150 Multicultural America
This course asks you to participate in challenging discussions of race, ethnicity, and other culturally significant measures of human difference in multicultural America via the analysis of a variety of theoretical, literary, and digital texts. This course also requires your participation in service learning, for which you will need to complete and write about at least 15 documented hours of service at one of our community partner sites.
This class fulfills UWM’s General Education Requirements for the Humanities, which means that we are concerned with "questions, issues, and concepts basic to the formation of character and the establishment of values in a human context." It also fulfills UWM’s GER for Cultural Diversity, which means that it focuses on the experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and/or U.S. Latino/as and also includes perspectives on how differences other than race complicate cultural identity.
English 150 may be used to satisfy the Core Course requirement for the UWM Cultures and Communities Certificate Program, which is an opportunity to earn the equivalent of a Minor in multicultural studies and community engagement while also completing your General Education Requirements. For more information, visit the Program home page at www.cc.uwm.edu.
This course is fully online, with all readings available via links or by download on our D2L site. Because learning in this course is dependent, in large part, on your participation in online discussions, the course does follow a schedule of weekly deadlines and is NOT self-paced.More info: email@example.com
111 Entertainment Arts: Film, TV, and Digital Media
Sections: 202, 203
From cinema to cell phones, the multimedia context of contemporary life is rapidly changing. This course will examine some of those shifting and ubiquitous technologies and images by offering a general introduction to the critical study of film, television, and digital media. While examining each medium individually we will also work in a state of persistent comparison, endeavoring to comprehend media culture as a larger phenomenon. This will be achieved, in part, through weekly film, television, and/or digital media "screenings" that will catalyze reflections on media convergence. Through readings, screenings, and discussions, students will develop sophisticated understandings of media culture in terms of technical and aesthetic properties, industrial practices, representation, cultural theories, social responses and more. There are no prerequisites for this course and you are therefore not expected to have any prior knowledge of media studies. You are, however, expected to treat the material as a legitimate object of study. We will begin with the premise that film, television, and digital media offer much more than "entertainment" and that, accordingly, studying these forms is a serious undertaking requiring rigor and diligence.
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202 Writing in the Humanities
Subtitle: Utopia vs. iTopia: Society, Technology, & Politics in the Humanities
Mondays & Wednesdays: 9:30am to 10:45am
We will study and explore different communities, their tech, their leadership, and how we as individuals navigate that space as depicted in literature, film, essay, video games, and art. Tentative texts include: Brave New World, Idiocracy, and Utopia. We will also discuss, practice, and develop various writing styles and modes in order to unpack and prepare you for the complexities of your particular discourse (i.e. major/minors, professions, etc.) no matter what your year or class standing is in college. Writing assignments include a mix of academic, creative, personal, and professional. All academic backgrounds and experiences welcome!
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205 Business Writing
sections and Instructors: Multiple
Instruction and practice in writing business reports, memos, and letters. Particularly appropriate for students in business and related areas.
May not be taken cr/no cr.
Prereq: soph st; grade of C or better in English 102(P) or score at level 4 on EPT.
206 Technical Writing
sections and Instructors: Multiple
Instruction and practice in writing technical reports, proposals, and other technical writing forms. Particularly appropriate for students in science, engineering, architecture, and other applied sciences.
May not be taken cr/no cr.
Prereq: satisfaction of GER English Composition competency req.
210 International English
Laura L. Ambrose
As the English language has made–and continues to make–its way around the globe, radical changes to local languages and cultures have occurred. At the same time, however, English itself has been modified, adapted, and expanded, sometimes in unfamiliar and unrecognizable ways.
This course is a survey of English from its origins in the British Isles to its introduction and development in North America, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Several principal examples will be studied in detail. In doing so, we will also uncover many issues that accompany language globalization; such as, language change, loss of language and identity, language policy and standardization, and teaching and learning English.
