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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders English

Fall 2014 Courses

Fall 2014 Course Descriptions


AAS 1100-190 - Introduction to African American Studies through Literature


Prof. Edward Washington

This introductory course provides a broad-based overview of African American life and culture through a variety of cross-disciplinary perspectives, including history, literature, philosophy, politics, socio-economics, and the arts, students gain insights into the black experience as it relates to their individual lives, the country, and the larger world. This course counts towards the African American Studies minor; it also fits the following General Education Requirement: Unity and Diversity of Humanity – Themes - Ethics and Civic Responsibility.


ENG 1115 - Introduction to Literature

This general education course provides an introduction to reading poetry, fiction, and drama for understanding and enjoyment. This is a General Education Humanities course. It does NOT count towards the ENG B.A. or B.S.E. degree. There are three sections of Intro. to Lit. offered Fall 2014:


ENG 1115-01 - Introduction to Literature

MWF 1:30-2:20

Prof. Marissa Scott


ENG 1115-02 - Introduction to Literature

Tu Th 10-11:15

Prof. Teri Doerksen


ENG 1115-03 - Introduction to Literature

MWF 9:30-10:20

Prof. Teri Doerksen


ENG 1130-01(W) - Introduction to Literary Studies

Tu Th 10:00-11:15

Prof. John Ulrich

ENG 1130 introduces English majors and minors to the field of literary studies. The course is designed to give you a foundational experience in English through reading, discussing, and interpreting key influential literary texts, with an emphasis on improving your writing, analytical, and research skills. Our semester will begin with readings from the Bible, arguably the most influential text in British and American literary history.Next, we'll tackle a seventeenth-century text that draws heavily on biblical images and themes: John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. We'll then turn to a discussion of Mary Shelley's gothic re-envisioning of Paradise Lost, her early nineteenth-century novel Frankenstein.We will also consider the subsequent cultural impact of Frankenstein in non-print media, particularly film.  Finally, we'll conclude the semester with a pair of texts: Joseph Conrad's short novel Heart of Darkness, set in colonial Africa, and Francis Ford Coppola's film Apocalypse Now, an adaptation of Conrad's novel set during the Vietnam War. Along the way you will study key literary terms, learn to use MLA documentation style, practice your prosody skills, and explore critical approaches to literature and film.  This course is required for all English majors. It is not a General Education course.


ENG 2207 - Readings in British Literature: Love and Desire in British Literature

MWF 12:30-1:20

Prof. Andrea Harris

Human beings express love and desire not only in our interactions but also in literary works of art. We will examine the way that love is not only domesticated and contained through social structures such as marriage, but also unleashed through the breakdown of gender and sexual norms. We will also look at the recurring subject of illicit or forbidden passion. Authors include Shakespeare, Austen, Keats, E. Bronte, Rhys, and Winterson. Assignments include short response papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam. This course fits the following General Education Requirement: Global Awareness, Language and Literature, Humanities.


ENG 2208-01 - Readings in American Literature

Tu Th 1:00-2:15

Prof. Abby Werlock

According to a recent article in the magazine Scientific American, science may have proved the old saying, “there’s a fine line between good and evil,” and identified the “common thread” that links heroes with villains, saints with sinners. In this course we will attempt to determine which literary characters actually earn these titles and which heroes instead resemble the villains, which saints resemble the sinners.  Readings will include short stories and novels from such authors as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Harper Lee, William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Truman Capote, Patricia Highsmith, and Zora Neale Hurston. This course counts for the following General Education Requirement: Language and Literature, Humanities.


ENG 2222 - Slave Narrative

MWF 10:30-11:20 [time may change]

Prof. Lynn Pifer

Students taking this course will read, discuss, and write about a variety of slave narratives from Equiano’s 1789 tale to Bok’s 2003 narrative. We will discuss the slave narrative as a genre, the authors’ motivations for publishing such accounts, and the social and literary impact of these texts. Students will hone their writing and critical thinking skills as well as develop an historical understanding of U.S. and recent African slavery and slave narratives as we read, discuss, and write about a number of texts by men and women who escaped from slavery. Expect quizzes, in-class writing, informal response papers, and exams. This course counts for the African American Studies minor and fits the following General Education Requirement: Unity and Diversity of Humanity – Themes - Ethics and Civic Responsibility.



MWF 1:30-2:20

Prof. Brad Holtman

As speakers of English, we all have a complete knowledge of the grammar of English; yet that grammar remains a mystery.Why? This course will explore the different systems that make up the complex grammatical structure of our language.We will look at how English structure functions to create meaning from the word through the sentence and on up to entire texts. The course will focus on English in its natural context.Students will explore the language of their everyday lives through observation and fieldwork. This course is required for all English BSE majors and may serve as an elective for English BA majors; this fits the following general Education Requirement: Approaches to Knowledge – Humanities, Language and Literature.


