Undergraduate Courses: Fall 2014

English 111: Entertainment Arts: Film, Television, and the Internet

Molly McCourt
Section 201 | Online

From cinema to cell phones, the multimedia context of contemporary life is rapidly changing. This course will examine some of those shifting and ubiquitous technologies and images by offering a general introduction to the critical study of film, television, and digital media. While examining each medium individually, we will also work in a state of persistent comparison, endeavoring to comprehend media culture as a larger phenomenon. This will be achieved, in part, through weekly film, television, and/or digital media “screenings” that will catalyze reflections on media convergence. Through readings, screenings, and discussions, students will develop sophisticated understandings of media culture in terms of technical and aesthetic properties, industrial practices, representation, cultural theories, social responses and more.

There are no prerequisites for this course, and you are, therefore, not expected to have any prior knowledge of media studies. You are, however, expected to treat the material as a legitimate object of study. We will begin with the premise that film, television, and digital media offer much more than “entertainment” and that, accordingly, studying these forms is a serious undertaking requiring rigor and diligence.

For more information, contact Molly McCourt at mmm72@uwm.edu.

English 111: Entertainment Arts: Film, Television, and the Internet

Benjamin Schneider
Section 404 | M, 1 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

This course is designed for people who wish to become literate and critical consumers of the media environment in which they have come of age. From cinema to cell phones, the multimedia context of contemporary life is rapidly changing. This course will examine some of those shifting and ubiquitous technologies and images. Entertainment Arts offers a general introduction to the critical study of film, television, and new media. Through readings, screenings, and discussions, students will develop an understanding of media culture in terms of technical properties, industrial practices, representation, cultural theories, social responses, and more.

There are no prerequisites for this, course and you are not expected to have any prior knowledge of film, television, or digital media studies. We will begin with the premise that film, television, and digital media offer more than ‘entertainment’ and, accordingly, we will engage critically and rigorously with the material.

For more information, contact Benjamin Schneider at terrapin@uwm.edu.

English 192: First Year Seminar

Applying Philosophy and Creating Your Life’s Meaning
C. Prescott Sobol
Section 2 | MW, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

We receive a lot of advice about what to do with our lives, but our educational system rarely provides opportunities for us to study how what we do makes our lives more meaningful. Many people say, “Well, just study this,” “Just believe that,” “Just make x amount of money,” “Just tough it out—it’ll get better later,” “Just take this job,” “Just be yourself” (whatever that means), “Just do it,” or “Just find a good romance.” In this course, we will assume that at UWM, and in life in general, it is not merely what you do, but how, why, and with whom you do it, that creates a sense of purpose and meaning.

We will study psychology, fiction, poetry, music, philosophy, history, and memoir—a wide variety of sources that describe how we can make our lives more meaningful and satisfying. Most importantly, we will apply those ideas to our lives, using them to create more meaning in our work, our play, our social relationships, our family relations, and other aspects of existence.

For more information, contact C. Presscott Sobol at cpsobol@uwm.edu.

English 192: First Year Seminar

Multicultural Milwaukee
Gregory Jay
Section 7 | TR, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Whether you were born in Milwaukee or are a newcomer, this course will offer you an exciting range of discoveries as we explore the city’s history, neighborhoods, landmarks, and diverse communities. Milwaukee has always been multiethnic and multiracial, from its array of indigenous cultures through the arrival of English and European ethnic groups to the modern rich addition of African Americans, Latinos, and the people of the Hmong diaspora (to name just a few). What are their stories? How do they compare? Where do you fit in?

In order to engage students in the Milwaukee community, this course will have a required Service Learning assignment. This usually involves working at a local nonprofit or organization for 2-3 hours a week. For more about Service Learning, visit the website for the UWM Center for Community Based Learning, Leadership, and Research.

There will be required readings each week, tests and quizzes, and online discussions. Course format will be heavy on discussions and small group work.

For more information, contact Gregory Jay at gjay@uwm.edu or view the course flyer.

English 192: First Year Seminar

Hmong American Literature and Life Stories
Mary Louise Buley-Meissner
Section 11 | TR, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Section 12 | TR, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Extraordinary stories often are told by ordinary people – stories of courage, fear, sacrifice, strength, and hope. To understand people, we need to listen carefully as they tell us about their families, histories, and dreams of the future. This seminar will focus on such narratives by and about Hmong Americans, who have become an increasingly important part of this country since the Vietnam War. Students will read an essay collection exploring identity, family, and community in contemporary Hmong American life; a recent collection of prose and poetry by young Hmong Americans; and a highly acclaimed Hmong American family biography. These texts illuminate not only individual lives, but also the historical and cultural circumstances shaping people’s identities, communities, and sustaining values.

Overall, this seminar emphasizes active learning through extensive reading, collaborative class work, and individual research projects as we investigate the dynamic development of Hmong American identities from the 1970s until now. Together we will consider timely questions such as the following: How differently do first-, second- and third-generation Hmong Americans view the importance of traditional values and the opportunities offered by this country for success and happiness? Across generations, how are Hmong Americans today involved in both cultural continuity and change? More specifically, how are young people developing bicultural identities as they fulfill family obligations and pursue individual aspirations? Through careful reading of the course books, we will consider possible answers in historical and cultural contexts. Documentary films will provide additional background information.

For more information, contact Mary Louise Buley-Meissner at meissner@uwm.edu.

English 201: Strategies for Academic Writing

Jeff Norman
Section 1 | MW, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

We work on developing academic writing, reading, and thinking skills. We read several selections on literacies and education, ranging from articles from academic journals to magazine articles, and including 6 articles chosen by the students in the class. Written work is cumulative and ends in a 10-page essay on a subject related to literacies and education of the student’s choice (developed in consultation with the instructor).

