in this issue


News & Events

English Expo a Success

Eclectic Release Party

Undergrad Conference

Bridging Distances, One Classroom at a Time

Toto Pulls Curtain on Hipchen

People News

Prof. Reinhard Retiring

In Memoriam: Dr. James W. Mathews

Paul Guest Wins Whiting

English Graduate Chooses a Masters Program

National Magazine Publishes Larrew

Kendra Parker Accepted for Ph.D. Program

Student Poets Garner National Acclaim

Students Share Their Conference Experiences

Student Work Accepted at National Conference

Hultquist Joins Faculty

In Every Issue

Job Spotlight on Amy Lavender


Course Descriptions

Summer 2008

Fall 2008



Summer 2008 Courses

NOTE: Courses are subject to change depending on enrollment and faculty teaching assignments. Please check BANWEB for more current information on the availability of all courses.

English 1101 and 1102 are prerequisites for all courses from ENGL 2110 through 4386.

A “W” designation after a section number of a 3000- or 4000-level course signifies that the course is a Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) course. WAC accepts as a guiding principle the idea that writing is a valuable tool for learning and communication. Therefore, the components of a course so designated are designed to help you learn the material and communicate what you have learned. Students are required to take two “W” courses for the undergraduate degree.




  XIDS 2100: Arts and Ideas

ENGL 4109: Film as Literature



ENGL 4185: Studies in Literature by Women



ENGL 4188: Individual Authors


ENGL 2050: Self Staging

ENGL 4300: Studies in the English Language


ENGL 2110: World Literature

ENGL 4385: Special Topics

  ENGL 2130: American Literature  




ENGL 6120: Seminar in American Literature II

ENGL 3200: Creative Writing

ENGL 6385: Seminar in Special Topics

ENGL 3405: Professional and Technical Writing



XIDS 2100


XIDS 2100-01: Arts and Ideas, Prof. Phillip Mitchell
The Monstrous and the Grotesque
Session 1, MTWRF 1:00 pm–4:25 pm, Pafford 302

Satisfies Area C1 of the core.

Description: Driven to cannibalistic feeding frenzies, sexual deviances, and murderous, late-night rampages, the image of the bloodthirsty werewolf has sunk its teeth deep into the consciousness of the West, appearing as early as Ovid’s Metamorphoses and having a presence in almost every major literary period since the Middle Ages.

Using theoretical frameworks, ranging from nineteenth-century theology and Freudian psychoanalysis to contemporary post-structural feminism and post-colonialism, we will discuss the development of the werewolf story, exploring its unique ability to adapt its signification to the changing cultural milieus in which it appears.

Texts: Charlotte Otten’s The Literary Werewolf and course pack

Requirements: Regular attendance, participation, an oral presentation, reading quizzes, two tests (mid-term and final), a creative project, and one response paper

XIDS 2100-04: Arts and Ideas, Prof. Josh Grant
Modernism: Modern Love
Session 2, MW 2:00pm-4:30pm, Pafford 302

Satisfies Area C1 of the core.

Description: Many words in the Modern Era carry a lot of baggage with them from previous cultures, and the word love has, perhaps, hauled more baggage into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries than any other word. In fact, love has come to have such a variety of meanings to so many different people that it is almost impossible for people who are participating in a conversation about it to know if they are actually talking about the same thing. Because of all these different meanings, all of this extra baggage, the word love is in danger of being relegated to modern vernacular's "unclaimed baggage" department. In this course on modern love, we will undertake the sometimes tedious and not always glamorous job of checking love’s baggage at the gate in order to see if it can still fly with the weight of all of its history on board.

We will examine how individuals and whole societies have constantly redefined the concept of love in the West, tracing its metamorphic journey from the Classical Period through the Middle Ages and into the Modern Era. In other words, throughout the semester, we will unpack the various ideas associated with this loaded word in order to discover some of the underlying motivations that led various cultures to alter the way they viewed or reacted to this particular emotion. We will, moreover, examine each little artifact of love from the past in relation to its place in our own culture, exploring questions such as “Who do we allow to be the more definitive voices on the subject, and from whose voices are they borrowing? Plato? Augustine? Ovid? Troubadour poets? Capellanus? Shakespeare? Casanova? Stendhal? Schopenhauer? Proust? Freud? Biologists? The Beatles? EHarmony? Reality television? Ourselves?” In other words, we will work to identify the roles these earlier theories of amore play in the contemporary wardrobe that we call love.

