Spring 2021

ENGL 230: Exploring Literature

MW 11:00-12:15 [CRN 22930]
Instructor: TBD

TR 9:30-10:45 [CRN 22929]
Instructor: Dr Francis X Connor

Written literature is the fundamental document of human experience: ever since we figured out how to leave marks on stone walls we’ve used text and language to record and explore our accomplishments, hopes, fears, aspirations, failings. To be an informed and engaged citizen is not simply to be aware of this eternal conversation, but to engage it, contribute to and sustain it, no matter what your personal or career goals may be.

Put simply, in this course we read, discuss, and write about literature. It will be something of an ‘English (and a bit of American) Literature’s Greatest Hits’, looking at poems, short stories, plays, and essays from <italics>Beowulf</italics> to Shakespeare to James Joyce to Zadie Smith. We’ll speak with ghosts and we’ll speak with people still among us. We’ll talk about how literature has been essential to the development of the English language, the printing press, the book trade, the internet, and social media.  Above all, we’ll dare disturb the universe, eat all the plumbs in the icebox, and justify the ways of God to man.

Online [CRN 22963]
Instructor: Michael Cole

Online [CRN 23092]
Instructor: Kerry Jones

General education humanities introductory course. ENGL 230 is a general education introductory course designed to expose students to the reading of literature in its major traditional period or genres (fiction, poetry, drama). Prerequisite (or co-requisite): ENGL 102.

ENGL 232D: Literature In the Jazz Age

Online [CRN 27021]
Instructor: Kerry Jones

General education humanities introductory course.  Prerequisite(s): ENGL 101102 and/or instructor's consent.

ENGL 232K: Images of Insanity

Online [CRN 23522 and 25116]
Instructor: Lael Ewy

General education humanities introductory courseYou wake to the sound of screams. You are immobilized, the covers of your bed cinched down so tight that you can barely breathe. Craning your neck in the half-light, you can make out a room full of white lumps on bed frames—your co-inhabitants in a world of clinical white. Here, somehow, you must begin to heal. Images of Insanity uses the work of some of America’s greatest writers to bring students the realities of overwhelming emotional experiences and extreme states of mind. Together, we challenge stereotypes and break stigma to see how creating and engaging in the literary arts can bring us deeper understanding and greater compassion for what we face when we face madness. General education introductory course. Pre- or corequisite: ENGL 102. 

ENGL 241: Jane Austen & Popular Culture

Online [CRN 24874]
Instructor: Dr Carrie Dickison 

General education humanities  course.  Prerequisite(s): ENGL 101102 and/or instructor's consent.

ENGL 273: Science Fiction

Online [CRN 22932]
Instructor: John Jones

General education humanities introductory course. Survey of key classic and contemporary works of science fiction and speculative literature, emphasizing themes and ideas common in the genre and its subgenres. Prerequisites: ENGL 101, 102.

ENGL 285: Introduction to Creative Writing

TR 11:00-12:15 [CRN 22933]
Instructor: Margaret Dawe

Delivery will be remote and synchronous, by Zoom

This is a course in literary writing, both poetry and fiction. Students will write four poems practicing specific technical skills (a poem around one image, a poem with no end-stopped lines, a poem in iambic pentameter, and a poem which uses slant rhyme) and receive suggestions for revision of those poems and turn in final versions of the poems in a poetry portfolio. For the fiction half of the semester, students will write four 500-word exercises to practice how to create characters and how to create a plot, and then write a 750-word short story in which conflict leads to a plot reversal (where events, which seem to be leading toward one conclusion, lead elsewhere) or a character reversal (where a character is transformed or revealed in a different light to himself or herself—or to the reader). Based on suggestions, the student will revise that story and include it in a fiction portfolio.


TR 5:35-6:50 [CRN 12791]
Instructor: Ben Nickol

General education humanities introductory course. Introduces the techniques and practice of imaginative writing in its varied forms, primarily literary poetry and fiction. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 101, 102.

ENGL 301: Fiction Writing

T 2:00-4:20 [CRN 22934]
Instructor: Margaret Dawe

Delivery will be remote and synchronous, by Zoom.

