Spring 2018 English courses are described below. For descriptions of all English courses, refer to the Graduate Catalog


ENG 605: Teaching in English Studies
Section 1: Thursdays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: G Patterson

Building from your previous knowledge about teaching college composition (whether gained through ID 601 coursework and/or through previous teaching experience), ENG 605 is designed to help you use pedagogical research to solve problems that arise in the composition classroom.

ENG 605 aims to help you: (1) consider how you'll teach composition, both in the present and in future courses, (2) make informed pedagogical choices, grounded in cutting-edge composition scholarship, (3) address classroom problems with confidence, (4) understand that problems arise in the classroom, no matter how experienced the teacher, (5) interpret these pedagogical problems less as "failures" and more as opportunities to explore the gap that sometimes arises between theory and practice.

Special Note: After you've enrolled in this course, you will receive a link to a digital question box. Before we meet in SP 2018, I encourage you to use this question box to share issues/problems you're currently experiencing or (if you're a Ball State TA) that you anticipate encountering in the composition classroom. This question box functions like a "wish list" for the ground you'd like to see covered in ENG 605.

ENG 605: Teaching in English Studies
Section 2: Wednesdays 12:00-2:40 PM

Professor: Rory Lee

As a field, Composition is dedicated to theorizing and practicing the teaching of writing, and in this course, we’ll not only explore different theoretical movements in Composition but also use them as a lens to examine, reflect on, and refine our own pedagogical practices.  Overall, then, this course is designed to help current and future teachers of Composition understand better and implement effectively informed ways of knowing and doing in the teaching of writing.  To accomplish this, we’ll draw from the content and scholarship of the field as well as our own experiences in the classroom to discuss and address new and recurring issues involved in teaching Composition.

ENG 607: Literary Theory
Section 1: Tuesdays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Joyce Huff

Have you ever found yourself reading criticism of a work of literature and felt as if you were missing part of the conversation? Have you felt curious about the critic’s underlying assumptions and frame of reference? Well, this course will offer you the opportunity to explore some of the various schools of theory that inform literary criticism today and to reach a better understanding of current debates and trends in the critical conversation. In addition, you will practice working with current theories in order to gain the skill and comfort-level needed to employ them in your own scholarly work. You will also be given the opportunity to examine your own basic assumptions about texts, authors and readers and to position your own scholarship within the world of contemporary theory.

The course will cover an assortment of current theoretical positions, which will include some or all of the following: Cultural Studies, Deconstruction, Feminist Theory and Masculinity Studies, Queer Theory, Marxism, New Historicism, Postcolonial Theory, Psychoanalysis, Critical Race Studies, Reader Response Criticism and Disability Studies. We will be reading primarily essays and excerpts from theoretical books, but we will also hone our critical skills on a few short literary pieces. Course requirements will include a short paper, a seminar paper, presentations and participation in discussion, both in class and online.

ENG 612: Workshop in Fiction Writing
Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor: Sean Lovelace

Flash Fiction Throw-Down. The majority of this class will be READING quality works of flash fiction, DISCUSSION of craft, EXERCISES of flash fiction, WRITING and WORKSHOPPING FLASH FICTION, as in your own quality manuscripts (many). You will write a plethora of your own original flash fiction texts. 


The concept centrifuged here, a few quotes:


“Finding a good flash is like sighting a comet, all the more glorious for its being rare…” Shapard and Thomas.


“It is fiercely condensed, almost like a lyric poem.” Irving Howe.


“floating pictures…”  Kawabata


“How much can one remove and still have the composition be intelligible? This understanding, or its lack, divides those who can write from those who can really write. Chekhov removed the plot. Pinter, elaborating, removed the history, the narration; Beckett, the characterization. We hear it anyway. Omission is a form of creation.” David Mamet


“The line of beauty is the line of perfect economy.” Emerson.


Contact Professor Lovelace (salovelace@bsu.edu) with any questions. 

ENG 614: Practicum in Literary Editing
Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Silas Hansen

This class is an introduction to the publishing industry with a focus on practical skills, including copyediting, content editing, design, marketing, and writing book reviews. We will begin the class by discussing the history and the current state of the publishing industry (including mainstream book publishing, independent presses, and literary magazines). We will attempt to answer questions like: What does “good writing” look like? Who gets to decide what is (and isn’t) good writing? How does an editor help a writer improve their work without taking away the ownership of it? You will then spend the remainder of the class learning, practicing, and utilizing the practical skills required for a career in publishing.

ENG 618: Materials Development for Teaching English Language Learners

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

Professor: Laila Aghai

This course will give students exposure to different teaching English materials (e.g., English as a second language, English as a foreign language, English for academic purposes). Building on ENG 616 and using information from textbook and outside readings, students will practice professional critique (evaluation) of available materials.  Importantly, this course will provide the students opportunities to design materials for language learning, based on principled frameworks for materials evaluation and design, with consideration of the needs and wants of language learners and language teachers.