Texts: Love: Emotion, Myth, & Metaphor (Robert C. Solomon); The Symposium (Plato); A Natural History of Love (Diane Ackerman); a selection of works that will be on reserve in the library.

Requirements: Weekly listserv postings, five cultural events, two response papers, a creative project, a midterm, and a final exam.

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ENGL 2000-level

ENGL 2050

ENGL 2050-01: Self Staging: Oral Communication in Daily Life, Prof. Josh Masters
Session 1, MTWRF 1:00pm-4:25pm, Pafford 308

May count for credit in Core Area B1. Same as THEA 2050.

Description: In Self-Staging: Oral Communication in Everyday Life, we will study the public “self” in relation to a variety of audiences, understanding how the personas we construct and the roles we play differ in relation to different audiences. The course will be broken up into three units, each culminating in individual oral performances crafted in group workshops. We will begin by exploring the nature of public performances that have a human spectacle at their center, such as in a museum, at a cultural exposition, or even in a freakshow. How and why do we stage ourselves as monsters, curiosities, and “others” that we then consume? Our second unit focuses on the comedic self, the self who entertains an audience by telling stories and creating a persona—a persona that might resemble the “real” self (Chris Rock), act as its ironic opposite (Stephen Colbert), or be purely invented (Borat). Our final unit will examine the professional self, with a potential employer as one’s primary audience.

Texts: All readings will be available on course reserve through the library.

Requirements: One of the most important requirements is sustained engagement with the class for four hours a day. In other words, one’s “student self,” and one’s ability to play the role of an interested learner in a meaningful community of learners, will be a huge component of the final grade. Daily reading quizzes, short writing assignments in preparation for class, performance-building workshops, and three oral presentations will make up the rest of the final grade.

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ENGL 2110

ENGL 2110-01: World Literature, Prof. Chad Davidson
Session 3. MTWRF 10:00am-12:15pm, Humanities 206

Required for English majors. May count for credit in Core Area C2.

Description: This course will focus on the ways texts and the cultures from which they spring have dealt with myths of the underworld and how those myths inform the way we think about life, death, and the all-important afterlife. Using Dante’s Inferno as a pivotal text, we will look at classical and contemporary representations of the underworld as they appear in both European and non-European literatures. Central to our exploration will be the concepts of the hero’s journey, the quest for spiritual enlightenment, the fascination with sin, and the notion of justice (both the divine and the figuratively medieval).

Text: Dante, The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces (single volume edition)

Requirements: Reading quizzes, two exams, and a final paper.

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ENGL 2130

ENGL 2130-01:American Literature, Prof. Randy Hendricks
Session 4, MTWR 5:00pm-7:45pm, Humanties 206

Required for English majors. May count for credit in Core Area C2.

Description: In this class we will devote much of our time to reading, discussing, and writing about classic texts in American literature. Reading the texts in whole or in part, we will focus on the way in which they, through their forms, themes, and language, echo and even parody each other as they record a cultural/literary debate on the issue of American identity with its related questions of what constitutes an American self, society, and attitudes toward nature. We will use the examples to work toward a definition of the qualities beyond “written in America” that make a work of literature “American.”

Texts: The Norton Anthology of American Literature , Shorter Seventh Edition,  ed. Nina Baym, et. al. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Requirements: Two analytical papers, final exam, daily quizzes.

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ENGL 3000-level

ENGL 3200

ENGL 3200-01W: Intro to Creative Writing, Prof. Amy Cuomo
Session 2, MW 2:00pm-4:30pm, Humanities 209

May be taken to satisfy the Writing and Language (Major Area C) requirement. No more than two [2] 3000-level courses may be counted toward the major in English. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: TBA

Texts: TBA

Requirements: TBA

ENGL 3200-02W: Intro to Creative Writing, Prof. Alison Umminger
Poetry and Fiction writing
Session 4. MTWRF 10:00am-12:15pm, Humanities 206

May be taken to satisfy the Writing and Language (Major Area C) requirement. No more than two [2] 3000-level courses may be counted toward the major in English. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: This course provides an introduction to poetry and fiction writing, with attention to craft and revision. Using contemporary fiction and poetry anthologies, students will gain some basic familiarity with poets and short-story writers currently practicing their art. This should serve as an inspiration and springboard for their own writing, as good writers must also be good readers. The course will cover the building blocks of fiction and poetry: concrete language, dramatic situation, voice, meter, imagery, characterization, conflict, showing vs. telling, etc. Students will be writing and revising their own work weekly and should expect to produce a portfolio of work for review at the end of the semester.

