Courses: Required and Elective

Fall 2024: ENG LIT & Cultural Studies Courses

Two realistic paintings of a person reading.

ENG 100 - Mindful Reading

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 - 4:50pm
Professor: Dr. Cynthia Scheinberg

This is a course for students who like to read and discuss literature. It will cover a variety of literary forms including poetry, short fiction, novel, drama and/or non-fiction prose.  Students will learn to identify the building blocks of literary genres, while also practicing interpretation, close-reading and historical contextualization.  Readings and discussions will highlight how diverse identities and perspectives impact the creation and interpretation of literature, as well as discuss different attitudes to literature from different historical and national contexts.  Along with an emphasis on techniques of mindful and critical reading, students will also be introduced to various modes of critical writing about literature, including personal reflection, close-reading and persuasive use of evidence.  

Counts for the English Literary Studies major as well as the Social Inquiry and Humanities GE requirement. No pre-requisites or prior experience with literature required.

ENG 201 - Myth, Fantasy, Imagination

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00am - 12:20pm
Professor: Dr. Susan Pasquarelli

Undertake an odyssey to meet Scylla, the sea monster with six heads and twelve leg

Fantasy/Mythological characters with wings

s who devoured passing sailors; Circe, the exiled goddess who turned men into pigs; Polyphemus, the cyclop, who was heartbroken when Galatea spurned his love. Examine other worlds, civilizations, cultures, and human voices through ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Students read ancient and modern texts; interpret associated artwork; retell myths in well-crafted prose; investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in the wisdom literature of the ancients; and collaboratively and actively engage in Socratic seminars, Readers’ theatre, writing workshops and focused study groups. Past classes have also created their own gods and monsters out of clay!

This is a general education course in the Humanities category. All majors welcome. No pre-requisites.  This course is required for all ENG/SEC ED majors; ENG majors prior to catalog year 2022; and, satisfies a literature requirement for CW majors.  It can be taken as an elective for all majors, catalog year 2022 and later.

ENG 280.01 - SpTp: Science Fiction A graphic of an alien in a ship beaming up books with text that reads, wanna read scifi.

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 3:30 - 4:50pm
Professor: Dr. Christine Haverington

Ready for an interactive, highly collaborative, critical and creative exploration of constructions of power, identity, agency, utopian and dystopian cultures represented in classic and contemporary science fiction literature and pop culture? This is the course for you! We will read, analyze and compare sci fi texts by British and American authors Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Charnock, Ursula LeGuin, and Octavia Butler. Your work in the course will include shared and independent readings and viewings, literary analyses, collaborative creative writing, and meta-cognitive reflection.

ENG 301 - Queer Fiction in the US

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pm
Professor: Dr. Jason Jacobs

How do we live now? This question, which this course explores through interpretive readings of literary fictions produced by queer authors in the US since the year 2000, can be read in multiple ways. First, in the sense of, now what? How do we live now that HIV can be reduced in the human body to undetectable levels through medication, and the same medications can prevent HIV infection in the first place? Now that gay and lesbian people are guaranteed marriage rights in every state? Now that trans people have unprecedented access to visibility and are at the same time under increased threat of legal and physical violence? But also, in the sense of: what are we all up to? What choices are queer people making? What’s important to queer people—what, if any, are our collective cultural values, political goals, even dreams? What obstacles do queer people face, and how are they contending with them? What’s it like to give in to, or resist, the pressures to be “normal people,” “just like everyone else”? What opportunities and risks accompany one choice or the other—for gay men and lesbians, for bisexuals, for trans and nonbinary folks? And finally, how do the lives we live now connect with the past and its legacies? Are we still working out the old traumas of homophobia and transphobia, of the closet and silencing, of AIDS…or are we getting somewhere new?

ENG 350 - Shakespeare

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30-4:50pm
Professor: Dr. Lori Lee Wallace

This variable topics course identifies topics related to Shakespeare’s plays (e.g., Shakespeare’s Contemporaries, Shakespeare’s Tragedies, Shakespeare’s Comedies, Shakespeare Then and Now, etc.) No matter what the topic, the emphasis will be on the stage and performance. Students will closely examine the playwright’s written word, and how performances bring those words to life. Shakespeare’s art, catholic in nature and scope, is also a historic reservoir, providing students a rich opportunity to explore the social, political, religious, scientific, and historical conditions that underpin his works. 

ENG 481 - Senior Thesis IIAlice in Wonderland

Meeting Time: Tues 5:00 - 7:50pm
Professor: Cynthia Scheinberg

In the second semester of the Senior Seminar, each student writes a substantial thesis of publishable quality based upon readings explored in ENG 480. Primarily a writing seminar, students meet individually with the professor each week to advance the draft through the writing process. Students present abstracts of their final papers at a public colloquium.

CULST 100 - Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

The phrase "Pop Culture" in comic book lettering

 

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 9:30 - 10:50am 
Professor: Prof. Leslie Grinner

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00am - 12:20pm
Professor: Prof. Leslie Grinner

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 - 4:50pm
Professor: Dr. Dean Lampros

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 5:00 - 6:20pm
Professor: Dr. Dean Lampros

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can also substitute as a an ENG 100-level course.

CULST 370: SpTp: The Dark Fantastic

Meeting Time: Weds 5:00 - 7:50pm
Professor: Prof. Leslie Grinner

This course is intended to provide an inquiry into Black Identities, Representations, & Performances within the interdisciplinary field of Africana Studies. It will provide an overview of critical positions in Black Identity Theory, Black Feminist Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Performativity. We will be exploring the politics of identity, representation, and racial performativity in media and popular culture. Students are expected to become familiar with critical paradigms, theories, and rationales within an Africana Studies framework. Students are not required to be or to become Critical Race Theorists but are expected to be able to read and understand the theoretical positionings of Africana Studies and to construct analytical arguments based upon these positionings. While this class holds Black American identities as its primary focus, we will also be exploring Black identities, representations, and performances from an inter/transnational perspective.

CULST 372: Television and Identity

Meeting Time: M/W/F 9:00 - 9:50am
Professor: Dr. Jennifer Stevens

Description coming soon!

CULST 373: Public Shaming in Contemporary Culture

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 2:00 - 3:20pm
Professor: Professor Kaila Carroll

Public shaming has historically been used to define society's boundaries. With the advent of social media platforms, new methods of stigmatizing norm violators have emerged. This course will examine how public shame has been used to define societal boundaries as well as discuss the politics, and ethics of utilizing public shaming given the permanent nature of social media's online footprint. Public shaming will be observed through the theoretical lenses of labeling, stigma, and social control. Additionally, this course will discuss various legislation governments have enacted to combat the long-term ramifications of a culture of public shaming.

No prerequisites. This course is an interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. 

GSS.100 - Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Meeting Times: Mon/Thurs 3:30 - 5:00pmImage of Male, Female, Other, Genetic Symbols
Professor: Dr. Jason Jacobs

This course introduces students to the social, cultural, and imaginative processes through which people are categorized in terms of sex and gender, and how this categorization shapes individual experiences of the world (including structures of power, privilege, and oppression). We examine theoretical models for analyzing gender, as well as the experiences, historical conditions, and intersections of gender and sexuality with social factors of diversity (race, class, nation, religion)

Spring 2024: ENG LIT & CREATIVE WTNG Courses

ENG 105 - The Bible as Literature

Meeting Time: TBANoah's ark
Professor: Dr. Cynthia Scheinberg

Have you ever felt you wanted to know more about the Bible but felt intimidated by the very thought of opening a Bible? Or are you someone who has a comfort level with the Bible in your own religious context, but wants to know more about its literary qualities? The main goal of this course is to help students become familiar with one the most famous “anthologies” ever compiled– the Bible –and to learn how to read it as a literary text.  Organized by the major literary genres of the Bible, this course explores significant themes, characters, and teachings in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). We will explore the diverse cultures, religious traditions, and historical contexts that influenced this famous text. As we learn how to read Biblical texts as literature, we will also ask questions about Biblical meaning that include: Do these scriptural/literary texts offer models for how to live a good or virtuous life? Does belief define identity? How is the relationship to God explored through particular identity, culture, or peoplehood?  Finally, we will include units on films and other literature that have used/adapted Biblical sources in more contemporary contexts. 

No prior knowledge of the Bible or religion is necessary. This course has been approved to meet the Social Inquiry and Humanities GenEd requirements, as well as the Diversity Equity and Inclusion GE requirement.  It also counts for the (previous) Core 104 requirement.

ENG 210 - Myth, Fantasy, and the Imagination

Meeting Time: TBA 
Professor: Susan Pasquarelli 

Undertake an odyssey to meet Scylla, the sea monster with six heads and twelve legFantasy/Mythological characters with wingss who devoured passing sailors; Circe, the exiled goddess who turned men into pigs; Polyphemus, the cyclop, who was heartbroken when Galatea spurned his love. Examine other worlds, civilizations, cultures, and human voices through ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Students read ancient and modern texts; interpret associated artwork; retell myths in well-crafted prose; investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in the wisdom literature of the ancients; and collaboratively and actively engage in Socratic seminars, Readers’ theatre, writing workshops and focused study groups. Past classes have also created their own gods and monsters out of clay!

This is a general education course in the Humanities category. All majors welcome. No pre-requisites.  This course is required for all ENG/SEC ED majors; ENG majors prior to catalog year 2022; and, satisfies a literature requirement for CW majors.  It can be taken as an elective for all majors, catalog year 2022 and later.

ENG 220 - Literary Analysis

Meeting Time: M/Thu  2:00 – 3:20pm 
Professor: Jason Jacobs

Shrek and Great GatsbyPrepare to change the way you see the world!  This class helps you understand the hidden ideologies in both literary AND popular culture.  We will use Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby  (1925) and  DreamWorks’ Shrek (2001) to learn five major literary theories:  Feminism, Marxism, LGBTQX Gender Studies, Race Theory, and Post-Colonial Studies (aka “Po-Co”).

For your final project, you will analyze your own popular culture text, using these literary theories.  For example, is Disney’s Aladdin a child’s primer for capitalist ideology?  Does Breaking Bad pit family values against traditional ethics?

This is a required course for English Literature majors.  It is only offered once every three years, so be sure to take it now while you can!  If you are a Creative Writing major, this course will satisfy one of your writing requirements.

ENG 260 - American Realism, Naturalism and Modernism

Meeting Time: M/W/F 11:00 – 11:50amAmerican Gothic
Professor: James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)

This survey course begins with the American realists and naturalists of the post-Civil War era and continues through 1950.

This survey course includes writers of the Lost Generation, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Southern Literary Renaissance. Authors covered include: Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner [Image source: John Ashton, Chap-books of the Eighteenth Century (1882)—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress]

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies the ENG 260 requirement for the English Literature major.  It also satisfies the literature elective for CW majors.

ENG 280 - British Literature Special Topics: Hag, Whore, Goddess, Wife: Women in Medieval Texts 

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Christine Haverington (chaverington@g.rwu.edu)Medieval image of woman with unicorn

You might say the Middle Ages was obsessed with the feminine, from the scary but necessary sorceress, to adulterous young wives, to ship-wrecking sirens, female devils, bawdy cougars, power-wielding prioresses, shield maidens, and unattainable objects of desire. The feminine took idealized form as the goddess Fortune, Lady Philosophy, and the Heavenly Mother. Female forms prance, romance, cast spells, wage war, weave peace, teach, grieve, tease, tempt, and leap through the pages of Medieval texts. In this course in British Literature we will meet these women, real, ideal, and ethereal. We will study their literary and historical contexts, and apply social and gender literary critical theory to help us understand them, the texts they inhabit, and the
cultures that created them. We will read the ancient texts in modern English translations, but with
reference to the originals.

ENG 280 - British Literature Special Topics: Gothic/HorrorUnusual painting of a horror creature

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

This class explores the shadowy realms of the creative mind, stepping into a genre that has fascinated and unsettled readers for over two centuries. Primarily focusing on British authors from the 19th and 20th centuries, we ponder how their texts mirror political, social, or cultural contexts. The course also introduces visual representations of gothic/horror in art, theatre, television, and film. 

ENG 379 - Lit of Holocaust 

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)Concentration camp

This course examines the European literature of the Holocaust, prior to and during World War II.

The course will include first-hand accounts, The Diary of Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel’s Night, and texts composed during the post-Holocaust decades, such as John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Martin Sherman’s Bent. This course satisfies the English Literature Global requirement.

This course satisfies the Global requirement for English majors.  Alternatively, it satisfies the elective option for ENG & CW majors and minors.  If you do not have the prerequisites, feel free to request a prerequisite waiver from the instructor.

ENG 480 - Senior Thesis I Sp Tp: From Text to Image: 19th-C British Lit and Cinematic Adaptation  (Cross-listed as ENG 479 elective.)

Meeting Time:  Tuesdays 5:00 - 7:50pm Alice in Wonderland
Professor:  Dr. Cynthia Scheinberg (cscheinberg@rwu.edu)

What happens to British novels and other kinds of texts when they become films in later historical periods?We will explore this question by analyzing important works of 19thcentury British fiction and their later film adaptations. Key questions include:  How were these novels read and understood in their historical contexts? How did subsequent literary critics understand their significance? What happens to those readings, critical interpretations and ideas when the novel is adapted to the screen?  How do representations of gender/sexuality, class, race and other identity markers change in this adaptation process that happens in a very different historical and artistic contexts?  What kinds of controversy or criticism emerge in the move from an “original text” to an adapted film? In this class we will likely explore (pending film availability): Jane Austen’s Emma (1816) and the film Clueless (Heckerling, 1994), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and at least two different film versions (there are 11!),  Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield (1850), and the 2019 film version (Dir. Ianuuci)  and Lewis Carroll’s  Alice in Wonderland (1865)and at least 2 of the many film versions.   A range of possible research topics will be available to students; English Literary Studies Majors will take this class in the spring 24, and then complete their thesis and research in Fall 2024.  This class will be also be available to non-thesis students as a special topics course: ENG 479.  

If you're not taking this as an ENG major, or if you're an ENG major or minor, but are not taking it as part of your senior capstone requirement in ENG, then you would sign up as ENG 479 instead of ENG 480.   

CW 110 -  Form in Poetry 

Meeting Time: TBA
Instructor: Renee Soto 

Poems are truth-tellers, which is not the same as easy, pleasant, or pretty. Understanding poetry as the meeting place of experience and the urgency to tell of that experience, in CW 110 we will get to know our language as the tool we have for, as Rilke says, “saying the unsayable.” 

In this class, we will consider pattern and pattern-breaking as the primary aspect of poetry through all of our discussions of all sorts of poems, techniques, forms, content, everything.Image of different types of paintings put together Experimentation with various aspects of structure and form to do the work of our “telling” is the basis for our work.

We will also get to know the idea of the “writing studio.” working in the community as writers, and they engaged in conversation about their poems and the poems of others.  The semester is full of opportunities to make your own poetry, to read more poetry, and to talk with one another about, poetry from the perspective of people actively making art at a time when we especially need art. 

No prerequisites.  Open to ALL majors.  This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CW 120 -  Narrative in Prose

Meeting Time: TBAImage of random book pages stacked on top of each other in a messy/layered pattern.
Instructor: Adam Braver

Fulfills requirement in the CW major, minor, and concentration. This foundation course is a critical study of the elements of narrative structure and design in the short story, such as character development, point of view, tone, setting, plotting, and time management. Through both seminars and writing workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how narrative not only affects the short story, but becomes the short story. Students will be exposed to essential works by writers such as, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, John Updike, and Alice Walker. Creative expectations are no more than two revised short stories that fully reflect the focused study of the course.

No prerequisites.  Open to ALL majors.  This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CW 310 -  Poetry Studio

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pmRed Book with the word "Poems" on the cover
Instructor: Renee Soto

Poetry Studio intensively focuses on the study and making of poetry while emphasizing the relationships between new work, revision practice, and conversation linking the two. The course relies on student work, discussion, and development of that work as the primary text, with strategy-building articles, essays, exercises, and examples supplementing as appropriate. The studio is a place to experiment, explore, take risks, and otherwise challenge oneself as a poet aware of an audience and conscious of cultivating care with decisions regarding language. The Poetry Studio is a semester-long, repeatable course that builds the student's final portfolio through applied, developmental practice. Course, not title, repeatable for credit.

English majors, minors and CC who have taken both CW 110 and CW 120 (pre-reqs) may also take 300-level CW Studios for English Lit Elective Credit.

CW 330 -  Nonfiction Studio

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 2:00 - 4:50pmAn image of the word "nonfiction" written in wooden blocks on a wooden table.
Instructor: Edward Delaney

Nonfiction Writing Studio is a semester-long, repeatable workshop in which students, led by a faculty writer, conceive, create, share, and revise work. The emphasis here is on the student writer building a body of creative work, strengthening skills, and learning more about the particular methods and tools for success in nonfiction writing. Student writers will offer and receive feedback to and from peers. Work created in this environment will go toward the final portfolio of work each student will complete as a requirement of the degree. Successive studios will not only continue to build skills, but will study, through a rotation of topics, various genres of nonfiction writing. In Nonfiction Studio, those might include but are not limited to Memoir, Autobiography and Biography, Literary Journalism and Immersion/Experiential Writing. (Fall, 3 credits) Course, not title, repeatable for credit.

English majors, minors and CC who have taken both CW 110 and CW 120 (pre-reqs) may also take 300-level CW Studios for English Lit Elective Credit.

CW 450 -  Literary Publishing

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:00 - 7:50pmAn image of old books stacked on shelves.
Instructor: Edward Delaney

This course offers students opportunities to develop and apply real-world skills in publishing towards the production of a high-quality national art & literary magazine. This class seeks dedicated students from across disciplines to be responsible for all levels of magazine production from maintaining up-to-date records, and designing ad copy, print magazine layout, and a Web site, to slushing submissions, proofreading, copy editing, corresponding with authors, and distributing the final product. Through demonstrated achievement and commitment, students may rise through the following ranks over time: Editorial Assistant, Assistant Poetry Editor, Assistant Fiction Editor, Assistant Production Editor, Managing Editor.

CULST 100 - Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Times:  TBA The phrase "Pop Culture" in comic book lettering
Professor: Laura D'Amore

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Details

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can also substitute as a an ENG 100-level course.

CULST.372 - Movies/Going Across Time Regal Cinemas

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Jennifer Stevens

Do wesee ourselves reflected back on the big screen?  If so, how? Using movies across time, from blockbusters to smaller independent films, we will explore how the act of viewing movies has changed over the past century.  We’ll explore the ways that “the movies” both reflect who we are and also influence who we are. Organized chronologically, this class is about the movies and about the audience(s) that consumes them.  

CULST 373 - Power of Women's Anger

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Laura D'Amore

Women’s anger has served as a catalyst for social movements and activism, as inspiration for art, and as the seeds for literary endeavors of all kinds.  Simultaneously, deeply entrenched gender role norms teach girls and women to be polite and repress their anger, and to always seek peaceful rather than aggressive solutions.  Angry women are often viewed as irrational and lacking self-control.  And the way that women’s anger is characterized and received is deeply interconnected with identityWoman Angry Thought Bubble factors like race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, class, immigration, religion, and disability: the perception of anger varies widely depending on the body that contains and/or expresses it. This course centers the power of women’s anger in order to resist the simplification and respectability politics that keep women from being able to experience their full range of emotions to bring their whole selves into the world.  Looking at a variety of sources (such as poetry, memoirs, books, manifestos, political speeches, social media, film, tv, and art) through a critical, interdisciplinary cultural studies lens, students will analyze the complexity of women’s anger and its impact on cultural productions and societal values.

Film 101 -  Introduction to Film Studies 

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 5:30 - 8:30pm, Mon/Thurs 5:00 - 6:20pm
Professors: Jeffrey Martin or Shawn M. Quirk

This course provides an introduction to the development of film forms,Image of Old Fashioned Film Camera styles, and theories providing a basic aesthetic and social understanding of film as both a mode of communication and a means of artistic expression. It explores the interrelationship of visual design, motion, editing, and thematic significance, helping students develop the foundational skills with which to interpret and articulate the myriad ways in which films create meaning, and elicit responses within viewers. The ultimate objective of the course is for students to become acquainted with a variety of film forms/styles, while developing the basic skills necessary to analyze and evaluate the cinematic presentations.

