Summer and Fall 2017 English courses are described below. For descriptions of all English courses, refer to the Graduate Catalog

Summer 2017 Graduate Course Descriptions

ENG 629: Topics in Applied Linguistics

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 3:00-5:40 PM

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

Please contact Dr. Riddle ( for more information about this course.

ENG 659: Reading as Writers

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00-11:40 AM

Professor: Sean Lovelace

This course is designed for MA students in the Creative Writing program at BSU, but is open to all graduate students interested in intensive reading about the art and science of creative writing.

We will red various texts about writing, and students will write critically and sometimes creatively concerning these texts.  In this course, we will try to address some of the many questions of interest to serious writers, and to students who are considering creative writing as a profession. We will also include a visit from our Creative Writing faculty and a discussion of a text selected by each.

Potential Texts:

Letters to Yesenin by Jim Harrison

The Writing Life: Writers On How They Think and Work by Marie Arana

Reality Hunger by David Shields

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Practicalities by Marguerite Duras

Contributor Notes by Michael Martone

Many, Many handouts PDFs examples, etcetera.


ENG 690: Seminar in Composition

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 3:00-5:40 PM

Professor: G Patterson

This seminar will offer a survey of the interdisciplinary discipline of queer rhetorics. During the summer session we will consider the following questions: (1) What does queer mean, and how might that shift our relationship to thinking about rhetoric? (2) What counts as a queer issue, and who determines what counts as a queer issue? (3) How are queer people represented, and not represented, in various publics? (4) In what ways might a rhetorician queer pedagogical scholarship? (5) In what ways might a rhetorician queer research methods? (6) And, finally, how are queer issues always already inter-animated with discussions about race, ethnicity, class, citizenship, ability, gender, gender performance, and gender identity?




ENG 520: Introduction to Linguistics

Section 1: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 11:00-11:50 AM     

Professor: Mai Kuha

ENG 601: Research in English Studies

Section 1: Mondays 6:30-9:10 PM                

Professor: Emily Rutter

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to literary research strategies and methodologies. Students will become familiar with the foundational elements of literary scholarship; current theoretical and institutional trends in literary studies; the resources available through Bracken Library and elsewhere; and the sociocultural value of studying English in particular and the humanities more generally. By the end of the course, students will have produced a body of scholarly work that reflects their own critical interests and commitments.

ENG 601: Research in English Studies (Linguistics)

Topic; Research Methods in Linguistics

Section 2: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:45 PM

Professor: Carolyn MacKay

This course is a graduate-level introduction to research methods in linguistics, applied linguistics, and TESOL.  The course will focus on research methodology:  project design, data collection, and data analysis.   This course will also introduce students to the writing of grant proposals, abstracts for professional conferences, and review articles.  Students will get hands-on experience in working with issues related to original research.  As a final paper they will be expected to design a research project (choosing a topic, articulating hypotheses and goals, describing the significance of the project, researching the literature available, and determining the methods of data collection and analysis).  Students will write a conference abstract, a literature review for the project, and will write a book review of one of the key sources for their topic.  The final paper is a complete research proposal.

ENG 604: Teaching with Technology

Section 1: Thursdays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Rory Lee

For many, the title of this course, “Teaching with Technology,” will conjure up images of smart classrooms equipped with new digital technologies and filled with students interacting with their smartphones, tablets, and/or laptops.  For others, it will imply teaching online courses.  Some may find appealing the prospect of teaching in such spaces, while others may find it new and, therefore, intimidating.  In other words, and depending on one’s perspective and past experiences, the emergence of digital technologies that offer new possibilities for both instruction and composing can enhance and/or complicate the teaching of writing.

In this course, we’ll grapple with potentials and concerns associated with teaching about and with digital technologies and texts, and in so doing, we might remember that writing (and perhaps language itself) is a technology.  In this sense, we’ve always been teaching about and with technologies, just ones that we’re familiar with and that have become mostly invisible to us because their material economy and presence have become culturally normalized.  The advent of new digital technologies threatens this cultural system and the pedagogies and literacies common to it, and as such, this course proceeds from the idea that as writing and reading technologies change, our understanding of pedagogy also needs to change.

In an effort not only to understand better the ways technology and pedagogy are inextricably linked but also to implement technologically rich and conscious pedagogies, we’ll trace briefly the histories and intersections of composing technologies as well as explore issues central to teaching with (digital) technologies.  In addition, we’ll discuss theories of and frameworks for digital composing, modes and platforms for communication, the ways we can evaluate digital and multimodal texts, and the social, economic, ethical, political, and educational implications of new digital technologies and the literacies they foster.  Along the way, we’ll learn and develop a robust set of terms to describe digital technologies, our interactions with them, the texts they produce, and the pedagogies they inform.

