Spring 2017 Course Descriptions




ENG 3000:   Approaches to Literary Study
Dr. Jill Ehnenn

This course is designed to be a gateway to help English majors master the skills they will need for their upper level literature courses and thus should be taken as early as possible in the student’s program of study.   This class will introduce students to the following: essential research methods in the discipline, including library resources and databases; major trends in literary criticism and theory; an introduction to prosody;  and practice writing in the discipline, including close reading, explication, annotated bibliography and papers incorporating a variety of theoretical lenses and historical approaches.  We will also discuss the question “What can I do with an English major?” and talk about options for graduate study. Throughout the semester, as we learn new theories, we will practice them on two novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Tony Morrison's The Bluest Eye, as well as some some selected poetry.

ENG 3170: Special Topics in Cinema
Kyle Stevens

This course will introduce you to the history and critical analysis of television. In our efforts to think about how to go about analyzing this medium—which is arguably the most powerful and important method of communication of the last 70 years—this course will center on the history of the medium in the US, though with an eye toward its global effects and relations. Spanning from its early days as a broadcast system to today, when people refer to serial programs watched on laptops as “television,” we will look through several lenses at how the history of television has been both constituted by and been constitutive of American society. To accomplish this, our class will also pose such questions as: Is television at a crucial juncture due to the advent of digital culture? Why are so many movies being adapted into television shows (and vice versa) these days? Why might we be content to watch five hours of a TV show in an evening but hesitant to commit to a three-hour film? What distinguishes “art TV” from non-art?


ENGL 3652:  Creative Writing:  Prose (Fiction)
Mark Powell

This course will introduce students to the basics of fiction writing. We will read and discuss a number of published stories as well as workshop student work. Our focus will be literary fiction, not genre fiction. 

ENG 3750:   Studies in Drama
Dr. William D. Brewer

In this course we will read, discuss, and watch performances of a wide range of dramas, beginning with ancient Greek tragedy and ending with late twentieth-century drama.  We will examine plays written by the following authors:  Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Molière, August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Eugene O’Neill, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, August Wilson, and Wendy Wasserstein.  Students will be expected to write analytically about drama, to participate in class discussions about plays, to familiarize themselves with different theater designs, lighting, props, costumes, set designs, blocking, acting styles, directorial decisions, etc.; to explicate theatrical scenes in oral presentations, to present brief performances, and to develop a basic understanding of theater history.  Among other issues, we will discuss what makes a play stageable and how audience expectations and theatrical technologies vary in different historical periods.


ENG 4200:  Editing
Dr. Rosemary Horowitz

This course introduces you to selected concepts and methods of editing, basic editing skills, comprehensive editing processes and principles, and various management and production methods. Prerequisite: ENG 3090 or permission of instructor.

Course objectives
English 4200 will help you develop as an editor by introducing you to the principles and practices of the profession.

Course goals

After completing the course, you will be able to:

- describe the breadth and diversity of editorial responsibilities;

- discuss the various types of editing and levels of editing;

- exhibit skills basic and comprehensive editing;

- describe the various aspects of document management and production; and

- use various desktop publishing applications

Course requirements

- a brochure project. In this project, you assume the role of acquisitions editor, copy editor, or production editor. 100 points. Also, you will give an oral report with an accompanying style sheet. 100 points.

- a newsletter project. In this project, you work in groups to compile a newsletter for editors. Include at least 20 sources. 100 points.  

- an electronic editing research project. 100 points. Also, you will give an oral report with accompanying documentation on your work. 50 points.

- a variety of in-class assignments. 100 points.

            - participation. 50 points.