212 English Grammar and Usage
Laura L. Ambrose
M/W 4-5:15 or T/R 2-3:15
Precise and sophisticated writing starts with clear, well-constructed sentences; this course is an in-depth study of these fundamental building blocks of English. Not only will we develop a vocabulary of basic grammatical terms and concepts for talking about the structure of the language, but we will also explore how this knowledge can be leveraged to create and edit texts more effectively.
212 Intermediate Topics in Film Studies
Subtitle: Introduction to Comedy
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:00-2:50
This class traces a number of trends in the history and theory of American comedic cinema. Proceeding chronologically, it first categorizes and contextualizes classic American comedies throughout the studio system and into the present day. The class then uses contemporary comedies to discuss theories of comedy and laughter. Screenings include: "Superbad," "Some Like it Hot," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "The Philadelphia Story."
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212 Intermediate Topics in Film Studies
Subtitle: Participatory Culture: Audiences, Viewers, and Fans
From audiences sitting in the dark of the theater, to impassioned fans at conventions, there are many ways for us to engage with media. Popular culture inspires our passion, our anger, and sparks public conversation. This class explores different ideas about audiences, viewers, and fans. The class will look at a variety of film, television, and digital media texts, including: Hard Days Night, The Blair Witch Project, Battlestar Galactica, and the Harry Potter franchise. We’ll also check out what’s happening on YouTube, play digital games, and look at remix projects like Wizard People Dear Reader. The class asks students to take an active role in discussions by reflecting on their own experiences as viewers and by making remix projects in response to different media texts. This class meets GER & DAC Credit
- Exhibiting understanding of the current job search environment, in particular gaining understanding of how contemporary organizations conceive of social media, human resources, data mining, and the hiring process.
- Showing high levels of skill in information retrieval and use, in particular for company and employment research.
- Demonstrating knowledge of and abilities in networking, both traditional and via social media.
- Exhibiting skill at analyzing, critiquing, designing, and writing job materials, including interview notes, résumés, cover letters, and social media profiles.
- Demonstrating skill in “writing clearly,” given a specific audience, purpose, and context.
- Social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter)
- Smart phone applications (including Snapchat and Vine)
- Digital Gaming Spaces
- Blogging and micro blogging (on Tumble, Wordpress, and Blogger)
- Online university spaces (such as Desire to Learn [D2L] and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s website) As we explore these interfaces, we will consider what Nancy Baym describes in Personal Connection in the Digital Age, how our ability to communicate "across distance at very high speeds disrupts social understandings that are burned deep into our collective conscience." In the Digital Age, our available mediums of communication are expanding, providing new and different opportunities for the representation of the self and one's communication with others. We will specifically explore how these new technologies of communication impact our participation in a social world and shape our sense or ethics and morality.
- Richard Neupert. A History of the French New Wave Cinema. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002.
- Course reader available at Clark Graphics (2915 N. Oakland Ave.) (CR)
- Michel Marie. The French New Wave: An Artistic School. Trans. Richard Neupert. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1997/2003.
- Exploring and becoming familiar with contemporary writing and design tools, procedures, processes, and theories.
- Reading contemporary scholarship in technical communication.
- Gaining familiarity with genres of technical communication and producing them for a variety of professional contexts.
- Becoming familiar with and practicing basic usability testing of documents.
- Gaining proficiency in computer-mediated communications.
- Looking Backward ISBN 1-55111-406-2
- Caesar's Column ISBN-10: 0819566667
- It Can't Happen Here ISBN-10: 045121658X
- Herland ISBN 978-1-55111-987-8
- Parable of the Sower ISBN-10: 0446675504
- Pacific Edge ISBN-10: 0312890389
214 Writing in the Professions
Subtitle: Writing and Social Media for Careers
Available as a 16-week course and as a second-half 8-week course
English 214 is designed to help students prepare for the job market, whether currently looking for a job or thinking about how to get a job after graduation. This course will focus on the following goals:
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224 American Writers, 1900-Present
Welcome to English 224: American Writers, 1900-Present! This course is designed to introduce you to the literature of the 20th-century United States. The focus of this course will be on close reading and critical analysis of literary texts. We will learn what questions to ask of these texts and how to ask them. Through our reading and questioning, we will discover the characteristic forms, styles, and preoccupations of 20th-century American literature, and we will gain new insight into how 20th-century Americans understood the world and their own place within it.
