Semester II 2020-21

Writing 111 (FYW), Writing 120 (Writing and Rhetoric; WRR), or its equivalent is a prerequisite for all courses in the English department except some 100-level courses. While a few courses have additional prerequisites, most 100- and 200-level courses are open to all students — majors and non-majors alike — who have completed Writing 111, Writing 120, or its equivalent. 300-level courses ordinarily build upon prior work in the English Department. 300-level creative writing courses generally require prior completion of a relevant a 200-level creative writing course as a prerequisite. 300-level courses in literary studies (English courses other than those in creative writing), generally require as prerequisites English 185 and two 200-level English courses. Any course offered in the English department can count as an elective in the major.

 

Please note that these classes are subject to change.

100-Level/Level I

English 150 The Craft of Creative Writing

Reserved seating available for Creative Writing majors and English majors pursuing CAL Licensure

         Section A – J Patterson
         Section B – J Patterson

This course introduces the craft of creative writing through contemporary readings and writing exercises in three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students explore the fundamentals of reading and writing literature with attention to how a literary work is made. Emphasis on the elements of craft and revision also provide preparation for discussing literature from a writer’s perspective in a workshop environment should students pursue more comprehensive single genre study in the future. Prerequisite: prior or concurrent enrollment in FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: WRI. OLE Core: CRE.

English 185 Literary Studies

Reserved seating available for English majors, English majors pursuing CAL Licensure, and Creative Writing majors

         Section A – K Cherewatuk
         Section B – D Okoro

The foundation course of the English major, English 185 introduces students to poetic and dramatic form, narrative structure, and critical theory.  In addition, students engage with literature as a living practice and address its role in a culture by attending dramatic performance and readings by visiting writers and critics.  Although texts vary with the instructor, all sections explore the contemporary vitality of literatures in English and their strong connections to the past. Prerequisite: prior or concurrent enrollment in FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L, WRI.

200-Level/Level II

English 200 African American Literature – D Okoro

OLd major Reqs: Cross Cultural, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: American Lit

This course serves as an introduction to African American literature from the 1700s to the 21st century. Students read, analyze, and produce texts that demonstrate a cultural and comparative awareness of the African American experience and how writers negotiate cultural, social, and political contexts. Readings include works of fiction, poetry, and drama. Class discussions and assignments focus on themes such as political freedom, personal freedom, race, identity, spirituality, family, gender, sexuality, and relationships. Offered periodically. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L and MCD. OLE Core: PAR.

English 204 South Asian Literature – J Mbele

OLd major Reqs: Cross Cultural, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: anglophone lit

Some of the most exciting writing in the world, not in translation but in English, is coming from South Asia: India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. A geographical area shaped greatly by British colonization, South Asia is changing rapidly now as globalization introduces a new kind of colonizer. We’ll study this are – its history, culture, and religion, what unifies it and what pulls its peoples apart – by reading dramatic literature that tells compelling stories about individuals and groups that seem far different and far away from 21st century Minnesota. Writers may include Kiran Desai, Salman Rushdie, Aravind Adiga, Pradeep Jeganathan, Michael Ondaatje, and Jhumpa Lahiri. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L.

English 206 African Literature – J Mbele

OLd major Reqs: Cross Cultural, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: anglophone lit

Africa, the cradle of humanity, is where storytelling started, as an oral tradition. Over time, the tradition evolved and diversified, incorporating such forms as songs, folktales and epics. The invention of writing enabled the textualization of the oral traditions and the creation of literature as written expression. The oldest evidence of such texts comes from ancient Egypt, in the form of folktales, songs, and sayings. With the advent of literacy African storytelling incorporated fiction, poetry and drama in written form. With time, written literature emerged, in languages such as Geertz, Hausa, Swahili and Zulu. With the coming of colonialism, writing in European languages, especially English, French and Portuguese emerged, influenced, from the beginning, by European literature. The medium might change, now embracing film, for example, but the tradition of storytelling persists. African literature draws from several main sources, including indigenous oral traditions, such as the folktale and the epic, and foreign—especially western–literatures. Shakespeare, Defoe, Bunyan, T.S. Eliot, and the Bible have always played a role in the evolution of African literature. On the other hand, major African writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o influence other African writers. We will draw attention to these issues as we explore a number works of drama and fiction. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L, MCG. OLE Core: GHS.

English 220 Literary History Topic – Medieval and Renaissance Bodies: Lives and Afterlives – K Marsalek

OLd major Reqs: literary history, pre 1800
New Major Reqs: british lit

This course traces bodily experience in a range of early English texts, including bawdy comic tales, stories of miracles and monstrosity, and bloody revenge tragedies.  Students explore how these works imagine, represent, and affect the human body, on the page and in performance. How is embodiment marked by gender, sexuality, race, dis/ability, and religious belief?   How are corporeality and selfhood related?  How were reading, writing, acting, and attending plays distinctly embodied practices? Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L. OLE Core: GHS.