FILM 353.01 - East Asian Cinema

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Jeffrey MartinIn the Mood For Love Poster

The course is designed as an introduction to East Asian Cinema covering China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong cinemas), Korea, and Japan. Because of the different histories of these countries and their film industries the focus will vary but will include:

The historical development of and changes in East Asian Cinema over the last century.

Film as a reflection of changes in the cultures of the country under discussion. 

The interrelationship and differences between East Asian and European and American film cultures and traditions.

The difference between international and domestic reception and understanding of various films.

Students will view films outside of the class accompanied by multiple readings to be prepared for in-class discussion and writing assignments.  This is a writing intensive course.  Contact the professor (jmartin@rwu.edu) if you wish to have the pre-requisites waived. 

FILM 279 - Narrative Storytelling in Video Games

Meeting Time: TBAFour video game posters; The last of us part 1, Bioshock, Star Wars Old Republic, and Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag.
Professor: Chris Heckmann

Want to learn more about how video game narratives work?  It’s fascinating.   The Interactivity that video games offers fundamentally changes the way we engage with stories. Narrative Storytelling in Video Game Writing will examine how video games offer unique ways for participants to engage with visual media, from both a player perspective and a writer perspective.   To develop critical media studies skills students will work “hands-on” with a variety of games, from traditionally structured AAA first-person shooters, to post-structural interactive films. Students will ultimately look to the future to see how new developments in technology are changing the way we engage with interactive narratives.

GSS.100 - Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Meeting Times: M/W/F 1:00 – 1:50pm (Tentative)Image of Male, Female, Other, Genetic Symbols
Professor: Fernanda Righi (Tentative)

This course introduces students to the social, cultural, and imaginative processes through which people are categorized in terms of sex and gender, and how this categorization shapes individual experiences of the world (including structures of power, privilege, and oppression). We examine theoretical models for analyzing gender, as well as the experiences, historical conditions, and intersections of gender and sexuality with social factors of diversity (race, class, nation, religion)

THEAT 230 - Theatre History I

Meeting Time: MWF 12:00 – 1:00pmAn old theatre with people on the stage and lots of spectators in seat rows.
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

This survey course begins with the Ancient Greek Oedipus and ends with the great Moliere.

Plays will include, for example, Oedipus, Agamemnon, Medea, Everyman, Hamlet, Tartuffe, Mandragola and more!

All majors welcome.  This course may be taken to satisfy a lower level elective requirement for English literature majors.

THEAT XXX - Existentialist and Absurdist Drama 

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

Theatre Mosaic This course charts the development of existentialist and absurdist drama from its philosophical underpinnings to its emergence as a major dramatic genre in the 20th century. Drawing on ideas from philosophers like Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, Merleau-Ponty, and de Beauvoir, we will explore how existentialist themes of freedom, responsibility, absurdity, and alienation found expression on the stage. We will read and discuss plays by Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Genet, Harold Pinter, and Edward Albee and texts such as Waiting for GodotEndgameRhinocerosThe MaidsThe Homecoming, and The Goat. we will analyze how these playwrights critiqued the absurdity of the human condition and modern social conventions. Cross-listing with the French and Philosophy departments will enable us to explore the multidisciplinary dimensions of this genre.

PHA 100 - Foundations of Public Humanities and Arts

Meeting Time: TBA
Professor: Kristin Gallas

Scrambled Letters with Orange BackgroundIn this introductory course, students will discover relevant principles and practices in public humanities and arts, including scholarship, pedagogy, production, exhibition, preservation, and administration. The Public Humanities and Arts at RWU stages opportunities for students to learn from our community about their histories, heritage, and cultures, equipping them to practice historically-informed engagement on social problems. This course prepares future generations of professionals to enter into the world with cultural humility and the capacity to engage equitably and justly with others.


Fall 2023: ENG LIT & CREATIVE WTNG Courses

ENG 110 - Serpents, Swords, Symbols, and Sustainability 

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 9:30 - 10:50amColorful Quilt of Traditional Symbols
Instructor: Karen Bilotti

Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present day, as they assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. From Homer’s Illiad to folk tales such as Beauty and the Beast to modern television series, stories have a great deal of symbolic commonality.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.  This course counts as an elective for ENG LIT majors.

ENG 240 - Early American Literature

Meeting Time: M/W/F  11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: James TackachBlack and White Sketch of Puppets and Woman Reading a Story

Survey narratives from the 15th and 16th centuries to the American Civil War to understand the scope of American Literature from its beginnings until the 1860s.    

The course covers exploration narratives of the 15th and 16th centuries, American colonial writing, the literature of the new American republic, and the literary efforts of the 19th century romantics. The course concludes with abolitionist writing and the literature of the Civil War. The reading list includes Christopher Columbus, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and What Whitman.

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies the ENG 260 course requirement for English majors.

ENG.299 - Art of Theater

Meeting Time: M/W/F  12:00 – 12:50pm
Professor: Jeffrey B. MartinA group of girls onstage wearing blue sparkling dresses

An introductory study of theatre and drama in theory and in practice.

Plays are studied in depth demonstrating how script analysis reveals structure and meaning providing practical tools for various theatre disciplines such as actors, directors, and designers.  Plays studied page to stage covering various periods and styles and incorporating those in current production on campus and in the area.

Art of the Theatre qualifies as a Core 105 substitute.

ENG.280 - Brit Lit Variable Topics: Gender and Sexuality in British Lit

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Cynthia ScheinbergBlack and White image of Two Men in Top Hats standing side by side

Varied gender representations from the 19th to 20th centuries reveal gender identity in flux. Authors include George Eliot, Christina Rossetti, Eliza Lynn Linton, Radclyffe Hall, Thomas Hardy, Amy Levy, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, J.D. Beresford and Angela Carter. Topics include women’s desire, “fallen women,” sex work, lesbian communities, challenges to binary definitions of sex & gender, early explorations of trans identities, and the legalized oppression of male homosexuality. Reading load is not light, but students will be given the opportunity to do some reading over the summer if they choose (not required).  Opportunities for undergraduate research. The course pedagogy emphasizes discussion and collaboration.

ENG.280 - Brit Lit Topics: Fantasy Medieval and Modern

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Christine HaveringtonA Medieval Fantasy Dragon

This course brings together medieval and modern fantasy literature including film and pop culture. Our literary journey will be organized under the following themes: Wizards & Shape-Shifters; Dragons & Dragon-Slayers; Sirens & Merpeople; and Elves & Magical Underlings. We will read, analyze, and compare primary texts from the early to the late medieval period. (Modern English translations, with reference to Old English, Middle English, Icelandic, and Norman-French). We will watch for similarities and differences in representations of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

This course counts as ENG 270 for the old curriculum.

ENG.350 - Shakespeare Variable Topics Shakespeare on Film

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Jeffrey MartinShakespeare on Old Fashioned Film

Students will closely examine how film performances bring Shakespeare’s written word to life. Some films adhere closely to the text; others adapt liberally.  For example, Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli are “faithful” to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. How does West Side Story bring Romeo and Juliet to life? The Lion King and Hamlet? Ten Things I Hate About You and Taming of the Shrew? Throne of Blood and Macbeth

ENG.379 - Film Theory and Criticism 

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: TBAImage of Different Famous Films

This course will analyze how filmmakers use sound and image to tell stories on screen.  We will also examine a range of cinematic concepts (e.g., montage, auteur), and become acquainted with Film Theory, including feminist, LGBTQI, and postmodernist approaches to interpretation. 

ENG.481 - Thesis II (Required for all ENG LIT Senior Majors)

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 5:00 – 7:50pm
Professor: Jim TackachWoman at a Rally Wearing a Purple Mask

This is the 2nd half of the two semester capstone thesis course sequence (ENG 480 + ENG 481) required for graduation by all English Lit senior majors.  The topic this year is Social Protest Literature.  In this semester students will research, write, revise, revise, revise, edit, and then present their 18-25 page senior thesis in a public colloquium. 

Pre-requisite successful completion of ENG 480 during Spring semester 2023. 

ASIA.100 - Foundations of Asian Studies

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00 – 12:20pm
Professor: Jeffrey MartinTwo Women Dressed in Traditional Asian Clothing

This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Attention to major historical, political and economic developments over time, as well as to the cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.

This course satisfies the Global Requirement for Eng Lit majors. 

COMM.265 - Visual Rhetoric, Visual Culture

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 2:00 – 3:20pm
Professor: TBAImage of Baby with Famous Logos Imprinted on their body

How do pictures – both moving and still – create an almost palpable world of objects and events? How do we create meaning from the many visuals presented to us on a daily basis? Visual rhetoric and culture encompass many areas in visual studies: semiotics, persuasion, photography, art, and cultural studies. Students will ask two main questions: How do images act rhetorically upon viewers? What is the response of individuals and groups to the various forms of visual media within a given culture? 

CULST.100 - Approaches to Society and Culture

Meeting Times: Tues/Thurs 11:00 – 12:20pm, Tues/Thurs 12:30 - 1:50pm, Mon/Thurs 5:00 - 6:20pm
Professors: Laura D'Amore (Tues/Thurs), TBA (Mon/Thurs)The phrase "Pop Culture" in comic book lettering

Did you know that the study of “literature” includes all popular culture as “texts,” including television, movies, songs, Insta, advertisements, other material culture, and/or the built environment! Students will use diverse lenses – such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion – to interpret, analyze and evaluate, popular “texts,” using well-argued evidence. 

Details

All students are welcome.  This course counts as an Elective in the English Literary Studies majors.  Creative Writers will need permission from their CW advisor in order to substitute this course as one of their ENG lit electives for the CW major.

CULST.370 - Fairy Tales and Feminism 

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 2:00 – 3:20pm
Professor: Laura D'AmorePainting of Little Red Riding Hood

We will study fairy tales and their interpretations by American poets, writers, filmmakers, photographers, literary critics, psychologists, sociologists, and historians. We examine how fairy tales reproduce and/or resist sexist oppression through sex, violence, marriage, domesticity, morality, power and agency.  We will examine historical context, especially with regard to race, gender, sexuality, and disability. We will compare multiple American revisions of the same few stories (The Maiden Without Hands, The Frog Princess, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White). 

CW.110 - Form in Poetry

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Renee SotoImage of different types of paintings put together

Poems are truth-tellers, not always easy, pleasant, or pretty. Poems are the meeting place of experience, and urgency to tell of that experience. Poets use language for “saying the unsayable.” We will experiment w/ various aspects of structure and form to do that work.  We will also become a “writing studio:” working in a community, we will converse about our poems.  The semester is full of opportunities to make your own poetry, to read poetry, and to talk about poetry.

This course counts as a foundation electives for ENG majors.

CW.120 - Narrative in Prose

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Edward DelaneyImage of random book pages stacked on top of each other in a messy/layered pattern.

This foundation course is a critical study of the elements of narrative structure and design in the short story, such as character development, point of view, tone, setting, plotting, and time management. Through seminars & workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how narrative not only affects the short story, but becomes the short story. Students will read writers such as, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, John Updike, and Alice Walker. 

CW.450 - Literary Magazine

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:00 – 7:50pm
Professor: Edward DelaneyAn image of old books stacked on shelves.

This course offers students opportunities to develop and apply real-world publishing skills towards the production of a high-quality national art & literary magazine. This class seeks dedicated students from across disciplines to be responsible for all levels of magazine production from maintaining up-to-date records, and designing ad copy, print magazine layout, and a Web site, to slushing submissions, proofreading, copy editing, corresponding with authors, and distributing the final product. Through demonstrated achievement and commitment, students may rise through the following ranks over time: Editorial Assistant, Assistant Poetry Editor, Assistant Fiction Editor, Assistant Production Editor, Managing Editor.

FILM.101 - Introduction to Film Studies 

Meeting Times: Mon 5:00 – 7:50pm, Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pm
Professor: TBDImage of Old Fashioned Film Camera

This course surveys the development of film forms, styles, and theories providing a basic understanding of film as a mode of communication and artistic expression. It explores the interrelationship of visual design, motion, editing, and thematic significance, to develop foundational skills to interpret how films create meaning. Students will become acquainted with a variety of film forms/styles, while developing basic skills to analyze and evaluate cinematic presentations.

GSS.100 - Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Meeting Times: M/W/F 1:00 – 1:50pm
Professor: Fernanda RighiImage of Male, Female, Other, Genetic Symbols

This course introduces students to the social, cultural, and imaginative processes through which people are categorized in terms of sex and gender, and how this categorization shapes individual experiences of the world (including structures of power, privilege, and oppression). We examine theoretical models for analyzing gender, as well as the experiences, historical conditions, and intersections of gender and sexuality with social factors of diversity (race, class, nation, religion)

HIST.380 - Magic and Myth

Meeting Times: Tues/Thurs 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Sargon DonabedMythical Figure Riding a Leopard

The topic for this course will be Lord of the Rings trilogy (JRR Tolkien) with emphasis on the last two books in the trilogy:  The Two Towers and The Fellowship of the Ring.  Students will use a variety of resources, such as other non-fiction works by Tolkien (such as his theory for understanding the meaning of "fairy" stories, and his theory on the "cauldron of story"). This is a variable topics course. Students may repeat the course, but not the topic for credit. This course counts as an elective for English Literary Studies majors.  If Creative Writing majors wish to count this course as an ENG elective, they must first get permission from their CW faculty advisors, who will submit a form to let Roger Central know that it counts.

WTNG.301 - Rhetoric of Narrative: Storytelling and Art of Persuasion  

Meeting Times: Mon/Thurs 2:00 – 3:20pm
Professor: Christian PulverThe Story of Rhetoric Acronym

“Humans,” says rhetorician Walter Fisher, “are essentially storytellers.”  We invent tall tales, recount fables, spin yarns, report news, spread gossip, write autobiographies, share testimony, make films, broadcast rumors, whisper secrets, draft constitutions, and pen novels. In this course, we will explore how such stories shape our personal identities, allow us to identify with one another, and offer us a means of making sense of the world and our lives. Readings will include fables, fairy tales, parables, narratives of political independence, public testimony, literacy narratives, and stories of your own.  


Spring 2023: ENG LIT & CREATIVE WTNG Courses

ENG 107 - Japanese Anime: Global Culture

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pmA still anime image of two children catching fireflies
Instructor: Dr. Min Zhou

What is Japanese anime? Why has it succeeded in becoming a global phenomenon?  With a selection of memorable and influential anime (including Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, Astro Boy, and My Neighbor Totoro) we will explore the fascinating world of Japanese fantasy and science fiction and investigate such topics as history and memory; humans, nature and technology; bodies, gender and identity; and post-industrial globalization and cross-cultural adaptation.  This course counts as an elective for English majors.  ENG majors may count this course as an upper or lower elective.  Or as a Global Literature requirement. (Not both.)

ENG 210 - Myth, Fantasy, and the Imagination

Meeting Time: T/Th 9:30 - 10:50amSnapshot of a part of a Classic Medieval painting of Greek Gods.
Instructor: Dr. Susan Pasquarelli 

Take an odyssey into the most famous myths of all time. Meet Circe (before The Games of Thrones), the exiled “witch” who turned men into pigs (for good reason).  Meet Polyphemus, the Cyclopes, heartbroken when Galatea spurned his love. 

Examine other worlds, civilizations, cultures, and human voices through folktales and ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Students will read ancient and modern texts; interpret art work; retell myths in well-crafted prose; investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in the wisdom literature of the ancients; and, collaboratively and actively engage in Socratic seminars, Readers’ theatre, small literature discussion groups, writing workshops, & focused study groups. (Past classes have also created their own gods and monsters out of clay!)

The central goal of the course is “to realize that ancient literature offers us an opportunity to see not only into ourselves, to assess our needs, our drives, our goals, the quality of our relationships- with ourselves, our peers, our society at large – but also to glimpse the universal” (Joseph Campbell)

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course is required for ENG majors prior to catalogue year 2022.  It satisfies a literature requirement for CW majors.  It can be taken as an elective for all ENG majors, minors, and core concentrators with catalogue year 2022 and later.

ENG 480 - Senior Thesis 1: Contemporary American Protest Literature

Meeting Time: Thurs 5:00 - 7:50pmImage of Fist holding a pencil above an open book.
Instructor: Dr. James Tackach

This is the first part of the 2-course English Senior Thesis capstone course required of all ENG majors. Students will read a variety of social protest texts in this first semester. In the second semester (ENG 481) students will choose one or more of these texts to "deep dive" for their 20+ page literary analysis research paper to be presented at a public colloquium. 

Prerequisites: ENG 220, a 200 level WTNG course, and senior standing or consent of instructor. This course and ENG 481 are both required for all ENG majors.

CULST 100 - Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pm, Tues/Thurs 8:00 - 9:20am, Tues/Thurs 12:30 - 1:50pmThe phrase "Pop Culture" in comic book lettering
Instructors: Laura D'Amore or Aaron Allen

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Details

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can also substitute as a an ENG 100-level course.

CULST 372 - Love and Hip Hop

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 9:30 - 10:50amCollage of different types of people in Hip Hop community
Instructor: Aaron Allen

This course explores hip hop’s relationship with the concept of love.

By considering the broader social, political, and economic context of hip hop songs and music videos, the course focuses how the genre helps to interpret, construct, and redefine notions of love. The course explores topics such as artists love of self, love for romantic partners, love of their hometowns/communities, love for the genre, and more. Love is complicated. How might examining hip hop, as a form of cultural expression, help us to understand love in more complex ways?

Check with Prof. Allen for a request to waive pre-requisites.

CULST 370 - Girl Culture 

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 - 4:50pmImage of Two Girls Side by Side Representing Girls of different Cultures
Instructor: Laura D'Amore

The experience of gender on the development of girls as they grow into teens and young adulthood is profoundly affected by their social location — which is, itself, shaped by factors including class, race, ethnicity, dis/ability, religion, sexuality, and geography.

Using literature, film, and activist platforms as texts, this class critically examines the assumptions made about girls, and considers the ways in which girls work to claim agency over their own identity development.  This class includes an optional community-engaged project with a local pro-girl agency.

Check with Professor D’Amore for a request to waive pre-requisites. ENG majors may count this class towards an upper or lower level elective requirement. 

CW 110 -  Form in Poetry 

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00 - 12:20pmImage of different types of paintings put together
Instructor: Renee Soto 

Poems are truth-tellers, which is not the same as easy, pleasant, or pretty. Understanding poetry as the meeting place of experience and the urgency to tell of that experience, in CW 110 we will get to know our language as the tool we have for, as Rilke says, “saying the unsayable.” 

Read more

In this class, we will consider pattern and pattern-breaking as the primary aspect of poetry through all of our discussions of all sorts of poems, techniques, forms, content, everything. Experimentation with various aspects of structure and form to do the work of our “telling” is the basis for our work.

We will also get to know the idea of the “writing studio.” working in the community as writers, and they engaged in conversation about their poems and the poems of others.  The semester is full of opportunities to make your own poetry, to read more poetry, and to talk with one another about, poetry from the perspective of people actively making art at a time when we especially need art. 

No prerequisites.  Open to ALL majors.  This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CW 120 -  Narrative in Prose

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 12:30 - 1:50pmImage of random book pages stacked on top of each other in a messy/layered pattern.
Instructor: Adam Braver

Fulfills requirement in the CW major, minor, and concentration. This foundation course is a critical study of the elements of narrative structure and design in the short story, such as character development, point of view, tone, setting, plotting, and time management. Through both seminars and writing workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how narrative not only affects the short story, but becomes the short story. Students will be exposed to essential works by writers such as, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, John Updike, and Alice Walker. Creative expectations are no more than two revised short stories that fully reflect the focused study of the course.

No prerequisites.  Open to ALL majors.  This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CW 310 -  Poetry Studio

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pmRed Book with the word "Poems" on the cover
Instructor: Renee Soto

Poetry Studio intensively focuses on the study and making of poetry while emphasizing the relationships between new work, revision practice, and conversation linking the two. The course relies on student work, discussion, and development of that work as the primary text, with strategy-building articles, essays, exercises, and examples supplementing as appropriate. The studio is a place to experiment, explore, take risks, and otherwise challenge oneself as a poet aware of an audience and conscious of cultivating care with decisions regarding language. The Poetry Studio is a semester-long, repeatable course that builds the student's final portfolio through applied, developmental practice. Course, not title, repeatable for credit.