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229 Introduction to Modern Literature
Subtitle: Britain and her Colonies
Mondays and Wednesdays, 9.30-10.45AM
This course will provide a survey of twentieth century British and World Literature, with an emphasis on colonial history and its literary representations. It will explore questions like what does it mean to "become" modern? what is modern literature? Is there a pre-modern literature then? what is modernity and modernism? We will look at contemporary literary texts of "metropole and the colony" to understand and complicate our notion of the modern
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235 Writing Poetry: Forms, Styles, Voices
In this course students will be encouraged to discover and develop their own ways of writing. The class will focus on poetry produced by the students during the semester, but there will also be significant close reading of works by poets from the 16th to the 20th centuries to acquaint students with the depth of the tradition which they are entering.
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236 Introductory Topics in Creative Writing
Subtitle: Playwriting & Writing for Performance
Ching-In Chen (listed as Elizabeth Chen)
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Welcome! In this class, we will read and compose texts intended for live performance, including plays, spoken word and performance poems, and performance art. Course requirements will include class participation (including preparation for peer critique), writing and reading assignments, a performance review, a class presentation and one final portfolio/performance of your own original creative work.
Tentative Book list:
1) Garrison, Gary. A more perfect ten : writing and producing the ten-minute play. ISBN: 1585103276 ($15.80)
2) Bonney, Jo, ed. Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century. ISBN: 1559361557 ($17.45)
Other texts may be provided online through E-Reserve and/or links on D2L.
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240 Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture
Subtitle: Digital Culture: Writing, Design, and Responsibility in Online Spaces
Mondays, Wednesdays, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
For ENG240, we’ll take a sustained look at Digital Culture: how digital interfaces are structured and the ways their designs encourage us to communicate. In addition to reading a range of text about technology (defined broadly) and communication (also defined broadly), to ground these readings we will explore a range of environments and interfaces, including but not limited to:
This class will include lots of reading and writing, as you should expect from an English class. It will also encourage you to participate in creative, experimental, and digitally-rooted forms of communication.
You need no particular technological proficiency for this course
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243 Introduction to Literature by Women
Subtitle: Coming of Age Stories
Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 am
Our laws, and our society, pretend that somehow, on our 18th birthday, we are all adults. Suddenly, our legal, financial, moral, and social responsibility to others changes. In some religious groups this begins earlier (13, 16), and on some legal fronts it happens later (21, 25). So what is it that happens exactly to make someone an "adult"? What do we mean when we talk about maturity? What is gained, and perhaps more importantly, what is lost, when we draw this line between childhood and adulthood?
In this course we will be examining different approaches to the coming-of-age story. We will be looking at Young Adult literature, a graphic novel, poetry, and film to see how the ideals of youth and the psychological and moral transition into “adulthood” is presented. What does it mean to be young? What do we mean when we say “adult”? Why do we think there is a difference?
Tentative book list includes: Harry Potter, Tuck Everlasting, Fun Home, The Last of the Menu Girls, Betsy Brown, and Paradise of the Blind. The course requirements will include a mid-term exam, 2 short papers, and one final project. There will not be a final exam in this course.
