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Current Courses


ENG 206: Reading Literature
ENG 210: Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing
ENG 213: Introduction to Digital Literacies
ENG 230: Reading and Writing About Literature
ENG 231: Professional Writing
ENG 285: Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 299X: Language in Politics
ENG 307: Fiction Writing
ENG 308: Poetry Writing
ENG 321: English Linguistics
ENG 345: Early American Literature
ENG 347: Twentieth-Century American Literature
ENG 400: Digital Literature Review
ENG 405: Special Topics in Creative Writing
ENG 406: Creative Nonfiction Workshop
ENG 407: Advanced Fiction Writing
ENG 408: Advanced Poetry Writing
ENG 422: Author Studies
ENG 435: Issues in Rhetoric and Writing
ENG 444: Senior Seminar
ENG 489: Practicum in Literary Editing
ENG 491: Literature of African-American Traditions


ENG 206: Playing in the Dark: Identity and Difference in American Literature
Section 4: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
Professor: Andrea Wolfe 

Novelist Toni Morrison has famously remarked that Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn portrays Huck’s growth as dependent on the continued servitude of the enslaved Jim.  She argues that the novel others Jim, constructing the black man as childish, simple-minded, and unprepared for independence.  If not for the other—the enslaved Jim—Morrison says, neither Huck nor Twain himself could have imagined freedom at all.  Starting with Jim, then, this course will explore literary representations of othering, the process by which we construct other people as “different” in order to formulate our own identities.  It will cover novels, poems, plays, and other literary examples of “playing in the dark,” or othering based on race, class, and gender.  The course will also examine instances in literature when “others” attempt to talk back to the mainstream.

ENG 210: Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing
SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3:00 pm - 3:50 pm
Professor: Rory Lee

This course acts as an introduction to the major and to the larger field of rhetoric and composition.  During the semester, students will explore both parts of the field:  rhetoric and composition.  Toward that end, they will begin with a historical tour through Ancient Greece, the birthplace of western rhetoric, by familiarizing themselves with the epistemologies and rhetorical theories of the Greek Trilogy (i.e., the Sophists, Plato, and Aristotle).  Students will also engage with more contemporary texts in the rhetorical tradition, wrestling with the works of I.A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, Michel Foucault, and Gloria Anzaldua while considering questions such as how words mean, how language creates and shapes reality, how language is controlled and regulated, and how language is identity-formative.  In the second half of the course, students will work more specifically with the second part of the field:  composition (and writing).  In so doing, students will be introduced to key concepts such as rhetorical situation, audience, kairos, genre, and multimodality, and they will come to see composition as situated and purposeful acts of communication.  In working to understand both histories—rhetoric’s and composition’s—students will investigate how language shapes the world in which we live and how they can use language to navigate that world successfully.

SEC 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 am - 11:50 am
SEC 3: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
Professor: Rory Lee  

This course challenges students’ traditional understanding of literacy as the ability to read and write by asking them to consider not only the idea of literacy as situated acts of knowing and doing but also the idea of literacies—plural.  More specifically, students will explore what literacy means and looks like in the context of the digital:  what sort of literacy practices do we enact in the digital realm and how, if at all, are they different from ones we enact in analog culture?  To assist them in this exploration of digital ways of knowing and doing, students will familiarize themselves with various digital practices such as digital and transmedia storytelling, remediation and remix, researching in a publish-then-filter economy, and viral marketing.  In addition to examining the literacy practices common to the digital, students will analyze the various technologies that enable such practices.  Here, students will consider the history of media, the genres common to them, and the connections between media, old and new.  Lastly, students will grapple with the social, political, economic, and ethical consequences of these digital literacy practices.  In particular, they will take up the following questions:  how does the digital allow groups to form and act in ways they couldn’t previously, and what happens when the grassroots culture fostered through digital literacy practices intersects with corporate culture?

 SEC 2: Tuesday, Thursday 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm 
 Professor: Maria Windell 

Throughout the course of this semester, we will be studying fiction, poetry, drama, and film from an array of historical and national traditions. We will frame our discussions of these texts through a variety of critical approaches, such as New Criticism, historicist, gender studies, etc. You will also have the opportunity to refine your critical writing skills through a progression of assignments, all focusing on literary analysis. Texts may include Daisy Miller; Frankenstein; Blade Runner; poetry; A Streetcar Named Desire; and All the Pretty Horses.

