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English Course Offerings

May Term 2015

ENGL 2910: “Loose Baggy Monsters”: Reading the Long Novel
Beth Daugherty – May 4-21: TR 9-12:00; May 26-29: TWF 9-12:00
Henry James once described big 19th-century novels as “loose baggy monsters.” In this reading course, students will have the opportunity to read four such novels, novels that no longer appear regularly on syllabi because of their length. Students will also read a few short readings about the novel genre. Time in class will be devoted to discussion based on passage selection and notes kept in a daily reading journal. Together, the students in the class will compile a list of additional “loose baggy monsters” to serve as a future reading list. Students will write a personal reflection about the novels and the process of reading them at the end of the course, and that will function as the final exam, but no other papers or exams will be required. The course is an elective open to all students in the university; the only requirements are a willingness to read a lot, keep a reading journal, and discuss and reflect on one’s reading. Open to all students. 

Fall 2015

ENGL 1155-BL1: Reading, Writing, & the Literary Imagination: Craving, Anger, Grief – Suzanne Ashworth – T 6-9:30
This class will engage texts that dramatize compelling and complicated dimensions of the human condition: desire, rage, and mourning.  Together, we will enter a literature of lust, addiction, fury, vengeance, heartache, and loss. Do our hungers enslave or animate us? Is loss the measure of liberation? Does appetite seduce us into transgression or does it foment revolution?  Can grief be regulated and contained? What does anger create and destroy?  Reading the work of Emma Donaghue, James Frey, Franz Kafka, and others, we will tackle these questions and more. And we will consider our own relationship to compulsion, wrath, and anguish. Along the way, you’ll read, think, talk, and write like English majors. This course will be offered in a blended format that combines classroom instruction with on-line pedagogies and projects.

ENGL 1160-01 Creativity Writing Across the Genres – TBA – MWF 1:40-2:50
An introduction to creative writing that considers the historical and contemporary relationships between poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting.

ENGL 1175-01 Studies in Film: Body Genres – Suzanne Ashworth – TR 2-3:45
In “Film Bodies,” Linda Williams pushes us to think about the cinematic “body beside itself,” about genres that depict excesses of violence and pain, pleasure and ecstasy, grief and sadness. The class will engage iconic films in the body genres Williams names -- horror, melodrama, and the sex pic -- and it will also consider other powerfully embodied genres: the boxing film, the action film, the war film, the survival film, etc. Along the way, we will grapple with questions like: What’s the significance of bodily spectacle in film? Do these genres implicate us in voyeurism, exhibitionism, and scopophilia? How do body genres extend meaning to intense bodily sensation? What organizing cultural or psychological predicaments drive body genres? How do images of the body-beside-itself work to resolve them? What collateral damage do those resolutions create? We will screen and analyze films like: Psycho, The Shining, Ordinary People, Nymphomaniac, Django Unchained, Drive, The Fighter, Jarhead, All is Lost. And read groundbreaking genre theory and film criticism.

ENGL 1193-01 Special Topics in Professional Writing: Working, Writing, Finding Your Professional Voice (WI) – Beth Daugherty – TR 10-11:45
In this course, students examine the nature of work as it has been described by various writers and consider the relationships between work, writing, and voice. What is the difference between a profession and work? How have different kinds of work been described in the past and in the present? How do writers’ descriptions of work differ from job descriptions? What can we gain from understanding the lived experience that others have of work? What can the writing about work tell us about writing for or at work? How do we find our professional voices as we explore working worlds and narratives? Texts include a portion of Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Donald Hall’s Life Work, essays, poetry, fiction, and documentary films about work, and two books about writing, A Self Made of Words and On Writing Well. Students interview professionals in their own fields, find and share texts that illuminate their chosen professions, and seek out and study samples of professional writing done on the job in those professions.  Students write reflections on the course reading, investigative descriptions of their own work, an interview, professional writing pieces, and an exploratory essay about the relationship between their work, their writing, and their professional voices. Finally, they create an individual ePortfolio on Digication that highlights their professional goals and achievements, the pertinent work done in the course, and their ability to comment on and assess their own work. Course is repeatable when offered with a different topic. 