English majors, minors and CC who have taken both CW 110 and CW 120 (pre-reqs) may also take 300-level CW Studios for English Lit Elective Credit.

CW 330 -  Nonfiction Studio

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 2:00 - 4:50pmAn image of the word "nonfiction" written in wooden blocks on a wooden table.
Instructor: Edward Delaney

Nonfiction Writing Studio is a semester-long, repeatable workshop in which students, led by a faculty writer, conceive, create, share, and revise work. The emphasis here is on the student writer building a body of creative work, strengthening skills, and learning more about the particular methods and tools for success in nonfiction writing. Student writers will offer and receive feedback to and from peers. Work created in this environment will go toward the final portfolio of work each student will complete as a requirement of the degree. Successive studios will not only continue to build skills, but will study, through a rotation of topics, various genres of nonfiction writing. In Nonfiction Studio, those might include but are not limited to Memoir, Autobiography and Biography, Literary Journalism and Immersion/Experiential Writing. (Fall, 3 credits) Course, not title, repeatable for credit.

English majors, minors and CC who have taken both CW 110 and CW 120 (pre-reqs) may also take 300-level CW Studios for English Lit Elective Credit.

CW 450 -  Literary Publishing

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:00 - 7:50pmAn image of old books stacked on shelves.
Instructor: Edward Delaney

This course offers students opportunities to develop and apply real-world skills in publishing towards the production of a high-quality national art & literary magazine. This class seeks dedicated students from across disciplines to be responsible for all levels of magazine production from maintaining up-to-date records, and designing ad copy, print magazine layout, and a Web site, to slushing submissions, proofreading, copy editing, corresponding with authors, and distributing the final product. Through demonstrated achievement and commitment, students may rise through the following ranks over time: Editorial Assistant, Assistant Poetry Editor, Assistant Fiction Editor, Assistant Production Editor, Managing Editor.

Film 101 -  Introduction to Film Studies 

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 5:30 - 8:30pm, Mon/Thurs 5:00 - 6:20pm
Instructors: Jeffrey Martin or Shawn M. Quirk

This course provides an introduction to the development of film forms,Image of Old Fashioned Film Camera styles, and theories providing a basic aesthetic and social understanding of film as both a mode of communication and a means of artistic expression. It explores the interrelationship of visual design, motion, editing, and thematic significance, helping students develop the foundational skills with which to interpret and articulate the myriad ways in which films create meaning, and elicit responses within viewers. The ultimate objective of the course is for students to become acquainted with a variety of film forms/styles, while developing the basic skills necessary to analyze and evaluate the cinematic presentations.

Film 353 -  American Romantic Film Comedies (Film Genres) 

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 - 4:50pm
Instructor: Jeffrey Martin

Romantic Comedy is one of our most durable and enduring American film genres. From the beginning of the movie sound era toStill Image of a Man and Woman in a Romantic Comedy Film the present it has never gone out of style. It can tell us a great deal about changing American courtship cultures. The course will study the nature of the form and how it changes over time to reflect changes in our ideas of love and what we think an ideal partner in love should be. Films will include the following and more! It Happened One Night, His Girl FridayPhiladelphia, and Bringing Up Baby all the way to more contemporary films such as Tootsie, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, The Holiday, and Isn’t it Romantic

ENG majors may waive pre-requisites for this course by contacting either Prof. Martin or Prof. Case.

GSS 100 -  Intro to Gender/Sexuality Study

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 12:30 - 1:50pm
Instructor: Cheylsea L. Federle 

This course introduces students to the social, cultural, and imaginative processes through which people are categorized inImage of Male, Female, Other, Genetic Symbols terms of sex and gender, and how this categorization shapes individual experiences of the world (including structures of power, privilege, and oppression). We examine theoretical models for analyzing gender, as well as the experiences, historical conditions, and intersections of gender and sexuality with social factors of diversity (race, class, nation, religion).

HIST 380 - Magic and Myth: Two Rivers and Shire

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00 - 12:20pm
Instructor: Sargon Donabed 

Do you like fantasy and mythology?  In this HEAVY READING LOAD course we will exolore the commonalities in mythical lore between the places of Toklien’s Arda and Jordan’s Randland. Come join the fun! Importance of Place/Space, How are land and communities interconnected through mythImage of a Small Fairy Door in the Forest and folklore

Requirements: Some knowledge of Tolkien’s legend and Jordan’s Wheel of Time is a must.  It’s essential to get a jump on the reading before the class begins.

We may also go to Jordancon in April!!  This course focusses on the importance of myth to human life, students will analyze mythological growth within various ancient and modern cultures. They will learn to discern the components of myth, fable, and fantasy that reflect the concerns of the period within which theses genres were born.

This is a variable content course and may be repeated for credit, but students may study a single topic only once.

HIST 383 -  Magical Realism Latin America 

Meeting Time: Mon/Wed/Fri 11:00 - 11:50am
Instructor: Autumn Quezada-Grant Painting of a Person standing by a Lakeside Forest Home

Magical Realism is a literary genre born from hardships in Latin America — mixed with indigenous and African belief systems. Within worlds of magical realism, the veil between reality and the supernatural drops. This course explores this literature through works such as Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits, among others. Along the way, students will gain a better grasp of the movements of history in Latin America through a myriad of lenses such as race, ethnicity, gender, sex and class. Studying history through the lens of magical realism offers students a way to understand that not all of history is in textbooks. There are many ways that literature tells stories, uncovers silences and immortalizes people/s who otherwise might have been “disappeared.” 

This course counts as an elective for ENG majors, minors and CCs (with a quick substitution form from your advisor and signed by the chair).

THEAT 334 -  Contemporary Drama

Meeting Time: Mon/Wed/Fri 1:00 - 1:50pm
Instructor: Jeffrey Martin Image of a Dimly Lit Set on a Theater Stage

Theatre is always a mirror of the society that produces it and this has been especially true in the recent past as it has embraced a more diverse and embracing society. Voices that were largely ignored before have come to center stage and major playwrights such as August Wilson, and Tony Kushner emerged to give voices to their lives and concerns. Beyond changes in content the course topics will also include: contemporary drama as an outgrowth of modernism, innovations in theatrical form; the fragmentation of theatre forms and audiences; and recent innovative theatre practitioners and producing agencies. 

This course counts as an elective for ENG majors, minors, and core concentrators.

WEB 299 -  Web Development 

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 6:30 - 9:30pm (On-Line)
Instructor: Al Cutting Image of Different Ideas coming from a Computer surrounding a Globe

Students form multidisciplinary teams to design and develop a web presence for an actual client.  English majors would be contributing their writing skills and are not required to have web building skills.  Teams consisting of writers and web site builders compete for a real  client’s business just as a real-world web design and development firm must do. Team members bring their own expertise to bear in seamlessly integrating the web site. This project requires the application of your existing skill set and the acquisition of new skills. Employers are increasingly looking for graduates with real-world experience working in multi-disciplinary teams. The Web Development Center provides that experience. The team project becomes part of each student’s professional portfolio. 

This course satisfies the new experiential learning requirement for English Literary Studies majors under catalogue year 2022 and forward. It may also count as an elective for all ENG majors, any year.

WTNG 230 -  Rhetoric of Film 

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 12:30 - 1:50pm
Instructor: Cory E. AlixImage of Strips of Film from a Camera

Students learn writing skills by writing about film as a rhetorical art. By analyzing the relationships among purpose, audience, genre, and social context, students learn that film technique functions as rhetorical strategy. Students deepen both their rhetorical and writing process knowledge when adapting to different audiences and producing texts typical to writing about film, such as the screening report, movie review, and critical essay.

WTNG 250 -  Advanced Composition 

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00 - 12:20pm
Instructor: John Madritch Image of an Old Fashioned Fountain Pen with Cursive Writing

This course provides writers with advanced practice in drafting, revising, and editing non-fiction prose, with particular emphasis placed on questions of voice and style. Students will experiment with invention strategies and editing techniques as they plan, draft, and revise essays for a variety of purposes and audiences. In addition, they will read and respond to their own and their classmates writing in order to propose ideas for revision and editing.

Pre-requisite: Successful completion (C- or higher) WTNG.102. Fulfills the second of two University Core Curriculum requirements in the University Writing Program OR an elective in the ENG LIT major or minor (not both).  Also fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and Minor

WTNG 320 -  Art of Writing: Forms of Essay 

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs 11:00 - 12:20pm
Instructor: Jennifer Campbell Image of a Notebook and Pen with the word Essay written inside

This course broadens students understanding of the essay as a genre, with emphasis on analyzing and writing the personal essay. Through a socio-cultural perspective, students investigate why/how the personal essay persuades readers. How does pathos work in argument? Readings proceed from the historical to the contemporary in the arts and sciences. 

This course satisfies an elective requirement for ENG majors, minors and CCs (but will require a quick substitution form from your advisor and signed by the Chair). It requires both the 100 and 200 level WTNG pre-requisites and satisfies a requirement for the WTNG core concentration and minor.

WTNG 400 -  Writing for Social Change Black and White Sketch of a Hand holding a Pencil

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pm
Instructor: Brian Hendrickson 

This course works in partnership with a local, non-profit social service agency. Students will determine which of the agency’s goals can be met by collaborating on research and writing projects. The writing projects will vary, depending on the objectives of the agency. The purpose of the texts produced will range from raising public awareness of agency-specific problems and issues to securing resources for the organization. On-going reading and class discussions will center on the potency of texts, the role of the writer in bringing about social change, and the value of civic engagement. 

Prerequisites: Critical Writing (WTNG 200,210 or 220) and at least Junior Standing

Fulfills an elective credit for ENG majors, minors and Core Concentrators. Fulfills a course requirement in the WTNG Studies Core Concentration.


Fall 2023: ENG LIT & CREATIVE WTNG Courses 

ENG 105 - The Bible as Literature

Meeting Time: M/Th 3:30-5:50pm
Professor: Dr. Cynthia Scheinberg

Have you ever felt you wanted to know more about the Bible but felt intimidated by the very thought of opening a Bible? Or are you someone who has a comfort level with the Bible in your own religious context, but wants to know more about its literary qualities? The main goal of this course is to help students become familiar with one the most famous “anthologies” ever compiled– the Bible –and to learn how to read it as a literary text.  Organized by the major literary genres of the Bible, this course explores significant themes, characters, and teachings in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). We will explore the diverse cultures, religious traditions, and historical contexts that influenced this famous text. As we learn how to read Biblical texts as literature, we will also ask questions about Biblical meaning that include: Do these scriptural/literary texts offer models for how to live a good or virtuous life? Does belief define identity? How is the relationship to God explored through particular identity, culture, or peoplehood?  Finally, we will include units on films and other literature that have used/adapted Biblical sources in more contemporary contexts. No prior knowledge of the Bible or religion is necessary. This course counts for the Core 104 requirement.

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols & Sustainability

Meeting Time: T/Th 9:30 – 10:50am
Professor: Karen Bilotti

Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present day, as they assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. 

From Homer’s Illiad to folk tales such as Beauty and the Beast to modern television series, stories have a great deal of symbolic commonality.  Students will analyze interdisciplinary and cross-cultural literary and visual works in non-fiction and natural history, literature and film.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course satisfies the 100-level course requirement for English majors and a literature requirement for CW majors.  If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it could instead satisfy a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

ENG 210 - Myth Fantasy and the Imagination

Meeting Time: T/Th 11:00 – 12:20pm
Professor: Susan Pasquarelli

Take an odyssey into the most famous myths of all time. Meet Circe (before The Games of Thrones), the exiled “witch” who turned men into pigs (for good reason).  Meet Polyphemus, the Cyclop, heartbroken when Galatea spurned his love.     

Examine other worlds, civilizations, cultures, and human voices through folktales and ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Students will read ancient and modern texts; interpret art work; retell myths in well-crafted prose; investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in the wisdom literature of the ancients; and, collaboratively and actively engage in Socratic seminars, Readers’ theatre, small literature discussion groups, writing workshops, & focused study groups. (Past classes have also created their own gods and monsters out of clay!)

The central goal of the course is “to realize that ancient literature offers us an opportunity to see not only into ourselves, to assess our needs, our drives, our goals, the quality of our relationships- with ourselves, our peers, our society at large – but also to glimpse the universal” (Joseph Campbell)

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course is required for ENG majors and satisfies the literature requirement for CW majors.

ENG 220 - Literary Analysis

Meeting Time: T/Fri  3:30 – 4:50pm 
Professor: Professor Case  (mcase@rwu.edu)

Prepare to change the way you see the world!  This class helps you understand the hidden ideologies in both literary AND popular culture.  We will use Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby  (1925) and  DreamWorks’ Shrek (2001) to learn five major literary theories:  Feminism, Marxism, LGBTQX Gender Studies, Race Theory, and Post-Colonial Studies (aka “Po-Co”).

For your final project, you will analyze your own popular culture text, using these literary theories.  For example, is Disney’s Aladin a child’s primer for capitalist ideology?  Does Breaking Bad pit family values against traditional ethics?

This is a required course for English Literature majors.  It is only offered once every three years, so be sure to take it now while you can!  If you are a Creative Writing major, this course will satisfy one of your writing requirements.

ENG 240 - Early American Literature

Meeting Time: M/W/F  11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: James Tackach

Survey narratives from the 15th and 16th centuries to the American Civil War to understand the scope of American Literature from its beginnings until the 1860s.    

The course covers exploration narratives of the 15th and 16th centuries, American colonial writing, the literature of the new American republic, and the literary efforts of the 19th century romantics. The course concludes with abolitionist writing and the literature of the Civil War. The reading list includes Christopher Columbus, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and What Whitman.

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies the ENG 260 course requirement for English majors.

ENG.299 - Art of Theater

Meeting Time: M/W/F  12:00 – 12:50pm
Professor: Jeffrey B. Martin

An introductory study of theatre and drama in theory and in practice.

Plays are studied in depth demonstrating how script analysis reveals structure and meaning providing practical tools for various theatre disciplines such as actors, directors, and designers.  Plays studied page to stage covering various periods and styles and incorporating those in current production on campus and in the area.

Art of the Theatre qualifies as a Core 105 substitute.

English 430 - (or ENG 270 or ENG 290) The British Novel in the 19th C and beyond

Meeting Time: M/Th 2:00-3:20pm 
Professor: Dr. Cynthia Scheinberg

Are you interested in the how the genre of the novel developed over time and how this form became one of the most popular and influential literary genres of all time? This course focuses on key moments in the development of the British novel, beginning with the intensified interest in and increased publication of novels in the long nineteenth century, as well as examining how the novel was adapted to address the concerns of later periods.   Authors that could be included are Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, The Bronte sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, E.M Forster and/or Zadie Smith; four to five novels in total will be selected.   Special attention will be paid to how the British novel addresses issues of gender and class identity; other themes we will explore include British colonialism, industrialization, access to education, ideas about novel readers, and the politics of publication. Registered students will be given the reading list ahead of time in case they want to read over the summer. 

This Special Topics course can satisfy the ENG 290 or ENG 270 elective. However, if you are a Secondary Education Major, don’t take it for ENG 270 — because it will not help you on your RIDE certification exam.  ENG 270 will be offered Spring 23.

English 430 - Hemingway Short Stories

Meeting Time: M / W / F  1:00 – 1:50 
Professor: Dr. Jim Tackach

Although Ernest Hemingway authored several fine novels, he is most critically acclaimed and appreciated for his achievements in the short story form.  This course introduces students to Hemingway’s short stories.  After closely reading, discussing, and writing about the short story masterpieces collected in the course text (The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway), students should have a thorough understanding of Hemingway as a short story writer—his unique style, his choice of subjects and themes, his characters (the “Hemingway hero” and “Hemingway code”) his creative strategies, his artistic philosophy, and his view of the world.

HIST 380 - Narnia & Christianity

Meeting Time: T/Th 12:30-1:50pm 
Professor: Sargon Donabed

Is Narnia Christian allegory? What are the religious themes and parallels? This class will explore the works of CS Lewis from a religious studies perspective delving into the creation of and reception of the Chronicles of Narnia.

LANG 430 - Greek Mythology

Meeting Time: M/W/F 9:00-9:50am 
Professor: Tony Hollingsworth

If you have ever wondered how schools taught Greek mythology 200, 400 or a thousand years ago, then this course is worth serious consideration. Starting with the creation myths, then moving to heroes and sagas, and finally considering the Roman adaptations of Greek mythology, we will examine the details, transmission, relevance, and ultimately the impact of these tales. The stories are taught as they were taught to students from the days of ancient Rome through Medieval Rome and up to the present. Same authors, same commentators, same questions. After this course, students will enjoy a familiarity with the stories of the Greek gods and heroes and be a part of an interpretation which has spanned the centuries. 

CW 110 - Form in Poetry (Cross-listed w/ ENG 100 Intro to Literature)

Meeting Time: T/TH 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto

Poems are truth-tellers, which is not the same as easy, pleasant, or pretty. Understanding poetry as the meeting place of experience and the urgency to tell of that experience, in CW 110 we will get to know our language as the tool we have for, as Rilke says, “saying the unsayable.” 

 In this class, we will consider pattern and pattern-breaking as the primary aspect of poetry through all of our discussions of all sorts of poems, techniques, forms, content, everything. Experimentation with various aspects of structure and form to do the work of our “telling” is the basis for our work.

We will also get to know the idea of the “writing studio.” working in the community as writers, and they engaged in conversation about their poems and the poems of others.  The semester is full of opportunities to make your own poetry, to read more poetry, and to talk with one another about, poetry from the perspective of people actively making art at a time when we especially need art. 

No prerequisites. Open to ALL majors. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CW 120 - Narrative in Prose

Meeting Time: M/TH 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Edward J. Delaney

Fulfills requirement in the CW major, minor, and concentration. This foundation course is a critical study of the elements of narrative structure and design in the short story, such as character development, point of view, tone, setting, plotting, and time management. Through both seminars and writing workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how narrative not only affects the short story, but becomes the short story. Students will be exposed to essential works by writers such as, James Baldwin, Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, John Updike, and Alice Walker. Creative expectations are no more than two revised short stories that fully reflect the focused study of the course.

CW 210 - Roads (Not Yet) Taken

Meeting Time: M/TH 2:00 – 3:20pm
Professor: Renee Soto

Every poem we write is a nod to every poem we have read, and those poems we’ve read nod back to the poems before them, and so on. In this Reading as Writers/Poetry course, we will consider the roads poets take, looking for on-ramps, off-ramps, and detours, as we come to know contemporary poetry better and how it comes to be, by virtue of influence. We’ll consider the vehicles poems travel in, be that shape, sound, association, syntax, etc. We’ll begin here, in the 21st century, work our way back, and look a little bit ahead. Our focus will be on American poets, though we are likely to dabble in translation along the way.

CW 320 - Starting Your Novel

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 2:00 – 4:50pm
Professor: Adam B. Braver

The “Starting Your Novel” studio focuses on developing the ways the beginning to your novel can introduce the characters, the questions, the settings, and the issues that are critical to drawing a reader in and creating an engaging and meaningful narrative.

CW 320.02 - Writing for Television & Stage

Meeting Time: T/TH 8:00 – 9:20am
Professor: Edward J. Delaney

This course covers some of the basics of writing for episodic television, as well as for the stage, emphasizing character, story and dialogue. Student writers will work toward a pilot script of a TV program they have developed, or of a short stage play.

CW 450 - Literary Publishing

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:00 – 7:50pm
Professor: Edward J. Delaney

This course offers students opportunities to develop and apply real-world skills in publishing towards the production of a high-quality national art & literary magazine. This class seeks dedicated students from across disciplines to be responsible for all levels of magazine production from maintaining up-to-date records, and designing ad copy, print magazine layout, and a Web site, to slushing submissions, proofreading, copy editing, corresponding with authors, and distributing the final product. Through demonstrated achievement and commitment, students may rise through the following ranks over time: Editorial Assistant, Assistant Poetry Editor, Assistant Fiction Editor, Assistant Production Editor, Managing Editor.

CW 451 - Human Rights Advocacy Seminar

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:00 – 6:45pm
Professor: TBA

This is a “living class” in which students are case-responsible advocates on behalf of people around the world who are being persecuted.