  SEC 1: Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 – 12:15 pm
  SEC 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 – 9:50 am
  Professor: Eva Snider

 In this course, we will explore professional writing: what it means to write for and with others, to design and create content for complex work environments, and to collaborate on primary research in a professional context. We will begin by discussing the professional in professional writing, including concepts of professionalism and professionalism in the production of documents. Along the way, you will also learn about common genres of professional writing, including proposals, memos, e-mails, bibliographies, and reports.

The main line of the course, though, will be a primary professional research project on users of a discursive technology. Near the beginning of the semester, you and your research team (of approximately 3-5 members) will write a proposal for a research project that incorporates surveys, interviews, and artifact analysis to begin to explore how everyday users of a particular discursive technology interact with that technology. From there, you will learn the theories and practices of conducting primary research in a professional context, including survey building, interviewing, and artifact analysis/coding. You will ultimately produce a white paper, which presents your research findings and suggests directions for future research, a fact sheet, which distills your findings into an easily accessed form, and a presentation to the rest of the class.

This course will immerse you in various concepts central to the field of professional writing, including qualitative field research, project management, visual rhetoric and document design, and professionalism. You will be expected to produce high quality deliverables grounded in real-world situations.

  SEC 10: Wednesday 6:30 pm - 9:10 pm 
 Professor: Michael Meyerhofer 

 This course offers an introduction to the art and craft of writing poetry and prose that’s worth reading. We’ll also discuss what qualities distinguish a good piece of writing (for instance, how good poetry has almost nothing in common with the lyrics of insipid pop songs). As students and writers, you will read and analyze high quality published work, write and revise your own pieces, and read and discuss the work of your classmates. Time permitting, I also hope to introduce you to the world of literary journals and publishing as well. This course does not require you to be an experienced and/or gifted creative writer; it does require you to be willing to read, analyze, and do your best on your own work.

  SEC 15: Monday, Wednesday 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
 Professor: Emily Scalzo 

 English 285 offers an introduction to the art and craft of writing poetry and prose that’s worth reading. The course will focus on development of writing craft, obtainment of a critical/literary vocabulary, and a reading, examination, and discussion of established authors. As students and writers, you will read and analyze high quality published work, write and revise your own pieces, and read and discuss the work of your classmates. Time permitting, I also hope to introduce you to the world of literary journals and publishing as well. This course does not require you to be an experienced and/or gifted creative writer; it does require you to be willing to read, analyze, and do your best on your own work. 

 ENG 285: Introduction to Creative Writing
  SEC 18: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm
  Professor: Brian Morrison 

English 285 is an introduction to writing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The course will focus on development of writing craft, obtainment of a critical/literary vocabulary, and a reading, examination, and discussion of established authors. This class will always be active in our learning! We will read a great amount of excellent material; we will write a great amount, and strive to make it excellent. We will attempt to spark and develop our creativity. We will create our own original poems, stories, and essays. The point of 285 is to improve on writing. We will do so.

  ENG 285: Introduction to Creative Writing
  SEC 11: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 am - 9:50 am
  SEC 13: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
  Professor: Todd McKinney 

 As an introduction to Creative Writing, this class will provide the student with the opportunity to practice writing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. To practice our own writing, we will explore the possibilities of the three genres by reading and discussing a number of stories, poems, and essays.  In short, this class asks the student to write a lot and read a lot—the best way to become a better writer.  The assignments and exercises will challenge students to think critically and creatively to better understand how we make/shape/bend/warp meaning out of language and experience as we use language to continue exploring what it means to be alive on earth.

   Course assignments will include drafts, workshop responses, quizzes and reading responses, and a portfolio.

  SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 - 11:50 am
  Instructor: Mai Kuha 

 “That’s just politics”, people sometimes say dismissively. However, the reality is that politics is at the core of basic human rights and freedoms, justice, and livelihood. Politics is also composed of ideas that come into being through language: without language, there is no “president”, “conservative”... not even “nation”.

