Upcoming Classes


Fall 2015

English 501:  Introduction to Literary Methods.  Professor Daniel Punday | Tuesdays, 5:00-7:50

This course has three goals. First, it will introduce you to the methods of literary research, giving you an overview of the most effective resources for constructing a bibliography and pursuing biographical and bibliographical information. Second, it will help you to adjust to the expectations of graduate writing and scholarly publication. We will discuss citation methods, journal expectations, and how to construct an argument that will be rhetorically effective for a particular journal’s editorial staff. Third, we will investigate institutional debates within the field of literary and composition studies, considering the problems within the academic job market and conflicts over the role of reading canons.

English 595:  Contemporary American Fiction.  Professor Jane Campbell |Wednesdays, 5:00-7:50

Contemporary American Fiction, a course designed for graduate students in English, explores novels and short stories written within the last four decades or so, looking at techniques and themes that have shaped and defined works by selected well-known authors. We will look at fiction by authors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, and we will consider issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as culture. Thus, the course will be framed by a cultural studies perspective, emphasizing marginalized voices. All students must actively participation; participation is required.


Spring 2015

English 506:  Introduction to English and General Linguistics.  Professor Mohammed Errihani |Mondays, 5:00-7:50

The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad introduction to the field of linguistics. The core areas of general linguistics that will be covered in this class are: the sound system (phonetics and phonology), the form of words (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), and word and sentence meaning (semantics); in addition, we will discuss various general notions about linguistic change within society (sociolinguistics) and language use for communication (pragmatics). The course will also address issues in language acquisition, applied linguistics, second language teaching, and language policy. The course proceeds from discussing some basic questions such as “what is language” and “what do we know when we know a language” to more in-depth issues regarding the sound system of language, its syntax, how first and second languages are acquired or learned, and how politics affects the language decisions and practices of several people and nations. By the end of this course, students will

  • Gain a basic understanding of the main subfields of linguistics
  • Become aware of the complexity of language and be able to articulate this knowledge
  • Re-evaluate their own beliefs about and attitudes towards languages in general
  • Become aware of the linguistic similarities and differences among languages
  • Be able to use linguistic analysis and think scientifically about language
  • Finally, this course aims to provide students with tools they can apply either in a subsequent specialized study of linguistics or in a professional setting.

Note: ENGL 50600 is a hybrid class half of which consists of in-class, face-to-face meetings, and the other half takes place online.  A schedule of classes will be provided with the syllabus on the first day of class.


English 541:  Heresy and Heterodoxy in Chaucer’s England.  Professor Colin Fewer | Wednesdays, 5:00-7:50

The period of the Protestant Reformation began in 1517, and is often contrasted with what is thought to be the unquestioned hegemony of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. In fact, religion in the Middle Ages (including and especially late-medieval England) was more of a rich mélange of eclectic practices, from actual heresy (Lollards) to the merely unorthodox (beguines, confraternities, and lay mystics). Attitudes to Church authority on everything from sexuality to gender to the afterlife were anything but stable and unquestioning; the seeds of reformation, humanism, and even modern ‘atheism’ can be seen in the writing of the period. This class will explore the intersection of history, religion and art in a variety of texts written between 1350 and 1485, including selections from well-known writers (Langland & Chaucer; Lydgate & Hoccleve), religious authorities (Arundel), male and female mystics (Walter Hilton, Margery Kempe, Marguerite Porete), and heretics (Wyclif).

English 596:  Assessing Written Texts.  Professor Lizbeth Bryant | Tuesdays, 5:00-7:50

English 596, Assessing Written Texts, is designed to acquaint writing teachers and administrators with the theory and practice of writing assessment from the micro of responding to student papers to the macro of large-scale assessment, such as the NAEP, National Association of Educational Progress.  We will cover the who, what, when, where, why, and how of reading, assessing, evaluating, responding to, and grading student work. Because I believe that the course needs to not only be a review of the writing assessment field but also a practice-oriented examination of this major aspect of composition instruction, we will experience and theorize assessing, evaluating, responding to, and grading student work. This seminar will be conducted in a problem-based learning environment. Problem-based learning (PBL) is a methodology that features group work focused on solving real problems related to the subject at hand, in this case, assessing student writing.