For more information, contact Jeff Norman at jeno@uwm.edu.

English 210: International English

Laura L. Ambrose
Section 1 | MW, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

As the English language has made–and continues to make–its way around the globe, radical changes to local languages and cultures have occurred. At the same time, however, English itself has been modified, adapted, and expanded, sometimes in unfamiliar and unrecognizable ways.

This course is a survey of English from its origins in the British Isles to its introduction and development in North America, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Several principal examples will be studied in detail. In doing so, we will also uncover many issues that accompany language globalization; such as, language change, loss of language and identity, language policy and standardization, and teaching and learning English.

(Note: Eng-210 is not an ESL [English as a Second Language] course.)

For more information, contact Laura L. Ambrose at lambrose@uwm.edu.

English 212: English Grammar and Usage

Laura L. Ambrose
Section 1 | MW, 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Section 2 | TR, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Precise and sophisticated writing starts with clear, well-constructed sentences; this course is an in-depth study of these fundamental building blocks of English. Not only will we develop a vocabulary of basic grammatical terms and concepts for talking about the structure of the language, but we will also explore how this knowledge can be leveraged to create and edit texts more effectively.

For more information, contact Laura L. Ambrose at lambrose@uwm.edu.

FilmStd 212: Intermediate Topics in Film Studies

The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock
Zach Finch
Section 1 | TR, 1 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most important, popular, and influential filmmakers of all time. But what makes him and his films so fascinating? This course will approach that question from a variety of directions.

The first two units of the course will focus on Hitchcock’s biography and Hitchcock within British cinema and Hollywood contexts. These will be followed by units on the theoretical and critical significance of Hitchcock and his films, including introductory discussions of psychoanalytic criticism, auteur criticism, and genre studies, with particular emphases on the horror and thriller genres. Additionally, Hitchcock’s legacy and influence will be addressed at the end of the semester by reading about and viewing films often referred to as “Hitchcockian.”

For more information, contact Zach Finch at zfinch@uwm.edu.

FilmStd 212: Intermediate Topics in Film Studies

LGBT TV: Television and Sexuality
Bridget Kies
Section 2 | MW, 9 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.

In the early 1970s, television viewers began to see characters who identified as gay. Twenty years later, gay characters and gay-themed programming became popular on network primetime. In the present moment, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has recorded the highest number of LGBT characters (no longer just self-identified as gay) across network and cable channels. This increase coincides with landmark legislation and court rulings in favor of LGBT rights.

This course will seek to understand how we arrived at this moment and to interrogate how LGBT characters and stories are being represented. To do this, we will look back at television history to understand changing social and industrial contexts. We will discuss different theories of representation and look at responses to contemporary television inside and outside the LGBT community.

For more information, contact Bridget Kies at bkies@uwm.edu.

English 214: Writing in the Professions

Writing and Social Media for Careers
Christopher Lyons
Section 202 | Online

English 214 is designed to help students prepare for the job market whether they are currently looking for a job or thinking about how to get a job after graduation. This course will focus on the following goals:

  • Exhibiting understanding of the current job search environment, in particular gaining understanding of how contemporary organizations conceive of social media, human resources, data mining, and the hiring process.
  • Showing high levels of skill in information retrieval and use, in particular for company and employment research.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of and abilities in networking, both traditional and via social media.
  • Exhibiting skill at analyzing, critiquing, designing, and writing job materials including interview notes, résumés, cover letters, and social media profiles.
  • Demonstrating skill in “writing clearly,” given a specific audience, purpose, and context.

For more information, contact Christopher Lyons at bobdylan@uwm.edu.

English 215: Introduction to English Studies

Robert Bruss
Section 2 | MW, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

English 215 is designed to be an introduction to university-level English studies. Over the course of the semester we will develop various ways of reading, interpreting, and writing about literary texts. Additionally, I hope to give you a taste of the diversity within English studies. We will read poetry, short stories, a traditional novel, a graphic novel, a play, and even watch a blockbuster film. The authors are likewise diverse in time period, geographical location, and identity.

We will practice a variety of analytical methods such as close reading, critical thinking, and scholarly research in order to analyze these texts. Our writing assignments will offer you a chance to work directly with texts to formulate your own unique claim or argument. Research assignments will help you become familiar with library resources and enable you to contribute to academic conversations.

These more practical goals aside, this class should be fun and interesting. These texts should change the way you understand and look at the world around you and lead to discussion on a wide range of topics. I hope this class encourages you to keep reading, keep asking questions, and most importantly, keep sharing your thoughts with others.

For more information, contact Robert Bruss at rlbruss@uwm.edu.

English 224: American Writers 1900 to the Present

Mark Heimermann
Section 1 | MW, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

In this course, we will examine some of the central figures and movements in American literature since the beginning of the 20th century. Lectures will situate authors and movements within specific cultural and historical contexts and emphasize close readings of texts. Class discussions and assignments will also emphasize close readings.

In addition to the novels below, we will cover additional movements and styles, including, but not limited to, Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and Confessional poetry.

Required texts:

  • Cather, Willa. A Lost Lady
  • Eugenides, Jeffrey. The Virgin Suicides
  • Morrison, Toni. Beloved
  • Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-Five

Additional readings will be available via D2L. Students will be required to print these readings and bring them to class.

For more information, contact Mark Heimermann at heimerm5@uwm.edu.