So, “politics permeates language (and vice versa)” (Joseph 2006). In this course, we will analyze examples from various genres (political speeches, campaign ads, political cartoons and satire, and media coverage of political issues) as we investigate connections between language and politics, including topics such as power, group identity, the importance of language for an effective leader, and the representation of environmental issues in political discourse. We will also consider the politics of a nation having an official language, and the more subtly political issue of enshrining a particular variety of a language as the standard.

No background in linguistics or anything else is required: the course will introduce the most relevant concepts from linguistics, including conceptual metaphor, framing, and a few features of sentence structure. These tools allow us to analyze the language of politics in a systematic and fairly objective way. This course is not a how-to manual of political communication; the primary goal is that, the next time you encounter a jaw-dropping political speech or campaign ad, you will be well equipped to articulate how the specific linguistic elements involved create an effective message– or a misleading message, as the case may be.

Requirements will include reading one chapter or article per week (or two chapters or articles, occasionally), quizzes, and a research paper (either individual or collaborative, according to your preference).  Questions? mkuha@bsu.edu

  SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 am - 10:50 am 
 Professor: Cathy Day 

In this course, we focus on five skills or competencies:

1.) Scenecraft: How to create a vivid and continuous fictional dream for the reader by knowing how (and when) to dramatize scenes and how (and when) to summarize scenes.

2.) Point of view: How to create compelling characters by externalizing their internal desires, how to select who tells the story, and how close or how distant the point of view should be.

3.) Setting: How to avoid writing stories that could be set anywhere, everywhere, but are grounded in a particular place and time and culture. 

4) Plot Structure: How to create a plot with a beginning, middle, and end, or how (and when) to avoid traditional narrative arc entirely. 

5.) Readability: How to write prose that achieves sentence-level proficiency, how to develop an ear for grace and clarity, whether its simple and unadorned or more complex and lyrical. 

To that end, I’ve chosen readings and created exercises that will help you develop these skills and improve your fiction. Two special features of the course are that all creative work will be distributed and graded anonymously (we won’t know whose work we’re discussing) and much of what you write will be read aloud to the class so that we can hear how it sounds. 

Texts:  Tom Bailey, On Writing Short Stories 
Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad
Michael Poore, Up Jumps the Devil 

ENG 307: Fiction Writing  
SEC 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm 
 Professor: Jeff Frawley  

This course will focus on the practices and habits—reading, daily writing, study of craft and technique, discussion—vital to the art of fiction writing.  Students will hold discussions on readings and craft, and will complete activities designed to build towards drafts of fiction.  We will also gain practice with facilitating successful workshop discussions, for which students will be expected to submit their own work as well as thoughtful, respectful feedback to others.  The semester will culminate in a portfolio of revised fictional works. 

This course will have a special emphasis on using elements of strangeness and mystery in literary fiction writing.  We will look at and discuss how compelling characters, unexpected details, and purposeful release of information can captivate readers and energize our fiction.  Throughout the semester students will be encouraged to try out techniques related to this special emphasis.  

In addition to supplemental stories and essays on craft, we will read three short texts: Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Danzy Senna's Symptomatic, and Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 am - 11:50 am  
Professor: Liz Whiteacre  

In English 308, you will explore contemporary poetry, focusing on the art of reading, writing, and responding to poems. Throughout the class, we will discuss the craft of writing poems and look at four poets' collections, which will present different styles of poetry. We'll experience ways to avoid writer's block, mature our voices, explore new subjects and forms, and more. Through workshop and other revision techniques, you'll continue to develop your "editor's eye." 

Assignments will include writing exercises, original poems, workshops, revision exercises, readings (including Kooser's The Poetry Home Repair Manual), and critical reading responses. At the end of the semester, you will produce an eChapbook of your poems and submit a poem for publication. 

