English Courses

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English

WCSBS 103 Communicating Across Cultures (4)
Students explore intercultural communication concepts and theories. Students learn to become flexible communicators by: understanding concepts such as cultural value patterns and cultural-ethnic identity; exploring the process of crossing boundaries such as the development of culture shock; knowing how attitudes and beliefs influence behaviors and how cultural values are expressed through language. Cultural boundaries examined in this course include culture, race, and ethnicity. (WCore: WCSBS, DE)
       
WCSBS 113 The Nature of Language (4)
Examines ongoing issues concerning cognitive and social aspects of language. In exploring both popular and scientific perspectives on language, students develop skills in critical thinking while exploring elements of linguistic analysis. This course is framed around the following questions: What are the components of the language system? How do we acquire this system? And, how is this system used in society? In short: this course uses the lens of linguistics to examine real-life experiences. (WCore: WCSBS)
ENGL 104 Books That Changed the World (4)
Literature can be a powerful tool for social change. This course examines the international tradition of literary activism in which writers expose injustice, demand change, and inspire solidarity and struggle. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 105 Communicating Through Writing (4)
This course immerses students into the process of becoming college writers. The workshop oriented class provides an opportunity for students to learn about the following: how rhetorical context shapes writing, how to write about readings, how to understand the information literacy needs and approaches to research, and how to synthesize research into a student’s own writing. By the end of the course, students will have confidence to read, write, research, and communicate in a college context. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 108 Introduction to Academic Writing (3)
This course provides a foundation for Writing Emphasis courses. Students will consider the impact of rhetorical situations on reading and writing texts, improve their own writing process, and develop skills that aid in revision and
critical reading.
ENGL 109 Academic Reading/Writing Internationals (3)
This course is designed to help advanced multilingual students to effectively orient themselves when reading complex academic texts, develop skills in organizing information from such readings, and write papers that build on the knowledge they acquired in their reading process. Additional emphases will be placed on vocabulary development and grammar and stylistics.
ENGL 114 Searching for America (4)
This course will explore the rich tradition of modern American literature by featuring some of the most captivating texts and innovative authors. While taking a problem-solving approach, it will specifically emphasize pertinent connections between literature and culture. For example, our main problem-solving task will be to interpret literary texts as cultural texts, allowing us to identify how imaginative writing illuminates, interrogates, and complicates fundamental aspects of American culture. We will discover that whether literary protagonists dream of freedom, refuge, success, or happiness, they all imagine and experience modern America in uniquely compelling ways. (WCore: WCFAH, DE)
ENGL 115 The Bible and Literature (4)
We will examine the ongoing cultural dialogue between literature and the Christian Bible, focusing on themes such as creation, temptation, fall, revelation, exodus, testing, persecution, conversion, apocalypse, and the problem of evil. Works by by authors such as Shakespeare, Milton, William Blake, C.S.Lewis, Kafka, and Dostoevsky will be read in the context of relevant passages from the Bible. What light do the Bible and literature throw on perennial human issues? Our basic approach to these texts will be anthropological. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 116 The Serious Art of Humor (4)
This writing emphasis (WE) Exploration course focuses on humor as a pivotal human experience in the twenty-first century. Students will explore how humor is tied to social contexts, and gain a deep understanding of ways in which humor entertains, instructs, and illuminates political issues. We will read comedy as a cultural text and explore a myriad of subgenres that span geographical contexts (including works by social activist Wanda Sykes, contemporary satirist George Saunders, Indian joke master Kushwant Singh, and cultural critic Barry Sanders), as well as examine styles of comic performances from Ali G’s shock-comedy to Margaret Cho’s political satire. In the process, we will investigate the meanings and effects of humor that have proliferated through social and digital media in the backdrop of such historical events as 9/11 and the Asian Tsunami. Throughout the course, students will reevaluate the concept of humor and ask “what’s funny and why?” (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 117 Writing Time (4)
Both writing and drawing use time. That is a problem. This LC considers this problem by exploring how writing and drawing use time formally or conceptually, paying particular attention to the composition of our works or the assembly of many individual components into a unified whole. We will analyze sequential images, using ideas found in films, graphic novels, photographic experiments, and animation in order to better understand how time can be used as a medium, as well as an idea. We will work to connect our writing and drawing practices in form and content and reflect on the inherent similarities and dissonances we find in each. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 121 How Literature Matters Now (4)
