Course Offerings


Summer 2024 Course Offerings (Graduate Level)


Engl 522: Renaissance Literature

Michael Behrens

CRN 32365

Works by writers of the 16th through the mid-17th centuries, often thematically or historically focused. Readings may include poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction prose. Prerequisite(s): junior standing and one college literature course, or instructor's consent. Fulfills elective or pre-1900 period course requirement.

Engl 580AJ: Civil War Literature

Rebecah Bechtold

CRN 32366

This special topics course examines the literary culture that emerged during the Civil War years, exploring how early American writers envisioned the political, creative, and personal impact the war would have on American identity. Our conversations will include discussions of how early Americans understood race, class, disability and the body, definitions of womanhood and manhood, violence and death, sacrifice, and notions of freedom, among other central concerns. We also will be working with primarily literary texts—examining the poetry and short fiction of both prominent and relatively unknown American authors. Students will be expected to post weekly responses to our readings and work toward a final literary or pedagogical archival project based on the periodical culture of the war years. Fulfills elective requirement and could be substituted in for pre-1900 period course requirement.


Fall 2024 Course Offerings (Graduate Level)


Engl 516B: Emily Dickinson

Rebeccah Bechtold

CRN 17201

“Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?” asked Emily Dickinson in 1862. This course hopes the answer is no as we’ll be spending our semester working with Dickinson’s poetry. Throughout the semester we will work with her writing—treating it as an object with textual, oral/aural, and tactile elements—while also considering its placement within the everyday landscape of nineteenth-century America.  Fulfills elective course requirement. 

Engl 517: Script Writing I

Jeannine Russell

CRN 13336

General education humanities course. Cross-listed as THEA 516. Writing scripts for performance. Emphasizes both verbal and visual aspects of scriptwriting. If possible, the scripts are given in-class readings by actors. Fulfills elective requirement.

Engl 527: Victorian Literature

Carrie Dickison

CRN 14200

From Frankenstein's Monster to Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde to Dracula, many of our most enduring monsters emerged from nineteenth-century texts. This seminar examines these figures and their twentieth-century counterparts through a range of theoretical lens, including critical race and queer theory, in order to trace the evolution of the monstrous "other."  Texts include The Vampyre (1816), Frankenstein (1818), Carmilla (1872), The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), The Beetle (1897), and Dracula (1897), as well as film adaptations like The Beetle (1919), Frankenstein (1931), and Dracula (1931). Fulfills elective or pre-1900 period course requirement. 

Engl 533: Contemporary Literature

Jason Allen

CRN 15888

Modern literature, primarily British and American, since 1950. Subjects announced each semester. Repeatable once for credit. Prerequisite(s): junior standing and one college literature course. Fulfills elective or post-1900 period course requirement.

Engl 665: Advanced History of the English Language

Mythili Menon

CRN 17046

In-depth historical study of the English language tracing the history of how the language has changed across time. Considers Old, Middle, Modern and American English as well as newer World Englishes. Addresses the nature and mechanisms of language change over time and the social, political and other historical conditions related to such changes. Focuses on the particular phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic changes that have happened diachronically, while touching on the literature and culture of the different historical periods. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 315/LING 315. Fulfills elective requirement.

 Engl 686: Professional, Technical, and Scientific Writing and Editing

Michael Behrens

CRN 17057

Introduces students to editing and writing in professional, scientific, technical and medical fields. Through careful reading and analysis of exemplary technical and scientific documents, students gain exposure to numerous writing genres produced for different audiences and contexts. They practice writing in several forms, which may include research summaries, press releases, procedures, specifications, infographics, public service announcements, fact sheets and popular science writing. Assignments help strengthen students' rhetorical awareness, as well as the precision, clarity and readability of their writing. Fulfills elective requirement.

Engl 700: Introduction to Graduate Study

Rebeccah Bechtold

CRN 14657

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 (online or in-person version) of all first-year students.



Engl 515: Studies in Shakespeare - Shakespeare's Books

Fran Connor

CRN 14199

R 4:30-6:50

Shakespeare made his reputation and fortune as man of the theatre, his work written for performance, his plays familiar to us on stage, film, and television. However, he also lived in the midst of a massive revolution in media, with the printing press barely a century old and the commercial book trade slowly developing. By the time he established himself as a professional playwright and poet in the 1590s,  a robust trade in literary publishing has emerged; Shakespeare’s authorial debut was a printed poem. By the time he retired from the theatre in 1611 playwrights and theatre companies has begun to use print to  supplement and promote their stage productions.  Seven years after his death the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays codified Shakespeare as a major canonical writer, a status sustained by publishers to the present day.

The technologies Shakespeare used to write his work–pens, ink, paper–remain around us, albeit in very different forms. Similarly, the means he used to publish his work–print and theatre–remain, although, particularly over the last century, these have been radically transformed by the emergence of mass media (radio, television, film) and digital innovations (word processing, the internet, social media). To experience Shakespeare in our period, then, means engaging both the social and material circumstances in which Shakespeare worked and the social and material circumstances in which we work. Ben Jonson, a frenemy of Shakespeare, would claim that Shakespeare was not for an age, but for all time; however, this is only true because his work has proven adaptable throughout all the media revolutions of his lifetime and beyond.


Our work in this class will be fundamentally twofold: 1) it is an introduction to  in which we will read a representative sampling of his work and develop the reading and writing skills and strategies, along with the historical background, that will allow you to continue to read all of Shakespeares work deeply and creatively; 2) our key framework for reading Shakespeare will be through books. We will consider both how he imagines books and literary writing in plays and poems such as Hamlet, The Tempest, and Shakespeare's Sonnets, and how Shakespeare's reputation as an ultra-canonical English writer was shaped by the publishing of his work from his own handpress age to our own digital age. We'll draw a bit from Book History (thinking about how books were/are made, and how Shakespeare operated within the circuits of book publication) and from textual theory (what is an author’s ‘work’, and what happens to it as it is published?) Expect a substantial final project, regular small research and writing assignments, a couple of exams for assessment. Fulfills elective requirement and cannot be substituted for a period class. 

Engl 521 Medieval Literature

Bill Woods

CRN 16995

TR 11:00-12:15

Works by writers of the eighth to 15th centuries, often thematically or historically focused. Readings may include lyric poetry, epic, romance, saga and drama. Prerequisite(s): junior standing and one college literature course, or instructor's consent. Fulfills elective or pre-1900 period course requirement.

Engl 680: Theory and Practice in Composition

Carrie Dickison

CRN 12077

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. Fulfills elective requirement.

Engl 700: Introduction to Graduate Study

Jean Griffith

CRN 14657

M 4:30-6:50pm

Prepares students to perform effectively in graduate classes in English. Covers: (1) basic bibliographical tools; (2) terminology both technical and historical; (3) various approaches to the study of literature, such as intrinsic analysis of a literary work, the relationships of biography to literary study, and the relevance of other disciplines, such as psychology, to literature; and (4) the writing of interpretative and research essays. Maintains a balance between criticism and research throughout the semester. Fulfills the university's professional and scholarly integrity training requirement covering research misconduct, publication practices and responsible authorship, conflict of interest and commitment, ethical issues in data acquisition, management, sharing and ownership for students who receive a grade of B or better. Required (online or in-person version) of all first-year students.

Engl 780: Advance Theory and Practice in Composition

Darren Defrain

CRN 12082

T 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. Fulfills 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.

English 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.