Disclaimer: We provide the following information to give a sense of what the English department has to offer, to show a sampling of courses available but not a complete listing. The information here is not intended to replace the support and knowledge of an advisor, especially in the case of choosing the courses necessary to complete your degree or minor. A full list of courses is available through the CSU online course catalog.
ENGLISH DEPARTMENT COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
E238: Twentieth Century FictionTodd
11:00-12:15 PM TR
This course explores a variety of ideological concerns in twentieth-century fiction, emphasizing modernist and post-modernist writers. Short stories, novels, and graphic texts will be explored. Past texts include short stories and novels by Joyce, Hemingway, Flannery O'Connor, Zora Neala Hurston, Leslie Marmon Silko, Joyce Carol Oates, and others. The course will focus on basic elements of fiction (point of view, character, setting…) and interpretive skills (using textual evidence and close text analysis). Students will be evaluated based on several short, reflective essays. This is a reading and writing intensive course, and willingness to engage in lively class discussions is expected.
E327: Syntax and Semantics
2:00-2:50 PM MWF
E327 introduces the linguistic study of sentences and meaning in natural languages. You will learn the concepts, terminology, and analytic skills needed to describe grammatical structures, and perform basic syntactic and semantic analysis. Syntax is the study of sentence structure and grammatical relations, such as subjects and objects. Semantics is the study of meaning relationships at the lexical, such as antonyms and synonyms, and at the sentence level. E327 focuses on the syntax and semantics of English, though examples from other languages might be used to illustrate relevant linguistic phenomena.
E 333: Critical Studies of Popular Texts
12:30-1:45 PM TR
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.
E343: Shakespeare II
2:00-3:15 PM TR
This course will sample work from the second half of Shakespeare's career, exploring how different plays recast important cultural issues. How do the plays intervene in religious, gendered, and other social conflicts? In addition to reading the plays through this historicist lens, we’ll work on close-reading skills, and engage in performance-oriented criticism that considers the plays as scripts for performance. We’ll study one recent film version (Ralph Fiennes, dir., Coriolanus) and one recent novel (Jeanette Winterson’s The Gap of Time, Ian McEwan’s Nutshell, or Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed) to explore how Shakespeare’s plays servel as inspiration for later creative artists.
E350: The Gothic in Literature and Film
4:00-6:50 PM W
For over 200 years, writers and readers have been drawn to fear-inducing representations of the uncanny, the taboo, the irrational, the horrific, the inexplicable, and the supernatural. This course introduces students to the gothic in Great Britain and the US from the nineteenth century to the present, in a variety of genres, including novels, film, poetry, and short fiction, novels. We will also study literary and filmic criticism to deepen our understanding of the “cultural work” of the gothic. Sample texts might include Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Haunting of Hill House, The Shining, Sweeney Todd, and Get Out.
E 401: Teaching Reading
1:00-2:15 PM MW
This course is designed to help us examine theory and pedagogy for understanding, interpreting, and evaluating print and visual texts. Topics of study include New Literacies, multimodal texts, and close reading. Course texts include: Kylene Beers’ When Kids Can’t Read and Kelly Gallagher’s Deeper Reading. In addition, we will be reading and working with young adult texts, including Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes, The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay, Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough, and Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani.
LB393: Seminar in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences
The Thinking Hand: Phenomenal Explorations in Poetry and Pottery
Dan Beachy-Quick, Professor, English Department
Del Harrow, Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History9:00-11:50 AM M
This co-taught, interdisciplinary course is an experiment that has closes the distance between wildly different media—words, clay—and seeks to discover curious grounds of overlap and reciprocity. Our hope is to create a course that opens this influential collaborative ground. Neither a course on Poetry, nor a course on Ceramics, nor a simple combining of the two disciplines, this class offers a radical studio experience in which experiment in both art forms opens up a larger concern—as much philosophical as it is pragmatic—regarding the nature of, desire to, and consequences of art-making. We include thinking as also such a made-thing. A wide array of topics will accompany and complicate our work: poetics and poetry, art and design, creativity and failure, error and craft, skill and intuition, containers and containment (i.e. form and content), as well as forays into genius, inspiration, and the unconscious. Our reading list will be necessarily varied, moving from Phenomenology and Ancient Philosophy and Poetry, to essays on the nature of handles, and the construction of holes. To facilitate such complicated ambitions, weekly activities will combine readings and discussion with exercises in poetry and sculpture/ceramics—in the material of word and the material of clay. Moving between studio work in poetry and pottery, our class will seek to destabilize easy assumptions about the nature of our different media, discovering means in which word and vessel both are complimentary to, and complicating of, one another. Our hope is to build a course that begins at rudimentary beginnings—what is a word when charged poetically?, what is the simplest container one can build?—and week by week offer more complex forms of creative endeavor, culminating in opportunity for collaborative work (involving sculpture, poetry, and informed by our readings and discussion) over the last few weeks of class. The necessity of a team-taught format is the same necessity that will engage the students: two professors troubling the boundary of their expertise to ask questions, to make art, to create opportunity, that neither could manage alone. This effort will require the students to work alongside one another and alongside us, a deep demonstration of teaching not as a form of authority, but as a form of participation. Hybrid in form, course activities will continually shift between those we might typically imagine as “beginning” or “advanced,” and move just as easily between studio practice and poetry workshop, craft tutorial and seminar discussion. In doing so, we hope to break down the quick dichotomy between making and thinking, word and matter, and reintroduce students—and ourselves— to the wonderful complexity of the hand putting itself to making what it can make, be that a poet, be that a poem, be that thought, or best, that made-thing that is all three (and more) at once.