This course considers how literature continues to be a vital element of human experience in the 21st century. It may focus on how literary tropes and ideas manifest themselves in other media (in adaptations, allusions, or mashups), on how digital tools have opened up new ways of understanding literary texts, or on how the techniques of literary analysis can help us to understand political narratives. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 130 Self-Discovery: Film and Literature (4)
Great films and literature testify to the difficulty and the crucial importance of self-discovery. Literary and cinematic protagonists throughout history have struggled to “know thyself,” as the oracle commands. The failure to know oneself can have tragic consequences. For us today, film and literature are a challenging and enjoyable route to self-knowledge. This class will study works of literature and cinema which speak to the process of self-discovery.(WCore: WCFAH)
ENGL 131 Shakespeare, Culture, and Society (4)
Shakespeare’s plays and poems are important cultural artifacts of English society, its customs, traditions, structures, and institutions. We will investigate how the performance of Shakespeare’s works function in 17th-century England and global modernity, drawing on theorists such as Stephen Greenblatt, Clifford Geertz, and René Girard. We will consider the role of Shakespeare’s art in relation to issues of social order and of social change. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)
ENGL 133 Walking (4)
In this arts and humanities course, we will explore the cultural history of walking in the United States, we will walk with intention, and we will write and make art about walking. Some people walk only out of necessity. Others walk to improve their well-being, to see the world, or to save the earth. Depending on who is walking where, when, why, and how, this seemingly simple and ordinary activity can become an adventure, a sport, a crime, an artistic performance, a spiritual practice, a political protest, and more. By studying and practicing the art of walking, we will ask important questions and uncover sometimes uncomfortable truths about ourselves and our world. This course welcomes all people. For our purposes, walking is defined as slow movement across the land. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 204 Epistolarity: Letters to and From (4)
This writing emphasis (WE) W seminar focuses on letters as both reading and writing texts. Students will read letters both real and imagined (for example Heloise and Abelard, Frederick Douglass, Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Sojourner Truth, Madame de Stael, M.L.King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, McSweeney’s Letters to People or Entities Unlikely to Respond) across a variety of genres. Students will also write their own letters (love letters, rejection letters, condolence letters, complaint letters, etc.) to themselves, their loved ones, the instructor and classmates, the editors of newspapers or magazines, their communities, etc. The course seeks to combine a deep understanding of rhetoric (awareness of audience, purpose, and information literacy) with literary modes across a broad spectrum of relevance. Letters might include emails, texts, and tweets. The seminar aims to teach students the importance of establishing ethos in conjunction with educating one’s audience. Workshop format, with at least 20 pages of writing, including multiple drafts of each assignment. The course addresses three college-wide learning goals (writing/critical thinking/creative-reflective), plus diversity, because understanding issues of power, subordination, and privilege are inextricable from creating a standpoint from which to speak. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 205 Goddesses, Heroes, and Others (4)
From ancient scriptures to contemporary comics, these literary characters-goddesses, heroes, and “others” (figures marginalized by the dominant group)-rule. This course investigates and supports your investigations of these character types. It poses basic questions asked by many literary critics: where do these characters come from and how are they adapted by so many cultures and literary genres? To answer these questions, we’ll delve into current theory and historical research. We’ll do our part to keep goddesses, heroes, and others alive! (WCore: WCFAH, RE)
ENGL 207 Global Food Movements: Farms to Social Media (4)
This course is a study of social movements around food and agriculture in the Global South. From farm worker movements in India to the indigenous fight for environmental justice in Ecuador, this course will investigate how global “food systems” intersect with issues of land, hunger, environment, and the economy. The focus will be on the phenomenon of food crises and the social movements in response to them. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 210 Digital Narratives (4)
In this course we will learn how to create stories using digital media such as video narratives and podcasts. Alongside exploring creative elements, we will also reflect critically on how new media shape our understanding of narrative and audiences. The online forum will allow us to be fully immersed in a digital experience. We will create what Anne Burdick calls, “imaginative techno-texts” and critique each other’s works online. To develop a common vocabulary, we will read critical texts about narrative and media. In the process, we will analyze the realtionship between creator and audience, between form and medium, by asking questions like, “how do the intersections between technology and storytelling affect the ways in which we explore and express our stories?” Students don’t need technical proficiency. We’ll spend some time going over basic technical and production guidelines. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 211 Reading and Detection (4)