ENG 619: Assessment in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Section 1: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Mary Lou Vercellotti
This course explores different methods of assessing language performance in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Assessment of different language skills (i.e., listening, speaking, writing, reading, grammar, vocabulary), formative and summative, formal and informal, measures will be covered. We will evaluate our assessments with the assessment principles of validity, reliability, and practicality, and beneficial consequences to create a strong, balanced assessment portfolio.

ENG 624: Foundations of Second Language Acquisition
Section 3: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-1:45 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 626: Morphology and Syntax
Section 1: Tuesdays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Elizabeth  Riddle

This course examines patterns within words, patterns within/across larger grammatical constructions, and grammatical systems as wholes, along with the functions of selected grammatical phenomena, in a wide variety of languages.  The focus is primarily descriptive, but a sample of formal and functional theoretical issues are considered.  The major emphases are on data analysis, including comparing and contrasting patterns within and across languages. Connections to issues in applied linguistics are also addressed.

ENG 628: Language and Culture
Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Mai Kuha

This course is a graduate-level introduction to language and culture. We will tend to take an anthropological perspective as we look at how languages and cultures organize and represent thought and experience. The ethnography of communication framework will be useful as we examine the role of culture in speech events and in narratives and other forms of verbal art. The interaction of language and culture will also be salient in issues related to multilingualism and language contact: language maintenance and death, code-switching, and language ideology.

ENG 630: Contrastive Analysis

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

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

A comparison of lexical, syntactic, pragmatic and discourse characteristics of a variety of languages with those of English as relevant to the teaching of English as a second/foreign language and second language acquisition, and to the study of linguistic typology and language universals.

ENG 641: Early American Literature
Section 1: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:45 PM

Professor: Ben Bascom

Queer Lives in Early America
This graduate seminar examines the cultural and literary formations of the early United States through focusing on writings by individuals who occupied society’s margins. We will read a series of life narratives (autobiography, memoir, private diary) and public literary forms (sermon, broadside, confession) by and about infamous individuals, obscure personalities, and insignificant cultural subjects who, considered collectively, offer an alternative to predominant scholarly understandings of the period. Contrary to histories that lionize figures like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, we will endeavor to illuminate the crevices of cultural memory to understand the lives of individuals generally not considered worthy of attention. As such, we will approach early America queerly—that is, we will highlight how queer theory offers new ways to consider the era’s power dynamics and modes of belonging, specifically attending to the racial, sexual, class, and gender norms that were produced (and contested) in the era. Through bringing queer theory to bear on the foundational years of the United States, we will consider ways to write alternative literary histories that trouble the foundational norms that contemporary society imbues with the “founding” moment. Our readings will include primary texts by early steamboat inventor John Fitch, crossdressing Revolutionary War veteran Deborah Sampson, forgotten black Revolutionary War veteran Jeffrey Brace, and self-proclaimed and eccentric “Lord” Timothy Dexter, in addition to theoretical work by Lee Edelman, Elizabeth Freeman, Heather Love, José Esteban Muñoz, among others.

ENG 663: Studies in Shakespeare
Section 1: Mondays 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Vanessa Rapatz

In this seminar we will consider and critique the endurance of Shakespeare as an author and a brand. We will read a representative sample of the plays attributed to Shakespeare with particular emphasis on plays that have inspired the most plentiful and contentious critical and artistic responses. These texts will include but are not limited to Titus Andronicus, Richard III, King Lear, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, Coriolanus, and The Tempest. Our critical focus will include new historicist, feminist, psychoanalytic, and queer readings of the plays, but we will also look to burgeoning ecocritical and adaptation studies approaches to Shakespeare. The more traditional approaches will give you grounding in the field of Shakespeare studies. Our forays into adaptation studies, in particular, will allow us explore a variety of genres including films, graphic novels, and motion capture video games as we consider
how the process of adaptation affects the meaning of Shakespeare’s plays, and interrogate the relationship between an adaptation and its “source.”

ENG 688: Writing Program Administration

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

Professor: Jennifer Grouling Snider

What goes into running a writing program? This course is designed for students who wish to become writing program administrators (either directors or assistant directors) or who wish to broaden their knowledge of writing programs to inform their teaching.

Students will gain an overview of historical, theoretical, and practical issues related to writing program administration. We will address issues such as curriculum development, management, faculty development, and assessment. We will also practice research methods for administrative work. In addition, we will examine the way that institutional context impacts WPA work to prepare you for a variety of institutional settings.

Projects will combine traditional academic research with practical application and action research.