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



ENG 520: Introduction to Linguistics

Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-1:45 PM     

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

This course serves as a basis for further graduate work in linguistics and is more complex than an undergraduate introductory course. It introduces students to the nature of human language, its systematicity, its complexity, and its variety, and surveys selected major areas of linguistics. The course challenges some popular conceptions about language and fosters the development of critical thinking, analytical and research skills. Class activities include discussion of textbook chapters and data analysis. The grade is based on participation, homework exercises and problems, two exams, and a research paper.

ENG 601: Research in English Studies

Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-4:45 PM       

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

This course is an introductory survey of major research methods in linguistics and applied linguistics.  Varied methodologies are reviewed.  The coursework focuses on research question development, research design, bibliographic work, literature review, data collection and analysis, and research proposal writing.  Visiting lecturers will provide overviews of library resources, the Internal Review Board process for working with human subjects, the use of statistics and consultation with a statistician, and grant opportunities and applications.  Activities for credit/grades include discussion of readings, in-class and homework exercises, and work related to all phases of writing an MA Research Paper proposal, Creative Project proposal, or Ph.D. dissertation proposal, as relevant to the individual student.

ENG 610: Reading and Writing Across the Genres
Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Rani Crowe

In English 610 we will be read and practice the creative writing genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. We will also read about the craft. We will produce a multi-genre portfolio of creative and critical writing.

ENG 611: Workshop in Creative Nonfiction

Section 1: Monday and Wednesday 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Silas Hansen

This class will focus on production, revision, and craft analysis of creative nonfiction. We will (1) read quality examples of the genre, (2) critique our texts’ use on craft techniques such as voice, structure, reflection, characterization, and research through both discussion and written analyses, (3) draft essays that utilize the craft techniques we’ve studied and share them in workshop (where you will provide craft-based critiques of your classmates’ work), and (4) revise these essays based on those workshop discussions and consider what venues might be appropriate for our work. Possible texts may include the most recent edition of The Best American Essays, Crafting the Personal Essay by Dinty W Moore, recent issues of literary magazines, and/or essay collections and memoirs by writers such as Jesmyn Ward, Eula Biss, Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jenny Boully, and/or Zadie Smith.

Contact Professor Silas Hansen (schansen@bsu.edu) with any questions.

ENG 615: Workshop in Screenwriting

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

Professor: Matt Mullins (mbmullins@bsu.edu)

English 615 is a graduate-level course focusing on instruction, practice and criticism in screenwriting in a workshop format. As such, the course will deal with the concepts behind and practical application of screenwriting from the perspective of craft.  Course content will emphasize learning/mastering screenwriting format/style and understanding and applying the principles behind compelling visual storytelling and developing plot and character arcs. Students will engage in the analysis of scripts and films of varying lengths, read theoretical and practical texts related to matters of screenwriting craft and write and have collectively critiqued a number of short scripts and/or the first act of a feature-length screenplay.  In addition, students will be asked to complete various screenwriting and script development exercises and constructively critique each other’s scripts.  In general, student work will involve the following:

·   Learning and utilizing the essential techniques of cinematic/visual storytelling              

·   Learning and utilizing the major structural elements of screenwriting form

·   Developing and applying an understanding of screenwriting format/style

·   Developing original story ideas into scenes and/or complete screenplays

·   Workshop (i.e., reading, evaluating, and offering constructive criticism on the work of their peers)

·   Reading material related to screenwriting craft and/or screenplays written by established screenwriters

· “Reading” (i.e., analyzing) films to better understand the craft of screenwriting

ENG 616: Introduction to Theories of Language Learning

Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: TBA

This course introduces basic theories of language learning, with a primary focus on learning English as a second language, by examining linguistic, psychological, and sociocultural factors that influence learning.

ENG 617: Methods for Teaching English Language Learners

Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor: Megumi Hamada

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 methods that often guide 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 622: History of the English Language

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

Professor: Elizabeth Riddle

This course surveys the internal linguistic and external social history of English, starting with Proto-Indo-European to the present.  Key concepts on the nature of language change are addressed. Class activities include discussion of readings and videos, and data collection and analysis.  Graded assignments include data analysis homework, a research paper, and an oral presentation of the paper.