English 229: Introduction to Modern Literature

Irish Modernism
Michael E. Beebe
Section 1 | MW, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

The small island nation of Ireland, perched on the outskirts of Western Europe, has exercised an outsized influence on the development of modern literature. Charged with the poetics and politics of a complex, colonized people, Irish literary culture produced such giants of world literature such as W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. This course will explore these and many other writers who helped to define the ideas of the Irish 20th Century.

For more information, contact Michael E. Beebe at mebeebe@uwm.edu.

English 233 (203): Introduction to Creative Writing

The Craft of Short Fiction
Mollie Boutell
Section 1 | MW, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

This class introduces you to the craft of writing short fiction and poetry on a college level. In English 233, we will read texts from various contemporary writers, including our peers’. And, of course, we will write. One key to good writing is good reading; we will read each text with a close eye on particular craft concepts, such as character, setting, structure, tension, image, and pattern while building a supportive community of writers.

For more information, contact Mollie Boutel at mboutell@uwm.edu.

English 233 (203): Introduction to Creative Writing

The Craft of Short Fiction
Loretta McCormick
Section 3 | MW, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

This class will introduce you to the craft of writing short fiction and poetry on a college level. In English 233, we will read texts from various contemporary writers, including our peers. And, of course, we will write. We will explore each text with a close eye on particular craft concepts, such as character, setting, structure, tension, image, and pattern while building a supportive community of writers.

For more information, contact Loretta McCormick at mccorm66@uwm.edu.

English 233 (203): Introduction to Creative Writing

Soham Patel
Section 5 | MW, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

This introductory writing class provides you an opportunity to explore the reading and writing of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and drama. As the class progresses, you will deepen your knowledge about creative writing as a discipline and sharpen your skill as a practicing writer. Students will learn the elements of craft common to all four genres: image, voice, character, setting, and shape (among others).

The course design allows you time to write and re-write pieces so that by the completion of the semester, you will have substantial portfolios of original work. We will also develop knowledge of the practices of effective workshop, knowledge of contemporary writers, vocabulary, and critical reading skills.

For more information, contact Soham Patel at patel22@uwm.edu.

English 233 (203): Introduction to Creative Writing

Kristin Fay
Section 6 | TR, 8 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

This course introduces writing creatively in the forms of poetry and short fiction and reviews important elements that the two share in common and those where they seem to diverge from one another. We consider matters of craft and technique through our readings, and we practice writing individually, followed by reading each other’s submissions, workshopping those in group settings, and finally critiquing our own works. This class will engender a safe community of support for play and experimentation while celebrating the human imagination and exploring the traditions both established and newly constructed by literary artists.

For more information, contact Kristin Fay at kafay@uwm.edu.

English 233 (203): Introduction to Creative Writing

Elisa Karbin
Section 7 | TR, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

This course is designed to introduce you to the fundamental techniques of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The goal of this class is to help you learn to become familiar with writing imaginatively, and the class will introduce you to a variety of genres, concepts, and craft practices to help strengthen your ability to use written language for expression and communication.

Because good reading engenders good writing, we will be engaging regularly in analyzing poetry fiction and creative nonfiction, as an important part of learning how to write creatively. The majority of our time, however, will be focused on allowing students to build their own portfolio of creative work across genres, and we will engage in regular workshopping of our creative work.

Required texts:

  • Best American Nonrequired Reading, 2012; ISBN: 978-0547595962 (estimated cost: $12)
  • Glass Armonica, 2013; ISBN: 978-1571314666 (estimated cost: $15)
  • The Practice of Creative Writing: A Guide for Students; ISBN 9780312676025 (estimated cost: $19 for rental)
  • Course reader (estimated cost: $12)

For more information, contact Elisa Karbin at ekarbin@uwm.edu.

English 233 (203): Introduction to Creative Writing

The Craft of Short Fiction
Sherri Hoffman
Section 10 | TR, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the craft of writing short fiction. We will read a number of narratives and craft essays by past and contemporary authors in order to examine and analyze different elements of the short story. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to engage these elements in practical application, writing and revising their own short fiction. Students will be expected to share their work in class to be read, analyzed, and discussed within a workshop setting, actively engaging each other’s work and sharing thoughtful and constructive critiques in this supportive environment.

Written assignments will include several pieces of short fiction, an essay on craft, an annotated reading list, and other directed reading responses and workshop critiques.

For more information, contact Sherri Hoffman at hoffm369@uwm.edu.

English 235: Writing Poetry: Form, Style, Voice

Brenda Cárdenas
Section 1 | W, 1:30 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

A poem may provide a path to a deeper understanding of one’s own experience, abstract concepts, or history. It may serve as a forum for questioning and complicating social issues and practices. It might also be a way to break through confines, limitations, and borders or a way to see past them—a means of connection with all that is both within and outside of us. When we write poems, we often explore various means of working within, stretching, or transcending such boundaries via our attention to the world around us and to language—the material with which we work.

In this course, through reading, discussion, and writing, students will explore the art of poetry, paying particular attention to each poem’s context as well as the poet’s craft. To this end, in our consideration of approaches such as collage, fixed form/constraint, ekphrasis, persona, and collaboration, we will also investigate and apply such elements as imagery; figurative language; voice; and patterns of sound, rhythm, and meter. Students will keep journals, draft and revise poems outside of class, and engage in various in-class writing experiments. Students will also read, analyze, and discuss both published contemporary poems and their peers’ poems-in-progress, assessing what the poem aims to achieve or evoke and how the poet has constructed the poem toward this goal. Finally, students will critique each other’s work, offering suggestions for how their peers might alter various aspects of the poem to achieve the desired effect.

For more information, contact Brenda Cárdenas at cardenab@uwm.edu.