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247 Literature and Human Experince
Subtitle: Literature and Democratic Society
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00pm to 3:15pm
In English 247: Literature and Democratic Society, we will explore literary texts as attempts to represent the challenges that go along with establishing, maintaining and protecting democratic societies. This will require us to think about democracy both as a concrete set of political practices and as a set of ideals that, enticing as they may be, can still be contested. Thinking about the concept of democracy this way will allow us to read our course texts as a series of commentary on the discrepancies between the idea of democratic society and its often disappointing reality. This will allow us, as the university's course title suggests, to think about the ways that democratic decision making processes intersect with facets of human experience that fall far outside of the realm of the explicitly political. Thus, our readings, assignments and class discussions will explore how democracy intersects with love, patriotism, sexuality and friendship in the poetry of Walt Whitman; individuality and freedom in the work of Henry David Thoreau and Henrik Ibsen; race and empire in the short stories of Jean Rhys and J. M. Coetzee's novel Disgrace (1993); heroism, hero worship and media manipulation in Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen (1986); terrorism, fanaticism and religious freedom in Haruki Murakami's oral history Underground (1999); disaster and human dignity in Alfonso Cuaron's film "Children of Men" (2006); and class conflict in Suzanne Collins' YA novel The Hunger Games (2008).
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248 Literature and Contemporary Life
Subtitle: Queer Theory and the Novel
Mon/Wed 9:30AM - 10:45AM
In this course we will develop a complex understanding of gender and sexuality and explore how these concepts and categories change depending on historical and cultural context. By thinking through the intersections of literature and sexuality we will examine the connections between aesthetics, politics, story, and life. We will read both classic and contemporary novels, explore major statements in queer theory, and develop close reading and writing skills.
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268 Introduction to Cultural Studies
Subtitle: Alternative Comics
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 2:00-3:15 PM
In this course, we will read and discuss material from the rich field of alternative comics. Starting with the historical and industrial conditions which led to the emergence of alternative comics, we will discuss alternative comics as a specific category which arose partly due to changes in the marketing and delivery of comic books. We will also consider the course materials as literal alternatives to genres that dominate the comics industry. What, if anything, do alternative comics provide that more mainstream comics might not?
This course will expose students to major figures in alternative comics. Coursework will focus on close readings of texts that acknowledge and incorporate the visual aspect of the works and on making meaningful arguments.
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280 Introduction to Asian American Literature
Subtitle: Asian American Women Writers
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Asian American women writers have made significant and enduring contributions to the multicultural literary heritage of our country. In this course, we will focus on the distinct voices, engaging narrative styles, and thought-provoking themes of four writers – Maxine Hong Kingston, Yoshiko Uchida, Thi Diem Thuy Le and Kao Kalia Yang – who creatively explore the experiences of first-and second-generation immigrants to the US from China, Japan, Vietnam and Laos.
Highlighting the complexities of immigration and assimilation from the 1900’s to the present, their chosen forms of literary expression reflect the writers’ unique approaches to understanding how diverse family histories shape individual American dreams. Our basic approach will be rhetorical; that is, we will discuss fiction as an artistic form of persuasion. To understand possible aims of persuasion, we will consider historical, cultural, and social contexts in which Asian American literature has developed.
This course fulfills General Education Requirements (GER) for Humanities (HU) and Cultural Diversity (CD). Prerequisites: Junior-standing or above. Completion of English 102 with a grade of C or higher also is required.
Course Books: The four required course books include:
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston;
Picture Bride by Yoshiko Uchida;
The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Thi Diem Thuy Le; and
The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang.
Purchase of an MLA style guide also is recommended.
Course Requirements: Basic requirements for satisfactory course completion include regular attendance and class participation (20%); quizzes on the assigned reading (20%); two major essays (40%) to demonstrate your abilities in literary analysis and interpretation; and a research presentation (20%) related to Asian American history, culture or contemporary life.
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290 Introduction to Film Studies
This course is open to all UWM students. It is a required course in the College of Letters and Science BA program in Film Studies, and in Track E of the English B.A. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the basic elements and concepts of film form and film aesthetics within historical and cultural contexts. The course is designed for students with little or no background in film criticism and analysis, and its aim is to help students develop the analytical skills necessary for a critical appreciation of film as an art form. The informing philosophy of the course is based on the principle that film, as with most art forms, can be understood as a construct or system that can be analyzed in terms of its constituent elements. A central focus of this course, then, will be on how these different elements or “building blocks” work to create meaningful cinematic forms and narratives.
