Graduate Courses

Fall 2017

ENG 427 | Writing for Nonprofits

Sally Stanton
Section 201 (U/G) | Online

Want to use your writing and research skills for the greater good? This course explores the theory, practices, lore, and written communication used by professional writers in nonprofit or social sector workplaces, such as theatres, museums, libraries, social service agencies, art centers, humane societies, and other community organizations.

Students will:

  • Learn the purpose and defining characteristics of the nonprofit sector.
  • Understand the role of written messages in communicating social sector values and results.
  • Explore persuasive writing strategies for nonprofits (including case statements, donor and constituent messages, and proposal-related communications).
  • Adapt business communication theories and strategies to the nonprofit sector.
  • Apply sector-specific theory and approaches to producing annual reports, websites, social media, grant reports, etc.

In this course, you will gain practical experience in researching, designing, and writing several documents commonly prepared by nonprofit professionals. Assignments will also require students to learn effective strategies for managing writing projects, audience analysis, and collaboration.

The most recent edition of the Handbook of Technical Writing (Alred, Brusaw, and Oliu), available in multiple formats, is required, all other readings are on D2L.

Note: Course includes a group service-learning experience. Teams manage collaborative writing projects that benefit a selected nonprofit organization.

For more information, contact Sally Stanton at

ENG 612 | Poetry and the Creative Process

Brenda Cárdenas
Section 1 | T/Th, 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Course Description
How do contemporary poets conceive of and craft their poems? In what kinds of creative processes do they engage, and how might particular writing conditions aid those processes? What poetics/aesthetics guide their work? With questions like these in mind, we will engage in two different kinds of activities: 1) discussion of published poems paired with essays written by contemporary poets about their own creative processes and poetics, and 2) a generative writing workshop. By “generative,” I mean that we will spend time in class each week writing in response to inventive prompts which will give you the opportunity to experiment with many different creative processes and approaches to writing. From the collection of spontaneous, preliminary drafts that each of you will amass, you will select a certain number of pieces to develop into more carefully crafted poems that you will share with small groups of your peers. The critiques you will receive from and write for your peers will offer suggestions for revising the poems-in-progress so they might achieve the desired effects. Our culminating project will be a portfolio of revised poems with an introductory essay that describes the processes in which you engaged to produce the poems therein. The authors of the three poetry books I’ve asked you to purchase will also visit our class to talk about their own creative processes in writing their books.

Senior sanding, satisfaction of GER English Composition competency requirement (C or above in English 102 or equivalent transfer course, or EPT score of 525 or above), and 3 credits in English 415, 416, 615, or 616; or graduate standing.

Required Texts
Dunham, Rebecca. Cold Pastoral: Poems, Milkweed Editions, 2017
Kilwein Guevara, Maurice. Autobiography of So-And-So: Poems in Prose, New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2001.
Patel, Soham. New Weather Drafts. Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016.

Additional required readings will be made available as PDFs or via hotlinks on the course D2L site. They will consist of groups of published poems and articles written by poets regarding their own creative process and poetics. Together, they will comprise the equivalent of a fourth textbook. You will be expected to print these poems and articles out and bring them to class.

For more information, contact Brenda Cárdenas at

ENG 716 | Poetic Craft and Theory: Micro Brews—Prose Poems, Flash Fiction, & Very Brief Essays

Mauricio Kilwein Guevara
Section 1 | Th, 3:30 PM – 6:10PM

I welcome all students who are open to growing as writers, readers, and teachers.

I’m quite excited about this course, in part, because its focus on formal brevity/precision requires each of us to think hard about what is essential about a narrative as well as a lyrical moment. The form forces us to think radically about the making of a vessel (recall William Faulkner’s “a shape to fill a lack”), and we’ll want to have a few editorial blue pencils ready to excise anything that is superfluous. One of our goals will be to view our early drafts with a cold eye and, although we may be attached to the cleverness of a particular phrase, we need to hear the ghost of Faulkner whispering: “In writing, you must kill your darlings.” Another aspect that will make this critical and creative exploration engaging is that we’ll look at three ostensibly distinct micro brews: the prose poem with its connection to the lyric; flash fiction with its family resemblance to the short story; and the very brief essay with its note-like length and its multiple obligations to history, to the lyric, and to a tale well told. In terms of course requirements, there will be weekly readings, discussions, writings, as well as one class presentation and one culminating project that will include some formal research. We will also do writing exercises most every class.

I aim to foster a supportive and insightful community of writers. Students usually find my classes imaginatively and critically wakeful. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re in Creative Writing or one of the other plans in English or in the School of Education or Nursing, etc. What matters is that you’re committed to being part of a genuine community of literary writers.

As to required texts, probably the following:

300 ARGUMENTS by Sarah Manguso. $14.00
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PROSE POEM edited by Brian Clements and Jamey Dunham. $26.00
FLASH FICTION FORWARD edited by James Thomas and Robert Shapard. $15.95


HINT FICTION edited by Robert Swartwood. $13.95IN BRIEF: SHORT TAKES ON THE PERSONAL edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones. $14.9

Another cost for the course will be some photocopying.

Any questions? Feel free to email me. Hope to see you in the fall!