English 236 (204): Introductory Topics in Creative Writing

The Art of Dialogue in Poetry and Fiction
Jim Chapson
Section 1 | TR, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

In both poetry and fiction, voices can create character, advance plot, and most importantly engage the reader. Students will read examples of stories and poems that make significant use of dialogue, and write dialogue-centric stories and poems of their own. Student writing will be the primary focus of class, which will run as a workshop. There will be exercises in eavesdropping.

Carver, Raymond. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. New York: Random House, 1989; ISBN: 0679723056 (estimated cost: $10.00)

For more information, contact Jim Chapson at jchapson@uwm.edu.

English 240: Writing, Rhetoric, and Culture

Constructions and Deconstructions of Identity
Adam Pacton
Section 1 | MW, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

This course will grapple with a core concept in every person’s life: identity. We will approach identity in broad conceptual, historical, and theoretical terms; however, we will also explore identities and identity categories with a good degree of specificity. Race, gender, culture, sexuality, disability, occupation, and other “identities” and their overlaps/intersections will be interrogated with the goal of not only understanding how identities come to be in certain ways, but also how they come to be used and why.

Course texts and student projects will have quite a bit of variety. Our readings may range from critical theory to poetry to Facebook status updates. We will compose conventional “papers,” but we will also produce other “texts” aimed at analyzing and critiquing public representations of identities. There are no required textbooks for this class.

For more information, contact Adam Pacton at ampacton@uwm.edu.

English 243: Introduction to Literature by Women

The Female Gothic
Dawn Nawrot
Section 1 | MW, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Early Gothic literature wanted to force readers to experience uncertainty and the extreme emotions of fear, terror, and even passion and sympathy instead of logic. Beside the use of desolate, remote, and sometimes terrifying and sublime settings, the authors also provoke discomfort, if not fear, in audiences by exploring uncomfortable social transgressions often in the form of excessive greed or ambition, violence (murder, rape, torture), and excessive or deviant sexuality (incest, rape, extra-marital relationships).

This course will survey Gothic texts including Ann Radcliffe’s A Sicilian Romance, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, and Margaret Atwood’s Gothic short stories (ranging from 1790-1983), which delve into these dark issues. Since the early years of Gothic fiction, women writers actively participated in the Gothic genre, depicting the frightening transgressions of villainous characters. Yet, we will examine if and how women fashioned “female Gothic” narrative traditions to critique patriarchal society through villainous and often tyrannical (male or masculine) characters. We will also determine how powerful and dangerous women are participating in the narratives in order to complicate readings of female victimization in domestic relationships and their society. Finally, through reading, writing, and discussions, the class will question what other boundaries beyond gender women writers are exploring or transgressing within particular historical moments and locations.

For more information, contact Dawn Nawrot at danawrot@uwm.edu.

English 263: Introduction to the Novel

Queer Modernism
Shawna Lipton
Section 1 | TR, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Swaggering dandies, idyllic seascapes, supernatural androgynes, ambiguous heroines, and simmering repressed desires abound in this rich exploration of modernism, sexuality, and literary form. This course provides an introduction to the 20th century novel, as well as to queer modes of reading and interpreting literature. Each course text is exceptional in its literary style and aesthetic, and each novel also provides a queer representation of gender and sexuality.

Course texts include: Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Beast in the Jungle by Henry James, Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf, and Passing by Nella Larsen. We will also use a course reader comprised of short excerpts of literary criticism to help us interpret and discuss the fictional works. Assignments will be based on close reading and clear writing. Class sessions will include highly engaged and provocative discussions.

For more information, contact Shawna Lipton at selipton@uwm.edu.

English 306: Survey of Irish Literature

José Lanters
Section 1 | TR, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Irish literature is as rich and varied as the country’s history. “Irishness” is not an innate quality, but a cultural and political construct that is constantly re-“invented.” Beginning with the earliest poems and legends, and moving via the Anglo-Irish perspective of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the Irish Renaissance of the early twentieth century, to a more urban and cosmopolitan contemporary perspective, this course offers an introduction to Irish writing and an exploration of several varieties of “Irishness” as they are expressed through the literature.

For more information, contact José Lanters at lanters@uwm.edu.

English 309: Survey of Contemporary American Literature

Annie McClanahan
Section 1 | MW, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

This course is a survey of American writing from 1965 to the present. We’ll explore this period not simply as a historical and cultural moment but also as an opportunity to think about the relationship between history and culture. Thus we’ll look at everything from avant-garde poetry to science fiction as we attempt to map the literary, political, and social concerns of the last five decades of American culture. In addition to becoming familiar with major authors, literary movements, and historical events of the last fifty years, students in this course will also learn how to think critically about individual literary texts—how to pose incisive questions, identify interesting problems, and make meaningful arguments about language, style, and narrative.

For more information, contact Annie McClanahan at mcclanah@uwm.edu.

English 316: World Cinema

Latina and Latin American Women Filmmakers
Gilberto M. Blasini
Section 1 | MW, 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The class explores the works of Latina and Latin American women directors mostly since the 1980s. We will study their cinematic texts and how they engage with discourses of gender, politics and aesthetics in relation to notions of Latinidad and Latin Americanness. A fruitful way to understand the similarities and differences between Latino/a and Latin American communities is through the exploration of issues that pervade these communities but might find a range of diverse expression given the specificity of the different national contexts under consideration. Two of these issues are the ubiquity of patriarchy and the shared history of colonization that have had an influence on the formation of Latino/a and Latin American identities, both individual as well as collective, in the U.S. and Latin America.