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291 Intro to Television Studies
Subtitle: Online Class
For decades, television has been an important fixture in our daily lives. Now, we also increasingly watch TV on the go--using computers, cell phones, DVRs, and DVDs to keep up with our favorite shows. This online course provides an introduction to studying television, both by looking back and forward. We will watch a wide variety of TV shows, including: The Twilight Zone, West Wing, Battlestar Galactica, Bob’s Burgers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, soap operas, basketball games... sometimes you’ll even be assigned to watch the commercials! We will learn more about TV’s past and the factors shaping what television shows look like. We will also discuss more recent technological changes, including the digitization of television, the role of of digital culture in television, and how these things may affect what television looks like in the years to come.
306 Survey of Irish Literature
Michael E. Beebe
Irish literature is as rich and varied as the country’s history. "Irishness" is not an innate quality, but a cultural and political construct that is constantly re-"invented." Beginning with the earliest poems and legends, and moving via the Anglo-Irish perspective of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and the Irish Literary Renaissance of the early twentieth century, to a more urban and cosmopolitan contemporary perspective, this course offers an introduction to Irish writing and an exploration of several varieties of "Irishness" as they are expressed through the literature.
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308 Survey of American Literature 1865-1965
Mon/Wed 9:30AM - 10:45AM
This course surveys American literature and history in a period of rapid and often jarring social, political, and technological change, stretching from the end of the U.S. Civil War and the start of Reconstruction to the peak of the Cold War and the midst of the sexual revolution. A broad range of literary readings will introduce students to the different kinds of U.S. literature that flourished during this century, ranging from canonical works by writers including Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein to important and influential works by lesser known writers, including Native American memoirist Zitkala Sa and socialist poet Muriel Rukeyser. Our goal will be to understand the major developments in U.S. literature in selected historical contexts: the end of Reconstruction, the closing of the western frontier, the boom in European immigration, the rise of mass production and industrialization, the traumas of World War I, and the flourishing of African-American arts. Our readings will embrace a wide range of literary texts, including novels, poems, short stories, plays, essays, memoirs, autobiographies, and political speeches.
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309 Survey of Contemporary American Literature
In this course, we will survey American writing since 1965. Reading fiction and poetry, popular texts and experimental ones, we will explore how literary texts respond to the history of the contemporary moment: a moment shaped by the rise of consumer culture; the spread of mass communications; the changing demographics of cities and suburbs; the new contours of globalization; and the increasing visibility of crisis—from the financial to the ecological. Against this backdrop, we will seek to understand how contemporary literature reimagines the nature and the uses of language, narrative, history, sociality, and critique. As we study literature’s complex account of life in the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, we will also start to formulate a more methodological question: how do we study a historical moment that we’re still living through? Part of what it means to read contemporary literature, this course will suggest, is to think about how we give meaning to the idea of the “contemporary”—and to discover how literature itself might turn out to be an indispensable technology for helping us see the historical significance of everyday life.
In addition to becoming familiar with major authors, literary movements, and cultural contexts of the last fifty years, students in this course will also learn how to think critically about individual literary texts—how to read closely and slowly, how to formulate meaningful questions, and how to develop substantive arguments about literary form.
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316 English/Film Studies: French New Wave Cinema
In a few short years, from 1958 to 1963, a group of daring young French critic-turned-film-makers made a series of films that transformed the landscape of cinema at home and abroad. This course will explore how the French New Wave radically altered filmmaking: from its pioneering approach to the film script, adaptation and the mise-en-scène of image and sound to its reflective, to its philosophical reflections on signs and meaning-making to its blurring of the lines between documentary and fiction. We will examine the work of some of its most innovative forerunners and directors or auteurs, including Agnès Varda, Georges Franju, Jean Cocteau, Louis Malle, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, and Chris Marker.
