Course Offerings

Spring 2016

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Eco-Writing

ENGL 207 - Green, Leah N.

An expeditionary course in environmental creative writing. Readings include canonical writers such as Frost, Emerson, Auden, Rumi, and Muir, as well as contemporary writers such as W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Janice Ray, Gary Snyder, Annie Dillard, Tich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry, and Robert Hass. We take weekly "expeditions" including creative writing hikes, a landscape painting exhibit, and a Buddhist monastery. "Expeditionary courses" sometimes involve moderate to challenging hiking. We research the science and social science of the ecosystems explored, as well as the language of those ecosystems. The course has two primary aspects: (1) reading and literary analysis of eco-literature (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry) and (2) developing skill and craft in creating eco-writing through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in weekly "writing workshop."

Making Comics

ENGL 215 - Beavers, Leigh A. / Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A study of the writing form of graphic narratives, and a studio art course in the making of graphic narratives. The course is taught by two faculty members, one focused on creative writing, one on visual art. Students study and compose scripts for comics and produce actual comics based on those scripts. The course begins with an overview of the comics form, using a range of graphic novels. Possible texts include: Panel One: Comic Book Scripts; Sleepwalk and Other Stories; Pretty Deadly Vol.1; In the Shadow of No Towers ; and Through the Woods, Signal to Noise.

Children's Literature

ENGL 234 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

A study of works written in English for children. The course treats major writers, thematic and generic groupings of texts, and children's literature in historical context. Readings may include poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books, including picture books that dispense with text.

Spring 2016, ENGL 234-01: Children's Literature (4). This course reads American children's literature from the mid-19th century to the present, focusing on the ways that children's and young adult novels have engaged in political and social issues. How do novels push children to understand themselves in relation to their community and nation? To what extent do they attempt to shape readers' political philosophies? How subversive is YA literature, and how subversive should it be? Novels may include Little Women (Alcott), To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee), Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Taylor), The Chocolate War (Cormier), Fallen Angels (Myers), Shipbreaker (Bacigalupi), Little Brother (Doctorow). We also watch adaptations of popular young adult novels, including The Hunger Games, The Outsiders , and To Kill a Mockingbird . (HL) Bufkin.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Adams, Edward A.

Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: J.R.R. Tolkien's Epic Fantasies from German Philology to Hollywood CGI (4). Tolkien's epic novels and historical fantasies along with Peter Jackson's spectacular films have made these texts and, more importantly, the narrative they tell among the most significant cultural events of the 20th and now the 21st centuries. This course focuses upon the original novels and films and frames that dual achievement by looking back to Tolkien's roots in 19th-century romance fiction and historical philology and ahead to the role played by Jackson's adaptations in the development of contemporary CGI films and technology. It highlights Tolkien's achievement in its own terms, in how his fictions transformed major 19th-century historical, scholarly, and romance traditions, and in how it enabled key 21st century cultural, artistic, and technological achievements. (HL) Adams.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Alexander, Kaelin B.

Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, ENGL 292-02: Topics in British Literature: Queered Science (4). We often assume that the sciences are, or should be, objective. In this course, however, we explore how scientific inquiry has always been vibrantly erotic through critical investigations of the science of sexuality and the sexuality of science. Taking an interdisciplinary and historically broad approach, we explore how notions of sex/gender, sexuality, and race have unfolded through scientific frameworks, and examine how queer ideas have transformed such epistemologies in turn. For example, we examine anachronistic and cutting-edge studies of gender and sexuality, discuss how posthuman politics speak to extant queer life forms, and chart how technological innovations have enabled LGBTQ philosophers to imagine decidedly queerer worlds. Course texts may include novels, artifacts, films, and nonfiction science writing. (HL) Alexander.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Oliver, Bill

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: The American Short Story (4). This course is a study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic and international, tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th century. We also explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work--Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We examine how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) Oliver.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Pickett, Holly C.

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: The Crux of Shakespeare's King Lear (4). Critic Doug Lanier has called King Lear "the Mount Everest of Shakespeare--often forbiddingly bleak and challenging, but for those who scale it, offer[ing] an unparalleled vista on man's condition and its own form of rough beauty." The course analyzes King Lear from a variety of angles: its textual history and variants, sources, performance history, and legacy in film and literature. The course includes a digital humanities project investigating a textual crux in the play using a variety of digital tools. We also take a field trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. (HL) Pickett.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Keen, Suzanne P.