ENG 308: Poetry Writing  
SEC 2: Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 am - 10:45 am  
Professor: Michael Meyerhofer  

This course is designed for aspiring poets and people seeking to increase their knowledge and understanding of poetry. Since we are all contemporary writers, I tend to focus primarily on contemporary (aka “living”) poets. I’ll push you to develop your own personal aesthetic—meaning, decide for yourself what makes a poem a poem. We will also discuss the formal elements of poetry like alliteration, assonance, extended metaphor, etc. This class also consists of intensive workshops in which we discuss each other’s poems, as well as the poetry of well-established contemporary poets like Sharon Olds, Dorianne Laux, Tony Hoagland, George Bilgere, Marie Howe, Kim Addonizio, Billy Collins, and others. Since no one is expected to consistently turn out great poems on the first or second draft, constructive feedback is also a vital component of the revision process, which factors heavily into the final portfolio. Each student in class will be expected to duplicate copies of his or her poems for class discussion. 

This course studies the major structures of English, with particular emphasis on phrase and clause level structures. We will learn about the relationship between the form and function of different structures. Since English majors and minors are considered by the public to be experts about their language and are expected to know the basic concepts and terminology of English sentence structure, we will review both the relevant linguistic terms and the traditional terms. Non-English majors benefit from the course in that the study of English helps them to understand how languages (and in particular, English) are structured. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm  
SEC 2: Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm  
Professor: Mary Lou Vercellotti  

Learning Objectives   Students will be able to:

-understand the difference between grammatical and native-like

-use linguistic terminology related to grammar to better understand writer’s handbooks, teaching methodology textbooks, or other reference materials 

-identify word categories (including verb types) using different linguistic information 

-identify types of nouns and how this impacts other words in the noun phrase, including articles, pre- and post-modifiers

-identify lexical aspect of verbs and discuss the impact of lexical aspect on tense and grammatical aspect

-identify the form and function of tense, aspect, and modality in English 

-describe how the order of sentence elements impacts the effect of the reader 

-describe how discourse (e.g., new and old information) affects grammar (e.g., article use, sentence structure) 

-identify types of sentences and English, by form and function 

-use a variety of structures in your writing even more effectively and deliberately 

SEC 1: Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 am – 10:45 am  

Professor: Maria Windell 

Incest. Seduction. Suicide. Abandonment. Cross-dressing. Immolation. Revolution. For fun, toss in ventriloquism and hauntings. Welcome to the early American novel. Even such a simple welcome, of course, raises all sorts of questions: at what point does America become “America”? what role does literature play in that transformation? at what point does America actually begin to develop a literary tradition? and, what makes that tradition recognizably American? We will also broach debates over defining the first American novel—not as straightforward a task as it may seem. We will spend the semester immersed (reveling, really) in the very strange works that became central to the foundation of America’s novelistic tradition. Our texts offer all of the scandals, spectacles, and tragedies noted above. In many ways, the anxieties of the early American novel parallel the anxious birth of the United States. By tracing the origins of the American novel, we will trace how the promise of the new nation took shape—for better and for worse. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 am - 10:50 am  

Professor: Debbie Mix 

We often understand writing of the first decades of the 20th century as attempts to “make new” both the form and content of American literature.  But after World War II, some writers felt challenged to make it new all over again.  This section of English 347 will consider the relationships between those who “made it new” and those who “re-made it new” by reading authors in pairs and clusters.  We’ll consider pairs like William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, and Gertrude Stein and Suzan-Lori Parks.  Course assignments will include 2 essays, a final exam, and a group presentation. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm  

Professor: Adam Beach 

Contribute to and Help Produce Issue #2 of the Digital Literature Review: Slavery Now. 

For writers, artists, and filmmakers, the issue of slavery is as relevant now as at any time in our history.  In the past twenty years, we have seen an impressive outpouring of fiction, film, and other kinds of narratives and artistic works that engage with the institution of slavery.  On the one hand, Americans continue to explore our own disastrous history of slavery, its aftermaths, and its continuing impact on our own society.  On the other hand, we are slowly coming to grips with the fact that there have never been more slaves in the world than there are today.  The Walk Free Foundation recently issued its Global Slavery Index, a comprehensive report that found that currently there are nearly 30,000,000 slaves in the world.  Artists, writers, and filmmakers are beginning to draw attention to this issue through their work. 

This course will give students the opportunity to study a wide range of artistic works about slavery and will take a two-pronged approach to investigate those produced in the last 20 years.  In the first part of the course, we will cover theoretical work about slavery, particularly that of Orlando Patterson and Kevin Bales, and we will examine recent films, slave narratives, and fictions that engage with slavery in our contemporary world.  The second half of the course will give students the opportunity to study recent works about slavery in the Americas, including Django Unchained and 12 Years a Slave, two films released in the past year that have stoked controversy and conversations about American slave institutions. 

