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English Department

Course Descriptions


ENGL 110 College Composition I 3 cr. (GE1) Guided practice in college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking. Emphasis on writing processes, and on approaches to critical reading. Does not apply toward the English major/minor.

ENGL 111H Honors Composition I 3 cr. (GE1) The first course in the honors curriculum, ENGL 111 takes the place of ENGL 110. The course is reading intensive and encourages intellectual independence. Admission to the Honors Program is not a Prerequisite(s), but ACT scores of 25 in reading and writing are required. Does not apply to the English major/minor.

ENGL 120 College Composition II 3 cr. (GE1) Advanced practice in college-level writing from sources and in applying rhetorical strategies. Emphasis on rhetorical strategies and incorporating research in academic writing. Does not apply toward the English major/minor. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110.

ENGL 121H Honors Composition II 3 cr. (GE1) The second course taken in the honors curriculum. Replaces ENGL 120 in the General Education program. Independent research and writing focuses on a rigorous study of literature. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110 or 111; admission to Honors Program or permission of the Honors Director. Does not apply toward the English major/minor.

ENGL 209 Introduction to Linguistics 3 cr. Entry level knowledge for the scientific study of language, including such topics as phonology, semantics, grammar, and related cultural history.

ENGL 211 Introduction to Creative Writing 3 cr. Introduction to the form and craft of imaginative writing in fiction and poetry.

ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature 3 cr. (GE3) Reading and discussion of literary forms such as the short story, the novel, poetry, and drama, with emphasis on common literary terminology.

ENGL 225 Introduction to Film 3 cr. (GE3) Introduction to the aesthetic, technical, and social significance of selected films, with emphasis on understanding basic film vocabulary and narrative structure. Four studio hours per week.

ENGL 231 Bible as Literature 3 cr. (GE3) Study of the Bible from a literary point of view.

ENGL 231H Bible as Literature 3 cr. (GE3) Study of the Bible from a literary point of view. The class emphasizes themes and the influence of biblical themes on world culture. Prerequisite: ENGL 110 or 111H.

ENGL 232 World Mythology 3 cr. (GE3-Diversity) The study of representative myths, legends, and folklore from various cultures with emphasis upon the literary respects of myth.

ENGL 238 Children's Literature 3 cr. Introductory study of picture books and poetry; folk tales, fairy tales, myth, and legend; modern fiction, both realistic and imaginary; historical fiction; and biographical and informational books for children.

ENGL 244 Writing in Multiple Genres 3 cr. Study and practice in writing techniques and strategies employed by writers in various genres, including fiction/creative nonfiction/poetry/teleplay/drama. Focus on developing skills in manipulating point of view, creating figurative language, writing realistic dialogue, developing themes and characters, and honing style to suit various audiences and genres. Read for craft by examining and analyzing the work of successful writers in various genres. Prerequisite: ENGL 110.

ENGL 251 Foundations in Brit Lit I 3 cr. (GE3) A survey of British literature from the Anglo Saxon period through the 18th century. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110.

ENGL 252 Foundations in Brit Lit II 3 cr. (GE3) A continuing survey of British literature from the Romantic period to the present. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110.

ENGL 261 Foundations in Am Lit I 3 cr. (GE3) A survey of American literature from the Puritans until the Civil War. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110.

ENGL 262 Foundations in Am Lit II 3 cr. (GE3) Continuing survey of American literature since the Civil War. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110.

ENGL 265 Native American Literature 3 cr. (Diversity) The study of Native American Indian legends, poems, and stories with emphasis on contemporary writings.

ENGL 270 Introduction to Literary Criticism 3 cr. The study of methods and assumptions of literary criticism, the reasons for and values of literary studies, and the formal academic discourse employed in English. Course serves as an introduction to the English major. Prerequisite: ENGL 110

ENGL 291 Practicum in Writing 1 cr. Prerequisite(s): Admission to Teacher Education. Corequisite: ENGL 317. Grading Basis S/U

ENGL 299 Special Topics 1-3 cr. Varying areas of content, issues, or themes in the study of language and/or literature. Repeatable for credit as topics change.

ENGL 315 Professional and Technical Writing 3 cr. Concentrated instruction and practice in technical and job-related expository writing.

ENGL 317 Teaching Writing 3 cr. Study of methods of teaching writing with emphasis on contemporary theories. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 120.

ENGL 318 Writing Tutor Training 1 cr. The course covers practices and theories for tutoring writers. Content includes the composing process, diagnosing problems, establishing rapport, managing research and helping with second language needs. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 120.