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, ENGL 380-02: Reading James Joyce's Ulysses (4). Appropriate for English majors for Later British or post-1900 distribution. Students in this seminar undertake a careful reading of James Joyce's Ulysses . We work together to understand Joyce's narrative techniques, interpret his major characters and track their movements through space, analyze patterns of allusion to Homer, Shakespeare, and other writers, and explicate passages of Joyce's peculiar language. Each student serves as "discussion leader" for one episode of Ulysses (between Calypso and Oxen of the Sun). Some of these broader topics inform our discussions: the publication history of Ulysses; censorship and the law; Joyce and religion; the controversies about the textual editing of Ulysses ; Joyce and Irish nationalism; gender in Ulysses ; Joyce and Orientalism; postcolonial Joyce. Afternoon screenings of two film versions of Ulysses -- Nora (a film about Joyce's partner and model for Molly, Nora Barnacle) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (yet another text full of allusions to The Odyssey ) -- supplement the primary reading. Course website at http://sakai.wlu.edu . (HL) Keen

Winter 2016

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Smith, Rodney T.

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Brodie, Laura F.

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Oliver, Bill

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Miranda, Deborah A.

A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Ball, Gordon V.

A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

The Novel

ENGL 232 - Alexander, Kaelin B.

An introductory study of the novel written in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of modern narrative.

Winter 2016, ENGL 232: The Novel: The Marriage Plot and Its Discontents (3). Lord Byron once noted that "All tragedies are finished by a death, all comedies are ended by marriage." Reflecting on the generically normative notion that marriage is the happiest ending for relationships--both on and off the page--we might ask not just "Does narrative have a sexuality?" but also "Is narrative straight?" In this course, we explore how the English-language novel developed in tandem with shifting understandings of sexuality, kinship, and love. At the same time, we discover forms of narrative life and love that are ignored or undervalued by novels that "play it straight." Thus, we encounter texts whose characters and erotics deviate from the usual demands of narrative, and work instead towards queer ends. (HL) Alexander .

Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank) / Rowe, Barbara L.

An introductory study of film in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of film.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

Why does King Arthur continue to fascinate and haunt our cultural imagination? This course surveys the origins and histories of Arthurian literature, beginning with Celtic myths, Welsh tales, and Latin chronicles. We then examine medieval French and English traditions that include Chrétien de Troyes's Perceval , the lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , the Alliterative Morte Arthure , and Malory's Le Morte Darthur . In addition to historical and literary contexts, we explore theoretical issues surrounding the texts, especially the relationship between history and fantasy, courtly love and adultery, erotic love and madness, romance and chivalry, gender and agency, and Europe and its Others. Finally, we investigate Arthurian medievalisms in Victorian England and in American (post)modernity through Tennyson, Twain, Barthelme, and Ishiguro. Along the way, we view various film adaptations of Arthurian legends. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Introduction to African American Literature (3). This course surveys literature by black writers from slavery to hip-hop. Beginning with the poems of Phillis Wheatley, this course analyzes writings conditioned by slavery, freedom, oppression, and music. Genres include novels, poetry, short stories, plays, and song lyrics. Interested in questions that connect and disconnect artists such as Langston Hughes and Nas, Pauline Hopkins and Nicki Minaj, one of the course's missions is to provide students with an overview of African American literary movements and the energies that inform them. Writers include Frederick Douglass, Frances Harper, Paul Laurence Dunbar, George Schuyler, Zora Neal Hurston, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gloria Naylor, Notorious B.I.G., Queen Latifah, MK Asante, and others. This course meets the requirements for the Africana Studies minor. (HL) Campbell.

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, ENGL 293-03: Topics in American Literature: American Gilded Ages: Reading the 19th and 21st Centuries (3). Are we living in a second Gilded Age? Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein joke on Portlandia that "The dream of the 1890s is alive in Portland," and Comedy Central's Another Period mines the first Gilded Age for laughs by depicting the Vanderbilt-like Bellacourt family in the reality-TV mode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians . This course examines the connections between the late-19th century and today. We consider muckraking, environmentalism, serialization, and literary naturalism to compare the cultural forms, historical contexts and socio-political issues that resonate both today and at the turn of the previous century. Course texts include The Jungle (Sinclair), Nickel and Dimed (Ehrenreich), The House of Mirth (Wharton), The Water Knife (Bacigalupi), and the HBO series The Wire. (HL) Bufkin .