Texts: Bowman, Catherine, ed., Word of Mouth; Cassill, Oates, eds., The Norton Anthology ofContemporary Fiction; Addonizio, Laux, The Poet's Companion; Leguin, Ursula, Steering theCraft.

Requirements: Each student will write 5-6 poems and revise them for the poetry section. For the fiction section, students will do a number of short exercises and write and revise one longer story (10-12 pages). There will also be a short paper and presentation on one of the poets in the Word ofMouth anthology. All students are required to be active participants in workshops.

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ENGL 3405

ENGL 3405-01W: Professional & Technical Writing , Prof. Katie Chaple
Session 1, MTWRF 8:00am-11:25am, TLC 1116

May be taken for certification in Secondary English Education. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: This course focuses primarily on ways to write, format, design, and present technical and professional documents. The class will discuss appropriate documentation and communication in formal settings, such as the workplace or the academic environment, and produce several types of documents required for functionality and success in these settings. These documents may include (but are not limited to) inter-office memos, job applications, formal thank you letters, letters of resignation, emails with proper protocol, resum és, business letters, and other various documents which must be produced, drafted, revised, and exchanged within a professional or business environment. Students must be prepared to collaborate with others, be aware of the appropriate audience of every formal document, and be able to produce pristine copies of the required professional forms assigned.

Texts: Handbook of Technical Writing (Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu)

Requirements: TBA

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ENGL 4000-level

ENGL 4109

ENGL 4109-01W: Film as Literature, Prof. Lisa Crafton
It’s Alive: Frankenstein on Film
Session 3, MTWRF 10:00am-12:15pm, Hum. 208

May be taken to satisfy the Genre and Theory 1 or 2 (Major Area B1 or B2) requirement. May be repeated for credit as topic varies. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: Paul O’Flinn says, “There is no such thing as Frankenstein, there are only Frankensteins, as the text is rewritten, reproduced, refilmed, and redesigned.” This course explores diverse adaptations of the Frankenstein legend. James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein in some way started it all, with the creation scene, the lightning bolt, and the cry "It's alive! " We will, however, start with Thomas Edison’s silent film version of 1910 after we begin with Mary Shelley’s novel and the diverse critical controversies that surround it. Exploring a variety of adaptations of this legend--including the two classic Whale films starring Boris Karloff, Frankenstein(1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Mel Brooks’ comic Young Frankenstein (1974), Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)--we will also study films who “adapt” the narrative in creative ways, including Ridley Scott’s techno-thriller Bladerunner and Gods and Monsters, a drama about loneliness, memory, and homoerotic passion centered upon the last days of director James Whale (Ian McKellon) whose flashbacks alternate with his current attraction to his gardener (Brendan Fraser), whose hunky, Frankenstein-like physique makes him an ideal model for Whale's fixated last thoughts. All of the filmic versions provoke interesting cultural/theoretical questions that the original novel poses: how does Shelley's story of the creation of an artificial human parallel the era of genetic engineering/new reproductive technologies, crystallizing the fears, uncertainties, and desires that surround the coming of the postmodern; how does the novel’s representation of a fear of both male and female sexuality get translated in analyses of unstable sexual categories; and how does each filmic representation speak to its own era, in terms of questions about criminality, God, sexuality, and technology?

Texts: Mary Shelley Frankenstein. Bedford Case Studies edition. We Belong Dead, and selections on electronic reserve from Forry's Hideous Progenies, Donald F. Glut, The Frankenstein Legend and reviews/essays on our selected films.

Requirements : 0brief response writings, final exam, researched paper, and a collaborative class project at the end of the course: a compilation of all kinds of pop cultural versions (from The Simpsons to Buddy the Vampire Slayer and beyond) of Frankenstein story.

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ENGL 4185

ENGL 4185-01W: Studies in Literature by Women, Prof. Rebecca Harrison
Session 2, TR 2:00pm-4:30pm, TBA

May be taken to satisfy the British Lit II (Major Area A2) requirement. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Mary Wollstonecraft writes, “I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness . . . .” What happens to feminist experiments like Wollstonecraft’s—texts that according to Virginia Woolf, “attempt to make human conventions conform more closely to human needs”? How do they impact the trajectory of narrative discourse? How do they inform our understanding of aesthetic, social, and cultural issues in the development and production of a female authorial voice? Using Wollstonecraft and Woolf as a spring board, this course will explore the employment (and subversion) of the sentimental and the romantic, the struggle for preservation of selfhood in the face of social adversity, and the transformative, and at times experimental, female imagery of women writing in a transatlantic and British context.