ENGL 318L Supervised Writing Tutoring 0 cr. Supervised tutoring experience (20 hours) in the Writing Center. Co-requisite: ENGL 318. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110 with a grade of C or higher, ENGL 120 with a grade of C. English Education majors only. Grading Basis: S/U.

ENGL 322 American Dialects in Literature and Media 3 cr. This course examines American regional dialects (e.g. African American English, Chicano English, Appalachian English) and how those dialects are represented in literature and media. Students will explore the history, development, and linguistic features of various dialects, then they will read literature and watch films that make use of those dialects. Students will evaluate the effects of authentic and stereotypical representations of dialects on audience with an eye to exploring how these representations reflect attitudes towards dialects in America.

ENGL 325 Topics in Roaring Twenties Literature 3 cr. The incredibly exciting decade of the 1920s gave us jazz, modern art, and enormous change in literary style. The course will examine cultural and literary changes, and will focus on authors such as Gertrude Stein, F.S. Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway.

ENGL 326 American Apocalyptic Literature 3 cr. This course traces apocalyptic literature in the Americas from the Spanish explorers and Puritan settlers, through to the twenty-first century. In it, students will read literature in a variety of genres and explore how both imagery and narrative tactics are critical in apocalyptic literature. Students will also explore how apocalyptic literature has indelibly marked American culture, politics, and social rhetoric. This course is a literary and cultural study course, not a religion or theology course.

ENGL 328 British Romantic Literature 3 cr. Windswept vistas, dashing heroes, tormented souls, Frankenstein, and Don Juan, Pride and Prejudice! From 1785-1830, Romanticism in Britain thrived. It was a revolutionary time in poetry and prose. British Romantic writers are still incredibly popular, influential, and important today.

ENGL 329 Coming of Age Novels 3 cr. Coming of age novels focus on one or more main character's psychological and moral growth. These young characters live through external adventures and inner turmoil while they grow as human beings and seek to reconcile the conflicts between self and society. In this course, students will read and discuss a variety of novels and the genre's impact and importance.

ENGL 331 Ethnicity and Indentity Search 3 cr. The identity struggle that persons of specific ethnic backgrounds encounter in their cultural contexts. Texts (including films) and topics may vary, and the ethnic focus may either be comparative or selective.

ENGL 334 Film Directors 3 cr. According to the auteur theory, some directors are the dominant creators of their films. In this seminar we'll read selected materials about several major directors, view several films by each director, and identify and discuss the recurrent patterns, techniques, and meanings that are the directors' individual signatures.

ENGL 335 Film Genres 3 cr. Films are commonly classified into broad categories, or genres, including action, war, western, comedy, science fiction, mystery/suspense, horror, drama, and family. In this seminar we'll discuss aesthetic conventions, content, cultural contexts, and socio-historical significance of films in three genres. We'll view nine or ten major films in total, and we'll read selected materials.

ENGL 337 Frontier Literature of North America 3 cr. Students in this course will explore literature from the western margins of this continent as it is/was discussed and as the Frontier slowly moved west from Western Virginia to Western PA, to North Dakota and beyond. While locations and dates change, concepts of The West and The Frontier retain elements from locale to locale. Students will explore sources of the "rugged individualism" and independence in which we pride ourselves.

ENGL 338 Topics in Adolescent Literature 3 cr. Literature written for teenagers (ages fourteen through eighteen) is uniquiely positioned because it addresses the emotional and social issues and fears unique to adolescence. In this course, students will read a variety of literature written for teens and through this literature explore topics such as race, family, technology, and coming of age. Specific topics will vary each time the course is offered, but students will explore how writers attempt to address the concerns and problems of adolescents in an increasingly complex society.

ENGL 339 Topics in African Literature 3 cr. The enormous effects of cultural change upon the Dark Continent will be studied through post-colonial African writers ranging from Chinua Achebe to V.S. Naipul. The course will continue with a study of contemporary African authors and literature.

ENGL 342 Gendered Literature 3 cr. This course will explore through literature how gender intersects with other identity categories such as sex, classs, sexuality, and race in shaping authorship, reading, and representation. Course materials will span time periods, cultures, and countries to investigate an array of experiences that interrogate concepts of gender. Through the course of the semester, students will explore the gender continuum, covering hegemonic masculinity, exaggerated femininity, and all the shades in between.

ENGL 343 Graphic Novels as Literature 3 cr. Graphic novels have been labeled as "comic" and "pop"culture, unworthy of study; however, graphic novels are rising in popularity and prestige. In this course, students will explore the evolution of the graphic novel, from its earliest forms through the present day, including stand alone novels and retellings of classical literature. Students will examine the ways in which artwork, narration, and dialogue interact to produce a hybrid piece of literature, and will have the opportunity to write their own graphic novel manuscripts.