While investigating the history of the detective genre in film and literature, this course compares the work of interpretation with detective work. It is a famous staple of the detective narrative that the detective explains her or his method of detection, often in considerable philosophical detail. In this course, students will imitate these self-reflective detectives by cultivating and describing their own unique methods of interpretation. They will articulate these methods in essays, discussions, and other linguistic performances. (WCore: WCFAH)
ENGL 215 Vampire Literature (4)
This course proceeds from the assumption that reading literature bears certain uncanny similarities with vampirism, and that these similarities partly account for the success of the vampire subgenre in popular literature and cinema (the reception of which we will regard as a kind of reading). In particular, literary texts put their readers in a state of passivity that is at once often nerve-wracking and intensely pleasurable. Meanwhile, we will regard writing as a form of vampiric seduction, luring the reading into a receptive state only to strike at the decisive moment and thus achieve its aims (which we will assume are somewhat less violent than the aims of a vampire). (WCore: WCFAH, WE)
ENGL 219 Uncanny Film and Literature (4)
This class will investigate a specific artistic affect: the uncanny. How do films and literature create this haunting feel which we have all experienced? How can we define and understand the uncanny? We will read selected authors such as Freud who have tried to define the uncanny. But primarily we will analyze closely films and literature which create the experience of the uncanny. (WCore: WCFAH)
ENGL 221 Word by Word: Textual Analysis (4)
Critical literary practice begins with reading slowly—word by word, sentence by sentence, frame by frame, building a tentative understanding of the whole through a variety of strategies focused on the parts, including:

  • Word meanings, denotative and connotative, and word histories (etymology);
  • Syntax: the arrangement of words and the adherence (or not) of that arrangement to standard grammar practice;
  • Figurative language: Metaphor and metonymy multiply and concentrate meanings, and/or reveal agreed-upon assumptions and historical frames.

This foundational course asks students to closely analyze texts from a range of periods and genres and generate written and spoken arguments about them supported by precise textual evidence. Students will also consider the personal lens through which they read, their prejudices, preconceptions, and assumptions about what is “normal.” Because the ending of a literary work is so important to its interpretation, whole brief texts (such as poems) are featured in this course.

This course, ENGL 222: Words in the World: Texts in Contexts, and ENGL 223: Words on Words: Critical Theory are prerequisites for most 300-level courses in the English major. Students must have completed two of the three to register for these upper-division courses.

ENGL 222 Words in the World: Texts in Contexts (4)
This course positions literary texts as networks of language linked to other, larger networks, including politics, technology, intellectual and aesthetic trends, and myriad historical factors from literacy rates to disease outbreaks to revolutions. Each section will focus on a particular topic and compare works from two distinct periods or movements to provide a general knowledge of literary, historical, and cultural developments in those periods. In addition to studying other scholars’ analyses of literature in particular contexts, students will conduct research to situate their own readings.

Among the key issues considered are how literature reflects and affects contemporary tastes, how political struggles manifest themselves in literature, how means of distribution and consumption of texts have changed the way communities read them, and how texts construct identities in terms of race, class, gender, and other categories.

This course, ENGL 221 Word by Word: Textual Analysis, and ENGL 223 Words on Words: Critical Theory are prerequisites for most 300-level courses in the English major. Students must have completed two of the three to register for these upper-division courses.

ENGL 223 Words on Words: Critical Theory (4)
Being a literary critic requires thinking about how and why we read. This course introduces critical approaches to literature and essential methods of academic research. Students will develop analytical reading, writing, and research skills that will prepare them for advanced levels of literary scholarship. Students will also begin identifying the basic aims and concepts underlying literary theories such as feminism, critical race theory, and disability theory, articulating the similarities and differences among them, and reflecting on the implications of reading texts through various frameworks.

This course, ENGL 221 Word by Word: Textual Analysis, and ENGL 222 Words in the World: Texts in Contexts are prerequisites for most 300-level courses in the English major. Students must have completed two of the three to register for these upper-division courses.