No prerequisites.  Heads up: It is only 1-credit.  It is, however, repeatable for credit if you wish to take it again in the future to build up to 3 credits. If taken for 3 or more credits, this course counts toward the CW experiential learning requirement.

CULST 100 Sections .01, .02, .03: Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Times:
T/Th 11:00 – 12:20pm (Prof. A. Allen)
M/Th 2:00 –  3:30pm  (Prof. L. D’Amore)
T/Th  8:00 –  9:20am  (Prof. A. Allen)

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can also substitute as a an ENG 100-level course.

CULST 372.01 - Super/heroines in American Popular Culture

Meeting Time: M/Th 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor. Laura M. D’Amore

This course examines super/heroines in film, television, and comics.  Using ideas of empowerment, power, strength, and agency as our frames, we will analyze the ways in which super/heroines represent, and are represented by, American popular culture.  We will consider historical context in understanding how these stories are created and received.  Using lenses of race, gender, sexuality, and dis/ability, we will interrogate the ways that these cultural constructions relate to American culture in the past and present.

CULST 372.02 - TV Culture: Identity and Audience

Meeting Time: M/W/F 12:00 – 12:50pm
Professor. Jennifer Stevens

How does television reinforce (or even create) our cultural norms and expectations?  Does what we see on our screens affect the way we interact with and understand each other? In this class we will “read” television from the past and present and investigate the relationship between television and identity to better understand how we are influenced by this medium and the influence it has on our larger society and culture.

CULST 373 - US Feminism: History, Theory, Practice

Meeting Time: M/Th 5:00 – 6:20pm
Professor. Laura M. D’Amore

This course examines feminism in the United States from the 19th century to the present. While contextualizing feminism historically, this course also engages with feminist theory, and the ways that feminist thinking has impacted cultural change. As well, this course considers how feminist history and feminist theory have impacted contemporary ways of being a feminist activist, culminating in an application-based project that moves history and theory into practice. Through all of these stages, we will interrogate how thinking intersectionally can de-center the dominant stories of feminism in the U.S., which is itself a feminist practice.

CULST 373.02 - Race, Racism, and Law

Meeting Time: T/Th 9:30 – 10:50pm
Professor. Aaron Allen

This course applies a cultural studies framework to the analysis of race, racism and law in the U.S. We will explore how cultural production and practices intersect with the ways that laws are crafted, legislated, interpreted, enforced, and challenged, which collectively impact the material conditions of racially minoritized communities. This course analyzes how law constructs race and perpetuates racism by putting legal documents in conversation with television, film, and other cultural texts. We will also examine the ways in which minoritized communities use cultural expression to challenge U.S. legal systems.

GSS.100 - Intro to Gender/Sexuality Study

Meeting Time: T/Th 9:30 – 10:50am
Professor. Cheylsea L. Federle

This course introduces students to the social, cultural, and imaginative processes through which people are categorized in terms of sex and gender, and how this categorization shapes individual experiences of the world (including structures of power, privilege, and oppression). We examine theoretical models for analyzing gender, as well as the experiences, historical conditions, and intersections of gender and sexuality with social factors of diversity (race, class, nation, religion)

Film.101.01 - Introduction to Film Studies

Meeting Time: T/Th 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor. TBA

This course provides an introduction to the development of film forms, styles, and theories providing a basic aesthetic and social understanding of film as both a mode of communication and a means of artistic expression. It explores the interrelationship of visual design, motion, editing, and thematic significance, helping students develop the foundational skills with which to interpret and articulate the myriad ways in which films create meaning, and elicit responses within viewers. The ultimate objective of the course is for students to become acquainted with a variety of film forms/styles, while developing the basic skills necessary to analyze and evaluate the cinematic presentations.

Film.101.02 - Introduction to Film Studies

Meeting Time: T/Fri 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor. TBA

This course provides an introduction to the development of film forms, styles, and theories providing a basic aesthetic and social understanding of film as both a mode of communication and a means of artistic expression. It explores the interrelationship of visual design, motion, editing, and thematic significance, helping students develop the foundational skills with which to interpret and articulate the myriad ways in which films create meaning, and elicit responses within viewers. The ultimate objective of the course is for students to become acquainted with a variety of film forms/styles, while developing the basic skills necessary to analyze and evaluate the cinematic presentations.

WTNG 301 - The Rhetoric of Narrative Storytelling and the Art of Persuasion

Meeting Time: T/TH 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Catherine F. Capineri

“Humans,” says rhetorician Walter Fisher, “are essentially storytellers.”

We invent tall tales, recount fables, spin yarns, report news, spread gossip, write autobiographies, share testimony, make films, broadcast rumors, whisper secrets, draft constitutions, and pen novels. In this course, we will explore how such stories shape our personal identities, allow us to identify with one another, and offer us a means of making sense of the world and our lives. Readings will include fables, fairy tales, parables, narratives of political independence, public testimony, literacy narratives, and stories of your own.

WTNG 321.01 - Multimdl Wtng in Publ Spheres

Meeting Time: T/TH 11:00 – 12:20pm
Professor: Brian M. Hendrickson

Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and minor This course explores the theory and practice of writing that serves public interests. As writing in public spheres is produced across a variety of mediafrom blogs to tweets to visual images to print-based texts students will produce and analyze multimodal compositions meant to accomplish a specific outcome for a particular audience. Students will explore the theoretical, rhetorical, and ethical considerations of writing in public spheres, and produce a variety of multimodal genres. Note: previous experience with digital or multimodal composing not required

WTNG 321.02 - Multimdl Wtng in Publ Spheres

Meeting Time: T/TH 12:00 – 1:50pm
Professor: Brian M. Hendrickson

Fulfills a course requirement in the Professional and Public Writing Core Concentration and minor This course explores the theory and practice of writing that serves public interests. As writing in public spheres is produced across a variety of mediafrom blogs to tweets to visual images to print-based texts students will produce and analyze multimodal compositions meant to accomplish a specific outcome for a particular audience. Students will explore the theoretical, rhetorical, and ethical considerations of writing in public spheres, and produce a variety of multimodal genres. Note: previous experience with digital or multimodal composing not required


Spring 2022: ENG LIT & CREATIVE WTNG Courses

ENG 480 Senior Thesis I Literary Challengers, Movers and Shakers

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:25 – 8:15pm
Professor: Cynthia Schienberg

Certain movements or groups of writers in the Anglo-American literary tradition might be classified as “challengers,” writers and movements that sought to revise the very meaning of literature or rethink particular genres from/against the writers who preceded them.  In this course, we will look at selections from three such moments in (mostly)British literary history: the British Romantic poets (1780-1830) the British/American Modernists (1900-1950), and twentieth-century BIPOC post-colonial writers (1960-2010).

Prerequisite:  Open to all ENG and CW juniors or seniors.  This is the first half of the senior capstone course.  However, it can be taken by itself.  In other words, you don’t need to take the follow up course (ENG 481) if you are not pursuing the capstone credit for the major at this time (or ever).  If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Prof. Scheinberg.

CW 451 - Human Rights Advocacy Seminar

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:25 – 6:40pm
Professor: Robert Cole

This is a “living class” in which students are case-responsible advocates on behalf of people around the world who are being persecuted.

No prerequisites.  Heads up: It is only 1-credit.  It is, however, repeatable for credit if you wish to take it again in the future to build up to 3 credits. If taken for 3 or more credits, this course counts toward the CW experiential learning requirement.

CW 450 Literary Publishing

Meeting Time: Mondays 5:15 – 8:15pm
Professor: Ted Delaney

Interested in gaining valuable editing experience on the high quality national literary journal, Mount Hope Magazine published right here at RWU?  Want to read works by up- and-coming authors?  Want to learn how a literary journal works?  Want to correspond with published authors?  Want to see your name listed in the editorial staff of this highly regarded journal?  Want to learn how contributing stories are rejected or accepted?    Take this course!  This course is repeatable for credit.  No pre-requisites.  Click here to read a great Hawks Herald description of Mount Hope Magazine.

If you love this course, it is repeatable for credit and you can rise in the ranks each time you take it, learning more and more important editorial staff skills to make you even more employable on the job market.

No prerequisites. This course is open to ALL majors.  You might be able to take it for fewer than 3 credits if you have already taken it once.  This course counts toward the CW experiential learning requirement.  This course can be repeated for credits.  Students seeking a career in publishing should seriously consider taking this course and/or repeating it once or twice for credit in order to move up the editing ranks and acquire even higher level skills.

ENG 430.03: The Other Victorians & Their Legacies(Cross-Listed w/ ENG 290 British Lit II)

Meeting Time: M/Th 2:15 – 3:35pm
Professor: Cynthia Scheinberg

In this course, we will juxtapose some of the most famous writers from the long 19th century of British literature with less read authors who often challenge the very terms upon which the canon of British literature has been constructed—and then follow the trajectories of those writers into the 20 and 21 centuries.

Along with some of the more famous male Christian writers of the Romantic and Victorian periods, we will also explore writing by or about so-called “others” in the period: 19th century writers of  Caribbean, Irish and Jewish descent; queer and gender non-conforming writers;  and texts written by or representing experiences of working-class people.  Moving into the 20th century, we will continue to look at a range of canonical British texts, while also following those literary legacies of queer, Irish, and Jewish writers along with  Anglophone writers from the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.  Along with primary literary texts, we will also explore how different historical moments in English literary history sought to define what constitutes “great literature” in order to analyze/critique the very idea of a literary canon.

This course is cross-listed as either ENG 430 or ENG 290 to allow students to take it who have already taken ENG 290.  The content does contain SOME overlap with ENG 290 taught in Spring 2020.  If you wish to take this course and you have not signed up for ENG 290, then you may take it EITHER as ENG 290 or as ENG 430.  If you do not have the pre-requisites for either course, feel free to contact the instructor to discuss whether they would be willing to waive the prerequisites for you due to your high level of interest in the course.

ENG 430.02 - Queer Theater and Drama (Special Topics Course)(Cross-Listed w/ THEAT 443)

Meeting Time: M/W/F 1:10 – 2:00pm
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

From the 1930s to the present, this course explores the political, social, and historical contexts of LGBTQ theater.

Course discussion and close analysis of plays will include how the art of theater brings attention to LGBTQ issues including, identity, coming out, and the AIDS crisis.  Plays include, for example, Angels in America (see image at left), Cloud 9, The Dresser and 4:48 Psychosis.[Photo from Brinkhoff & Mögenburg (Angels in America).]

This course satisfies an an upper level elective requirement for English Literature majors.  It also satisfies the literature elective for CW majors.

ENG 430.01 - Theatre History I (Cross-listed w/ THEAT 231)

Meeting Time: M/W/F 12:05 – 12:55pm
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

This survey course begins with the English Restoration and ends with the beginning of Modernism in the twentieth century.

Playwrights examined will include, for example: Wycherley, Sheridan, Behn, Wilde, Ibsen, Chekhov, and Gogol. This course counts as an English Elective course for English Literature majors.

This course satisfies the elective requirement for ENG & CW majors.  If you do not have the prerequisites, contact the instructor for permission to waive them.

HIST 380: Tolkien

Meeting Time: T/Th: 12:30pm 
Professor Sargon Donabed (sdonabed@rwu.edu)

Enjoy reading JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?  Want to learn more about the creation of that world, the world of Myth, and Medieval history? 

This class will read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, dip into the Simarillion, and other works by Tolkien.  How did Tolkien’s own background in Medieval history inflect his works?  How do his works tap into systems of myth and mythology?  This course will read, discuss and learn!

This course counts for an upper-level ENG elective.  It can also substitute for ENG 210 Myth.  Contact Prof. Case (mcase@rwu.edu) to create a substitution adjustment so that Roger Central will accept this course for an English upper level elective.

ENG 320 - Global Literature: The Holocaust in Literature

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:25 – 8:15pm
Professor: James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)

This course examines the European literature of the Holocaust, prior to and during World War II.

The course will include first-hand accounts, The Diary of Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel’s Night, and texts composed during the post-Holocaust decades, such as John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Martin Sherman’s Bent. This course satisfies the English Literature Global requirement.

This course satisfies the Global requirement for English majors.  Alternatively, it satisfies the elective option for ENG & CW majors and minors.  If you do not have the prerequisites, feel free to request a prerequisite waiver from the instructor.

CW 310 - Poetry Studio: image-making

Meeting Time: T/TH 9:20 – 10:40am
Professor: Renee Soto

“She locked his name.
in her deepest cabinet”

Remember when we first encountered this image in “The Portrait” and marveled over what it meant, even though it made no literal sense, and how Kunitz’ choice of “thumping” two lines down confirmed for us everything we needed to know to understand how we knew what he meant?

Remember those minnows darting and “glinting like switchblades” in Natasha Trethwewey’s poem “History Lesson” and the way those words encompassed a whole national as well as personal history?

 The Spring 2022 Poetry Studio will focus on your deepest cabinet, your personal history, and the ways you encounter the world around you to make sense of lasting moments in your life. We’ll build poems together with a focus on diction and image-making. We’ll revise on our own and together, we will practice, practice, practice. Our work will be intensive, exhilarating, experimental, and risky. Our work will be your poetry.

Prerequisites. CW 110 & CW 120. This is an upper level CW course.  

300-Level WTNG courses can fulfill an upper level English Literature elective.

If you have already taken both required 100 & 200 level WTNG courses, an additional WTNG course at the 200 or 300 level may satisfy an ENG elective.  (Contact mcase@rwu.edu for substitution.) Popular topics include Travel Writing, Rhetoric of Narrative, Rhetoric of Film, & Environmental Rhetoric.  Note:  300-level WTNG courses require a 200+ WTNG pre-requisite.

ENG 290 - British Literature II (Cross-Listed w/ ENG 430 The Other Victorians & Their Legacies)

Meeting Time: M/Th 2:15 – 3:35pm
Professor: Cynthia Scheinberg

In this course, we will juxtapose some of the most famous writers from the long 19th century of British literature with less read authors who often challenge the very terms upon which the canon of British literature has been constructed—and then follow the trajectories of those writers into the 20 and 21 centuries.

Along with some of the more famous male Christian writers of the Romantic and Victorian periods, we will also explore writing by or about so-called “others” in the period: 19th century writers of  Caribbean, Irish and Jewish descent; queer and gender non-conforming writers;  and texts written by or representing experiences of working-class people.  Moving into the 20th century, we will continue to look at a range of canonical British texts, while also following those literary legacies of queer, Irish, and Jewish writers along with  Anglophone writers from the Caribbean and Southeast Asia.  Along with primary literary texts, we will also explore how different historical moments in English literary history sought to define what constitutes “great literature” in order to analyze/critique the very idea of a literary canon.

This course is cross-listed with ENG 430.03 (see above) to allow students to take it who have already taken ENG 290.  The content is completely different from previous ENG 290 courses.   Any student may take it EITHER as ENG 290 or as ENG 430.  If you do not have the pre-requisites for either course, feel free to contact the instructor to discuss whether they would be willing to waive the prerequisites for you due to your high level of interest in the course.  Open to all majors.

ENG 260 - American Realism, Naturalism and Modernism

Meeting Time: M/W/F 11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)

This survey course begins with the American realists and naturalists of the post-Civil War era and continues through 1950.

This survey course includes writers of the Lost Generation, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Southern Literary Renaissance. Authors covered include: Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner [Image source: John Ashton, Chap-books of the Eighteenth Century (1882)—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress]

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies the ENG 260 requirement for the English Literature major.  It also satisfies the literature elective for CW majors.

ENG 210 - Myth Fantasy and the Imagination

Meeting Time: T/Th 9:20 – 10:50am
Professor: Susan Pasquarelli

Take an odyssey into the most famous myths of all time. Meet Circe (before The Games of Thrones), the exiled “witch” who turned men into pigs (for good reason).  Meet Polyphemus, the Cyclop, heartbroken when Galatea spurned his love.     

Examine other worlds, civilizations, cultures, and human voices through folktales and ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Students will read ancient and modern texts; interpret art work; retell myths in well-crafted prose; investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in the wisdom literature of the ancients; and, collaboratively and actively engage in Socratic seminars, Readers’ theatre, small literature discussion groups, writing workshops, & focused study groups. (Past classes have also created their own gods and monsters out of clay!)

The central goal of the course is “to realize that ancient literature offers us an opportunity to see not only into ourselves, to assess our needs, our drives, our goals, the quality of our relationships- with ourselves, our peers, our society at large – but also to glimpse the universal” (Joseph Campbell)

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course is required for ENG majors and satisfies the literature requirement for CW majors.

CW 110 - Form in Poetry (Cross-listed w/ ENG 100 Intro to Literature)

Meeting Time: T/TH 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto

Poems are truth-tellers, which is not the same as easy, pleasant, or pretty. Understanding poetry as the meeting place of experience and the urgency to tell of that experience, in CW 110 we will get to know our language as the tool we have for, as Rilke says, “saying the unsayable.” 

 In this class, we will consider pattern and pattern-breaking as the primary aspect of poetry through all of our discussions of all sorts of poems, techniques, forms, content, everything. Experimentation with various aspects of structure and form to do the work of our “telling” is the basis for our work.

We will also get to know the idea of the “writing studio.” working in the community as writers, and they engaged in conversation about their poems and the poems of others.  The semester is full of opportunities to make your own poetry, to read more poetry, and to talk with one another about, poetry from the perspective of people actively making art at a time when we especially need art. 

No prerequisites.  Open to ALL majors.  This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CULST 100 Sections .01, .02, .03: Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Times:
M/W/F 9:55 – 10:45am (Prof. J. Stevens)
M/W/F 1:10 –  2:00pm  (Prof. J. Stevens)
T/Th  12:30 –  1:50pm  (Prof. A. Allen)

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can also substitute as a an ENG 100-level course.

Fall 2021: ENG LIT Eligible Courses

CULST 100: Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Time: M/TH 2:15 – 3:35 & TTH 10:55 – 12:15
Professor: Laura D’Amore

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can also substitute as a an ENG 100-level course.

CW 110 - Form in Poetry

Meeting Time: TTH 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto

This hands-on learning course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and contemporary voice.

In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry. We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as an ENG 100-level requirement.

CW 230 - Reading as Writers Non-Fiction (Cross-listed with ENG 430 Elective)

Meeting Time: M/TH 2:15 – 3:35pm
Professor: Edward Delaney

Reading as Writers Nonfiction is an exploration of recent, well-regarded works of memoir and other forms of personal writing.

We’ll read, and talk about, these books to try to examine the way the work is “built.” Looking at everything from the strategy of structure to the nuances of wordcraft, we’ll regard the art of writing fact and memory, how it’s different from other writing forms, and what it does best.

No prerequisites. This course is an interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. It can substitute as a lower or upper level elective. 

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols & Sustainability

Meeting Time: TTh 9:20 – 10:40am
Professor: Karen Bilotti

Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present day, as they assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. 

From Homer’s Illiad to folk tales such as Beauty and the Beast to modern television series, stories have a great deal of symbolic commonality.  Students will analyze interdisciplinary and cross-cultural literary and visual works in non-fiction and natural history, literature and film.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course satisfies the 100-level course requirement for English majors and a literature requirement for CW majors.  If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it could instead satisfy a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

ENG 299: Bible as Literature Special Topics

Meeting Time: M/TH 2:15 – 3:35pm
Professor: Cynthia Scheinberg

This course will explore one of the most famous religious texts ever compiled: The Bible.  Reading it as a literary text, students will explore its major themes, characters, structures and literary genres.  We will compare and contrast the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) with the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) in their historical context, especially philosophy and religion.

Key questions will include whether these texts offer models for how to live a virtuous life? Does belief define identity Are there universal truths about the relationship to the divine, or does that relationship take shape through particular identity culture, or peoplehood?  How have later cultures used/adapted  Biblical sources?  No prior knowledge of the Bible or religion is  necessary.

ENG 240 - Early American Literature

Meeting Time: MWF  11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: James Tackach

Survey narratives from the 15th and 16th centuries to the American Civil War to understand the scope of American Literature from its beginnings until the 1860s.    

The course covers exploration narratives of the 15th and 16th centuries, American colonial writing, the literature of the new American republic, and the literary efforts of the 19th century romantics. The course concludes with abolitionist writing and the literature of the Civil War. The reading list includes Christopher Columbus, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and What Whitman.

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies the ENG 260 course requirement for English majors.