Screenings will take place during Monday sections and, when necessary, will conclude during the Wednesday meeting. Wednesdays will be devoted to discussing weekly screening and readings. Class schedule may be adjusted as circumstances demand.
Written work for this course will include a series of short response papers. There will also be a mid-term, final paper and presentation.
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372 Introduction to American Indian Literatures
Subtitle: American Indian Literatures & Postcolonial Theory
This course will offer perspectives on postcolonial theory and will investigate its application to indigenous literature. Because of the complicated cultural, political, and legal place of tribes in the United States, postcolonial theory is useful yet in some ways limited in how it helps us understand indigenous literature and governance. The major goal of this course is to have students use indigenous literature to articulate these three general considerations – the position of tribes, the usefulness of postcolonial theory, and the limitations of postcolonial theory.
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380 Media and Society
Subtitle: Activism & Tactical Media
T/R 9:30-10:45 pm
How does social change happen, and what do the arts have to do with it? This seminar seeks to understand contemporary radical resistance strategies within their larger dominant political framework, particularly related to the environmental movement, social justice concerns, and labor issues. We will explore activist narratives through literature, art, net culture and documentary film as we study how the tools of production and dissemination are employed for political uses. The course will be a combination of theory and practice.
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381 World Literatures Written in English
Subtitle: Post Colonial Short Fiction
With the dissolution of the British Empire, writers from the former colonies were free to forge their own national literary traditions, discover new methods and forms of storytelling, and reshape the English language to better express their cultures and perspectives. The result has been an explosion of new and innovative writing that has changed the way in which the world tells its stories. In this course we will explore short fiction by writers from Africa, India, and the Caribbean, positioning the texts within a variety of contexts including religion, folklore, demographics, geography, economics, history, and politics. We will also discuss these works in terms of craft, structure, and technique. Occasionally supplemental texts will be posted to enhance understanding of the authors and their work.
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414 Special Topics in Creative Writing
Subtitle: Literary Journal Production
Ever wonder how a magazine comes to be? In this course we’ll learn the process step by step, working as a collective to produce a literary/arts journal showcasing work by UWM students. Starting from square one, we will research the design, content, and production of other journals and decide which approaches will work best for us. Dividing the work load, we will develop a budget plan; solicit, generate, and edit content; develop a design scheme and promotional campaign; manage page layouts and copyediting; and work with a printer to produce a finished product we can be proud of. Along the way, we will meet with local and nationally renowned editors and learn a variety of skills that will help you in today’s job market.
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430 Advanced Writing Workshop
Tuesdays/Thursdays 11:00-12:15, 12:30-1:45
English 430 is a small, 15-member advanced composition workshop, designed for already capable writers who have done considerable writing in the past and who want to further develop their prose style. Its focus is creative nonfiction--that is writing in which the content is based on experience and observed or researched facts (nonfiction) and writing in which the style is creative. How writers say something will be as important as what they say. Students will have the opportunity to read and write short narratives in different genres of creative nonfiction: memoir, character story, essay of place.
Students are expected to have very good control already of grammar and mechanics since these are the basics of writing. Required textbooks: a class reader prepared by the instructor (estimated cost $11) and Strunk and White's _The Elements of Style_ (ca. $11 new). All other texts are optional; other required readings are on library reserve. Sections 001 and 002 are intended for juniors, seniors, and university special students and do not carry graduate credit.
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431 Topics in Advanced Writing
Subtitle: Global Business Communication
Mondays/Wednesdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m
This course will focus on essential aspects of global business communication. Some of the key topics that will be included are: values and practices that affect communication styles; communication channels (region/culture specific); the role of technology; format, content, organization and writing style of documents (region/culture specific); non-verbal communication; negotiations; decision-making.
We will discuss readings, analyze documents, create documents that demonstrate an awareness of appropriate communication for other cultures, prepare a literature review and annotated bibliography, conduct research and share our findings in a report and oral presentation.
