula K. Le Guin, Leslie Marmon Silko, Franz Kafka, and J. M. Coetzee.

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


E463 Milton

E463.001 - Milton,  MWF 11:00-11:5-am, Zach Hutchins

If I could only take one book with me to a desert island, I would take John Milton’s Paradise Lost because it is a text that rewards sustained, repeated readings—and that statement should communicate to you a sense of why I think this class will be worth your time, whether or not you have encountered Milton previously. Its beauty has inspired generations of artists, from Phillis Wheatley and William Blake to Herman Melville and Salvador Dalí. But Milton penned a number of other, important works before and after Paradise Lost, while also taking a leading role in the English Revolution—helping to bring about the death of a monarch and to usher in parliamentary rule—and inspiring political reformers of subsequent generations. This course will introduce students to the full range of Milton’s remarkable life and career. A revolutionary and a staunch defender of intellectual freedoms, Milton is a writer whose meditations on death, beauty, and oppression push the English language to its limits and are relevant to every age, including our own.

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


EDUC 463 - Methods in Teaching Language Arts

EDUC463.001 Methods in Teaching Language Arts, Remote, Instructor: Ricki Ginsberg

This course is designed to prepare middle and high school teachers to teach reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English/Language Arts classrooms. It will focus on the processes, principles, and practices of developing and supporting learners. Upon completion of this course, students will be better able to ground their instruction in the standards, plan lessons and units, consider means for assessing learning, implement sound practices in their classrooms, and enter into professional conversations about the teaching of English. The course is designed in an experiential way in order for pre-service teachers to learn and practice skills and strategies to better understand their validity and usefulness in the classroom. Students will have an abundance of choice in their course readings and assignments.

LB393 - Seminar in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences: Imagining Futures: Climate Fiction and Environment Sociology in the Anthropocene

LB393.001 – Imagining Futures: Climate Fiction and Environment Sociology in the Anthropocene

Spring 2021      Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:45pm

Team- taught seminar course by Leif Sorensen (Department of English) and Pat Mahoney (Department of Sociology)

This course takes a creative approach to the study of climate change by combining the insights from an environmentally-informed genera of science friction called climate fiction or “cli-fi” with an evidence-based assessment of human-driven ecological degradation documented by environmental sociology. 

Graduate Courses, Spring 2021

E503 Investigating Classroom Literacies

Cindy O’Donnell-Allen

Do you teach? Are you curious about how your students learn? Are literacies, broadly defined, central to the ways you ask students to make meaning, engage with texts, and interact with others?  If so, this course will help you learn systematic and intentional research methods for exploring such questions in critical, ethical, and rigorous ways. And because the research methods you will learn have a bias toward action, the small-scale study you will conduct during the semester is geared toward making change. 


Using these goals to guide your learning, you will read and explore various examples of investigations of classroom literacies. You will design focused research questions of your own to apply to the educational context of your choice. You will learn how to contextualize your study with reference to research in the field and how to select optimal methods for analyzing the actual data you will collect. Finally, you will learn the strategies that classroom researchers employ, not only to apply their findings in their immediate educational contexts, but also to share them with audiences who are committed to advancing educational change.


In sum, whatever your program, whatever your educational context, if you have the goals of improving your craft and better supporting your students’ learning, you will benefit from joining the educational community this course intends to be. 

E504 Professional Issues in Composition & Writing

E504.001 Professional Issues in Composition and Writing, TR 12:30-1:45pm, Sue Doe 

This graduate course will focus have two focuses, the first on how composition programs have traditionally been theorized, designed, and positioned in the academy and the second on new remixes and reconfigurations of writing programs that suggest emerging opportunities for those interested in or committed to the field. We will consider writing programs in the most capacious way possible, examining programs that exist in traditional university settings as well as programs in communities outside of university structures. Overall, we will examine narratives of a discipline that is still being constructed by a wide range of creative and adventurous minds whose interests, while wildly varied, tend to share a commitment to strong pedagogy, attentiveness to language use, and the broad application of social justice. After grappling with the history of the relatively young field of rhetoric and composition, we will situate ourselves as part of the arc of the field’s development and become part of the story ourselves. Along the way, we will demystify processes of publication, consider how to apply for academic positions, deepen our understanding of the demands of faculty work, including faculty work done off the tenure-track, and contemplate emerging opportunities for those working in writing programs and writing program administration.