ENG 270 - Brit Lit I: British Woman Writers (Cross listed with ENG 430)

Meeting Time: Thursday 5:25 – 8:15pm
Professor:  Cynthia Scheinberg

In this class, we will survey some of the fascinating  British women writers from the 17th to 20th centuries who transformed what it meant to be a woman and a writer through their work. 

The course will engage with a variety of themes that connect these women’s texts, including: issues of race and slavery, class identity, “the fallen woman,” and religious identity. Authors will include (but not be limited to) Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Charlotte Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Zaydie Smith.

Because this course covers British Women Writers both prior to and proceeding 1800, this course may substitute as EITHER the ENG 270 (Brit Lit I) or the ENG 290 (Brit Lit II) requirement.  It could also could count as a free-ranging upper level elective (ENG 430)

ENG 301 - Contemporary American Literature: Poet Laureate Natasha Trethaway

Meeting Time: T/TH 9:20am – 10:40am
Professor: Renee Soto

The only child of a White Canadian and a Black Mississippian, Natasha Trethewey was born in Mississippi at a time when her parents’ marriage was illegal. She writes of life in the United States as someone deeply connected to the nation’s history and truths. She takes on the effects of memory (what we choose to remember, choose to forget) on any person’s life story, the effects of domestic and cultural violence, Hurricane Katrina, intergenerational links across the family and cultures, and the significance of location to any personal/literary narrative.

Natasha Trethewey (Pulitzer Prize 2007) served as the U.S. Poet Laureate for two terms, 2012-2014 and is an essential literary and cultural voice of the 21st century. This course addresses Trethewey’s contributions and influences on contemporary American literature by way of her poetry, memoir, interviews, and lectures.  This course is a close-up view of Trethewey’s work, particular to identity, literary form and technique, research, careful reading, discussion and presentation. We will follow the writer’s direction, in part, as she states it in her lecture, “Why I Write: Poetry, History, and Social Justice,

"Thus, I write to claim my native land even as it has forsaken me, rendered me an outsider. I write so as not to be aforeigner in my homeland. I write from a place of psychological exile. I take up the burden of history."

https://www.wnyc.org/story/220779-poet-laureate-natasha-trethewey-why-i-write/

This course counts as an upper level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors.  

ENG 430.03: SHAKESPEARE'S CONTEMPORARIES (Counts as ENG 350 if needed)

Meeting Time: MWF 1:00pm – 1:50pm
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

During the “Golden age of Drama” in Elizabethan and Jacobean England, Shakespeare was not the only major player. In fact, many would say that Shakespeare would never have become Shakespeare without standing on the shoulders of his contemporaries.

In this course, we will examine the writers and playwrights who worked in the same era as Shakespeare, Including, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton, John Webster, Ben Jonson, and Thomas Dekker.  We will study their plays within their cultural contexts, along with how contemporary issues continue to resonate within these texts. 

If you have already taken a Shakespeare course, this course could count as an ENG 430 upper level elective.  It covers different material than ENG 350 and other prior Shakespeare courses.

CULST 370: FAIRY TALES AND FEMINISM (Counts as upper level ENG elective)

Meeting Time: M/TH 3:50pm – 5:10pm
Professor: Laura D’Amore

In this course you will learn about fairy tales and feminism, and you will learn how to conduct critical feminist readings of fairy tales.  Texts in this course will be comprised of revised and new fairy tales and their interpretations by American poets, writers, filmmakers, photographers, literary critics, psychologists, sociologists, and historians.

We will pay careful attention to the ways in which fairy tales reproduce and/or resist sexist oppression through sex, violence, marriage, domesticity, morality, power and agency.  Since this is a Cultural Studies course we will carefully consider the ways in which historical context has affected, and continues to affect, the way that we experience fairy tales in our lives and cultures, especially with regard to race, gender, sexuality, and disability.

In this course, we will only read a few different fairy tales (though many different iterations of them), so that we can deeply and critically examine them.  This course is not primarily about fairy tales—meaning, the goal is not to expose you to a wide range of fairy tale stories. This class focuses on feminist readings (ours, and those of others) of fairy tales, comparing multiple American revisions of the same few stories (The Maiden Without Hands, The Frog Princess, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White).

If you are an ENG or CW major, minor or Core Concentrator who would like to take this course for credit as an English literature course, contact Professor D’Amore if you need to request permission to waive CULST prerequisites.  And contact Prof. Case (mcase@rwu.edu).  Once you are enrolled in the course, Prof. Case can do the paperwork to let Roger Central know this is an approved substitution.

HIST 380: Dragon Reborn (Counts as upper level ENG elective)

Meeting Time: T/TH 10:55am – 12:15pm
Professor: Sargon Donabed

This is a course about the importance of fantasy, in particular Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, for the idea of re-enchantment. Between stories and legends balances truth. Fantasy feeds our sense of wonder.  Come get a better understanding of the importance of the Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time myths to human life based on time, space, and place. [Note: This course begins with book 4, so you’ll need to read the first three books in the series over the summer, prior to taking the course.]

“The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legends fade to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the third age by some, an Age yet to come, an age long pass, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.”

If you are an ENG or CW major, minor or Core Concentrator who would like to take this course for credit as an English literature course, contact Professor Donabed  to request permission to waive CULST prerequisites.  You will also have to read the first three Robert Jordan books in the series over the summer.   Once you are enrolled in the course, Prof. Case can do the paperwork to let Roger Central know this is an approved substitution.

EDU 380.91/ENG 430:91 - Young Adult Literature: A Call to Social Activism

Meeting Time: Mondays 2:15 – 5:05pm (ZOOM class)
Professor: Dr. Susan Pasquarelli

Literature has long been an agency of activism as it shares unique perspectives of theories and ideas that shape social, cultural and political change. This special topics course focuses on characters in young adult fiction who are either entangled in real life ‘burning issues’ or have answered a call to social activism over those same issues.

In this course We will read YA novels that focus on underrepresented groups and various movements, such as: Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, LGBTQ+, Immigration, (Dis)ability, Latinx and Latin American, Muslims in America, and much more….We will commune in book clubs, literature circles, and Socratic seminars.We will uncover the principles of young adult authors’ language, style, and craft.We will politely debate views about banned books, film versions of the novels, book cover art, and whether or not the author has the credentials or cultural background to write the book.We will engage and participate actively during every class period.We will participate in three course assignments related to the themes of the course.


Spring 2021: ENG LIT Eligible Courses

CULST 100 - Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Time: Mon/Thur 2:15 – 3:35pm [In Person Only]
Professor: Aaron Allen

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites. This course satisfies the literature requirement for Creative Writing majors. If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it could instead satisfy a lower-level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

ENG 100 - level - Form in Poetry (Cross-listed with CW 110)

Meeting Time: Tues/Thur 12:30 – 1:50pm [On-Line Only]
Professor: Renee Soto

This hands-on learning course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and contemporary voice.

In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry. We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.

No prerequisites. This course satisfies the ENG 100 – level requirement. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. 

ENG 220 - Literary Analysis

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs  7:45 – 9:05 am [In Person/Remote Optional]
Professor: Professor Case 

Prepare to change the way you see the world!  This class helps you understand the hidden ideologies in both literary AND popular culture.  We will use Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby  (1925) and  DreamWorks’ Shrek (2001) to learn five major literary theories:  Feminism, Marxism, LGBTQX Gender Studies, Race Theory, and Post-Colonial Studies (aka “Po-Co”).

For your final project, you will analyze your own popular culture text, using these literary theories.  For example, is Disney’s Aladdin a child’s primer for capitalist ideology?  Does Breaking Bad pit family values against traditional ethics?

This is a required course for English Literature majors.  It is only offered once every three years, so be sure to take it now while you can!  If you are a Creative Writing major, this course will satisfy one of your writing requirements.

ENG 260 - American Realism, Naturalism and Modernism

Meeting Time: MWF 11:00 – 11:50am [In Person Only]
Professor: James Tackach

This survey course begins with the American realists and naturalists of the post-Civil War era and continues through 1950.

This survey course includes writers of the Lost Generation, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Southern Literary Renaissance. Authors covered include: Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner [Image source: John Ashton, Chap-books of the Eighteenth Century (1882)—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress]

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies a requirement for the English Literature major.

ENG 290: British Literature II (cross-listed with THEAT 231)

Meeting Time: MWF:  12:05 – 12:55 PM
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

The course traces the changes in theatre and drama from the English Restoration in the 17th century to the development of realism, and anti-realism, in the 20th as the theatre responds to changes of tastes and audience as the result of the Enlightenment, war, rebellion, and the industrial revolution.  Plays studied deal with issues of women’s rights, class, gender, and race are studied through both a contemporary and an historical lens.  They include in such plays as Way of the World (William Congreve), The Rover (Aphra Behn), She Stoops to Conquer (Oliver Goldsmith), The Octoroon (Dian Boucicault), A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen), and Miss Julie (August Strindberg).  *Contact professor if you need remote optional.  But this course is designed for in person/hybrid.

ENG 300: British Lit III (cross-list w/ THEAT 331.01 Modern Theatre & Drama)

Meeting Time: MWF:  1:10 – 2:00 PM. [In person preferred]*
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

The subject of the course is 20th century Modernism in drama and theatre, the explosion of realism and its opposition: expressionism, surrealism, futurism, epic theatre, and absurdism.

The course studies the plays of the modern theatre, the social tensions that shaped them, and the ideas and practices that formed their foundation and brought them to life.  Plays studied include Hedda Gabler (Ibsen), Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Shaw), The Cherry Orchard (Chekov), The Ghost Sonata (Strindberg), Ubu Roi (Jarry), The House of Bernarda Alba (Lorca), Mother Courage (Brecht), Six Characters in Search of an Author (Pirandello), A Long Day’s Journey Into Night (O’Neill), A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams), Death of a Salesman (Miller), The Bald Soprano (Ionesco), Waiting for Godot (Beckett). *This course is designed for in person/hybrid.  But contact professor if you need on-line.

ENG 320.01 - Concepts in Communication: Bollywood (Cross-listed w/ COMM 201)

Meeting Time: Tuesday 5:25 – 8:15 PM [Online Only]
Professor: Anjali Ram

“Bollywood” is the shorthand word for Hindi Cinema–the world’s leading cinema in terms of the number of feature films produced.  Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan notes,

“I am often asked, ‘When did Hindi film start being taken seriously?’ And I have always responded with, ‘Hindi films were always serious business.  It’s wonderful to see them getting serious comments now.”  Students will explore the film conventions, aesthetics, and fan cultures that inform Bollywood cinema in order to better understand what scholars have referred to as “global mediascapes” as well as other pertinent topics, e.g., Bollywood Queens, fans and spectacles, and narrating nationhood.   Films and screenings will include, for example, Lagaan, and ZNMD.

This course satisfies the global requirement for English Lit Majors (ENG 320).

ENG 360: Black Writers Matter: Studies in Ethnic American Literature

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:25 – 8:15 pm [In Person Only]
Professor James Tackach

This course deals with African American authors whose written texts (narratives, fiction, drama) have advanced the idea that Black lives matter.  The assigned readings span almost two centuries, from slave narratives (Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Lives of a Slave Girl)  to contemporary works (James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time,  August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson Toni Morrison’s Beloved.)

HIST 380: Magic, Myth and the Wheel of Time Modality

Meeting Time: Tues/Thurs: 10:55am-12:15pm In-person remote optional
Professor Sargon Donabed

Perhaps the greatest fantasy saga of modern times began in 1984 when a young author asked himself, “What would it be like to be tapped on the shoulder and told you were going to save the world, but also destroy it?”

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time is a story that takes place both in our past and our future. The overall plot is about a man who learns that he is the reincarnation of the world’s messiah and is once again destined to save the world from the Dark One — but possibly destroy it in the process. This saga is not only his story, [like our own] but the perennial struggle, ebb, and flow, between war and peace, fear and hope. History, a cyclical exchange. This discussion-based course will focus on the initial trilogy of the series with a brief foray into the prequel A New Spring and includes a final community project/CPC artifact, which will connect the class to the non-profit organization and Wheel of Time-inspired convention, Jordancon. It will focus on the Campbellian hero and query from which time/periods and regions/places did Jordan draw influence and why?

This course counts for an upper-level ENG elective.  Contact Prof. Case (mcase@rwu.edu) to create a substitution adjustment so that Roger Central will accept this course for an English upper level elective.

ENG 430.02 SP TP: Comic Nvls/Graphic Masterpieces (cross-list w/ CW 220.01)

Meeting Time: Thursdays 5:00 – 7:50 PM [On-Line Only]
Professor: Adam Braver

Students of literature, creative writing, the visual arts, and even performance art and film making, are finally acknowledging that the comic art form has effectively permeated all the varieties of contemporary creative production.  This is especially true in literary writing, where the graphic novel has assumed aspects of the novelistic activity that have been somewhat abandoned by the form itself.  Read More:  We will examine the works critically, seeking a better understanding of this complicated and influential genre, and we will also explore the craft of this art form. Likewise, students will have a chance to exercise both critical and creative skills and work in collaboration on creative projects.  Students will analyze a wide variety of graphic and comic texts, deepening their critical understanding of the relationship between visual image and language arts.

ENG 480 - Reading Ourselves Through Popular Culture (Senior Thesis I)

Meeting Time: Tues/Fri 3:50 – 5:10 PM  [In Person/Remote Optional]
Professor: Meg Case

Students begin their two-semester intensive capstone project doing shared readings and writing their thesis proposal.

Primarily a reading seminar, this semester, students immerse themselves in cultural theory and begin writing their thesis.   This semester’s topic is cultural theory and popular culture.  Building on literary theory foundations in ENG 220 (Literary Analysis) students research a work of popular culture in the discipline of cultural theory.  This course culminates in a masters-style thesis of approximately 20 pages.  Students present their précis at a public colloquium.   [Pre-requisite ENG 480.  Required for English Majors.]


Fall 2020: ENG LIT Eligible Courses

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols & Sustainability

Meeting Time: TTh 9:30 – 10:50am
Professor: Karen Bilotti

Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present day, as they assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. 

From Homer’s Illiad to folk tales such as Beauty and the Beast to modern television series, stories have a great deal of symbolic commonality.  Students will analyze interdisciplinary and cross-cultural literary and visual works in non-fiction and natural history, literature and film.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course satisfies the 100-level course requirement for English majors and a literature requirement for CW majors.  If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it could instead satisfy a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

CULST 100 - Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture

Meeting Time: Tues/Thur 10:55 AM – 12:15 PM
Professor: Aaron Allen

This course teaches students to analyze a variety of sources related to popular culture, material culture, and the built environment to examine diverse issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Using a variety of sources, such as popular culture, material culture, and the built environment, and viewing them through diverse lenses, such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion, students will practice applying the skills of retrieval, evaluation, analysis and interpretation of written, visual, and aural evidence in the construction of well-argued narratives.  All students are welcome.  No prerequisites.

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course satisfies the 100-level course requirement for English majors.  This course satisfies the literature requirement for Creative Writing majors. If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it could instead satisfy a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

CW 110 - Form in Poetry

Meeting Time: TTH 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto

This hands-on learning course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and contemporary voice.

In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry. We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. 

ENG 199 - BIRSS

Meeting Time: Wednesdays 1-2:50pm
Professor: Adam Braver

Enjoy talking about literature in a relaxed setting?  Enjoy contributing to important cultural conversations?  The BIRSS Course is a one (1) credit course.  Each year its topic changes.  This year’s book, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman will incorporate an experiential-based Digital Humanities Project.

The 2020-21 BIRSS Course tracks historical milestones of race in America in tandem with the events portrayed in next year’s John Howard Birss. Jr. Memorial book selection, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines. Celebrating its 50thanniversary, Gaines’s classic novel is a fictional autobiography that traces the African American experience through the eyes of one woman whose life spanned from slavery to the civil rights movement. The plan is that the Digital Humanities project will become a virtual part of the University Library spring exhibition.

No prerequisites. This course is a one (1) credit course.  The course will not meet as often near the end of the semester.  This course does not satisfy ENG or CW major requirements.  But it does count toward the 120 hours of coursework required for graduation. This course may be repeated for credit.

ENG 210 - Myth Fantasy and the Imagination

Meeting Time: TTh 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Susan Pasquarelli

Take an odyssey to meet Scylla, the sea monster with 6 heads and 12 legs who devoured passing sailors, Circe, the exiled “witch” who turned men into pigs (for good reason); Polyphemus, the Cyclop, who was heartbroken that Galatea spurned his love…

Take an odyssey into the most famous myths of all time. Meet Circe (before The Games of Thrones), the exiled “witch” who turned men into pigs (for good reason).  Meet Polyphemus, the Cyclop, heartbroken when Galatea spurned his love. 

Examine other worlds, civilizations, cultures, and human voices through folktales and ancient Greek and Roman myths.

Students will read ancient and modern texts; interpret art work; retell myths in well-crafted prose; investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in the wisdom literature of the ancients; and, collaboratively and actively engage in Socratic seminars, Readers’ theatre, small literature discussion groups, writing workshops, & focused study groups. (Past classes have also created their own gods and monsters out of clay!)

The central goal of the course is “to realize that ancient literature offers us an opportunity to see not only into ourselves, to assess our needs, our drives, our goals, the quality of our relationships- with ourselves, our peers, our society at large – but also to glimpse the universal” (Joseph Campbell)

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course is required for ENG majors and satisfies the literature requirement for CW majors.  If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it also satisfies a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

ENG 270 - Brit Lit I - CROSS-LISTED with CW 210 Reading as a Writer: Poetry (Our Superhero the Sonnet)

Meeting Time: Monday 2:00 – 4:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto

This course will explore the amazing flexibility and power of the sonnet, comparing Shakespeare’s mysterious sonnet sequence with modern poets, such as Kim Addonizzio, The Sonnagrams, and a Flarf poet!  We will also try our hand at building sonnets of our own, 21st-century style. 

The 140-syllables that traditionally build the sonnet powerhouse bind together argument, situation, and passion into one compact-bursting-at-the-seams – barrier-breaking poem.  Our Superhero, the Sonnet.  We will explore works including Terrence Hayes’ American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin, and A.E. Stallings’ Olives, as we contrast the contemporary sonnet with its historical antecedents in Petrarch, Shakespeare, the Romantic poets, John Donne and other engaging sonnet experimenters.

All majors welcome.  For Creative Writing majors, this course satisfies the CW literature requirement.  For English Majors, this course satisfies one (1) of the following:  ENG 270 (Brit Lit I), or the 100-level ENG course requirement for English majors or the lower-level elective requirement.

ENG 240 - Early American Literature

Meeting Time: M,W,F 11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: James Tackach

Survey narratives from the 15th and 16th centuries to the American Civil War to understand the scope of American Literature from its beginnings until the 1860s. 

The course covers exploration narratives of the 15th and 16th centuries, American colonial writing, the literature of the new American republic, and the literary efforts of the 19th century romantics. The course concludes with abolitionist writing and the literature of the Civil War. The reading list includes Christopher Columbus, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, and What Whitman.

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies the ENG 260 course requirement for English majors.

ENG 350 - Shakespeare

Meeting Time: M,W,F 1:00 – 1:50pm
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

Students transform their classroom into Shakespeare’s Renaissance stage.

Shakespeare wrote for live performances; thus, students will translate their close reading, social, political and historical research of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan England into informal live performances in this active reading and experiential learning course.

Required for English Majors. Recommended for non-majors who are interested in Shakespeare.  If you need to waive the pre-requisite, please contact the professor.  This course is CROSS-LISTED with THEAT 330 Theatre of Shakespeare.  If you have already taken ENG 350 Shakespeare, you may register for THEAT 330 to count as upper level elective credit. 

CULST 370 - Girl Culture

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Laura D’Amore

The experience of gender on the development of girls as they grow into teens and young adulthood is profoundly affected by their social location — which is, itself, shaped by factors including class, race, ethnicity, dis/ability, religion, sexuality, and geography.

Using literature, film, and activist platforms as texts, this class critically examines the assumptions made about girls, and considers the ways in which girls work to claim agency over their own identity development.  This class includes an optional community-engaged project with a local pro-girl agency.

No pre-requisites.  English majors may count this class towards an upper or lower level elective requirement. 

