Fall 2019 Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions 2019 Fall

First Year Writing (FYW) 110: Preparation for College Writing (formerly ENGL 110)

Deborah Sundmacher, & Alyona Gorokhova

A writing class designed for non-native speakers of English to prepare them take FYW 150. Instruction in fundamentals of various modes of written expression, including English grammar, sentence structure, understanding the importance of audience, editing and revision. Readings are selected from both non-fiction and fiction prose. Students are required to use the Writing Center, staffed by trained peer-tutors.

Preparation course for FYW 150

First Year Writing (FYW) 115: Intro to College Writing (formerly ENGL 115)

Dennis Clausen

“Introduction to College Writing” introduces students to the writing standards and strategies they will encounter in all of their college courses, helping them to succeed at USD. It provides students with more sophisticated writing and editing strategies so they can continue to improve these skills in other academic courses. It also prepares them for the writing standards that will be required of them when they enter the business and professional communities after graduation.
Educators have known for some time that writing plays an essential role in discovering ideas, understanding their significances and relationships, and articulating them to inform and influence other people. Writing is indispensable in the various stages of our attempts to fully comprehend any subject matter or academic discipline. On a more practical level, one can argue that never before in our nation’s history has there been more demand for our universities to emphasize writing instruction in all academic courses. Many employers also test the writing skills of potential employees before hiring them. The computer age has provided all of us with more information than ever before, but we still need writers to communicate this information clearly and persuasively in our universities, businesses, and professional communities.

Preparation course for FYW 150

English 121: Composition and Literature

Joanne Spiegel

Fulfills the core curriculum requirement in lower-division written literacy for students entering USD before the Fall of 2017.  Practice in developing skills of close observation, investigation, critical analysis, and informed judgment in response to literary texts.  Students are encouraged to use the Writing Center, staffed by trained peer tutors. 

First Year Writing (FYW) 150: First Year Writing

Various Professors

Fulfills the core curriculum requirement in lower-division written literacy for students entering USD in or after the Fall of 2017. Develops skills in reading and critical analysis of multiple discourses. Develops writing within multiple discourses, and the transfer of those writing skills to multiple disciplines and occasions. Students practice the entire process for writing, from initial conception, through drafts, to revision and editing. Students are encouraged to use the Writing Center, staffed and trained by peer-tutors.

Must be taken in the first year.

English 220-01: Theatre Alive!

Cynthia Caywood

“Theatre Alive!” focuses on Western drama.  From the dark tragedies of the Greek stage to the brilliant outpourings of Shakespeare, from the innovative energy of American musicals to the daring work of England’s National Theatre, drama has given voice to the complexities, miseries and miracles of the human experience. Because plays are meant to be seen, not simply read, the course also focuses on the principles of staging, and work is linked to productions as much as possible, both live and on film.
Possible texts:  Miranda, In the Heights; Churchill, Top Girls; Kushner, Angels in America; Wilson, The Piano Lesson; Nottage, Sweat; Sondheim, Sweeney Todd; Hwang, M Butterfly; Wilder, Our Town; Washburn, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play; Euripides, Medea; and the autumn MFA and undergraduate shows.Two papers, midterm and final exam.

English 220 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor.  

English 220-02 & -03: L.A. Apocalyptic

Halina Duraj

In an essay about his love-hate relationship with Los Angeles, author Matthew Specktor writes, “I’m enthralled by Los Angeles because it’s ugly and problematic and lovely, because the bomb has already fallen on it, to some extent, and all I can do is pick my way through the ruins.” Specktor is not the only author who invokes apocalyptic disaster when writing of L.A and California in general; in fact, California is the setting for numerous works of speculative, “post-apocalyptic” literary fiction, including, Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Carolyn See’s Golden Days, Claire Vaye Watkins’s Gold Fame Citrus, Eden Lepucki’s Kalifornia, Mary Miller’s The Last Days of California, and Alice LaPlante’s Coming of Age at the End of the World. Some of these dystopias emerge from environmental disaster, others from nuclear disaster, social unrest, or religious prophecy. In this course, we’ll examine some of these novels, as well as other works that illuminate this conundrum: why is California, and especially Southern California, so often a setting for the apocalyptic imagination in literature and film? What about this place—its history, culture, economy, geography, landscape and geological features—suggests disaster? And if disaster is imminent, as these narratives suggest, what do these narratives also suggest about our power to prevent or mitigate it?

English 220 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor. 

English 220-04 & -05 On Fairy Tales

Carlton Floyd

Description coming soon!

English 220 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor. 

English 220-06: The Play's the Thing!

Jeanie Grant Moore

This course will focus on the genre of drama.  We will begin with the hilarious medieval work, The Second Shepherd’s Play (yes, it really is hilarious!), and our emphasis on early British plays will give us a foundation for exploring not only early-modern drama and Restoration comedy, but theatrical productions through the Victorian Age. We will consider each work as a product of its cultural context as well as a contributor to it, and we will pay particular attention to the role of women in each era. In addition to reading the plays, we will consider them as performance texts, as we view filmed productions or excerpts from them and at least one live performance onstage.

English 220 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor. 

English 220-07: From Realism to Rap: 20th Century American Poetry

Deniz Perin-Coombs

Poetry is finely woven into the fabric of our lives, whether we realize it or not. From prayer to song, and in between, it is often through poetry that we grow into and come to terms with life’s many trials and rewards. This course will explore the work of 20th century American poets, as well as some contemporary artists. We will read and discuss a wide range of works, starting with realist Robert Frost at the beginning of the 20th century, through to subsequent literary movements and artists spanning the last 100 years, including those who make use of oral forms, such as spoken word poets and musicians. Writing will include analytical, personal, and creative responses to the material.