ENG 4509-410:   Junior/Senior Honors Seminar
Dr. Jennifer Wilson

British literature and culture finds its way into our everyday lives, not only via our reading, but also in the form of Doc Martens embellished with scenes from William Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress, YouTube videos of The Jane Austen Fight Club, and action figurines of William Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte.  The Spring 2017 section of ENG 4509 takes its cue from these trends and focuses on adaptations of British literature across time and media.  Although text selections for the course are not finalized, they may include The Beggar’s Opera and The Threepenny Opera, Pride and Prejudice and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Vlog, Wuthering Heights and Cold Comfort Farm (and their film adaptations), Tess of the D’Urbervilles and The French Lieutenant’s Woman (and their film adaptations), plus illustrated editions and graphic novel adaptations of several of these works.  We will read excerpts of Julie Sanders’  Adaptation and Appropriation and Henry Jenkins’ Convergence Culture for theories of textual hybridity.  Class work will include discussion board postings, individual presentations, and a research project.


ENGL 4550:  Senior Seminar Creative Writing
Mark Powell

This course focuses on both the reading and writing of the novella. Students will read a number of novellas/short novels/long stories while writing and workshopping a sustained work of fiction of around 50 pages. Our focus will be literary fiction, not genre fiction.


ENG 4560:   Adolescent Literature
Dr. Elaine O’Quinn

This course is designed to give prospective and practicing English teachers, as well as those involved with the selection of adolescent texts, a familiarity with the literature adolescents relate to, enjoy and choose. It also presents the reasons why teenage readers make the choices that they do. In addition, the course reviews the sources of materials that teenagers will read with pleasure. Most important, it is planned to help the teacher develop a positive attitude toward this kind of literature and understand the consequences of various aspects of Adolescent Literature in curricular choices.


ENG 4580:  Studies in African-American Literature
Dr. Bruce Dick

This class will focus primarily on the 20th-21st century African American novel, beginning with Charles Chesnutt’s Marrow of Tradition and ending with Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.  Other novels for the course might include Cane (Toomer), Plum Bun (Faucet), The Color Purple (Walker), and Mama Day (Naylor).  A third of the course will focus on three books by Richard Wright:  Native Son, Black Boy, and The Outsider.  Angelyn Mitchell’s anthology of African American literary criticism, Within the Circle, will supplement outside readings.  Requirements for the course include class participation (the course will function as a seminar), two-page reaction papers on each novel, one in-class oral presentation of a critical essay, and a 12-page, end-of-the-semester paper on a course novel.  For more information, contact Bruce Dick/dickba@appstate.edu/ Ext 2873, 308 Sanford Hall.


Dr. Ba
şak Çandar

Literature and Violence   

The meaning of “World Literature” has been up for debate for quite some time. Just where is this world? Can one “world” literature? What would that look like? On the most basic level, in this course we will look at literature from around the world. However, we will also consider “violence” as an important aspect of “worlding” as a practice and accordingly focus on the relationship between violence and literature. How does literature represent violence? How does violence shape and influence literature? What are the aesthetic and ethical stakes involved in representing violence fictionally? In order to explore these questions, we will read a combination of literature and theory, focusing on twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Authors may include J.M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy, Orhan Pamuk, Imre Kertesz, among others. Please be aware that as a 4000 level Topics course, this will be a reading and discussion intensive class.  


ENG 4620:  Topics in Language
Dr. Donna Lillian*

Ever wanted to invent your own language?

Here’s your chance!

Constructing Languages

 In this class, students will

  • Research an invented language (e.g. Dothraki, Klingon, Elvish, Esperanto, etc.) and do a class presentation on it,
  • Learn enough about the principles of grammar to apply them to language creation,
  • Read about and discuss theories about the relationship between language and culture,
  • Collaborate with a small group in creating a preliminary invented language,
  • Collaborate with the whole class in creating a new language and culture,
  • Write/create a product using our invented language,
  • Present your project in a grand finale event.

Note: If you have previously done my HON 3515 Inventing Languages seminar, you are still eligible to enroll in this class; however, you will be required to do alternative readings and some different assignments.