English 228 Romantic/Victorian/Modern British Literature – S Ward

OLd major Reqs: literary history, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: british lit

This course explores British literature of three eras, from William Wordsworth and Mary Shelley to Virginia Woolf and Mulk Raj Anand. Students begin with the Romantic revolution of the late 18th century, traverse the wide 19th-century span of Queen Victoria’s reign, and cross into the modernist period after the cataclysm of World War I. Within each era, students examine a set of literary forms (novels, poems, plays, essays), as well as literature’s place within British culture. To this end, the course emphasizes the relationship between literary innovation and historical change within British and British imperial societies. In addition, we will consider the influence of other artforms on literary production, including dance, music, visual and plastic arts, fashion and design, and film. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L, WRI. OLE Core: WAC.

English 242 Children’s and Young Adult Literature – M Titus

Reserved seating available for English majors pursuing CAL Licensure
OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

Beginning with the backgrounds to children’s literature in books of manners and religious instruction and in the “fairy tale,” this course then traces the history of literature in English written for children from the nineteenth century to the present. We explore the importance of book illustrations from the golden age at the turn of the 19th-20th century to the wonderful rise of the picture book in the mid 20th. We read a wide variety of books for children and young adults, including representative works of fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and the popular and controversial genre we call “contemporary young adult realism.” Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L.

English 256 Shakespeare and His Contemporaries – M Trull

OLd major Reqs: elective, Pre 1800
New Major Reqs: british lit

Students examine Renaissance drama by Shakespeare and others in order to concentrate on how to read the plays well and how to respond fully to both text and performance. Students attend live performances when possible and view productions on video. The course includes some consideration of historical context and background as well as practice in how to write about the plays. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L.

English 268 Literature and Modern Philosophy – C Gallego

OLd major Reqs: cross disciplinary, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

The primary aim of this course is to introduce students to the “dialectic of modernity” initiated by Hegel’s views concerning the development of History as Self-Consciousness. We will study Hegel’s theory of the master-slave dialectic and how this model of human consciousness has been developed and modified throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Some of the theorists that will be covered include Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno, Sartre, Lacan, Foucault, and Badiou. We will also discuss the impact of modernity on individual consciousness, paying particular attention to the issues of madness, criminality, and political oppression, as well as the more traditional analytic categories of race, gender and class. In order to facilitate our discussion of these abstract issues, we will do “close readings” of American texts that address these concerns. The writers we will read include Faulkner, Ellison, Pynchon, Delillo, and Pineda.

English 280 Genre Topic – American Cinema – L Mokdad

OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

This course alternates between providing a history of the American film industry or focusing on specific periods of American cinema. We will examine the formal and stylistic elements of American film, while also being attentive to relevant cultural, industrial, and historical shifts and trends. Topics may include the star and studio system, genre, authorship, censorship, independent filmmaking, New Hollywood Cinema, as well as production, exhibition and distribution practices.

English 282 Fantasy and Science Fiction – C Bucciaglia

OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

In this course students read, analyze, and write works of speculative fiction (including genres such as fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, and fabulism). Readings include short stories and novels that exemplify these genres by writers such as Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Gabrial Garcia Márquez. Students then apply their knowledge of form, theme, content, and narrative techniques by crafting and workshopping their own stories. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: WRI. OLE Core: WAC.

English 283 Crime Fiction – B Nordfjord

OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

Throughout its history crime fiction has been a genre with particularly strong ties to English literature on both sides of the Atlantic. This course provides a historical overview of crime fiction from its emergence in the 19th century to the present day, while also addressing questions of form and meaning. After opening with the pioneering work of Edgar Allan Poe we head to England and study the classic detective story as formulated by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Returning to the United States we take a close look at the hard-boiled variety of crime fiction which breaks with the classic tradition in the hands of writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Patricia Highsmith and Chester Himes. Subsequently we will turn to the police procedural introduced by American author Ed McBain, which quickly gains popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. Finally, we compare and contrast crime fiction with spy fiction by looking at key works by Ian Fleming and Stella Rimington. In addition to novels and short stories by these influential authors, students read supplemental texts that help shed light on the historical evolution of the genre and the aesthetic and social relevance of its heterogeneous forms. In class discussions we will address narrative structure and style, while also paying close attention to issues of gender, sexuality, race, class and nationality. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: ALS-L.

