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Current Courses

Current English courses are described below and future course descriptions are available as schedules are finalized. For descriptions of all English graduate courses, refer to the Graduate Catalog

Spring 2015 Courses

ENG 605: Teaching in English Studies(Composition)
ENG 613: Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop
ENG 614: Graduate Practicum in Literary Editing
ENG 618: Material Development for teaching English Language Learners
ENG 624: Foundations of Second LanguageAcquisition
ENG 628:  Language and Culture
ENG 642: Literatureof the American Renaissance
ENG 657: Post-Colonial Studies
ENG 684 Second Language Literacy Development
ENG 686: Language and Gender
ENG 690: Cognition, Composing,Development, and Emerging Media
ENG 699: Contemporary Theories ofComposition

ENG 605: Teaching in English Studies (Composition)
Section 1: Monday 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Jennifer Grouling

Any reflexive writing teacher wonders how to get better at teaching. Daily, teachers confront issues, questions, and situations and need to make informed choices on how to act. This course gives students two key tools for addressing pedagogical questions. First, students will be acquainted to the rich field of Composition Studies and will learn how to look to the existent literature to put their current queries into the context of the field. Specifically, students will learn about major theories, pedagogies, and epistemologies of writing from the past half century.

Secondly, students will learn how to shape a research question and conduct qualitative (teacher) research to study classroom environments. Learning how to study one’s own teaching is invaluable in improving one’s craft.

ENG 613: Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop
Section 1: Monday 2:00-4:40 PM 

Professor: Mark Neely

This is a graduate-level course in poetry writing, designed for students in our MA Creative Writing program, MA General program, and for other MAs and PhDs interested in reading and writing poetry. About half the class will be devoted to discussion of readings, including several collections by contemporary poets. We will talk about how the authors attempt to unify these collections, and look closely at the dazzling number of formal choices poets make in their work. The readings will help inspire the poems written for the class, inform the way we discuss your poems, and offer strategies for revision. Written assignments include poems, reading responses, and a final portfolio/ chapbook.

Possible texts include: The Best American Poetry 2014, Terrance Hayes and David Lehman, eds.; Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith; More Wreck More Wreck by Tyler Gobble; Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen; Of Gods and Strangers by Tina Chang.

ENG 614: Graduate Practicum in Literary Editing
Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-6:15 PM 

Professor: Mark Neely

In this course we will explore the business side of writing, editing, and publishing, and discuss the skills and knowledge necessary for various careers in writing and publishing. Students will learn about layout and design, copyediting, magazine and book publishing, and various other aspects of the business side of writing and publishing. Assignments will include book and magazine reviews, cover letters, sample grants and proposals, cover designs, broadsides, and a final editing, publishing, or other creative project.

Possible texts include: The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner; The Late Age of Print by Ted Striphas; Merchants of Culture by John B. Thompson; AWP Writer’s Chronicle; and one book (your choice) by one of this year’s In Print authors.

ENG 618: Material Development for teaching English Language Learners
Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 AM 

Professor: Mary Lou Vercellotti

This course is designed to give students experience evaluating, adapting, and creating course materials for different ELL/ESL/EAP contexts. The term “materials” is used broadly to include teaching materials such textbook chapters, in-class activities, handouts, as well as audio and video. In addition to professional critique, students will gain experience adapting available materials and designing original materials for language learning. The assignments will include materials for both general literary skills and the various sub-skills (e.g., grammar, vocabulary, and listening).  The practical and pedagogical issues in materials development will be rooted in the theories and research in the field. 

ENG 624: Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
Section 1: Monday 12:00-2:40 PM  

Professor: Megumi Hamada         

This course outlines second language acquisition (SLA) theories and research and introduces issues related to second language learning and teaching. The objectives of the course are to become familiar with SLA theories, research, and related issues; and to learn the skills that are necessary for understanding and conducting SLA research.    

ENG 628:  Language and Culture 
Section 1: Tuesday 2:00-4:40 PM  

Professor: Carolyn MacKay

There are enormous differences in the ways in which members of different cultures organize and exploit their linguistic resources.  These differences are so pervasive that most researchers believe it is not possible to describe a culture without referring to the patterns of language use through which culture is expressed.  This course looks at some of these patterns in an effort to describe both the nature of language and culture and the inextricable link between them.  Among the topics to be discussed are: the acquisition of language and culture, code-switching, ethnography of communication, language ideology, verbal art and performance, narrative structure, language maintenance and death, language contact, and cross-cultural miscommunication.

ENG 642: Literature of the American Renaissance 
Section 1: Thursday 6:30-9:10 PM 

Professor: Robert D. Habich

Romanticism in American literature during the middle decades of the nineteenth century was dialog rather than dogma, a series of recurring questions rather than a static set of answers. This course will examine a variety of voices and literary strategies addressing a central romantic issue, the integrity of the self: the philosophical confidence of Emerson and Thoreau, the dramatized skepticism of Poe and Hawthorne, the political qualifications of Douglass, Jacobs, and Fuller, the democratization of Melville, Whitman, and the southwestern humorists, and the reassessments of Dickinson, Davis, and Phelps.