English 220 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor. 

English 226-01: Talkies to Technicolor

Joseph McGowan

This course picks up where its predecessor “The Silent Era” (1888-1929) left off, in that transitional era 1928-29 when audiences encountered the early “talkies” (films with synchronous sound). Films such as Pál Fejös’s Lonesome (1928) were essentially silent films with sound interludes, and still best known for their visual achievements. Though major players such as Charlie Chaplin resisted the introduction of “talking pictures,” the tide had turned and audiences embraced the innovation. A similar initial reluctance met the introduction of various two- and three-strip “Technicolor” processes in the 1920s and 30s – paramount also was studio reluctance to foot the additional cost of color productions. Though 1939 would be a break-out year for Technicolor, with both The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, it would take some 20 years more before color film-making became the norm (for various reasons, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho [1960] was released in b/w prints – a legacy of which is the continued “atmospheric” and artistic use of b/w). As film length and screen width grew with further technological innovations (such as CinemaScope in 1953), one by-product of the increasing sophistication of the visual and auditory spectacle was the risk run by neglected plots and bad writing. In this era of “movie moguls” and imperious directors writers also, on occasion, found their place. The various iterations of Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur (novel published 1880), from the 1907 short film treatment to Fred Niblo’s 1925 silent epic to William Wyler’s 3-hour plus Technicolor masterpiece (1959), provide a guide-line to this era of film-making. We will focus in particular upon the efforts of writers, whether adaptations of popular or neglected novels or original screenplays, and the development in narrative form and style induced by the increasingly popular medium of film.

English 226 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor.  

English 226-02: Literature of WWI

Timothy Randell

The Great War (1914-1918) caused a cultural and psychic divide between those who served at the front as soldiers, medics, and nurses and those who stayed home, and the trauma it produced came to symbolize for many the advent of the modern.  Masses of people around the world experienced internal conflicts about how to define the responsibilities of class, nation, and faith. Masculine codes of chivalry were used to recruit soldiers, but the horrors of mechanized war undermined that centuries-old tradition. Motherhood became a site of contention as images of mothers were used to symbolize the nation and the reasons for fighting while real mothers were urged to send their sons to war.  We will read war poets, including Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen. We will read novels related to the war, including Henri Barbusse’s Under Fire, Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, and Max Brooks’s graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters. The course will also include the poetry, shorter fiction, political writings, reporting, and correspondence of women writers from Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Great Britain, and Italy. We will read various elements of visual culture from various nations, including recruiting posters, war memorials, and films, including Derek Jarman’s version of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, which interweaves the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead with nine poems by Wilfred Owen.

English 226 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor.  

English 226-03 & -04: Gothic Literature: Ghosts, Golems, & Gothic

Lisa Hemminger

Gothic Literature (Ghosts, Golems, and Gothic): A study of texts that feature “other-worldly” creatures and beings. Throughout history, a good ghost or monster story has positively influenced individual readers and cultures, helping them identify and overcome fear. The craft of artists that provide other worlds can also help readers discern effective passages of description, setting, tone, and conflict. We will examine a variety of texts including books, short stories, comics, graphic novels, internet urban legends, and film. Works from Stephen King, Henry James, David Wong, and others.

English 226 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor.  

English 226-50: Nature Quests

Brad Melekian

In this course, we will examine the genre of quest literature, particularly as it relates to the perceived transformative power of the natural world, and the ways in which authors have examined the interplay between the two. We will examine works that combine the tradition of literary nature writing with the tradition of quest literature, studying the perceived power of excursions into nature as a path to personal development, across fictive and non-fictive genres. Questions central to this course: What role has the natural world traditionally played in identity formation (i.e. in the case of Thoreau)? What states drive people to such quests? What questions do such seekers hope that solitary nature experiences will answer? How does the literature that arises from such experiences lead to a better understanding of self, or, conversely, destroy the concept of self? How does the solitary quest into an often harsh and uncaring natural environment force contemplation? We will read works ranging from Henry David Thoreau's account of a solitary life in Walden to Jon Krakauer's journalistic investigation of the life of Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild to Robyn Davidson’s Tracks.

Section 50 is Preceptorial only.
English 226 meets the core literature requirement in both the old and new core and counts towards the English major or minor.  

 

 

 

English 230-01 & -02: Studies in U.S. Literature

Irene Williams

Reading, thinking, writing, talking, listening, questioning—choose the challenges and pleasures of working with complex literary texts.   We will begin with Emerson, critically examining his doctrine of self-reliant individualism.  Then Thoreau—self-righteous and moralizing, thirsting for the sublime.  Other likely readings include Douglass (essays and speeches), Whitman, Hawthorne, Stein, Freeman, Faulkner, Baldwin, Morrison.  Reading and re-reading, writing and re-writing, active participation expected.  Independent thinkers welcome.

Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice. ELTI, FDD1.