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Detective Fiction; American Indian Literatures; Revenge; and David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism.

Winter 2016, ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Superhero Comics (3). This research-intensive writing course focuses on the character type of the superhero as featured in graphic narratives. Students study both the genre of the superhero and the formal elements of comics as a hybrid art combining words and pictures. Early texts include Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman episodes in Action Comics , and Bill Finger and Bob Kane's Batman episodes in Detective Comics . Later texts trace the development of superhero narratives as a genre and research paper. (HL) Gavaler .

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Pickett, Holly C.

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Detective Fiction; American Indian Literatures; Revenge; and David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism.

Winter 2016, ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Shakespeare's Magic (3). In this gateway course, students focus on three of Shakespeare's most magical plays--A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth , and The Tempest . We put these plays in the context of other portrayals of magic in early modern England. We have a chance to see live professional productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Actors from the London Stage) and The Tempest (American Shakespeare Center). Students develop independent research projects while exploring different theoretical perspectives on the plays. In the process, we explore as a class not only Shakespeare's depiction of magic but also the magic of Shakespeare. (HL) Pickett .

Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 308 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A workshop in writing fiction, requiring regular writing and outside reading.

Gender, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages

ENGL 312 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A study of the complex nexus of gender, love, and marriage in medieval legal, theological, political, and cultural discourses. Reading an eclectic range of texts--such as romance, hagiography, fabliau, (auto)biography, conduct literature, and drama--we consider questions of desire, masculinity, femininity, and agency, as well as the production and maintenance of gender roles and of emotional bonds within medieval conjugality. Authors include Chaucer, Chretien de Troyes, Heldris of Cornwall, Andreas Capellanus, Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pisan. Readings in Middle English or in translation. No prior knowledge of medieval languages necessary.

Literature by Women of Color

ENGL 359 - Miranda, Deborah A.

This course focuses on the intersection of race and gender as they meet in the lives and identities of contemporary women of color via literature: African-Americans, Native Americans, Chicanas, Asian-Americans, and mixed bloods, or 'mestizas.' Our readings, discussions and writings focus on the work that "coming to voice" does for women of color, and for our larger society and world. Students read a variety of poetry, fiction, and autobiography in order to explore some of the issues most important to and about women of color: identity, histories, diversity, resistance and celebration. Literary analyses-i.e., close readings, explications and interpretations-are key strategies for understanding these readings.

The Modern American Novel

ENGL 368 - Conner, Marc C.

A careful examination of the great achievements in the American novel in the early 20th century. We focus particularly on the work of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, and Wharton. Key texts include Winesburg, Ohio, The Age of Innocence, The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Sound and the Fury , and Go Down, Moses . Assignments include a long research essay on one of the novels of the course.

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Warren, James P. (Jim)

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: The Slave Narrative (3). This course deals with one of the most popular genres of 19th-century American Literature. Detailing the fictionalized life experiences and escape of the enslaved, the slave narrative is a genre that has been reshaped throughout the 20th century, signaling the aesthetic and material legacy of slavery. Along with analyzing literary and filmic depictions of slave punishment and violence, this course examines the 19th-century transatlantic circulation of slave narratives, the political and culture work they performed, and their lasting legacy in American literature. Authors include Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, Harriet Jacobs, Octavia Butler, Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, and Sherley Anne Williams. Also engaging slavery's archive, the class visits Thomas Jefferson's second plantation home, Poplar Forest. (HL) Campbell .

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Alexander, Kaelin B.

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Feeling Victorian (3). Top hats, trains, and triple-decker novels: the Victorian era is often envisioned as overcrowded with objects. And yet, 19th-century England's rapid industrialization brought about not only a revolution in the circulation of commodities, but also in the social life of emotion. As an introduction to Victorian literature and culture, this course charts the complicated relationship between feelings and things. In each unit we explore how a specific emotion helped to organize and transform a key aspect of Victorian society, from economy and empire to home life and education. Through our encounters with Victorian writing, painting, fashion, architecture, and ephemera, we track how the Victorian rhetoric of feeling continues to shape our ideas about gender, race, class, and sexuality. (HL) Alexander .

Advanced Seminar

ENGL 380 - Warren, James P. (Jim)

A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, ENGL 380-03: Advanced Seminar: Forms of the New: Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson (3). This seminar gives an in-depth reading of the two greatest American poets of the 19th century. Some readers consider Whitman and Dickinson the two greatest American poets of any century because they were, in a wholly original way, new. In order to test their newness and their greatness, we place both poets in the historical context of the 19th century, and we also consider the critical context of the century since their deaths. We find many opportunities for close reading, for scholarly research, and for critical discussion. (HL) Warren .

