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Courses - Fall 2018

3 Credits
Readers who are new to poetry often think of it as intentionally impenetrable, full of hidden meanings designed to confuse. But poems are actually designed to provide pleasure and if they are sometimes puzzling, their puzzles are meant to be solved. This class will help interested readers to engage poems, even complicated ones, with confidence and delight.

 

3 Credits
Requirement Designation: Humanities Exploration

Interdisciplinary course integrating literary and cultural issues and introducing students to contemporary literary innovations and traditions.

3 Credits

Requirement Designation: Quantitative Reasoning (Statistics/Logic)


In the emerging field of the Digital Humanities, computational tools allow readers to apply new forms of “objective” (or at least statistically quantifiable) critique to the study of literature, and, in complementary fashion, enable writers to generate literary texts that are shaped by digitally-powered formal constraints.  In some ways, this “Literature by the Numbers” approach might seem incompatible with tradition.  Conventional literary study, after all, involves close reading, demands careful interpretation, and generates multiple and sometimes even contradictory conclusions.  And yet literature itself has always been constrained by form, genre, and cultural mores.  And some instances of literature, in particular, such as mysteries, puzzles, and algorithmically generated texts, invite a more specific analytic approach, requiring readers to deduce a single solution or methodology before any meaning can be explicated.  In this course we will look at examples of such texts, as well as how a variety of computational tools might assist us in making sense of them and literary production in general. 

Note that although this course involves frequent hands-on interaction with digital tools, no special knowledge of computing is required or expected. 

3 Credits


There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.

                                    --Sherlock Holmes, Study in Scarlet

 This course will track the evolution of crime fiction from its late-19thc. appearance in Arthur Conan Doyle's Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson novel through influential twentieth-century detective fiction and into more contemporary works invoking and appropriating elements of the genre. Whether told from the perspective of the detective or the criminal perpetrator, the "mystery" of crime (not only "who" did it but "why"), produces writerly experiments in narrative structure and style, tests the limits of the rational and forensic science, and indexes class, gender, and ethnoracial politics and anxieties. After the Sherlock Holmes novel--whose middle section is a long narrative flashback to the Mormon migration to Utah--our readings will focus on novels set in the urban and rural U.S. West. In addition to classic hard-boiled detective novels, the course readings will focus on criminal investigations by an African American private eye and Native American police detectives, and end with Louise Erdrich's The Round House, her National Book Award winning novel that focuses on criminal violence against women on an Indian reservation.   

3 Credits

Requirement Designation: Humanities Exploration


This course offers an expansive introduction to Shakespearean drama. Class sessions will involve some lecturing and much discussion, and your contributions to our classroom conversations will be warmly welcomed. Attendance is very important in this course. The collective reading experience is a source of discovery and clarification for all of us, and attending class is also important for performing well on the exam and paper assignments.

 

This is a lively Shakespeare season in Salt Lake City, which will be highlighted by a remarkable exhibit coming to the Salt Lake City Main Library in October. A copy of Shakespeare's First Folio (1623) will be on display, along with other Renaissance texts.  Lectures and panel discussions will accompany this exhibit both at the Main Library and here on campus. The First Folio is one of the great books of the world. It was compiled by Shakespeare's theater colleagues and published seven years after his death. It's the first collected works of Shakespeare and the only source for eighteen of his plays, or about half of his total work as a playwright. In recognition of this event, almost all of the plays we're reading this term had their first publication in this posthumous book. The one exception is the first of our texts, Love's Labor's Lost, which offers a brilliant imaginative inquiry into education and its deepest purposes.  It's thus a very  appropriate play with which to begin the academic year, which I hope will be splendid for all of us.

 I have many goals for the course. I want you to gain a thorough knowledge of the Shakespeare plays we study in terms of their genre, structure, and scenic form; to become more adept and independent readers of Shakespeare's language; and to have the chance to be inspired by your experience of Shakespeare's work and vision.

3 Credits

Requirement Designation: Humanities Exploration


Do you like books marketed as YOUNG ADULT? Have you ever thought of teaching, writing for, or parentingYOUNG ADULTS? Are you now or have you ever beena YOUNG ADULT yourself?

YA is a hugely successful marketing category in contemporary publishing. What do these books have in common? What assumptions do they make, and ask us to make, about adolescent characters and readers? How does the publishing industry shape what we read?This coursehosts authorsand publishing professionalsin person and electronically, giving students the chance to learn interactively about the work that goesinto making a bookand getting itto readers. Assignments also highlight theincreasing influence of social media, “indie publishing,” book reviewing and blogging, and participatory culture.

3 Credits

Requirement Designation: Fine Arts Exploration


Introduction to the writing of fiction and poetry.

3 Credits


 This course is an introduction to the study of literature. We will read poems, novels, and one play with an eye to developing the background and skills necessary to become attentive readers of difficult literary texts. We will also work on writing about literature, from developing topics of critical interest to constructing arguments about literary works.