*Dr. Donna Lillian, lilliandl@appstate.edu, 313 Sanford Hall


ENG 4710 Advanced Studies in Women and Literature:
Women and Nature
Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick

Mother Nature.  Gaia, the Goddess.  Earth Mother. Why have women been considered closer to nature, and what has been the consequence for women and for the earth?  We will read ecofeminist writers who explore these questions, including Adams, Donovan, Gaard, Griffin. Merchant, Murphy, Ortner, Ruether, Plumwood, Shiva, and Warren. We will also read literature that imagines and reimagines women’s relation to nature, including work by Margaret Atwood, Eavan Boland, Barbara Gowdy, Jamaica Kincaid, Paula Meehan, and Terry Tempest Williams, among others.  Class requirements include pre-class writing, short seminar papers, and a final research paper.    


English 4730:   Studies in the Novel
Dr. Kristina K. Groover

The Transatlantic Modern Novel:

The first decades of the twentieth century represent the period of "high modernism," a time when artists on both sides of the Atlantic struggled to interpret a rapidly changing world.  Sweeping changes  in science and technology, the devastation of World War I, the advent of modern psychology, and other events of the late 19th- and early 20th- centuries are reflected in the paintings of Pablo Picasso, the musical compositions of Igor Stravinsky, the dances of Martha Graham, and the plays of Eugene O'Neill.  In this course, we will focus on the modern novel in Great Britain and the United States; texts may include William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises; Nella Larsen, Passing; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; E.M. Forster A Passage to India; and others.  Students will conduct research on authors and texts, lead class discussion, and write frequent short essays as well as a final seminar paper.  The course format is discussion, and students are expected to contribute to the discussion during each class period.  Please contact the instructor at grooverkk@appstate.edu if you have questions about the course.


ENG 4785:  American Literature: 1865-1914
Dr. Carl Eby

American Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism

Explore American literature during the Gilded Age — the age dominated by literary realism, regionalism, and naturalism.  In addition to a few shorter works by writers such as Stephen Chesnutt, we’ll read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Henry James’s A Portrait of a Lady, William Dean Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, and Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.  We’ll try to place these texts against a historical background of explosive industrial growth, the emergence of vast wealth and terrible poverty, the urbanization of America, rampant political and corporate corruption, the failure of Reconstruction in the South, the closing of the frontier, and the emergence of the U.S. as a global (some would say, imperial) power.  We will explore how such forces shaped national, racial, class, and gender identity for Americans during the period, and we will consider the intellectual influence on American literature of some of the major thinkers of the period:

Charles Darwin, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and William James.

Required texts with ISBN numbers:  Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (978-0520268166); Henry James, A Portrait of a Lady

(978-0393966466); William Dean Howells, The Rise of Silas Lapham (9780451528223); Edith Wharton The House of Mirth (0451527569); and Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (978-0140188288).  Please be especially careful to get the correct editions of A Connecticut Yankee and A Portrait of a Lady!


ENG 4880/81 - Literature of the Victorian Period
Dr. Jill Ehnenn

Victorian Women's Poetry

This course will offer an in-depth engagement with the subtle and powerful work of female poets of the Victorian Period.  Our study will include formal analysis of their poetics (including some attempts to write in their style!) and discussion of their responses, through their life and verse, to social and aesthetic issues of the day, such as debates about women's roles, sexuality, war, class, religion, empire, the public sphere, Aestheticism and Decadence etc. 


ENG 4895 – 20th Century British Literature  1945 – Present
Dr. James Ivory

The cultural revolutions in gender, race, and class, both nationally and internationally in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st produce new ways in which we think about identity and nationhood, a zeitgeist some call postmodernity. The literature in this course will closely examine and follow the breadcrumb trail of postmodernity. To that end, we will critically think about cultural historicity.  This cultural historicity might be defined as post-imperialism, postmodernity, postcolonialism, and post-humanist, as well as other emerging critical positions less easily defined, like ecofeminism.  Post-imperialism will explore cultural hegemony through some writers who “talk back” or “curse back” to the diminishing powers of the British Empire. (Consider the Brexit vote today as well as the failed but social revenant on Scottish nationhood and independence from 2014 and after the Brexit vote).  Many of these investigate how view their relationship to empire as contentious and complex; a long history of forced servitude or occupation tends to create such feelings of discord.  Even while some embrace some forms of Englishness, in the years noting the decline of Empire, their writings often reveal that to write in English does not mean to celebrate Britain’s cultural arrogance or to collaborate in its global or local diminished role as a hegemonic power.  Postmodernism examines narrative strategies and subject matter that interrogate the categories and practices of classical or canonical texts.  Post-colonialism considers writers who investigate and interrogate Britain’s imposed language, educational, and ideological systems.  These writers emerge from a number of former colonial sites, like Kenya, Nigeria, India, and the West Indies, and others. Post-human raises difficult question about the “body’s trajectory along the lines of gender, queer, technology, and dis/abled studies.  Engaging in the complexities found in these writers’ fictions, we should better understand the importance of global communities, economies, and national diversity with a space often too overly “simplified” as postmodernity.