 

English 230H-03: Native American Literature

Sr. Mary Hotz

In this course we will read and study novels written by Native Americans about Native American experiences. To deeply appreciate and understand Indian cultures at the heart of these novels, some basic knowledge of the tribal histories and mythologies, in addition to crucial moments of Native American history of the last two centuries, will be necessary. Such moments and historical fact figure prominently in Native American novels and inform the actions of the characters within the works we will read this semester. The reading material for the course is structured around what Paula Gunn Allen has termed “the three waves in Native American literature (“Introduction,” Song of the Turtle, 3-17). The first wave of Native fiction (Welch) deals with issues of recovery and identity engendered by the long war and the reservation era. Beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the second wave of Native literature (Silko) focuses on a sense of renewal and home, a reassertion of Native identity and the incorporation of ritual elements drawn from the ceremonial traditions. Third-wave fiction (Power, Erdrich, and Diaz) seeks to articulate Native American identity as constituted by “inclusion, incorporation and transformation of alien elements into elements of ceremonial significance” (Allen 13). Satisfies ELTI and FDD1.

Honors only. Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice. ELTI, FDD1.

English 230-04: Bodies of Knowledge: Representations of Bodies in U.S. Literature

Rachel Oriol

Literary representations of bodies are fundamental to understanding the way knowledge is created, archived, and passed on. We may read authors like Nella Larsen, Cormac McCarthy, Ana Castillo, and Carmen Maria Machado (among others) who use bodies to engage in themes like disability, beauty, gender, death, and race. We will study how language about bodies contributes to social and historical knowledge of who is – and who is not – allowed to belong in the United States.

Fulfills Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice. ELTI, FDD1.

 

English 236-01: Studies in World Literature

Lisa Smith

Readings in some period or aspect of literature outside England and the United States. Works not originally in English will be read in translation.

ELTI

English 236-02: Studies in World Literature

Vivienne MacAdam

Readings in some period or aspect of literature outside England and the United States. Works not originally in English will be read in translation.

ELTI

English 236-03: Contemporary World Literature

Joanne Spiegel

This course will be filled with fresh, interesting contemporary writers. Because the world is changing so rapidly, both socially and politically, new, young writers who are interested in exploring these changes are emerging from all over the globe.  If you take this class, you can expect a diverse array of voices, many of whom are asking provocative questions about the world. The reading list will include both comic and serious fiction and possibly some genre fiction including one graphic novel.  We will read literature from Japan, Pakistan, Africa, India and several other countries. Together we’ll explore what makes the books exciting aesthetically and thematically and how the stories reflect the changing face of the world. 

ELTI

English 236-04: Literature of the Global Middle Ages

Paul Evans

The theme for this course will be the literature of the Global Middle Ages, understood in the broadest possible sense as a between-time after the classical civilizations of antiquity and modern times. We will be reading English translations of texts by authors from North Africa to Iceland to Japan and beyond, including Augustine's ConfessionsNjal's Saga, Dante's Inferno, and Chūshingura (the story of the forty-seven rōnin). Reading these texts presents a unique opportunity to encounter people from vanished worlds and to discover the ways in which they are both more and less like ourselves than we imagine.

ELTI

English 240-01: Shakespeare

Maura Giles-Watson

In this course, participants will learn about the language, drama, and poetry of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), and about the historical contexts and contemporary controversies surrounding Shakespeare’s work. Toward these goals, we will read, analyze, and discuss plays from each of the Shakespearean dramatic genres: comedy, tragedy, history play, 'problem play,' and romance. Course participants will perform ‘table readings’ and ‘walking read-throughs’ of selected scenes as well, and we will also read, analyze, and discuss approximately 30 of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets. We will study Shakespeare’s works within the Renaissance literary, theatrical, cultural, print, political, and religious contexts that contribute so much to our appreciation and understanding of these plays and poems even now, more than four centuries after their first performances and publications. In addition, we will analyze contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, and we will discuss the pressing issues of gender, power, race, ambition, injustice, and violence that frequently emerge in Shakespeare’s work. We will particularly endeavor to critique Shakespeare’s representations of socially marginalized people at the dawn of early modern Europe’s exploitative encounters with the indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas.

This course will satisfy the Shakespeare requirement in the old Major, and count as a lower division elective in the new Major.

 

English 240-51: Shakespeare

Jeanie Grant Moore

Shakespeare 240 is part of the LLC Collaborate theme, which focuses on civic engagement. The event of a play actually creates civic engagement, since in a public gathering theatre may do much more than entertain: it often presents relevant cultural concerns and challenges the status quo of the dominant society. Shakespeare’s plays, comic or tragic, nearly always stage significant social issues that remain significant problems in present-day society. For example in Much Ado About Nothing, the false accusation of one young woman affects her, her relationship, her family, and her whole community. We will ask the question, “To what extent does placing unwarranted blame on a female still exist today, in what forms, and to what effect on our society as a whole”?  Also, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice presents a view of a prejudiced social order that ghettoized Jews and sometimes demonized them. The recent novel by Howard Jacobson, Shylock is My Name, brings these issues into a 21st-century setting, where Antisemitism still exists. Looking at these and other plays in their own historical context will provide some interesting parallels with our present-day social order.

Section 51 is LLC only.
This course will satisfy the Shakespeare requirement in the old Major, and count as a lower division elective in the new Major.

