Course Offerings


Summer 2023 Course Offerings (Graduate Level)


Engl 580AG: Young Adult Literature

Rebecah Bechtold

CRN 32148

This special topics course explores representations of childhood as depicted in popular young adult novels published in the United States, including Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick (1868), Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868), Lois Lowry’s post-apocalyptic Gathering Blue (2000), Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give (2017), Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (2015), and Elizabeth Acevedo’s free verse novel The Poet X (2018). Serves an elective requirement and can also be considered a contemporary class in some situations. 

Engl 512: Studies in Fiction (Speculative Fiction)

Carrie Dickison

CRN 32151

Science fiction. Fantasy, Dystopian and utopian literature. All these genres—and more—fall under the umbrella of speculative fiction. Broadly speaking, speculative fiction seeks to envision different worlds and ways of being. This class will focus on speculative fiction that imagine alternative forms of community and belonging, with attention to intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Assigned novels will include Parable of the Sower (1993) by Octavia Butler, Station Eleven (2014) by Emily St. John Mandel (2014), A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (2016), and The Space Between Worlds (2020) by Micaiah Johnson. Serves an elective requirement and can also be considered a contemporary class in some situations. 

New Travel Seminar (!)

Engl 580L: Travel Seminar (London, England)

Fran Connor

CRN 32276

Please contact Dr. Connor with questions about the travel seminar. Seats are currently full with the plan to potentially offer a second travel seminar in 2025. Serves an elective requirement. 


Fall 2023 Course Offerings (Graduate Level)


Engl 524: Restoration and 18th Century Literature (Old New Media: Information Societies in the Long Eighteenth Century)

Katie Lanning

CRN 13328

Mass media. Information overload. Going viral. You’ve likely heard these phrases describe our current moment, and the variety of new digital and virtual media that seems to have overwhelmed us with new ways to communicate. But how might these phrases also work to describe media cultures long before the invention of the Internet? Our course takes this question as its driving theme, studying the surprisingly vast array of texts and media forms that populated – or, indeed, crowded – the long eighteenth century. How did audiences grapple with an overwhelming amount of reading material? How did different print forms clash or harmonize as they developed across the century? To best understand how eighteenth-century readers encountered what we now consider canonical texts within a busy and complex print culture, we will be working with a range of diverse media each week rather than focusing on one text at a time. We will also make use of digital archives to understand how our readings looked (often times in many differing forms and appearances), to construct a more complete picture of the eighteenth-century’s diverse media landscape, and to discover ways our new media can engage with the “old new media” of the long eighteenth century. Serves the pre-1900 requrement, British requirement, and can also be considered an elective. 

Engl 700: Introduction to Graduate Study

Rebeccah Bechtold

CRN 15004

This course serves as an intensive introduction to the research and analytic methods prevalent in English Studies. It provides new graduate students with a foundation in the history, methodologies, debates, and traditions of the English discipline, including the major theoretical and disciplinary issues associated with the field. The course will provide an overview of the state of the profession, the structure of graduate studies, and the potential career options available to the MA, MFA, and future PhD student. Students will learn to navigate and practice the kinds of intellectual work commonly expected in the field, translating this acquired knowledge into academic, professional, and community environments. Required of all first year students; there's an in-person option as well.

Engl 703: Seminar in American Literature I (American Methodologies)

Rebeccah Bechtold

CRN 13330

In Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies (2014), Dana Luciano and Ivy Wilson observe a “renewed vitality” in early American literary studies which they attribute to the increasing prevalence of “minoritarian” modes of inquiry (critical race and ethnic studies, feminist and gender studies, labor studies, disability studies, to name a few). The field’s embrace of varied methodologies certainly has encouraged a “kind of thinking that takes place across, between, and together.” Indeed scholars of early American literature are always “on the move,” looking for ways other disciplines and methodologies can benefit our field of study.This seminar approaches the study of early American literature through this multidisciplinary framework. Over the course of the semester, the class will “roam the field,” working with several different methodological trends in American scholarship. These critical traditions will become the foundation for our weekly discussions of major nineteenth century American authors—from the sentimental Maria S. Cummins to the salacious George Lippard. Serves the pre-1900 requirement, American requirement, and can also be considered an elective.

Engl 728: Seminar in Modern British Literature

T.J. Boynton  

CRN 16737      

 The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries in Europe and America form one of history’s greatest eras of artistic creativity and experimentation.  The unprecedented innovations in literature, painting, music, and other, new media such as film that arose during this period together go by the name of “Modernism”—whereby, in the oft-quoted words of Ezra Pound, artists and writers in Europe and the U.S. sought to take the traditional way of doing things and “make it new.”  This course will offer a survey of Modernisms from two neighboring, yet very different locales: England and Ireland.  We will move through the period from roughly 1890 to World War II via a series of paired English and Irish authors: Joseph Conrad and Oscar Wilde; Virginia Woolf and James Joyce; T.S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats; and Jean Rhys and Samuel Beckett.  These pairings will enable us: to engage with some of the most important works and some of the foremost figures of modern literature in English; to compare the literary sensibilities, traditions, and achievements of the two nations; and to form an overview of the major trends and concerns of Modernism as a whole.  Serves the post-1900 requirement, British requirement, and can also be an elective.