ENGL 2215-01 Studies in British Literatures 1700-1900: Masquerade, Madness, and the Modern Self in 18th-Century England -- Margaret Koehler -- MWF 12:15-1:25
This course will explore changing ideas of personal identity in the 18th century.  We’ll think about sociable identity as performed in the 18th-century’s rich and exuberant public sphere of coffeehouses, theaters, and pleasure gardens.  And we’ll also examine new sites and conceptions of the private, intimate, interior self—such as domestic life and romantic love, which are in some ways inventions of the 18th century.  Alongside these respectable categories of identity we will also consider some outliers and transgressors:  prostitutes, thieves, inhabitants of the madhouse. Course is not repeatable when offered with a different topic. Prerequisite: ENGL 1155.

ENGL 2220-01 Studies in British Literature After 1900: Aftershocks: Responses to the World at War – Beth Daugherty – TR 2-3:45
In this course, students examine British writers’ responses to first, the shock of the Great War and then, to the inconceivable: another world war just 20 years later. Before, during, after, and since, how did authors react to living and writing in a time of historical rupture, chaos, and trauma? What formal, thematic, and aesthetic possibilities did writers consider and use as they tried to represent the un-representable? Students read modernist, postmodernist, and contemporary novelists, short story writers, essayists, dramatists, and poets who grapple with war and its aftermath, struggle with the conjunction of literature and politics, and work to respond with both honesty and art. In addition, students explore responses made in the other arts, by various cultures, and in private genres such as letters and journals. Students write autobiographically, reflectively, creatively, and critically in the course, and each student maps out the aftershocks for one writer and for British writers as a whole. The 1-credit hour research component of the course focuses on the search for and use of literary criticism about particular literary texts, the search for and use of historical and cultural materials beyond authors’ published literary texts, and the use of copyediting symbols to proofread written work. Prerequisite: ENGL 1155.

ENGL 2230-01 Studies in African American Literatures: The Art of Satire – Phyllis Lynne Burns M 6:00-9:30
African American literature contains a vibrant and complex tradition of satire. Through the use of parody, wit, and various types of irony, Black writers have examined Black identity politics in relation to ideals of “freedom,” “empowerment,” “progress,” and “citizenship.” This course explores how twentieth- and twenty-first century satirists of African descent critique literary traditions, re-imagine narratives about the historical past, re-configure contemporary ideologies, and suggest alternative realities. Selected readings provide varied perspectives that question familiar practices and mores in order to expose racial absurdities. Authors include Paul Beatty, Daryl Dickson Carr, W.E. Du Bois, Bernadine Evaristo, Mat Johnson, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Fran Ross, and Douglass Turner Ward. Course advances intermediate reading and writing skills, devotes 1-credit hour to foundational research experiences through information literacy; and includes opportunities to write reflectively, critically, and creatively. Note: course fulfills the American requirement. This course may be used as a substitute for the INST Creativity and Culture requirement.  Prerequisites: ENGL 1155, INST 1501, INST 1502, INST 1503, or HNRS 1500.

ENGL 2261-01 Intermediate Fiction Writing – James Gorman – MWF 1:40-2:50
Intermediate Fiction Writing is for students who wish to immerse themselves into a community of writers committed to learning and practicing fundamental narrative strategies, especially dramatic presentation, characterization, plotting, setting, point of view and tone.  Students will develop, write and revise a portfolio of short narratives, commentaries and reflections, and discuss them in a workshop format. The class will also introduce students to storytelling traditions in both early and contemporary societies and explore how narrative is used in different disciplines, especially in history, education, counseling and the visual arts. The class will introduce students to outlets for engaging others in their writing, both in face-to-face readings or performances and through both on-line and print publication. Pre-reqs: ENGL 1155 and one from ENGL 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163, or 1164.

ENGL 2294-01 Literary Magazine Practicum – Shannon Lakanen – R 5-6:00
Supervised work for student literary magazine, including choosing and editing copy, designing layouts, and promoting and hosting literary events. Students attend weekly staff meetings and edit and publish Quiz and Quill. Note: May be repeated for credit (up to a total of 6 hours). 