 

English 244-01: The Alcala Review

Malachi Black

Founded in Fall 2015, The Alcalá Review is one of USD’s leading Digital Humanities initiatives and serves as USD’s premier publication venue for undergraduate creative work—in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, photography, art, and beyond—while maintaining an active editorial, events, and print production schedule. This course, designed to satisfy Literary Inquiry in the Core curriculum, is aimed at students with a general or specific interest in literature, the arts, creative writing, and/or literary publishing, and it allows students to participate in the alternately expressive, scholarly, and practical work associated with the publication of The Alcalá Review. The diversity of the journal’s content is reflected in the diversity of our engagements: from close reading exemplary literary texts and taking related excursions through literary history to creative writing and analytical peer critique; evaluating, generating, and editing journal submissions; creative workshops; event planning and promotion; creative performance; and print and web design. By pursuing these ends, this course hopes to enlarge undergraduate research activity at USD while equipping students with array of analytical, creative, and practical skills translatable both to future coursework and to the workplace.

ELTI.

English 250-01: Literary Foundations

Abe Stoll

A survey of some of the major early works that form the foundations of the study of English literature. Selections from authors such as Sophocles, Virgil, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, and Woolf. This course fulfills the English major requirement, as well as Core for Literary Inquiry.

Note: This course is required for the new major, but students continuing in the old major are welcome to take it as a lower-division elective. It also fulfills the Core Literary Inquiry requirement.

English 250-02 & -03: Literary Foundations

Stefan Vander Elst

This course has two goals. On the one hand, it will introduce you to some important periods and movements in English literature between ca. 850 and 1850, ranging from Anglo-Saxon alliterative poetry, to Elizabethan theatre, and the Gothic novel. On the other, it will analyze how these have described heroism, villainy, and the monstrous, why they have done so, and how concepts of good and bad, human and non-human, have evolved over time. English 250 aims to provide an introductory survey of English literature ca. 850 – 1850 which can serve as a foundation for further study both within and outside the English department. It also aims to discuss how earlier periods defined ethical categories, and how they established the limits of the human. Texts may include: Beowulf; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus; William Shakespeare, Othello; John Milton, Paradise Lost; Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver’s Travels; and Mary Shelley, Frankenstein: The 1818 Text.

Note: This course is required for the new major, but students continuing in the old major are welcome to take it as a lower-division elective. It also fulfills the Core Literary Inquiry requirement.

English 260-01: Atlantic Sounds: Canon and Counter-Canon

Atreyee Phukan

Treating literary texts as “sounds” of exchange across the Atlantic, students in this course will theorize the relationship between the European “literary canon” and the study of literature as a discipline. We will as well trace the emergence of a “counter-canon” by writers from the post-colonial global south, specifically the Caribbean, South Asia, and Africa, whose works are a radical recycling of forms and themes from the traditional canon. Enrollment restricted to English majors and minors only.

Required for new Major.  Counts as lower division elective in the old Major.

English 292: Southeast San Diego Tutoring Project

Timothy Randell

This is a ten-week course/internship during which you will tutor children in a local elementary or middle school in basic reading, writing, and math (depending on your assigned teacher/class). You will work at the school to which you are assigned with a teacher who will structure your activities with the children. Each week you will write a short journal to reflect on your experiences concerning a specific element of the school, your pupils, and other experiences concerning lesson plans or the learning environment (see the attached journal assignment sheet for specific topics). You will turn in the journal assignments periodically throughout the semester (not once a week or all at once at the end of the semester) to ensure accurate, unhurried, and thoughtful reflection. Tutors may commit to 3, 6, or 9 hours of tutoring per week (for 1, 2, or 3 academic credits per semester, respectively), and the course may be taken more than once (as often as tutors wish) to accommodate academic needs and time schedules.

The course counts as academic credit in an English elective. Lower Division students register for English 292, and Upper Division students register for English 492 (formerly ENGL 298 & 498)

English 301-01: Intro to Creative Writing (formerly ENGL 375)

Deniz Perin-Coombs

This course is geared to a disciplined learning and honing of the writing craft. To that end, students will read, write, revise, and think deeply about many works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. There are four main components to the course: reading, writing, workshop, and revision. 1) Students will read published works, giving them sincere thought, and preparing to discuss them in class. 2) Students will write several poems, at least one memoir, and one or more fictional work(s), as well as keep a daily “observatory,” or observations journal and do several prompted writings. 3) This course is also a workshop: students will thoughtfully read the work of peers, offering helpful, detailed feedback on their pieces. 4) An essential part of the writing process is to revise. At the end of the semester, final portfolios will include revisions of every workshopped piece. Last but not least, students will be expected to attend the Cropper Memorial Writers Series readings/events that take place on campus this semester. This course runs on the understanding that every registered student has a sincere desire to be a creative writer—or to explore the craft in new ways—and is dedicated to the work and time necessary to move toward that goal.

English 301-02: Intro to Creative Writing (formerly ENGL 375)

Adam Veal

This course is an introduction to three genres: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.  We will learn some conventions and rules for each genre, as well as how to buck those conventions and rules through experimentation.  This course is also an introduction to the workshop method of critique.  Learning how to workshop teaches students the basic terminology and methods of offering constructive critique in a community setting.  Because so much of this class will focus on building community, discussion, and in-class writing exercises, attendance in this class is mandatory.  Students will be expected to produce two revised and polished pieces in each genre by the end of the semester.  Students will also be expected to participate in a classroom Halloween reading.

English 304-01: Advanced Composition: Writing Autobiography

Fred Robinson

Our purpose is to learn how to write active, analytical, descriptive, structured prose through writing about a complex subject that you know a great deal about, more than anyone else: your life so far.  This is not a course in learning how to write an autobiography, nor in studying the genre, but in advanced composition.  The course will be run as a workshop, with students reading their work aloud.  A few autobiographical essays will be discussed.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits.