English 301 continues the work begun in English 285 on writing literary fiction. Students will write a series of ten exercises and two, approximately 1,500-word short stories, and revise one of those stories. The final portfolio must include your original 1,500 word story with my comments, all the exercises you have done toward the revision, and your final revision of one of the stories. The exercises help students develop their craft. Topics include how to write a first line for a story, how to create characters who are complex and have rich inner lives, how to develop the story’s plot, how to choose whether to tell parts of the story through scene or narrative summary, how to write dialogue, to name some. Prerequisite: English 285 with a grade of B- or better

ENGL 303: Poetry Writing

M 2:00-4:20 [CRN 22935]
Instructor: Sam Taylor

In this course, we will focus on writing poetry as a way of exploring the world and the self. Beyond any concern for product, this course will prioritize each student's deepening relationship to the creative process—beginning with freeing students from inhibitions, self-censorship, and fears of vulnerability, and guiding each writer to touch the world up close with the imaginative power of language. The poem will be presented as a field in which a vision of the world is enacted, a space in which anything can happen, a song in which essential experience comes to life. We will read diverse models of great poems and gradually introduce formal considerations of the craft as we share and respond constructively to each other's work.

More perhaps than any other class, this course is all about you. How do you touch the world, see the world, feel the world? What is your vision? However, while this course is about you, writing poetry is more than just a means of self-expression, more than a way of expressing our familiar selves. Rather, it can be a way of exploring the mystery of the world and of our selves beyond all our accustomed identities and concepts—a vehicle that can help us to realize a magical and transformative self that connects with all things everywhere. It is presumed that, if you enroll in this class, you seek to explore your world through words, and your total engagement with both the class and your writing process is expected. Though this class offers much opportunity for fun and playful discovery, it also demands an intense commitment on a daily level. Prerequisite: 
ENGL 285 with a grade of B- or better.

ENGL 310: The Nature of Poetry

MW 11:00-12:15 [CRN 22936]
Instructor: Dr T.J. Boynton

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Poetry is perhaps the most caricatured and misunderstood of literary forms. Pop-cultural depictions of poetry portray it as a spontaneous gushing of flowery or sentimental language devoted to wooing a love interest, rhapsodizing over one’s passions, or brooding over one’s sufferings. Anyone who has these universal motivations and experiences can write poetry; he/she need only purchase a fountain pen and moleskin notebook and find a secluded forest glade or a quiet corner of the local coffee shop. As this course will show, the popular perception of poetry is as wrong as it is cliché. Poetry is not only a serious literary form marked by extreme technical discipline and imaginative creativity; it is, per square inch of text, perhaps the most difficult one to engage with. This course will train you in the concepts and skills required to appreciate and interpret this extremely challenging literary form. We will examine a wide variety of poetic genres by a historically and nationally diverse range of poets, and in the process we shall see that, in sharp contrast to its popular image, poetry is both one of the most demanding and one of the most rewarding of human creative pursuits.  Prerequisite: ENGL 102.

ENGL 315: Introduction to English Linguistics

Online [CRN 23525]
Instructor: Dr Mythili Menon

General education advanced further study courseThe main goal of this course is twofold: (i) to introduce students to the basic methodology and results of modern linguistics, (ii) to teach analytic reasoning through the examination of linguistic phenomena and data. This means that you will be taught a basic introduction to some of the main results and ideas of modern linguistic theory as well as the scientific reasoning behind them, so that you might apply that reasoning to novel cases, both in language and in other spheres of life. Course includes diversity content. Cross-listed as LING 315.

ENGL 317: History of the English Language

Online [CRN 23525]
Instructor: Dr Mythili Menon


ENGL 323: World Literature: Rewriting the Classics

MW 12:30-1:45 [CRN 22937]
Instructor: Dr T.J. Boynton

General education humanities course.  The history of world literature is filled with instances of authors alluding to, quoting, adapting, and outright stealing from previously published works.  A special category of such forms of literary borrowing is the wholesale rewriting of classic texts.  This course will emphasize this unique type of aesthetic repackaging by highlighting contemporary rewritings of canonical or classic works.  We will read four classic source texts and their more recent, modified versions and will attempt thereby to probe the ongoing utility and relevance of classic literature to the contemporary world. Why do old stories, plays, and poems continue to speak to us, and what advantages might rewriting them hold over the creation of original works?  We will pursue this question through “classic” texts from ancient Greece and India, through contemporary rewritings from Africa to the Caribbean, and amid literary forms such as the short story, epic poetry, and the novel.  Along the way, we will also develop our skills as close readers, writers, and thinkers about literature and will gain increased awareness of and insight into the diverse cultures from which our chosen texts originate.

ENGL 330: The Nature of Fiction

MW 11:00-12:15 [CRN 22938]
Instructor: Dr Darren DeFrain

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Acquaints the student with narrative fiction in a variety of forms; the short story, short novel, and novel. Covers works of fiction drawn from different cultures and historical perspectives; focuses on the characteristics of fiction, including how a writer uses action organized into intensifying conflict and a crisis; creates characters through description, action, thought, exposition, and dialogue; creates a character’s particular experience through word choice, syntax, and metaphor, and uses setting to intensify conflict and theme. “Write with emotion!” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to himself in the margins of his rough drafts. We’ll consider the tools writers use to do that. Prerequisite: ENGL 102. 