ENGL 2295-01 Linguistics – Margaret Koehler – MWF 1:40-2:50
How is the Northern Cities Vowel Shift affecting pronunciations in Cleveland? Do children have a “blueprint” for language, and if so does that explain how they progress from babbling to words to sentences quickly and with apparent ease? And why is a second language so much harder to learn later in life? How do linguists debunk language purists and their notions of grammatical “correctness”?  Are animal communication systems anything like human language? How do regional dialects of English vary across the United States? Which comes first: language or thought?  English 2295 will address these and other questions as we come to understand the modern discipline of linguistics. We will think about language in social contexts, and we’ll look at the diversity of spoken language around the United States (and globally).  And we'll trace the fascinating history of the English language from its Anglo-Saxon origins. This course is relevant for a range of related disciplines, including psychology, biology, literary studies, communications, education, and history. 

ENGL 3000-01 -01Studies in Environmental Literatures & Writing – Norman Chaney – TR 2-3:45
This course may be paired with ECON 4250 or ENST 3001 to fulfill the INST dyad requirement. This course has three main aims. The first is to see how nature--in the sense of objects of the physical world such as mountains, trees, rivers, flowers, and birds--has supplied a large part of the imaginative content of literature.  The second is to see how literature both reflects and influences how humans locate themselves "ecocentrically" in the world. The third aim is to put us in touch with our own experience of nature and help us to formulate personal views in writing. This course does NOT fulfill the Advanced Literature course requirement for Creative Writing or Literary Studies majors; it DOES fulfill the “Studies in Linguistics, Writing, Film and Visual Format” requirement for both majors.

ENGL 3350-01 Shakespeare (WI) – Norman Chaney – TR 12-1:45
Topical study of Shakespeare’s plays, including his comedies, tragedies, histories, romances, and Sonnets.  Explores Shakespeare’s biography and artistic development; his language; his imagery, characterization, and themes; Elizabethan social and theatrical contexts; contemporary stage and film productions of his work. Nurtures advanced reading competencies, expository and critical writing aptitudes, and information literacy skills; devotes 1-credit hour to research project (such as: teaching a play to children, arranging and casting a performance of a scene, attending and evaluating a live production, comparison and contrast of filmed productions). Writing Intensive (WI). Pre-requisites: two from ENGL 2210, 2215, 2220, 2240, 2250, 2255, 2230, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234; or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 3360-01 Special Topics in Creative Writing: Writing About Art (WI) – Terry Hermsen – TR 12-1:45
How do we learn to see? This question has been asked by nearly every writer over the course of time. Especially if we mean by “seeing” not just our sense of sight but the whole way we take in the world. How do we live a painting? How does a photograph encapsulate time—and how does it shape how we enter a particular moment framed within its boundaries? This course will immerse students in a wide range of choices for writing about visual art, from creative art criticism to ekphrastic poetry to short fiction and creative non-fiction. We will read such examples as Girl With a Pearl Earring, a novel by Tracy Chevalier growing out of a painting by Vermeer, and Terry Tempest Williams’ personal exploration of her Mormon upbringing via her views of Hieronymous Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights,” along with poems and prose by Mark Doty and John Berger’s excellent short essays bringing photographs and paintings to life. In addition, we will visit museums and galleries around central Ohio…and beyond. Prerequisites: One from ENGL 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163, or 1164 and two from ENGL 2260, 2261, 2262, 2263, or 2264.