ENGL 230 Introduction to Creative Writing (3)
Students learn the building blocks of creative writing—including diction, figurative language, narrative, imagery, point of view, meter, and form—by reading examples of professional writing, writing short stories and poems of their own, and meeting visiting writers. This workshop course emphasizes experimentation and imitation and is designed to expand the student’s repertoire of literary technique. Strongly recommended as a prerequisite to other creative writing courses.
ENGL 231 Global Shakespeares (4)
William Shakespeare is exceptional in the worldwide reach of his plays and poems, and his influence continues to grow with performances, translations, and adaptations to a variety of mediums, notably film. Global Shakespeares will examine how his plays are adapted for different cultures and formats in far-flung places across the globe. We will view his plays from a sociological perspective, to see how they mediate the society of Shakespeare’s England first, and then how they mediate various global cultures. Our study of global Shakesepeares will help us to better understand and meaningfully engage with the many cultures and countries that continue to enjoy, consume, use, and engage with his texts. We will pay especial attention to the representation of gender relations and the treatment of marginalized groups and individuals in performances of Shakespeare. (WCore: EWRLD)
ENGL 300 Special Topics in Periods and Movements (1-4)
A changing topics course that addresses specific literary periods or movements, such as the Victorian period, the Harlem Renaissance, or magical realism. Possible topics include works by particular authors or individual long works. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements requirement for English majors.
ENGL 310 Theory and Teaching of Writing (3-4)
This course will introduce you to the teaching of college-level writing as well as the ideas and history that inform it. In addition to learning about rhetoric and composition theory, you will observe how writing is taught in the Westminster College Writing Center and conduct your own writing consultations as the semester progresses. Completing this course will make you eligible to work in the Writing Center as a paid consultant. Students will complete readings on composition theory and practice, observe and conduct consultations in the Writing Center, and write short responses and consultation reports. Offered for variable credit. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English majors in the literary studies emphasis and is a Civic Engagement course.
ENGL 320 Creative Writing: Fiction (3)
This A course that focuses on the writing of short stories and short-short stories and integrates workshop experience with readings of various narratives and theoretical material. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English Literary Studies majors and counts as a Writing Elective for English Creative Writing majors. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 321 Creative Writing: Plays (3)
Workshop in playwriting which examines structure and style in dramatic literature as a starting point for student’s work in scene writing. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English Literary Studies majors and counts as a Writing Elective for English Creative Writing majors. Prerequisite: ENGL 230 or consent of instructor.
ENGL 322 Creative Writing: Poetry (3)
This course, often taught around a central theme, combines reading of poetry and criticism with workshop discussion of students’ own poems. Meter, form, line, imagery, figurative language, and point of view are among the topics addressed. Students read work of visiting poets and meet with them. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English Literary Studies majors and counts as a Writing Elective for English Creative Writing majors. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 323 Creative Writing: Screenwriting (3)
A course that focuses on writing film scripts, stressing effective narrative, dialogue and character development. Coursework includes viewing films as well as writing and analyzing scripts. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English Literary Studies majors and counts as a Writing Elective for English Creative Writing majors. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 324 Creative Writing: Nonfiction (4)
A course in writing nonfiction including essays, personal narratives, and articles. Writing for workshop will be balanced by readings of various model texts. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English majors. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 326 College Publications: ellipsis (1)
Students learn how to evaluate contemporary literature and how to produce a literary/arts magazine, the nationally recognized student-edited journal Ellipsis. In ENGL 326, the fall semester, the emphasis is on evaluating submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays; and on designing and placing ads. Students also meet with visiting writers and editors. May be taken four times for credit, eight times for creative concentration English majors. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English majors. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 327 College Publications: ellipsis (1)
This spring course continues evaluative work through the beginning of February, but then shifts into production. Visual art is chosen in January. Once the materials are chosen, the focus is on design, layout, proofreading, publicity, updating the website, and distribution. Students in both semesters sometimes meet with visiting writers and editors. In the Spring, applications are taken for paid editorial positions for the following year. May be taken four times for credit; eight times for creative writing concentration English majors. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English majors. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 329 Special Topics in Creative Writing (1-4)
Advanced course focusing on changing topics in creative writing. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English Literary Studies majors and counts as a Writing Elective for English Creative Writing majors.