ENGL 346 Women, Literature, Land, and Home 3 cr. The notion that a woman's place is in the home has long been used in the attempt to subjugate women. In this course, students will explore how women writers use the notions of place and home to cultivate a sense of place and an ecocritical awareness that other types of writing might not be able to. Students will also explore how a sense of place amplified by a sense of home can lead to deep understanding of cultural values and political decisions.

ENGL 348 Language Arts for the Writer 3 cr. The craft of writing with style is developed through the study of language arts and the close reading of a writer's (or writers') use of words, sentences, paragraphs, narration, characters, dialogue, details, and gestures. Personal selection of a writer by students.

ENGL 349 Letting a Thousand Flowers Bloom: The Literature and Art of China and Japan 3 cr. This course will explore significant developments in Chinese and Japanese literature and art, as well as like developments amongst Asian minority groups, all discussed in their relationship to the literature of our own time and place. Includes works by the Chinese T'ang poets and the creators of Japanese Noh Theatre, among others.

ENGL 350 Literature of the Last Twenty Years 3 cr. In this course, students will read a selection of texts written in the last twenty years in order to explore the place of recent texts and literary trends within the study of literature. The course will offer a global perspective by featuring texts from across the English-speaking world. Students will think critically about the types of literature they have seen being widely distributed, adapted, and read during their lifetimes.

ENGL 353 Science Fiction's Contributions to Society 3 cr. This course will explore the numerous inventions that have been developed as a result of the imaginations of science fiction writers. The aim of this course is to explore the ways science fiction has opened up vistas and how these vistas have affected conemporary behavior. Students will explore the ways in which science fiction has changed our society, exploring whether the changes are for the better of for the worse.

ENGL 355 Age of Shakespeare 3 cr. Study of representative works of Shakespeare. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110.

ENGL 358 Literature of the Upper Great Plains 3 cr. Students will explore literature written in first-person about experiences of settling and of homesteading in the Upper Great Plains. Other accounts will be from children's perspectives or that was produced years after the fact. While much of the literature will be realism, some fiction will also be read for contrast. Students will compare accounts written by women and men, between Canada and Nebraska, between early nineteenth century and late twentieth century.

ENGL 359 Literature of the Wild 3 cr. This course not only provides students with a focused way of examining how American nature writers have framed human interactions with the natural environment and how these writings are relevant to current ecological problems and issues, but it also asks that they inquire about how cultural values have shaped our definitions of nature, our perceptions of and relationships to the natural environment, and our political priorities relative to the kinds of environmental problems and solutions that we address in the United States.

ENGL 360 Love, Lust, and Loss in Western Literature: The Pastoral, Elegiac, and Courtly Traditions 3 cr. This course explores the development of literary traditions of love of Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval, Renaissance, and Romantic English Literature, and its pertinence to love traditions of our own time. The course further considers two interesting corollaries of the literary love traditions: strange sex and weird spirituality.

ENGL 363 Magical Realism 3 cr. Magical realism is a loosely defined and broadly descriptive genre in which natural laws are occasionally stretched or ignored. In this course students will explore the genre's range and variety. The reading and viewing lists will emphasize Mexican and Latin American novels and films. Students will explore the themes, characteristics, objectives, and attitudes of magical realism in order to better understand the genre's focus on the mysteriousness of the everyday real.

ENGL 364 Studies in American Poetry 3 cr. Advanced study of selected American poets. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 120 and for English majors/minors ENGL 270 is also a prerequisite(s).

ENGL 365 Media English 3 cr. Methods for incorporating the production, editing, and publishing of computer-based media into the English classroom are developed by using computer graphics, video recorders, Google docs, pods, blogs, social networks, and other net tools.

ENGL 367 Media Literacy 3 cr. In order to address the increasingly visual and digital demands of our culture and the citizens it produces, this course will explicitly deal with the dissemination of information and culture via different forms of popular media. Based on the idea that everything produced by our culture is readable text, students will read and produce both traditional and non-traditional texts in a variety of media. Students will also explore how different media changes how we process information and the impact they have on important concepts such as identity, self, culture, community, authority, and argument.

ENGL 368 Place in Detective Fiction 3 cr. From Sam Spade's San Francisco to Spenser's Boston to V.I. Warshawski's Chicago, place plays a huge role in the detective novel, often becoming a character itself. This course will examine the role of place, both real and invented, in detective novels and films. Students will read detective fiction and watch several films, and through this, they will examine how the place in which a detective operates affects the unfolding of the mystery and the detective's attempts to find out "whodunit."