R C 5100:  Composition Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy
Dr. Jessica Blackburn

An introduction to composition theory and relevant rhetorical, reading, and psycholinguistic theory with an emphasis on the connections between theory, practice, and pedagogy. This course will address three major areas of research and practice: a history of composition studies and the ideologies driving that history; the practices, applications, and implications of digital rhetorics; and the teaching of rhetoric and composition in the digital era. 


R C  5124:  Teaching Writing Across the Curriculum
Dr. Georgia Rhoades

5124 is a course in WAC theory and practice (ENG 5100 is a prerequisite and 5122 is recommended). In this course, we’ll research the history and current nature of WAC scholarship, current successful program models, and issues related to teaching WAC and WID (Writing in the Disciplines).  I'll evaluate your course materials, classroom management, and teaching skills, and will visit your classes, as will your colleagues in the class.  I'll also ask you to participate in Composition Program and WAC activities related to your teaching.  


ENG 5200:   Issues in Teaching English
Dr. Elaine O’Quinn

This course addresses the sociocultural, socioeconomic, and sociopolitical issues of teaching reading, writing, and literature in public schools (including public universities and community colleges) in a democratic society. It invites students to find ways to bridge the gap between academic theory, political legislation, and school practices by considering the competing influences of various topics in English Studies. The course includes readings and discussions of current reform issues as pertain to the politics of teaching and learning at all levels, as well as historical foundations for how the intentions of literacy are perceived in this country and critical analysis of those intents. It also addresses intellectual and institutional gaps in the educational conversation that move through K-16.  Emphasis will be placed on democratic dialecticals of understanding, collaboration,self-reflection, and change. The class challenges current paradigms of reading, writing, and literature instruction at all levels by exploring alternatives to traditional models of institutional pedagogy.


R C  5510:  Graduate Writing Workshop
Dr. Georgia Rhoades

The spring 2017 R & C 5510 course, a writers' workshop, will expand to combine an interest in theory and practice of community college writing courses.  Those graduate students working on long writing projects or interested in writing for publication or presentations in any area of interest will be able to participate in peer workshops and sustained revision and editing work. Those students with a particular interest in community college teaching and administration will be able to read related theory and create documents related to practice (we will include community college faculty in our investigations and students who are interested may participate in the Writing Across Institutions conference in April).  This course should be helpful to any graduate student engaged in writing projects and interested in peer review and the writing process.  Please contact Georgia Rhoades if you have any questions about your project and the class (rhoadesgd).


 ENG 5585: Major Voices in Ethnic Lit
Dr. Tammy Wahpeconiah

Stories told in a hushed voice, those that tear the veil from parts of life we never knew, stay with us throughout our lives. Much of the fiction explored in this course simulates this sense of intimacy between storyteller and listener.  We will read multiple texts by the same author, allowing us to engage in deep reading of some of the most important contemporary American writers.

We will read the complete works of Junot Diaz, fiction that is bold, brilliant, and heartbreaking.  We will read two of Octavia Butler’s most evocative novels that explore issues of race, sex, power, and what it means to be human.  And we will read Louise Erdrich, whose work centers in and around an Indian reservation—a landscape where many of the same characters show up again and again and where the past is part of the present.