Since women directors tend to focus their films on explorations about the unbalanced power stratifications of their societies, the course will use the examination of questions related to the construction of gender and sexuality as a unifying thread among all the films/videos. In addition, we will pay attention to the way that other axes of cultural difference (such as race, class and age, just to mention three) further complicate discourses about gender and sexuality. This class counts for the following program: Film Studies, Women’s Studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies and the Latin American, Caribbean and US Latino Studies (integrated course).

For more information, contact Gilberto M. Blasini at gblasini@uwm.edu.

English 325: Art of Fiction

20th Centry Poet and Story Writer, Raymond Carver
Sonia Khatchadourian
Section 1 | MW, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Although Raymond Carver published poems and essays, it was his short stories that earned him critical acclaim as a master of the form and one of the greatest American fiction writers of the 20th century. In this course, we will focus on the short story collections that gave Carver such recognition, including but not limited to: Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (National Book Award Nominee in 1977), What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, “Cathedral” (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1984), and selections from his last collection before his death, “Where I’m Calling From.”

We will pay special attention to the role and importance of language in these works. Also, we may compare these modern classics to the versions that Carver preferred and which demonstrate his writing style before his stories were edited for publication. Excerpts may be drawn from a recently released text, entitled, Collected Stories, which has generated controversy.

For more information, contact Sonia Khatchadourian at soniak@uwm.edu.

English 329: Film and Literature

Benjamin Schneider
Section 1 | TR, 10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

This course will explore approaches to the art, theory, and cultural politics of movie adaptations, even challenging what is meant by the term “adaptation” itself. Through readings and screenings, students will be asked to interrogate these and other questions: What is the nature of the “literary” and the “cinematic”? Why do so many of the films described as adaptations derive from canonical literature rather than from other sources? How do the different media affect the ways in which stories are told? Why is the book always “better” than the movie?

To support students in developing and focusing their own theories of adaptation, we will also be reading selected adaptation theory and criticism, including writings by James Naremore, Andre Bazin, Robert Stam, Judith Mayne, and more.

For more information, contact Benjamin Schneider at terrapin@uwm.edu.

English 370: Folk Literature

American Folklore in Literature
Rikki Clark
Section 1 | MW, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

American Folklore in Literature is a junior-level English literature class that introduces students to the basic concepts of folkoric studies and delves into how literature uses folklore and how folklore enhances literature. During this course we will explore the folklore found in our own families, neighborhoods, and communities. We will read texts by writers from the Americas and look how American folkloric elements find their way into those texts. We will also examine various aspects of folklore and folklore scholarship such as fairy tales, urban legends, magical creatures, material culture, and folk medicine.

For more information, contact Rikki Clark at rikki@uwm.edu.

English 404: Language, Power, & Identity

Pat Mayes
Section 1 | W, 4:30 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.

This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the relationship between language and society. In investigating this relationship, we will consider how language is involved in the construction of social identity and power structures. Our investigation of social identity will include not only examining how individuals construct their identities but also how language is implicated in the formation of social groupings such as class, ethnicity, gender, and regional affiliations.

The approach taken in this course is both descriptive and critical in that we will examine how language is implicated in creating and maintaining power for certain groups through such constructs as standard dialects and more broadly through public policies. English 404 can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit.

For more information, contact Pat Mayes at mayes@uwm.edu.

English 414: Special Topics in Creative Writing

Reading and Writing Comedy
Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara
Section 1 | M, 3:30 p.m. – 6:10 p.m.

We’ll read/discuss a variety of types of comical writing: articles, short essays, satires, limericks, parodies, farces, jokes, pictures, puns, websites, short stories, poems, plays, comics strips, and more. We’ll listen to and/or watch stand-up, sketch comedy, improv, spoken word, and music. We’ll view movies and television shows. Whatever we read, listen to, and/or watch, we’ll also try our hand at making our own versions of these comic artifacts.

Artists or works that you’re likely to encounter may include: Dave Chappelle, Samantha Bee, Jonathan Swift, Young Frankenstein, The Onion, Best in Show, Margaret Cho, William Shakespeare, Ted L. Nancy, Steve Martin, John Leguizamo, Your Show of Shows, Gary Shteyngart, funnyordie.com, Demitri Martin, Sister Mary Elephant, Franz Kafka, Aristophanes, Wanda Sykes, Maggie Estep, Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend, Stephen Colbert, Jonathan Winters, Modern Family, Richard Pryor, Borat, Tracy Morgan, Samuel Beckett, A Conferderacy of Dunces, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Life of Brian, Kevin Hart, Bo Burnham, Williams & Ree, and Tig Nataro.

For more information, contact Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara at maurice@uwm.edu.

English 414: Special Topics in Creative Writing

Zines and Self Publishing
John Hall
Section 2 | TR, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Are you a poetry or fiction writer who likes to mix form and genre? Are you interested in learning how to make your own zines and chapbooks, or perhaps you are thinking of starting your own small press? Do you love to write, and find that you often create brilliant fragments, tangents, asides, and notes that seem as fresh as they are lost? If so, then you might be a great fit for this hands-on creative writing workshop in which we focus upon short form experimental narrative as we work to gain deeper understandings of how media, design, and materials actively construct meaning.

We will also study DIY movements and the essential dynamics of engaging creative communities. This is a great course if you are wondering what to do with your love of expressive writing once you graduate from college.

For more information, contact John Hall at lanehall@uwm.edu.

English 415: Fiction Workshop

Rikki Clark
Section 1 | MW, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 p.m.
Section 2 | MW, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

In this senior-level writing workshop, you will explore narrative techniques, devices, and structures, and employ them in your own fiction. In addition, you will intensively critique one another’s short stories in terms of structure, technique, craftsmanship, and meaning. You will be required to write twenty-four pages of new short fiction. Stories written and workshopped for other classes will not be permitted. The writing for this course will be scene-based in the realist tradition. Therefore, none of the following will be allowed: fairies, vampires, horror, children’s fiction, flying saucers, zombies, hobbits, laser guns, or other genre-based fiction. The goals of this course are to improve your writing, become a member of the creative writing community, and to have fun.