ENGL 3381-01 Studies in Textuality & Genre: Studies in Contemporary and Experimental Drama – Tammy Birk – TR 2-3:45
David Graver argues that it is better to see 21st century theatre and performance as an ‘unfolding event’ rather than the realization of a fixed script or plot.  What happens—and, more importantly, what changes--if we begin to see theatre and performance as such an ‘event’?   What happens when theatre challenges the conventions of its own genre, busts open narrative expectations, and refuses to behave itself?  What happens when all of the familiar roles—author, actor, spectator—are challenged and confused?  What happens when theatre and performance seek to disturb rather than entertain or placate?  What happens when theatre and performance scramble meaning rather than organize it?  What happens when performance does not confine itself to traditional theatrical modes of production?  Or what happens when theatre and performance opt to trespass and transgress other genres that are not imagined for the stage?  In this course, we will explore these questions as we enlarge and complicate our sense of what theatre can be and do.  We will trace the origins of experimental theatre in the Dadaist, Surrealist, futurist, and absurdist movements of the early and mid-20th century.  We will read numerous primary texts in contemporary theatre and performance art.  And we will discuss theories of avant-gardism, anti-theatricality, and non-reproductive art .  Readings may include the work of Antonin Artaurd, Bertolt Brecht, Tristan Tzara, Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, Edward Albee, Augusto Boal, Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, Sarah Kane, Peter Handke, Suzan Lori Parks, Naomi Wallace, Amiri Baraka, Young Jean Lee, Anna Deavere Smith, and Karen Finley.  Please note: it is likely that students in this course will be invited to attend performances of contemporary and experimental theatre, so an openness to theatergoing and travel is essential. Prerequisites: Two from ENGL 2210, 2215, 2220, 2230, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2250, 2255; or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 4000-01 Senior Literary Studies Project (WI)  – Phyllis Lynne Burns – MWF 3:05-4:15
Facilitates the development and production of either an original essay, or a revisited essay that is significantly expanded and revised into a full-length expository or critical capstone essay.  This capstone essay showcases advanced reading competencies, writing aptitudes, and information literacy skills for senior Literary Studies students.  Each student will participate in seminar meetings with a course coordinator and peer cohorts, work individually with a faculty director and reader, present work in a senior reading, complete a capstone-essay defense, and submit her/his work to the department in an electronic format.  Literary Studies majors take this course during Fall semester of their senior year. Prerequisites: Two from ENGL 2210, 2215, 2220, 2230, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2250, 2255; two from Engl. 3325, 3340, 3350, 3380, 3381; and senior standing.

Spring 2016

ENGL 1155-01 Reading, Writing, and the Literary Imagination: The Unsaid – Tammy Birk – MWF 1:40-2:50
This course explores texts that wrestle with that which is unsayable: the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that appear to live beyond the limits of language and understanding.  Often cryptic and deeply ambiguous, these texts struggle to tell the truth about human suffering, traumatic history, existential dissatisfaction, and ecstatic experience.  And, because language only allows us to go so far and say so much, these texts strain to find words adequate to their subject.  This makes for a challenging—and often unorthodox—reading experience.  It also makes for challenging and provocative writing opportunities, as you will be asked to articulate your own relationship to that which goes unsaid.  Readings may include the work of Herman Melville, Franz Kafka, Alison Bechdel, Jhumpa Lahiri, James Joyce, Chuck Palahniuk, Marguerite Duras, and Mary Oliver.

ENGL 1160-01 Creative Writing Across the Genres – Terry Hermsen – W 6-9:30
This class explores the nature of the creative act itself, from poetry to fiction, from drama to creative non-fiction. We emphasize learning from writers who blur boundaries and have made careers in two or more territories, from Mark Doty, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Rita Dove. We generally pick a theme, such as "things," "parents," "nature" or writing in response to visual art. Whatever the area of life, writers shape approaches from the widest variety of means. Students learn to keep writer's notebooks, then mine these notes for ideas of their own. Portfolios are developed over the course of the semester which include pieces that are revised  radically from one genre to another.