Required text: Varner, Iris and Linda Beamer. Intercultural Communication in the Global Workplace (5th edition). ISBN: 978-07-3377774-2. Rental: $34 (Amazon.com)
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436 Writing for Information Technology
English 436 is a fairly pragmatic course that emphasizes applying theory to real-world problems in technical communication, which means creating and implementing solutions. These solutions can involve technical specifications, documentation, web design, social networking, content management, and information architecture, among many other things. Projects will challenge students at their current level of expertise and focus on the following goals:
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The main reading will be Milton's amazing epic poem, Paradise Lost, but we will also read some of his other poems and selected prose. Secondary readings will provide historical context, literary analysis, and seventeenth-century accounts of the Fall (Adam, Eve, Serpent) available to Milton. Assignments include short weekly responses tied to the day's reading, a mid-term exam, two short papers (with optional revision), and a creative final project (you add dialogue to PL). The texts will be a small reader available at Clark Graphics and Barbara Lewalski's edition of Paradise Lost. This edition has an excellent introduction and preserves the original format (capitalization, punctuation), which mattered to Milton.
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615 Advanced Fiction Workshop
During this capstone course you will explore various narrative techniques and devices to employ in your fiction. In addition, you will intensively critique one another’s short stories in terms of structure, craftsmanship, and meaning. Over the semester, you will begin to develop a personal aesthetic, to make informed and considered narrative choices, and to push the boundaries of your work. While I encourage ambition and experimentation, I also try to instill in my students a keen awareness of audience and a realization that the narrative strategies you employ must serve the story. Alternative methods of storytelling will be presented through model texts written by writers from diverse backgrounds. At the beginning of the course, you will receive guidelines for peer critiques; all participants in the workshop are required to give line edits, marginal comments, and end notes. Over the semester, I will present you with an array of narrative theories to help us forge a shared critical vocabulary with which to discuss workshop submissions. Ultimately our aim is not to evaluate the manuscript in its present state, but rather to identify the writer’s intent and devise strategies to enable her/him to realize her/his artistic vision. I will set aside time in the closing weeks of the semester to design revision plans, workshop successive drafts, and discuss professional development and publishing.
This course requires you to write 24-30 pages of new short fiction. In addition, you are expected to provide a written critique of all story submissions, complete the course readings, and come to class prepared. There is no final exam, but your portfolio must be handed in on time to successfully complete this course.
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632 Seminar in American Indian Literatures
Subtitle: The Novels of Louise Erdrich
Tuesday, 2:00p to 4:40p
In this course, we will read several books by Louise Erdrich and will also look at a number of critical essays about these books, examining particular issues about the novels and also their place within the larger field of indigenous literatures of North America. The course has three general purposes: 1) to help students be well versed in the works of Louise Erdrich; 2) to help students understand the methods of literary scholarship and research, 3) to place the novels of Louise Erdrich within the larger context of Native literatures and American literature.
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English 685 : Honors Seminar
Subtitle: Social Dreams: Utopia and Dystopia
"Utopianism is "social dreaming,"—imagining alternatives to already existing society. One version, the American dream, begins in Europe with the drives to colonize the New World and create new, alternative societies. The dream eventually encompasses non-European arrivals, Native Americans, and various forms of both homegrown and imported ideas about proper ways to organize a functioning society. This course features versions of those dreams, from their beginnings in the nineteenth century to women’s utopian writing and contemporary literature and film. We will examine the ebb and flow of utopian and dystopian—or apocalyptic—themes and discuss what that reveals about economic opportunity, individual liberty, and the swiftly changing world of the last two centuries. There will be both primary and secondary readings. Students will be expected to bring to each week’s discussion their own research in preparation for the final project, a significant research paper. Finally, virtually all of the secondary research materials and research questions will be generated by students individually and in group discussions, as part of learning research processes and skills.
We will also screen at least one film, Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera, 2008).
Course Requirements and Activities: This seminar requires active in-class participation, short weekly writing assignments, and a final research essay of 8-10 pages. ."