ENG 623: Phonetics and Phonology

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

Professor: Gui Garcia

In this course, we will examine and compare the concrete and abstract realities of sound patterns across languages. We will start with the physical reality of speech sounds (i.e., Phonetics), and the complex processes that allow us to communicate so effortlessly. We will then move up to a more abstract/symbolic level (i.e., Phonology): how can we understand each other if speech is so variable and dynamic? The second half of the course will cover common phonological phenomena, and compare two different theoretical frameworks commonly adopted to explain such phenomena, namely, rule-based and constraint-based models. To conclude, we will briefly examine current trends in experimental and theoretical Phonology.

ENG 627: Sociolinguistics

Section 1: Monday and Wednesday 5:00-6:15 PM

Professor: Mai Kuha (mkuha@bsu.edu)

ENG 627 is a graduate-level introduction to sociolinguistics. We will examine how language variation and change relate to region and social factors such as ethnicity, social class, and age. We will also consider the impact of language attitudes on issues such as language variation in educational settings. Although course concepts are applicable anywhere, readings and examples will be primarily about linguistic variation in the United States.

Course requirements include frequent data collection assignments, occasional class presentations, and a paper.

English 643: American Realism and Naturalism
Section 1: Monday 6:30-9:10 PM

Professor: Debbie Mix 

America was a volatile place during the second half of the 19thcentury and the beginning of the 20th. In this relatively short period, the United States experienced a Civil War and its aftermath, Reconstruction and the retrenchment of white supremacy, western expansion and the closing of the frontier, rapid boom and bust economic cycles and the rise of the “Robber Baron,” the melting pot and the rise of nativism. This era also saw the invention and popularization of the telephone, elevator, machine gun, phonograph, anesthesia, and the automobile. Mass-market publishing, moving pictures, department stores, and the transcontinental railroad enabled faster and wider dissemination of culture across a rapidly growing and changing national landscape. The writing produced during this period can be read as a response to these rapid changes. Writers sought first to document and represent American experiences through “realist” literature, then turned toward “naturalist” writing as a response to a world in which enormous, unseen forces seemed to control nature and society and to crush individuals.

ENG 647: African American (Women’s) Literature

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

Professor: Emily Rutter

The first well-known African American literary figure, Phillis Wheatley, was a woman poet; therefore, as Henry Louis Gates Jr. avers, “All subsequent black writers have evolved in a matrilineal line of descent, and that each, consciously or unconsciously, has extended and revised a canon whose foundation was the poetry of a black woman.” In this course, we will take Wheatley as our starting place, surveying the thematic, aesthetic, and theoretical foundations of African American literature, while centralizing literature produced by women of African descent. In particular, we will trace conceptions of intersectionality, triple consciousness, and #blackgirlmagic from the late eighteenth century to the present day. For example, we will consider the ways in which black women writers have used the printed page both to draw attention to interlocking forces of oppression and to craft innovative, expressive art. In addition to Wheatley, we will encounter writers such as Harriet Jacobs, Frances E. W. Harper, Anna Julia Cooper, Helene Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jesmyn Ward, among others. We will put these writers in conversation with critics and theorists, including Angela Davis, Hazel Carby, Hortense Spillers, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and Patricia Hill Collins. Students will also play a crucial role in the ways that we examine and theorize African American women’s literature by actively engaging in class discussions, giving presentations, and producing a final seminar project.

ENG 697: Contemporary Rhetoric

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

Professor: Mike Donnelly

This course focuses on rhetoric in the 20th and early 21st Centuries, as both cultural practice(s) and an area of academic study. How have the major historical, social, technological, and cultural shifts of the last 100 Years altered the ways in which rhetoric is theorized (academically), understood (culturally), and practiced (socially)? We’ll explore some of the major scholars, theories, and movements of rhetoric in the context of the historical moments that produced them, including (especially) World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Civil and Women’s Rights, 9/11, and the emergence of both television and digital media.

ENG 699: Contemporary Theories of Composition

Section 1: Thursday 6:30-9:10 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 and identity of the field as a whole and the teaching of writing in particular.  However, in order to understand the current, we must first understand, and thus will turn first toward, Composition’s rich (albeit brief) history.  In so doing, we’ll read about, analyze, and discuss salient moments in the field (some of which are situated as the birth of Composition as an academic field), and we’ll examine the different paradigms, including the epistemologies underpinning them, that together form a master narrative for the field.  Along the way, we’ll also attempt to challenge this master narrative by considering what and who has been elided, how, and why.  In surveying both the master narrative and its margins, we’ll attempt to put into praxis the Burkean idea that “a way of seeing is also a way of not seeing.”