ENGL 371 Post World War I British Literature 3 cr. This course includes works of literature from all over the British Empire, including Ireland, India, South Africa, Jamaica, Canada, and others, including, of course, Great Britain. The theme in many of the great works of literature we will study is the experience of empire both for the rulers and the ruled.

ENGL 374 Reading the Built Environment 3 cr. With over three-quarters of America's population now living in cities, the dynamic between humans and the environment has shifted away from the natural to the built. This course will explore the varied interactions between cities/towns and the people who live there. Students will read literary and spatial texts in order to challenge the definition and experience of community and how it changes and adapts depending on the built environment that surrounds it - the spaces where cities bleed into one another, where nature has reasserted itself within the city, or where previously - vibrant small towns and city center stagnate.

ENGL 376 The American Century: American Literature and Culture in the Twentieth Century 3 cr. In this course students will read literature produced by twentieth-century American writers, and through it explore issues of race, class, gender, and region or place. Students will also study the critical theories and aesthetic movements associated with the terms modernism and postmodernism. Students will also investigate how literature and culture intersect and inform one another.

ENGL 378 The Modernists 3 cr. This course examines that crazy experimental time in early twentieth century arts and letters when the idea of form explodes, creating all kinds of new literary and aesthetic models that changed our world. Includes works by T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, William Butler Yeats, Virginia Wolf, Henry Green, Ezra Pound, and others, situated in the historic context of the two World Wars.

ENGL 383 Topics in American Black Literature 3 cr. This course includes both fiction and non-fiction with readings from oral traditions and slavery to that of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics may focus on slavery, legal cases, migrations, language (dialect to rap) or other topics. We will explore the relationship between Black Americans and hegemonic groups, and the impact of African-Americans/Blacks upon the people and cultures of America.

ENGL 385 Tracking the Sword in the Stone: Arthurian Legend, Then and Now 3 cr. This course examines the development of Arthurian Legend from its sixth century British origins through the European Middle Ages and unto the present day, for Arthur, they say, is still among us.

ENGL 386 Victorian Era British Literature 3 cr. To many readers, this is the richest era of literature in the history of the British Empire. It is the time of Dickens and George Eliot, Tennyson and Browning, the Brontes and Rossetti, Wilde and Shaw, and many others. In all these upper level British Literature courses we go much deeper into the period than we are able to in the British Literature survey courses.

ENGL 389 Warriors, Marchers, and Martyrs 3 cr. The literature of collisions are studied, whether those collisions are political, military, cultural, racial, economic, religious, environmental, gendered, or sexual oppressions or crises. Texts (including films) and topics may vary.

ENGL 390 Secondary Language Arts Methods 3 cr. Theory and practice in teaching literature, composition and language in the secondary school. Includes practicum. Prerequisite(s): Admittance to Teacher Education.

ENGL 394 Independent Study 1-3 cr. Independent or directed study of special topics in the study of English (literature, linguistics, composition, and pedagogy). Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 396 Study Abroad 1-6 cr. MSU faculty-led study trips to appropriate locations. Requires academic work beyond travel itself, amount as per credit. Does not count toward English major/minor. Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 397 Internship 1-6 cr. Hands-on experience in the discipline. Placement determined at time of internship. Restricted to English and English Education majors or minors, or consent of instructor. Credits do not count towards major requirements. Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 410 Fiction Workshop 3 cr. Concentrated instruction and practice in writing fiction.

ENGL 411 Poetry Workshop 3 cr. Concentrated instruction and practice in writing poetry. Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 412 Creative Nonfiction Workshop 3 cr. Concentrated instruction and practice in writing creative nonfiction.

ENGL 435 Major Writers 3 cr. Intensive study of selected literary works by major authors. Authors and selections will vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 110 Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 491 Senior Seminar 3 cr. In-depth study of literary issues. Serves as capstone course for English degree. Pre-requisite(s): ENGL 120 and senior status. Course restricted to majors.

ENGL 496 Study Abroad 1-6 cr. MSU faculty-led study trips to appropriate locations. Will include additional requirements beyond travel itself. May be repeated for credit. Does not count towards English major/minor/BSE. Repeatable for credit.

ENGL 497 Internship 4-12 cr. Hands-on experience in the discipline. Placement determined at time of internship. Restricted to English and English Education majors or minor or consent of instructor. Credits do not count towards major requirements. Repeatable for credit

ENGL 499 Special Topics 1-3 cr. Varying areas of content, issues, or themes in the study of language and/or literature. Repeatable for credit as topics change.