ENG 5600:  Literary Criticism and Theory
Permutations of Theory and Criticism. An Overview
Dr. Germán Campos-Muñoz

While the categories of “theory” and “criticism” constitute the conceptual, hermeneutic, and rhetorical pillars of contemporary literary studies, their role and value in the field is never uncontroversial. Theory and criticism are often imagined as interpretative discourses, rational statements that provide specialized readers with a set of abstract tools to analyze and decode the assumptions (cultural, ideological, political, historical, aesthetic, etc.) underpinning literary texts. But theory and criticism can also be understood as conceptual provocations, reflections that help us raise and articulate sophisticated questions about literature rather than solve them (a perspective very much aligned with the genealogies of philosophical discourse). In addition to all this, theory and criticism can be countenanced as one among multiple types of literary genre—texts which, in spite of their abstraction and metalinguistic impetus, also perform the oscillations between factuality and fiction that characterize other traditional literary forms (such as poetry or the novel). Whichever of these premises one decides to adopt, there is a sense of theoretical and critical literacy that scholars are expected to possess.

Our seminar addresses this demand by tracing the formation of a critical tradition in literary studies through a survey of its most important contemporary trends. We will begin by interrogating the notions of “criticism” and “theory,” their intersections and frictions, and the series of basic questions that typically frame the formulation of critical and theoretical models (for example: what is literature?, what is literature for?, what is the meaning of literature?, what is the impact of literature?, who is the reader?, etc.). We will examine the long history of approaches to these questions through a consideration of major critical trends. While we will often make references to critical categories and debates from the pre-modern and early modern eras, we will primarily devote our attention to a detailed consideration of modern and contemporary movements, such as Formalism, New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Reader-response, Cultural Studies, New Historicism, Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Postmodernism. Assignments will include critical responses, provocations, comparative analyses, leading discussion activities, and a research paper.


ENG 5640:   Cultural Studies
Culture and Animals
Dr. Kathryn Kirkpatrick

By 2020 there will be one third as many wild animals in the world as there were in 1970 (WWF and London Zoological Society). Habitat destruction, pollution, and hunting have all played their part in this ongoing catastrophe, but what role has culture played? In this class we will explore how our relationships with nonhuman animals are mediated by culture, especially literature, film, and other media. Theoretical readings will be drawn from Adams, Agamben, Baker, Cavalieri, Calarco, DeMello, Derrida, Donovan, Gruen, and Heise, among others. Fiction by Wells, Boyle, Gowdy, and Atwood, among other works and other genres.  Requirements include pre-class posts, short seminar papers, and a final research project.


David Orvis and
Başak Çandar

This co-taught graduate course focuses on how Shakespeare travels around the world. Arguably, Shakespeare is the global author par excellence. The reach of his works exceed far beyond his own time period and location. But what happens to Shakespeare when he circulates beyond his own borders, through centuries? What makes his works so globally applicable and persistent? To answer these questions, we will study a few of Shakespeare’s works themselves, paying close attention to the multiplicity of (cultural, social, historical) perspectives that exist in them. Then, we will turn our attention to different adaptations of these works from different time periods and national/linguistic contexts.  This course is designed as a means to discuss Shakespeare within a World Literature context. As such, in addition to Shakespeare scholarship, we will also consider theories of circulation and translation.

Plays may include Hamlet, Othello, and Tempest, along with adaptations from Toni Morrison, Aimé Césaire, and Salman Rushdie among others.


ENG 5910: World Literature
Dr. William Atkinson

The term World Literature suggests a literary canon or anthology that is parallel to English, Archipelagous, or American literature. In this class, we will consider why this is not so and what the interpretive implications might be. So we’ll look at some theory to best prepare us to read texts in a worldly manner.

Authors may include Ibsen, Ichiyo, Conrad, Soseki, Kafka, Tutuola, Ocampo, Machado de Assis, Borges, Lu Xun, Chang, Murakami, Coetzee, Mo Yan, Ferrante, Ngoze Adichie, etc.

Forum postings, short seminar papers, and a term paper.



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