E506A Literature Survey – Nineteenth Century – British

E506A.001 Literature Survey - English: Literature and History of British India, Remote, Philip Tsang

This course explores the complex history of British rule in the Indian subcontinent, roughly covering the period from 1857, when a large-scale rebellion forced the East India Company to cede control of the territory to the British government, to 1947, when British India was divided into two independent states: India and Pakistan. By examining major literary works (from both England and India) as well as a wide range of historical documents, we will investigate such issues as imperial governance, military power, global trade, cultural policy, education, religion, race, class, nationalism, gender, and sexuality. Authors may include: Edmund Burke, William Thackeray, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Toru Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Rudyard Kipling, Raja Rao, and Sara Suleri



E507 Special Topics in Linguistics: Vocabulary (Words, Words, Words-All About Words)

E507.001 - Special Topics in Linguistics: Vocabulary (Words, Words, Words-All About Words) Remote, Gerald Delahunty

Focus and area of study. 

The course will use words to address words: little ones, big ones; short ones, long ones; lexical ones, grammatical ones; Alice ones and Humpty Dumpty ones; dictionary ones, academic ones, and vocabulary ones (language teachers know what these are). It will address word forms (e.g., lexical categorization, inflection, and derivation) and word sources: making them up (e.g., googol, NB not Google); creating them lego-like from available parts (e.g., hen-deca-syllable); shmushing them together (e.g., fishtail, cronut, whachmacallit); cutting them down to size (e.g., COVID, detoxedit); begging, borrowing, stealing them from other languages (e.g., Avon, Carnival). It will devote valuable semester time to the ways in which word meanings change (e.g., (critter) mouse > (curser) mouse) and how they are adjusted in context (e.g., flat as a perfect oak floor or flat as Eastern Colorado; morpheme in linguistics and biology), as well as the contexts in which various types of words are likely to occur (e.g., phoneme in linguistics, pandemic everywhere else). It will embrace lexical form, meaning and function and introduce linguistic, phraseological, and lexicographical theoretic approaches to the study of words and will do so at a level challenging even for graduate students.


The primary audience for the course will be TESL/TEFL MA students. However, English Education students may find it valuable too, as it will have a pedagogical orientation. However,  students from all disciplines, English and beyond, are welcome. The course will be of particular and general interest because everyone, regardless of disciplinary addiction or affiliation, uses words and can benefit from their careful study.

E515 – Syntax for ESL/EFL

E515.001 - Syntax for ESL/EFL, Remote, Gerald Delahunty

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 spoken by members of the class and those 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 Theories of Foreign/Second Language Learning

E527.001 - Theories of Foreign/Second Language Learning, Remote, Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker

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. 

Required Textbook:

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

E528 – Professional ESL Teaching: Theory to Practice


E528.001 - Professional ESL Teaching: Theory to Practice, Remote, Luciana Marques  

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.

E600B - Research Methods/Theory: Writing studies

E600B.001 – Research Methods in Writing Studies, TR 9:30-10:45am, Michael Palmquist

This course is an introduction to research methods used in the field of English studies, with particular emphasis on those used in qualitative and quantitative research. The course builds on the assumptions that research is intimately related to theory and practice and that all research—quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of the two approaches—is an act of selecting and interpreting information. Throughout the course, we will explore the implications of these assumptions, test their applicability to specific research methodologies, and look for common ways in which they shape the work of researchers using a variety of approaches to research. We will also interrogate and reflect on Burke’s notion of terministic screens, which essentially contends that a way of seeing is a way of not seeing. (For a brief overview of terministic screens, see


E630A - Special Topics in Literature: Area Studies

E630A.001 – Special Topics in Literature: Area Studies -Hackles Raised: On Being Close to Animals,  TR 2:00-3:15pm, Lynn Badia and David Bunn (Department of Anthropology)

This interdisciplinary course considers a long history of ideas and debates about human/animal relationships through literary texts, theory, and film. We will engage with the upsurge of recent scholarship focused on the animal, species-being, and the post-human. Focused on human-animal proximities, encounters, and companionships, this course will draw an arc from pre-Enlightenment distinctions between human and animal being to the modern nostalgia for primal moments of proximity to animals as a determining feature of late capitalist culture. We will examine texts by authors and theorists such as Jacques Derrida, Amitav Ghosh, Donna Haraway, Eben Kirksey, Indra Sinha, and Karen Yamashita.