English 286 Rhetoric and Composition Topic – Visual Rhetoric and the Global Imagination of Environment – R Eichberger

OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

Contemporary life is increasingly shaped by environmental issues. As with all issues that resonate across societies and cultures, we turn to art and media to make sense of them. In this course, we will investigate the way artists from around the world have used visuals, particularly film and photography, to tell environmental stories specific to their lives and locations. Each story will explore the encounter between humans and the more-than-human world, tackling questions about climate change, wildlife conservation, changing foodways, or environmental justice. Through discussion and writing, we will analyze the rhetorical construction of these media and what they can tell us about visual culture. We will also write about media of our choosing and address questions about just what visuals—whether produced by the documentary camera or the smartphone lens—can do in the climate change era. No prior knowledge about environment or visuals is required. Please note that students can take multiple ENGL 286 courses for credit if they are taught on different topics. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: WRI. OLE Core: WAC.

English 289 Journalistic Writing – R Eichberger

OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

Students critically examine a variety of national, metro, and local media. Students then learn to write their own news copy, including hard news, features, editorials, arts and entertainment reviews, sports, business, and travel stories. Students also learn UPI/AP style copy editing and proofreading, important skills for students applying for internships and print media jobs. Offered periodically. Also counts toward management studies and media studies concentrations.

Prerequisites: WRIT 120 or equivalent and at least sophomore status.

English 290 Exploring Literary Publishing – J Nagamatsu
OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

This course explores the inner workings of the publishing world from literary magazines to commercial book publishers. Students explore the modern history and trends of publishing inAmerica with special attention paid to indie and university presses/magazines, as well as engage with hands-on projects that both illuminate readings and offer insight into the daily practicesof writers and literary gatekeepers. Projects may include the drafting of a proposal for a hypothetical literary magazine, reading and discussing submissions for a magazine, short literary reviews, and conducting a podcast interview. Prerequisite: FYW, WRR, or equivalent. GE: WRI. OLE Core: WAC.

English 292 Intermediate Poetry Writing – K Schwehn

Reserved seating available for Creative Writing Majors
OLd major Reqs: genre, Post 1800
New Major Reqs: elective

In this course we will immerse ourselves in the process and practice of poetry.  We will use book length collections from individual poets to practice deep attention and to think concretely about craft.  We’ll consider the influence of poetic movements, biography and philosophy, and social/environmental issues like climate change and racial justice on each poet’s work.  Students will do a wide variety of in-class and out-of-class writing activities, often rooted in the poems we’re reading, but also using songs and art and nature and headlines as creative fodder.  Generative writing will be coupled with revision practices, from small group workshops to conferences to radical experiments.  We will also discuss poetry as a way of engaging with others: from reviews to interviews to communal acts of poetry in the public square.  We will all actively work to make the classroom an anti-racist, LGBTQIA+ positive, neurodiverse-safe space where each student feels not only heard but necessary to our conversation.

 

Level III

English 372 Advanced Fiction Writing – J Nagamatsu

Reserved seating available for Creative Writing Majors
OLd major Reqs: 300-level (creative writing workshop)
New Major Reqs: 300-level (creative Writing workshop)

Students develop and complete individual projects in fiction, deepening and polishing their work. Assignments include multiple pieces of short fiction, the opening chapter(s) of a novel, an analytical presentation of a published short story, and a world building group project culminating in a website. Class sessions are devoted to discussion of craft, examination of literary models (both short stories and novels), and workshopping of student writing. Prerequisites: Completion of English 293 or permission of instructor. GE: WRI.

English 380 Shakespeare – K Marsalek

OLd major Reqs: 300-level (literary studies)
New Major Reqs: 300-Level (Literary studies), British literature

Students consider in depth some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays and also explore some of the less-frequently studied classics. Students examine a wide range of genres and types of plays, view recorded productions, and attend performances when available.
Prerequisites: ENGL 185 plus at least two English courses at level II, or permission of the instructor.

English 395 Chaucer and Ethics – K Cherewatuk

OLd major Reqs: 300-level (literary studies)
New Major Reqs: 300-Level (Literary studies), British literature

Vintner’s son, soldier, courtier, justice of the peace, tax official, amateur philosopher, and poet in his free time, Geoffrey Chaucer stood at the crossroads of the political, religious, and intellectual debates of the late Middle Ages. In this class we examine these cultural concerns as reflected in his greatest works, the Canterbury Tales. As we explore the medieval past, we simultaneously use readings in ethical theory to better understand moral questions, Chaucer’s poetry, and ourselves–as interpreters of literature and moral agents. Readings in ethics range from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, Nietzche, Marx, and de Beauvoir. Written and oral assignments are both critical and creative and include a long research essay.