Fall 2015 Course Offerings

Preview Fall 2015's course offerings -- read the descriptions. Courses appear in numerical order. 

ENGL 200.01 : Introduction to the English Major
T: 12:30 –1:45
CRN 81355

This required one-hour course provides an introduction to the major and an opportunity for you to meet your peers and a number of faculty and staff. During the course of the semester, you will be introduced to various opportunities for study in the major, as well as encouraged to consider what you might do with your major and how to get where you want to be at the end of your time at Western.  We will consider employment opportunities and plan a possible route through the English classes you will take during the next two and a half years.  You should leave this course with an understanding of the parameters of your chosen field, with a plan for how you will pursue your goals at Western, and with ideas about the ways you can pursue your goals after you are graduated.

ENGL 206.01:  Literature of Place
MWF 9:05-9:55
CRN 82020


This class will be a survey of the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction works from the Southern Appalachian region.  We will also explore music, photography, and film relating to Appalachia.  In addition to reading two novels plus a variety of other readings, students will complete a research project relating to Sheila Kay Adams's My Old True Love and one more writing assignment.  Students wil complete discussion list postings for each class.

ENGL 207.01:  Popular Literature and Culture
MWF 12:20-1:10
CRN 80941

The Many Lives of Elizabeth Bennet: Jane Austen in Contemporary American Culture

In this course we will explore the continuing interest in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. By looking at recent adaptations, revisions, sequels, appropriations, etc. we will consider why a novel published in 1813 still resonates with modern audiences and why Jane Austen herself still enjoys such an active fan base. This “case study” will allow us to question notions of the popular, fandom, and participation in culture, as well as helping us to work out a context to explain Austen’s 21st Century appeal. Students will be asked to employ the methods of the fan culture in order to see how participation provides new insights into the original and allows us to re-envision it to serve our own cultural moment. Readings include Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Paula Marantz Cohen’s Jane Austen in Boca. P. D James’s I and Seth Graham-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Films include Pride & Prejudice (1940), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Bridget Jones’ Diary, Bride & Prejudice, Lost in Austen and The Jane Austen Book Club.

ENGL 207.02:  Popular Literature and Culture—Monsters!
MWF 1:25-2:15
CRN 81944

When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, then, a monster,
a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?

Shelley, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus

If we find monsters in our world, it is sometimes because they are really there and
sometimes because we have brought them with us.

Asma, Stephen T. On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears

This section of Engl 207 will examine monsters and the monstrous in popular lit-erature and culture: Do they lurk under the bed? Are they hiding in the closet? Or are they staring back at us when we look in the mirror?

Scientists still search Loch Ness for Nessie and the American Northwest for Big-foot. Sherpas in the Himalayas still insist on the reality of the Yeti, the Abomina-ble Snowman. What fuels our fascination with monsters?
We’ll begin with classic monsters in Frankenstein and Dracula; then work our way forward to monsters we face today in fiction and film.

This course earns P4 Liberal Studies Humanities credit.

NGL 209.01:  Past Times: Literature and History—Medieval
TR 12:30-1:45
CRN 81288

This course will explore the relationship between historical/cultural context and literary production in late medieval European literature (primarily English, French, and Italian).  Readings may include excerpts from the Decameron, Romance of the Rose, the Canterbury Tales, the Inferno, medieval romances, legal/historical documents, Chretien de Troyes, and other literary and historical works.  In particular, the course will focus on how personal and political ideals are socially constructed within their historical context (gender/sexuality, ideal rule, devotion/spirituality, etc.). 

ENGL 240.01: Research, Literary Criticism & British Literature
TR 9:30–10:45
CRN 81397

Survey of British literature with a particular emphasis on learning research skills as well as how to incorporate outside sources and literary criticism into writing.

In this course we will paint the history of British literature with broad strokes, from Beowulf to Eliot, while paying particular attention to developing the fundamental skills that define what it means to be a student of literature. In addition to becoming better readers, writers, and thinkers, by the end of this course you will have become more adapt at identifying, finding, and utilizing outside sources. In other words you will become a more effective participant in the diverse and fascinating critical discussion we call English Studies.