3 Credits

Requirement Designation: Diversity & Humanities Exploration


This course is designed to familiarize you with some powerful American writers as well as introduce you to several defining myths, issues, or concerns. Some of these concerns include the spirit of
individualism versus the demand for community; and the desire for unity versus the consequences of difference. As we examine these vital tensions, focusing on a number of different kinds of literary texts, including poetry, essays and novels, we will consider the social, cultural, and political circumstances that inform this diverse and complex body of writing known as "American Literature."

1 Credit

Components: Activity


Designed for incoming first-year and transfer students. Teaches students how to successfully integrate the English major into their personal, academic, and career objectives. Provides a thorough overview of major requirements and the associated learning outcomes of the English curriculum. Familiarizes students with academic and advising resources and introduces them to co-curricular opportunities that will complement their coursework. Highlights the research strengths of the department through guest faculty speakers. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to self-exploration of interests, strengths, and values in order to create a personalized career planning strategy that will help students build a solid foundation for success both before and after graduation.

 3 Credits

Requirement Designation: Humanities Exploration


An introduction to the tradition of environmental writing, paying particular attention to the nonfiction works that have achieved canonical status in the field.

English 3080 offers a thematic approach to the study of environmental literature. The course will explore the dynamic connections between nature, spirit, and the body. We will often (though not always) depart from the accepted canon of “nature
writing” in order to canvass a rich and varied array of creative responses to the natural environment. Texts will include selections of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as a smattering of painting and film.

 3 Credits

Cross-listed: LING 3500


A descriptive overview of the forms and function of English grammar structures with guidance in standard usage.

 3 Credits

Enrollment Requirement: Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 2500.


Intermediate-level.

 3 Credits

Enrollment Requirement: Prerequisite: C- or better in ENGL 2500.


Intermediate-level.

 3 Credits


Introduction to the longstanding debate about literature’s status and value and about the nature of reading and interpretation, with a survey of some of the most seminal approaches to these questions. Strongly recommended as preparation of advanced theory courses. Also fulfills the upper division writing/communication requirement.

 3 Credits


This course is designed to supply an overview of one thousand years of English literary history (and at least a glimpse into the emergent transatlantic literature of North America). Obviously no such course can be comprehensive, but students should acquire a sense of the culturally diverse materials-and the potentially conflicting values-that went into the formation of British literature, as well as the broad historical forces that continually acted to reshape it. The Norton Anthology's introductions to historical periods and individual authors provide a useful starting point, but they need to be supplemented by close reading of specific texts and attention to how literary genres and conventions change over time. How scholars and others tell the "story" of English (or any other nationally defined) literature. changes from generation to generation, in response to shifting attitudes about which elements of the tradition remain vital or influential. As we proceed, we will consider some of the decisions-about what to include or ignore, about how to describe the relation of particular works to their historical contexts, about how to mark the division between such periods as "medieval" and "renaissance" -that have affected current ideas about literary history, as expressed, for example, in the compilation of anthologies. We will also look, from time to time, at the cultural assumptions that particular genres, or modes of literary expression, entail.

 3 Credits

Requirement Designation: International Requirement


Introduction to 20th-century global multiculturalism via literature and film. Emphasis on post-colonialism and related topics.

 3 Credits

Components: Seminar


Required course to be taken as soon as a student has declared the English major, ENGL 3850 creates a uniform starting point for all majors. Students receive modular, practical, focused training in the rudiments of the discipline, from close reading to research methods to evidence-based critical argument.

 3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15
Enrollment Requirement: Prerequisites: C- or better in ENGL 2090.


In this course students will read literary texts and play narrative-focused video games in order that these works–and these media more generally–might illuminate one another. What can literary texts do that video games can’t, and vice-versa? What are the promises, benefits, and liabilities of interactivity and player agency in video games? Before registering for this course, students must have completed ENGL 2090 and ENGL 3850 or receive the instructor’s written permission.

4 Credits


Not applicable toward graduate degrees. Practical and theoretical methods of teaching writing and language arts to adolescents in secondary schools.

The role of the teacher in the 21stCentury is much more complicated than it has ever been before. Much is asked of us in the lifetime of our career and quite often, it is ourselves who ask the deepest questions. But there is a simple truth about becoming a teacher and it is this: If you are a good teacher, you will touch lives and make a tremendous difference in the shape of our community. The profession of teaching, of being an educator is the last truly noble profession on the planet. It is a decision that should not be made carelessly. Becoming a teacher also includes accepting a silent vow of poverty and humility. The best teachers never forget they are always students. It is a sacred charge.