English 304-02: Advanced Composition

Timothy Randell

This course offers intensive practice in active reading, critical thinking, and close analyses of texts and writing within various rhetorical situations, genres, and discourse communities.  The course highlights academic skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  It emphasizes an understanding of what Wayne Booth calls “the rhetorical stance,” which includes “discovering and maintaining in any writing situation a proper balance” among three aspects of the communicative process:  “the available arguments about the subject itself;  the interests and peculiarities of the audience; and the voice (the implied character) of the speaker.”  This course asks students to consider how different audiences and contexts shape the rhetorical situation.  We will analyze texts from popular culture in class to explore ideas related to the assignments, and you will research examples of popular culture on your own as part of your writing projects.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 304W-03: Advanced Composition

Vivienne MacAdam

A workshop course in the writing of expository, descriptive, and critical prose. This course is designed to fulfill the upper division written literacy requirement for non-English majors; it will fulfill an upper division elective for English majors.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 304W-04: Advanced Composition

Lisa Hemminger

A workshop course in the writing of expository, descriptive, and critical prose. This course is designed to fulfill the upper-division written literacy requirement for non-English majors; it will fulfill an upper-division elective for English majors.

Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 304-70: Advanced Composition

Lisa Smith

A workshop course in the writing of expository, descriptive, and critical prose. This course is designed to fulfill the upper-division written literacy requirement for non-English majors; it will fulfill an upper-division elective for English majors.

Section 70 is TLC only. Fulfills core requirement for Advanced Writing only for non-English majors.  May be taken by English majors for upper division elective credits

English 315-01: Literary Periods

Sara Hasselbach

Focuses on literary periods and movements. Emphasis on: literature across time; literature in historical contexts; foundational texts in conversation with past or contemporary works. Attention given to diversity.

Satisfies the Literary Histories requirement of the new English major. Counts as an upper-division elective for the old major.

English 329-01: Baldwin & Faulkner

Irene Williams

We will be studying mid-twentieth century fiction and essays by James Baldwin and William Faulkner, two men for whom writing was breath. Their literature dramatizes the terrors of U.S. race history before most Americans could have imagined that a person of color would ever become the president of the United States. Their gifts of literary expression; their stridency and conviction; the pressing urgency of their personal, political, and cultural concerns—these combine on the page to thrill and chill their readers. Inevitably, readers recognize the persistence into our own time of institutionalized racism, racism that continues to infect how we see, think, and feel; that continues to scar, maim, and kill.  Reading these works you will also learn how stories are written and arguments made; and how people may be formed and frozen emotionally and intellectually by the world into which they were born.  Readings include a novel, short stories, and miscellaneous prose by Faulkner; essays and fiction by Baldwin; and scholarly and critical responses to their literature.

English 329 satisfies the Literary Cultures and Theories requirement in the new major. Counts as an upper-division elective for the old major.

English 331-01: Women Writers of the Middle Ages

Stefan Vander Elst

This course will discuss the works of Western European women writers and thinkers in the period between the tenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. This course will discuss the works of women writers and thinkers in the Western European Middle Ages.  Often marginalized and even ridiculed by the dominant male intellectual community, women nevertheless made important contributions to literature, science and philosophy. We will investigate how female intellectual discourse – both sacred and profane – could still flourish in a hostile environment. We will furthermore study the way women described their position within society, and discuss the unique ways women furthered their intellectual development.

Counts as an upper-division elective in both the old and new major. Satisfies the pre-1660 requirement of the old English major.

 

English 331-02: Norse Myth

Joseph McGowan

This course will examine Nordic mythology by primary texts – Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda corpus of mythological verse, select sagas, and Runic and other inscriptions – and the comparative method in the context of broader Germanic and Indo-European mythology. A number of ‘mythological complexes’ will be investigated: the ‘war of the gods,’ cosmogony and cosmology, etiology (Ragnarok), the assignment of roles to the various gods (and their connection to fate, life and death, occupations, meteorological phenomena), harvest rituals, healing roles and rituals, magic, and the patronage and friendships roles með goðum ok mönnum (‘with gods and men’). In doing so we will look at the various moments in the development of the mythological complexes: the early proto-/common Germanic world in contact with the Roman Empire, early Anglo-Saxon England with its pagan and Christian cultures in contact and competition, and Viking Age Scandinavia.

Satisfies one of the two the ‘Literary Histories’ requirements of the new English major and the pre-1660 requirement of the old English major.

English 335-01: Renaissance Drama: Shakespeare's Frenemies

Maura Giles-Watson

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a ‘frenemy’ as “a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.” By this definition, Shakespeare certainly had his share of frenemies. In fact, in the late 16th and early 17th century, a number of playwrights wrote excellent dramatic works for the commercial stages in London’s lively theatre scene. Shakespeare both collaborated and competed with these playwrights, some of whom satirized and even bitterly criticized their increasingly famous rival. In this course, we will read, discuss, write about, and perform scenes from some of the best plays—comedies and tragedies—written by Shakespeare’s best frenemies, including Robert Greene, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and Christopher Marlowe (before he was killed in a bar fight). In the process, we will study the dramatic culture of Elizabethan and Jacobean London as well as the economy and ecosystem of the London professional theatre, a then-new commercial enterprise that made the "upstart crow"* a very wealthy man indeed (*Robert Greene's term of abuse for William Shakespeare). Each of the plays we read will be paired with a short theoretical reading to encourage students to use a range of critical approaches to exploring these English Renaissance plays.