Throughout the course, we will ask big questions about the representations of “slavery now” and the ways that these two conversations about slavery overlap and speak to each other.  Students will have the opportunity to consider these issues on a field trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, an institution equally interested in both past and current slave practices. Students will carry out research over two semesters that will culminate in their capstone project in the Spring, a project that will be considered for publication in the second issue of the Digital Literature Review (DLR). 

As part of the DLR team, students will also be responsible for contributing to and producing the DLR blog (www.bsudlr.wordpress.com), for designing and creating the second issue of the DLR (www.bsu.edu/dlr), and for publicizing and promoting our work as well as soliciting and editing papers from undergraduate students around the globe.  In addition to earning course credit and immersive learning experience, you will gain experience in research and scholarship, professional writing and editing, digital design and publishing, and emerging media and publicity. 

While most students will earn 3 hours for ENG 400 in the fall and 3 hours for ENG 444 in the spring, course credits are negotiable, and I will work with you to fit the class into your program of study and to negotiate with your home department about course equivalencies. 

Contact Dr. Adam R. Beach (arbeach@bsu.edu; 285-8583) if you are interested in participating. 

SEC 1: Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 am - 10:45 am  

Professor: Mark Neely   

In this special topics course we will consider a variety of methods for writing fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. We’ll experiment with collages, cutups, erasures, Oulipo, found texts, sound poems, visual poems, mail art, concrete texts, and false translations, and explore the relationship between writing and visual art. The writing assignments in this course will be informed by close study of a wide variety of stories, poems, essays, manifestos, and hybrid texts by published authors.   

Texts include: Percussion Grenade by Joyelle McSweeney; alphabet, by Inger Christensen; Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace; Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen; the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction.   

Course requirements regular reading assignments and writing exercises, workshop critiques, writing assignments in each of the genres, and a final project. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday  12:00 pm - 12:50 pm    

Professor Jill Christman    

In this advanced creative nonfiction class we will focus on the techniques and art of the personal essay to explore how we think and why.  Using our own experiences and perceptions as the lens through which we record the world, we’ll start by writing about the self (in a memoir piece) and as the term progresses we’ll expand our scope to write about things beyond the self—other people, other places, other ways of living in the world. We’ll work on the nuts-and-bolts of the writing (research and interview strategies, structure, point of view, storytelling, language) as we tackle the big questions facing us:  What do I want to write about and why?  What about memory and forgetting?  What shape might best serve the essay?  What does it mean to say something true?   

Course requirements will include: quizzes, regular writing exercises, reading responses, workshop critiques, and three polished personal essays.    


-Best American Essays 2013 (ed. Cheryl Strayed, series ed. Robert Atwan)

-The Best American Essays of the Century (ed. Joyce Carol Oates)  

-Tell It Slant (ed. Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paolo)  

-current issues of creative nonfiction journals River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative & Creative Nonfiction  

-The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard plus and a selection of must-read-and-teach essays at the professor’s discretion

Section 1: Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 am - 10:45 am  
Section 2: Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm  

Professor: Sean Lovelace 

In this class we will continue many of the concepts of English 307, with an expectation of advanced complexity. The class will focus on student and professional manuscripts in the genre of FLASH FICTION (complete stories—with interest in structure, language, and theme—with a word count under 750 words). We will discuss the spectrum of lyricism versus narrative, and all points in-between. We will read a wide variety of flash fiction texts and critical essays on the genre by professional authors. We will create many of our own flash fiction drafts, in a wide variety of schools, from realism to surrealism. And we will workshop those drafts, focusing on constructive feedback and considered revision.     


-Oh Baby by Kim Chinquee 

-Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan 

-Up Jumps the Devil by Michael Poore 

-Murder in the Dark  by Margaret Atwood (PDF) 

-Flash Fiction 72 Very Short Stories by Thomas, Thomas, Hazuka         

-We will also have handouts and online texts.      

