print header


Graduate courses emphasize texts viewed from a variety of theoretical perspectives and provide practical training in literary and cultural research and criticism. Some specialized courses focus on theories of pedagogy, writing, and language.

Course offerings include a variety of graduate seminars each fall and spring, as well as a select number of undergraduate courses offered for graduate credit.  Summer courses are also an option.  At least one seminar is offered each summer session.

Below is a list of upcoming seminars and double-numbered courses; a printable course list is also available.


Spring 2013 Graduate Only Seminars:

January 22 – May 17, 2013

715: Critical Theory and English Studies (3 cr.)
6:00-8:45 pm T
HHH 313
Class Number 50925
Bob Nowlan


English 715, Critical Theory and English Studies, will inquire into major ideas from leading contributors to the following movements in Critical Theory: New Criticism, Structuralism, Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Queer Studies, Marxism, Historicism and Cultural Studies, Postcolonial and Race Studies, and Reader Response Theory and Criticism. We will also engage recent developments in Post-Postmodernism and in The New French Philosophy represented by the likes of Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou, and François Laruelle.  We will explore connections across this range of disparate directions in, movements of, and contributors to Critical Theory, focusing on key points of convergence and divergence, with a particular emphasis on relevance for work in English Studies, past, present, and future.  We will read and make reference to select works of literature as well as, likely, from other areas and kinds of cultural production, in order to provide us with concrete sites to focus our examination of the ramifications of these ideas in Critical Theory.  Students will each write two short (conference presentation length) papers and one long (journal article length) paper.  Students will also each make one to two major class presentations, and lead class discussion in response to this presentation or presentations, as well as be responsible for persistently active and engaged contributions to class discussion.  

723: Story Writing Seminar (3 cr.)
6:00-8:45 pm M
HHH 212
Class Number 54598
B.J. Hollars

This course will provide a high-intensity writing workshop for advanced students of writing.  While students will read widely from various contemporary fiction writers, they will also be asked to produce a story suitable for in-class workshop every two weeks.  This class will engage in the “hypoxic workshop” method; a pedagogical practice that demands near-constant writing by the students in order to provide the fullest workshop experience, as well as leave students with a wide breath of writing. 

753: Studies in British & Irish Literature
Mapping Romantic Selves & Nations
6:00-8:45 pm W
HHH 313
Class Number 54599
Joel Pace

This course will examine present-day scholars’ attempts to chart the field of Romanticism (late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century literature and culture) as well as period attempts to map internal and external space.  We will begin with the Romantics’ understanding of the mind, specifically their placing emotions and cognitive faculties into separate, gendered spheres.  Moving from the internal to the international, we will then trace how this understanding of the brain's spheres led to the gendering of space in the home, nature, Britain, and the colonies.  As we plot the transatlantic coordinates of Romanticism, we will pay close attention to the way genres and literatures transform, particularly autobiography, as well as the way the Romantic “Imag-I-Nation” embroiders the representation of selfhood and nationhood through metaphors that cut across (hemi)spheres and borders (both physical and imagined).  NB: In addition to all other class assignments, graduate students are expected to do significant extra work.  This may include, for example, one of more of the following:  preparing individual research projects; writing longer, more scholarly research papers; giving class presentations; and supervising undergraduate projects.


Spring 2013 - Mixed Graduate and Undergraduate Courses:

January 22 – May 17, 2013

302/502: Teaching Writing in the Elementary and Middle School
3:30-6:15 pm M
HHH 228
Class Number 50907
Carey Applegate

English 302/502 is a writing-intensive course focused on writing theory and pedagogy in the elementary and middle school. Students will engage in multiple writing projects to develop and understand their own writing lives and the writing lives of children. We will explore creating engaging writing environments, supporting student writing processes, scaffolding student writing, integrating reading and language study into the writing classroom, writing for a variety of purposes, conferring with writing, assessing student writing, and supporting diverse and struggling writers. Each course concept will be addressed within the context of theories of literacy development of elementary and middle school students, current composition theory, and national and Wisconsin performance standards in writing and literacy. Graduate students will have the same speaking, writing, and research assignments as undergraduates, but they will be responsible for more length and depth.