ENG 610: Reading and Writing Across the Genres

Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:45 PM

Professor: Katy Didden

This class is designed specifically for MA students in English who are beginning the Creative Writing program at Ball State, but is open to any graduate student interested in reading and writing across the genres. We will read and analyze creative and critical works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and screenwriting to identify craft techniques, and build a foundation of useful terminology.  Students will gain some historical knowledge of each genre, and be familiar with contemporary authors writing in each form.  Students will also learn basic skills for research in creative writing, and know how to access key resources for further study.  As a class, we will discuss what each genre makes possible, and we will also consider the limitations of genre itself by studying hybrid works and other innovative forms. While students will read and analyze both creative and critical texts, and practice leading class discussion, this course also has a workshop component. Students will apply the craft methods we discuss to create their own works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or screenwriting.  The workshop format will encourage an open discussion about techniques that extend across genres, from the use of imagery and tone, to word choice, form, and structure.  We will devote some time at the end of this course to professionalization in the field of creative writing.

ENG 613: Poetry Writing Workshop
Topic: Elliptical / Political / Post-Confessional: Writing Poems for the 21st Century

Section 1: Monday and Wednesday 3:00-4:15 PM  

Professor: Mark Neely


This is a graduate-level course in poetry writing. About half the class will be devoted to discussion of readings, including several collections by contemporary poets, and essays on poetics in the 21st century. These readings will help inspire and inform the poems written for class, and the way we discuss and revise your work. Written assignments include poems, workshop comments, a poetry portfolio, and a mini-anthology of poems from a particular school or mode of poetry.


Readings will include handouts, online readings, essays on poetics, and the following books:


Chris Santiago, Tula

Chen Chen, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

Morgan Parker, There are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce

Angie Estes, Enchantee

ENG 615: Workshop in Screenwriting

Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor: Rani Crowe

English 615 is a graduate level introductory course focusing on short form screenwriting with an emphasis on dramatic writing that can be translated from page to screen. Students will complete writing exercises to build muscles in Visual Storytelling, Screenplay Format, Character and World Development, Genre, and Structure. Additionally, students will watch various styles of short films and media, read screenplays and other craft related readings. Students will build skills in analysis and critical response through group workshops. Students will work on one collaborative group screenplay commission, with a goal for CEI production. Students will complete an individual 8-12 page spec screenplay that we will take through a process of planning, workshopping, and revision.

ENG 616: Introduction to Theories of Language Learning
Section 1: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Mary Lou Vercellotti

This course introduces basic theories of language learning, with a primary focus on English as a second language learning. We will examine linguistic, psychological, and sociocultural factors that influence language learning success with relevant language-learning research. The overall objectives of this course are to understand the basic mechanisms and phenomena of second language learning and to apply that understanding to teaching.

ENG 617: Methods for Teaching English Language Learners

Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-1:45 PM

Professor: Lynne Stallings

The aim of this course is to prepare students not only to understand and recognize, but to also address, the language acquisition challenges of non-native English speakers, both in the U.S. and abroad.  Students will consider a) the methods that have been used historically in the field and b) the post-method approach that often guides current practices in ESL and EFL settings.  Students will apply this information along with what they know about second language acquisition theories to develop their own principle-based approach to teaching ESL and EFL.

ENG 621: Meaning and Structure in English

Section 1: Wednesdays 6:30-9:10 PM                       

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

A critical and in-depth study, from a semantico-pragmatic/discourse-functional and cognitive linguistic perspective, of aspects of Modern English grammar especially significant for the teaching of EFL/ESL and for further linguistics study.  Key theoretical linguistic concepts will be introduced throughout the course in conjunction with the study of particular grammatical phenomena.  Since it is not possible to cover in one semester all important aspects of the grammatical structure of English, an essential feature of the course will be to develop students’ critical thinking skills about the structure of English and to provide students with the knowledge and resources to continue to learn on their own. Specifically, students will develop their analytical skills in relation to the structure of English in order to adequately handle needs such as the following in their future teaching:  EFL/ESL error diagnosis and correction, evaluation of treatments of grammar in teaching materials, and answering EFL/ESL students’ questions grammatical phenomena inadequately treated in the professional literature.  A basic understanding of traditional English grammar concepts is assumed.  Readings will be journal articles and book chapters on Blackboard, with supplementary handouts distributed in class.

ENG 627: Sociolinguistics

Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor: Carolyn MacKay

This course is a graduate-level introduction to sociolinguistics that investigates how regional and social factors influence the way people talk and interact.  We will focus on regional variation in American English as well as the correlation between language use and social factors such as age, gender, social class, social networks, ethnicity, and identity.  The requirements for the course are 2 papers.  The first paper will discuss in detail an aspect of linguistic variation of interest to the student (e.g. Chicano English, the functions of non-standard 'like', uptalk, vocal fry, the origin of African-American English, the Northern Cities Shift, Gullah, gender identity and language use, Hoosier dialect, etc.).   The second paper involves data collection and an analysis of linguistic variation found in conversational styles.