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

SEC 1: Tuesday, Thursday 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm  

Professor: Mark Neely 

English 408 is an advanced course in poetry writing. About half the class will be devoted to discussion of contemporary poets, including six collections of poems. We will talk about different styles and forms of poetry 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 student work, and offer strategies for revision. Student poems will be critiqued in several ways, including small and large group workshops.

Assignments include readings, 10 poems, other writing assignments, and a chapbook. 

Texts include: Percussion Grenade by Joyelle McSweeney; Slow Lightning by Eduardo C. Corral; Rain of the Future by Valerie Meijer; Allegiance by Francine J. Harris; The House on Boulevard Street by David Kirby; Cocktails by D.A. Powell 

Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00 am - 11:50 am 

Professor: Pat Collier               

 “ ‘Behind the cotton wool’: Virginia Woolf and the Everyday”    

 …I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mine; that behind the cotton wool is hidden a pattern; that we—I mean all human beings—are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art.  --Virginia Woolf, A Sketch of the Past               

We spend much of our waking time absorbed in routine tasks—walking, driving, eating, etc. Virginia Woolf described these long periods of unfocused, automatic daily living as “non-being” and likened them to “cotton wool.”  And she argued that, in moments of intense perception, we see beyond the cotton wool to a truer reality that lies behind it.   

This class will be a collaborative inquiry into the writings of Virginia Woolf as they engage with everyday life. While ordinary, daily activities take up most of our lives, they have rarely been the focus of fiction or history, which traditionally emphasize dramatic and memorable events. For this reason “the everyday” has emerged, over the last century, as a topic for curiosity in philosophy, psychology, and literary and cultural studies.    

In addition to being one of the two or three most canonized English authors of the twentieth century, Virginia Woolf is also one of the supreme novelists of the everyday: her novels record the minutiae that passes through the minds of characters on their daily rounds. Her most famous novel takes place over the course of a single day, and begins, “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself”—focusing on a seemingly insignificant detail of daily life.   In this course we will, in dialogue with a number of critics and historians, construct a theoretical understanding of the everyday as we examine Virginia Woolf’s representations of, and thoughts about, everyday life in her novels, essays, letters, and diaries. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm  

Professor: Eva Snider 

In this course, we will explore visual communication, or how we as human beings use visual language to communicate, to persuade, to inform. We will begin by discussing theories of visual communication, including visual perception and thinking, visual culture, and visual rhetoric. We will then move into instruction in the production technologies necessary for document designers, as well as the process designers and professional writers often follow to design documents. From there, we will examine general principles of document design, including how to examine documents critically through the lens of those principles. Finally, we will focus on more specific principles of visual communication, including principles of color, space, and typography. 

This class is well suited for all students interested in becoming better visual communicators and document designers. It draws on principles common in art, graphic and information design, and professional writing.

While you will be completing readings and analysis assignments, this course is a production course, meaning the primary focus will be on the documents you design. You will be doing a significant amount of work sketching, wireframing, prototyping, providing feedback, and revising visual documents. 

SEC 1: Monday, Wednesday 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm  

Professor: Pat Collier 

Much of the most-studied and best-loved literature in college curricula first saw the light of day in magazines and other periodicals.  Periodicals provided essential income and exposure for writers from Jonathan Swift to Henry James to Alice Munro.  They have also for three centuries provided the primary venue for book reviews and debates about literary quality, and about what is and is not "literature."  Today's fiction writers and poets still publish primarily in magazines, from artsy "little magazines" to upstart on-line "zines" to prestigious commercial outlets like The New Yorker.  Yet we rarely talk about magazines themselves, though they are complex and fascinating cultural artifacts in their own right.  Once a writer's work lasts for more than a generation and makes it into anthologies, the role of magazines in his or her career, as supporters, purveyors, and contexts of the work, tend to fade almost entirely from view.         

This class will consist of a collaborative inquiry into the historic and continuing role of magazines and other periodicals in the production and definition of "literature."  In-class readings will focus on a particularly vibrant period for literary publishing in magazines: 1880-1920.  We will read what some theorists and cultural historians have said about the literary canon and about the functioning of periodicals in print culture.  And we will read a small set of primary, "literary" texts in book form.  But the bulk of our reading will consist of reading in period magazines in multiple formats (on-line, hard copy, facsimile, etc.)  Final projects will consist of in-depth research on individual magazines, on relations between magazines, or on authors’ or sets of authors' relationships with magazines. 