ENG 2254(W) - Intro to Fiction Writing

TTH 10:00-11:15

Prof. Sullivan-Blum

The success of a piece of writing rests on its truth and on its voice. By voice, I mean the tone in which it is told and the language used to tell it. By truth, I mean its honesty and its passion. The point of this 3-credit class is for you to find your true voice and true concerns as a writer, while mastering the essentials of fiction writing -- character, setting, dialogue, style, voice, etc. In this class, we will work on our writing -- first with exercises and then with complete works -- but we will also work on becoming better readers, both of each others' work and of the stories in the anthology. Class time will be spent writing, discussing the assigned readings, and workshopping each others' writing. This course is a prerequisite for ENG 3254 - Advanced Fiction Writing. This course is required in the newly revised Creative Writing minor and may be used as an elective course in the English BA major; it also fits the following General Education Requirement: Unity and Diversity of Humanity – Themes - Arts and the Human Experience.


ENG 2252-01(W) - Intro to Poetry Writing

Prof. Mitch Goldwater

TTH 1:00-2:15

Poetry is a thing you can hear or read or study.You can pick up a book of it at the library or listen to a reading. But poetry is also a way of being in the world: it’s about heightened perceptions, about noticing small things as significant, about not just making interesting connections but feeling them right there in the gut.It’s about seeing things newly, differently.  “Poetry” in this sense has us cultivating a sensitivity toward the world and its happenings as well as to words and their implications.This class aims for both kinds of poetry.We’ll read a lot of poems by others and see what works for each of us; we’ll scavenge what we can from what we read.We’ll break poems down for how they work, and for what work they ask the reader to do.We’ll imitate.We’ll generate new material from experience. We’ll look closely at poems through elements of craft—sound, line and line ending, form, image, etc.—and we’ll use these elements to give our work power and also to generate fresh associations and perceptions.There’ll be free verse, form, meter, rhyme.We’ll get some familiarity with the process of composing and revising our drafts.And we’ll try, every once in a while, to order up some magic, like a pizza we can all share, delivered by a muse to our classroom door. This course is required in the newly revised Creative Writing minor and may be used as an elective course in the English BA major; it also fits the following General Education Requirement: Unity and Diversity of Humanity – Themes - Arts and the Human Experience.


ENG 2299-01 - Monsters in Literature & Film (a.k.a. Monster Lit.)

W 6:15-9:00 p.m.

Prof. John Ulrich

The contemporary popularity of monsters – particularly vampires and zombies – is not a new phenomenon, but part of humanity's ongoing obsession with "monsters" of various types and forms throughout history. But just what is it, exactly, about monsters that has made them such an enduring and powerful part of human culture?  What do these monsters – the Medusa of ancient mythology, Grendel in Beowulf, the Creature in Frankenstein, the vampires of Dracula, the great Gojira of Japanese kaiju, and the zombies of Night of the Living Dead – tell us about our society and ourselves? We will focus on monsters in mythology, literature, and film, and use the techniques of literary and "monster theory" to find out. This course fits the following General Education Requirement: Unity and Diversity of Humanity – Themes - Arts and the Human Experience.


ENG 3307-01/HON 4455 - Literature in English from Around the World

MWF 2:30-3:20

Prof. Brad Lint

When most people think of English literature, they tend to think of American and British examples. English, however, is an official language in 54 countries, and that’s a significant number of the roughly 196 countries in the world. Pack your bags for a course in global Anglophone literature. We’ll begin in the Americas with Canadian writers Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood before touring the Caribbean with Kamau Brathwaite, Lorna Goodison, VS Naipaul, and Derek Walcott. We’ll then sojourn in Africa with Nadine Gordimer, Bessie Head, Doris Lessing, and Wole Soyinka. We’ll take a trip to South Asia to visit with British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, and then head Down Under to explore Australian and New Zealand poetry before ending our odyssey with a bit of craic in Ireland. Along the way, your guide will ask you to consider the implications of globalization, world Englishes, and theory (especially postcolonialism). We’ll also have some in-flight entertainment by way of film and music, particularly during the Irish segment of the course. Prerequisite:ENG 1112. This course fits the followingGeneral Education Requirement: Unity and Diversity of Humanity – Global Perspectives - Western and Non-Western Global Cultures (Option2).

ENG 3268-190 - Survey of British Literature I


Prof. Edward Washington

This on-line course covers a thousand years of British literature from its early folk beginnings through the first glimmers of the novel in the mid-1700s.  We will begin with the monsters in Beowulf and cover Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain, the best of the morality dramas, Spenser’s Fairy Queen, Donne’s Holy Sonnets, metaphysical poetry, New World fantasy, Paradise Lost, Dryden, Swift, Pope, and Robinson Crusoe.This online course will require substantive participation in 3-4 day discussion board activities; there will also be two 4-6 page papers and 2 exams. Prerequisite:  ENG 1112. This course fulfills the British Survey requirement for English majors; it also fits the following General Education Requirement: Approaches to Knowledge – Humanities, Language & Literature, Global Awareness.