CO401: Writing and Style
2:00-3:15 PM TR
This course helps students go beyond academic essays and become better public writers and arguers. We pay close attention to the finer points of argument, style and sentence-level rhetoric, mastering a set of advanced writing practices with broad applicability. We approach genres not as a mere set of forms to be learned, but instead practice techniques for understanding and mastering new genres we encounter. The major project in this course will be an extensively researched piece of public writing on a topic of students’ choosing, developed in multiple drafts over the course of the semester.
E405: Adolescents’ Literature
4:00-5:15 PM TR
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 will have the opportunity 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, culture, and consumerism.
E412C: Creative Writing Workshop – Nonfiction
4:00-5:15 PM TR
In this hands-on course we will learn how to transform personal experience into compelling essays, memoirs and hybrids. We will read extensively, short-form and book-length works, with an eye toward voice, style, subject and form. Our readings will be drawn primarily from contemporary writers but we will work to place those writers in a historical context. We will write extensively, read extensively, revise extensively, and respond thoughtfully to peer submissions. Partial reading list: Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Days of Obligation by Richard Rodriguez and Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
E425: Restoration and 18th Century Literature
4:00-5:15 PM TR
The course surveys literature written between 1660 and 1800. We will study poetry, drama, and fiction ranging from the shockingly bawdy to the deeply religious. The span of almost one and a half centuries that is the ‘long eighteenth century’ produced literature of amazing variety in both form and content. We will be tracing some of the most important literary strands that emerged, flourished and/or died during this time period. The early eighteenth century witnessed an unprecedented and unsurpassed flowering of satirical genius and we will begin by investigating some of the best satire of the time. By the end of the century however, the corrective whip of satire which tickles even as it stings sharply was going out of fashion. Instead, sentiment and sensibility, which sought to teach not through ‘whipping’ but ‘weeping’ became the more popular mode. The power of literature to represent emotionally charged moments with the intent of moving its readers to tearful empathy and moral sensitivity will be evident in the literature we will study towards the end of the semester. The most significant literary phenomenon of the eighteenth century, however, was the birth of a new genre – the novel. We will explore what 'novel' meant in the period through various short and long works of fiction. Overall, thus, the course offers a wide variety of readings in different tones and genres that will introduce you to the richness of eighteenth-century literature and culture. Warning: We will be studying works that contain explicit language, graphic bodily imagery and overtly sexual content.
E440: American Prose to 1900
The Great American Novel(s)
9:30-10:45 AM TR
This course in the early American novel will introduce students to runaway bestsellers (Uncle Tom’s Cabin), acclaimed accounts of axe murderers (Wieland), and classic works of children’s literature (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), as well as a few other excellent but more obscure books. Chances are good that you’ll cross off more than one title on that to-read list sitting on your nightstand. Because this class is centered around a literary form of considerable length, assignments emphasize your completion of the readings and your ability to demonstrate a deep engagement with their ideas in verbal exchanges within the classroom.
EDUC 463: Teaching Language Arts
10:00-11:40 AM MW
This course is designed to help you combine theory, research, and practice into sound strategies for teaching English in middle, junior, and senior high schools. You will begin to develop a philosophy of secondary English teaching and learn how to plan instruction that is consistent with that philosophy and with various national, state, and district guidelines. Content includes examination of and attention to Common Core State Standards; planning of lessons and units; discussion of issues involving professional educators; development of means to assess learning; and discussion of methods to teach English language arts, including journalism and communication studies.
E465.001: Topics in Literature and Language
Language and Law
Societies are governed by laws. Laws are crafted in language. The language of laws is very different from other uses of English. Few of us are skilled in reading legal texts because of the strangeness of their language. And we are only superficially knowledgeable about the laws that are most immediately relevant to us, e.g., those governing reasonable search and seizure, Miranda rights, and freedom of speech. We will investigate these and many other issues by studying the language in which laws are written, how laws govern language use and interpretation, and how legal actors have interpreted and manipulated those laws.
E465.002: Topics in Literature and Language
Poetry, Music, Rhythm
Sarah Louise Pieplow
12:30-1:45 PM TR
Rhythm, and rhythms, are the product, function, and description of our movement through time. We will look at rhythms in music from across the globe, from hip hop to flamenco, djembe polyrhythms to tabla; compare the rhythms of English language to poetry in Greek and Urdu; we will compare the rhythms of music to the rhythms of language and see if English scansion holds up in describing poetic rhythms...or if we can't find some broader systems. We will scan, memorize, write, and recite poems. We will perform rhythms and produce a performance event. We will have a good time talking about time.