305/505: Communicating Scientific Subjects to General Audiences
3:00-5:45 pm W
HHH 206
Class Number 53000
Jack Bushnell

Principles and strategies for communicating scientific subjects to non-expert readers. Students explore science’s persuasive, ethical role in society, and produce documents that reflect an understanding of the benefits of a scientifically knowledgeable public. Graduate students will take an active role as discussion leaders during class meetings.  In addition to fulfilling the undergraduate requirements in the course, they will be expected to write and present to the class a conference-quality paper on some aspect of argumentation/rhetorical/narrative theory as it applies to a problem in communicating scientific subjects to non-expert audiences. 

307/507: Editing and Publications Management
8:00-9:15 am TR
HHH 307
Class Number 50908
Ruth Cronje

Students will learn principles of editing, including the special problems encountered with technical and scientific material.  Both copyediting and substantive editing concerns will be covered, including punctuation, usage, syntax, text formatting, integration of visuals, and indexing.  Students will also consider the rhetorical implications of their editorial decisions.  Ethics and editorial/authorial rapport will be considered. Students will become familiar with both a general (Chicago) and specialized (CSE or AMA) style guide.   In addition to all other course work, graduate students will meet individually with instructor to plan an additional project.

308/508: Scientific Communication for Expert Audiences
2:00-3:15 pm TH
HHH 307
Class Number 54587
Stephanie Turner

This course introduces principles and strategies for communicating scientific material to expert audiences.  It discusses ways that scientific texts and visuals such as research reports, grants, presentations, and peer review commentaries support scientific reasoning and scientific discovery. Emphasis is on the ethical and social responsibility of scientists.

Course objectives include

  • Understand how the scientific  method is reflected in professional scientific communication
  • Understand the interdisciplinary aspects and social contexts of scientific communication
  • Identify and develop writing proficiency in the genres scientists use to communicate their knowledge to other professionals 
  • Apply the information technologies scientists use to locate published scientific and technical knowledge (e.g., discipline-specific databases, professional association websites, conference proceedings, peer-reviewed journals)
  • Learn how to work with author guidelines for scientific papers, e.g., house style, disclosure statements, and abstract preparation
  • Identify and gain mastery of some of the grammatical, usage, and mechanical issues of particular importance to scientific and technical writing
  • Understand the significance of peer review in scientific publishing and the challenges to peer review presented by digital media
  • Understand and apply the rhetorical, ethical, and legal principles involved in publishing scientific and technical knowledge
  • Develop effective presentation strategies (oral, textual, and visual) to communicate scientific and technical information   

Students enrolled for ENGL 508 credit will be required to do an additional writing assignment relevant to the course objectives.  For example, you could write an academic paper exploring a particular course topic in more detail or a research report describing a study (field or lab work) you have done. 

325/525: History of the English Language (3 cr.)
11:00-12:15 pm TH
HHH 230
Class Number 50909
Lynsey Wolter

How did English become one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world after starting as the language of one little island in Europe? Why is there a silent 'k' in know?  Why is children the plural of child?  In this course, we outline not only the fascinating cultural history of the English language, highlighting key events and figures from the 5th century to the present day, but also the intriguing linguistic history of the English language, highlighting changes in the sound system, the morphology, the syntax, and the vocabulary from Old English to Modern English. In addition to all other class assignments, graduate students are expected to do significant extra work, which may include one or more of the following: preparing individual research projects; writing longer, more scholarly projects; giving class presentations; teaching units. The specific graduate requirements will be determined through individual consultation with the instructor

410/610: Creative Writing Workshop - Poetry    (3 cr.)
3:30-6:15 pm R
HHH 212
Class Number 52977
Jon Loomis

Advanced poetry workshop which will require students to write, workshop and revise seven or eight poems, both in free verse and received forms.  Although the focus of the class will be on the workshop itself, students will also be required to read and write about at least five complete published books of poems drawn from the instructor’s reading list. Graduate students will write additional poems, lead a discussion of an assigned reading and produce a twelve-page portfolio of their revised poetry by the end of the semester.

Creative Writing Workshop - Fiction (3 cr.)
3:30-6:15 pm T
HHH 212
Class Number 50924
Allyson Loomis

Advanced fiction workshop which will require students to write, workshop and revise two short stories of length and quality.  Although the focus of the class will be on the workshop itself, students will also have to respond thoughtfully to assigned readings (short stories by Anton Chekhov, Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, J. D. Salinger, Delmore Schwarz, Isaac Bachevis Singer, and Flannery O’Connor) and will be required to hand in a series of challenging writing exercises.  