For more information, contact Rikki Clark at rikki@uwm.edu.

English 415: Fiction Workshop

Liam Callanan
Section 3 | T, 11 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.

This workshop will build on the skills you developed in other creative writing classes to help you become a more sophisticated writer, critic, and reader. We’ll be focusing on “literary fiction,” specifically short stories, moving through them the way an architect walks through a building, looking to see how they are constructed (pausing to examine plot, character, tone, and manner), and then applying what we’ve discovered in our own work.

For more information, contact Liam Callanan at liam@uwm.edu.

English 416: Poetry Workshop

Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara
Section 1 | M, 11 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.

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

This will be a hands-on class, where you will regularly engage in writing exercises; attend a poetry reading and write a review of it; read, listen to, and discuss poems by professional poets; collaborate on a performance poem; and write and revise your own poems-in-progress to be copied, read, and analyzed by the class. We’ll take a very constructivist approach, always asking ourselves what effects and experiences we hope to evoke in our readers and how we might arrange the language of our poems toward these ends.

Required texts:

  • Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass (1855 edition); Dover Thrift Editions (estimated cost: $3)
  • Niedecker, Lorine. New Goose (estimated cost: $10)
  • Schomburg, Zachary. Scary, No Scary (esimated cost: $15)

Also, you’ll occasionally need to make photocopies of poems-in-progress for class distribution.

I aim to foster a supportive and insightful community of poets.

For more information, contact Mauricio Kilwein-Guevara at maurice@uwm.edu.

English 416: Poetry Workshop

Jim Chapson
Section 2 | TR, 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

When the ancient Greeks had serious questions, they traveled to Delphi where, after undergoing ritual purification, they put them to the oracle, a priestess acting as an intermediary between the human and the divine. She spoke in a trance and didn’t really know what she was saying, but that was not her concern; she was merely the instrument of the god who spoke through her.

As Mr. Eliot says, “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion . . ; it is not the expression of personality.”

The focus of this class will be on the students’ writing, but other poets will be read for inspiration and to deepen the students’ understanding of the tradition. Each student will produce a portfolio of about twenty pages by the end of the semester.

Required text:
Milosz, Czeslaw. Selected and Last Poems 1931-2004. New York: Ecco, 2011. ISBN: 0062095889 (estimated cost: $16.99)

For more information, contact Jim Chapson at jchapson@uwm.edu.

English 430: Advanced Writing Workshop

Carol Ross
Section 1 | TR, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

English 430 is a small, 15-member advanced composition workshop, designed for already capable writers who have done considerable writing in the past and who want to further develop their prose style. Its focus is literary/creative nonfiction—that is, writing in which the content is based on experience and observed or researched facts (nonfiction), and the style is creative. How writers say something will be as important as what they say it. Students will have the opportunity to read and write short narratives in different genres of literary nonfiction: memoir, character story, and essay of place.

Students are expected to have very good control already of grammar and mechanics since these are the basics of writing.

Required textbooks:

  • A class reader (estimated cost: $10)
  • Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style (estimated cost: $10 for new)

All other texts are optional; other readings are on library reserve.

Section 1 is intended for juniors, seniors, and university special students and does not carry graduate credit.

For more information, contact Carol Ross at cross@uwm.edu.

English 431: Topics in Advanced Writing

Opinion Writing
Rick Horowitz
Section 1 | R, 4:30 p.m. – 7:10 p.m.

We’re surrounded by opinions. Online, on the air, on the printed page–opinions confront us everywhere we turn. Everyone seems to have an opinion–a strong opinion!–about practically everything. Advances in tech, meanwhile, keep making it easier to join the conversation, until every person with a keyboard and a mobile link is a potential publisher, editor, commentator, molder of the public mood. The old models of top-down opinionizing are collapsing.

So how do you make your opinions stand out? How do you craft your opinions to make them as effective as possible? (And what do you mean by “effective”?) Are there things you can do to make your views on the hottest issues of the day, or the latest movie at the multiplex, more than just another voice in the crowd? Can you affect the public debate? Rally the troops? Change a few minds? (Get a few laughs?) What are the hidden dangers that can cost your writing its power and its credibility?

We’ll tackle all these issues–and more. We’ll learn to create persuasive, provocative, effective opinion pieces in a variety of formats, for a range of platforms. We’ll examine the fundamentals of opinion writing, and build a strong foundation for crafting both individual and “institutional” opinions. We’ll explore the ways in which the digital world has altered some, but not all, of those fundamentals. We’ll look closely at good (and not-so-good) writing from all across the country, to discover the keys to successful opinionizing. And then we’ll apply those keys to our own writing.

For more information, contact Rick Horowitz at horowitr@uwm.edu.

English 431: Topics in Advanced Writing

Professional Writing for Nonprofits
Sally Stanton
Section 202 | Online

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, and unique documents such as artist statements and resumes, exhibition catalogs, and advocacy materials.

Students will gain practical experience in researching, designing, and writing documents commonly prepared by nonprofit professionals. Assignments will also require learning effective strategies for managing writing projects, audience analysis, and collaboration.

For more information, contact Sally Stanton at stanton@uwm.edu.

English 437: Project Management for Professional Writers

Stuart Moulthrop
Section 1 | MW, 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

The course features training in project management and Web development, through small-group work on content for America’s Black Holocaust Museum, an on-line institution continuing the mission of the original, physical museum, founded in Milwaukee by Dr. James Cameron.