E 503: Investigating Classroom Literacies
4:00-6:50 PM W
Together, we will explore research methods and ethical issues in classroom-based inquiry using oral and written literacy practices. Students will design their own small-scale research projects and learn about writing literature reviews, following a methodological approach, analyzing data, and reporting preliminary findings.
E506B: Literature Survey: American
2:00-3:15 PM TR
This course will survey important works by American authors in a variety of genres, including the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Anne Bradstreet; short stories by Washington Irving and Charles Chesnutt; the fictionalized memoirs of Benjamin Franklin and Theresa Malkiel; novels by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Martin Delaney, and Marilynne Robinson; and cinematic adaptations of plays by Arthur Miller, Charlie Smalls, and William Brown. We will survey major literary movements and place each of these works in historical context, preparing students to make their own interventions in ongoing critical conversations.
E513A: Form and Technique in Fiction
Point of View and the Art of Structure
Point of view comes prior to all other aspects of storytelling – without establishing source and perspective there can be no story. Furthermore, by setting the terms of the reader’s access, point of view determines what stories are possible. In this course we will read novels and short stories with complex points of view and examine the interplay between perspective and structure. We will also read from Peter Brooks’ Reading for the Plot, to augment our discussions of how narrative fiction provides an experience of complete, graspable meaning. Students will write several pastiche assignments as well as longer projects to be workshopped in the last several weeks of the class.
E 527: Theories of Foreign/Second Language Learning
Tatiana Nekrasova Beker
2:00-3:15 PM TR
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.
VanPatten, B., & Williams, J. (2015). Theories in Second Language Acquisition. An Introduction. (2nd edition). New York: Routledge.
E528: Professional ESL Teaching
Theory to Practice
1:00-1:50 PM MWF
The course 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 non-threatening interaction about language teaching experiences with colleagues.
E630-X: Special Topics in Literature
Hackles Raised: On Being Close to Animals
Lynn Badia and David Bunn
4:00-6:50 PM R
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.
E 633: Special Topics in Writing and Rhetoric
11:00-12:15 PM TR
Language gave me a way to keep the chaos of prison at bay and prevent it from devouring me; it was a resource that allowed me to confront and understand my past, even to wring from it some compelling truths, and it opened the way toward a future that was based not on fear or bitterness or apathy but on compassionate involvement and a belief that I belonged (5). So writes Jimmy Santiago Baca in his memoir, A Place To Stand , claiming his place in the landscape of contemporary American (prison) writers. This course is intended to introduce and strengthen understanding of selected historical and contemporary prison writings and contexts. As cultural and rhetorical critics, we will study works sanctioned by the academy (and other cultural arts bodies) as well as writings that depend upon less conventional means of circulation (local writing workshops, contests, and on-line publications).
The following questions will guide our exploration: What is prison writing, and when does such writing become literature? Is prison writing spectacle, art, therapy, or rehabilitation? How might incarceration influence composing processes? How does gender identity affect prison writing? How are prison writings received by ‘free’ audiences? Whose writings get published and why? What are the relationships between writing and freedom? In considering how a diverse set of incarcerated writers approach writing as a meaning making process, in reading texts across gender, ethnicity, race, and time, and in tracing the circulation of those writings, this course aims to complicate and expand the way we make extend our disciplinary knowledge and make connections between literature and the material world. In this way, our primary goal is to consider the role of language in constructing identities within discourse communities beyond the academy.
E634: Special Topics in TEFL/TESL Issues in Second Language Pronunciation
4:00-5:15 PM MW
E634 expands theoretical and pedagogical approaches to the study of second language phonetics and phonology, with the goal of developing theoretically informed instructional modules to teach pronunciation to students of English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL). The modules can be applied in the classroom to aid in the acquisition of challenging English phonetic/phonological features to ESL/EFL English learners. In E634, you will understand the different ways second language phonetics/phonology is studied; research the main pronunciation difficulties ESL/EFL students have due to native language influence; develop instructional modules to help students overcome those difficulties.
E635.001: Critical Studies in Literature and Culture
Varieties of Historical Criticism
12:30-1:45 PM TR
How have different thinkers within literary and cultural studies understood the relationship between text and context? How have they conceptualized the historical horizons that constrain or animate the production and reception of literary texts? We’ll study the emergence of the so-called “new historicism” and more recent pushback against historicist criticism. Literary and critical case studies will include a play by William Shakespeare, a seventeenth-century “minor” play by Jasper Mayne, a novel by Virginia Woolf, and a variety of historicist studies of these texts. You’ll write two sets of discussion questions, two short critical reviews, and a final research paper.
E638: Assessment of English Language Learners
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.