This semester we are going to roll up our sleeves and get to work. The class will be divided into grades 9-12 and will design a full semester using the standard CORE curriculum from the Utah State Board of Education. During the semester each grade will explore, question, argue, challenge and debate contemporary ideas. Our work will be broken up into several distinct phases: involving the exploration of language, literature, multi-genre theory, and real applications of the CORE in the working world. We will read, write, teach, observe, share, act, and engage ourselves fully in the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching. Hopefully, the end result of this semester’s work will culminate with a very personal sense of connectedness to a community larger and more important than us.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15
Enrollment Requirement: Prerequisites: C- or better in ENGL 3510.
Components: Workshop


 

This semester we'll use our readings, writing, and discussion to further our thinking about what "fiction" is, or might be, in our contemporary moment, and what it takes to keep pace with, and to get ahead of, that moment's speeding swerve, as writers, readers, and publishers. While we'll get reacquainted with conventional notions of "the elements of fiction" (character, plot, setting, etc.), we'll also want to consider the assumptions and limitations of these, and the expectations they set for readers and writers, and we'll work to push our own boundaries in both roles (and the boundaries of readers far and wide) through innovative experimentation and thoughtful, creative development of our writing, guided by equally thoughtful comment and critique. The results should be: a more generous perspective on fiction's possibilities in form, style, engagement, effect, delivery, and reception; a dedication to strong writing habits and to the building and maintaining of a supportive, committed, and demanding literary community; an expansion of one's sense of what one's own fiction can be and do, and development of the confidence to pursue that vision while seeking out and remaining open to informed critique; and a "finished" fiction suitable for submission to journals or inclusion in graduate or grant applications and a portfolio of creative ideas you can continue to mine after our work together is complete.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15
Enrollment Prerequisites: C- or better in ENGL 3510 OR  3530.
Components: Workshop


Creative writing techniques applied to nonfictional material.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 3 Total Units Allowed: 15
Enrollment Requirement: Prerequisites: C- or better in ENGL 3850.
Requirement Designation: Upper Division Communication/Writing


Required capstone course for English majors.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 3 Total Units Allowed: 15


The Canterbury Tales is an unfinished masterpiece.  It features some of the funniest, most interesting, most moving narratives in English poetry, along with some of the strangest; the work as a whole is endlessly entertaining, engaging, puzzling. In this class we will read a large portion of the Tales. We will read them in Chaucer's own language, Middle English, but no previous acquaintance with Chaucer or with Middle English is assumed; we will begin slowly, and spend enough time on the language to make it intelligible. (It's not that difficult.) 

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 3 Total Units Allowed: 15


This course involves encountering Shakespeare’s drama (and a bit of his non-dramatic literature) in a serious and sustained way.
Organizing rubrics will be genre, historical context, early modern
culture, Shakespeare’s interesting ways of representing race and gender.

3 Credits


In this course, we will read all six of Jane Austen’s published novels: Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion. In addition to paying close attention to these texts, we will consider the social and historical contexts of Austen’s work, significant critical approaches to the novels, and Austen’s contemporary popularity. All are welcome, from Janeites to Austen-skeptics.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15


During the Victorian Age (1837-1901), the British Empire reached across the globe, the metropolitan center of London tripled in population, English workers, women, and children began to enjoy civil rights and political power that they never before had, and new scientific discoveries and technological inventions made the lives of even average people longer, healthier, and better. Many Victorians believed that the future promised even more national, social, and personal progress. At the same time, however, Victorian novelists were obsessed with the dark side of human nature: the criminal, the insane, the ghostly, the bestial, and the perverse.  To explore this un-modern sense of selfhood, the 19th-century writers we will be reading borrowed the Gothic conventions of the previous century –with a distinctly Victorian twist–while anticipating much of the psychological exploration and narrative techniques we now call Modernist and Post-Modern. This course examines how Victorian literature challenged its own era’s rhetoric of progress and improvement in both prescient and retrograde ways. We will be asking how literature reveals and obscures the reality it ostensibly presents, how texts perform the chaos of social, political, and psychological flux, how they manipulate alternatively modern and anachronistic ways of thinking and being, and what roles gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and class play in what we consider easily known and what remains impossibly unknowable.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15


 

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 2 Total Units Allowed: 6
Cross-listed: ETHNC 5100


This course will introduce a variety of writing by Asian North American authors along with some of the critical issues concerning the production and the reception of Asian American literary texts. We will ask questions about the historical formation of Asian American identities, about the forms of representation available to Asian American writers and artists, and the problem of mapping an Asian American literary or cultural history. Some of the questions will include the following: At what point does an immigrant become an American? Where do mixed-race people fit into the designation “Asian American” and how much Asian ancestry is necessary for this appellation? What about an author who is racially Asian and nationally American but who chooses not to write of his/her own ethnicity? Is Asian American literature defined by the ethnicity of the author or by its subject matter? How do we react to Caucasian writers who write in the voice of an Asian or Asian American person? Students will be required to write three short papers, and complete a creative project that responds to one or more of the course readings.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15


Broadly connected through the term of adolescent literature, 5885 is designed to explore the themes of novels, which, in the most embracing of definitions, could be considered young adult novels.  From the coming of age novel, Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky to the brutally honest and hopeful promise of Sapphire’s novel Push, we will look at the world through the eyes of an adolescent reader.  What are the secrets?  What are the dramatic questions of identity, place, community and adolescent landscape that should be asked of us in this journey?

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15


Readings in seminal texts and authors of specific intellectual traditions such as Marxism, Darwinism, psychoanalysis, etc. Topics will vary.

3 Credits

Total Completions Allowed: 5 Total Units Allowed: 15


Topics will include various theories defining what a culture is and what counts as a cultural work, activity, or value.

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Last Updated: 3/5/18