For more information, contact Stuart Moulthrop at moulthro@uwm.edu or visit http://pantherfile.uwm.edu/moulthro/previews/ENGL_437_FA14_Preview.pdf.

English 442: Writing Center Tutoring Program

Margaret Mika
Section 1 | Aug. 28-29, Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 7, Dec. 5

This course is designed to prepare peer tutors to work one on one with writers who visit the UWM Writing Center. We will examine fundamental writing and tutoring theories and practices. Specific topics will include the role of the peer tutor, the rhetorical situation, strategies for talking with writers at different stages of the process, varying genres of academic and personal writing, cultural perspectives in writing, and English as a Second Language issues. Learning to tutor well takes much practice; this course provides Center tutors with a foundation of concentrated study and supervised practice from which to begin.

The first two class days are held before the semester starts and before the Writing Center opens. We will meet for 10 hours on Aug 27-28 and then for 1.5 hours, one Friday each month to complete the course requirements. Just as important as formal class hours, tutors will also have many opportunities to talk with the director, the assistant coordinator, and fellow tutors, once the Center opens.


  • Instructor’s permission
  • Junior status
  • Successful completion of the Writing Center application process, i.e., hired as a prospective Writing Center tutor
  • All majors, especially non-English, are welcome

For more information, contact Margaret Mika at mmika@uwm.edu or visit Becoming a Writing Center Tutor.

English 443: Grant Writing

Sally Stanton
Section 201 | Online

Grant Writing combines richly descriptive storytelling and subtle persuasion within technical limits established by potential charitable funders of these organizations. The practical skill of preparing clear, concise grant proposals is valued and desired by employers in higher education, engineering, science and medicine, human services, the arts, and cultural institutions.

In this class, students will learn the basics of researching and writing effective, persuasive grants and developing and applying that knowledge in a semester-long, integrated service-learning project with a nonprofit organization in their community. They will learn how to find and research the sources of charitable funding information available to Milwaukee area organizations and how to effectively organize and present that information for writing grants. Representatives of charitable foundations, professional grant writers, and others will share their knowledge of the nonprofit-funding world and successful grant writing. Students will leave this course with marketable skills and a greater knowledge of the ways in which effective communication adds value to the workplace.

For more information, contact Sally Stanton at stanton@uwm.edu.

English 449: Writing Internship in English

Rachel Spilka

This flexible-credit internship is an opportunity for graduate students to gain “real world” writing, editing, design, or related experience that can supplement their academic credentials and broaden their marketability for postgraduate positions in both academia and industry. Internship placements are available in editing and publishing, public relations/marketing, non-profit writing, and technical writing. Students might be called upon to complete a variety of tasks in an internship placement, but typically their work involves research, writing, editing, design, proofreading, and other activities related to communication.

Students can enroll for English 449 for 1 credit (you would need to average at 5 or fewer hours spent on internship work each week); 2 credits (5-10 hours each week); 3 credits (10-15 hours each week); or 4 credits (15-20 hours each week). Students can take English 449 for more than one semester or summer if they wish; they are eligible to earn between 1-4 credits per term and a total of 9 credits in the course across terms.

If you are interested in setting up a fall internship, contact Rachel Spilka between April and August, 2014. Note that it commonly takes between 3-5 weeks to work with Dr. Spilka to finalize an internship placement, so if you are interested in taking English 449 this fall, do your best to contact her at least a month before the fall term begins.

For more information, contact Rachel Spilka at spilka@uwm.edu.

English 461: Writers in American Literature, 1900 to the Present

The American Detective Novel
Theodore Martin
Section 1 | TR, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

In this course, we’ll survey the American detective novel from its origins in the nineteenth century to its revival in the twenty-first. As this historical scope suggests, detective fiction is one of our most resilient genres. It is also one that has constantly evolved: from the ratiocinations of the first literary detectives to the hard-boiled crime writing of the early-twentieth-century to the “anti-detection” of postmodernism. Across these different moments in the genre’s development, the detective novel reveals itself to be both formal and political: it poses questions about law, ethics, guilt, and sociality while also compelling us to reflect on the nature of narrative itself.

Our goal in this class will be to investigate the history of U.S. detective fiction along both of these lines. Along the way, we’ll find ourselves focusing on forms of narrative resolution and irresolution; on problems of truth, facticity, and reliability; on constructions of masculinity and gender; on the role of race; and finally, on the inescapable parallel between detection and interpretation—that is, between the work of the detective and the work of reading itself. Authors to be studied include Poe, Hammett, Chandler, Himes, Highsmith, Pynchon, Auster, and Mosley, among others.

For more information, contact Theodore Martin at marti449@uwm.edu.

English 504: Studies in Literature, 1660-1800

Sex and Enlightenment
Barrett Kalter
Section 1 | TR, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

The Enlightenment is commonly understood as a philosophical movement that affirms society’s progressive discovery of universal moral principles and natures laws through the public use of critical reason. Sexuality, by contrast, is often seen as a private facet of identity that emanates in unruly ways from the body and its passions.

This course will explore the relation between these contradictory categories as represented in eighteenth-century literature, considering: 1) modern notions of sexuality as products of Enlightenment thought; and 2) the challenges sex poses to Enlightenment values of self- control, equality, normalcy, and consent. Our discussion will center on the following: the bawdy poetry of the Earl of Rochester and The Libertine, a film of his life starring Johnny Depp; Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess, an early bestseller rivaled in popularity only by Robinson Crusoe; John Cleland’s pornographic Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure; and Matthew Lewis’s The Monk, a Gothic tale of religious prohibition, transgressive desire, and revolution.