E630B - Special Topics in Literature: Genre Studies - Drama: On the Page and on the Stage 1660-1780

E630B – Special Topics in Literature – Genre Studies – Drama: on the Page and on the Stage 1660-1780, 3 Credits, Instructor Aparna Gollapudi

Theatre in the long eighteenth century was not only one of the most popular forms of mass entertainment in London, it was also an incredibly sensitive barometer of socio-economic change. The course focuses on the drama written in England between 1660 and 1780.  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 has two main objectives – it hopes to bring to life for the students the thriving theatre environment of the eighteenth century, and strives to do so in a way that highlights these plays as evocative cultural markers of ideological trends contributing to the emergence of the modern individual. Thus, on the one hand, we will focus on the historical conditions of dramatic production-- including the theatre’s market-driven and celebrity-oriented culture; on the other, we will consider the plays as literary works recording the birth of a modern, pre-industrial world with new class, gender and political configurations.

E633 Special Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Donna Haraway and re-storying the Anthropocene

E633.001– Special Topics in Writing and Rhetoric: Donna Haraway and re-storying the Anthropocene, TR 11:00-12:15pm, Erika Szymanski

In this seminar, we will use Donna Haraway’s work as a lever to pry open and peer into rhetorical-epistemic strategies and tactics for re-storying the Anthropocene. First, we will orient ourselves to understanding how Haraway’s writing works, and to the rhetorical and methodological tools she offers. When theory is often the dry purview of specialist academics, what has made Haraway’s work so sticky and tenacious across and beyond the university?

Then, we will trace lines outward through our findings, considering how Haraway’s work has been important in what it means to do “good” scholarship across critical environmental humanities. We will give particular attention to entrenched binaries that have become unproductive in our critical contemporary moment (machine/organism, human/animal, nature/culture, theory/praxis), and to alternatives that enable telling different kinds of stories. We will talk about what it means for Anthropocene studies to be so largely Harawavian, with a particular eye to decolonial and Indigenous critiques. Throughout, we will experiment together with writing across experiential embodied knowledges and rhetorical pluriverses. Substantial time will be reserved to workshop major assignments and for students to contribute additional readings, experiences, and traditions germane to their own interests. Readings will include work by Arturo Escobar, Donna Haraway (obviously), Sandra Harding, Clare Hemmings, Max Liboiron, Ariel Salleh, Banu Subramaniam, Kim TallBear, and others. Participation is encouraged from students across fields of study.

E634 - Special Topics in TEFL/TESL

E634.001–Special Topics in TESL/TEFL - English for Specific Purposes: Issues in Curriculum Development, Remote,Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker

This course provides an overview of important aspects of the ESP curriculum and syllabus design, development, and evaluation as well as an examination of current research topics in ESP. The course familiarizes students with theoretical and practical issues related to the various stages of a language course design, including the needs analysis, selection of course content, and the development of corresponding instructional materials for ESP instruction. The course provides students with an opportunity to engage in two course projects that are tailored to meet their individual interests in ESP course design and/or research.     

This course is primarily intended for graduate students in the TEFL/TESL program who are training to become teachers of English to the speakers of other languages. In their future careers, they are likely to initiate, participate in and supervise the development of new language courses, including the courses which will target discipline-specific content and language (e.g., engineering, business, agriculture).   