Recent scholarship on Romanticism has challenged--all but dispelled--the long-held belief that Romantic authors and texts were defined by their opposition to the world at large. We will therefore have an additional focus in the class: the ways in which authors and texts are better understood in their biographical, cultural, commercial, and intellectual contexts.

In addition to completing all readings, attending all meetings, and participating actively as a citizen of the class, each student will be asked to complete the following graded assignments:
· mid-term and final examinations (20% each of final grade),
· a report to the class on recent scholarship and critical trends on one of our authors (20%),
· a seminar project of 8-10 pages that applies some extra-textual material to an understanding of one of our texts (40%).

ENG 657: Post-Colonial Studies 
Bearing Witness 
Section 1: Wednesday 6:30-9:10 PM 

Professor: Molly Ferguson

“Trauma itself may provide the very link between cultures” (Cathy Caruth, Trauma: Explorations in Memory, 11)

Much of postcolonial literature is concerned with how to tell one's story from a marginalized position. Often, offering testimony requires new forms of language to reflect trauma, memory, and history. We will explore the experience of colonization—and the ensuing struggles to construct individual, national, and transnational postcolonial identities. This course will provide a sampling of postcolonial literature and a targeted overview of the contemporary debates in postcolonial theory. Using paired primary and theoretical texts, we will explore the intersections between postcolonial studies and transnational feminism, trauma theory, and human rights. Primary works may include texts by the following authors: Aravind Adiga , Tsitsi Dangarembga, Edwidge Danticat, Mariama Bâ, Nawal el Saadawi, and Wole Soyinka. This course requires weekly response papers, a presentation, and a longer essay.

ENG 684: Second Language Literacy Development 
Section 1: Wednesday 12:00-2:40 PM

Professor: Megumi Hamada   

The course explores the development of literacy skills in second language from both psycholinguistic and socio-cultural perspectives. We will first examine linguistic factors, such as orthography (what is represented in written symbols), phonology (what sounds are represented in written language), and morphology (what word parts exist within a word), in literacy development. We will then discuss social factors (e.g., availability of literacy education). Throughout the topics, the course examines the influence of L1 and discusses pedagogical applications.    

ENG 686: Language and Gender 
Section 1: Thursday 2:00-4:40 PM

Professor: Carolyn MacKay 

How do individuals project particular gender identies through language?  This course is designed to provide a detailed examination of the relationship between language and gender.  We will investigate how language use mediates, and is mediated by, social constructions of gender and sexuality.  Because language use is one of the most important factors influencing our judgments about others, it is important to understand how biological sex and gender roles are involved in those judgments.  We will describe and analyze the ways that men and women use language (including pronunciation, word choice, grammar, conversational norms, politeness strategies, and narrative styles) to construct stereotypical and non-stereotypical gender identities.  In addition we will look at cross-cultural studies of language and gender and the patterns of language socialization of girls and boys.  Western European assumptions about language use will be assessed in light of this cross-cultural evidence.  This course will use the methods and analyses taken from linguistics, anthropology, and psychology in examining the interaction of gender, gender identities, the performance of gender and language use.  We will focus not only on what researchers have hypothesized about these differences, but also on original research by students that can add to the discussion.  

ENG 690: Cognition, Composing, Development, and Emerging Media 
Section 1: Wednesday 6:30-9:10 PM 

Professor: Paul Ranieri

This course probes the nature of "composing," its relationship to "cognition" and "development," the emergence of new media, and the implications for designing pedagogy for the first-year writing classroom.  We will study relevant theories of composing, cognition, and emerging media, and then collaborate on an edition of readings for those seeking to understand the cognition and composing of first-year students.  Individual projects can be built around the group project or seek to design pedagogy in an area of specific interest.

ENG 699: Contemporary Theories of Composition 
Section 1: Wednesday 2:00-4:40 PM

Professor: Rory Lee

As the title implies, this course will attend to current theories in the field of Composition and to the way those theories shape the work of the field as a whole and the teaching of writing in particular.  However, in order to understand the current, we will turn first and briefly toward Composition’s rich history, highlighting the ways it continues to influence contemporary theories.  Toward that end, we’ll investigate and discuss seminal moments in the field’s history (some of which are situated as the birth of Composition as an academic field), and we’ll examine the different paradigms, including the epistemologies in which they’re rooted, that together form a master narrative for the field.  Equipped with this historical and theoretical gloss, we’ll then grapple with current concerns in the field (many of which aren’t so new) and the theories surrounding them.  Such theories pertain to but are not necessarily limited to: 

●      notions of rhetorical situation, (post)process, genre, ecologies, race, and technology in the teaching of writing; as well as 

●      questions regarding what first-year composition is and how it should be and has been taught, who owns writing (turns out, it doesn’t seem to be experts in writing), what the role of extracurricular writing should be in the composition curriculum, and how calls for the development of an undergraduate major have expanded the scope of the field and its viability as an academic discipline.

In exploring the current and the way it’s molded from the past, we’ll be able not only to understand better the disciplinary discussions and work of the field but also to work with, critique, and contribute to these ongoing discussions.  In short, upon completing this course, we’ll be able to identify key issues in the field of Composition and important works/scholars framing the discussion surrounding them and to participate in that discussion in informed ways.



Department of English
Robert Bell Building (RB), Room 297
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: 765-285-8580
Fax: 765-285-3765
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