Texts: Rowson, Charlotte, A Tale of Truth; Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; Austen, Pride and Prejudice (film), Brontë, Wuthering Heights (film), Woolf, A Room of One’s Own; and reserve readings to include selections from the poetry of Stevie Smith, Mary Dorcey’s “The Husband,” Louise Page’s play Golden Girls, and relevant criticism.

Requirements: TBA

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ENGL 4188

ENGL 4188-01W: Individual Authors, Prof. Patrick Erben
Benjamin Franklin: “The Many Faces of Benjamin Franklin”
Session 4, MTWR 5:00pm-7:45pm, Pafford 208

May be taken to satisfy the American Lit I (Major Area A3) requirement. Fulfills the Individual Authors requirement. May be repeated for credit as topic varies. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: During the recent tercentenary of his birth, celebrations of the life and accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) reached new heights. How did Franklin become an icon of 21 st-century American culture, equally at home in elementary school science classes and university courses? Intriguingly, Franklin’s fame is not merely a product of our modern media machinery. Besides his many occupations as printer, politician, scientist, and philanthropist, Franklin was and is above all the product of his own literary self-fashioning. Perhaps, Franklin is such an inexhaustible topic of present-day imagination, because we never seem to capture the true nature of his public and private personae. Like no other subject of early American literature and culture, the study of Benjamin Franklin links processes of cultural myth-making and literary construction in the 18 th century and today.

Texts: Walter Isaacson, ed., A Benjamin Franklin Reader. Handouts provided by the instructor.

Requirements: Engaged reading and active participation; a brief oral presentation; two brief response papers; project on Franklin’s representation and significance today.

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ENGL 4300

ENGL 4300-01: Studies in the English Language, Prof. Mitzi McFarland
Session 2, TR 11:00am-1:30pm, TLC 1116

May be taken to satisfy the Writing and Language (Major Area C) requirement. Required for certification in Secondary English Education. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.

Description: TBA

Texts: TBA

Requirements: TBA

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ENGL 4385

ENGL 4385-01W: Special Topics, Prof. S. Boyd
The Harlem Renaissance
Session 3, MTWRF 12:30pm-2:45pm, Humanities 206

May be taken to satisfy the American Lit II (Major Area A4) requirement. Requires permission of the department chair to repeat. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: Nestled between two world wars from 1919-1940, the Harlem Renaissance marks an unprecedented period of African American cultural production. Despite Jim and Jane Crow segregation and racial violence, African Americans self-consciously created a literary and artistic movement that caught the attention of many white patrons. This course will be an immersion into both well-known and lesser known texts of the period, the historical contexts that instigated this cultural renaissance, and the discourses of race, racialism, and modernism that came out of the interaction between black and white artists. Our investigation will not be limited to reading literary texts, however. We will also listen to music and view the sculptures and paintings associated with the Jazz Age.

Texts: The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader

Requirements: Quizzes, Presentation, 2 shorter essays, Longer Research Essay

ENGL 4385-02W: Special Topics, Prof. Meg Pearson
Shakespeare on Film
Session 4, MTWRF, 12:30pm-2:45pm, Humanities 206

May be taken to satisfy the British Lit I (Major Area A1) requirement. Requires permission of the department chair to repeat. May be taken to satisfy 3 hours of WAC requirement.

Description: This course will be a lively conversation between William Shakespeare and the medium of film. Filmmakers have adapted the Bard since the first silent movies, and each film offers its own translation of Shakespearean drama into a new art form. Actors have shared this intense interest in making Shakespearean cinema. Whether it is Lawrence Olivier or Ethan Hawke, Elizabeth Taylor or Claire Danes, nearly all the major actors and directors of their time have taken a crack at putting these plays on screen. We will read and discuss several major works by Shakespeare--Hamlet, Othello, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and more—and then work with the most significant and influential film adaptations by directors including Kenneth Branagh, Akira Kurosawa, Franco Zeffirelli, Julie Taymor, and Baz Luhrmann.

Texts: The Norton Shakespeare; Shakespeare on Film by Samuel Crowl

Requirements: ENGL 1101 and 1102.