For more information, contact Mauricio Kilwein Guevara at

ENG 772 | Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature: Aesthetics and the Body

Barrett Kalter
Section 1 | Th, 3:30 PM – 6:10PM

The term “aesthetics” was coined in 1735, and initially referred to the science of bodily experience, although its scope of analysis soon narrowed around experience of art, and the standards used to evaluate art, in particular.  Philosophers insisted that clear judgment entailed setting aside human need and desire, and so the attention to the body that was at the root of aesthetics was abandoned.  But the repressed returns in many forms.  The visceral excluded from aesthetics reappears at the heart of the period’s novelistic modes: the satirical grotesque, the sentimental, the realist, the uncanny, the pornographic, and the sublime.  This course will examine the dual development of an aesthetics of disembodied judgment and a literature of the flesh.   After reading some foundational works in aesthetics (Hume, Burke, Kant, Hegel) and some key critiques of that tradition (Adorno, Eagleton, Bourdieu), we will concentrate on recent criticism that seeks to reinvigorate aesthetics by bringing the body back into play (Armstrong, Rancière, Sedgwick, Ngai, Scarry, Bennett, Starr). This criticism will frame our discussion of a corpus of eighteenth-century fiction: Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year; Haywood, Fantomina; Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Richardson, Clarissa; Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure; Burney, Evelina;, and Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance.

This course fulfills the pre-1800 requirement.

For more information, contact Barrett Kalter at

ENG/FS 876 | Media Historiography

Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece
Section 1 | W, 3:30PM – 7:00PM

How should one approach the writing of media history? Who narrates the course of events, and for whom? Who are central figures for the development of media history methods, and how can we trace their impact on the larger field? What, finally, does it mean to write a history of media? In this course, we will consider varying texts and methods of media history in order to approach these questions. Rather than engaging in criticisms of accuracy, we will interrogate the authors’ methods, politics, foci, and lacunae; in other words, we will work as media historiographers documenting the process of historical writing. Our goal will be a larger understanding of media and cultural history’s dimensions so that students are prepared to engage in their own research in thoughtful, insightful ways. Writers and works we may consider include Miriam Petty, Stealing the Show; Michel Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic; Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter; Lisa Gitelman, Always Already New; Marshall McLuhan; Hayden White; Carlo Ginzburg; Thomas Elsaesser; Robert Darnton; David Halperin; Ann Cvetkovich; Miriam Hansen; and Mary Ann Doane.

For more information, contact Jocelyn Szczepaniak-Gillece at

ENG 882 | Seminar in 19th-Century American Literature: Fictions of Disorderly Conduct

Kristie Hamilton
Section 1

Course Description: Over the last sixty years, all of the literary works we will read have been recommended as evidence of the self-conscious disorderliness of literary conduct in the nineteenth-century United States. Alternatively, most have been characterized more recently as capitulating to or actively sustaining the dominant bourgeois social order and the early national political order. All, because they could not help doing so, operated within discursive and material fields and amidst economic and social processes that Michel Foucault has suggestively interpreted as the emergent modalities of “discipline” that would organize sociopolitical relations, bodies, and behavior in the era of high-capitalism. In this course, we will sort out the complex and contradictory operations of early nineteenth-century literary texts in the context of discourses of conduct (advice books becoming a primary register of discipline) and in the critical narratives that have sought to explain them. Our goal will be to discover how literary and advice texts are made differently meaningful when read as having been in dialogue with each other in the United States between 1820 and 1865.

More specifically, in the context of early nineteenth-century advice literature and the recent work of social historians and literary critics, we will study American authors who variously embraced, rejected, transformed, and vigorously struggled with discourses of conduct. We will analyze, for example, evolving and competing reconstructions of womanhood and manhood, the powers and debilitations produced by the “spermatic economy” and sentimentalized asceticism; ritualized violence and familial responsibility as competing models of communal and national order; the uses and limits of sympathy; the cultural imposition of compulsory heterosexuality; and the discordantly concordant imperatives of moral and entrepreneurial individualism. Whether in allegory, melodrama, or satire, models of gendered, racialized, sexual, and classed behavior occupied the passions and imaginations of a variety of American authors in surprising ways. Together we will work to uncover where, why, and how these authors reproduced and complicated, in literature, the mandates, effects and implications of codes of conduct that were organizing nineteenth-century bodies, actions, feelings, and thought.

Tentative List of Required Texts (final list will be sent to the class before semester begins):
Hannah Webster Foster, The Coquette (Oxford Paperback)
James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans (Penguin)
Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Georgia Scenes ( J.S. Sanders and Co.)
Susan Warner, The Wide, Wide World (Feminist Press)
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter and Other Writings (Norton Critical Ed.)
Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall (Rutgers UP)
William Wells Brown, Clotel; Or The President’s Daughter (Penguin)
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Norton)
Empire and the Literature of Sensation, edited by Jesse Aleman and Shelley Streeby (Rutgers)
-Shorter literary texts by Melville, Maria Stewart, E.A. Poe, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and others—online.

Required Critical and Historical Readings: Scholarly articles and selections from Foucault’s works will be made available in a packet at Clark Graphics on Oakland Avenue.

Course Requirements:  Two short response papers (2 ½ pages each), one brief written report (1 page single-spaced) on a conduct book or magazine of the period presented to class, one researched critical essay (18-20 pages).

For more information, contact Kristie Hamilton at