Satisfies one of the two the ‘Literary Histories’ requirements of the new English major and the pre-1660 requirement of the old English major. ELTI.

English 338-01: Milton

Abe Stoll

He rewrote the Bible, advocated cutting off the king’s head, argued eloquently for a free press and for the freedom to divorce – and yet Milton still made it into the center of the English canon. We will devote the semester to Milton’s uncommon career, both his poetry and his prose. We will begin anachronistically, with Paradise Lost. Then we will follow Milton’s progression from college-age poet to political polemicist to the blind man who wrote his greatest works.

English 352-01: U.S. Literature to 1900

Dennis Clausen

This class will analyze the development of American fiction and poetry from the beginnings to 1900. The emphasis will be on poems, short stories and novels, although occasional films and essays will also be used to reinforce major themes and issues in the course. Various interdisciplinary approaches—especially from history, philosophy and art history—will be used to give students a broader sense of the development of the history of ideas that provides the foundation for American literature.
The course will focus on various tensions that develop early in our nation’s history, and how they are reflected in our art, culture and literature. The course will also address the technical development of the American short story, novel and poetry as works of art.
The primary goal of English 352 (“U. S. Literature to 1900”) is to help students create interdisciplinary connections between American cultural, historical, philosophical, and literary traditions during the nineteenth century. Another goal is to help students develop a more sophisticated understanding of voice, point of view, structure, and other techniques that shape all literary genres. Assessment of students’ growth will be based on weekly in-class written responses to assigned readings, a 3-hour midterm exam, a 2 ½ hour final exam, and a 15-16 page course paper with 2 required hand-edited rough drafts. Students who take English 352 will be able to identify and discuss the rich history of ideas that connects literary texts to other academic disciplines. Students will also be able to identify and articulate more intelligent insights into the literary techniques and themes that shape American literature to 1900. These goals and outcomes can be summarized:
1) Employ critical reading as an effective basis of literary inquiry, through close reading of literary form and discourse, and through engagement with literary contexts.
2) Employ a strong understanding of the contexts of literature as a basis of literary inquiry. These contexts include: the influences of culture, race, and gender; genre, literary traditions, and historical periods; literary production, and the insights of literary theories.
3) Develop strong writing skills relevant to literary inquiry. These skills include clear expression and sound mechanics, and are productive of critical insight. They can be practiced in creative writing, research, and critical argument.
     
Satisfies Literary Inquiry in the new Core.
 

English 358-70: Staging America

Cynthia Caywood

The course examines how our theatres have staged the idea of America and what it means to be American. We will examine plays about both American dream and the American nightmare and consider their political, historical and cultural contexts. We will also study the elements of drama to understand them generically and as performances. We will have guest speakers, and see several productions on film.
Possible texts:  August Wilson, Fences; Tony Kushner, Angels in America; David Henry Hwang, Yellowface; Stephen Sondheim, Assassins; Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman; Lin Manuel Miranda, In the Heights; Lynn Nottage, Sweat; Luis Valdez, Zoot Suit. Two papers, midterm, final, and integration project.

TLC Preceptorial only. It meets the core requirements of: Literary Integration; Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Level 1; and First Year Integration.  CINL, ELTI, FDD1.

English 358-71: Indigenous Literatures & Rhetorics

M. Amanda Moulder

Students in this course will study Indigenous writing against the dehumanizing “vanishing race” and “noble savage” stereotypes by reading Indigenous texts from decolonial critical perspectives. We will study the political and cultural histories of different Indigenous nations, which will help us understand the various exigencies that moved writers to compose autobiographies, speeches, novels, poems, petitions, and letters. We will explore the techniques, devices, and conventions that Indigenous peoples have used and continue to use to build relationships, engage in cross-cultural encounters, and affirm Indigenous sovereignty. 

TLC Preceptorial only. It meets the core requirements of: Literary Integration; Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Level 1; and First Year Integration. CINL, ELTI, FDD1.

 

English 358-72: Contemporary Ethnic Dystopias

Jason Crum

This course will examine late 20th & early 21st Century Ethnic Dystopian fiction and popular culture in the United States. Our sources for this cultural studies course will be varied and will include recent trends in literature, film, digital storytelling, graphic novels, & video games. We will trace the development of imaginings and re-imaginings of utopia, their exclusions and gaps, and seek to examine how ethnic and racial minorities in the United States have contested such ideas as utopia/dystopia, class, race, gender, & sexuality. Readings will include works such as Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, Samuel Delany’s Trouble on Triton, Nedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Cynthia Khodata’s In the Heart of the Valley of Love. We will also turn to and look analytically at the political, social, and economic climate that allows for the portrayal of ethnicity in recent pop culture titles such as Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men and video game productions such as Bioshock: Infinite.

TLC Preceptorial only. It meets the core requirements of: Literary Integration; Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Level 1; and First Year Integration. CINL, ELTI, FDD1.