ENG 629: Topics in Applied Linguistics:  Linguistics and Digital Communication

Section 1: Mondays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

This course will take a linguistic approach to the analysis of digital forms of communication.  The focus will be on the linguistic forms used in relation to the medium and purpose of communication, and on the pragmatics of interaction.  Among specific topics to be considered are the following:  comparison of linguistic structures and styles used in digital communication in relation to other forms of communication;  social attitudes to the forms of language used in digital communication;  language choice in non-monolingual societies; and issues of community, identity, anonymity, (im)politeness, and cross-cultural variation impacting linguistic choices, and electronic media as sources of linguistic data..  The goals for students include becoming familiar with a range of issues in the linguistic analysis of digital forms of communication, becoming familiar with the use of digital data sources, further developing independent critical thinking and analytical skills, and further developing academic research and writing skills.

ENG 632: Discourse Analysis

Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:45 AM

Professor: Mary Theresa Seig

A detailed examination of the principal methods of analyzing oral and written discourse

ENG 644: Early Twentieth-Century American Literature

Section 1: Wednesdays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Debbie Mix

This course is designed to provide an overview of the fiction, poetry, and drama of the first half of the twentieth century.  While literary modernism is part of that picture, our focus will be more broadly on “modernity” as a force.  The changes occurring in American culture in the early years of the twentieth century wrought havoc on received notions of identity, community, aesthetics, and politics.  We will consider the ways in which a range of American authors sought to represent, to resist, and to come to grips with some of these forces.  We’ll also pay particular attention to the cultural contexts for the works we’re reading. Likely authors include Willa Cather, H.D., John Dos Passos, T.S. Eliot, Sui Sin Far, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, María Cristina Mena, Marianne Moore, Gertrude Stein, and Jean Toomer.

In collaboration with Dr. Collier’s English 668, we will explore these questions as they involve transatlantic and insurgent modernisms, with special attention to the shifting parameters of modernism and its canons. This collaboration will include some joint work and programming, perhaps including on-line writing, a mini-conference, and/or film screenings.

ENG 668: Early Twentieth-Century British Literature
Topic: “Literature and its Publics”

Section 1: Tuesdays 6:30-9:10

Professor: Pat Collier

The years 1910-1940 saw some of the most dramatic and disruptive social, political, and economic changes and crises in the history of Britain and its global empire. In addition to two catastrophic world wars, a global economic depression, and the continuing technological transformations of modernity, these changes entailed profound and unnerving re-orientations of the relations between writers and audiences. Literacy and reading soared in late nineteenth century, and again after World War I; simultaneously, some of the most ambitious writers rejected the developing mass print market, or participated in it ambivalently. The global depression and the rise of fascism and state communism in the 1930s gave an urgent, new edge to questions about literature’s relationship to the public.

This course will begin by looking at writers in the 1930s who were grappling with the early history (literary history and history per se) of the twentieth century, before moving back to the beginnings of British modernism, with its concurrent utopian visions and dystopian critiques of modernity. In collaboration with Dr. Mix’s English 644, we will explore these questions as they involve transatlantic and insurgent modernisms, with special attention to the shifting parameters of modernism and its canons. This collaboration will include some joint work and programming, perhaps including on-line writing, a mini-conference, and/or film screenings.

Primary texts will include some of the following: poetry by W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden and his circle, and others; fiction and non-fiction by Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, J. B. Priestly, Rebecca West, Jean Rhys, E. M. Forster, and James Joyce.

ENG 693: Writing in the Profession

Section 1: Tuesdays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Jackie Grutsch McKinney

This course is designed to facilitate your participation in the profession through conference papers, journal publications, grant applications, and the creation and maintenance of a professional identity. We’ll discuss strategies for transforming seminar papers, research projects, and dissertation chapters you have already written or will soon write into publications for a wider audience. As we write, workshop, and revise these materials, we’ll also carry on conversations about strategies for writing regularly and productively, for presenting yourself professionally, crafting research agendas, and for finding and building communities of scholars here at Ball State and beyond.

ENG 694: Classical Rhetoric

Section 1: Mondays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Paul Ranieri

Classical Rhetoric, embodied in the primary texts of such figures as the pre-Sophists, Sophists, Aspasia, Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, Cicero, Quintilian, and Augustine, is not only the heart of education in antiquity, but also the touchstone to which contemporary thought on writing and rhetoric always returns, if only to disclaim or deny.  This course will study those primary texts that have been the core of classical rhetoric; it will frame those ideas in context of ancient education; it will look at contemporary responses to these texts, particularly in relation to teaching and learning; and it will lead up to the demise of ancient influences as the Roman empire dissolved and Europe moved into the early medieval era.