ENGL 1176-01 Studies in Graphic Narrative – Tammy Birk – W 6-9:30
The New Yorker suggested that graphic novels and narrative may well prove the ‘new literature of the 21st century.’  Often (and wrongly) confused with the comic book, this still emerging narrative format has moved well beyond the ‘superhero’ plot, and now you are likely to find graphic texts tackling a wide variety of provocative and challenging subjects.  In this course, we intend to take graphic novels and narrative seriously—as literary texts, cultural documents, and mass-cultural phenomena.   Readings will focus on a diverse set of graphic texts—novels, memoirs, short story collections, extended essays, biographies, and political tracts—that are defining and, in some cases, defying what we think comics can do.  In the seminar, we will talk about the way that the meaning(s) of history, journalism, and literature are transformed by a comics form that relies on both word and image.  We will also consider the historical evolution of comics and graphic narrative, the technical demands of sequential art, the alternative fan culture dedicated to underground comix and the graphic novel, and current debates about the political usefulness of graphic narrative for feminist, queer, and progressive ends. Throughout the course, we will supplement our reading with a handful of contemporary films that have drawn their inspiration from the graphic novel (e.g. Ghost World), and visit and tour OSU’s Cartoon Research Museum and Library.  Readings may include the work of Shaun Tan, Art Spiegelman, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Alan Moore, Alison Bechdel, Lynda Barry, Adrian Tomine, Joe Sacco, Craig Thompson, David Mazzuchelli, David B., Julie Maroh, Mariko Tamaki, Chris Ware, and Eleanor Davis

ENGL 2231-01 Studies in Women’s Literatures:  – Patti Frick – TR 2-3:45
Women’s literature—across cultural or historical contexts—is benchmarked by moments of illumination and rebellion.  Whether through quiet acts of resistance or outright anarchy, female narratives of rebellion expose and challenge “the rules” and who makes them.  They also present characters whose language, actions, and beliefs interrogate societal expectations of women and their place within domestic, spiritual, economic, political, and sexual identities.  These narratives offer rich opportunities for the study of gender and culture, and their literary conventions are often original and creatively subversive. This course will examine narratives of rebellion written by women from diverse historical periods and cultures, including American, British, and world literatures. Writers may include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Djuna Barnes, Aphra Behn,  Annie Burton, Lucy Delaney, Edwidge Danticat, Kiran Desai, Elizabeth Gaskell, Natsuo Kirino,  L.T. Meade, Isabel Meredith, and Lu X’inge. Prerequisites: ENGL 1155, INST 1501, INST 1502, INST 1503, or HNRS 1500.

ENGL 2234-BL1: Studies in GLBTQ Literatures: Identity Narratives – Suzanne Ashworth – MWF 1:40-2:50
This class will immerse itself in narratives of love, desire, sexuality, gender, and personhood.  Here, you will encounter a literature that exposes our culture’s hold on the body and being. A literature that breaks silences. That tells outlawed truths. That excavates stigma and shame. That describes transformative intimacies and erotic energies. And that chronicles resistance, resilience, and survival. These texts push us to engage questions like: What social histories shape our conception of sex, gender, and sexuality? What fears and anxieties infiltrate our experience of the body? How do we self-define and self-determine? What’s the relationship between sex and freedom, the erotic and power? Readings include texts by Jeanette Winterson, Andre Aciman, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Eli Clare, and others. This course will be offered in a blended format that combines classroom instruction with on-line pedagogies and projects. Prerequisites: ENGL 1155, INST 1501, INST 1502, INST 1503, or HNRS 1500.

ENGL 2250-BL1: Studies in American Literatures Before 1900: American Gothic/American Freak – Suzanne Ashworth – MWF 12:15-1:25
The haunted. The grotesque. The uncanny. The odd. The preternatural. The undead. The monomaniacal. The killer. This class will immerse itself in a literature of the strange, the perverse, and the terrifying. It will examine the historical emergence – and the contemporary incarnations – of the American gothic and the American freak, including the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Emily Dickinson, Charles Chesnutt, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Octavia Butler. Robert Bogdan says that “freak is a frame of mind.” As we shall see, the freak mind turns human variation into spectacle and otherness into nightmare. And the literary gothic exhibits an abiding interest in aberrant bodies and twisted psychologies. Together, we will study the interplay between past and present progenitors of horror, considering questions of literary allusion and pastiche. We will examine how the keepers of the feminist and queer gothic push historical plotlines and conventions, reimagining primordial darknesses, revising primeval truths. And we will consider the reiterations of gothic dread that pervade television and film media. Prerequisite: ENGL 1155.