ENG 3278-01 - Survey of American Literature I

Tu Th 2:30-3:45

Prof. Abby Werlock

ENG 3278: Survey of American Literature I covers major American literature from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries, from the explorers and the colonists through the American Revolution, to the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and national unrest that culminated in the Civil War. Texts include first-hand explorer accounts of the New World and colonial journals; Mary Rowlandson’s capitivity narrative; Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, seminal writings by such founders as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams; and several novels, including Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s Hope Leslie, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall, and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.Prerequisite:  ENG 1112. This course fulfills the American Survey requirement for English majors; it also fits the following General Education Requirement: Approaches to Knowledge – Humanities, Language & Literature.


ENG 3386-01 - Readings in Young Adult Literature

Saturday 9:15-noon

Prof. Sullivan-Blum

In this class we will examine the recent explosion of dystopias in young adult fiction, delving into some of the best contemporary YA novels. We will immerse ourselves in a variety of horrors and discuss why these dysfunctional and frequently post-apocalyptic visions of the future are so popular with today's young adult readers, and to what extent they mirror the reality of the adolescent social experience. We'll analyze the extent to which these dystopias spring from our own present-day practices, such as war, genetic engineering, resource exhaustion, technological advances, political authoritarianism, and economic inequality. And we'll explore our own visions of the future that awaits us, and the steps we can take to influence that future. The emphasis of the course will be on active discussion and close introspection into the literature, our society, and ourselves. Course requirements include classroom participation, online discussion forums, quizzes, papers, tests, and a final project. Prerequisite:  ENG 1112. This course fits the following General Education Requirement: Approaches to Knowledge – Humanities, Language & Literature.


ENG 3326-01/WS4455-01 - Women’s Literature/WS Capstone

MWF 1:30-2:20

Prof. Andrea Harris

Our focus in this class will be a selection of fascinating literary texts by twentieth-century American women writers. The enormous changes in women’s lives during the last century will determine the wide range of subjects that we will examine: women’s entrance into the public sphere; coming of age; gender, race, sexuality, and ethnicity; and madness. Authors include Chopin, Gilman, Hurston, Plath, Allison, and Lahiri. Assignments will include response papers, formal papers, a midterm, and a final exam. Prerequisite:  ENG 1112. This course fulfills the World/Minority Literature requirement for the English major; it counts towards the Women’s Studies minor; it fulfills the following General Education Requirement: Approaches to Knowledge – Humanities, Language & Literature, Global Awareness; and it is cross-listed with WS 4410 Seminar in Women’s Studies, a Women's Studies minor requirement.


ENG 3333-01 (W) - Advanced Writing for English Majors

Th 6:15-9:00 p.m.

Prof. Jimmy Guignard

This course is designed to refine the writing skills of English majors, with an emphasis on critical analysis and the mechanics of writing. Students will read and write about a literary, rhetorical, or linguistic concept chosen by the instructor (irony in literature, for example) and revise at least one essay from their English portfolio. Prerequisites: ENG 1130 and two upper division ENG classes. This course is required for all English BA and BSE majors. It is not a General Education course.


ENG 3356-01(W) - 18th Century British Literature

MWF 10:30-11:20

Prof. Teri Doerksen

The college catalog describes this course as a study of major literary figures of the Restoration and eighteenth century. This is a period that is often referred to as "the rise of the novel," and we’ll be reading a selection of some the of early experiments in novel writing, before anyone was really sure what the novel was going to look like in the long term. We’ll also look at some plays from an era when playwriting was a lot better respected than novel writing, and some poetry from a time when poetry was the most respected literary form. We’ll talk about culture and history, what was considered shocking, what was considered commonplace, how people acted in polite society, and the roles of men and women in public and in private. You will be reading novels, plays, and poetry by authors whose names you may recognize: Behn, Defoe, Centlivre, Swift, Pope, Richardson, Burney. You will also be engaged in a study of genre, and of the sensibilities that define genre. What makes a piece of writing a "novel" or a “poem” during this period? What makes it a "good novel" or a “good poem”? How do novels and plays construct character? In what ways do they engage in social instruction, and to what ends? How did they interact with the world in which they created, and which they in turn helped to create?

Prerequisite:ENG 1112.  This coursefits the following General Education Requirement: Approaches to Knowledge – Humanities, Language & Literature, Global Awareness.


JN 1100-01(W) - Introduction to Journalism

MWF 11:30-12:20

Prof. Dan Mason

This course introduces the nature and practice of newsgathering, reporting, writing, editing, and professionalism. Students acquire basic skills by covering textbook examples and off-campus breaking stories. This course serves as a prerequisite for upper-level JN courses. [It will also be included as an elective course in the new Professional Writing Track that the ENG department is proposing.]


JN 2200-01(W) - Crisis News Analysis

TTH 8:30-9:45

Prof. Dan Mason

This class will critically examine the work of the media in times of crisis, examining its role, function and performance. Emphasis will be on the print media with consideration given to the work of electronic media in recent times. We will study and discuss the American press from colonial times to 2001. Special emphasis will be given to crisis coverage following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Students will evaluate press coverage of a current (2010) crisis and will learn the basics of crisis news gathering and writing. Prerequisite: JN 1100