412/612: Seminar in Nonfiction Writing (3 cr.)
6:00-8:45 pm W
HHH 212
Class Number 54595
B.J. Hollars

This course will serve as an overview for the many forms of nonfiction writing available to students of the craft.  Students will read contemporary essays and essay collections that strive to blur the boundaries of the conventional form, including innovative works by Michael Martone, Lia Purpura, Eula Biss, Dinty W. Moore, among others.  Students will also craft several essays to be workshopped  in class.  In addition, graduate students will be required to write an additional essay, lead one class workshop, and submit one essay to a publication of the student’s choice.

421/621: Seminar in Linguistic Research: American Dialect Research (3 cr.)
3:30-6:15 pm M
HHH 206
Class Number 54597
Erica Benson

Regional and social dialects of American English are the focus of this seminar in which we analyze linguistic features (including phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic characteristics), examine attitudes/perceptions, and employ various research methodologies, with relevant attention to historical and social factors that play roles in these three areas. Throughout the course, we will apply knowledge of language variation and change in American English to other areas including teaching English as a native language; teaching English or another language as a second or foreign language; language use in movies/plays; etc. In addition to all other assignments, graduate students are expected to do significant extra work, which may include preparing individual assignments/projects; writing longer, more scholarly projects; giving class presentations; supervising undergraduate projects; and teaching units. Graduate students must see me by the end of the first week of classes to create a graduate course plan.

440/640: Seminar in American Literature Before 1865: Native American Literacies (3 cr.)
3:30-6:15 pm M
HHH 221
Class Number 53405
Cathy Rex

Textual production in early America was almost exclusively dominated by a single group:  educated, wealthy, Anglo males.  This is not surprising considering that leisure time, access to printing venues, and literacy were commodities denied to most early Americans who did not belong to this privileged group.  However, because of aggressive missionary efforts among the Native Americans (and the literacy requirement that accompanied conversion), many Native Americans were writing and participating in textual production during this time period.  This class will examine various Native American texts (“literacies”) that responded to and worked against the discourses of colonialism to shape a more inclusive early American identity.  Readings will include texts by William Apess, George Copway, and many of Eleazar Wheelock’s and George Eliot’s “Praying Indians.” In addition to all other class assignments, graduate students will write a longer, more scholarly research paper and a professional book review.

448/648: Seminar in American Literature Since 1865: 1950s American Literature (3 cr.)
3:30-4:45 pm MW
HHH 222
Class Number 53405
David Jones

This course explores American literature and culture of the 1950s.  This period produced a diverse body of major literary and popular texts that are both aesthetically rich and historically instructive.  Authors may include Chester Himes (If He Hollars Let Him Go), Jack Kerouac (On the Road), Grace Metalious (Peyton Place), Theodore Roethke (The Waking), and Joyce Johnson (Minor Characters).  The course touches on several literary genres (poetry, prose fiction, creative nonfiction, drama) and may include a chapter from works such as David Halberstam's The Fifties, or Tom Englehardt's The End of Victory Culture for historical background Cultural developments including civil rights, women's rights, and the emergence of modern jazz and rock and roll music may also receive attention during the course.  To supplement the undergraduate requirements, graduate students will develop a seminar paper for the course that is suitable for professional audiences, and they will complete a literature review of relevant sources that will be delivered to the class in an oral presentation.

455/655: Seminar in Scientific & Technical Communication (3 cr.)
4:00-6:45 pm W
HHH 307
Class Number 53407
Stephanie Turner

This course explores how science and technology are not neutral, but function within political, historical, and cultural contexts or “narratives”; how scientific and technical communications therefore help create those narratives; and why understanding this dynamic matters. Through a variety of critical lenses, such as actor-network theory, cultural studies, and feminist perspectives, students will investigate a current issue of their choice in communicating science and technology. In addition to the undergraduate reading and writing assignments, graduate students will be expected to carry out a more extensive research project (e.g., publishable scholarly paper, researched course syllabus with rationale, critical review of selected literature) on a current issue in communicating science and technology and present their work to the rest of the class.