CULST 372 - Love and Hip Hop

Meeting Time: Mon/Thurs 2:00 – 3:20pm
Professor: Aaron Allen

This course explores hip hop’s relationship with the concept of love.

By considering the broader social, political, and economic context of hip hop songs and music videos, the course focuses how the genre helps to interpret, construct, and redefine notions of love. The course explores topics such as artists love of self, love for romantic partners, love of their hometowns/communities, love for the genre, and more. Love is complicated. How might examining hip hop, as a form of cultural expression, help us to understand love in more complex ways?

No pre-requisites.  English majors may count this class towards an elective requirement. 

ENG 430.01 - Special Topics: Young Adult Literature: Here and Now

Meeting Time: Mondays 2:00 – 4:50pm
Professor: Susan Lee Pasquarelli

Calling all readers, bibliophiles, bibliomaniacs,  bookworms, and persons of letters….

This special topics course focuses on NEW contemporary young adult fiction.  We will read, discuss and write about prevailing adolescent themes related to here and now, including personal issues, adolescent friendship, cultural identity, LGTBQI, and diversity, coming of age, romance, family, health, self-image, psychological and emotional changes, social justice issues such as poverty/wealth and privilege, refugee/immigrant encounters, global and environmental concerns impacting teens, and MORE!  The student choice of books is highly encouraged.  We will read widely, closely, alone, and in book clubs.  We will politely argue about banned books, film versions, book cover art, whether or not the author has the credentials or cultural background to write the novel, and MORE!   One of the important foci in this course is the definition of “Young Adult” and “Literature,” since both terms “are dynamic, changing along with culture and society” (Michael Cart, Past President of the Young Adult Library Services Association.) This course requires a high level of student engagement, participation, and enjoyment. 

To waive the pre-requisite, contact Prof. Pasquarelli (spasquarelli@rwu.edu).  This course will satisfy an upper-level elective requirement (ENG 430) for English Literature majors.  This course satisfies a literature requirement for CW majors.

HIST 430.01 - Special Topics: Gods, Monsters and Heroes

Meeting Time: T/Th 11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: Sargon Donabed

Ever wonder what kind of power Thor’s hammer Mjölnir has? What’s the difference between a hero a demigod and a monster?  What Mesopotamian god carried a mace that allowed shapeshifting and flight? Ever read Percy Jackson?

Explore the true origins of vampires and werewolves and mutants. Not to mention dwarves and elves. Analyze the game structure of Magic the Gathering. This course creates a variety of projects to contextualize historical/mythological structures in modern fantasy, science fiction, and heroic epics in popular culture today.

No pre-requisite.  This course will satisfy an an upper level elective requirement (ENG 300 or above) for English Literature majors, minors and core concentrators. 

ENG 430.02 - Special Topics: Film Adaptations of Early British Literature. Crossed-listed with ENG 270 British Literature I

Meeting Time: M,W,F  12:00 – 12:50pm
Professor: Lori Lee Wallace

This course will compare text versions of famous works of early British Literature (e.g., Beowulf, Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s plays, Paradise Lost, etc.)

To order to better understand how texts change as they are adapted from text tothe silver screen, this course will study BOTH film and print copies of famous works of Early British Literature.  This class will rely on class discussion, some lecture, and engaged learning.  Come prepared to read closely, ask questions, and listen actively to each other.

This course may satisfy ENG 270 (British Lit I) OR ENG 430 (upper level elective), but not both.

ENG 481 - Senior Thesis Capstone II

Meeting Time: Tuesday  5:00 – 7:50pm
Professor: James Tackach

In this second half of a two-semester capstone, students meet in weekly Oxford-tutorial style one-on-one conferences with the professor for guidance in research, revision and colloquium presentation.

Students write a 20+ page researched analysis of a topic of their choice related to the course theme.  Students present a précis of their senior theses at a university-side public colloquium, to which parents and friends are also invited.  ENG 480 is a pre-requisite for this course.  This course is required for English majors.  To see sample presentation topics, click here.

Spring 2020

ENG 430 - Special Topics: The Other Victorians: Revising the 19th-Century British Literature Canon CROSS-LISTED with ENG 290 British Literature II

Meeting Time: Mondays 5:00 – 7:50pm
Professor: Dean Cynthia Scheinberg

Who were the Victorians?  This course looks at both famous and not-so-famous, British and not-so-British, Victorian writers.

This course juxtaposes some of the most famous British writers from the long 19th century (e.g., Wordsworth, Dickens, Robert Browning and Thomas Hardy) with authors who often challenge the very terms upon which the canon of British literature has been constructed: e.g., the Jamaican writer Mrs. Mary-Jane Seacole, Jewish writers such as Grace Aguilar and Amy Levy, queer writers such as Oscar Wilde and Michael Field (aka Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper).  We will also explore problematic terms such as “great literature” in order to analyze the very idea of a “literary canon.”  We will end with a selection of post-colonial texts that offer new perspectives on the imperialist assumptions of mainstream Victorian English society. 

This course may be taken to satisfy ENG 290 (British Lit II).  Alternatively, if you have already taken Brit Lit II, this course may be taken to satisfy an an upper level elective requirement (ENG 430) for English Literature majors.

ENG 430 - Special Topics; CROSS-LISTED with ENG 480 - Senior Thesis I: American Literature of the 1950s

Meeting Time: Tuesdays 5:00 – 7:50pm
Professor:  James Tackach

This course features American literature of the 1950s, the decade of the “Beat Generation” as well as a return to normalcy after the Great Depression. 

This decade witnessed the beginnings of a social revolution that would blossom in the 1960s.  The readings will include the Beat writers, African American writers ushering in a civil rights movement, pre-1960s feminists, and writers who challenged the values of post-war suburban society.

This course may be taken to satisfy ENG 430 (Special Topics Elective) or (for juniors only) this course counts as ENG 480 Senior Thesis I (the first half of a two course senior capstone sequence for English majors).  All students interested in the material are welcome.  This first semester is primarily a readings and discussion.  Capstone students will write a thesis proposal and 430 students will write a final paper.

ENG 210 - Myth Fantasy and the Imagination

Meeting Time: TTh 9:30 – 10:50am
Professor: Susan Pasquarelli

Study some of the most famous myths of all time.  From Homer’s Illiad to folks tales such as Sleeping Beauty — what do these stories have in common? 

Study archetypes, heroic ideas across cultures, myths and fairy tales from around the world.  Investigate how and why many of the same universal concerns are expressed in “wisdom literature” of the Ancients.  Readings will draw on both Greek and Roman myths, folk and fairy tales, and may also include Tolkien’s The Hobbit and/or the epic of Gilgamesh or Virgil’s Aenid

All majors welcome.  No pre-requisites.  This course satisfies the 100-level course requirement for English majors.  If students already have another 100-level ENG course, it also satisfies a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

ENG 260 - American Realism, Naturalism and Modernism

Meeting Time: MWF 11:00 – 11:50am
Professor: James Tackach

This survey course begins with the American realists and naturalists of the post-Civil War era and continues through 1950.

This survey course includes writers of the Lost Generation, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Southern Literary Renaissance. Authors covered include: Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James, Kate Chopin, Stephen Crane, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner [Image source: John Ashton, Chap-books of the Eighteenth Century (1882)—Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress]

All majors welcome.  This course satisfies a requirement for the English Literature major.

COMM 201 - Concepts in Communication: Bollywood

Meeting Time: Tuesday 5:00 – 7:50 PM
Professor: Anjali Ram

“Bollywood” is the shorthand word for Hindi Cinema–the world’s leading cinema in terms of the number of feature films produced.  Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan notes,

“I am often asked, ‘When did Hindi film start being taken seriously?’ And I have always responded with, ‘Hindi films were always serious business.  It’s wonderful to see them getting serious comments now.”  Students will explore the film conventions, aesthetics, and fan cultures that inform Bollywood cinema in order to better understand what scholars have referred to as “global mediascapes” as well as other pertinent topics, e.g., Bollywood Queens, fans and spectacles, and narrating nationhood.   Films and screenings will include, for example, Lagaan, and ZNMD.

This course may be substituted for ENG 360 if you contact the Chair of the Dept., Professor Case (mcase@rwu.edu).

THEAT 230 - Theatre History I

Meeting Time: MWF 12:00 – 1:00pm
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

This survey course begins with the Ancient Greek Oedipus and ends with the great Moliere.

Plays will include, for example, Oedipus, Agamemnon, Medea, Everyman, Hamlet, Tartuffe, Mandragola and more!

All majors welcome.  This course may be taken to satisfy a lower level elective requirement for English literature majors.

THEAT 333 - Asian Drama

Meeting Time: MWF 1:00 – 2:00pm
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

This survey course explores fascinating features of Asian theatre.  We will read Shakuntaula, The Little Clay Cart, The Price of Wine, a selection of Noh Plays, and two Kabuki/Bunraku plays, Chusingura and one of the Love Suicide plays.

See professor about waiving pre-requisites if applicable.  This course will satisfy and upper level elective requirement for English Literature majors.

FILM 300 - Film Theory and Criticism

Meeting Time: M-Th 3:30 – 4:50pm
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

This course will analyze how filmmakers use sound and image to tell stories on screen.  Films may include Battleship Potemkin, His Girl Friday, The Big Sleep, Rear Window, Bicycle Thieves, Breathless, Blow Up, Seven Samurai, Wild Strawberries and more.

We will also examine a range of cinematic concepts (e.g., montage, auteur), and become acquainted with Film Theory, including feminist, LGBTQI, and postmodernist approaches to interpretation.

See professor about waiving pre-requisites if applicable. This course will satisfy an upper level elective requirement for English literature majors.

CW 110 - Form in Poetry

Meeting Time: TTH 12:30 – 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto

This course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and contemporary voice.

In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry. We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.

No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. ENG majors may substitute one (1) interdisciplinary option for an ENG elective at the upper or lower level.


English Literature Elective Courses for Spring 2019

Theatre 334: Contemporary Drama

Meeting Time: MWF 1:00-1:50 PM
Professor: Jeffrey Martin

Black and white image of theatre. The course studies the wide range, style and content in Contemporary Drama since 1970. Topics include: contemporary drama as an outgrowth of modernism, innovations in theatrical form; new subject matter for the drama; the fragmentation of theatre forms and audiences; and recent innovative theatre practitioners and producing agencies. Special emphasis will be placed on the tentsion between realism and stylization. the interrelationships between the drama and the visual arts and film; and the tension between the avant-garde and the commercial theatre.

 

Author studies include Harold Pinter, Sam Shepard, Caryl Churchill, David Mamet, Athol Fugard, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, Paula Vogel, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sara Ruhl, Lynn Nottage, and others.

CW 430: Resistance Poetry: Sustainability and Protest

Meeting Time: T 5:00-7:50 PM
Professor: Renee Soto

Raised fist holding pencilJoin us as we explore the breadth of contemporary poetry as a way to address the landscape of resistance personally, locally, and globally. We will raise our pencils and our voices with a mind toward action that originates in the clarity and power of our language. With focus, purpose, and the time to commit to getting it right, students will write, read, and speak poetry that addresses their greatest concerns as the freshest voices of the new century.  Pre-reqs 200+ WTNG and CW 210 and CW 220 or permission of instructor.

CW 210 - Form in Poetry

Meeting Time: T/Th 12:30 – 1:50 
Professor: Renee Soto

Image of hallway leading to bookshelves at Nat'l Poetry Foundation

This course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc) and contemporary voice.  In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry.  We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O'Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.  No prerequisites. THIS COURSE IS A LOWER LEVEL INTERDISCIPLINARY ELECTIVE OPTION for ENG majors.  ENG majors may substitute one (1) interdisciplinary option for an ENG elective at the upper or lower level.

ENG 430 - Bible in Culture

Meeting Time: T/Th 8:00am – 9:20am 
Professor: Deborah Robinson

Bible in/and LiteratureWhether we’re reading Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, Dickens, Austen, Bronte, Tolkien, or Rowling, our knowledge of both the Bible and the “Judeo-Christian tradition” directly affects our ability to recognize the artists’ thematic use of biblical allusions. Our course focuses on key Concepts, Stories, Rituals and Symbols, including the origin of Satan, The Last Supper, wedding ceremonies, the seven vices and virtues, Noah’s Ark, the Passion of Christ, the apple, Lilith (image at left) and much more. The course will also orient students to important geographical and historical contexts including Jerusalem, the Land of Canaan, and Babylon as well as the "heretical" gospels, Gnosticism, and the Crusades and much more (see attached flyer). Summer reading is required and will include Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Students will also read J.C. Coopers’ An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols. And, of course, The Bible (King James Version).  [Image:  Depiction of Lilith in the Burney Relief] 


English Literature Elective Courses for Fall 2018

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols and Sustainability

Meeting Time: MTH 9:30 - 10:50am
Professor: Deborah Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu)

Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present, as they assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. Students analyze interdisciplinary & cross-cultural literary and visual works in non-fiction and natural history,  literature, and film. No prerequisites.  This course counts as a lower level elective in the English Literature major.  All students are welcome.

 

CW 210 - Form in Poetry

Meeting Time: TTH 12:30 - 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto  (rsoto@rwu.edu)

This course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc) and contemporary voice.  In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry.  We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O'Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.  No prerequisites. THIS COURSE IS A LOWER LEVEL INTERDISCIPLINARY ELECTIVE OPTION for ENG majors.  ENG majors may substitute one (1) interdisciplinary option for an ENG elective at the upper or lower level.

ENG 320 - Global Literature: The Holocaust in Literature

Entrance Gate to Nazi concentration camp World War 2Meeting Time: TF 2:00 - 3:20pm
Professor: James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)

This course examines the European literature of the Holocaust, prior to and during World War II.  The course will include first-hand accounts, The Diary of Anne Frank, Elie Wiesel's Night, and texts composed during the post-Holocaust decades, such as John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Martin Sherman's Bent. This course satisfies the English Literature Global requirement. 

 

CW 360 - Writers Reading Fiction Seminar

piles of books.  Three open. One with a pair of glasses on it.Meeting Time: T 5:00 - 7:50pm
Professor:  Adam Braver (abraver@rwu.edu)


In this course, students will learn to “read as writers” by studying contemporary canonical writers' technical craft. This class helps students practice the writing process by developing their own writing skills. Students will be exposed to essential works of writers such as, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Chang-Rae Lee, and Sandra Cisneros. Prerequisites: CW 210, CW 220, and a 200 or 300 level Writing Course. Or by permission of the instructor.  Interested students without pre-reqs should contact Prof. Braver.


English Literature Elective Courses for Spring 2018

ASIA 100 - Foundations of Asian Studies

A print of women with sunshades japanese poetry from the Hyakunin isshu (1162-1241)Meeting Time: W 5:00 - 8:00pm
Professor: Roberta Adams (radams@rwu.edu)

This course offers an introduction to East Asian cultures and civilizations, providing a background on philosophical and religious thought of China, Japan, and Korea, and linking selected elements of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean historical development with global issues today.  Readings consist of primary and secondary sources from a wide variety of disciplines, including philosophy and religion, literature, the arts, politics, history, popular culture, and contemporary events.  There may be opportunity for one or two optional field trips and on-campus films and workshops.
Faculty Guest Lecturers include:  Prof. Min Zhou, Languages; Prof. Will Ayton, Music (ret.); Prof. Tad Kugler, Political Science/International Relations; Prof. Debra Mulligan, History.  Assoc. Dean Roberta Adams, English.   
ASIA 100 satisfies a lower level elective requirement for English Literature majors.  It is a requirement for East Asian Studies minors.  An introductory level course, it is open to all students and all majors as an elective.

WTNG 301 - The Rhetoric of Narrative Storytelling and the Art of Persuasion 

Rhetoric Narrative ElectiveMeeting Time: TTH 9:30 - 10:50am
Professor: Christian Pulver (cpulver@rwu.edu)

"Humans," says rhetorician Walter Fisher, "are essentially storytellers." We invent tall tales, recount fables, spin yarns, report news, spread gossip, write autobiographies, share testimony, make films, broadcast rumors, whisper secrets, draft constitutions, and pen novels. In this course, we will explore how such stories shape our personal identities, allow us to identify with one another, and offer us a means of making sense of the world and our lives.  Readings will include fables, fairy tales, parables, narratives of political independence, public testimony, literacy narratives, and stories of your own.
This course counts as an ENG elective (300 level or above). The Rhetoric of Narrative may be taken as an elective for the English major. It counts as a regular ENG elective. No double-dipping. That is, a student may take this course to satisfy either the WTNG 200-level Core Curriculum requirement or an ENG elective (not both).

CW 210 - Form in Poetry

Image of hallway leading to bookshelves at Nat'l Poetry FoundationMeeting Time: TTH 12:30 - 1:50pm
Professor: Renee Soto (rsoto@rwu.edu)

This course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc) and contemporary voice.  In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry.  We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O'Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.  
No prerequisites. This course is a lower level interdisciplinary elective option for ENG majors. ENG majors may substitute one (1) interdisciplinary option for an ENG elective at the upper or lower level.

CW 360 - Writers Reading Fiction Seminar

piles of books.  Three open. One with a pair of glasses on it.Meeting Time: TTH 9:30 - 10:50am
Professor: Adam Braver (abraver@rwu.edu)

It is a tried and true maxim that the best way to learn to write is to read. In this course, students will learn to “read as writers” by studying contemporary canonical writers' technical craft. This class helps practice thewriting process by developing their own writing skills. Students will be exposed to essential works of writers such as, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Chang-Rae Lee, and Sandra Cisneros. 
This course satisfies an upper level interdisciplinary elective for English Literature majors. Only one interdisciplinary course is allowed to count toward the English Literature elective requirements).

ENG 430 - Adapting Sense & Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility Stage SceneMeeting Times: MTH 2:00 - 3:20pm
Professor: Margaret Case (mcase@rwu.edu)

This course will take advantage of the fact that RWU’s Theatre Department is performing a rollicking version of Austen’s Sense & Sensibility in Spring 2018.  With guest lectures from Director, Jeffery Martin, and field trips to meet with actors studying for their parts, this course will closely study Austen’s novel in order to compare it with adaptions for both screen and stage.  We will become experts on the cultural and historical context of Regency England as we read and research Austen’s novel Sense & Sensibility in order to compare her narrative techniques with those used on stage and screen in order to answer our own questions about the text alongside classic questions from Austen scholars: (e.g.,  What does Austen mean by “sense” and “sensibility”?  Where does comedy meet irony?  Where does the narrator break character?  How is Austen using indirect free style?  Is Marianne Dashwood good enough for Colonel Brandon and vice versa?  What novels inspired Jane Austen?  Just how radical was Jane Austen?) 
All who are interested are welcome. See Prof. Case to waive pre-requisites.

ENG 480 - RESURRECTING THE FEMALE VOICE OF MAGICAL WOMEN

Female Voice ElectiveMeeting Time: TTH 11:00 - 12:20
Professor: Deborah Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu)

This course will “unearth” the female voice in literature, so often silenced, buried, misrepresented or at least muffled by the historical continuum from ancient to contemporary times.  Much like an archaeological dig, we’ll closely examine these literary artifacts in terms of their cultural context, looking at a wide variety of disciplines in order to unearth and recontextualize the female voice throughout history.  “Voices” will come from cave paintings, ceramics, ancient Pompeii, Knossos frescos, bestiaries, illuminated manuscripts, and our own Internet. 
“Texts” will include but are not limited to the Minoan Snake Goddess, the Virgin Mary,  Mary Magdalen and other women in the Koran and the Bible, Simone deBeauvoir, Sappho, Scheherazade, Moll Flanders, Ophelia, Margaret Atwood, Book of the Ladies, and Women Who Run with the Wolves. This course is inspired by Magical Women (ENG 299) from which the Malleus Malificarum is back by popular demand. 
This course is open to ALL STUDENTS in ALL MAJORS. Do not be intimidated by the 480 course number. All who are interested in the Female Voice are welcome. See Prof. Robinson to waive pre-requisites if you are interested in the topic.