E635 - Critical Studies in Literature and Culture – THE EVENT OF READING: Deconstruction After Theory

E635.001– Critical Studies in Literature and Culture – THE EVENT OF READING: Deconstruction After Theory, TR 2:00-2:45pm, Paul Trembath

The purpose of this course is to show students that, although Theory is now a historical artifact, the sense and practice of reading that emerged with Theory has only just begun.  When Derrida demonstrated that writing was the condition of possibility for both speaking and thinking, he broke with the metaphysics of representation that began with Plato.  After Derrida, writing was understood as something that produced our thinking, not merely as something which reflected thoughts born independently of textuality.  Something that transforms our sense of things in the extreme is what Alain Badiou calls an event.  Events are discontinuous with received ways of thinking, and they don’t cohere with the world of normal operations.  This is why we can call deconstruction’s understanding of textuality the event of reading because it discovers that reading and thinking are the same thing.  Our readings will demonstrate what kind of literary and critical practices have resulted from this.  We will also consider how the metaphysics of representation (otherwise known as identity thinking) operates as the unconscious currency of what Deleuze calls control society.  After the event of reading, we can read how identification is the medium of this currency for the first time.  We will read the following 8 texts.

The Hidden Light of Objects, Mai Al-Nakib.  Al-Nakib got her M.A. in literature here at CSU and went on to get her Ph.D. at Brown University.  She is now a Professor of literature and critical studies at Kuwait University.  Al-Nakib’s text narrates the lives of everyday people in the Middle East who are overtaken by the anonymous forces of history.  Her text crafts point of dis/identification for readers who might be entrenched in their habits of identification and invites us to see how lives are fatally transformed by an identity-thinking that has infiltrated all registers of human life.  The book narrates the complexity of identity-thinking without telling us what it is.  We see that its movement is unconscious rather than conspiratorial, and that we are all its agents.  We will return to it at the end of the course.

“Differance,” Jacques Derrida.  We will read this essay in order to understand Derrida’s argument and demonstration that writing is not secondary speech (which is not secondary thought), and that writing is neither a word (a signifier) nor a concept (a signified), but the differential condition for both. 

Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, Michel Foucault [& Gilles Deleuze] (selections).  We will read Foucault’s essay on Deleuze, a discussion between Foucault and Deleuze, and additional essays that explain Foucault’s theory of power/knowledge.  This is the moment when genealogical historicism becomes a part of the event of reading.  Deleuze argues that Foucault’s disciplinary society has become a control society, and that power circulates today by instantaneous communication and identification.  What is missing from both Foucault and Deleuze is a theory of identity-thinking that passes by way of random metonymic associations through the subject-predicate capacities of the brain.  The materials for such an analysis exist, however, in Derrida’s theory of writing, and we will explore this in class. 

How to Read Marx, Peter Osbourne.  Here we will study how identification is a part of capital process. Capital process is an identity-logic (Adorno) which, given the ubiquity of recent technologies, expedites the micro-politics of control society.  The recognitions of identity-thinkers (i.e. all of us) are integrated into capital process and facilitated by instantaneous communication.  Again, metonymies interface with brain capacities so quickly that we are unconscious of the contingency of our recognitions.  Using Freud’s “pre-conscious” as a model, we will consider how we might be in a comparable state of pre-reading which is now global.  Deconstruction renders this legible by reading it as identity thinking.

The 4 additional texts complicate the event of reading, as well as the material we’ve already addressed, in precise ways.  Terms that supplement (or are transformed by) the event of reading are in italics.

How to Read Lacan by Slavoj Zizek (who explains how ideology provides desire with points of identification for subject-formation).

The Psychic Life of Power by Judith Butler (who addresses psychic identification as a form of performativity).

 Aesthetics and its Discontents (selections) by Jacques Ranciere (who reinvents aesthetics as an affective materialism that enhances our sense of what identification is and does); and finally

Ethics by Alain Badiou (who develops an ethics of events.  Badiou demonstrates how “subjects” come into being, not as ready-made Renaissance Cogitos, but as people who enrich the implications of a particular event with their projects.  Such projects invite interest and participation in an event but never demand it; to force an event on others is to betray it in the service of flexible domination.  Moreover, all of the texts we have read either proceed from the event or imply how we might develop it further.).   

Once we have explored the implications of Badiou in relation to the event of reading, we will return to Al-Nakib’s text to see how our readings may have changed our understanding of the stories.    