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Ball, Gordon V.

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Oliver, Bill

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Brodie, Laura F.

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Winter 2016, ENGL 413-01: Pulitzer Prize Winning Fiction (3) . A study of the history of the Pulitzer Prize and recent winners and finalists in the fiction category. What do recent Pulitzer winners reveal about contemporary trends in fiction? How did the winner in any particular year compare to the other finalists? Why was no award given in 2013? Readings include Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad , Diaz's Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao , Harding's Tinkers , possibly Tartt's Goldfinch , and various other winners and nominees. (HL) Brodie.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Winter 2016, ENGL 413-02: Shakespearean Women (3). Arguably, Shakespeare's plays raise--more than any other theme--the problem of gender and the relationships between men and women. During the first eight weeks of the term, we focus on four categories of Shakespearean women: daughters, girlfriends, wives, and mothers. These groupings are not mutually exclusive; many plays trace the transition of a character from one category to another. We have a wide range of plays to choose from, including many that are less frequently studied. For daughters: The Tempest, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear . For girlfriends (for want of a better term): As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Troilus and Cressida . For wives: The Taming of the Shrew, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth . For mothers: Hamlet, Coriolanus , and the problem of missing mothers virtually everywhere else! Among the topics we consider are male jealousy and possessiveness, sexualized women, and cross-dressing. To the plays themselves, we add three other dimensions: first, cultural and historical material about the family, marriage, and women's roles in Elizabeth and Jacobean England; second, theoretical approaches from gender studies and feminist criticism; and third, fascinating women characters from the plays of some of Shakespeare's fellow playwrights (such as Marlowe, Jonson, and Webster). Students have a wide range of texts from which to choose for their capstone project. (HL) Dobin.

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Smith, Rodney T.

An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students each 12-week term with the editor of Shenandoah , Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts, proofreading/copyediting, the arrangement of work within an issue, selection of cover art, composing contributor's notes, responding to queries, and issuing news releases. Interns also work toward an understanding of the role of journals in contemporary literature. May be applied once to the English major or Creative Writing Minor and repeated for a maximum of six additional elective credits, as long as the specific projects undertaken are different.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Conner, Marc C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Pickett, Holly C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Smith, Rodney T.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Fall 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Oliver, Bill

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 203 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A course in the practice of writing short fiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Poetry

ENGL 204 - Ball, Gordon V.

A course in the practice of writing poetry, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing.

Topics in Creative Writing: Nonfiction

ENGL 206 - Brodie, Laura F.

A course in the practice of writing nonfiction, involving workshops, literary study, and critical writing. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Film

ENGL 233 - Alexander, Kaelin B.

An introductory study of film in English. The course may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history and theory of film.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play.

Southern American Literature

ENGL 253 - Bufkin, Sydney M.

A study of selected fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction by Southern writers in their historical and literary contexts. We practice multiple approaches to critical reading, and students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers.

Fall 2015, ENGL 253-01: Southern American Literature: Region and the Real South (3). William Faulkner's 1936 novel Absalom, Absalom! famously demanded, 'Tell about the South. What's it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.' We might find an answer to this demand in Houston-based UGK's 2007 instruction to "Quit Hatin' The South" or in Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T.'s 2013 declaration, "We make it cool to be southern." From Faulkner to country music to southern hip-hop, the South has long been a contested space, and regional identity has been an important element of its literary production. This class focuses on two main questions: What happens when we consider geographical region as a major element of literary analysis? And how has the region of the South--and the idea of the "Real South"--been constructed in relation both to other regions and to other (less "real"?) Souths? We look at writing from regionalist authors at the turn of the century (Chesnutt, Freeman, Chopin, and others), as well as southern regional writing at mid-century (Faulkner, O'Conner, Walker, Toomer), before concluding with contemporary hip-hop and country music (OutKast, Goodie Mob, UGK, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Hank Williams, Jr., Bake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Cadillac Three, Brad Paisley, and others). (HL) Bufkin .

Southern American Literature

ENGL 253 - Smout, Kary

A study of selected fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction by Southern writers in their historical and literary contexts. We practice multiple approaches to critical reading, and students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Brodie, Laura F.