ENGL 331 History and Structure of English (4)
The study of language as a symbolic system with a special emphasis on English. Includes an introduction to the history and structure of the English language; language acquisition and evolution; English syntactic and grammatical structure; and introductory Old, Middle, and Early Modern English. This course fulfills the Language and Media requirement for English majors.
ENGL 332 Shakespeare and Film (4)
Shakespeare continues to be one of the most popular Hollywood screenwriters, building on his past success as a Renaissance playwright. We will be examining how contemporary directors and actors have transformed Shakespeare’s plays into film versions for a modern, mass audience. The class will discuss the different requirements and conventions of film versus stage presentation, as well as the problems associated with presenting a Renaissance text to a modern audience. We will engage closely with both the printed text and filmed versions. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements (pre-1800) requirement for English majors.
ENGL 335 Englishes of the World: Accents and Affects (4)
This course examines how the English language has spread across the world, accumulating accents and varieties to become a global language in the 20th and 21st centuries. By applying theories of globalization and post-colonialism, we will explore how English has been exported into South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean through social or political coercion, mass media, or “choice.” We will analyze print, visual, and digital texts written in English by non-native writers and gain
awareness of issues like cultural translation, hybridity, broken English and the inherent ideological consequences when writers choose to represent cultures in a language other than their own.This course will also be linked to a service-learning project: Westminster’s partnership with the Promise South Salt Lake initiative provides opportunities for student volunteers to interact with members of the Bhutanese and Somali refugee communities who take ESL classes to pass their citizenship tests. Our students will spend two class sessions with ESL students from Bhutan and/or Somalia, and through mutual interactions, gain a deeper understanding of how language (English) is inherently tied to ideas of power, identity, and cultural assimilation. Students will turn in a written assignment based on this experience. (WCore: EWRLD)
ENGL 339 Studies in Method, Theory, and Genre (1-4)
This course is an opportunity for students to examine closely one or more of the theoretical issues introduced in ENGL 223 Words on Words: Critical Theory. Students will gain an understanding of theoretical approaches to literary study, methods of relating theory to works of literature, theories and conventions of genre, and the works of literary theorists. Possible topics include structuralism and poststructuralism, poetics, anthropology and literary theory, gender criticism, and ecocriticism. This course fulfills the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 350 Constructing Gender in Medieval Literature (4)
This course builds upon the many medieval conduct manuals and literary descriptions of gender roles. It develops attitudes toward gender that derive from medieval Roman Catholicism, courtly manners, opportunities for work, levels of literacy, and more. In contrast, it also turns to estates satires that ridicule established gender models. For instance, while on the one hand the Virgin Mary’s maternal sweetness is praised in devotional lyrics, on the other, that model of motherhood is ridiculed in Chaucer’s Prioress, who coos over her little dogs. By highlighting multiple medieval perspectives on gender and presenting a gamut of gender models from the masculine warrior to the cross-dressing entertainer, in texts that were written by both men and women, the course opens up a wide variety of interpretations possible for medieval literature, including feminist, masculinist, queer, and other readings. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements (pre-1800) or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 353 American Literature after 1945: Modern Anxities and Hopes (4)
Featuring a select group of representative works, this course focuses on American literature developed after World War II. As we identify their thematic and aesthetic concerns across genres, we will examine how modern US authors decenter and diversify predominant literary traditions while capturing the reality of post-war America, from its economic might and new war involvements to the civil rights movements and new immigration and globalization patterns. This period of US literature is particularly exciting because it presents the most inclusive and varied literary canon, embracing minority voices and perspectives and broadening its international dimensions. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements requirement for English majors.