ENGL 2262-01 – Intermediate Essay Writing – Shannon Lakanen – TR 12-1:45
In The Situation and the Story, Vivian Gornick explains, “The task is to become acquainted with the stranger who lives inside your own skin, the one who answers when your name is called.” Students in this course will hone their creative nonfiction writing strategies while making this acquaintance. Through extensive experiments with and readings in personal essays, writers will investigate the wide varieties of approaches used to create and manipulate persona, craft digressions, experiment with form, and navigate the subjectivity of truth in personal essays. Prerequisties: ENGL 1155 and one from ENGL 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163, or 1164. 

ENGL 2263-01 – Intermediate Playwriting – TBA – TR 10-11:45
Builds on skills and approaches from Creative Writing Across the Genres; encourages students to grapple with issues of character and story development, staging, and point of view; emphasizes knowledge, practice, and experimentation with a wide variety of techniques; explores the history of playwriting; includes collaborative discussions of student writing. Prerequisties: ENGL 1155 and one from ENGL 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163, or 1164. 

FMST 2280-01 Cinema: History, Theory, and Criticism – Karen Steigman – MWF 10:50-12:00
This required course in the Film Studies minor offers a foundational survey of important texts and landmark films. Films represent a range of directors (Scorsese, Chaplin, Eisenstein, Hitchcock, Campion, Pontecorvo), eras (early cinema, classic Hollywood cinema, the 1970s, Third Cinema), and genres (horror, melodrama, and film noir). Readings include work in film theory and criticism by Kracauer, Bazin, Altman, Metz, Mulvey, Doane, and Williams.

ENGL 2294-01 – Literary Magazine Practicum – Shannon Lakanen – R 5- 6:00
Supervised work for student literary magazine, including choosing and editing copy, designing layouts, and promoting and hosting literary events. Students attend weekly staff meetings and edit and publish Quiz and Quill. Note: May be repeated for credit (up to a total of 6 hours). 

ENGL 3311-01 Advanced Fiction Writing (WI) – James Gorman – MWF 12:15-1:25
Advanced Fiction Writing will help students already committed to narrative as an art form mature into sophisticated story writers. Students will further develop their narrative skills, and also work to discover and understand their own narrative identity and where they might be situated on a stylistic spectrum. Using exercises and prompts, students will develop several short narratives of different kinds and at least one complete story of “standard” length (20-30 pages). The course will also explore how narrative is used in both literary and genre fiction and will introduce students to how writers translate stories into various art forms such as from page to stage to screen. Prerequisites: ENGL 1155; one from ENGL 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163, or 1164; and 2261. 

ENGL 3340-01 Studies in Individual Authors: Virginia Woolf and Her Sisters – Beth Daugherty – MWF 9:25-10:35
Virginia Woolf speculates in A Room of One’s Own that if Shakespeare had had a sister, patriarchal forces would have thwarted her creativity. But since the publication of that text in 1929, Virginia Woolf and her sisters have opened up the canon and furnished many imaginative “rooms.” In this course, students examine the confluence of some key fictional and nonfictional texts by Virginia Woolf and two of her sisters, Toni Morrison and Jeanette Winterson. Examples of possible groupings include Mrs. Dalloway and Song of Solomon; A Room of One’s Own and Art Objects: Essays in Ecstasy and Effrontery; Orlando and Sexing the Cherry; The Waves, Beloved, and Lighthousekeeping; Three Guineas and Playing in the Dark; The Bluest Eye and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, but other groupings may suggest themselves as we read. Students explore the concept of literary sisterhood in contrast to the anxiety of influence model, study some of the literary criticism these authors have created and generated, conduct research into specific grouped texts, and search for additional postmodern and contemporary sisters around the globe.  Prerequisites: Two from ENGL 2210, 2215, 2220, 2230, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2250, 2255; or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 3355-01 Studies in Literary & Critical Theory: Critical Race Theory – Phyllis Lynne Burns – TR 2-3:45
Recent events such as the disturbingly frequent killing of unarmed black people by both police and vigilantes – Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, etc. – have brought the continuing reality of American racism and systemic racial inequities to national attention.  While media discourse all too frequently normalizes such brutality, Critical Race Theory (CRT) intervenes into this all too frequent normalization of the racial order.  This course focuses on the study of Critical Race Theory.  CRT illuminates the centrality of race in U.S. society through an examination of cultural artifacts and historical moments.  CRT scholars draw attention to entrenched systems of racial injustice to advocate strategies for social inclusion.  The course engages the analysis of CRT proponents, both essayists and creative writers, who critique the style and substance of America’s literary traditions and the distinctive racialized social landscapes from which these traditions emerged.  Authors include James Baldwin, Derrick Bell, W.E.B. DuBois, Melissa Harris Perry, Toni Morrison, Barack Obama, and Patricia Williams. Prerequisites: Two from ENGL 2210, 2215, 2220, 2230, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2250, 2255; or permission of the instructor. Notes: May be repeated once for credit when offered with a different topic.