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ENGL 6000-level

ENGL 6120

ENGL 6120-01: Seminar in American Lit I, Prof. Debra MacComb
The Age of Howells
Session 2, MW 2:00pm-4:30pm, TLC 2237

Registration requires permission of Director of Graduate Studies.

Description: As a writer, a literary and cultural critic, and as an editor, William Dean Howells shaped the theory and practice of literary Realism in the United States more than any other individual. His fiction embodies a familiar mode of representational realism: it is anchored in its own historical moment and place, relies on a “neutral” narrative voice, and accords mimetic attention to the customs and actions of the common people. Indeed, one famous formulation of Howells’ view of the novelist’s realist task arises in the midst of dinner conversation in The Rise of Silas Lapham: “The novelists might be the greatest possible help to us if they painted life as it is, and human feeling in their true proportion and relation . . .” What is most astonishing about Howells’ career, however, is the diverse literary friendships and talents he cultivated: during his tenure as editor of The Atlantic Monthly (1871-81) and resident critic for Harper’s (1886-92) he promoted the careers of Henry James, Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles Chesnutt, Abraham Cahan, Hamlin Garland, John DeForest and Frank Norris and, in so doing, created the contours of the American realist canon. This course will examine the realist aesthetic Howells sought to define as well as literary marketplace he helped to construct, focusing upon readings from his own fiction and voluminous literary criticism as well as the work of the authors he promoted. The issues such a course would address include the contested nature of the term realism, both in the 19 th century and in the present day; the role race, immigration, gender and class played in Howells’ promotion of certain authors; the political and cultural significance of the distinction established between “realist” and “regionalist” writing; and Howells’ own attempts to distance himself from the realist project at the end of his long literary career.

Texts: Howells, A Forgone Conclusion; A Modern Instance, Annie Kilburn; Cahan, Yekl; Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman; Crane, Maggie, Girl of the Streets; James, The Portrait of a Lady; and Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs. Selected literary criticism from Howells’s Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s columns will be posted online.

Requirements: Regular, informed and scintillating contribution to seminar discussion, several brief response essays (c. 3 pages), an oral report on one of the authors (and his/her work) promoted by Howells but not covered in the common reading list (above), and a seminar paper (18-20 pages).

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ENGL 6385

ENGL 6385-01: Seminar in Special Topics, Prof. Angela Insenga
Professing Teacherhood: Reading the Culture Reading Teachers
Session 2, MW 10:00am-12:30pm, TLC 2237

Registration requires permission of Director of Graduate Studies.

Description: From Socrates to “Sir,” the artistic representation of teachers is complicated by divergent ideological forces reflective of our culture’s continued grappling with the profession. For example, though tanned celebrities in PSA’s laud educators as noble beings and often declare their jobs as most important, teacher salaries and school funding rarely reflect such sunny sentiments. Principals give instructors authority over children, yet teachers are often denied agency in increasingly Draconian systems. Politicians encourage them to instill leadership qualities but often balk when they actually take the lead.  We demand creativity and innovation but institute rigid frameworks and demand standardization. When considering teachers, we even possess polarizing assumptions about their professional ranking, appearance, sexuality, gender, race, and economic backgrounds. Such contradictions and suppositions open a formidable gap between what the culture says about teaching and what the culture does to, for, and with teachers.  As arbiters of culture, as analytical students, and as teachers in training, we are left to ponder in this liminal space.

This course will consider the image of the teacher extant in selected film, prose, and drama. We will consider the portrayal of the profession in each text, and we will investigate how these significations work to enforce stereotypes of teachers, perpetuate vocational myths, problematize and revise the dominate teacher narrative, or reveal emerging (un)truths about the state of education today.

Texts: Drama: David Auburn, Proof; Margaret Edson, W;t; David Mamet, Oleanna Novels: Evan Hunter, The Blackboard Jungle: A Novel; F. E. Mazur, Spine: A Novel Films: Mike Akel, Chalk; James Clavell, To Sir, With Love; Ryan Fleck, Half Nelson; Kwon Hyeong-jin, For Horowitz (sometimes translated as My Piano); Richard LaGravenese, Freedom Writers; Peter Weir, Dead Poets Society;

Requirements: Reflection Journal (3 pages per week), In-Class discussion generating presentation (30-45 minutes), Scholarly project (10-12 pages), Annotated bibliography (5 sources), Participation

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