ENGL 354 Medieval Entertainments (4)
This course focuses on the wide variety of English literature composed between roughly 600 and 1500 as a form of entertainment for churches, courts, or town squares. It explores a variety of texts that were read for both edification and pleasure in monastic settings; songs, romances, and assorted vernacular poems that were performed at court; and plays that were enacted during city festivals. While most of the texts studied in this course were written as original compositions, some were recorded after generations of oral performance. Students will investigate the meanings and permeable boundaries of orality, aurality, and literacy in medieval cultures where only a minority were “literate” as understood today. In addition to theories of literary invention, perpetuation, and reception, students will learn effective strategies for close reading of Middle English writings and research methods for learning the contexts in which they became entertainments. The course associates the canon of medieval English literature with the popular culture of the past and today. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements (pre-1800) or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 357 Environmental Literature (4)
Survey of a broad range of works concerning the American environment and parallel historical and cultural trends. Works are selected from poetry, fiction, and such nonfiction genres as nature essays, autobiography, travel narrative, and political writing.This course fulfills the Periods and Movements or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 363 Shakespeare and Modernity (4)
This class will grapple with the problem of Modernity (beginning in the late 16th century) by studying the works of William Shakespeare and other English authors of the time period, such as Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, and Edmund Spenser. How do these writers engage with and participate in the momentous cultural shift away from medieval hierarchy and an agrarian economy to the emergent modern world of individual rights and a free market? This course fulfills the Periods and Movements (pre-1800) requirement for English majors.
ENGL 364 War on Heaven: Cosmic Rebellion in Literature and Film (4)
This class will explore the aesthetic, ethical, and political implications of rebelling against the cosmos, the order of the universe. We will begin with Satan’s rebellion against God and his temptation of Eve and Adam in Milton’s Paradise Lost, examining the political, theological, ethical, and gender implications of rejecting divine law, and then ask ourselves how attacks on divine law in literature reflect attitudes about human laws. What justifies political hierarchy in different times and places? How can rejecting and attempting to change a given hierarchy be justified? We will then trace the theme of cosmic rebellion from Milton through the western literary and cinematic traditions, including works such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Carol Reed’s The Third Man, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements (pre-1800) requirement for English majors. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements (pre-1800) requirement for English majors.
ENGL 365 History of Genre (4)
Each iteration of this course examines genre through an historical and and cultural lens, concentrating on points of blur, change, and hybridity. For example, the novel is a genre developed from the other genres of autobiography, letters, travel writing, and journalism. In France and in England, readers and writers of early novels were primarily women. Some male writers even took female pseudonyms to publish potboilers. Yet in the next century female novelists took male pseudonyms in order to be taken seriously. What happened? A course on the novel as genre examines social and historical changes between 1700 and 1900. Other versions of this course might focus on the lyric poem, the epic, or the prose poem. In each course, we ask how genres are culturally created and how they are reinvented. By reading both typical and exceptional examples, students gain an understanding of how “the law of genre” (to use Derrida’s term) is enforced or broken. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 366 Romanticism in the Literary Marketplace (4)
During the Romantic Century, 1767-1867, capitalism industrialized the production of literature. Instead of relying on aristocratic patrons, writers harnessed new publication technologies and economies to begin selling books and magazines by the tens of thousands. This course will explore the vibrant culture of Romanticism that blossomed in an international literary marketplace in which professional literary artists both served and created the tastes of a vast new public that was hungry for poems, plays, stories, and ideas. We will encounter texts by a diverse range of writers, including such figures as Olaudah Equiano, William Wordsworth, George Copway (Kagagahgebowh), Jane Austen, Henry Thoreau, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements or the Language and Media requirement for English majors.
ENGL 367 Literatures of the African Diaspora (4)
This course will survey literary texts in English that were published since 1900 by writers of the African Diaspora, including such figures as W. E. B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Aimé Césaire, James Baldwin, Chinua Achebe, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Toni Morrison, Jackie Kay, Zadie Smith, Jamaica Kincaid, Samuel Delany, Octavia Butler, and others associated with such movements as the Harlem Renaissance, la poesía negra, la Négritude, and Black Arts. We will immerse ourselves in an international black literary conversation in which distinctive styles and techniques were used to explore urgent questions of identity and exile, authenticity and double-consciousness, the burdens of racism and history, and hope for the future. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements requirement for English majors.