ENGL 241.01:  Formalism and American Literature
MWF 10:10-11:00
CRN 81021

This course has three primary goals: to provide some coverage of the American literary canon and a sense of literary history in that tradition; to train you in formalism—technical vocabulary and close readings; and to improve your thinking and writing skills.  We will spend much of the semester learning the formalist approach to literature, which means acquiring some basic tools and terms of literary study, and we will practice our skills extensively, reading a wide variety of American literature in the genres of fiction, poetry, and drama.  We will also pay particular attention to how to write about literature–developing thesis statements, constructing arguments, and supporting with textual evidence.  Students will write two papers and complete a final exam

ENGL 242.70: 
Non-Western World Literature and Culture Studies
MW 4:00-5:15
CRN 81348

In this course, we will be reading a variety of novels, watching a number of films, and studying various other forms of visual media in order to learn how cultures (in Africa, the Caribbean, and India) are imagined, depicted, and created through these artifacts.

By studying non-Western texts and textual production, students will gain an appreciation of other cultures in the world and will understand how variables like geography and colonization affect the characteristics of a culture – including aspects such as art, architecture, and diet, conceptions of time, gender role expectations and family structures, as well as the establishment of social hierarchies and institutions.  

Through an examination of Western popular cultural representations of the non-Western world, students will deconstruct our assumptions about other cultures, particularly in the current moment.

ENGL 278.01:  Intro to Film Studies
MW 2:30-3:45 pm 
CRN 81349

Watch important classics, including:

The Wizard of Oz
Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane
Hitchcock’s N by NW
Bonnie and Clyde
(500) Days of Summer
and Jaws

*Learn what film movement influenced Tim Burton
*Promote your favorite “auteur”
*Discover a deeper, more meaningful appreciation of the movies
*Explore film theory

Film courses “count” for most English concentrations!

English 302.01
Introduction to Creative Writing & Editing
TR 11:00-12:15
CRN 81031

This course is designed to fit the needs of a range of students, including those with concentrations in writing, literature, or education.  At the end of this course, you will have a good understanding of three basic creative writing genres:  fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  You will have the opportunity to explore your creative side through a variety of exercises and using techniques practiced by professional writers.  You will also gain skills in the writing workshop process, editing, proofreading, revising, and professional manuscript preparation. By the end of the semester, you will have written, edited, and revised poems, short fiction, and short essays.

ENGL 302.70:  Introduction to Creative Writing and Editing
TR 3:30-4:45
CRN 81037

This class explores the art and craft of creative writing.

 In this class, you will:
-  Gain a basic understanding of three genres:   poetry     - fiction     -  creative nonfiction

-  Read examples of the best contemporary creative writing and learn to read like a writer

-  Workshop your own writing and receive feedback from your peers and your instructor

ENGL 303.01: Intro Professional Writing
MW 2:30-3:45
CRN 80942

This class focuses upon writing as a career choice, addressing opportunities and practices in professional writing, development of professional writing and editing skills, and preparation of manuscripts for publication. The course will teach editing and writing practices, various stylistic skills and professional writing genres, and techniques for succeeding as a professional writer. Students will write memos, letters, press releases, resumes, and cover letters, and will proofread others’ documents and their own, and will create a basic web page. 

ENGL 307.01:  Professional Editing & Publishing
TR 11:00-12:15
CRN 81716

This class is designed to help you learn about and practice three critical skills for professional communicators: advanced editing, information design, and desktop publishing.  In conjunction with learning how to simplify technical and complex information, you will also learn about and practice the various stages of the editing process in order to hone this crucial skill.   In addition, students are introduced to information design in the context of professional and technical writing, and you will use programs in Creative Suite to create original information designs.

ENGL 308.01:  Fiction Writing
TR 9:30-10:45
CRN 81032

In this class you will:

  • study & practice fiction writing
  • create original work
  • workshop student stories
  • discuss assigned reading & writing exercises
  • practice editing and revision
  • participate in a public reading at the end of the semester

This course is designed to fit the needs of a range of students, including those with concentrations in writing, literature, or education.  At the end of this course you will have a good understanding of the elements of fiction and will have completed and revised several stories.  You will also gain skills in the writing workshop process, editing, proofreading, revising, and professional manuscript preparation.  In addition, you will gain an overview of publishing fiction and jobs available in this profession.