In-Person Classes 

Engl 504: American Literature II

Jean Griffith

CRN 16788

MW 12:30-1:45pm

Serves a period requirement and the American requirement; can also be considered an elective. 

English 516A: Jane Austen

Mary Waters

CRN 13882

W 4:30-6:50

This course will examine one of the most popular and accomplished novelists of all time, focusing on her statements about politics, manners, society, and gender relations through her acute and often critical depictions of the ordinary.  To contest the all-too-frequent classification of Austen as an eighteenth-century novelist, we will pay particular attention to the elements that place her within the context of the Romantic period, when she wrote and published.  We will read all six of Austen’s major novels, some Austen criticism, and some supporting cultural and theoretical texts. This class is designated as hybrid, though the expectation is that it will meet face to face through the semester.  If necessary for personal or public health reasons, some sessions could revert to synchronous Zoom or asynchronous online activity. Serves an elective requirement.  

Engl 533: Contemporary Literature

Margaret Dawe

TR 2-3:25pm

CRN 16692

We’ll read American short stories and novels written since 1945 focusing on how writers develop character, action, setting, language, and theme and on how their works respond to the events of their time. Serves an elective or contemporary requirement.  

Engl 680: Theory and Practice in Composition

Carrie Dickison

CRN 12170

W 4:30-6:55

This course will introduce you to theories of rhetoric and writing, major research questions in the field of composition studies, and best practices for teaching writing in schools and colleges. We will investigate writing processes, analyze varieties and examples of student writing, and hone our own writing skills by drafting, revising, and evaluating our own and others’ work. As we read significant publications in the field, we will continually consider the relationship between theory and classroom practice. Assignments will give you experience reading challenging pedagogical and theoretical texts; posing complex and worthwhile questions about the teaching of writing; performing research and synthesizing your findings; drafting course materials for current or future writing classes; reading instructional texts critically; and responding effectively to student writing. Topics of discussion will include writing about difficult texts; using writing as a reading strategy; teaching sentence structure and grammar; and responding to and assessing student writing. This course is designed especially for prospective and practicing teachers. Serves an elective requirement. 


Engl 700: Introduction to Graduate Study

Jean Griffith

CRN 14651

M 4:30-6:50pm

Bridging the gap between your experiences as an undergraduate and what will be expected of you as a graduate student, English 700 introduces new graduate students to the process of conducting scholarly research in the humanities and the principles that currently govern its production. The course will also introduce you to key terms and concepts of literary and cultural theory as well as their practical application in criticism. During the course of the semester, we will also help you to begin to see yourselves in professional contexts, both academic and non-academic, and acquaint you with the challenges and the opportunities that await you upon graduation. Lastly, this course will examine contemporary debates about the value of the humanities and what is at stake in these debates. 
Required of all first year students; there's an online version as well. 

Engl 780: Advance Theory and Practice in Composition

Darren Defrain

CRN 12175

R 2:00-4:20pm

For teaching assistants in English. Review of new theories of rhetoric, recent research in composition, and new promising developments in composition programs in schools and colleges. Students are given practice in advanced writing problems, situations and techniques and may propose projects for further special study. Serves an elective requirement; is reserved exclusively for GTAs.

Engl 781: Cooperative Education


CRN 12338

Serves an elective requirement. 


Capstone Projects

English 890: Master’s Thesis

A capstone option for the degree, the Master’s Thesis is intended to be a demonstration of the student’s ability to formulate a problem in literary study, to pursue its solution through appropriate scholarly, critical, and analytical techniques, and to present the results in suitable written form. Although the essay need not be thought of as a publishable contribution to knowledge, it should develop a new interpretation, reinterpret available information, present a new approach to the given material, and/or refute or modify some interpretation(s) previously appearing in print.  Prior to enrollment in English 890 (thesis hours), the candidate will submit to the Graduate Coordinator a prospectus, devised in cooperation with the director and second reader. A preliminary bibliography of primary and secondary sources, including recent and important scholarship must be attached. Students typically take 6 credit hours of thesis work spread over two semesters. Needs graduate coordinator approval for enrollment.

Engl 895: Master’s Portfolio

A capstone option for the degree, the Master’s Portfolio is designed for students interested in developing documents more reflective of the diverse work they have completed while enrolled in our degree program. The portfolio should present the student’s best work and be reflective of their course of study. The final portfolio must be ready for faculty review by December 1st for a fall enrollment or May 1st for a spring enrollment. In order to enroll in Portfolio hours, students must submit a checklist (see Graduate Coordinator) with signatures from their assessment committee of three readers, including the Graduate Coordinator. Students take 3 credit hours of portfolio work either in the Spring or Fall of their second year. Needs graduate coordinator approval for enrollment.