Equipped with an historical and theoretical gloss of Composition’s origin(s), we’ll then grapple with current concerns in the field (some 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, epistemology, invention, (post)process, audience, grammar, research methodologies, voice, genre, ecologies, literacy, collaborative learning, race, multimodality, and technology in the creation and teaching of writing; as well as

questions regarding what the identity and focus of the field was, is, and might be; what first-year composition is, and how it has been and might be taught; how we negotiate the personal and the social; who owns writing (turns out, it doesn’t appear to be experts in writing), and what it means to own writing; what the role of extracurricular writing is and might be in the composition curriculum; and how calls for the development of an undergraduate major might expand the scope of the field and its viability as an academic discipline.

In exploring the current and the way it’s molded from and informed by the past, we’ll be able not only to understand better the disciplinary histories, discussions, and work of the field but also to work with, critique, and contribute to them in meaningful ways.

Because the scope of this course can be rather capacious, we’ll ground and orient ourselves by working within three units in particular:

Unit 1:  Historical Paradigms

Unit 2:  CCCC Chair Addresses and Threshold Concepts

Unit 3:  Composition as Januslike


First Summer Session

ID 601: Teaching Practicum in Higher Education

Section 301: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 AM

Professor: Jennifer Grouling

Open only to graduate assistants in the Writing Program. Please contact the professor for information about this course.

ENG 650: Seminar in Literature

TOPIC: Claustrophilia: Closet Drama/s

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

Professor: Vanessa Rapatz

In today's media-saturated society where nearly everything is staged for public consumption, we may see little connection to nor understand the power of closet drama, that is, plays not meant for performance on the public stage. This genre seems to move inward and threatens to be claustrophobic. However, it is our very desire to open up such spaces that, in fact, gives them greater importance. The closet must exist in order for us to peek inside and disclose its secrets. This voyeuristic impetus is the foundation of contemporary reality television with shows that invite us into people's homes or allow us to witness enclosed social experiments. We see this in shows such as Big Brother and The Real Housewives franchise in which we are privy to the "private" negotiations of people's "everyday" lives—the more intimate and salacious, the better. Even our television dramas cater to our desires for an inside look at highly specialized professions—think Code Black, House of Cards, and CSI.

In this seminar we will explore and theorize the etymology of the closet, as well as its close relatives, and the way these spaces have been dramatized in different moments. We will consider the original parameters of such spaces often initially designed for close council as we see in discussion of kings' toilets—inner chambers for conducting court business—and the way these spaces have come to be seen as more private spaces for individual retreat. We will question the benefits of the closet as well as potential dangers and fears associated with this space—especially given the very issues surrounding politics, gender, race, and sexuality that are still associated with the secrecy and titillation of such enclosures. As we read the seminar texts, we will interrogate the way we define dramatic form against our conceptions of the "dramatic" as we move from Seventeenth-Century English Civil War dramas and dialogues to more contemporary British and American dramatic works including Amiri Baraka’s The Toilet, David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, and Kushner’s Angels in America. We will consider feminist, queer, and critical race studies approaches to the closet including Carie Howie’s book focusing on the erotics of the medieval closet and Eve Sedgwick’s pioneering Epistemology of the Closet.

ENG 686: Topics in Linguistics

TOPIC: Quantitative approaches to linguistic data

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

Professor: Gui Garcia

To understand how language works, we need to be able to collect and examine linguistic data. This course will explore how different linguistic processes can be quantitatively analyzed. The course will discuss data visualization and data analysis based on the examination of different linguistic phenomena in a series of published studies. We will explore how such studies were designed, how the data were presented and analyzed, and what conclusions were drawn from the data. We will focus primarily on studies in Psycholinguistics, Phonology, Phonetics, and Second Language Acquisition.

ENG 690: Seminar in Composition

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 12:00-2:40 PM

Professor: Mike Donnelly

In the mid-19th century, something called “composition,” distinct from rhetoric, was created. Today, we still refer to “composition,” or “composition and rhetoric,” or “rhet/comp.” In this course, we will explore the history(s) of what we now refer to as “composition”—from its mid-19th century inception, as part of the new English department, to the present day. We will pay particular attention to the political, social, and public “turns,” as well as more recent efforts to re-think and re-write that history.