ENGL 340: Shakespeare

TR 11:00-12:15 [CRN 26784]
Instructor: Dr Francis X Connor

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Shakespeare is deeply embedded in contemporary writing, theatre, pop culture, film, politics, educational policy, etc., so much so that whether you’ve read his works deeply or not–whether you like his works or not–you’re engaging with him and his writing. This course will take you straight to the source: looking at a variety of plays and poems (and later adaptations of the plays and poems up to the present), we’ll explore and think about why Shakespeare has managed to remain useful over the centuries. We’ll engage his writing by playing with a variety of critical perspectives including performance, book history, cultural studies, and ecocriticism. Whether you have no experience with Shakespeare at all or you have all the plays by heart, you’ll understand him a little better, and by extension will understand our world a little better. Most importantly, a rousing bit of Shakespeare in the late morning stiffens the sinews and conjures up the blood. The game's afoot! 

ENGL 346: American Multicultural Literature

TR 9:30-10:45 [CRN 16897]
Instructor: TBD

ENGL 360: Major British Writers I

TR 12:30-1:45 [CRN 22939]
Instructor: Dr Katie Lanning

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study courseThis course studies major authors in British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the late eighteenth century. In addition to tracking important developments in British literary history, we will also investigate how readers have accessed and continue to access these works. How and why do certain texts enter the canon of British literature? How do we assess works that have never made it into an anthology? What is our responsibility as scholars to preserve and explore centuries-old works of literature? We will approach this survey of British literature in three units: Medieval, Early Modern, and Restoration/Eighteenth Century.  Prerequisite: ENGL 102.

ENGL 361: Major British Writers II

Online  [CRN 24696]
Instructor: Dr Mary Waters

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course.

The second half of the British literature survey, covering the period from 1789 through the twentieth century, includes some of the most important and best loved of all British writers, many of them writing about some of the most contentious issues in British history—issues such as women’s rights, labor reform, the abolition of the slave trade, social responsibility, technological progress, gender relations, nationalism and patriotism, and the possibilities for a spiritual life. We will read works in all major literary genres—poetry, fiction, drama, essay, autobiography—by writers such as William Wordsworth, Olaudah Equiano, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Keats, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and many others.

The course will be fully online.  An optional Zoom discussion section may be available.  
Prerequisites:  Completion of English 101 and English 102 or equivalents with a grade of C- or better.   

ENGL 363: Major American Writers II

MW 11:00-12:15 [CRN 24858]
Instructor: Kerry Jones

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. This course will survey the major trends in American literature from the end of the nineteenth century to the present, focusing on realist, modern, and postmodern innovations in short fiction, poetry, drama, and the novel. Since our course will begin with the period in which the United States emerged as a world power, we will pay attention to the cultural conditions that made the twentieth century “the American Century” and how the major writers of the period have responded and continue to respond to that context.   Prerequisite: ENGL 102.


ENGL 378: Technologies of the Book

TR 11:00-12:15 [CRN 25399]
Instructor: Dr Katie Lanning

General education humanities and fine arts advanced issues and perspectives course. Books are not simply inert accumulations of paper and ink, nor are they neutral vessels for conveying the work of an author. Rather, books are objects that themselves convey meaning; they are collaborative technologies, a nexus where writers, visual artists, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs join their particular skills to materially embody a text for public consumption. They tell stories about the cultures that produced them, the people who used them, and how people valued them over time. This course will approach books in this spirit: it will instruct students in thinking about books as physical objects (paper, ink, dust jackets, screens, etc.), about the roles that books have played in shaping culture and society, and about the people involved in creating and sustaining manuscript and print cultures. As a public-facing course, this class will challenge students to present their work to real audiences and to engage with local spaces like WSU Special Collections. Through a mixture of lectures, discussions, presentations, and labs, we will think about the history and future of books, learn how to describe and analyze physical features of books, discover the development of text technologies from the beginnings of humanity to the present, and think about the impact of the book – material, digital, and otherwise – on the various communities we inhabit. This course includes both class sections and regular workshops in Ablah's Special Collections library. Prerequisites/Corequisites: ENGL 101 and 102.