ENGL 309.70:  Poetry Writing
MW 4:00-5:15
CRN 80944

This course is designed to improve students’ ability to read, write and understand poetry—they go together. It’s also designed to help students improve their ability to write, revise and submit poetry in a way that doesn’t embarrass anybody.  Sometimes that means learning about things you may not think matter to your writing, and it always means reading work by other people, because there’s little point in reinventing the disc brake. We will aim in student work to improve clarity, compression, and musical density; if you favor verbosity and obscurity, it may be a long class, but I’m game if you are.  We will also develop a vocabulary to talk about writing, reading, experiencing, and improving poems.   Grading will be based on regular use-your-notes just-the-facts reading quizzes, midterm and final exams, writing assignments of various descriptions, and, possibly, presentations. 

ENGL 352.01:  Journey in Literature - Arthuriana
TR 9:30-10:45CRN 81302

This course focuses on the concept of the Journey in literature; this specific section will focus on one of the greatest recurring journey narratives in all of Western literature: the quest stories, tales, songs and myths surrounding King Arthur, his knights, and the quest for the Holy Grail.


ENGL 368.01: Film Genres
TR 12:30-1:45
CRN 81350

What does Syriana, a political thriller about the global oil industry have in common with An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s documentary about global warming? Take this class and find out. In this introduction to film genres, we will explore a number of different genres (horror, westerns, rom
coms, documentary, etc)

ENGL 401.01: Writing for Careers
TR 2:00-3:15
CRN 81740

This course examines the role of written communication in group/organizational effectiveness, especially within professional environments. It prepares you for the writing tasks (genres, documents, and situations) most common to most careers. The course will be based on practice; all assignments are part of a corporate simulation and will be evaluated as if they were presented in “the real world.”

ENGL 405.70 (81852)
ENGL 608.70 (81854)
Fiction Writing
T 6:00-8:50

English 405/608 is the advanced fiction workshop in the short story.  The course emphasizes an intense reading of short fiction as well as writing stories .  Permission of Instructor required.

ENGL 417.70:  Methods Teaching English
T 6:00-8:50
CRN 81018

A methods course required of all secondary English education majors, this course focuses on the methods, materials, curriculum and trends for teaching English in the secondary schools.  The methods of presentation include lecture, discussion, case studies, teaching demonstrations by the students enrolled in the class and presentations by additional personnel involved in the teaching of English.  Textbook is Jim Burke’s An English Teacher’s Companion; grading is based primarily upon unit and lesson planning, practice with teaching, and presentation of materials.   

African American
Literature & History
ENGL 465.01(81023)
Topics in African American Literature
TR 12:30-1:45   
HIST   442.01 African American History

This interdisciplinary course will offer an opportunity to students to simultaneously study African American literature and history in a course team taught by Dr. Debo from English and Dr. McRae from History. By focusing on three areas—slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights era—we will interrogate the complex relationships between history and literature through texts from both disciplines, and strive to answer questions like how did the historical experience of the transitions from freedom to slavery to freedom affect American history and literature? What roles did protest and resistance play in shaping black identity? How do writers change their times, and how does history shape cultural identity?

This course will be 12:30-1:45 TR, and students can register for either (but not both):

(Closed to freshmen 0-24 hours)  PREQ: ENGL 101 and 102/202

For more information, contact Dr. Annette Debo at ext. 3919 or adebo@wcu.edu or Dr. Elizabeth McRae at ext. 3481 or mcrae@wcu.edu.

TR 2:05-3:20
CRN: 81029

Want to really understand terms like “deconstruction,” “psychoanalysis,” or “new historicism”?

ENGL 474 will survey the critical approaches most widely used in contemporary literary criticism, including deconstruction, psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, gender theory, new historicism, theories of race and ethnicity, post-colonialism, and ecocriticism.  We will grapple with first understanding the theories and then with the equally challenging task of applying these theories to literature.  (And yes, theorists do have a sense of humor; go to www.theory.org.uk for your own set of theory trading cards or action figures.)

For more information, contact Dr. Annette Debo at ext. 3919 or adebo@wcu.edu .

ENGL 498.01: Senior Seminar
TR 3:30–4:45
CRN 81398

This course will provide a capstone experience for the English major, evenly divided between career preparation and an intensive study of a chosen topic. (Closed to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors 0–72 hours).