We will also read selections from works by Enlightenment intellectuals, including the early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and the Marquis de Sade, as well as recent theorists, such as Michel Foucault and Laura Kipnis. Topics to be discussed include: libertinism as instance of and resistance to political tyranny; romantic love, intimacy, and private life; pornography, censorship, and freedom of expression; prostitution, urban sexual subcultures (e.g., the proto-homosexual mollies), and the legal and medical definition of deviance.

This course truly satisfies the pre-1800 requirement.

For more information, contact Barrett Kalter at bkalter@uwm.edu.

English 520: Studies in American Indian Literature

Native Woman Writers: Literature of Community and Survival
Kimberly Blaeser
Section 1 | R, 11 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.

Students in this course will explore differing voices and representations of American Indian women in the literature of Native America. The class will examine characteristic themes and metaphors in the readings, will investigate acts of resistance undertaken through the works, and will trace associations with the matriarchal, the feminine, or the feminist.

Course materials will incorporate works from several time periods and from various genres including autobiography, fiction, poetry, history, performances, and hybrid works like video poetry. Among the texts are:

  • Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community, Brenda J. Child
  • Bad Indians, Deborah Miranda
  • Red Clay: Poems & Stories, Linda Hogan
  • Red Weather, Janet McAdams
  • Sister Nations: Native Women Writers on Community, ed. Heid Erdrich & Laura Tohe

Further readings will be available in a course packet or on D2L.

During the semester, students will work on a group collection of popular images of Native women. In addition to completing the readings and participating in class discussion, they will also prepare a class presentation, take a final exam, and complete a course paper or project.

For more information, contact Kimberly Blaeser at kblaeser@uwm.edu.

English 615 (421): Advanced Workshop in Fiction

George Clark
Section 1 | M, 1:30 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

Course objectives: During this capstone course, you will explore various narrative techniques and devices to employ in your fiction. In addition, you will intensively critique one another’s short stories in terms of structure, craftsmanship, and meaning. Over the semester, you will begin to develop a personal aesthetic, to make informed and considered narrative choices, and to push the boundaries of your work. While I encourage ambition and experimentation, I also try to instill in my students a keen awareness of audience and a realization that the narrative strategies you employ must serve the story. Alternative methods of storytelling will be presented through model texts written by writers from diverse backgrounds.

At the beginning of the course, you will receive guidelines for peer critiques; all participants in the workshop are required to give line edits, marginal comments, and end notes. Over the semester, I will present you with an array of narrative theories to help us forge a shared critical vocabulary with which to discuss workshop submissions. Ultimately our aim is not to evaluate the manuscript in its present state, but rather to identify the writer’s intent and devise strategies to enable her/him to realize her/his artistic vision. I will set aside time in the closing weeks of the semester to design revision plans, workshop successive drafts, and discuss professional development and publishing.

Course work: This course requires you to write 24-30 pages of new short fiction. In addition, you are expected to provide a written critique of all story submissions, complete the course readings, and come to class prepared. There is no final exam, but your portfolio must be handed in on time to successfully complete this course.

Course materials: You will be required to provide copies of your critiques for each story submitted to the workshop.

For more information, contact George Clark at clarkgeo@uwm.edu.

English 616 (423): Advanced Workshop in Poetry

Structures and Constraints from Traditional to Experimental
Brenda Cárdenas
Section 1 | T, 3:30 p.m. – 6:10 p.m.

In this capstone workshop, we will explore the fusion of content and form by using, adapting, and inventing various forms/structures and constraints from traditional to experimental. We will pay particular attention to how meter, refrain, sound patterns, received forms, and self-imposed limits might serve to make our poems more imaginative, musical, economical, and nuanced. To this end, we will write in formal verse (sonnets, villanelles, pantoums, Sapphic stanzas, and the like), as well as experiment with constraints in such Oulipo and aleatory forms as syllabics, lipograms, palindromes, anagrams, and those of our own invention.

To accomplish this, we will read a variety of published texts, complete in-class writing exercises, draft and revise poems outside of class, and bring poems to class to be critiqued by our classmates who will offer suggestions for how we might best craft our poems to achieve the desired effect.

For more information, contact Brenda Cárdenas at cardenab@uwm.edu.

English 625: Seminar in Literary History

Eating English Literature
Barrett Kalter
Section 1 | R, 3:30 p.m. – 6:10 p.m.

This seminar in literary history considers writing about food during England’s “long” eighteenth century (1660-1820), an era that stretches from the opening of the first London coffeehouses to the origin of the science of gastronomy. Our aim will be to create a detailed picture of how food was produced, experienced, and imagined in this period, and to that end we will read a variety of texts: poetry and fiction, philosophical essays, medical pamphlets, economic treatises, and of course cookbooks. For example, we will situate Grainger’s “The Sugar Cane,” a poem about the West Indian sugar industry, within the context of British colonialism and slavery, before investigating the role affordable sweetness played in the rise of consumer society and the development of theories of taste by Burke and Hume. Other topics to be discussed: British beef and the formation of a national cuisine; Shelley’s vegetarianism as an aspect of his radicalism; famine and population in Swift and Malthus.

Students will prepare dishes using eighteenth-century recipes in order to explore the possibilities of knowing the past through the senses. Finally, because historical thinking involves making connections between past and present, we will read recent work by chefs and food writers such as Michael Pollan, Anthony Bourdain, and Barbara Kingsolver, and reflect on how their interests are anticipated by or depart from those of the eighteenth century.

The course packet will cost about $35. This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement.

For more information, contact Barrett Kalter at bkalter@uwm.edu.