English Literature Elective Courses for Fall 2017

CW 210 - Form in Poetry

Image of hallway leading to bookshelves at Nat'l Poetry Foundation

Professor: Renee Soto (rsoto@rwu.edu)
Course Meeting Times: T/TH 12:30 - 1:50

This course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc) and contemporary voice.  In seminars and workshops, we combine the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and its history create the basis for all poetry.  We will read writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Sylvia Plath, Frank O'Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.  No prerequisites. THIS COURSE IS A LOWER LEVEL INTERDISCIPLINARY ELECTIVE OPTION for ENG majors.  ENG majors may substitute one (1) interdisciplinary option for an ENG elective at the upper or lower level.

ENG 320 - Contemporary Latin American Novel (in translation)

image of a book with countries around it from website https://qz.com/430787/these-are-the-latin-american-authors-you-should-be-reading-this-summer/

Professor: Dr. Lee Jackson (djackson@rwu.edu) 
Course Meeting Times: M/TH 2:00 - 3:20

This course will closely read Latin American contemporary novels translated into English.   We will be analyzing nuanced perspectives of global culture,  the craft of these writers, and the social impact of the authors studied. Students will also gain a greater understanding of the historical, cultural, artistic, social, and political aspects which make the Latin American novel unique as well as a  greater awareness of the literary diversity of the global community. This course’s inclusive scope includes texts from Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish-speaking countries such as Clarice Lispector (Brazil), Moacyr Scliar (Brazil), Manuel Puig (Argentina), Evelio Rosero (Colombia), Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru), and Junot Díaz (Dominican Republic).   This course counts toward the ENG global requirement and toward the ENG elective writing for ENG and CW majors and minors.  Pre-requisite:  this course is open to all ENG and CW majors with sophomore standing or above.  If you are a first year ENG or CW major and want to take this course, please contact the instructor for permission.

ENG 430 - American Social Protest Literature

social protest image

Professor: Dr. James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu) 
Course Meeting Times: T/F 2:00 - 3:20

After a few relatively quiet decades, the United States is again abuzz with social protest:  Black Lives Matter, LGBT protests, the Women’s March, the Not My President’s Day protests, the Dakota pipeline protest.  This course surveys the rich tradition of American social protest literature from 19th-century abolitionist literature through contemporary protest literature.  Readings will include Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, and other seminal American protest texts.  Prerequisites: ENG 100, (or CW 210 and CW 220,) and a 200 or 300 level Writing Course. Or by permission of the instructor.


English Literature Electives for Spring 2017

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols and Sustainability:

Professor: Dr. Deborah Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu)  
Course Meeting Times: See On-Line Spring 2016 Course Schedule

This course analyzes the historical contexts for shifts in literary attitudes toward the environment. Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present, as they assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. Students analyze interdisciplinary & cross-cultural literary and visual works that address environment and place and the evolution of the relations between the human and non-human in non-fiction and natural history,  literature, and film. No prerequisites.  This course counts as a lower level elective in the English Literature major.

CW 210 - Form in Poetry

Image of hallway leading to bookshelves at Nat'l Poetry Foundation

Professor: Renee Soto (rsoto@rwu.edu)  
Course Meeting Times: See On-Line Spring 2016 Course Schedule

This course studies essential poetic forms (villanelle, sonnet, sestina, etc.) and contemporary voice. Through both seminars and writing workshops, the class combines the critical study of published writing and the development of student work to learn how form and the history of form creates the basis for all poetry. Students will be read works by writers such as John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, T.S. Elliot, Phillip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Frank O’Hara, Theodore Roethke, and William Carlos Williams.  No prerequisites.  This course counts as a lower level elective in the English Literature major.

WTNG 302 - Art of Writing: Forms of the Essay

Professor: Dr. Christian Pulver (cpulver@rwu.edu)
Course Meeting Times: See Online Spring 2016 Course Schedule

Often considered one of the originators of the “personal essay,” Montaigne is famous for his unflinching courage in self-understanding and in questioning accepted social norms. Such traits continue to define the shape of the modern essay as a form of non-fiction writing that combines journalism, philosophy, and memoir. In this course we’ll analyze the cultural roots of the essay and its evolving rhetorical characteristics. We will trace these roots back to the Renaissance and move forward to its use in new media technologies and its role in empowering marginalized groups. Students will gain hands-on-experience crafting essays of their own to take part in public issues they have an interest in.  Prerequisite: Successful completion of WTNG 102.  

CW 360 - Writers Reading Fiction Seminar

piles of books.  Three open. One with a pair of glasses on it.

Professor: Ted Delany (edelaney@rwu.edu)
Course Meeting Times: See Online Spring 2016 Course Schedule

It is a tried and true maxim that the best way to learn to write is to read. In this course, students will learn to “read as writers” by studying contemporary canonical writers' technical craft. This class helps practice thewriting process by developing their own writing skills. Students will be exposed to essential works of writers such as, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, Chang-Rae Lee, and Sandra Cisneros. Prerequisites: CW 210, CW 220, and a 200 or 300 level Writing Course OR by permission of the instructor.

ENG 360 - Asian-American Literature in Cultural Context

Professor: FCAS Assoc. Dean Roberta Adams (radams@rwu.edu)
Course Meeting Times: See Online Spring 2016 Course Schedule  

We'll read works of writers of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese ancestry, with a view to understanding how the authors create their own voices; how they explore questions of identity and cultural and family dynamics; and how this body of ethnic literature interacts with other intellectual traditions.  We'll explore how different cultural traditions and ways of thinking occur/clash/interact in these texts. As we gain background on Confucian culture, historical contexts of immigration and World War II/Vietnam War, we'll work to appreciate East/West differences presented in the texts. Emphasis is on fiction/memoir; supplemental critical, historical, and philosophical readings and one or two films.  Authors from among John Okada, Joy Kogawa, Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, Frank Chin, Gish Jen, Gail Tsukiyama, Chang Rae Lee, Patricia Park, Nora Okja Keller, Kevin Kwan, Lan Cao, Monique Truong, Viet Thanh Nguyen, others. Prerequisites:  ENG 100 (or CW 210 + CW 220) and either a 200 or 300 level WTNG course OR by permission of the instructor.

ENG 430 - Special Topics: J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien

Professor: Dr. Deborah Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu) 
Course Meeting Times: See Online Spring 2016 Course Schedule

This intertextual course (films and novels) travels to Middle-earth to meet with Gandalf and Samwise Gamgee, Gollum, Legolas, and a cast of thousands.  We will focus on Tolkien's literary and cultural presence: as an icon of the 1960s ecological movement, as admonisher of war, innovator of genre and character, and as a resource for other fantasy writers. Just as Tolkien borrows from Norse mythology, each new generation of writers has borrowed from Tolkien (e.g., Yoda echoes Elvish Sindarin syntactical structure; likewise C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling transform elements from Tolkien).  Readings and films will include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tolkien’s LettersTree and Leaf, and a wide variety of literary and critical texts.  This course counts as an upper-level elective in the English Literature major.  Prerequisites: ENG 100 (or CW 210 + CW 220) and either a 200 or 300 level WTNG course OR by permission of instructor. 


English Literature Electives for Fall 2016

ASIA 100 - Foundations of Asian Studies

This course offers an introduction to East Asian cultures and civilizations, providing a background on philosophical and religious thought of China, Japan, and Korea, and linking selected elements of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean historical development with global issues today.  Readings: primary and secondary sources from a wide variety of disciplines, including philosophy and religion, literature, the arts, politics, history, popular culture, and contemporary events.  There may be opportunity for one or two optional field trips and on-campus films and workshops.

Faculty Guest Lecturers include:  Prof. Min Zhou, Languages; Prof. Will Ayton, Music (ret.); Prof. Tad Kugler, Political Science/International Relations; Prof. Debra Mulligan, History.   ASIA 100 satisfies an elective requirement for English Literature majors.  It is a requirement for East Asian Studies minors.  An introductory level course, it is open to all students and all majors as an elective.

Course Instructor ASIA 100:    Professor Roberta Adams, Associate Dean, FCAS radams@rwu.edu (GHH 308B)
     Meeting Times ASIA 100:     M/Th  3:30 - 4:50 p.m.

ENG 300 - "British" Literature III The Postwar Novel

This course considers the late 20th-century/early 21st-century British novel and examines closely a number of key issues that shaped, as well as continue to affect, postwar British literature and culture, such as the movement from empire to post-colonialism; the "new internationalism" in British literature; and the role of the most prestigious literary award in Britain, the Man Booker Prize.  We will pay particular attention to the continuously shifting dynamics between the notions of "British," "English," "international," and "global/world" and the role of the literary marketplace.   ENG 300  satisfies the an elective requirement for English Literature major or Creative writing major.  It may be taken EITHER as a free elective OR to satisfy the British Literature I or British Literature II requirement.   It is open to all students and all majors as an elective.  See Course Instructor  to waive pre-requisites.

Course Instructor ENG 300:    Professor Rebecca Karni  (rkarni@rwu.edu) GHH 316
     Meeting Times ENG 300:     Tues/Thurs  11:00 - 12:20pm

The Rhetoric of NarrativeWTNG 301 - The Rhetoric of Narrative Storytelling and the Art of Persuasion


"Humans," says rhetorician Walter Fisher, "are essentially storytellers." We invent tall tales, recount fables, spin yarns, report news, spread gossip, write autobiographies, share testimony, make films, broadcast rumors, whisper secrets, draft constitutions, and pen novels. In this course, we will explore how such stories shape our personal identities, allow us to identify with one another, and offer us a means of making sense of the world and our lives.  Readings will include fables, fairy tales, parables, narratives of political independence, public testimony, literacy narratives, and stories of your own. This course counts as an ENG elective (300 level or above).  The Rhetoric of Narrative may be taken as an elective for the English major.  It counts as a regular ENG elective.  Caveat:  No double-dipping.  That is, a student may take this course to satisfy either the WTNG 200-level Core Curriculum requirement or an ENG elective (not both).

Course Instrutor WTNG 301:  Professor Christian Pulver (cpulver@rwu.edu) GHH 2nd floor.
 Meeting Times  WTNG 301:  Tues/Thurs  12:30 - 1:50pm

ENG 320 - Transnational Spy and Detective Fiction

This course highlights the increasing number of transnational, minority/ethnic, and postcolonial writers who adapt spy, detective, and crime fiction conventions, often transcending presumed boundaries between popular and high culture. In focusing on issues related to identity, “culture,” ethics, human rights, and knowledge construction, we will examine for example, the figure of the spy or detective as observer, immigrant and/or cultural or social “other.” Authors may include Patrick Chamoiseau, Vikram Chandra, Wilkie Collins, Cristina Garcia-Aguilera, Kazuo Ishiguro, Suki Kim, Natsuo Kirino, Chang-Rae Lee, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Walter Mosley, Haruki Murakami, Yamyang Norbu (rewriting Sherlock Holmes), Michael Ondaatje, and one or more examples from the recently so successful Scandinavian crime fiction genre.  This course counts as an upper-level elective in the English Literature major.  ENG 300  satisfies an elective requirement for English Literature major or Creative writing major.  It is open to all majors as an elective.  See course instructor to waive pre-requisites.

Course Instructor ENG 320: Professor Rebecca Karni (rkarni@rwu.edu)  GHH 316
Meeting Times ENG 320: Tues/Friday 2:00 - 3:20pm Spring 2016


English Literature Electives for Spring 2016

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols and Sustainability

 This course analyzes the historical contexts for shifts in literary attitudes toward the environment from around the world and across time. Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present, as they document and assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. Students analyze interdisciplinary & cross-cultural literary and visual works that address environment and place and the evolution of the relations between the human and non-human both directly (in non-fiction and natural history) and indirectly (in literature and film).  No prerequisites.  Dr. Deborah Robinson  (drobinson@rwu.edu)  Course Meeting Times: Spring 2016 On-Line Courses.

ENG 290 and 300 (British Literature Survey Courses)

British Literature II & III are both being offered this semester.  You are only required to CHOOSE TWO (2)  from British Literature 1, 2 or 3 to graduate with an English major.  If you take all three, one of them  counts as an elective requirement. If you only take 2, you satisfy the British Literature 1 or 2 requirement (no matter which two you take).   We encourage all English majors to take all three British Literature Survey courses; especially if you are thinking of applying to graduate school.  British Literature I (BL I)  begins with Beowulf and ends near 1700.  BL II begins near 1700 and ends around 1900.  BL III bridges the 20th and 21st Centuries. 

Course Meeting Times: See Spring 2016 On-Line Courses.


ENG 301 - Contemporary American Literature

This course explores contemporary American literature in a variety of genres, including texts outside mainstream literature.  This semester's reading selections will include August Wilson's play The Piano Lesson (1990), Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 (1961), and Truman Capote's creative nonfiction work, In Cold Blood (1966), which is the 2015-16 Birss Memorial Lecture Text.

Professor: Dr. James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)
Course Meeting Times: See Spring 2016 On-Line Courses.

 

Bible in/and LiteratureENG 430: The Bible in/and Literature

Whether we’re reading Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, Dickens, Austen, Bronte, Tolkien, or Rowling, our knowledge of both the Bible and the “Judeo-Christian tradition” directly affects our ability to recognize the artists’ thematic use of biblical allusions. Our course focuses on key Concepts, Stories, Rituals and Symbols, including the origin of Satan, The Last Supper, wedding ceremonies, the seven vices and virtues, Noah’s Ark, the Passion of Christ, the apple, Lilith (image at left) and much more. The course will also orient students to important geographical and historical contexts including Jerusalem, the Land of Canaan, and Babylon as well as the "heretical" gospels, Gnosticism, and the Crusades and much more (see attached flyer). Summer reading is required and will include Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Students will also read J.C. Coopers’ An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols. And, of course, The Bible (King James Version).  [Image:  Depiction of Lilith in the Burney Relief]  Instructor:  Professor D. Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu) GHH 315. 


English Literature Electives for Fall 2015

J.R.R. TolkienENG 299 - Special Topics: Magical Women

While our course title suggests mystery, benevolent supernatural power, perhaps even a bit of playfulness, if we look beneath the surface, we begin to uncover a more nuanced interpretation of “magical women.”  Denotatively, “magic” suggests the use of spells and rituals in seeking or pretending to cause or control events, or govern certain natural or supernatural forces.  Its synonyms, sorcery and witchcraft, imply the use of charms or mysterious, seemingly inexplicable events by exerting extraordinary powers of influence by producing baffling effects or illusions.  Marry “magic” and women in this context; and, quickly, “benevolence” begins to turn to menace.  So in this course, we’ll ask some questions that venture into that darker side:

Where do witches come from?  Where’d the Great Earth Mother go?  Who are the “Furies,” the succubae?  And what’s all this about female gender bifurcation of the virgin-whore variety?  And what’s with this princess-wicked stepmother-fairy godmother triad?  Why are women often judged to be mysterious, often malevolently?  And what does sexuality have to do with all this?   To answer these, and many more questions that this course will raise, we’ll use visual arts; video games; film; music; literature, including myths, fairy tales, and novels.  Some resources might include, along with excerpts of the Bible and the Koran, The Pearl: A Journal of Voluptuous Reading, the Underground Magazine of Victorian England, The Turnip Princess [fairy tales], The Thorn and the Blossom, a Two-sided Love Story [novel], The Sculpture [graphic novel], The Red Tent [novel], and Nine Parts of Desire:  The Hidden World of Islamic Women [journalist’s diary]  This course satisfied a lower-level elective requirement for the English major, but is open to all (majors and non-majors) who meet the pre-requisites, or by permission of instructor. English Literature majors must take at least three (3) upper level electives.  ENG/ED majors must take at least two (2) upper level electives.

Professor: Dr. Deborah Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu) GHH 315

ENG 320 - Reading Global Fiction

What does it mean to read globally or across national and/or cultural borders in the 21st century? This course explores this question, and the pleasures and challenges involved, in relation to various conceptions of global or world fiction. While earlier definitions of “world literature” were linked to a set of literary masterpieces, more recent revivals of the notion see it as tied inextricably to certain modes of reading, as well as to questions of translation, circulation, and reception that will be central to our discussions. We will consider carefully various ways in which selected fictional works participate in, and reflect on, discourses pertaining to “reading globally” and “world/global fiction,” as well as, more generally, related to “world,” “globe,” “planet,” and “hemisphere” – central to the perspectives from which world/global literature has more recently come to be considered –, thus problematizing these notions.  This course satisfies an upper level English literature elective requirement, but is open to all (majors and non-majors) who meet the pre-requisites, or by permission of instructor.  English Literature majors must take at least three (3) upper level electives.  ENG/ED majors must take at least two (2) upper level electives.

Professor: Dr. Rebecca Karni (rkarni@rwu.edu)
Course Meeting Times: Tues/Thurs 11:00 a m- 12:20 p.m. Fall 2015


English Literature Electives for Spring 2015

ENG 320 - Global Literatures:  Transnational Spy and Detective Fiction

This course highlights the increasing number of transnational, minority/ethnic, and postcolonial writers who adapt spy, detective, and crime fiction conventions, often transcending presumed boundaries between popular and high culture. In focusing on issues related to identity, “culture,” ethics, human rights, and knowledge construction, we will examine for example, the figure of the spy or detective as observer, immigrant and/or cultural or social “other.” Authors may include Patrick Chamoiseau, Vikram Chandra, Wilkie Collins, Cristina Garcia-Aguilera, Kazuo Ishiguro, Suki Kim, Natsuo Kirino, Chang-Rae Lee, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, Walter Mosley, Haruki Murakami, Yamyang Norbu (rewriting Sherlock Holmes), Michael Ondaatje, and one or more examples from the recently so successful Scandinavian crime fiction genre.  This course counts as an upper-level elective in the English Literature major.

Professor: Dr. Rebecca Karni (rkarni@rwu.edu) GHH 316
Course Meeting Times: Tues/Friday 2:00 - 3:20 p.m. Spring 2015

J.R.R. Tolkien

ENG 430 - Special Topics: J.R.R. Tolkien

This intertextual course (films and novels)  travels to Middle-earth to meet with Gandalf and Samwise Gamgee, Gollum, Legolas, and a cast of thousands.  We will focus on Tolkien's literary and cultural presence: as an icon of the 1960s ecological movement, as admonisher of war, innovator of genre and character, and as a resource for other fantasy writers. Just as Tolkien borrows from Norse mythology, each new generation of writers has borrowed from Tolkien (e.g., Yoda echoes Elvish Sindarin syntactical structure; likewise C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling transform elements from Tolkien).  Readings and films will include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tolkien’s Letters, Tree and Leaf, and a wide variety of literary and critical texts.   This course counts as an upper-level elective in the English Literature major.

Professor:  Dr. Deborah Robinson  (drobinson@rwu.edu)  GHH 315
Course Meeting Times: Mon/Thurs 2:00 - 3:20pm Spring 2015

ENG 110 - Serpents Swords Symbols and Sustainability

This course analyzes the historical contexts for shifts in literary attitudes toward the environment from around the world and across time. Using the natural world as a point of departure, students learn the universal language of symbols from ancient cultures to the present, as they document and assess the evolution of the relation between human beings and the natural world, once perceived as reciprocal and interdependent, now distinct and isolated. Students analyze interdisciplinary and cross-cultural literary and visual works that address environment and place and the evolution of the relations between the human and non-human both directly (in non-fiction and natural history) and indirectly (in literature and film). This course counts as a lower-level elective  in the English Literature major.  No prerequisites.

Professor: Dr. Deborah Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu) GHH 315
Course Meeting Times: Tues/Thurs 11:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. Spring 2015

ASIA 100 - Foundations of Asian Studies

CAS 330This introductory course course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural, and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Students will explore major historical, political, and economic developments, as well as cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context. This course counts as a lower-level elective in the English Literature major.  No prerequisites.

Professor: Dr. Roberta Adams, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (radams@rwu.edu) GHH 308B
Course Meeting Times: Tues/Thurs 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. Spring 2015


English Literature Electives for Fall 2014

Title Illustration of Native SonENG 360 - The African American Novel (Studies in Ethnic American Literature)

This upper-level English elective course surveys the rich history of the African American novel from its birth in the 1850s through the end of the 20th century.  The reading list will include the following six novels:

  • The Bondswoman's Narrative (1850s) Hannah Craft
  • The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1913) James Weldon Johnson
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) Zora Neale Hurston
  • Native Son (140) Richard Wright
  • Invisible Man (1952) Ralph Ellison
  • Beloved (1987) Toni Morrison

Prerequisites:  ENG 100 (or CW 210 and CW 220), 200-level or above Writing Course
Professor:  Dr. James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)GHH 314
Course Meeting Times:  Thursday only  2:00 - 4:50pm

Title Illustration of Native Son

ENG 300 - "British" Literature III:  The Postwar Novel 

This course considers the late 20th-century/early 21st-century British novel and examines closely a number of key issues that shaped, as well as continue to affect, postwar British literature and culture, such as the movement from empire to post-colonialism; the "new internationalism" in British literature; and the role of the most prestigious literary award in Britain, the Man Booker Prize.  We will pay particular attention to the continuously shifting dynamics between the notions of "British," "English," "international," and "global/world" and the role of the literary marketplace.   