459/659: Seminar in British Literature after 1790: Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forester, and the Interdisciplinary Bloomsbury Group (3 cr.)
2:00-3:15 pm MW
HHH 212
Class Number 53687
Jennifer Shaddock
In this class we will read several novels by both Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster (probably To the Lighthouse and The Waves and Howard's End and A Passage to India, respectively).  Our focus will be on how the ideas of other writers, artists and critics who generated "the liquid network" of the famous Bloomsbury group helped to shape Woolf's and Forster's views and aesthetics.  We will set these two novelists works in the context of post-expressionist painting, early twentieth-century Freudian psychology, the aesthetics movement, and modern ideas of history, economics and colonialism.  

In addition to all other class assignments, graduate students are expected to do significant extra work.  This may include, for example, one or more of the following:  preparing individual research projects; producing more or longer creative works; writing longer, more scholarly research papers or teaching units; giving class presentations; supervising undergraduate projects.

468/668: Seminar in American Ethnic Literature: The Asian American Autobiography (3 cr.)
5:00-7:45 pm W
HHH 228
Class Number 53408
David Shih
This seminar will focus on the production and reception of a literary genre known as the Asian American autobiography.  We will read and critique examples of the genre from the early twentieth century through the present day, covering works written by Jade Snow Wong, Maxine Hong Kingston, Kao Kalia Yang, and others.  As critics, we will learn about the role of the writer as well as our own roles as readers.  The literary development of the Asian American autobiography tracks a history of dominant attitudes toward racial difference in America, including present-day attitudes.  Thus our personal reading experiences will be the source of significant meanings to be interpreted as well.  Asian American autobiography asks us to consider the socially-constructed nature of our attitudes towards literature, others, and ourselves.  Graduate students will be responsible for additional research and writing responsibilities.

496/696: Seminar in Women's Literature:
Bodies out of Bounds
4:00-6:45 pm T
HHH 222
Class Number 53418
Theresa Kemp

According to Adrienne Rich in “Notes Toward a Politics of Location,” "the geography closest in" is the body. How is that geography written onto the body? In what ways do history, biology, genetics, kinship—as well as art and genre—determine what and where these boundaries are, and where they are crossed? What happens when a body resists the conventions of such mappings? What happens to bodies--and the worlds around them--when they refuse to stay within "normal" boundaries (and what is “normal” and who defines it)? When are bodies that we might otherwise consider “normal” somehow out of bounds? To begin to explore these questions, we will look at examples of fiction, drama, memoir, film, and contemporary theory. Works include Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love, Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues, Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body, Eli Claire’s Exile and Pride, Susan Gubar’s Memoir of a Debulked Woman, and Thomas Middleton’s The Roaring Girl. We will also read excerpts from Gloria Anzaldua, Susan Bordo, Dwight McBride, Jack/Judith Halberstam, and Ann Fausto Sterling. And we will view films such as Kate Davis’s Southern Comfort and Dana Shapiro’s Murderball, and look at selections of art by Frida Kahlo.

 Assignments for this course will include leading the class in a close reading/explication, frequent short response papers, and a final research project. Graduate students will be expected to produce a longer, more fully developed final project, prepare additional class presentations, and to serve as a role model for their undergraduate colleagues.


Spring 2013 – Department of Foreign Languages Course:

January 22 – May 17, 2013

FLTR 350/550 / LAS 350/550: Spanish-American Literature in Translation
9:30-10:45 am TR
HHH 384
Class Number 53628/53709
Eva Santos-Phillips

This course introduces students to Spanish-American authors and their writings in a historical and social context.  It is conducted in English.  Cross-listed with LAS 350 and FLTR 350/550. Credit may only be earned in one of these courses.

Summer 2013 – June 10-July 5, 2013

496/696: Seminar in Women's Literature - Early American Material Culture
9:00-11:50 am M-R
Cathy Rex

In early America, women of any race or class were generally prohibited from producing written texts.  This was due in part to mores against women speaking/writing publicly, time and gender restrictions placed on the “domestic” nature of women’s duties, and uneven rates of literacy among women.  This is not to say, however, that women did not produce “texts” in early America.  This class will examine a variety of texts—material and textual—produced by women, including textiles, samplers and needlepoint pieces, and other material items, as well as texts indirectly produced by women or for women, like male-recorded documents and commonplace books (keepsake, memento-type books produced by women for themselves or female friends).  In addition to all other class assignments, graduate students will write a longer, more scholarly research paper, produce an academic abstract, and create a professional, academic curriculum vita.