Well, that was fun. Now what do we Do?

So you are an English major, ready to move from world of “so what” to world of “what now.”

In this course, we will work to remove some of the anxiety you might be feeling about your impending launch into the world, be it the world of graduate school, of teaching, of editing, of writing, of working, of being fabulous.

At the same time we will explore some literature you have not yet experienced, we will take a look back at your time here at WCU as you prepare to move forward. Part professionalization and part capstone experience, in this course we will perfect resumes, convene a conference, complete portfolios, write a senior thesis, and generally prepare ourselves for the great big, exciting, wonderful world, for which you are, whether your realize it or not, fully prepared.

ENGL 564.70  Native American Literature
W 6-8:50 PM (Cullowhee)
CRN 81022

We will move east to west in our study of Native American literature, spending a big chunk of time on the history, culture, and literature of the Cherokees in the American South. Students will be introduced to literary criticism in Native American studies and read works by well-known writers such as James Welch, Louise Erdrich, and Sherman Alexie. Students will complete two papers, a short paper and a 10-12-page synthesis paper. Hopefully, we will have several guest speakers in the Cherokee section.

ENGL 605.80:  Introduction to Professional Writing: Rhetoric, research, and management of scientific and technical information
W 6:00-8:50 (Cullowhee)
CRN 81742

Course Description and Objectives:

In contemporary society, science and technology affect our lives and influence our decisions from how we spend our free time to what tools we use to get work done.  There is functional literacy associated with the science and technology that we use every day, but there is also a need for deeper understanding about the rhetoric of scientific and technical communication.  Being a professional communicator in any career field is more than knowing how to effectively write in various forms; it also means understanding theories and trends related to the communication within your field.  This course is a mix of theory and practice related to the rhetoric of scientific and technical communication.  You will first build a foundation of understanding regarding rhetoric and science writing.  You will then explore this topic in more detail and practice various forms of graduate-level academic and workplace writing.  

Course objectives:

By the end of this class, you should be able to:

  • Explain several aspects regarding the rhetoric of scientific information in relation to audience and purpose
  • Discuss trends in scientific research and how those trends affect communication within the scientific community
  • Describe issues related to the storage and management of scientific information and how those issues affect the generation and use of information in the scientific community
  • Compose professional and technical writing in various genres

ENGL 614.70: 20th Century Rhetorical Theory
R 6:00-8:50 (Cullowhee)
CRN 81480

The 20th Century, and in particular the post-WWII period, witnessed a renaissance within rhetorical studies.  New theories were (and continue to be) promulgated in a quantity and with an audacity unprecedented in the history of rhetoric.  Similarly, past theories of rhetoric received renewed attention.  In this course we will study the major rhetorical theories of the 20th Century.  In many ways this entails studying major theorists as much as it does theories.  In this course we will read the major theorists of the past 100 years, examining their ideas in detail, and considering theoretical developments in dialogue with one another and in light of world events, in particular WWII and the rhetorical dilemmas that it forced theorists to confront.  We will also examine the role of rhetoric within higher learning (the university).  The course is strongly recommended for MA students in the Rhetoric and Composition concentration, and will deal with many of the texts that students are responsible for in the comprehensive exams.

ENGL 663.80: Environmental Literature
T 5:00-7:50 (Asheville)
CRN 81997

In this course, we will read a variety of texts in terms of how these works depict and theorize the environment, and we will examine the concepts of “environment,” “wilderness,” and “environmentalism” in terms of how they are imagined, shaped, and created by specific cultural contexts. As an academic practice in the West, ecocriticism as a theoretical model first manifested in 1990s era studies of eighteenth and nineteenth-century writers like Emerson, Wordsworth, Ruskin, Morris, and Carpenter, and environmentalism, as a social movement, is a product of the 1960s that took hold most visibly in the United States.  Despite its origins in the United States, the study of environmentalism in literature has become increasingly concerned with environmental concerns depicted in more global literatures, as is evidenced by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment’s (ASLE) 2011 conference’s focus on “Species, Space, and the Imagination of the Global.”  In this class, we will look to early ecocritical texts to provide us with foregrounding for an examination of contemporary and global readings of the environment.



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