Studies in British literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015, ENGL 292-01: Topics in British Literature: Modern British Poetry (3). This course covers poetry from 1870 through the twenty-first century, asking how British poets have pushed the limits of traditional verse. British poets are known for being less innovative than their American and Continental peers. We sample poems by Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams before asking: what did "experimentation" mean to Gerard Manley Hopkins and Thomas Hardy? And how did Yeats experiment with history in his poems, as opposed to Ezra Pound? We also see how female poets, such as Edith Sitwell and Stevie Smith, developed highly original voices, and we end by sampling the works of more recent poets, including an influx of immigrant writers. (HL) Brodie .

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Leland, John G.

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015, ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Sex and Intimacy in American Literature (3). This course surveys the formations of intimate feelings in the literature from Hawthorne's take on Puritans to Ginsberg's open celebration of gay sex. We will look at how different periods of American culture - the Romantics, Realists, Moderns, and post-Moderns - represent intimacy, its relation to gender and race, and why, in a country touted for its optimism, love in literature always seems to end badly. (HL) Leland .

Topics in American Literature

ENGL 293 - Leland, John G.

Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Adams, Edward A.

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Detective Fiction; American Indian Literatures; Revenge; and David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism.

Fall 2015, ENGL 299-01: Seminar for Prospective Majors: Apocalyptic Narratives (3). Ranging from ancient accounts of floods and plagues, the fall of great cities, and the final revelation to such contemporary texts as Doctor Strangelove, Interstellar , and World War Z , apocalyptic narratives are perhaps the oldest and remain among the most popular genres. In addition, this tradition vividly illustrates one of the most important practical functions of the serious study of literature, that is, how literature allows us to imagine and thereby "game out" scenarios that seldom, if ever, have really happened and that cannot be isolated for study in a lab because by definition they involve the possible end of the human race. Likely texts include histories, poems, films, and novels such as book 2 of The Aeneid, The Book of Revelations, Frankenstein, The War of the Worlds, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Salem's Lot, Oryx and Crake, Aliens, The Road , and Noah . (HL) Adams .

Seminar for Prospective Majors

ENGL 299 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A study of a topic in literature issuing in a research process and sustained critical writing. Some recent topics have been Detective Fiction; American Indian Literatures; Revenge; and David Thoreau and American Transcendentalism.

Fall 2015, ENGL 299-02: Seminar for Prospective Majors: The (M.) Butterfly Effect (3) . Marco Polo, in his Travels , boasts of no fewer than 20,000 courtesans ready to serve foreign emissaries and merchants visiting the imperial court of the Great Khan. The East, simultaneously there and here, is always already exoticized and eroticized. This course examines the parallel constructions and representations of Eastern spaces, bodies, genders, and sexualities that continue to haunt the Western imaginary. Central to the discursive history of Orientalism is the figure of Madame Butterfly--geisha, lover, mother, and wife. Alongside and against Cho-Cho San, however, are the Dragon Lady, Mulan the female warrior, and men who intentionally or unwittingly assume the role of the Butterfly. Between fantasy and reality, is the East an effect of cross-cultural encounters? Or does it effect its own figurations in a complex network of negotiations? Cultural artifacts include Pierre Loti's Madame Chrysanthème ; John Luther Long's original short story and later novella Madame Butterfly , as well as David Belasco's play, Giacomo Puccini's opera, David Henry Hwang's play M. Butterfly, and Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's musical Miss Saigon ; Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha ; the legends of Mulan and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior ; Graham Greene's The Quiet American ; and Marguerite Duras' The Lover . We also look at various cinematic adaptations and visual traditions of the Butterfly, including Kenji Mizoguchi's 1956 Sisters of the Gion , Jerry Lewis' 1958 The Geisha Boy, the films of Anna May Wong, and the works of Margaret Cho. Emphases are on the practice of close reading, introduction to literary theory, and critical research skills. A series of short papers culminate in a long research paper. (HL) Kao .

Writing Outside the Lines

ENGL 305 - Miranda, Deborah A.

Previous workshop experience recommended. Students who have successfully completed ENGL 203, 204, 205, 206, or 207 should inform the department's administrative assistant, who will grant them permission to enroll. All others should email a short sample of their writing to the professor. The boundaries between genres can limit imagination; this course opens up those borders and invites experimentation and exploration. Designed to help students become better acquainted with craft, technique, and process, the course focuses on mixed-genre writing that defies easy categorization through combining stylistic traits of more than one creative genre (examples might include the prose poem, narrative poem, dramatic monologue, flash fiction, novel vignettes, poetic memoirs, and other hybrids) as well as transforming a piece from one genre to another (for example, turning a poem into flash fiction or monologue). The course requires regular writing and outside reading.