ENGL 368 U.S. Minority Literature: Writing from the Margins (4)
This course offers an in-depth study of modern U.S. minority literature, focusing on African American, Latino/a, Asian American, and Native American writers. As we consider different literary genres and cultural contexts, we will examine marginality, minority, and hybridity as dynamic aesthetic and sociopolitical concepts. The intersecting categories of class, race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality will provide another important lens of critical inquiry. To complement class readings, we will also watch several videos and films that portray minority experiences from various perspectives. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 369 Life Writing (4)
This course examines life writing (autobiography, memoir and biography) across time. Texts might include translated works by St. Augustine, Nikos Kazantzakis, and Marjane Satrapi; slave narratives and other classic texts (for example Boswell’s Life of Johnson); and memoirs by contemporary writers. We’ll question formal aspects: the narrator as a character, inclusions and omissions, structure, etc. But we’ll also attempt to place each book in an historical and geographical context. This course fulfills the Periods and Movements or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 373 Postcolonial Literature and Theory (4)
Through the lens of postcolonial theory, this course will explore the relationship between language and power. We will read literary, film, and interactive texts by Anglophone postcolonial writers, from Ben Okri to Kiran Desai, and analyze the enduring legacy of the colonial language on, as Gaurav Desai puts it, “the institutions of imagination.” By refashioning the English language, how do postcolonial writers rupture conventions of a language they inherited, and how does that imply a mode of resistance? By investigating the politics of language within a postcolonial framework, students will question their own assumptions and approaches to the English language, and in the process, explore themes such as “hybridity,” “accent,” and even “arranged marriage.” This course fulfills the Periods and Movements or the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 374 Studies in Language and Media (4)
A changing topics course that addresses topics in the study of language or media. Possible topics include language politics, textual communities, graphic novels, and electronic media. This course fulfills the Language and Media requirement for English majors.
ENGL 375 Literature in Manuscript, Print, and New Media (4)
This course demonstrates Marshall McLuhan’s dictum “[t]he medium is the message.” In considering the past, present, and future of media, we will examine how the form that writing takes affects reading and how the ways in which texts are produced and distributed build communities of readers. Our investigation will focus on works of literature that were recorded and transmitted in various media, for example classical works first recorded on scrolls and later transcribed to codices and print. We will also examine electronic media, including web-based texts and film, to see how motion, sound and interactivity influence the presentation of texts. Hands-on assignments will provide experience working with texts in various media, for example by examining books at the University of Utah’s Book Arts Program, making books at the Salt Lake Community College Publication Center, and refashioning one of the assigned readings in the medium of their choice. This course fulfills the Language & Medium requirement for English majors.
ENGL 376 Adaptation, Distortion, and Fidelity (4)
Living in the present is living awash in an immense variety of media, many of which would have been unimaginable just fifty years ago. Though film adaptations of books are as old as film itself, the current explosion of new media outlets gives us an opportunity to look at the problems of adaptation anew. This course will explore adaptations, remakes, parodies, and other derivative, secondary, or “parasitic” artworks. We will consider how adaptations re-interpret and change originals, how differences in media change what can be communicated in artworks, and how technology has changed our understanding of what an artwork is. The course will also investigate the implications of new ways of producing, distributing, and consuming artworks, including fan fiction, file sharing, and mashups. This course fulfills the Language and Media requirement for English majors.
ENGL 377 Queer Theory and Posthumanism (4)
Humanism is the belief that reason provides the best tools for solving the problems of the world. It has dominated political and literary thought at least since the seventeenth century. It is the foundation of human rights discourse, of many theories of democracy, and of the prevailing models of social justice. Nonetheless, humanism has its detractors, and the last several decades have seen the rise of “posthumanism,” which seeks to challenge humanism’s dominant position in political and social thought. Some critics suspect that humanism unconsciously upholds the racism, misogyny, and homophobia of the texts that established its terms in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Others are motivated by the challenges to reason presented by psychoanalysis, Marxism, and radical feminism. Queer Theory is among the must important posthumanist discourses in the United States, though not all queer theorists are posthumanists. This course investigates how queer theorists have attacked and defended humanism, and also explores queer theory’s relationship to other posthumanist discourses. Authors to be considered may include Michel Foucault, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Donna Haraway, Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, Jasbir Puar, Lee Edelman, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, and Joan Copjec. This course fulfills the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 378 Literary Self-Reference: Paradoxes of Literature and Art (4)
We will study art about art: literature that thematizes the creation and reception of literature (or art), highlighting its own fictional status, and paradoxically questioning its own status as art. Literary self-reference characterizes many paradigmatic modern and postmodern works such as Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, Jorge Luis Borges’ short stories, and Samuel Beckett’s plays. We will grapple with the theoretical and cultural-historical issues involved in literary self-reference. This course fulfills the Theory or Language and Media requirement for English majors.