ENG 444:Senior Seminar: American Literature and Culture in the Gilded Age 
SEC 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 am - 9:50 am  

Professor: Robert Habich 

In this senior seminar we will take an integrated approach to American letters during the era Mark Twain termed the “Gilded Age,” roughly from the end of the Civil War (1865) through the election of Teddy Roosevelt (1901). By examining developments such as urbanization, immigration, the rise of corporate culture, challenges to racial and gender roles, and the codes that contextualized these social changes, we will see how literature reflects and dramatizes the tensions in its cultural and political world. Do know that there is a substantial amount of reading in this class: six novels, two novellas, and about half of the chapters in a book of social history. Make room in your life to get it done.

As its second goal, this course will give you the opportunity to practice and refine the skills of advanced English majors. Just what do English majors do? Among other things, they teach; they interpret texts; they do scholarly research; they evaluate literary merit; and they write creatively. English 444 will allow you to employ your skills and focus on the area of English that interests you the most.

And finally, through discussion, current events reports, and our final exam roundtable, we will try to make connections between your life, our world, and the lives of Americans during the Gilded Age, our goal being to understand not just the past but its similarities with the present.

Readings will include

Cashman, Sean Dennis. America in the Gilded Age. 3rd edition (New York University Press, 1993)
Chesnutt, Charles W. The Marrow of Tradition. 1901 (University of Michigan Press, 1969)
Chopin, Kate.  The Awakening. 1899. (Avon, 1972)
Crane, Stephen. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. 1893. (Norton, 1979)
Howells, William Dean. The Rise of Silas Lapham. 1885. (Penguin, 1983)
James, Henry. Daisy Miller. 1878. (Dover, 1995)
Norris, Frank. McTeague. 1899 (Signet, 2003)
Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. The Silent Partner. 1871 (Feminist Press, 1983)
Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 1889. (Bantam, 1983)

ENG 444: Senior Seminar: Literacy, Narrative, and Gaming  
SEC 3: Monday, Wednesday 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm  

Professor: Jennifer Grouling 

This course will consider the social, rhetorical, and narrative construction of games from a variety of genres (including both board games and video games). We will read books and articles on topics such as the narrative structure of games, identity formation in games, and the social interactions in gaming. We will address issues such as the effect of games on literacy as well as how to write for games. Readings will come from diverse areas of English studies including cultural studies, rhetorical criticism, education, and narratology. 

As a senior seminar, you will develop your own semester long project based on the theme of the course and your particular focus within English studies. You might conduct a rhetorical, literary, or linguistic analysis of a particular game or genre, develop your own game, write a script for a game, or develop a course/unit plan around gaming 

SEC 1: Tuesday, Thursday 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm  

Professor: Mark Neely 

(email maneely@bsu.edu to request permission) 

The students in this class will be responsible for producing the Spring 2012 issue of The Broken Plate, a national literary magazine produced by Ball State undergraduates. Student editors will be responsible for all aspects of magazine production, including soliciting submissions, selecting quality work, designing the magazine, and promoting and selling the issue. 

Other requirements include magazine and book reviews, readings and quizzes, software tutorials, and an individual literary editing project. Texts will include books by our fall visiting writers, online readings, and handouts.

English 489 is a year-long, 6-credit, immersive learning course.  Students will also enroll in English 489 in spring 2013. 

Permission of Instructor is required: please email Mark Neely at maneely@bsu.edu if you are interested in this class. 

SEC 1: Tuesday, Thursday 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm  

Professor: Maria Windell 

This course will consider the variety and significance of African Americans’ contributions to American literature and culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. In examining how African American writers explore the intersections between racial identity, social relations, and historical contexts, we will begin with a focus on how the array of nineteenth-century African American writings extended well beyond the genre of the slave narrative. The concerns of those writings—resistance, family, community, nationality, “racial uplift,” voice, reconciliation—set a foundation for the twentieth- and twenty-first-century texts we’ll be reading. Authors may include: Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Huston, Langston Hughes, Colson Whitehead, and Toni Morrison. 

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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