Shakespearean Genres

ENGL 320 - Pickett, Holly C.

In a given term, this course focuses on one or two of the major genres explored by Shakespeare (e.g., histories, tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies/romances, lyric and narrative poetry), in light of Renaissance literary conventions and recent theoretical approaches. Students consider the ways in which Shakespeare's generic experiments are variably inflected by gender, by political considerations, by habitat, and by history.

Postcolonial Literature

ENGL 350 - Keen, Suzanne P.

A study of the finest writers of postcolonial poetry, drama, and fiction in English. The course examines themes and techniques in a historical context, asking what "postcolonial" means to writers of countries formerly colonized by the British. Topics include colonization and decolonization; writing in the colonizer's language; questions of universality; hybridity, exile, and migrancy; the relationship of postcolonial to postmodern; Orientalism; censorship; and the role of post-imperial Britain in the publication, distribution, and consumption of postcolonial literature.

19th-Century American Novel

ENGL 367 - Campbell, Emahunn Raheem A. / Adams, Edward A.

A reading of major American novelists, focusing especially on Poe, Melville, and Hawthorne.  We also consider the relationship between the novel and punishment, especially in the works of Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Lippard, and William Wells Brown.  Additionally, we read fictions during the second half of the century by Twain, Chopin, and Chesnutt.

Late 20th-Century North American Fiction

ENGL 369 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

An exploration of fiction since World War II. Authors may include Wright, O'Connor, Highsmith, Nabokov, Capote, Pynchon, Silko, Atwood, and Morrison.

Hotel Orient

ENGL 382 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

This seminar charts the historical encounters between East and West through the very spaces that facilitate cross-cultural transactions from the medieval to the postmodern. If modern hotel consciousness is marked by transience, ennui, eroticism, and isolation, we ask whether or not the same characteristics held true in premodern hotel practices, and if the space of the Orient makes a difference in hotel writing. Semantically, "Orient" means not only the geographic east. As a verb, to orient means to position and ascertain one's bearings. In this sense, to write about lodging in the East is to sort out one's cultural and geopolitical orientation.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Conner, Marc C.

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Directed Individual Study

ENGL 403 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A course designed for special students who wish to continue a line of study begun in an earlier advanced course. Their applications approved by the department and accepted by their proposed directors, the students may embark upon directed independent study which must culminate in acceptable papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Research and Writing

ENGL 413 - Miranda, Deborah A.

A collaborative group research and writing project for senior majors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include ecocriticism, literature and psychology, material conditions of authorship, and documentary poetics.

Fall 2015, ENGL 413-01: Senior Research and Writing: Disobedient Texts: Hybrid, Impure, & Bent Genres (3). Hybrid texts combine, transform, and subvert the conventions of narrative sub-genres, breaking down the boundaries between fiction, poetry, memoir, and drama. Many hybrid texts also import/re-vision/transform non-literary discourses from traditional archival resources; within these hybrid texts, word and image combine to create a text that is neither purely written, nor purely visual. This course explores alternative possibilities for literature to express and even bring about change in the worlds they describe. Possible authors include Silko, Miranda, Carson, Howe, Sikelianos, Griffin, Phillips, Wright, Sebald, Yamashita, Danielewski. (HL) Miranda .

Internship in Literary Editing with Shenandoah

ENGL 453 - Smith, Rodney T.

An apprenticeship in editing for one or more students each 12-week term with the editor of Shenandoah , Washington and Lee's literary magazine. Students are instructed in and assist in these facets of the editor's work: evaluation of manuscripts, proofreading/copyediting, the arrangement of work within an issue, selection of cover art, composing contributor's notes, responding to queries, and issuing news releases. Interns also work toward an understanding of the role of journals in contemporary literature. May be applied once to the English major or Creative Writing Minor and repeated for a maximum of six additional elective credits, as long as the specific projects undertaken are different.

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Conner, Marc C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gavaler, Christopher P. (Chris)

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Gertz, Genelle C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Pickett, Holly C.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).

Honors Thesis

ENGL 493 - Smith, Rodney T.

A summary of prerequisites and requirements may be obtained at the English Department website (english.wlu.edu ).