ENGL 3380-01 Studies in Adolescent Literatures: Beyond Home – Phyllis Lynne Burns – TR 12-1:45
An examination of literature written for middle and high school readers.  Selected texts are “historical” novels about first-hand experiences of young people who venture away from “home” into adulthood as they experience a significant social predicament.  These coming-of-age narratives invite young readers to consider how a cultural crisis inspires social responsibility to  combat injustice constructed through racial hierarchy.  Readings include Elijah of Buxton, Out of BoundsSeven Stories of Conflict and Hope, The Bomb, and The Devil’s Arithmetic.  The course cultivates advanced reading competencies, expository and critical writing aptitudes, and information literacy skills.  Prerequisites: Two from ENGL 2210, 2215, 2220, 2230, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2250, 2255; or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 4060-01 – Senior Creative Writing Project (WI) – Terry Hermsen – MWF 3:05-4:15
This course is designed for Creative Writing majors in their senior year to apply their learned skills to a single, semester-long project in which they work with a faculty director on a sustained work within a particular genre (or, in some cases, a combination of genres). Students are advised to begin thinking about, planning and even beginning the projects near the end of the junior or beginning of their senior years. Though projects can draw from or grow out of previous work, the work done in the semester should be predominantly new, extending each writer’s skills in some new and self-chosen direction. In the past, students have produced a sequence of stories, poems or essays within a particular theme or territory, along with sections of novels and full-length plays. Students participate in seminar meetings with a course coordinator and peer cohorts, reflect on their intellectual and personal growth in the major, work individually with a director and reader, present work in a senior reading, complete a project defense, and submit their work to the department in an electronic format. Creative Writing majors take this course during Spring semester of their senior year. Pre-reqs: one from ENGL 1160, 1161, 1162, 1163; two from ENGL 2261, 2262, 2263, 2264; one from ENGL 3310, 3311, 3312, 3313, 3314, or 3360; and senior standing.  

May Term 2016

ENGL 2910-TR1: Literary Locations: Thailand – Shannon Lakanen – time TBA
Students will consider travel as an art form and practice creating art from travel experiences by using writing and photography to chronicle and explore the significances of their three-week journey to Thailand. While abroad, students will visit historically and culturally significant sites in Bangkok, explore temple ruins at Ayutthaya Historical Park, complete a volunteer residency at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, and draft their final projects during a writing retreat on Koh Samui. Our travels will be guided by our experimentations with effective photography and reflective journaling techniques and our investigations of ethical dilemmas faced by international travelers. Along the way, we’ll experience first-hand the effects of tourism on Thai economies and learn about the history of elephants’ paradoxical treatment in Thai society. Through daily full-class discussions and guided writing assignments, students from a wide variety of majors will share their discipline-specific perspectives on these experiences. For their final projects, students will use photography and writing to reflect on their time in Thailand and their return to the U.S. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. NOTE: Students who have met the prerequisites for SYE courses may register for SYE 4509-TR1: The Art of Travel: Thailand (which will also travel to Thailand) instead. Travel fee: $3006. Instructional fee: $400, in lieu of standard tuition.  

/ Department of English

Shannon Lakanen
Department Chair
Towers Hall 228

p / 614.823.1211
e / slakanen@otterbein.edu 

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