ENGL 379 Narrative Theory: Methods and Approaches (4)
Narrative is the basic function of the human mind. It is all around us, from novels to restaurant menus. This course provides an introduction to narrative theory—the theory of how narratives work, and why basic procedures and mechanisms may be common to all acts of storytelling. By considering the various structures, genres, and characteristics of narrative—from novels and historical documents to visual media—we will attempt to unpack what Roland Barthes calls, “the functional syntax” by which narrative is generally constructed. The goal is not simply to enjoy the content, but to clinically analyze how narratives are assembled and disseminated, and what their powers and limitations are in giving meaning to the human experience, across historical and cultural contexts. Readings will include fiction, film, and theoretical works by Aristotle, Gerard Genette, Monika Fludernik, among others. Issues include: mimetic and diegetic modes of narrative, framed and cut-up narratives, literary tropes such as “the hero returns.” This course fulfills the Theory requirement for English majors.
ENGL 381 English at Work: Writing Your Future (3)
The communication and critical thinking skills cultivated in English courses can be transferred to a wide range of professional and public contexts. This writing workshop will introduce students to professional genres of writing that they are likely to encounter in the workplace as we consider the rhetorical and social functions of such documents. In addition to considering how English skills have prepared them for a variety of careers, students will draft professional documents to use in future applications for jobs and graduate programs. They will also work closely with a community organization to identify its writing needs and write to meet those needs. In addition to meeting the Writing requirement in the English major, this course also involves community service that counts toward the Service Learning Scholar Program. This course fulfills the Writing requirement for English majors and is a Civic Engagement course.
ENGL 401 Directed Studies (1-4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive study of topics not otherwise offered in the English Program. Hours are arranged. Requires consent of instructor and school dean. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 402 Thesis I (2)
A course to support and guide English majors, participants in the Honors Program, and other upper-division students who are developing the skills to produce a well-researched, fully documented, comprehensive thesis on a literary or related topic. Hours are arranged. (WCore: SC)
ENGL 403 Senior Seminar (4)
A capstone course for English majors ordinarily taken during one of the last two semesters of undergraduate study. The Senior Seminar gives a small group of students the opportunity to work with a faculty member in her or his specialty and the chance to interact with other advanced students in a seminar setting. Students will demonstrate their ability to grapple with complex issues of literary study and conduct advanced research. The course culminates in the successful completion of a written research project. (WCore: SC)
ENGL 404 Thesis II (2)
The second half of the English critical capstone thesis sequence, this course supports and guides English majors, participants in the Honors Program, and other upper-division students who are developing the skills to produce a well-researched, fully documented, comprehensive thesis on a literary or related topic. In Thesis II, students will supplement the research conducted in Thesis I and compose their capstone theses. (WCore: SC)
ENGL 405 Thesis – Creative Writing (4)
A course to support and guide English majors who have chosen the creative writing concentration in developing an original group of poems, short stories, creative nonfiction pieces, play(s) or novel. Ideally, this course should be taken after the student has completed all the other requirements for the creative writing concentration, as it will entail revising work submitted to workshops in addition to producing new work. Hours are arranged. (WCore: SC)
ENGL 440 Internship (1-8)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Center Internship Coordinator. This course is repeatable for credit.
ENGL 450 The Myriad Internship (1-4)
This online internship course teaches students how to evaluate and select submissions for the Westminster literary journal, The Myriad–an online academic journal featuring cross disciplinary works by Westminster students. It is published annually in April.In this course, students will learn the skills to evaluate academic submissions and learn the mechanisms of running an online journal. The deadline for submission to The Myriad is Jan 25. The responsibility of this class (taught in the spring) is to evaluate and select submissions for publication as well as to discuss the design layout for the website.

Students do not need prior experience in design and editing to enroll in the course. The Myriad has an in-house designer. Students enrolled in the course will simply contribute with design ideas in addition to evaluating and selecting submissions.

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