English 358-73: Pronouns & Protests

Atreyee Phukan

This course uses the conceptual framework of “spoken word”—performance, word play, and improvisation—to assess the special role of pronouns in fiction, from the slave narrative, post-colonial bildungsroman, to the graphic novel. We will study how a writer’s fictional I or you is a performative gesture in breaking walls between text and audience, thus strategically inviting the reader into new and otherwise unfamiliar imaginative worlds. We will focus on mostly world literature and engage specifically with the aesthetics of participatory reading, a kind of close-reading that attends to the deep interconnections between literary structure, political protest, and reader response. In addition, we will incorporate theoretical writings (including, but not limited to, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Gloria Anzaldua, and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o) on literary expression and production, culture and resistance, and the post-colonial diaspora. These will provide important historical, cultural, and political contexts so as to deepen our analysis of the literature and the writer’s world. By integrating these multiple perspectives and disciplinary approaches, we will acquire a vocabulary and conceptual framework to guide our semester-long inquiries into how genre and narrative strategies are employed in the art of story-telling. Writers include Mary Prince, Aphra Behn, Jamaica Kincaid, Junot Diaz, J.M. Coetzee, and Mohsin Hamid.

TLC Preceptorial only. It meets the core requirements of: Literary Integration; Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice, Level 1; and First Year Integration. CINL, ELTI, FDD1.

English 364-01: Global Literature & Culture

Rachel Oriol

Engaging with issues of social justice within a global context, this course examines literature and other cultural forms and media (including dance, film, and photography) from various geographical regions that could include Africa, South Asia, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We may read works by Manuel Puig, Marjane Satrapi, Michael Ondaatje, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, and Nadine Gordimer, among others. From these themes, we will investigate the ways in which movement – across borders, over time, and through bodies – influences our understandings of the human interaction.

ELTI, FDG2.

English 370-01: Futures Present

Carlton Floyd
Description coming soon!

English 372-01: Film Noir

Fred Robinson

A study of a style of film that emerged, in the U.S. of the 1940s, from the experience and aftermath of war.  It is marked by crime and by the attempt to “solve” it in a time of moral disequilibrium, with its persistent instability, blurred boundaries, and ambiguous characters, all wrapped in a shadow atmosphere.  We will note the origins of noir in German Expressionist film and touch on recent examples of the style, but our focus will be on the world and style of the1940s: conflicted, tough-guy cops, detectives and villains, dark cities, and women who will either kiss or shoot you, or both.  We will also study the cinematic ways in which this world is evoked: shifting points of view, sharp angles and unsteady framing, low lighting and deep focus, and, of course, night.  Students should realize that most of the films will be in black and white.
Films (subject to change) The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Killers, Nightmare Alley, Out of the Past, The Third Man (British), The Lady from Shanghai, The Night of the Hunter, Elevator to the Gallows (French), Kiss Me Deadly, Chinatown, The Attack (Lebanese), Tell No One (French).

English 377-01: Development of the English Language

Joseph McGowan

This course will trace the origins and historical development of the English language from its Indo-European roots to contemporary dialects of American English and varieties of World English.  By the end of the course students will have mastered the fundamentals of language analysis and introductory linguistics and developed the ability to describe and analyze language and language varieties. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics of current American English, with additional emphases upon dialectology, language change, and theories of language acquisition.

English 381-01: Intermediate Poetry Writing

Malachi Black

This course is designed to serve as an immersion in the study and practice of poetry. With both study and practice in mind, participants will divide their attention between reading, thinking about, writing about, composing, and revising poems. We will begin by elaborating critical foundational notions concerning the nature and components of poetic discourse, and will operate under two general assumptions: (1) that the medium of poetry is subgenre of literary fiction, and (2) that poetry’s existence is formed and in effect defined by the presence of one or more features of rhetorical and/or musical activity. While these features are too numerous to be exhaustively or even comprehensively defined within the limits of a single semester, we will nevertheless proceed by dedicating each week to the examination and habitation of a different major category of poetic exercise with the express purpose of developing deeper intimacy with poetic technique and possibility. Our specific areas of focus will include both discrete (non-repetitive) and repetitive elements of style and method. Among these will be: evocation; imagery (both literal and figurative); disjunction and lyrical procedure; diction, tone, and voice; personae and personification; rhythmic and musical effects; repetition of words, phrases, and lines; syntax; and lineation. Through regular engagement with exemplary texts from a wide range of living and dead writers, we will also interrogate a series of poetic forms—e.g., the couplet, the stanza, the sonnet, blank verse, the villanelle, and the prose poem—and poetic genres such as the dramatic monologue, the ode, and the elegy.  In short, we will be attending to how poems work, considering their families and varieties, and then using that knowledge to compose and revise new poems. Each class meeting after the first will be split between seminar and workshop discussions. Students should budget for printing and/or photocopying.

Prerequisite: Engl 301 Intro to Creative Writing (formerly Engl 375)

English 382-01: Intermediate Fiction Writing

Halina Duraj

In this course we will read and write short stories to examine how literary fiction— published or in-progress—achieves its unique, emotional and technical effects. Students will read and present on published stories (about robot boyfriends, zombie aunts, morally conflicted pillaging Vikings, and drug-addled emergency room orderlies--to name a few), building on foundations established in ENGL 301 and deepening our understanding of authors’ craft tools. Students will also experiment with weekly prompts to generate their own stories. In the first half of the semester, “workshop” will mean we read each other’s experiments for what Alice LaPlante calls “hot spots”—areas of energetic excitement and mystery deserving deeper exploration, and we’ll ask questions and make observations that help the writer clarify her vision of the story as it takes shape. In the second half of the semester, “workshop” will mean revisiting your experiments as more fully developed drafts with an eye toward concision, precision, and constantly evolving principles of the short story. ENGL 301 is the prerequisite for this course.