Requirements:  The readings; attendance; and an optional 5-page paper followed by a 15-page paper, or a final 20-page paper.  Topics are decided in conference.  The papers are the course grade.  Students choose any topic from their area of interest, inside the literature concentration or outside of it, and in conference I assist each student in how best to research and develop their topic.  I encourage crossover from other classes.  The point is for them to get something out of the course that encourages their unique projects and futures.  I help them select and refine their papers, but I never tell them what to do.  I confer with students a lot, and I try to coordinate their papers with their M.A. projects or theses.

Pertinence of the Course to English Graduate Students:  Students of literature should find the course interesting because it explores how one insight (that identity-thinking can be read) continues to develop in the work of 1) a writer of literary fiction and 2) in criticism that is not officially “deconstructive.”  In E615, deconstruction is taught as a distinct procedure (as a “school” of criticism, as it were), and the same follows for other procedures (such as marxism, psychoanalysis, genealogical historicism, etc.).    

Creative writing  and creative nonfiction should find it interesting because of the theory it demonstrates and its engagement with narrative style; linguistics and language studies should find it useful in that its pragmatics follow from a transvaluation rather than a received standard;  education and rhetoric  & composition, for the theories it engages and also for teaching purposes (reading is a pedagogy).



E638 Assessment of English Language Learners–Assessment in the TEFL/TESL Classroom

E638.001 Assessment of English Language Learners–Assessment in the TEFL/TESL Classroom, MW 4:00-5:15pm, Tony Becker

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.


E640A - Graduate Writing Workshop: Fiction

E640A.001 Graduate Writing Workshop - Fiction, M 4:00-6:50pm, Ramona Ausubel

E640A, Graduate Fiction Workshop, is restricted to Master of Fine Arts Fiction students and is taught by Professor Ramona Ausubel.

E640B - Graduate Writing Workshop: Poetry

E640B.001 Graduate Writing Workshop - Poetry, T 4:00-6:50pm, Camille Dungy 

E640C - Graduate Writing Workshop: Essay

E640C.001 Graduate Writing Workshop - Nonfiction, W 4:00-6:15pm, Harrison Fletcher

E640C - Graduate Writing Workshop: Essay
E643- Special Topics in Literary Craft “The Cunning Duplicate in the Mind”: Ethics and Aesthetics in Moby-Dick

E643.001 Special Topics in Literary Craft “The Cunning Duplicate in the Mind”: Ethics and Aesthetics in Moby-Dick,TR 11:00-12:15pm, Dan Beachy-Quick

Though Herman Melville heaped his whole genius into the writing of Moby-Dick, the book met with public ridicule—a sting only slightly worse than the oblivion it soon fell into. That novel, nearly sunk in time’s depthless archive, re-emerged in the early 20th century as a novel of such necessary complexity, that it continues to act as parable to countless aspects of our American and human condition today. Writing some 90 years after Melville, the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote the following parenthetical sentence in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: “(Ethics and aesthetics are on.)” Our class will spend a semester investigating the possibilities such a claim opens for us—as readers, as thinkers, as humans, and as makers ourselves. A subtle shift of sense turns craft as skill to craft as vessel, and our primary work will be to become ourselves a member of that crew, “whalers” of a kind. Whalers are intrepid makers—bone-carvers, scrimshanders, woodworkers, musicians, weavers of tales, and poem-makers. Our class will be uniquely devoted to kinds of creative and intellectual endeavors Moby-Dick has inspired over the course of the last century, and our hopes will be make work of our own that furthers that strange, ongoing voyage.


E692 - Seminar in Writing, Rhetoric and Social Change Colloquium

E692: WRSC Colloquium is a one-credit course required of all WRSC MA students in both their first and second years in our program.  

We encourage a relaxed, yet professional, atmosphere in the Colloquium because we believe that conversation about our field and the many roles we assume as rhetoric and composition teacher-scholars is vital for developing our disciplinary identities. 

E692 is designed to:

  • build community and professional relationships among WRSC students and faculty, particularly since not all faculty and students will have coursework together in students’ first year at CSU;
  • provide formal opportunities for faculty (at CSU and beyond) and students to share their research interests and experiences; and
  • discuss contemporary issues and trends in our field from multiple perspectives. 

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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