ENGL 401: Fiction Workshop

W 2:00-4:20 [CRN 22941]
Instructor: Ben Nickol

Advanced course. Manuscripts are critiqued to develop skill in writing, rewriting, and polishing literary fiction. Students write short stories and learn how to critique works-in-progress to help one another draft and revise fiction with the aim of producing intellectually and emotionally compelling and beautiful work. Along with student stories, the class reads the fiction of professional writers and writes a weekly 500 word fiction exercise that teaches how to break the process of writing into do-able steps. Emphasis is on honest assessment of writing quality and on encouraging each student writer’s ambition and tenacity. The goals are to write stories structured dramatically around a protagonist who experiences internal and external conflict and which have a beginning, middle, and end and to write with increased control of punctuation, grammar, word choice syntax, and paragraph coherence and unity. Prerequisite: ENGL 301. Repeatable for credit.Prerequisite(s): ENGL 301.

ENGL 403: Poetry Writing

M 2:00-4:20 [CRN 22942]
Instructor: Sam Taylor

Students who have already taken ENGL 303: Poetry Writing can continue their exploration of poetry in ENGL 403. Students in ENGL 403 will participate in all activities of ENGL 303 (see above) and will also develop a portfolio of work that they will submit to journals and magazines. (Course may be repeated for credit) Prerequisite: ENGL 303.

ENGL 5O5: Creative Nonfiction

M 4:30-6:55 [CRN 26982]
Instructor: Ben Nickol

ENGL 517: Scriptwriting

MW 2-3:15 [CRN 24876]
Instructor: TBA

ENGL 576: Advanced Studies In the Graphic Novel

Online 4:30-6:50
Dr Darren DeFrain

ENGL 579: Digital Humanities

W 4:30-6:55
Dr Mary Waters

What questions might you be able to answer if you could read every book published in a single century?  What would you learn if you could lay a novel out in geographical space?  What understanding could you gain if you could visually break down and compare the language in two volumes of poetry?  Does reading change if you can only do it on a computer? 
The term “Digital Humanities” describes an amalgamation of interdisciplinary approaches and practices for preserving, studying, and enjoying thousands of years of intellectual and artistic human achievement.  The newest in humanities fields, Digital Humanities attracts much research funding, brings traditional scholarly disciplines into dialog, and appears in many humanities job ads.  This seminar will survey some of the major debates, questions, and practices in literary studies.  Assignments will include essays engaging in theoretical debates about digital scholarship, evaluation of existing scholarly materials, hands on experience with XML encoding and Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) guidelines, and transcribing and encoding existing literary texts for digital archive publication.  No prior technical background needed. 
The course will take advantage of its digital subject matter partly by using a hybrid format where traditional face-to-face class time is supplemented and to some extent replaced by online materials and work.  Attend carefully to your syllabus for days when no class meeting will be held.  Until public health conditions permit face to face meetings, synchronous meetings will be held on Zoom.  

ENGL 580: Special Topics: Ear-Bleeding Kansas: Postpunk in the Sunflower State 1979-1995

M 4:30-6:55  [CRN 26983]
Instructor: Dr Francis X Connor

Yes, there was punk in Kansas. This seminar will investigate, recover, and analyze our state’s contributions to one of the most fertile periods of American popular music, the indie and postpunk movements of the 80s and early 90s. To begin we’ll think about some of the foundational ideas in cultural and subcultural studies from Stuart Hall, Angela McRobbie, Dick Hebdige, Pierre Bourdieu, Sarah Thornton, and others. Additionally, we will consider the concepts of ‘Kansas’ and ‘the Midwest’, most specifically how these regions are often imagined in American culture and music writing. We will apply these considerations to the textual archive of Kansas’ punk scenes, including fanzines, interviews, essays, videos, as well as the musical artifacts themselves (that is, records and CDs). Enrollment is limited. Check out the hype trailer here! Limited to 10 Students.

ENGL 585: Writer's Tutorial: Prose Fiction

TBA [CRN 24862]
Instructor: TBD.
Please contact  Sam Taylor for information and permission to enroll.

ENGL 590: Senior Seminar

T 2:00-4:20 [CRN 22943]
Instructor: Dr T.J. Boynton

This is a required capstone course for the English major and should be taken during a student's final year of study. Prerequisite: completion of 18 hours toward the major. Not available for graduate credit. [N.B.: please contact the Undergraduate Coordinator, Fran Connor, if you need to enroll in this class.]


ENGL 680: Theory and Practice in Composition 

T 4:30-6:50 [CRN 12816]
Instructor: Dr Carrie Dickison 

Introduces theories of rhetoric, research in composition and writing programs, and practices in schools and colleges. Students investigate the process of writing, analyze varieties and samples of school writing, and develop their own writing skills by writing, revising and evaluating their own and others' work. Designed especially for prospective and practicing teachers; may not be taken for credit by students with credit in ENGL 780.