Prerequisite: Engl 301 Intro to Creative Writing (formerly Engl 375)

English 383-01: Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing

Bradley Melekian

In this Intermediate Creative Nonfiction Writing course, students will generate works of creative nonfiction, ranging from the memoir to the personal essay to nonfiction feature writing. We will explore the genre of narrative nonfiction—that is, nonfiction subjects written with fictional techniques. We will approach this course with the understanding that good writing is the culmination of serious thinking, heartfelt conviction, diligent work and a commitment to rewriting, reshaping, rethinking. Our understanding will further be that learning to write seriously, originally and creatively—which must be the goal of every student enrolled in this course—is an instruction in process. To that end, students will read landmark works of nonfiction from writers like Baldwin, Didion, McPhee, Mailer, Capote, Wolfe, Talese, Dillard and others to explore the ways in which the genre has developed and changed, and to consider how the best nonfiction writing goes beyond factual reporting to access truths about the human experience.  Students will be expected to generate original writing each week, to read and critique the work of their classmates, to read and discuss exemplary works of the genre, to workshop (read aloud) their work and to consider the artful pairing of factual experience with creative writing.

Prerequisite: Engl 301 Intro to Creative Writing (formerly Engl 375)

English 410-01: Advanced Writing in the English Major: Victorian Studies

Sr. Mary Hotz

We will explore the literary history of the Victorian era as an expression of (and participant in) broader political, cultural, and intellectual developments of this crucial period. Drawing on readings from a wide range of forms, genres and disciplines, we will examine several quintessentially Victorian issues and describe the ways these issues make themselves felt within literary texts. In particular, the relationship of Victorian culture to social relations will be a primary focus for the course. Further, we will analyze and write about Victorian literature through a variety of aesthetic, ideological and theoretical approaches. Analyses of literary criticism invite students both to formulate and assess the arguments of others and to present their own questions and answers about the literature under discussion.
This is also an Advanced Writing course, fulfilling your Core requirement (and required of all English majors). We will be working on the process of writing advanced literary essays. This endeavor involves developing organizational skills and research skills as well as engaging with Victorian literature through criticism.

English Majors & Minors only. Fulfills CADW (Advanced Writing Competency), and fulfills the W requirement for students in the old Major.

English 492: Southeast San Diego Tutoring Program

Timothy Randell

This is a ten-week course/internship during which you will tutor children in a local elementary or middle school in basic reading, writing, and math (depending on your assigned teacher/class). You will work at the school to which you are assigned with a teacher who will structure your activities with the children. Each week you will write a short journal to reflect on your experiences concerning a specific element of the school, your pupils, and other experiences concerning lesson plans or the learning environment (see the attached journal assignment sheet for specific topics). You will turn in the journal assignments periodically throughout the semester (not once a week or all at once at the end of the semester) to ensure accurate, unhurried, and thoughtful reflection. Tutors may commit to 3, 6, or 9 hours of tutoring per week (for 1, 2, or 3 academic credits per semester, respectively), and the course may be taken more than once (as often as tutors wish) to accommodate academic needs and time schedules.

The course counts as academic credit in an English elective. Lower Division students register for English 292, and Upper Division students register for English 492. (formerly ENGL 298/498)

English 493: Writing Center Tutors

Deborah Sundmacher

Theory and practice for Writing Center tutors. Consent of Writing Center director required.

English 495-01: Senior Project

Maura Giles-Watson

Are you thinking about going to graduate school? Or, maybe you want to get a good job when you graduate from USD? Whatever your future plans, Senior Project is for you!
In Senior Project, English majors and minors design, develop, and complete individual research projects on topics of their own choosing. Concretely, the Senior Project course offers you the opportunity to

  • develop transferable skills in research, writing, presentation, and critical thinking;
  • deepen and refine your knowledge of a topic of special interest to you;
  • integrate interdisciplinary approaches and knowledge in your research and writing;
  • learn vital project management skills essential for success in both graduate school and career;
  • use new digital tools for collaboration and for performing and sharing research;
  • present your work-in-progress at the Senior Project Conference on November 21, 2019;
  • participate in USD’s annual Creative Collaborations undergraduate research conference in April 2020.

Students will complete Senior Project with a substantial piece of writing that can serve as a graduate school writing sample and/or be used to demonstrate to prospective employers your advanced thinking, research, and writing skills as well as qualities such as diligence, perseverance, organization, clarity, and creativity that are highly valued in professional work and in graduate school.

English Majors & Minors only.

 

English 496-01: The Alcalá Review

Malachi Black

Reserved for active members of the editorial staff of the Alcalá Review only, this course serves as a practicum in literary magazine editing, concentrating on the strategies, activities, and procedures associated with all facets of managing, planning, and publishing a literary periodical.

1-Unit Internship; Instructor Approval required. 

English 496-02: The Tudor Plays Project

Maura Giles-Watson

The Tudor Plays Project is a 1-credit Digital Humanities research project and creative activity that develops new Internet resources for the study and performance of earlier Tudor drama (before Shakespeare), especially the ​​comic plays​ ​written and ​performed at the court of Henry VIII. These​ ​​digital​​ ​resources are then published at tudorplays.org. Permission of instructor is required for registration. If you are interested in participating (whether for credit or not), contact​​ ​Maura Giles-Watson (mgileswatson@sandiego.edu). 
Meetings occur in the​ Digital Humanities Studio, Humanities Center (Serra 200); meeting times TBD by participants' availability.