This upper-level English elective course may be taken either as an elective if you have already taken Brit Lit I and Brit Lit II.  If you have not taken Brit Lit I and Brit Lit II, it may substitute for either one of them.  See your advisor if you have any questions about whether to take this as an elective or as a requirement.

Prerequisite:  ENG 100 (or CW 210 and CW 220), any 200-level or above WTNG Course
Professor:  Dr. Rebecca Karni (rkarni@rwu.edu) GHH 316

Course Meeting Times:  Tues/Friday  2:00 - 3:20 p.m.


English Literature Electives for Spring 2014

Ernest HemingwayENG 299 - The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway wrote some splendid novels: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, The Old Man and the Sea. But most literary critics suggest that this great American writer’s best work can be found in his short fiction, including the Nick Adams stories and short story masterpieces like “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” and “Hills Like White Elephants.” This course will focus on Hemingway the short story writer and feature intensively close readings and active discussions of Hemingway’s best short fiction.
Mon/Thurs 2:00-3:20
Professor James Tackach (jtackach@rwu.edu)  GHH 314

Austen and Film

ENG 430: Austen and Film

Is it a truth universally acknowledged for readers of Jane Austen that the book is always better than the movie? Or vice versa? Why are so many Austen novels making it to the “big screen”? What is lost (and what is gained) when this happens? The first 2/3 of this course will closely compare two Austen novels against their companion films (drawing on introductory film studies texts) to analyze how narrative, thematic, and/or ideological emphases shift from text to film. The first comparisons will include Pride and Prejudice (the 1813 novel, the 1995 BBC 6 hr miniseries, and the 2005 Kiera Knightly film). The second comparison will include an Austen novel paired with another film (to be chosen by class vote). The final third of the course each student will pair a DIFFERENT novel with its adaptation to produce a thesis driven comparison. The final project for the course will showcase these comparisons university wide. If you love Jane Austen (or simply want to learn more about her novels and the films that translate them), you are more than welcome. This course is reading and writing intensive. (Final paper 10-12 pages.)

Thursdays 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Professor:   Meg Case  (mcase@rwu.edu) GHH 312
If you have any questions, please contact mcase@rwu.edu


English Literature Electives for Fall 2013

World Short Story

ENG 299 - World Short Story

The short story is a flexible art form, embraced by writers around the world. In this class, we study the form: what makes a short story? how does an author pack so much into a few pages? And we will read 4-8 stories a week, from the “classics” of the 19th and 20th centuries, to some written in the past ten years. Authors may include Chekhov, Tolstoy, De Maupassant, Rilke, Kafka, Pirandello, Kipling, O. Henry, Joyce, Borges, Lu Xun, Kawabata, Ding Ling, Allende, Garcia Marquez, Mahfouz, Mukherjee, Ha Jin, Murakami, Achebe, Mo Yan, Lahiri, Yoshimoto, Nadiya, Mhute, among many others.

Tues/Thurs 12:30-1:50
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor Roberta Adams  (radams@rwu.edu) GHH 308B

Global of World NovelENG 320 - The “Global” or “World Novel”: Affect, Ethics, Aesthetics, Politics

Ever since Johann W. von Goethe proclaimed that the epoch of Weltliteratur (world literature) is at hand, authors, critics, and general readers alike have advocated the “world” or “global novel.” This is especially true for the period of the late 20th and early 21st centuries with its emphasis on globalization in general and the globalizing humanities more particularly. But what exactly does this advocacy for the “world” or “global novel” presuppose and promote? It is tied inextricably to multifaceted questions related to genre, affect, ethics, aesthetics, politics (to name a few), which this course aims to examine.

More than any other genre, the novel has a long-standing history of being both criticized and praised for its perceived political, ethical, social, and aesthetic affinities and affiliations. In reading comparatively late 20th- and early 21st-century novels by Anglophone, Asian American, French/Francophone, German, Japanese, Sinophone, and Indian authors (while also paying attention to the historical development of the notion of “world”/”global novel” and the post-1945 context), we will be considering the particular constellations of these dimensions that globalization has brought about. In so doing, our focus will be on the ways in which the selected authors depict “the global” or “the world” in relation to culture, communities, people, and fictional characters; the never straightforward relationships to “real” “global” or “world” formations that they in this way establish; as well as on the implications that the chosen narrative forms and styles might have for global readerships. We will also examine carefully how notions of the “world”/”global novel” relate to various conceptions of “world,” “globe,” “hemisphere,” and “planet.”

Readings include a selection of relevant critical essays as well as novels by Albert Camus, Dai Sijie, Enchi Fumiko, Amitav Ghosh, Kazuo Ishiguro, Chang-Rae Lee, Ruth Ozeki, and W.G. Sebald.

Tues/Fri 2:00 - 3:30
Professor Rebecca Karni (rkarni@rwu.edu) GHH 316

Bible in/and Literature

ENG 430: The Bible in/and Literature

Whether we’re reading Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, Dickens, Austen, Bronte, Tolkien, or Rowling, our knowledge of both the Bible and the “Judeo-Christian tradition” directly affects our ability to recognize the artists’ thematic use of biblical allusions. Our course focuses on key Concepts, Stories, Rituals and Symbols, including the origin of Satan, The Last Supper, wedding ceremonies, the seven vices and virtues, Noah’s Ark, the Passion of Christ, the apple, Lilith (image at left) and much more. The course will also orient students to important geographical and historical contexts including Jerusalem, the Land of Canaan, and Babylon as well as the "heretical" gospels, Gnosticism, and the Crusades and much more (see attached flyer). Summer reading is required and will include Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Students will also read J.C. Coopers’ An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols. And, of course, The Bible (King James Version).  [Image:  Depiction of Lilith in the Burney Relief]

Thursdays 2:00 to 4:50 p.m.
Professor D. Robinson (drobinson@rwu.edu) GHH 315


English Literature Electives for Spring 2013

Good Asian/Bad Asian: Radicals, Outcasts, and ExilesENG 320 - Good Asian/Bad Asian: Radicals, Outcasts, and Exiles

The globalized discourse of the “Asian Century” has been consecrated by the growing popularity of mainstream cultural forms and media, exemplified by Indian Bollywood, Japanese Anime and Manga, and the Korean Wave from the 1990’s to the present. Mainstream representations of Asian otherness is also illustrated through Hollywood films like Lost in Translation, The Last Samurai, Kill Bill, the upcoming 47 Ronin, as well as through musical productions such as Madam Butterfly and Miss Saigon, among others. While the international visibility of Asia has brought an awareness to its diversity, the question remains whether the cultural forms described above can build what the scholar Longxi Zhang calls the “cultural homogeneity” within the disjunctive spaces of transnational culture or if such conceptions continue to produce racialized depictions and partial truths, what Samir Amin argues symbolizes the “inverted Eurocentrism” operating at the core of globalization.

Keeping in mind the above description, this course will investigate the counter-discourse of Asian otherness in the literature, theory, and film of the 20th/21st centuries through a comparative lens. Some of the key questions this course will address are: What are the predominant ideologies of the “Asian Century” and how do they function in the context of globalized cultural discourse? What is Asian postcoloniality and “Third Worldism?” How does Eurocentric universality, the ideology of globalized capital, continue to shape the locus of struggle for defining Asia beyond its constrained singularity? Finally, how do contrapuntal “readings” re-historicize the limits and possibilities of our understanding of Asian cultural formations and thus pave the way for the recognition of what Gayatri Spivak labels “Other Asias?” Some of the authors we will read are: Lau She, Mahasweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, Nakagami Kenji, Akira Yoshimura, Mulk Raj Anand, Wong Phui Nam, and Carlos Bulosan; theoretical readings by Gayatri Spivak, Rey Chow, Vijay Prashad, Arundhati Roy, Tani Barlow, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and E. San Juan, Jr.; films by Jean-Luc Godard, Bernardo Bertolucci, Itami Juzo, Kang Je-Gyu, Jia Zhangke, and Mira Nair.

Offered by Visiting Professor John Maerhofer (jmaerhofer@rwu.edu)

The Middle Ages

ENG 430 - The Middle Ages

Courtly lovers and mystics, wikked wives and lovesick swains, crooked churchmen and peerless knights—the literature of the Middle Ages contains all these and more. This period, which falls between the decline of the Roman Empire (with the temporary loss of the Classical literature of Greece and Rome) and the new political and artistic forms of the Renaissance, saw the rise of the first really great English writers, of a native English drama, and an intense interchange of ideas between the British Isles and the European continent. This introduction to the literature of the late Middle Ages (c. 1200-1500) in the western world provides a small sample of the wealth of texts from this period, primarily from the British Isles and France. Possible readings include texts from the Arthurian legends (the romances of Chretien de Troyes, the lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory’s Morte Darthur); some of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and short poems; morality and mystery plays, selections from allegories such as Piers Plowman; women mystics, such as Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen, and something by Christine de Pisan, the first western woman to support herself by her writings. We’ll look at relationships among religion, art, music, and literature, and get some sense of daily life. Except for Chaucer and the plays, most texts are read in modernized English or in translation.

Tues/Thurs 9:30-10:50
Offered by Professor Roberta Adams


English Literature Electives for Fall 2012

 Postcolonial Drama and Film

ENG 320 - Postcolonial Drama and Film: 1962 to the Contemporary Period

According to Barbara Harlow, “the struggle over the historical and culture record” in the formation of the postcolonial society is equally important to the political resistance against colonialism and the imperialist project. The victory in 1962 by the Front de Libération Nationale in Algeria against French colonialism was not only symbolic of the internationalist breadth of anti-imperialism and nationalist liberation, but also revealed what Vijay Prashad calls the "cultural confidence" of Third World artists, writers, and intellectuals who sought to reform the contours of the post-colony through cultural production. Third World revolutionary discourse was central to the awakening of political consciousness against colonial racism and exploitation in the period of decolonization and continues to influence models of self-determination like the Arab Spring, among other contemporary movements.

Keeping in mind the historico-theoretical framework above, this course will analyze aspects of dramatic works and films from the 1960’s to the contemporary period that document the expanding configurations of post-coloniality and the question of Third World aesthetics and politics. Some of the issues this course intends to address are: theatrical and visual representations of anticolonial resistance and decolonization; Eurocentrism and the formations of cultural imperialism; race and gender in postcolonial/global culture; violence and its systemic relations; the politics of locality and globalization; and the aesthetic and political responses to the “new” imperialism and its ever-increasing hegemony. Among the authors we may read and discuss are: Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka, Maishe Maponya, Girish Karnad, and Kee Thuan Chye; films by Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousamne Sembene, Hany Abu-Assad, Euzhan Palcy, and Souleymane Cissé; and theoretical texts by Edward Said, Robert Young, Gayatri Spivak, and Frantz Fanon.  Offered by Visiting Professor John Maerhofer

J.R.R. Tolkien

ENG 430 - J.R.R. Tolkien

Lately, lonely, misunderstood vampires; Hogwartian wizards; even humble sons of Titans have been satisfying our appetite for "fantasy"! I thought it was time to resurrect little Bilbo Baggins and the Gang!
So-o-o-o . . .
Tolkien’s Back!!! And we’ve got him!
We’ll travel to Middle-earth . . . there to meet with Gandalf and Samwise Gamgee, Gollum and the Ents, Elrond and Shelob, Legolas and . . . a cast of thousands.

Our intertextual study (films and novels) will focus on:

  1. (Tolkien as a cultural voice: as an icon of the 1960’s American ecological movement, now echoed today in the concept of Sustainability; on his commentary on “the machine” and its horrific consequences on the fate of both the natural world and of human beings; on his admonishment against war; on the nature of the modern hero.
  2. Tolkien as a literary voice: as a resource for other modern and contemporary fantasy writers. Just as Tolkien took from Norse mythology and the Bible, each new generation of writers has taken from him. (Just listen to Yoda speak and you’ll hear echoes of the Elvish Sindarin syntactical structure!!) His dynamic Middle-earth--its imaginary landscapes and maps, its magical characters, its myriad languages—informs both images and themes in the works of his fellow Inkling, C. S. Lewis, and J. K. Rowling as they examine the tension between one’s responsibilities to one’s self and to an ideal greater than that self; the human need for "otherworldliness"; heroic characteristics and their tragic consequences; the eternal war between beneficent and malignant powers; the ideal of the fellowship.

Readings and Films: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s Letters, Tree and Leaf, among other various and sundries . We’ll also view several films.

Requirements: 30-minute oral presentation + outline, 3 4- to 6-page papers, and a final project.
Offered by Professor Deborah Robinson  (x 3435) or GHH 315.


English Literature Electives for Spring 2012

Advanced Literary Theory

ENG 430 - Advanced Literary Theory

This course will help students dissect, dissolve, assimilate, simulate, rearrange, and run circles around the Borgesian Aleph that is literary theory. Reading original texts from early metaphysical thinkers, through the rise of hermeneutics, to the world of post-post-Œs, students will practice seeing through smoke, mapping paradigms, developing comparative regimes, whipping epistemology, questioning canons, uprooting rhizomes, navigating libidinal economies, and generally thinking theory through literature and literature through theory. Course readings include seminal texts of literary theory from Plato to Donna J. Haraway. The first part of the course focuses on classical texts of literary theory. Authors will likely include Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Sir Phillip Sidney, Chladenius, Schleiermacher, Marx. The second part of the course focuses on contemporary theorists, such as Soseki, Althusser, Lyotard, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Derrida, Bourdieu, Haraway, and Deleuze. Students produce a professional quality final paper working directly with one or more theorists. Bring a pencil.

Offered by Professor Jordan Yamaji Smith (jasmith@rwu.edu)

Contemporary American LiteratureENG 301: Contemporary American Literature

Examines American fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction of the last half of the 20th and 21st centuries. This course devotes considerable attention to the literary contributions of contemporary women, African Americans, Native Ameircans and oter groups outside the American literary mainstream.
Offered by Profs. J. Tackach from the English Literature program and Renee Soto from the Creative Writing Program.

CAS 330

ASIA 100 - Foundations of Asian Studies

This course is in a separate section of the course catalogue and might be difficult to find under ASIA 100. The five digit catalogue number for registration is 111000

Building on a basis in the history and culture of the region, faculty from across the campus will be invited to provide suggested readings and guest lectures for this course focused on specific themes or issues (e.g., international trade and business, history, culture, and geography of the region, music, dance, theatre, literature, politics, philosophy, etc.). This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural, and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Students will explore major historical, political, and economic developments, as well as cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.

No pre-requisites
Offered by Professor Roberta Adams (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and English Department Professor)


English Literature Electives for Fall 2011

Global Lit

ENG 320 Global Literatures: East Asian Modernities

This course examines the rise of modernity, Westernization, and new forms of regional consciousness in modern to contemporary East Asia. Texts from foundational modern writers such as Lu Xun and Natsume Soseki will help us examine literary responses to the upheavals of large-scale cultural transformation of relatively isolated Asian nations to global players; texts from post-war Japan and Korea and Maoist China help us see how political currents of global capital/consumerism and communism interact with evolving commitments to “tradition”; and contemporary texts by Nobel Laureates such as Oe Kenzaburo and Gao Xingjian, or by cutting edge writers of immigrant crime fiction, femme noir, and postmodernist novels will help us see the most current iterations of East Asian literary responses to global events and thought. The course also builds conceptual connections from literary texts to film, art, anime/manga, and music.
Tuesday/Friday 2:00 to 3:20pm
Offered by Professor Jordan Yamaji Smith

Bible in/and LiteratureENG 430: The Bible in/and Literature

Whether we’re reading Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, Dickens, Austen, Bronte, Tolkien, or Rowling, our knowledge of both the Bible and the “Judeo-Christian tradition” directly affects our ability to recognize the artists’ thematic use of biblical allusions. Our course focuses on key Concepts, Stories, Rituals and Symbols, including the origin of Satan, The Last Supper, wedding ceremonies, the seven vices and virtues, Noah’s Ark, the Passion of Christ, the apple, Lilith (image at left) and much more (see attached flyer). The course will also orient students to important geographical and historical contexts including Jerusalem, the Land of Canaan, and Babylon as well as the "heretical" gospels, Gnosticism, and the Crusades and much more (see attached flyer). Summer reading is required and will include Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Students will also read J.C. Coopers’ An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols. And, of course, The Bible (King James Version).
Thursday 2:00 to 4:50 p.m.
Offered by Professor D. Robinson


English Literature Electives for Spring 2011

Vampires and Witches

ENG 430: Vampires and Witches

In the light of the plethora of recent texts dealing with vampires and witches lately, this course will study several literary examples, searching for cultural meanings. This course will satisfy the ENG elective at the 300 or above level for both ENG and CW majors.

Pre-requisites: WTNG 102 and WTNG 200, junior level standing, or permission of the instructor.

Tuesday 2:00 to 4:50pm
Offered by Professor D. Robinson

The Rhetoric of Narrative

WTNG 301: The Rhetoric of Narrative Storytelling and the Art of Persuasion

"Humans," says rhetorician Walter Fisher, "are essentially storytellers." We invent tall tales, recount fables, spin yarns, report news, spread gossip, write autobiographies, share testimony, make films, broadcast rumors, whisper secrets, draft constitutions, and pen novels. In this course, we will explore how such stories shape our personal identities, allow us to identify with one another, and offer us a means of making sense of the world and our lives. Readings will include fables, fairy tales, parables, narratives of political independence, public testimony, literacy narratives, and stories of your own. This course counts as an ENG elective (300 level or above).

Pre-requisites: WTNG 102 and WTNG 200, or permission of the instructor.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
11:00 to 11:50am
Offered by Assistant Professor James Beitler

CAS 330CAS 330 - Foundations of Asian Studies

Building on a basis in the history and culture of the region, faculty from across the campus will be invited to provide suggested readings and guest lectures for this course focused on specific themes or issues (e.g., international trade and business, history, culture, and geography of the region, music, dance, theatre, literature, politics, philosophy, etc.). This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural, and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Students will explore major historical, political, and economic developments, as well as cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.

No pre-requisites
Mondays and Thursdays
2:00 to 3:20pm
Offered by Professor Debra Mulligan (History/American Studies)


English Literature Electives for Fall 2010

English Roots

LING 301 - Roots of English

Have you ever wondered where English came from?  If so, this course is for you.  Witness the birth of your native tongue.

The course follows the changes experienced by the English language, from its roots in Anglo Saxon dialects through its different stages of development, ending with modern British and American English. The content will include phonological, morphological and syntactic changes. (3 credits) 

This course is open to any student interested in historical linguistics and/or the English language. It is designed to tell the story of how English has changed across the centuries and the causes - both historical and linguistic - that have molded modern English.
Tuesday and Friday
2:00 to 3:20pm
Offered by Professor Sandra B. Schreffler

CAS 330CAS 340 - Foundations of Asian Studies

Building on a basis in the history and culture of the region, faculty from across the campus will be invited to provide suggested readings and guest lectures for this course focused on specific themes or issues (e.g., international trade and business, history, culture, and geography of the region, music, dance, theatre, literature, politics, philosophy, etc.). This course provides an introduction to the broad historical, cultural, and philosophical events and traditions of this important geopolitical region that includes China, Japan, and Korea among other important states. Students will explore major historical, political, and economic developments, as well as cultural and philosophical underpinnings that characterize the region. The course raises questions about the roles and interactions of Asian countries internationally in the 21st century global context.
Tuesday and Friday
2:00 to 3:20pm
Offered by Professor Debra Mulligan (History/American Studies)

J.R.R. Tolkien

ENG 430 - J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien's back and we've got him!  See Description above.
Tuesday and Thursday
12:30 to 1:50pm
Offered by Professor Deborah Robinson